-,. :.,-- ;
Z ,:. ,l z.&Z.,, -,. a
-"~- '.^ .."' '
A A0 ud
'7, Ji4W f r
i I I
'- ... _. :; ,. ": ,
-" i .-.:: !!"i'
MR. ALF4D PEET, I
MR. WILLIAM APPLE
MR. JOHN CORE,
MR. JOHN MERRETT
;r .~ ~
i i r?
I:, ,, ,
" On the deck of a iJrenich lan -oj:-war.
AS WE SWEEP.
THROUGH THE DEEP
" The figure glided towards himn.
T. NELSON AND SONS
London, Edinburgh. and New York
A Story of the Stirring Times of Old
DR. GORDON-STABLES, R.N.,
Author of H" eats of Oak,"
T. NELSON AND SONS
London, Edinibuz-h, and -New IYork
I. POOR JACK, .... .... .. .... 9
II. "HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME,' .... .... 20
III. AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL, .... .... 27
IV. THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE, .... .... 33
V. "NOW THIS GOOD BLADE SHALL BE MY BRIDE," 43
VI. A BOLT FROM THE BLUE .... .... ... 54
VII. WENT GLIDING AWAY LIKE A BEAUTIFUL GHOST," 61
VIII. ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE," .... 70
IX. "A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM !" .... 78
X. IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE, .... ... 87
XI. THE PHANTOM FRENCHMAN, .... ... 94
XII. A BATTLE BY NIGHT, .. ...... 103
XIII. A HAPPY SHIP, .... .... ... 111
XIV. MUTINY, .... ... .. ... 123
XV. BEFORE CADIZ, .... .... ... 129
XVI. JACK AND THE MUTINEERS, .. 138
XVII IN A FOOL'S PARADISE, .... .... .. 145
XVIII. "WOULD HE EVER COME AGAIN?" .... .... 152
XIX. THE BATTLE OF CAMPERDOWN, .... .. 162
XX. NELSON AND THE NILE, .... ... .. 171
XXI. WILLIE DIED A HERO'S DEATH, .... .... 180
XXII. STILL WATERS RUN DEEP, .. .... 189
XXIII. "IT'S ALL UP, lMR. RICHARDS, IT'S ALL UP!" 197
XXIV. BY THE OLD DIAL-STONE ..... ... .... 206
As We Swee through the Deep.
As ye sweep through the deep
While the stormy winds do blow,
While the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow."
UST two years this very day since
poor Jack Mackenzie sailed 'away
from England in the Ocean Pride."
Mr. Richards, of the tough old
firm of Griffin, Keane, and Co., Solici-
tors, London, talked more to himself than to any one
As he spoke he straightened himself up from his
desk in a weary kind of way, and began to mend his
pen: they used quills in those good old times.
"Just two years How the time flies! And
we're not getting any younger. Are we, partner ?"
Whether Mr. Keane heard what he said or not, he
certainly did not reply immediately. He was stand-
ing by the window, gazing out into the half-dark,
"Fog, fog, fog !" he grunted peevishly; "nothing
but fog and gloom. Been nothing else all winter;
and now that spring has all but come, why it's fog,
fog, fog, just the same Tired of it-sick of it !"
Then he turned sharply round, exclaiming, What
did you say about Jack and about growing younger ?"
Mr. Richards smiled a conciliatory smile. He was
the junior partner though the older man-if that is
not a paradox-for his share in the firm was not a
quarter as large as Keane's, who was really Keane by
name and keen by nature, of small stature, with dark
hair turning gray, active, business-like, and a trifle
Mr. Richards was delightfully different in every
way-a round rosy face that might have belonged to
some old sea-captain, a bald and rosy forehead, hair
as white as drifted snow, and a pair of blue eyes that
always seemed brimming over with kindness and
"I was talking more to my pen than to you," he
But what's given you Jack on the brain, eh ? "
Oh, nothing-nothing in particular, that is. I
happened to turn to his account, that is all."
Bother him. Yes, and but for you, Richards,
never an account should he have had with us."
Well, Jack gets round me somehow. He is not
half a bad lad, with his dash and his fun and his
jollity. Ay, and his ways are very winning some-
times. He does get round one, partner."
I don't doubt it, Richards. Winning enough when
he wants to get round you and wheedle cash out of
you. I tell you what, partner: Jack's got all his
father's aristocratic notions, all his father's pride and
improvidence. Ay, and he'd ruin his dad too, if-if-"
"If what, partner ? "
"Why, if his dad weren't ruined already."
Come, come, Keane, it isn't quite so bad as that."
"Pretty nigh it, I can assure you. And I can't get
the proud old Scot to retrench. Why doesn't he let
that baronial hall of his, instead of sticking to it and
mortgaging it in order to keep up appearances and
entertain half the gentry in the county? Why
doesn't he take a five-roomed cottage, and let his
daughter teach the harp that she plays so well ?"
0 partner Come, you know "
"Well, 'O partner' as much as you like; if old
Mackenzie's pride were proper pride, his daughter
would take in washing sooner than the family should
go deeper in debt every day. But the crisis will
come; somebody will foreclose."
You won't surely, partner ? "
Bother your sentiment, Richards. He owes me
over forty thousand pounds. Think of that. I
declare I believe I'd be a better landlord than Mack
himself. Forty thousand pounds, Richards, and I
don't see any way of getting a penny, except by-"
"Except by foreclosing ? "
Richards sighed as he bent once more over his
desk. He had been family lawyer to Mackenzie
before he joined the firm of Griffin, Keane, and Co.,
and dearly loved the family, or what was left of it.
He tried to work but couldn't now. Presently he
closed the ledger with a bang and got down off his stool.
"I say, Keane," he said, "I see a way out of this.
Look here. You have nobody to leave your wealth
to except dear little Gerty--"
Well, Jack is precious fond of her; why not-"
"He, he, he ho, ho, ho !" laughed Keane. Why,
Richards, you're in your dotage, man I've a baronet
in view for Gerty. And Jack is a beggar, although
he does swing a sword at his side and fight the
Richards went back to his stool quiet and subdued.
"Poor Jack !" he muttered.
Just two years this very day, Gerty dear, since
poor Jack sailed away from England in the Ocean
Flora Mackenzie bent listlessly over the harp she
had been playing as she spoke, her fingers touching
a chord or two that seemed in unison with her
thoughts. The two girls, Gerty Keane and she, who
were seldom separate now, by day or night, sat in
Flora's boudoir, which had two great windows open-
ing on to a balcony and overlooking the grand old
gardens of Grantley Hall, Suffolk. Grant Mackenzie,
a sturdy old one-armed soldier, was the proud owner
of the Hall and all the wide, wooded landscape for
miles around. Jack, now far away at sea, was his
heir, and with his sister Flora, the only children the
general had. The fine old soldier had been in pos-
session of the property only about a dozen years, yet
I fear he had inherited something else-namely, the
lordly fashions of his Highland ancestry. That
branch of the Clan Mackenzie to which he belonged
was nothing unless proud. So long as it could hold
its head a little higher than its neighbours it was
happy, and when poverty came then death might
follow as soon as it pleased. There was every appear-
ance of unbounded wealth in and around Grantley
Hall. The house was a massive old Elizabethan
mansion, half buried in lofty lime and elm and oak
trees, approached by a winding drive, and a long way
back from the main road that leads through this
beautiful shire from north to south.
Everything was large connected with the Hall and
estate. There were no finer trees anywhere in En-
gland than those sturdy oaks and elms, no more
stately waving pine trees, and no more shady droop-
ing limes than those that bordered the broad grass
ride which stretched for many- a mile across the
estate. On the park-like lawn in front of the house-
if this ancient quaint old pile could be said to have
a front-the flower-beds were as big as suburban
gardens, the statuary, the fountains, and even the
gray and moss-grown dial-stone were gigantic; and
nowhere else in all this vast and wealthy county were
such stately herons seen as those that sailed around
Grantley and built in its trees. The entrance-hall
was spacious and noble, though the porch was com-
paratively small; but if divested of its banners and
curtains and emptied of its antique furniture, its
wealth-laden tables, on which jewelled arms and
curios from every land under the sun seemed to have
been laid out for show, its oaken chests, its sideboards,
its organ and many another musical instrument an-
cient and modern, the drawing-room was large enough
to have driven a coach-and-four around.
The bedrooms above were many of them so lofty
that in the dead, dull winter two great fires in each
could hardly keep them warm.
The room in which the girls sat was the tartan
boudoir. The walls were draped with clan tartans,
and eke the lounges and chairs; while the heads of
many a royal stag adorned the walls, amidst taste-
fully displayed claymores, spears, shields, and dirks,
Just two years, Gerty. How quickly the time
"Just two years, Flora. Strange that I should
have been thinking about Jack this very moment.
But then you were playing one of Jack's favourite
airs, you know."
Flora got up from her seat at the harp. A tall
and graceful girl she was, with a wealth of auburn
hair, and blue dreamy eyes, and eyelashes that swept
her sun-tinted cheeks when she looked downwards.
She got up from her seat, and went and knelt
beside the couch on which Gerty was lounging with
"Why strange, sister ?" she asked, taking Gerty's
Gerty was petite, blonde, bewitching-so many a
young man said, and many a rough old squire as
well. She was no baby in face, however. Although
of the purest type of Saxon beauty-without the
square chin that so disfigures many an otherwise
lovely English face--there was fire and character in
every lineament of Gerty Keane's countenance.
She answered Flora calmly, candidly, quietly-I
am almost inclined to say, in a business way that
reminded one of her father.
"Dear Flo," she said-and her eyes as she spoke
had a sad and far-away look in them-" it would be
unmaidenly in me to say how much I should like
to be your sister in reality. It may not be strange
for me to think of Jack; we have liked each other,
almost loved each other, since childhood."
Almost ? said Flora.
Listen, Flo. I may love Jack, but there is one
other I love even more."
Sir Digby, Gerty ? "
No, dear Flo, but my father. I love him more
because he has few friends, and because others do not
love him. I would do anything for father."
You would even marry Sir Digby ? "
0 Gerty poor Jack will break his heart."
She buried her face in the pillow for a few mo-
ments. She was struggling with the grief that bid
fair to choke her. When she looked up again there
was nothing but softness in Gerty's face, and tears
were coursing down her cheeks-tears she made no
effort to wipe away.
Poor Jack !
"Just two years to-day, Tom, since you and I
sailed away from dear old England in the Ocean
"And hasn't the time flown too ?" said Tom.
"Ah! but then we've been so busy. Just think
of the many actions we've fought."
"True, Jack, true What a lucky, ay, and what a
glorious thing for young fellows like us to be in a ship
commanded by so daring a sailor as Sir Sidney Salt!"
Yes, Tom, yes. And think of the haul of prize-
money we shall have when we once more touch
Jack, I am surprised. Money! A Mackenzie
of the Mackenzies to be mercenary Jack, Jack !"
Jack and Tom were keeping their watch-that is,
it was Tom's watch, and Jack had come on deck to
bear him company and talk of home.
Under every stitch of canvas, with a bracing beam
wind that filled every sail, jib, and square, and stay,
the bold frigate Ocean Pride was skimming across
the Atlantic like a veritable sea-bird. She was bound
for the lone Bermudas, and the night was a heavenly
one. So no wonder that, as the two young sailors
leaned over the bulwarks and gazed at the moonlit
water that seeined all a-shimmer with gold, their
thoughts went back to their homes in merry England.
"Listen, Tom; don't call me mercenary, bo'. Did
you ever hear those lines of Burns, our great national
0 poortith cauld and restless love,
Ye wreck my peace between ye;
But poortith cauld I well could bear.,
If it werena for my Jeannie.'
Yes, Tom; I love the sweetest lass ever wooed by
sailor lad. Does she love me ? Was that what you
asked, Tom ? She never said so, bo'; but ah! I
know she does, and as sure as yonder moon is shining
she is thinking of me even now. But sit here on the
skylight till I tell you, Tor, where the 'poortith'
And sitting there, with the moonlight streaming
clear on both their earnest young faces, and on their
snow-white powdered hair, Jack poured into the ear
of his friend a story that was at once both sorrowful
Tom listened quietly till the very end, then he
stretched out his soft right hand and clasped his
Poor Jack he said.
"Ay, poor Jack indeed! And now. I'll go below.
I want to think and maybe dream of home and
"HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME."
The feast was over in Branksome Tower,
And the ladye had gone to her secret bower.
The tables were drawn, it was idlesse all;
Knight and page and household squire
Loitered through the lofty hall,
Or crowded around the ample fire."-SCOTT.
OOK your best, and act your best."
That was all the letter said, and it
was signed Your affectionate father,
It was the eve of a great party,
to be held next day at Grantley Hall, in honour of
the coming of age of the only son of General Grant
Mackenzie, about a month after the incident described
in last chapter.
Gerty sat alone in her room, just as the shadows
of this beautiful evening in spring were beginning to
"HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME."
deepen into night. She held the letter crumpled in
Poor Jack she mentally observed. "His com-
ing of age, and he not here! What a mockery!
And dear Flora too. Oh, if she were but aware that
hardly anything in this great house belongs to her
father-all mortgaged, or nearly all. It is well,
perhaps, she is kept in the dark. Her proud heart
would be crushed in the dust if she but knew even a
part. But poor Jack-is it possible, I wonder ? he
might come. Oh, what joy just to see his dear old
face again once in a way! But ah, dear me it may
be better not. Besides, Jack never said he loved me.
Oh, but he does. It is mean of me to compound with
my feelings. No; I shall face the whole position.
Father never asked me to marry Sir Digby Auld.
Nay, he knows his daughter's spirit too well. For
the love I bear father I would do anything, so long
as no command were issued. Poor Jack! Poor
father !-well, and I may add, poor Sir Digby! He
is so good and gentle. Ah me! my life's bark seems
drifting into unknown seas, and all is darkness and
mist. What can I do but drift? Oh yes, I can
hope. I am so young, and Jack is not old. We
shall both forget; I am sure we shall. Moore says-
22 "HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED iME."
'There's nothing half so sweet in life
As love's young dream.'
The poet is right. But then it does not last. In the
unknown seas into which my bark is drifting all will
be brightness and sunshine. Digby will be always
kind, and father will be happy and gay. The people
will love him, dear lonesome father! Away from
the bustle and din and fogs of London, his life will
enter a new lease. And Jack will visit us often, and
together he and I will laugh over our childhood's
amours. Digby is too good to be jealous. I wonder
if Jack will marry; I had never thought of that.
Oh dear, oh dear my victory over' self will not be
such an easy one as I had imagined. I hope Jack
won't marry that hateful Gordon girl, nor any of those
simpering Symonses. But, after all, what does it
matter to me whom Jack marries ? I begin to think
I am very mean, after all; I hate myself. Positively
Sir Digby has called, Miss Keane, and desires to
see you for a moment. He is in the tartan
Tell him, Smith, that I am sorry I cannot leave
my room-that I have a headache-that-stay,
"HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME.'
Smith, stay. Say that I shall be down in a few
Yes, Miss Gertrude."
It is best over," she murmured to herself as Smith
She touched the bell, and next minute she was
seated before a tall mirror, at each side of which
burned a star of candles, and her maid was dressing
Mary," she said, as she rose and smoothed out the
folds of her blue" silk dress, do I look my best ? "
Oh, Miss Keane, you look 'most like a fairy-the
low-bodied blue, and the pink camellia in your hair.
You are so beautiful that if I were a knight I should
come for you with a chariot and six, and carry you
away to my castle, and have a real live dragon o'
purpose to guard you-I would really, miss."
Do you think, Mary, I could act well ?"
Oh, Miss Keane, how you do talk Actors is low.
Miss Gerty, always look your best; but acting-no,
no, miss, I won't have she."
And Mary tossed her head regardless of grammar.
Mary was a little Essex maid that Miss Keane had
had for years, and had succeeded in spoiling, as chil-
dren are spoiled.
24 "HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME.
"Ah dear," said the girl, "and to think that to-
morrow is Jack's coming o' age, and he won't be here!
You don't mind me a-callin' of him Jack, does ye,
Miss Gerty ? Heigh-ho didn't he used to chuck me
under the chin just, the dear, bright boy? 'Mary,'
he says once, 'when I comes of age I means to marry
you right off the reel.' And I took him in my arms
and kissed him on what Tim would call the spur o'
the moment. Then Jack ups with a glass o' ale-it
were in the pitching, miss-and he.jumps on to a
chair and 'draws his navy dirk. 'Here's the way,' he
cries, 'that they tosses cans in the service. And I'll
give you a toast,' he says. 'I drinks
'To the wind that blows,
And the ship that goes,
And the girl as loves a sailor,
Hip, hip, hooray 1'
But run away, Miss Gerty. Only no acting, mind.
Oh dear, oh dear I wish poor Jack would come."
"Ah, Jack, my bo'," cried Tom, meeting his friend
on the quarter-deck just after divisions, let me con-
gratulate you. You've come of age this very morn-
ing. Tip us your flipper, Jack. Why, you don't
look very gay over it after all. Feeling old, I dare-
"Tom, I shall not survive this battle."
"HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED AlE.
say-farewell to youth and that sort of game. Never
mind; I'm going to see the surgeon presently. Old
M'Hearty is a splendid fellow, and he'll find an excuse
for splicing the main-brace, you may be sure. Why,
Jack, on such an eventful occasion all hands should
rejoice. Ah, here comes the doctor !-Doctor, this is
J pick's birth-day, and he's come of age, and-"
"Sail in -iJ.l: sir "
It was a hail from the mast-head-a bold and
sturdy shout that was heard from bowsprit to bin-
nacle by all hands on deck, and that even penetrated
to the ward-room, causing every officer there to spring
from his seat and hurry on deck.
The captain, Sir Sidney Salt, came slowly forth
from his cabin. A daring sailor was Sir Sidney as
ever braved gale or faced a foe. Hardly over the
middle height, with clean shaven face and faultless
cue, his age might have been anything from thirty
to forty; but in those mild blue eyes of his no one,
it was said, had ever seen a wrathful look, not even
when engaged hand-to-hand in a combat to the death
on the blood-slippery battle-deck of a French man-o'-
Run aloft, Mr. Mackenzie," he said now, "and see
what you make of her."
26 "HE NEVER SAID HE LOVED ME."
In five minutes' time, or even less, young Grant
Mackenzie stood once more on the quarter-deck, and
the drum was beating to arms.
No one would break with a loud word the hushed
and solemn silence that fell upon the ship after the
men, stripped to the waist, had stood to their guns;
and as barefooted boys passed from group to group,
scattering the sawdust that each one knew might
soon be wet with his own or a comrade's life-blood,
many an eye was turned skywards, and many a lip
was seen to move in prayer.
Jack and Tom stood together. The former was
pale as death. "Tom," he whispered, "I had a ter-
rible dream last night. I shall not survive this
battle; I do not wish to. Tell her, Tom, tell Gerty I
died sword in hand, and that, false as she is, my last
Stand by the larboard guns !"
Jack and Tom flew to their quarters, and in the
terrible fight that followed neither love itself nor
thoughts of home, except in the minds of the wounded
and dying that were borne below, could find a place.
AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
None without hope e'er loved the brightest fair,
But love can hope when reason would despair."
ERHAPS never was youthful maiden
A less prepared to listen to the ad-
dresses of a would-be wooer than
was Gerty Keane when she en-
tered the tartan boudoir that
evening at Grantley Hall. She was little more than
a child even now, only lately turned seventeen; and
before Jack went away to sea-now two years and
a month ago-I believe that most of the love-making
between them had been conducted through the media
of bon-bons and an occasional wild flower, though it
ended with farewell tears, a lock of bonnie hair, and
a miniature, both of which Jack had taken away
with him, and, like a true lover, worn next his
heart ever since the parting.
28 AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
Gerty's cheeks were flushed to-night, her eyes shone,
her very lips were rosier than usual.
Sir Digby Auld sprang up as nimbly as his figure
would permit, and advanced to meet the girl with
outstretched hands. The baronet was verging on
forty, but dressed in the height of youthful fashion;
he was a trifle pompous, and he was likewise a trifle
As a shopkeeper or clerk there would have been
nothing very attractive about Digby, but as a baronet
he was somewhat of a success. There was nothing,
however, in his fair, soft, round face or washed-out
blue eyes calculated to influence the tender passion
in one of the opposite sex; only he was excessively
good-natured, and it is very nice of a baronet to be
excessively good-natured and condescending, especially
when everybody knows he may become a lord as soon
as another noble lord chooses to die. Everybody
knew also of Sir Digby's passion for Gerty Keane,
and for this very reason used to say sneering and ill-
natured things behind the baronet's back; for people
were not a whit better in those good old times than
they are now.
Whenever Sir Digby sailed into a drawing-room
that happened to possess a sprinkling of marriageable
AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
girls of various ages, from sixteen to-say sixty, he
sailed into an ocean of smiles; but if Gerty were
there, he appeared to notice no one else in the room.
Whenever Sir Digby sailed out again, their tongues
began to wag, both male and female tongues, but
particularly the latter.
But on the particular evening when Sir Digby
Auld solicited an interview with Gerty, he had dressed
with more than his usual care, and wore his softest,
0 Gerty," he cried, I'm delighted beyond mea-
sure How beautiful you look to-night! No star in
all the firmament half so radiant as your eyes; no
rose that ever bloomed could rival the blush on your
Sir Digby had practised this little speech for half-
an-hour in front of the glass while waiting for Gerty.
The girl didn't seem to hear him; or if she did, she
did not heed. He led her passive to a seat, and drew
his own chair nearer to hers than ever he had sat
There was a sad kind of expression in Gerty's face,
and a far-away look in her bonnie blue eyes.
If Mary, her maid, had only held her silly tongue,
Gerty might have been almost happy now. But Mary
30 AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
hadn't held her tongue, but conjured up Jack, and he
was before her mental eyes at this very moment just
as she had seen him last, the young and handsome
lieutenant, going away to fight for king and country
with a heart burning with courage and valour, yet
filled with love for her-and with hope. Ah yes!
that was the worst of it. They were not betrothed,
and yet-and yet when he returned and found her
engaged to another, it would break his heart. Yes,
that was simply what it would do. What was Sir
Digby saying? Oh, he had been talking for ten
minutes and more, yet not one word had she heard.
Nor had she even turned towards him. She did so
at last, blushing and embarrassed at what she deemed
the rudeness of her inattention.
Digby misinterpreted her.
"Yes, yes," he cried rapturously; "I read my
happy fate in those dear downcast eyes and in that
tell-tale blush. You love me, Gerty; you love me,
all unworthy as I am. Then behold I throw myself
at your feet."
Sir Digby was preparing to suit the action to his
words; but this was not so easy to do as might be
imagined, for this gay Lothario had lately suffered
from a slight rheumatic stiffness of the joints. He
AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
had already bent one knee painfully, and it had
emitted a disagreeable crack which certainly tended
to dispel a portion of the romance from the situation,
when sturdy footsteps were heard outside, and next
moment the round, rosy face of Richards, of the firm
of Griffin, Keane, and Co., appeared smiling in the
Gerty sprang up, leaving her lover to recover the
perpendicular as best he might. She rushed towards
the old man and fairly hugged him.
Confound it all!" muttered Sir Digby.
I'm afraid," said Richards, "I've interrupted-"
"Oh, don't mention it, dear, dear Mr. Richards.
What Sir Digby was about to tell me wasn't of the
slightest consequence. That is, you know, I mean-
it will keep."
Sir Digby Auld bit his lip.
Richards nodded to him.
"I've such news for you, Gerty dear. A long,
long letter from Bermuda. Jack's ship-"
Oh, do sit down and tell me all.-Sir Digby, you
will forgive us, won't you ? You're so good! Sit
near us and. hear it all.-Yes, Mr. Richards; I'm
That she was. What a glad look in her face !
32 AN INTERRUPTED PROPOSAL.
what a happy smile With lips half parted and eyes
which shone with an interest intense, she never took
her gaze from Mr. Richards' beaming countenance
till he had finished speaking.
The letter was from a friend of his, and told of the
arrival at Bermuda of Jack's ship, and all Jack's
doings on shore; and how the Ocean Pride was
ordered home; and how, if things turned out well,
and she wasn't captwued by a Frenchman five times
her size, she might be expected back in a fortnight.
"0 dear, dear Mr. Richards, I'm so happy; I mean,
you know, that Flora will-"
Yes, yes; Flora, of course, you sly little puss.
There! never blush; I guess I know your secret-
Jack, eh ?-Ah, Sir Digby, you and I are too old to
understand the tender passion, aren't we ? "
"Yes-that is, no. You better speak for yourself,
sir. I-I-I believe I have an appointment--I-
Good evening, Miss Keane."
Sir Digby Auld's exit was not an impressive one.
With an amused look on his face, Richards watched
him till the closed door shut out the view; then he
stretched out his sturdy legs, threw himself back in
his chair, and laughed until the rafters rang.
THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
The deck it was their field of fame,
And ocean was their grave."
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of hidden fire
That trembles in the breast."
good ship Ocean Pride was a
twenty-gun frigate, with a crew of
nearly three hundred as brave fellows
as ever waved cutlass or pulled lan-
yard for the honour and defence of
their native land. In January 1793, when the great
war broke out between Britain and France, she was
homeward bound from the West Indies and South
America, where she had been cruising, and had hardly
reached Portsmouth ere she received orders to take in
additional stores and proceed forthwith to sea again.
34 THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
No leave was granted to men or officers. The sick
were simply bundled on shore, additional men shipped,
and she was off again within eight-and-forty hours of
her arrival in port.
For the Ocean Pride was a crack cruiser for those
brave days, in which seamen were sailors and sea-
manship a fine art.
Sir Sidney Salt was not only brave, but daring
almost to a fault. He believed most thoroughly and
completely in the supremacy of British seamen to
French; but discipline and drill he looked upon as
his mainstays, fore and aft. His success had proved
that he was correct in system, not once but often
during the past twelve months; for more than one of
the enemy's ships, larger even than his own, had been
destroyed or taken by the Ocean Pride and her gallant
crew. Boat actions had been fought also: she had
been engaged with batteries; her men had cut out
prizes from under the very guns of these; and they
had fought on shore too, side by side with marines
"It would be but the fortune of war," said Sir
Sidney to his commander as they stood together on
the quarter-deck, "were this frigate, that is now
bearing down so boldly on us, to destroy us."
THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
The commander grasped his sword with his left
hand, and his features were grimly set as he made
True, sir, true. It would be but the fortune of
war. Well, she may destroy us; she shall never
"Boldly spoken, Miller. It would indeed be a
disgrace to lower our flag to a ship of about our own
size, and that ship a Frenchman. But see how boldly
she carries herself. Top-gallant sails down; all trim
fore and aft; guns run out; and hark was that a
"Yes, sir; a French one."
"Ha, ha, ha Well, they shall hear a British one
anon. Depend upon it, Miller, that frigate has a
consort, and she is not far off at this moment, and-"
A puff of white smoke, with a point of fire in its
centre, was now seen curling round the enemy's bows,
and the roar of the cannon interrupted the captain's
speech, and next moment a shot came ricochetting
across from wave-top to wave-top, and passed harm-
lessly by on the starboard side.
"The fellow is beginning to be afraid already,"
said Miller, laughing.
"Yes; and depend upon it that shot was meant to
36 THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
keep his courage up. But if he thinks we are to
have a long-range duel he is miserably mistaken.
Set the fore-soldier, Miller. We'll walk to windward
of him if we can."
The Ocean Pride was now more closely hauled,
and seemed for a time to bear away from the foe.
The movement evidently puzzled the Frenchman.
Was John Bull sheering off? Would he presently
put round on the other tack and show them a clean
pair of heels ?
Shot after shot came tearing over the water, and
when one went clean through the Pride's rigging and
was not even responded to, the excitement on board
the Frenchman grew frantic.
The two vessels were now barely a quarter of a
mile from each other, when suddenly round came the
Pride till she was almost dead before the wind, and
began bearing down upon the De'sespe're'-for that
proved to be her name-like a whirlwind, and almost
right before the wind. The battle was about to begin
in deadly earnest.
And none too soon; for at that moment a cry of
sail in sight was heard from the maintop-mast cross-
"That's her consort," cried Sidney Salt. Now,
THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
men," he shouted, "be steady and. cool; I need not
say be brave. We may soon be engaged against two,
unless we gain the day before that frigate's consort
puts in an appearance."
A brave British cheer was the only reply to the
captain's short but pithy speech. The cheer was
feebly answered by the enemy, who from her uncer-
tain movements was evidently puzzled at the apparent
change in Sir Sidney Salt's tactics. It seemed to
those on board the Pride that contrary orders had
been issued; for she first luffed, as if to beat to wind-
ward and fight the British frigate beam to beam.
Perhaps the courage of her commander suddenly
failed him, and he came to the conclusion that he
ought to ward off the real tug of war till his consort
came up. Anyhow, just as a shot carried away a
piece of her jib-boom she attempted to wear and fill.
and in doing so missed stays.
Now came Sir Sidney's chance, and quick as
arrow from bow he took advantage of it. In less
time almost than it takes me to describe it, he had
cut across the enemy's stern, and the well-aimed
broadside that raked the De'sespere' from aft to fore,
almost completely placed her at the mercy of the
British frigate. The wheel was shot away, the
38 THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
rudder a wreck, the mainmast went by the board,
and both dead and wounded lay upon the decks.
There were still men on board her, however, and
brave ones too, to man and fight her guns; and as
the De'sespere paid off, seemingly of her own accord,
the Pride received her starboard broadside just as
she put about to close with her assailant. This
broadside was fairly effective: it silenced a gun,
killed three men, and wounded five.
The Desespe're had got round far enough to save
herself from being raked a second time. Broadsides
were given and received; but as soon as the Pride
had tacked again, it was evident she meant forcing
the fighting in the good old English fashion first
introduced by bold Hubert de Burgh.
Down came the Pride. She would not be denied.
One wild cheer, one more terrible broadside as her
guns almost touched those of the enemy, then grap-
pling irons were thrown, and the vessels literally
"Away, boarders !"
Hurrah, lads! "
The last shout came from bold young Grant Mac-
kenzie, as sword in hand, and followed by the men
who had so bravely fought his guns, he sprang nimbly
THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
across the bulwarks and leaped down amongst the foe.
To describe the mele'e that followed would be im-
possible-the shouts of victory and shrieks of pain,
the cracking of pistols, the clashing of sword and
cutlass, the shivering of pikes, the rattle of musketry
from the tops. It was all like a terrible dream to
every one concerned in it; for each British sailor or
marine seemed to fight but for himself. Then there
were the final stampede, the hauling down of the flag,
and the surrender of the wounded captain to Sir Sidney
Salt. All must have passed in seven minutes or less.
The loss on both sides was terrible to contemplate.
Twenty of our brave lads would never fight again,
thirty more were wounded, while in killed' and
wounded the enemy's loss was well-nigh one hundred.
There was no time to lose now, however. The
enemy's consort was but five or six miles off, and
coming down hand over hand. So the Frenchmen were
speedily disarmed. The dead were left where they lay,
the wounded and prisoners hurried on board the Pride.
Then a train was laid to the Desespe' 's magazine, and
just as all sail was hoisted on board the British
frigate, the time fuse was lighted. The Pride must fly
now; to fight another ship, lumbered as she was with
wounded and prisoners, would have been insanity.
40 THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
On comes the enemy's consort. Away flies the
Ocean Pride. The men on the British ship still stand
to their guns; for if they are overhauled, they mean
to fight and fall.
But see, the two French frigates are nov abreast,
and the consort hauls her main-yard aback, and an
armed boat leaves her side.
Nearer and nearer she rows. Those that behold
her on board the Pride hold their breath. They
know she is rowing to destruction.
It is awful, and even brave Sir Sidney turns a little
as the boat reaches the doomed ship, and the men are
seen clambering up her sides. At that dreadful
moment a huge cloud of smoke, balloon shaped, rises
high above the De'sespere, a sheet of flame shoots into
the air, and yards, and masts, and spars, and men are
seen high above all. A sound far louder than thun-
der shakes the Pride from stem to stern. Sir Sidney
presses his hand to his eyes and holds it there for a
time. When he takes it away at last the De'sespere
has gone. A few blackened spars bob here and there
on the waves, and the cloud rolls far to leeward, but
the silence of death is over all the scene ;
Tom Fairlie sat late that night beside poor Jack's
II've been sort of praying for you, Jack. '
THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
couch. Jack's brow was bound in blood-wet band-
ages, his eyes were closed.
0 doctor," said Tom anxiously, as his eyes sought
those of Surgeon. M'Hearty, "is there no hope ?
Surely Jack will live ?"
"Jack's in God's good hands, lad," was the solemn
reply, and I am but his servant."
The surgeon went slowly away, nor turned to look
Poor Jack poor Jack !" cried Tom ; and on his
He bent over the hardly breathing form, and tears
welled through his fingers. He had never known
till now how much he loved his shipmate.
Would Jack die ? His wounds were very grievous.
" He is in God's good hands," the doctor had said.
Tom Fairlie was a thorough English sailor-no
better and no worse than the average. He attended
church on Sunday, and was always on the quarter-
deck when the bell rang for prayers; but the actual
praying, I fear, he usually left to the parson himself.
If asked, Tom would have told you that it was the
parson's duty to make it all right with the Great
Commander above in behalf of himself and ship-
mates; but now it occurred to Tom that he might
42 THE BATTLE AND THE BREEZE.
himself personally address the Being in whose hands
poor Jack lay. God was good. Dr. M'Hearty had
said so, and the doctor knew almost everything. He
hesitated for a few moments, though. It seemed like
taking the parson's duty out of his hands. Was it
impertinence ? He looked at Jack's poor, white, still
face-looked just once, then knelt and prayed---
prayed a simple sailor's prayer that isn't to be found
anywhere in a book, but may be none the less effectual
on that account.
When Tom rose from his knees Jack's eyes were
"I've been sort of praying for you, Jack. I feel
relieved. Seems to me the Great Commander is
going to throw you a rope and pull you through
Jack's lips were moving as if in feeble reply. But
his mind was wandering.
"The blue flower, Gerty-cull that. Oh, not the
other! How dark it is Gerty, I cannot find you.
Dark, dark, dark "
And poor Jack relapsed once more into insensibility.
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE SHALL
BE MY BRIDE."
The bosom in anguish will often be wrung
That trusts to the words of a fair lady's tongue; -
But true are the tones of my II ...r steel-
They never betray, and they never conceal.
I'll trust thee, my loved sword, wherever we be,
For the clang of my sabre is music to me."
"-was not until Sir Digby Auld had
Suite gone that Gerty came to her
0)i senses, and realized the position
she had placed herself in. The
Scomical side of the situation struck
her at the same time, and for a few moments right
merrily did she join the laugh with her old friend,
Mr. Richards. But she grew suddenly serious next
What have I done ? she cried, "and how cai I
tell father ?"
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE
"You droll, provoking little puss!" said Richards.
" Come and sit on my knee here, as you always have
done since you were a weary wee hop-of-my-thumb."
"And will you tell me a story ?" Gerty was
smiling once more. "Then it will just seem like old,
old times, you know."
"Yes, of course. Once upon a time, then-oh,
ever so long ago, because no such things as I am going
to tell you about could happen in our day-once upon
a time there lived, in a lonely house by the side of a
deep, dark forest, a lonely man, to whom the fairies
had once given a magic feather, plucked from the
wing of a fairy goose; and whenever he touched
paper with this quill, lo, the paper was turned into
gold So he amassed great wealth; but no one loved
him when he went abroad, because, though he had
gold, he had no titles and he was sharp of speech.
Only he had one beautiful daughter, more fair than
a houri of paradise; and she loved her father very
much-more even than she loved the roses in June,
or the wild birds that sang in the forest, or the stars
that shone so brightly on still, clear nights in winter.
"And this daughter was beloved by a youth who
was surpassingly fair and brave and comely; but, ah
me! he was poor, and so the father despised him.
SHALL BE MY BRIDE."
"But one day there came from out of the dark
depths of the forest a prince in a splendid chariot,
with six milk-white steeds, and the sound of many
trumpets blowing. This prince was stiff and some-
what old, yet he said to the father: 'Give unto me
your daughter, that I may wed her, and she shall be
my queen; then shall you be loved and honoured too,
for you shall have titles as well as wealth.'
"But the daughter loathed the elderly suitor.
Nevertheless, that she might see her father happy and
titled, she gave the prince her hand, and her father
dowered her munificently, and-"
Go on, Mr. Richards."
Well, of course they lived happy ever afterwards."
"No, no, no, Mr. Richards; that isn't quite the end."
"Well, if I must tell you, I must. For a time,
then, there was no one more loved and honoured than
Sylvina (for that was her pretty name), and her father,
too, was invited to the court of the prince. But the
fame of Sylvina's beauty and charms spread far and
near, and hundreds visited the prince who had never
before been seen at his castle. Especially did there
come gay young sparks, with downy moustachelets to
twirl, and swords that tinkled at their heels; and so
attentive were these crowds of gallants that Sylvina
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE
never had time even to think, else her, thoughts might
have gone back to her true lover, whom she had for-
saken in his poverty and sorrow, and whose white,
distracted face often even yet haunted her dreams at
night, just as she had seen it for a moment that day
as she walked to the altar with the prince.
"But to the prince the young sparks were beyond
measure attentive. They seemed delighted of an
evening to see him snug in his high-backed chair by
the fire; and one would run and bring his slippers
and warm them, another pulled off his shoes, while
a third brought his wine, and a fourth his hubble-
bubble. Then they sang lullabies to him and patted
his shoulder till he fell asleep ; then-
But the prince awoke at last in every sense of the
word. 'No longer,' he cried, 'will I keep an open
house that young sparks may pay attentions to my
wife. I will issue no more invitations, give no more
parties; Sylvina's father must return to his lonely
house by the forest. I and my bride will live but for
He spoke thus because the green demon Jealousy
had aroused him.
"So the prince dismissed nearly all his servants;
and in his house by the forest Sylvina's father was
SHALL BE MY BRIDE."
more lonesome now than ever. Sylvina had been a
dutiful daughter, and she tried hard to be a dutiful
wife; but nothing that she did was properly construed
by her old husband. If she laughed and was gay, he
called her giddy; if she seemed sad, he told her she
was pining for her 'pauper lover;' if she showed him
marked affection, he thought she was but cajoling to
deceive him. Ah dear, ah dear, how miserable she
was for her ways were not his ways, because his age
was not hers."
Richards paused again.
"And the poor lover whom Sylvina deserted ?"
said Gerty. "Tell me about him. Did he pine and
"Oh no. But here comes Flora. I'll finish the
story another day, Gerty."
"Why, this is a pleasure!" cried Flora. Who
could have thought of !;I i.lhg you here ? I say, Gerty,
let us keep Mr. Richards to ourselves alone for the
rest of the evening. My work is all complete, and
father is busy in his room. Supper in the boudoir
here !--Not a word, Mr. Richards; you have no say
in the matter at all." Then Flora rang the bell.
And a long !.- *1 i :fol1 three hours the girls and
their friend spent too. It is almost needless to say
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE
that the chief subject of conversation was Jack, or
that Sir Digby Auld was not spoken of or thought of
Heigh-ho !" said Richards, as he stood in his room
that night, "heigh-ho! and I have come down to
break bad tidings to Flora and her father. How ever
can I do it i A lawyer ought to have no heart, but I
have one. Worse luck worse luck !"
The party next day at the Hall was a very gay
affair, and never did General Grant Mackenzie seem
in better spirits, nor Gerty and Flora look more be-
witching or feel more happy. Mr. Keane, too, unbent
himself, and was far less crisp and frigid than any
one had ever seen him. Keane did not perhaps look
a bit more happy than he felt, though he would not
have told his thoughts to any one, as he wandered to
and fro in the grand old beautifully-lighted rooms or
out into the spacious gardens and flower-laden con-
servatories. Everything had of late years conspired
to play into his hands. He had amassed money; he
had spent but little. Gerty was good, so good, for
she had promised to marry Sir Digby-promised her
father, that is; the other promise would come. Then
this splendid hall was his-Keane's-unless in a short
time the easy-minded, happy-go-lucky general managed
SHALL BE MY BRIDE."
to clear his feet. Clear his feet, indeed!" thought
Keane; "how could he ? No; the place would be his.
Then he could hold up his head in the county. And
as for Sir Digby, why, he could be easily managed
after marriage. He was a trifle wild, he had been
told, but he believed he was wealthy, and he would-
some day-be a lord."
Every one loved the general and his beautiful but
unassuming daughter. There was no word of her
being engaged to any one as yet, though such an en-
gagement might take place at any time. She was
indeed a queenly girl. Now suitors are usually a
little afraid of queenly girls-not that there are very
many about; but though they may dispense their
favours in kind words and smiles, they do not flirt,
and though warm-hearted deep down in their soul-
depths, there is no surface love to squander or to be
ruffled with every breath that blows. Such girls as
Flora Grant Mackenzie love but once, and that love
is leal and true. Flora's prince would doubtless come.
She was in no hurry.
But the girl was very happy on this her brother's
birthday, and after all the guests had gone she spent
the usual quiet half-hour with her father in his room
in loving chat and converse, just as she had done
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE
every night since, long, long ago, her mother had
"Good-night, dear," he said as he kissed her.
"Affairs are not quite so flourishing with me as I
would like; but we'll trust in Providence, won't we ?
Things are sure to take a turn."
"Yes, dear father. Good-night; God bless you "
Many of the wounded, both among our own people
and the French prisoners on board the Ocean Pride,
died and were buried as the ship sailed on; but the
strength of Jack's Highland constitution asserted it-
self, and he was at last pronounced by MI'Hearty
to be out of danger, very much to Tom Fairlie's
His wounds had been very grievous-a sabre-cut
on the skull and a spent bullet that had injured his
When the ship reached Portsmouth and the country
rang with the news of Sir Sidney's bright little action,
when the papers gave a list of the dead and wounded
and extolled Jack's bravery, and when private infor-
mation from headquarters informed the general that
his son would be gazetted post-captain, then the old
Highlander's cup of bliss seemed full.
SHALL BE MY BRIDE."
Look at that," he cried, with the joy-tears in his
eyes; "read that letter, Flora dear. My boy, my
brave boy I shall go right away to Portsmouth and
meet him, and you shall' come and nurse him. My
brave, good lad! What care we for money, Flo ?
The Mackenzies have their swords! "
On the arrival of the Ocean Pride in port, Jack
ha.d been sent to shore quarters for a time, and Tom
determined to share his rooms.
Jack was very cheerful, for he had almost forgotten
Now Mr. Keane had determined to play his cards
as well as he knew how to. The baronet had become
indisposed, but the astute lawyer had invited him
down to his little place in the country, and he had
taken Gerty home too.
At the time of the Pride's arrival in Portsmouth
there was no engagement between Gerty and Sir
Digby. All that she had really promised her father
since Richards had told her that fairy story was that
she would try to learn to love Sir Digby all she could,
and when a little older would marry him; so Keane
This, however, did not prevent him sending a con-
fidential clerk down to interview Jack. And the fol-
"NOW THIS GOOD BLADE
lowing is the bomb-shell Saunders the clerk, obeying
"Mr. Keane just sent me down to ask about you
and convey all sorts of kind messages. Especially
did he bid me assure you that he had not spoken to
your father about the little account, and that he is in
no hurry for the money. 'Indeed, the approaching
marriage of his daughter is at present absorbing all
"Why, what is the matter, Captain Mackenzie ?"
continued the clerk, noticing the staggering effect his
words had on poor Jack.
"Nothing, nothing much. A little faint, that is
all. Leave me now, Mr. Saunders. Tell Mr. Fairlie
I would speak with him."
Tom ran in. He found Jack lying helpless on the
sofa, white and trembling. But he soon recovered
sufficiently to speak
"My dream, my dream, Tom ; it has all come true."
Tom Fairlie sat long beside his friend, giving him
all the comfort he could think of, and that really was
not, a great deal. Things might not be quite as the
clerk had represented them. Gerty coldd not be so
cruel. From all he-Jack-had told him, he seemed
to know her thoroughly. Jack must see her and learn
- 1' ,I
77s good blade shall be my bride."
SHALL BE MY BRIDE."
his fate from her own lips. This and much more
said Tom Fairlie.
But for a time never a word said Jack.
He rose from the couch at last, and going quietly
to the corner, took up his sword and drew it.
Tom," he said boldly, "pardon me if I seem to
act stagy. I am not acting. We Mackenzies are a
wild and headstrong lot, and too proud, I own, by
far. We cannot help our nature. But here in your
presence I vow that now this good blade shall be
my bride; that I'll be true to her, and she as true
as steel to me."
Bravo, Jack !" cried M'Hearty, bursting into the
room; I've heard it all. And now, my lad, I bring
you good tidings. I've run all the way from the
port-admiral's office to be the very first to shake hands
with Post-Captain Jack Mackenzie."
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
0 Life how pleasant in thy morning,
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning."
T- 1 GENERAL GRANT MACKENZIE was
a somewhat impulsive man. It is
..'-: the nature of the Celt to be im-
4:\ -4r pulsive. His nervous system is far
more finely strung than that of the
plethoric or adipose Saxon, and it vibrates to the
slightest breath of emotion. Mind, I talk of the
ideal Celt-be he Irish or Scotch-and General
Grant Mackenzie was an, ideal Celt. And sitting
here with my good guitar on my knee, I cannot
help comparing a nature like his to just such a
beautiful stringed instrument as this. What a world
of fine feeling lies herein; what a wealth of poetry,
what sadness, what tenderness-ay, and what passion
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
as well! Behold, on this music-stand lies a big
old book-a book with a story to it, for it be-
longed to my unfortunate ancestor Symon Fraser of
Lovat, who was beheaded on Tower Hill. It is High-
land music all, and sweet to me are its mournful
laments as breathed by my sad guitar; but-I turn a
leaf-and here is a battle-piece. Ha the instrument
hath lost its sadness, or only here and there come
wailing notes like moans of the wounded amidst the
hurry, the scurry, the dashing, and the clashing of this
terrible tulzie. Can't you see the claymores glitter ?
Can't you see the tartans wave, and nodding plumes
among the rolling smoke ? Oh, I can. Seems as if
the guitar would burst its very strings; but, the battle
is over--cry of vanquished, shout of victor, all are
hushed. And now comes the ghostly music of the
coronach: they are burying the dead. And the in-
strument appears to sob, to weep, till the sweet low
song of grief in cadence dies.
A nature like that of Grant Mackenzie, then, or of
his son-for both seemed cast in the same mould-
needs a well-trained, well-balanced mind to guide and
restrain it; for there are few occasions indeed in this
world when one dares lay bare his soul and feelings
even to his best friends.
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
The day after M'Hearty's visit to Jack, the young
post-captain, with his friend Tom Fairlie, was just
finishing breakfast, when in dashed the general. Next
minute his son was pressed against his breast just as
if he had been a child.
Jack had spilt his tea and knocked over a chair in
his hurry to get to his father; but what did that
matter ? So there they stood looking at each other
for a moment, the tears in both their eyes.
Maybe the old general was a trifle ashamed of such
weakness, for next moment he burst into a merry
Why, Jack, my brave boy," he cried, there are
only two arms between the pair of us. But yours
will get well; mine, alas, is in the grave!"
Flora came up now, and Jack seemed delighted to
And here," he said, here, Flora, is the best friend
I have in the world-Tom Fairlie.-Nay, never
blush, Tom, my brother.-He it was, Flora, who
helped to take me below after I got hit; and when
even the surgeon-grand old fellow M'Hearty father,
you shall know him-gave me up, Tom stuck to
me, and he has been nursing me ever since as if I
were a child. Ah, Flora, there is no friendship on
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
earth so true, and no love either, as that man bears
Jack looked at his sister as he spoke, and that
glance told her he knew all.
"Father, I had almost forgotten to tell you of my
"Espousal, Jack You astonish me; it can't be
"Oh, but it is."
He picked his sword off the couch as he spoke and
held it out to his father.
Let me present my bride," he said, laughing.
The general himself could laugh now.
"So pleased, so pleased! But, 'pon honour, you
young rascal, you pretty nearly took your old father's
breath away. Married bless my soul, talk about that
thirty years hence; and blame me, Jack, but that itself
might be too soon.
"So you knocked the French about a bit ? Well
done, Jack; and well done, Lieutenant Fairlie."
Oh," said the young sailor, li-,,.i.. they always
call me Tom."
Well, Tom," said the general, holding out his hand,
"you and my brave lad fought nobly; but bless my
heart, he wouldn't be a true Mackenzie if he couldn't
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
fight. So you gave it to the Froggies hot, eh ? I
knew you would. Second only to the British army
is the British navy, lads."
And second only to the British navy, father, is the
Bravo! esprit de corps. Well, I like it. But I've
news for you, Jack. Why, your old father, you young
dog you, is going to take command again. Ha, ha!
sword arm all right, and head-piece in glorious form.'
0 father, I'm so delighted-! "
Yes, boy, and there is one thing I look forward
to-ay, and pray for-and that is for you and me,
Jack, to be in the same field of battle, and drubbing
the French as only British sailors and soldiers can."
"Father, you've made me happy.-Why, Tom, this
all but reconciles me to the loss of the love-"
Jack stopped, looking a little confused.
"Love-love ? Why, Jack, my lad, what is this?
Love of whom, boy ? "
"Oh, only a pet spaniel, father. No, not dead.
Lost though; enticed away-with a bone, I suppose."
"Just the way with spaniels, Jack. Glad it's no
worse. But 'pon honour, Jack, though you're not old
enough to know it, womankind are precious little
better I kcnow 'em well, Jack; I know 'em. A bone
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
will entice them too, particularly a bone with a bit of
meat on it."
Jack Mackenzie was not a young man who cared
for much nursing. Had Gerty been his nuise it would
doubtless have been all so different. However, it was
very pleasant for Jack to while away the next month
or two down at Grantley Hall, and to be treated like
an interesting invalid and made a hero of by old maids
and young ones too. The curate of the parish had
not a chance now.
Then the country was so lovely all around the Hall.
Though lacking the grandeur and romance of our
Scottish Highlands, the land of the broads, with its
wealth of wild flowers, its dreamy, .quiet lakes, its
waving reeds, its moors, and its birds, throws a glamour
over one in spring time that no true lover of nature
Jack's arm was well in a month, and he was wait-
ing for service. He did not mind waiting even a
little longer, and most assuredly Tom Fairlie did not,
nor M'Hearty either, who was also a guest at the Hall.
Richards also had come down to spend a week or two.
He and M'Hearty became inseparables.
A great old tub of a boat belonged to Mackenzie,
A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.
and this lay on an adjoining broad or lake. Tom and
Jack fitted it out as a kind of gondola, and many a
pleasant hour did the young folks spend together on
the water, sometimes not returning till stars' were re-
flected from the dark bosom of the lake or the moon-
beams seemed to change it into molten gold.
A pleasant time indeed-a time that flew all too
quickly for poor Tom Fairlie.
One evening, when hanging up his hat in the hall,
Jack's father took him by the hand and led him
silently into the library.
"Father, father," cried Jack, "what has hap-
"A bolt from the blue, my boy; a bolt from the
"WENT GLIDING AWAY LIKE A
SThey bid me forget her-oh, how can it be?
In kindness or scorn she's ever wi' me;
I feel her fell frown in the lift's frosty blue,
An' I weel ken her smile in the lily's saft hue.
I try to forget her, but canna forget,
I've liket her lang, an' I aye like her yet."
THOMr, the InverUry Poet.
CIHARDS, the kindly old solicitor,
with Jack and his sister Flora and
E l the general these formed the
group in the solemn, dark-panelled
library of Grantley Hall on that
beautiful summer's evening. The light of the west-
ering sun stole in through the high stained win-
dows, and cast patches of light and colour on the
furniture and on the floor. Mackenzie had already
told his son all the story of his troubles, and while
he had yet been talking, the curtains in the door-
" WENT GLIDING A WA Y
way were drawn back, and Flora appeared, leaning
on the arm of her good friend Richards.
The general had lifted up a deprecating hand.
"No need, no need." This from the family lawyer.
"Flora already knows all. And bravely has she
borne the tidings. Ah, my good sir, Flora is a true
"But you might have told me long ago," was all
she had said as she seated herself on a low stool by
her father's -knee. 0 father, I could have borne it,
and could have comforted you, now that poor mother
There was silence for a time, broken by Flora's
low sobbing; broken, too, by the sweet, mellow flut-
ing of a blackbird in the garden shrubbery.
General Mackenzie was the first to speak.
"Children," he said, "I have been for many a day
like one living in a dream, call it if you will a fool's
paradise. But I have awakened at last to the stern
realities of life. It is better, perhaps, as it is, for we
now know the very worst. You will believe me when
I say that if I have hidden the truth from you, it was
because I feared to vex you, or render you unhappy,
while yet there was hope. But now," he added, "all
is over, all is lost, or seems to be."
LIKEI A BEAUTIFUL GHOST."
"Nay, nay, my good old friend," cried Richards;
"you must not really take so gloomy a view as that
of the matter."
"This grand old house," continued the general as
if he had heard him not, "this estate, with all its
beauty of domains, that was presented to my an-
cestors by Charles the First himself, with its lands
and its lakes, its gardens and its trees, and which
was prized by my father almost as much as our an-
cient home in the Highlands of Scotland, has been
wasted, has been frittered away, through my intrinsic
Sir, sir," said Richards, you are too hard on
"Nay, my good friend, nay; that I cannot be.
You have ever been faithful to our family; but I
repeat it before you, and before my only son and
daughter here: the estates are lost through my
own folly, and through the imbecility, the madness,
Richards, of my pride. Now in a month's time, if I
do not pay off the mortgage, Keane, your partner, will
It was at this moment that Jack sprang up from
his seat as though a serpent had stung him. He took
a few rapid strides up and down the floor, then, his
" WENT GLIDING A WA Y
calmness in some degree restored, he confronted the
"Did you say Keane would foreclose, father-
"I said Keane, boy-Griffin, Keane, and Co. The
old man Keane is my only creditor. But why should
the knowledge of this affect you so ?"
"Because, father-and oh, forgive me, for I ought
to have told you before-because the heartless old
man has been playing for your estates; he has won,
and he has in a manner ruined you. But his daughter
Gerty has been playing a crueller game than even his:
she has won my heart, and having won it, having
torn it from me, she has trampled it bleeding under
foot. I can never love again."
My boy, my poor boy, is this indeed so? How
great is your sorrow and suffering compared with
mine! Bah! let the estate go. I could feel happy
now without it could I but believe that you would
forget the heartless minx who has dared to gain your
love then spurn it. You will forget her ? "
"Never, father, never; that is impossible. Sword
in hand on the battle-deck I shall seek surcease of
sorrow, but forget little Gerty Keane, never, never,
LIKE A BEA UTIFUL GHOST."
The young man covered his face with his hands,
and his form heaved with suppressed emotion, and
even the kindly-hearted Richards could but look on
in silence. Not a word of consolation could he
adduce that had the power to assuage grief so deep
No one spoke for many minutes-sorrow is often-
times too deep for words-but higher and higher in
the calm, still gloaming rose the blackbird's notes of
love, sounding half hysterical in the very fulness of
their happiness and joy.
General Mackenzie rose slowly from his chair, and
approaching his son placed a kindly hand on his
"Dear Jack," he said slowly, "we each have some-
thing left us, a name that has never yet been tar-
nished; our clansmen have ever been found in the
battle's van, or
In death laid low,
Their backs to the field, their feet to the foe.'
We have that name, Jack boy; we have that fame.
We have our unsullied swords. Jack lad, we shall
"Father, we shall try."
And hand met hand as eye met eye. The two had
" WENT GLIDING A WA Y
signed a compact, and well they knew what that
Jack Mackenzie sat alone in his bedroom that
night long after his father and every guest had re-
tired. The casement window was wide open, so that
the sweet breath of the June roses could steal in, and
with it the weird tremolo of a nightingale singing its
love-lay in an adjoining copse. The moonlight was
everywhere, bathing the flower-beds, spiritualizing the
trees, lying on the grass like snow, and casting deep
shadows from the quaint hl..- of many a statue,
and a deeper shadow still from the mossy dial-stone.
So intent was Jack in his admiration of the solemn
beauty of the scene, that he saw not his chamber door
slowly opening, nor noted the figure robed from head
to feet in white that entered and glided towards
Was it a spirit?
If so, it was a very beautiful one. The face was
very white in the moonbeams, the eyes very sad and
dark, and darker still the wealth of waving hair that
floated over the shoulders.
Jack started now, and looked quickly round. Then
LIKE A BEAUTIFUL GHOST."
a happy smile spread over his face as he arose and
led his sister to a seat by his side.
So like old, old times, Flora," he said.
So like old, old times, Jack," said she.
He wrapped her knees in a great old Grant-tartan
"I knew you were still up, and that you were not
happy, so I came to you. But, Jack-"
May I ?"
Still more like olden times, Flora."
Jack lit up his pipe, and then he took his sister's
I'm glad," he said, that I never had a brother."
And I," she said, am happy I never had a sister."
We are all in all to each other, are we not, Flo ?"
All in all, Jack; especially now."
"Ah yes; now that I have lost Gerty. Ah, siss i
you nor any one else in the wide world can ever tell
how dearly I loved, and still love, that faithless girl."
"And she, Jack, will break her heart that she
cannot marry you. That is what I came to tell you.
Iush, Jack, hush II know all you would say; but
" WENT GLIDING, A WA Y
you do not understand women, and least of all do you
understand Gerty. I do, Jack; yes, I do."
Sissy," said the young man earnestly," the cruel-
lest thing mortals can be guilty of is to arouse the
dying to feeling again, when the bitterness of death
is almost past. You would not be so unkind. You
did not come here to raise hopes in my heart that
would be as certainly doomed to disappointment as
that blooming flowers shall fade."
No, Jack, no. I only came because I wanted to
pour balm, not hope, into your bleeding heart. I
came to tell you all Gerty Keane's story, that you
may not think the very, very worst of her.' Listen,
The young man sat in silence for quite a long time
after his sister had finished the story of Gerby Keane,
and of her fondness for her lonesome, friendless, and
unlovable father; sat gazing out upon the moonlit
landscape, but seeing nothing; sat while the night-
ingale's lilt, plaintive and low or mournfully sweet,
bubbled tremulously from the grove, but hearing
nothing. And in the shadow of the old-fashioned
arm-chair snuggled Flora, her eyes resting lovingly,
wistfully on her brother's sad but handsome face.
At last he sighed and turned towards her. Flora,'
LIKE A BEAUTIFUL GHOST."
he said, I'm going to try to forgive Gerty. I'm
going to live in hope I one day may be able to for-
give. Just tell her from me I wish her that happi-
ness with another which fate has decreed it shall
never be my joy to impart. Tell her-but there no
more, Flora, no more."
"Spoken like my own brother; spoken like a true
and brave Mackenzie. Kiss me, Jack. I'm glad I
He held her hand a moment there, the moonbeams
shining on both. But, Flora," he said, "you too
have a little story."
Her head drooped like a lily.
"And, siss, it-is connected with--don't tremble
so, Flora-with Tom ? "
The moonbeams shone on Jack alone now; his
sister had stolen into the shadow to hide her blushes.
Good-night again," she whispered, and so went
gliding away like a beautiful ghost.
ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE."
O'er the wide wave-swelling ocean,
Tossed aloft or humbled low-
As to fear 'tis all a notion-
When duty calls we're bound to go."-DIBDIN.
Tonneraire lay at anchor just off
the Hoe in Plymouth Sound, as
pretty a craft as any sailor need
care to look at. Plymouth was an
amphibious sort of a place even in
those days; and there was not a landsman who had
ever been in blue water that, having once caught sight
of the saucy Toaneraire, did not stop to stare at and
admire her as he crossed the Hoe. Some, indeed, even
sat quietly down and lighted up their pipes, the better
to consider the bonnie ship. Long and low and dark
was she, and though a frigate, the poop was not high
enough to interfere with her taking lines of beauty.
She carried splendid spars, and from their tapering
ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE." 71
height it was evident she was built either to fight
or to chase a flying Frenchman. But her maintop-
gallant masts were at present below, for the ship
was not quite ready for sea. She seemed impatient
enough, however, to get away. The wind blew pretty
high, right in off the Channel, and the frigate jerked
and ii --. at her anchors like a hound on leash that
longs to be loose and away scouring the plains in
search of game. Everything on board was taut and
trim and neat: not a yard out of the square, not a
rope out of place, the decks as white as old ivory, the
polished woodwork glittering like glass, the brass all
gold apparently, the guns like ebony, and the very
lanyards pipeclayed till they looked like coils of
Post-Captain Mackenzie was walking to and fro on
the poop-deck all alone, but casting many an anxious
glance shorewards, or upwards at the evening sun
that soon would sink over the beautiful wooded Corn-
"There's a boat coming out yonder now, sir," said
"Ah! is there, Wilson ? Well, pray Heaven it
may be the first- lieutenant, and that he may have
72 ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE.'
Twenty minutes afterwards, Tom Fairlie, lieuten-
ant in his Majesty's navy, but acting-commander
under Captain Mackenzie, was alongside in the first
cutter. He was not alone, for several other officers
were with him, and among them our old friend
M'Hearty. Jack welcomed the latter, figuratively
speaking, with open arms, then went to his private
cabin, accompanied by Tom, who had been on shore
on duty since early morning.
Sit down, Tom. Now we're off the quarter-deck
there is no need for ceremony. You look tired and
starved. Help yourself to wine and biscuits there
before you say a single word."
Tom poured out a glass, smiling as he did so.
Ah I" cried Jack, I know you have good news."
"Ay, Jack, lots of it. I've been everywhere and
I've done everything, and I've had good luck in the
"Wait a moment, Tom.-Steward !"
Ay, ay, sir."
I'm engaged for the next half-hour unless any
one desires to see me on duty.-Now, Tom, I shall
light my pipe. Follow my example. It wants an
hour to dinner, and you are my guest to-night. No
one else save our two selves and M'Hearty, I believe."
ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE." 73
Well, Jack," said Tom Fairlie, after he had
smoked in silence for a few moments, first I went
to the port-admiral's office and saw Secretary Byng.
He knows everything. Told me your father was
gazetted, and would sail with his command in a few
Glorious news, Tom. How pleased father will
Byng told me further that we must get men to
fill up our complement, and fifty over, by hook or by
Fifty over that means fl6 -lt.-. Tom. Go on."
The hook and crook means pressment, Jack."
Well, well, I don't like it; but it is all for the
good of the service. Heave round, Tom."
Then I went to the post-office. Sly dog, am I ?
Well, perhaps. A letter from Flora, and one for
Jack tore his open.
Why, she has gone to live with dear old Father
Spence at Torquay, Tom."
Yes, Jack, till the war is over. Then, if God but
spares us all, I shall be your brother."
"Dear girl," said Jack. "Ah, Tom, what a noble
courage she possesses! You and I can meet the foe
74 ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNVERAIRE."
face to face and fight well; but that is under excite-
ment. But dear Flora needed more courage than
ours to leave Grantley Hall so bravely as she did.
Never a tear, Tom, never a tear; and I even saw my
father's eyes wet. Ah well. It is the fortune of
war. Heigh-ho !"
Cheer up, Jack. Somehow, my friend, I think
that Grantley Hall will come back to the Mackenzies
Ah, never, Tom, never I The dear old place where
Flora and I spent our childhood, only to think it
should come at last into the clutches of the plausible
skinflint Keane; the father, though, of-but go on,
Tom, go on."
I next saw two gentlemen of the 'sailors' friend'
Crimps ? Scoundrels I"
Well, anyhow, they are good for forty between
Bravo Things are looking up. What a capital
fellow you are, Tom! But, stay; let me reckon.
We still want twenty more."
"And these, Jack, shall be no mere top hampers,
I can assure you. I have arranged to lay hands on
fifteen at least of thorough dare-any-things-fellows
ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE." 75
who look upon fighting as mere fun, and can face the
billows as well as tackle a foe."
You interest me. Proceed."
What say you to pirates, then ?"
Come, come, Tom."
Well, they are the next thing to it. They are
,--'_!. I met Or,--L:.-- -.1 Butler to-day, the
king of coastguardsmen; and if we lend him nets, he
will land the fish."
You mean seamen and cutlasses. Well, he'll have
them; and I'll trust the matter all to you."
Nay, Jack, nay; the second lieutenant must be
left in charge, and you must come. Flora must see
Flora ?" cried Jack.
"Yes; we are to cut out the smuggler in Tor Bay."
Im with you, Tom. Well, we shall meet at
dinner. A reevoir."
One-legged Butler was quite a character in his
way. He had been in the service in his very young
days, and had lost a limb while fighting bravely for
king and country. But for this stroke of bad luck he
might have been an admiral, and there is little doubt
he would have been a brave one too. Appointed to
76 ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERA IRE."
the revenue service, he soon proved that, in addition
to cunning, tact, and bravery, he possessed detective
qualities of no mean order. His timber toe, as the
sailors called his wooden leg, was no drawback to
him. Timber toes in those stirring times were as
common as sea-gulls in every British sea-port; and
Butler's powers of disguising himself, or making up
to act a part in order to gain information, were simply
On the day Tom Fairlie made his acquaintance, he
had been singing Tom Bowling" on the street in
front of a public-house, and our Tom had gone up to
give him a penny. Like the Ancient Mariner, he had
held Tom with his glittering eye; and a very few
moments' conversation was sufficient to arrange for
one of the cleverest and most daring little adventures
that ever supplied a man-o'-war with gallant "volun-
teers," as pressed men were often ironically termed in
They were a very merry party at dinner that day
around the captain's table. Not a large one, how-
ever; only Jack Mackenzie himself, his friend Tom
Fairlie, M'Hearty, one middle," and bold Captain
Butler, all good men and true; and the servant who
waited at table was one to be trusted. Despite the
ON BOARD THE SAUCY TONNERAIRE." 77
fact that he was a Spaniard, he was most faithful, so
that the conversation could take any turn without
danger of a word being repeated either forward or to
the servants below in the ward-room.
In talking and yarning right quickly passed the
evening in the captain's cabin; but everywhere fore
and aft to-night both officers and crew were hearty.
They had already bidden farewell to friends and
home, soon their country too would fade far away
from sight, and then-the glories of war. Ah never
mind about its horrors; what brave young British
sailor ever thought of these ?
"A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM.
Ah cruel, hard-hearted, to press him,
And force the dear youth from my arms;
Restore him, that I may caress him,
And shield him from future alarms."
DIBDIN's i '
was near to the hour of sunset,
on an autumn evening about a
;i W week after the cozy dinner-party
t iA in the cabin of Captain Jack
Mackenzie of the Tonneraire.
The tree-clad hills and terra-cotta cliffs around Tor
Bay were all ablur with driving mist and rain,
borne viciously along on the wings of a north-
east gale. Far out beyond the harbour mouth, be-
twixt Berry Head and Hope's Nose, the steel-blue
waters were flecked and streaked with foam; while
high against the rocks of Corbyn's Head the waves
broke in clouds of spray.
"A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM!" 79
As night fell, the wind seemed to increase; the sky
was filled with storm-riven clouds; and the "white
horses" that rode on the bay grew taller and taller.
Surely on such a night as this every fishing-boat
would seek shelter, and vessels near to the land would
make good their offing for safety's sake.
There were those who, gazing out upon the storm
from the green plateau above Daddy's Hole, where
the coastguard station now is, thought otherwise.
Daddy's Hole is a sort of inlet or indentation in
the rock-wall, which rises so steeply up to the plain
above that, though covered with grass, it seems hardly
to afford foothold for goats. No man in his senses
would venture to descend from above in a straight
line, nor even by zigzag, were it not for the fact that
here and there through the smooth green surface rocks
protrude which would break his fall.
Shading their eyes with their hands in the gather-
ing gloom, with faces seaward, stood two rough-look-
ing men, of the class we might call amphibious-men
at home either on the water or on shore.
It can't be done," said one. "No, capting, it
Can't ? thundered the other; "and I tells yew,
Dan, the skipper o' the Brixham knows no such a
8o "A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM!"
word as 'can't.' He's coming Yew'll see. Hawkins
never hauled 'is wind yet where a bit o' the yellow
was tow be made. Us'll drink wine in France to-
morrow, sure's my name is Scrivings."
Dan shook his head.
W'y, yew soft-hearted chap, for tew pins I'd pitch
yew ower the cliff."
But as "Capting" Scrivings laughed while he
spoke, and shook his friend roughly by the shoulder,
there was little chance of the terrible threat being
"And min' yew, Dan," he added, "if us lands this
un all right, us'll be rich, lad-ha! ha! Besides,
wot's Hawkins got tow be afear'd of ? The Brix.ham
can cut the winkers from the wind's eye, that she
can. Tack and 'alf tack though buried in green seas,
Dan. Never saw a craft tow sail closer tow a wind.
Here's tow bold Hawkins and the brave Brixham, !"
The toast was drunk from a black bottle which the
" capting handed to Dan.
"'Ave a pull, chap; yew needs it to brace yewr
courage tow the sticking-point."
Captain Butler prided himself on the seaworthiness
and fleetness of his cutter, the saucy little .1, *' .... .
"A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM." 81
Not that she had been much to look at, or much to
sail either, when he took her over; for in those good
old times the Admiralty was not a whit more gener-
ous with paint and copper nails than it is now. But
One-legged Butler was a man of some means, who
might have driven his coach on shore had he not been
so fond of the brine and the breeze. So he had the
Moonbeam seen to at his own expense-not without
asking and receiving permission, of course, for he was
a strict-service man. Her bows were lengthened and
her rig altered and improved; she was made, in fact,
quite a model of.
And Captain Butler was justly proud of the Moon-
beam. So highly did he regard her that he would
not have marked her smooth and spotless deck with
his timber toe to obtain his promotion, and therefore
his servant had orders to always keep the end of that
useful limb shod with softest leather.
Nothing that ever sailed got the weather-gauge on
Except the Brixham.
That smuggling sloop landed many a fine bale of
silk, hogshead of wine, and tobacco galore, all along
the south coast; but never had been caught. She
was a fly-by-night and a veritable phantom. Thrice
82 "A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM/"
Butler had chased her. He might as well have at-
tempted to overhaul a gull on the wing.
But to-night One-legged Butler meant to do or die.
He knew she was going to venture into Tor Bay, and
lie off at anchor under the lee of the cliffs. He could
have boarded her in boats perhaps; but that would
not have suited Butler's idea of seamanship. It must
be neck or nothing-a fair race and a fair fight.
The Brixhamn carried a dare-devil crew, however,
and Hawkins feared nothing. The _1I.../ ...,, would
have her work cut out; but then all the more glory
to the bold fellows on board of her; for these were the
days when adventure was beloved for its own sake alone.
When, on the night previous, twenty brave blue-
jackets from the Tonneraire were told off for special
service and sent aboard the little Moonbeam, which
sailed a few hours after just as the moon was rising
over the Hoe, they had no idea what was in the wind.
From their armature of cutlasses and pistols, they
"daresayed" there was a little bit of fighting to be
done, and rejoiced accordingly, for Jack dearly loves
a scrimmage. The wind blew high, even then toss-
ing the cutter about like a cork, although she carried
but little sail. By next forenoon, however, she had
"A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM!" 83
passed Tor Bay, and lay in semi-hiding near Hope's
Nose. There was the risk of the vessel's presence
being discovered and reported to Scrivings and his
gang; but there always are risks in warfare.
As soon as it was dusk a portion of the men were
landed. Then the Moonbeam, although it blew big
guns, set herself to watch for the foe.
Hour after hour flew by, and the moon, glinting
now and then through a rift in the clouds, whitened
the curling waves, but showed no signs of the Brix-
hcan, or of anything else.
It was an anxious time.
At twelve o'clock grog and biscuits were served
out. The men never had time to swallow a mouth-
ful-of biscuit, I mean. No doubt they drank the
grog, for those were the days of can-tossing, a custom
now happily but seldom honoured.
Yes, there she was! It could be none other save
daring Hawkins in the Brixhlaz.
Small look-out was being kept to-night, however,
on the smuggler.
The Moonbeam swept down on her as hawk swoops
down on his prey, and although Tor Bay is wondrous
wide, and the Brixhcam was nearly in the centre of
it, the cutter was on her in a surprisingly short time.
84 "A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM!"
Fine seamanship, fine steering, to sheer alongside
and grapple, despite the fact that the sea had gone
down, and the waves were partially under the lee of
If ever man was surprised, that man was Smuggler
Hawkins. But he answered the call to surrender
with a shout of defiance.
After this it was all a wild medley of pistols crack-
ing, cutlasses clashing, cries-yes, and, I am sorry to
say, a few groans; for blood was shed, and one man
at least would never sail the salt seas more. But if
blood was shed, the seas washed it off; for the fight
took place with the spray driving over both vessels,
white in the moonlight.
A prize crew was left on the Brixhacm, and in less
than twenty minutes both craft were safe at anchor
in Torquay harbour.
Meanwhile, the party who had been landed near
to Hope's Nose had made their way inland, bearing
somewhat to the east to make a detour, both for the
purpose of getting well in the rear of the smugglers'
cottage-where Tom Fairlie, who was in command,
knew the smugglers were to be found-and because
the night was still young.
When Scrivings left the outlook with Dan on
"A SPLENDID NIGHT'S WORK, TOM/"
watch, he betook himself to this cottage, in order to
complete arrangements for landing the cargo, every
bale and tub of which they had meant to haul up
from Daddy's Hole to the plains above, then to cart
them away inland.
But he found his ten men ready, and even the
horses and carts in waiting. They were hired con-
veyances. The smugglers found no difficulty in get-
ting help to secure their booty in those days, when
many even of the resident gentry of England sympa-
thized with contraband trade. So there was nothing
to be done but to wait.
It was a lonely enough spot where the little cot-
tage stood among rocks and woodland. Lovely as
well as lonely and wild; though I fear its beauties
alone did nothing to recommend the place to the
favour of Capting" Scrivings and his merry men.
The night waned. The moon rose higher and
higher. The men in the bothy, having eaten and
drunk, had got tired at last of card-playing, and
nearly all were curled up and asleep.
The sentry had seated himself on a stone outside,
and he too was nodding, lulled into dreamland by the
sough of the wind among the solemn pines.
The wind favoured Fairlie's party, who, as stealthily
86 "A SPLENDID IIGHT'S WORK, TOM./"
as Indians, crept towards the cottage from the
The sentry was neatly seized and quickly gagged,
and next moment the lieutenant, sword in hand, his
men behind him, had rushed into the dimly-lit bothy.
"Surrender in the king's name The first who
stirs is a dead man "
It was beautifully done. Not a show of resistance
was or could be made, and in less than an hour Tom
Fairlie, with his crestfallen prisoners, had reached the
harbour, where they were welcomed by a hearty cheer,
which awakened the echoes of the rocks and a good
many of the inhabitants of the village of Torquay.*
And now Captain Jack Mackenzie shook hands
right heartily with his friend Tom Fairlie.
Splendid night's work, Tom," he said. "A thou-
sand thanks! Now the saucy Tonneraire may be
called ready for sea."
Splendid night's work was it? Well, we now-a-
days would think this impressment cruel-cruel to
take men away from their homes and avocations,
perhaps never to see their country more. Yet it
must be admitted that smugglers like these, who had
so long defied the law, richly deserved their fate.
The town now shows a bolder front.
IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE.
Now welcome every sea delight-
The cruise with eager watchful days,
The skilful chase by glimmering night,
The well-worked ship, the gallant fight,
The loved commander's praise "-Old Song.
l r was not without a tinge of sorrow
at his heart that Jack Mackenzie
V, stood on his own quarter-deck
and saw the chalky cliffs of En-
Sgland fading far astern, as the
gloom of eventide fast deepened into night. He was
not the one to give way to useless grief, but he
could not help contrasting the hope and joyfulness
with which he had last left home with his present
state of mind. He was not a post-captain then
certainly, but he had that-or thought he had-
for which he would gladly now take the epaulettes
88 IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE.
from off his shoulders and fling them in the sea-
namely, the love of the only girl he ever thought
worth living for. But she- Well, no matter; that
was past and gone. His love had been all a dream,
a happy dream enough while it lasted, while his heart
had been to her a toy. But then his father, his good
old careless-hearted father. Wrecked and ruined
That he was in difficulties Jack had known for years,
but he never knew how deep these were, nor that
they had so entwined themselves around the roots of
the old homestead, that to get rid of the former was
to tear up the latter and cast all its old associations
to the. four winds of heaven. Dear old homestead!
Somehow Jack had dreamt he would always have it
to go home to on every return voyage, always have
his father there to welcome him back, always-
Hallo said a voice at his side, what is all this
reverie about, Jack ? "
Tom laid his hand gently, half timidly on his arm
as he spoke. Half timidly, I say, because it would
not do for even the men to note a shadow of famili-
arity on poop or quarter-deck betwixt a commander
and his captain.
Jack smiled somewhat sadly.
"I daresay, Tom," he replied, "it was very wrong,
IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE. 89
but I was just breathing one last sigh for lost love
and home. Oh, I don't care for Grantley Hall so
much; but then there is sister, and poor father, and
it seems rather hard he should take service again.
There is just enough saved out of the wreck for them
to live on."
Yes; and you'll win a fortune yet, mayhap an
Stay, Tom, stay. I care nothing for earldoms,
and if I win enough to live on I'll be content. One
thing I do mean to win for Flora's sake-honour and
Keep your mind easy about Flora," laughed Tom.
"I'm going to win all the honour and glory she is
likely to want."
I'd quite forgotten, Tom-brother."
That's better, And, Jack, I know you'll get more
ambitious as we go on. Now mind you, you're not so
badly off. That wound was a lucky hit. Just look
around and beneath you. Ever see a finer frigate ?
Look at her build, her spars, her rigging, everything
taut and trim and ship-shape-the very ship seems
proud of herself, considering the independent way
she goes swinging over the waves on the wings of
this delightful breeze; swinging over the waves,
90 IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE.
bobbing and bowing to them as if they were mere
passing acquaintances, and she proud mistress of the
seas. Then, Jack, let me recall your attention to the
fact that we have five-and-forty bonnie black guns
and three hundred and twenty bold blue-jackets to
man and to fight them; and that you-you lucky dog
-are monarch of all you survey. Ah, brother mine,
there is many a sailor mo'sieur afloat on the seas at
this moment twixtt here and America who well might
tremble did he but know the fate that is in store for
him when the Tonneraire crosses his hawse."
"You bloodthirsty man !"
"No, no, no. I've got one of the softest hearts
ever turned out of dock, but it is all for king and
country, you know. Behold how our good ship goes
sweeping through the deep! Look, my captain bold,
we are coming up to the convoy hand-over-hand. It
was a good idea giving them half a day's start, for
some of them, I daresay, we'll find are lazy lubbers."
Well," said Jack, as we shall still call him, we
must do our best to keep them together. I would
not like, however, for my own part, to go out in
protection of many convoys."
"Nor will we; this is only a kind of trial trip.
But if you are afraid you won't have any fighting to
IAN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE.
do, you may be agreeably disappointed, as the Irish-
Jack Mackenzie laughed.
"What a fire-eater you are, Tom I wasn't think-
ing of fighting. But if I have to fight, I'd rather
these merchantmen were a hundred miles away.
Fightli, in convoy must make one feel as does the
father of a family, whom he has to defend against an
aggressor while the children cling tightly to his legs."
From the above conversation it will be gathered
that the Tonneraire had sailed at last, and was in
charge of a merchant fleet bound for America. This
was considered a very responsible task in these war-
like days, when the cruisers of the enemy were here,
there, and everywhere in our ocean highways, watch-
ing a chance to seize our unprotected ships. The
Tonneraiire had been chosen for her strength and her
fleetness, and there was no doubt that under so able
a young and dashing commander she would fulfil her
mission, and make it warm for any Frenchman who
sought to attack the ships.
There they were now sailing as closely together as
possible, because night would soon fall, and they could
only be distinguished by their lights. A cruise of
this sort was seldom, if ever, free from adventure,
92 IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT WAKE.
and it entailed much anxious care and forethought on
the part of the captain of the war-vessel convoying
them. A good thing this for Jack Mackenzie. No
cure for sorrow in this world except honest work.
He was really, too, in a manner of speaking, a proba-
tioner. To do his duty strictly, wisely, and well on
this voyage would certainly entitle him to no step,
not even perhaps to praise; but to neglect it, or even
to be unfortunate, would cause him to incur the dis-
pleasure of the Admiralty and hinder his advance-
But a whole week went on, and though no French-
man appeared on the scene, Jack and his fleet had
encountered a gale of wind that had driven them
considerably out of their course; and when one morn-
ing, about eight bells, a cry of Land" was raised, he
knew he must be in the neighbourhood of the Azores
or Western Islands.
He was not altogether sorry for this; it would
give him a chance of taking in fresh water and of
adding to the store of fresh provisions now almost
exhausted. For ships in those days were vilely found,
and the men called contractors were held in general
detestation by every ship in the service.
The merchantmen under Jack numbered fourteen
across the moon's bright wake was a
French i. an-o'-war,."
~-~-~~-.-_~; ---- -- -~-
IN THE MOON'S BRIGHT MAKE.
in all, and were of different classes--brigs, barques,
and full-rigged ships; but long before sundown they
were all securely anchored in front of San Miguel,
and Captain Mackenzie, in full uniform, accompanied
by Commander Fairlie, had gone on shore to pay his
respects to the Portuguese governor.
San Miguel was not so densely populated as it is
now, but very quaint as to its town, and very roman-
tic and beautiful as to its scenery all around. The
governor dwelt in a villa on a garden-terraced hill in
the outskirts. He was very pleased to see the officers,
but deferred business till next day.
It was, however, while smoking in the veranda
after dinner, and gazing dreamily away across the
moonlit ocean, that Jack suddenly sprang up, and,
clutching Tom's arm, pointed seawards.
Slowly sailing across the moon's bright wake was a
THE PHANTOM FRENCHMAN
If to engage we get the word,
To quarters we'll repair,
While splintered masts go by the board,
And shots sing through the air."
I'-. ^EAUTIFUL island of San Miguel
^ -;.- / on whose shores, wherever
S"' B they slope in sheets of sand
t_ owards the sea, the white
waves play and sing; whose gigantic
rocks, frowning black and beetling
above the water, are fondly licked by mother ocean's
tongue as dog salutes a master's hand.
Island, surrounded by seas that towards the far
horizon seem unfathomably blue, yet near around are
patched in the sunshine with opal, with green, and
with azure, and tremble like mercury under the moon
and the starlight.