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.AijE.!1Ii*1i IIIThe Baldwin Libraryof-m q3 Florida
945S- -__ 'iit- --__-_'.I(Al*- IIIIF77!!-- .. - ..- ~ i ---a' ,-7-i*C- .; -~~s~-- -~---- --- ~a'-..*eii 2 *' :* .4--aa. *.--.I TAKE A ROW IN OLD DICK'S BOAT.Frontispiece: page 12.
OFF TO SEA;OR THEAdventures of 7ovzial ack bunkerON HIS ROAD TO FAME.BYW. H. G. KINGSTON,AUTHOR OF "AT THE SOUTH POLE," ETC., ETC.WITH ILLUSTRATIONS PRINTED IN COLOURS.BOSTON:LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS.NEW YORK:LEE, SHEPARD, AND DILLINGHAM.1871.4
CONTENTS.CHAPTER I.MY BIRTH AND EDUCATION 5CHAPTER II.MY FIRST START 23CHAPTER III.LIFE ON THE ROARER 44CHAPTER IV.FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING 62CHAPTER V.ACROSS THE OCEAN .824
iv CONTENv TS.CHAPTER VI.WE REACH THE FLOWERY LAND 95CHAPTER VII.OUR CRUISE IN THE JUNK 113CHAPTER VIII.A TYPHOON AND A SHIPWRECK .. 125CHAPTER IX.CAPTURED BY THE CELESTIALS 140CHAPTER X.LIBERTY AGAINS 154CHAPTER XI.IN THE PIRATE STRONGHOLD* 179CHAPTER XII.I GET PROMOTED. 210
OFF TO SEA;OR, THE ADVENTURES OF JOVIAL JACK JUNKER,ON HIS ROAD TO FAME.'--f---CHAPTER I.MY BIRTH AND EDUCATION.FROM my earliest days I have been known asJovial Jack Junker. I got the name, I be-lieve, from always being in good humour, andseeing the bright side of things. WhateverI ate did me good, and I never had had anhour's sickness in my life; while if thingshappened to go wrong one day, I knew theywould go right the next. People said I wasof a happy disposition; I suppose I was. Ialways felt inclined to be singing or whistling,and when I did not, it was because I knew Iought to keep silence-in church, for instance,or in the presence of my elders, who happened
6 OFF rT SEA.to be engaged in conversation. Still, I wasnot born, as the saying is, with a silver spoonin my mouth, nor did I possess any greatworldly advantages. I did not trouble myselfmuch about the future, I must confess that.If I got what I wanted, I was contented; ifnot, I expected to get it the next day or theday after. I could wait; I always foundsomething to amuse me in the meantime.My father was a marine-a man well knownto fame, though not the celebrated "Cheeks."He was known as Sergeant Junker. He hadseveral small sons and daughters--youngJunkers-and when I was about twelve yearsof age, he was left an inconsolable widower bythe untimely death of our inestimable mother.She was an excellent woman, and had broughtus up, to the best of her ability, in a way tomake us good and useful members of society.She was indeed a greater loss to us than toour poor father; for, as my elder brotherSimon observed, as he rubbed his eyes, moistwith tears, with the back of his hand-
My BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 7"You see, Jack, father can go and getanother wife, as many do; but we can't getanother mother like her that is gone, that wecan't, nohow."No more thorough testimony could havebeen given to the virtues of our mother. Shewas a superior woman in many respects, andshe was of a very respectable family, and hada nice little fortune of her own; but she hadthe common weakness of her sex, and fell inlove with the handsome face of our honest,worthy father, Ben Junker the marine, at thetime a private in that noble corps. She didnot like his name, but she loved him, andovercame her prejudice. He could, at theperiod I speak of, scarcely read or write; butshe set to work to educate him. and so farsucceeded, that, being a very steady man, herose in due course to be a sergeant. She hadthe ambition of hoping to see him obtain acommission; but he used to declare that, ifhe did, nothing would make him more un-happy, as he should feel exactly like a fish4
8 OFF TO SEA.out of water. He was thus, at the time ofwhich I am speaking, still a sergeant. Ourmother, in consequence of the income sheenjoyed, was able to give her children-a muchbetter education than we should otherwiseprobably have obtained. At the time of herdeath, it would have been difficult to find inour rank of life a more happy, contented, andbetter-conducted family. Our father, as Ihave said, was at first inconsolable; but hewas of a happy, contented disposition, as it isvery necessary that marines, as well as otherpeople, should be-a disposition which I for-tunately inherited from him. He took therough with the smooth in life, as a matter ofcourse. A favourite song of his, which heused to hum, was-"What's the use of sighing,While time is on the wing?Oh! what's the use of crying?Then merrily, merrily singFa! la!"Consequently, as Simon said he knew he
M BIR TH A ND EDUCATION. 9would, he began in a short time to look out foranother wife; and, unhappily for us, fixed ona widow with a family. She was, however, avery amiable woman; in fact, her great faultwas, that she was too amiable, too soft andyielding. She could not manage to rule herown family, and a most uproarious, mutinousset they were. From the time they came tothe house there was no peace or quiet for any-one else. They, indeed, soon took to try andrule over us with a high hand. Her girlsused to come it over our girls, and her boysover our boys. Brother Simon, who wasbigger and stronger than her eldest, morethan once threatened that he would thrashthem all round, if they had any more non-sense, and that invariably made our poorstepmother burst into tears, and plead so hardfor her rebellious offspring, that the good,honest fellow had not the heart to put histhreat into execution. At last some of uscould stand it no longer. As Simon was oldenough, he went one day, without saying4
1O OIfF TO SEA.anything to anybody, and enlisted in themarines. Bill, our second brother, gotour father to apprentice him to a ship-carpenter; and, after no little trouble andcoaxing, he promised to let me go on boarda man-of-war. He did so, however, veryunwillingly."You don't know the sort of life that youwill have to lead aboard ship, Jack," heobserved. "Boys afloat are not the happy-go-lucky sort of chaps they seem on shore,let me tell you; but, to be sure, they have gotdiscipline there, which is more than I cansay there is to be found in a certain placethat you know of." And my father uttereda deep sigh.We were walking, one evening after tea,up and down our bit of a garden, while hesmoked his pipe. He was allowed to liveout of barracks, and we had a small cottagea little way off."I don't know, Jack, but what I shouldnot be sorry, if my company was ordered on
fMY BIRTH AND ED UCATION. IIservice afloat," he observed, confidentially,after a minute's silence. " Your new motheris a good woman-a very good woman;about her I made no mistake, though sheis not equal, by a long chalk, to her that'sgone; but oh! Jack," and he sighed again," I did not take into account those youngcubs of hers. They will not rest till theyhave driven your sisters out of the house,as they have driven the boys; and then--and then-why, I suppose, they will driveme away too!"My poor father! I sighed at the thoughtsof his domestic happiness being so com-pletely destroyed, in consequence of theadvice of King Solomon not having beenfollowed-the rod having been spared, andthe children spoiled.The following day, my father being senton duty to Portsea, took me with him.Soon after we landed, I met, just on theinner end of the Common Hard, an oldfriend of mine, Dick Lee, a waterman.4
12 OFBP TO SEA."Father," I said, "if Dick will let me,I'll stop, and have a pull in his wherry.As I am going to sea, I should like tolearn to row better than I now do."-My father, glad to keep me out of harm'sway, told me that, if Dick wished it, I mightremain with him. Well pleased, I ran downthe Hard, and jumped into old Dick's wherry.Dick intended that I should sit in his boat,and just practise with the oars, but I hadno notion of that sort; so, casting off thepainter, I shoved away from the shore. Ikept pulling up and down for some time,and round and round, till my arms ached;when, determining to take a longer voyage,I turned the boat's head out into the harbour.The tide was running out: I went on veryswimmingly, I did not think of that. Ihad not, however, got very far, when I heardold Dick's voice shouting to me-" Come back, Jack, come back, you youngjackanapes!"Dick was in a rage, no doubt about that.
MY BIRTHr AND ED UcATION. 13I pulled round, and in spite of all my effortscould make no headway. Dick shouted, andswore, but to no purpose. I might havecracked my sinews with pulling, but still theboat would keep drifting down and down,running a great risk of getting athwart-hawseof some of the vessels moored a dozen yardsbelow me. At last, Dick did what he mightas well have done at first-stepped intoanother boat with his mate, and came afterme. He soon brought me back as a prize.His temper was in no way soothed, though Icried out, again and again, I could not help it." Jump ashore now, lad," he said, as wetouched the Hard. "Next time you'll dowhat I tell you you may do. I never saidyou might go and run the chance of gettingthe boat stove in, and yourself drowned. Ikeeps my family in order, whatever otherpeople may do."Obeying old Dick, I stood disconsolatelyon the Hard, while he took his fare on board,and pulled away across to Gosport, without4i
14 OFF TO SEA.deigning to waste another word on me.However, I soon recovered my spirits, andamused myself making an excursion over thehuge logs of timber that occupy -a con-siderable space in that nook of the harbour.I was running along on the more steadypieces of timber which formed the boundaryof the pond, when I saw a boy in a boat,placed very much in the position fromwhich I had just escaped. In vain heattempted to stem the tide. He was evidentlynot accustomed to a boat. He looked round,and saw that the boat was drifting towardsthe cable of a vessel moored off the Hard. Ishouted out to him to pull hard with hisstarboard oar; but, instead of so doing, hejumped up, and caught hold of the cable,across which the boat had just then come,letting go at the same time one of his oars,which fell overboard. He now clung to thechain, and the current swept the boat awayfrom under his feet."Hold on! hold on, for your life!" I
My BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 15shouted out; but, instead of so doing, he letgo, expecting to regain his boat. He tried toswim, but he was evidently a bad swimmer.I looked round. No boat was near. I sawthere was every chance of his being drowned.I was a capital swimmer; so, hoping to savethe lad, I plunged in, and followed him. Justas I was taking the leap, I caught sightof old Dick, coming across the harbour.I shouted at the very top of my voice,pointing to the place where the boy wasfloating away. This gave me some hopesthat we should be picked up. I soon sawthat I had miscalculated the distance, for theboy seemed a very, very long way off. I hadvery little hopes of helping him, and thoughtit very likely I should get drowned myself,when I saw a hawser, somewhat slack,stretched across the course down which theboy was drifting. " If he has got any sense,he will catch hold of it," I thought. Howthankful I felt when I saw him grasp it! AsI got near, he cried out-4
16 OFF TO SEA." Help help! I can hold on no longer !"" Hold on, whatever you do! " I cried out."Oh dear! oh dear!" he shouted again,"what will become of the boat? what willbecome of the boat ?"He was evidently getting somewhat stupidand confused. I redoubled my efforts, andgrasping the hawser with one hand, caughthold of his jacket with the other, just as hewas relaxing his grasp." Now, stupid! " I cried out, "just catchhold of this rope again, and hold on! Youdon't want to get drowned, do you ?""No, I don't; but you had no businessto call me stupid," he exclaimed, in an indig-nant tone." If you go and get drowned when there'sno need of it, you are stupid," I answered;" but if you will hold on tight, till Dick comesand takes us off, I will say something for you."My arguments had some effect, for hold ontight he did, I helping him by the collar ofhis jacket. I had enough to do, however, to
MY BIRTH AND EDUCA TION. 17keep him and myself afloat, as well as to holdon at the same time. It seemed to me thatold Dick was a long time coming. At last Ishouted out."Aye, aye !" answered his well-knownvoice, and at last I saw the bow of his boatcoming round from under the stern of a vesselabove us.No one was on the decks of any of thevessels round us, which was the reason, Isuppose, that we were allowed to hang onthere so long by ourselves." Well, what mischief have you beenafter ? " asked old Dick, as he hauled the otherboy and me afterwards out of the water."Well, you do look like two drownedrats!"" He has been after no mischief at all! "exclaimed the other boy, who, in spite of hisrecent alarm, had not lost his spirits." He jumped into the water to save mylife, and he has saved it; and I am sure mypapa and mamma will not think it was anyB4
S8 OFF TO SEA.mischief, but will be ready to thank him veryheartily, as I do.""And who are you, young gentleman ?"asked old Dick. "What business had youto be tumbling into the water? "He had begun to pull up the harbour, Ishould say, placing us in the stern sheetswhile he was asking these questions."Who am I? you want to know who Iam?" said the young gentleman, who wasemployed in squeezing the wet out of hisclothes; "I am Richard Alfred ChestertonPlumb," answered the boy, standing up andassuming an air of dignity; "and I did nottumble into the water, but my boat got awayfrom me, and I tried to get after it; and thatreminds me that she is floating down theharbour; and so, old gentleman, I will justtrouble you to go in chace of her and try tobring her back."" Ho! ho! ho!" exclaimed old Dick; "someyoung bantams do crow loud. Howsomdever,there is spirit in the lad, no doubt about that! "/
MY BIRTH AND EDUCATION. 19"Well, old man," again asked the younggentleman, " are you going after my boat ? "Old Dick did not deign an answer; but,looking awaydown the harbour, espied the boat,and, pulling round, made chase after her. Wewere soon up to her, and Master Richard, as he-called himself, wanted to be put aboard again." I can row about till I am dry," he ob-served. " What's the odds ?"However, as there was only one oar re-maining, this was an impossibility."You will only go and get yourselfdrowned again," said the old man, "and catchyour death of cold sitting in your wet thingsinto the bargain. So you just come up to mymissus, and she will give you a hot cup oftea and dry your duds, and then Jack hereand I will see you safe home to your friends."I have a notion that old Dick was afraidthe young master might forget all about theservice which had been rendered him, andhaving an eye to the main chance, he wasresolved that I should receive a reward-heB 24
20 OFF TO SEA.himself hoping probably to obtain some re-muneration also for his trouble. On our wayback young Master Richard, who was in noway disconcerted,, espied the missing oar,which had been caught in an eddy, and driftedin towards the shore. We got hold of it, andhe now seemed perfectly happy. We bothLooked very foolish, I thought, as drippingwet we followed old Dick up to his house.The old woman had our clothes very soon offus, and tumbled us both into their bed. Theyoung gentleman whispered to me that it wasnot very nice, but I was in no way particular." It will not do to be ungrateful. I wouldbear anything, rather than show I did notlike it," he added, still whispering.He at last got rather impatient, and sing-ing out, asked Dick if he would go and buyhim a new suit at Selby's, the tailor's inHigh Street.The old man laughed."I've got no credit there, young gentle-man," he answered. "Maybe, too, your
/MY BIRTH AND ED UCA TION. 2friends would not be quite pleased. Yourclothes will be dry enough in time; and, therenow, the water's boiling, and you shall havea bowl of tea hot enough to take the skin offyour mouths."The steaming liquid was soon brought tous, and after drinking it, Master Richard saidhe felt as warm and comfortable as he hadever done in his life. He was only anxiousto be off. At length, however, the warmthand closeness of the room sent us both offinto a sound sleep. We were awoke by oldDick's voice."Well, lads," he said, "are you ready toput on your clothes, and come along to youngmaster's friends? I have seen your father,Jack. He knows all about them, and says itis all right. He tells me, Jack," he whispered," they're no end of grand people, so I hopeyou have stepped into the right boat thistime."I could not exactly understand the mean-ing of my old friend's remarks, but I saw thatZ3j
22 OFF TO SEA.he was well pleased. Old Mrs. Lee pressedsome more tea and bread and butter on us,and had a sausage frying in the pan. I wasnot sorry to get it; but, after taking a fewmouthfuls, the young gentleman said he wasvery grateful, but that he had h'ad enough,and that he expected to find dinner when hegot home." I could not have eaten another mouth-ful, even if the old woman had threatened tothrow me into the frying-pan," he observed,as we left the house, " but I did not like tohurt her feelings."I had eaten up the remainder of thesausage, so I benefited by Master Richard'sdelicacy of stomach.
CHAPTER II.MY FIRST START.WE crossed the water to Gosport, and tookour way along the road which led past thesmall row in which we lived. I inquired onmy way of old Dick, if he knew who theyoung gentleman's father was."They say he's a nabob," answered oldDick, "but what a nabob is, I'm sure I don'tknow, except that he's a yellow-faced gentle-man, with lots of money, and always com-plaining of his liver."Having received this lucid explanation tomy question, I rejoined my young companion.I thought I might learn more about thematter -from him." They say your father is a nabob ; is he?"I asked."A nabob? No," he answered. " He isa great deal more important person-he is a
24 OFF TO SEA.brigadier; at least he was in. India, andmamma always speaks of him as the Briga-dier, and people always talk of her as Mrs.Brigadier."" Then I suppose you are the young Bri-gadier?" I said, very naturally." No, indeed, I am not," he answered."But there is the house. And, I say, I amvery much obliged to you, remember, for whatyou have done for me. I see you are upto joking; but let me advise you not to comeany of your jokes over my father, or mammaeither. Indeed, you had better rather try itwith him than with her. You would thinktwice before you ever made the attempt again."Passing through an iron gateway, we pro-ceeded up to the house, which was some littleway from the road. It was low, with a broadverandah round it, and I found was known asChuttawunga Bungalow. I saw the name onthe side-post of the gateway. A tall, dark-skinned man, dressed in white, a broad-rimmed cap on his head, came to the door.
MY FIRST START. 25He seemed rather doubtful as to admittingold Dick and me." Here, Chetta, let us in at once!" ex-claimed the young gentleman in an authori-tative tone. " These are my friends. Theyhave rendered me an essential service. Theboy saved my life when I was drowning, andthe old man pulled us both out of the water,when we could not hold on much longer.Where is my papa? And, I say, Chetta, donot go and tell Mrs. Brigadier just yet. Iwould rather have the matter over with oneof them first."I felt rather awe-struck at having to gointo the presence of so great a man, for I hadpictured him as a tall, ferocious-looking per-sonage, with a huge moustache and a militaryair and manner. Great was my astonishmentwhen I saw, seated in an arm-chair, cross-legged, with one foot resting on a foot-stool,a small man with yellow hair, thin cheeks,and habited in a silk dressing-gown and nan-keen trousers.4
26 OFF TO SEA."Why, Richard Alfred Chesterton!" heexclaimed in a sharp, querulous tone, "wherehave you been all this time? It is as wellyour mother had to go out, or she would havebeen thrown into a state of great alarm; andsomething else, I suspect, too," he said, in alower tone." Well, papa," answered Richard, whenthe brigadier had ceased speaking, "youwould not address me harshly, if you knewhow very nearly you were having the miseryof losing me altogether. It is a long story,so I will not now enter into details. It willbe sufficient for you to know that I was in aboat, and that out of that boat I fell into thedangerous current of the harbour; and had itnot been for the bravery and gallantry of thisyoung lad whom I have brought with me, Ishould have been at this moment food for thefish in the Solent sea, or a fit subject for a coro-ner's inquest, had my body been discovered."The brigadier opened his grey eyes widerand wider, as the boy continued speaking.
MYr FIRST START. 27"And, papa, we must not forget this oldboatman, too, who pulled the boy and me-what's your name? Aye; Jack Junker-out of the water." Thus Master Dickyran on." Well, my boy, I am thankful to see yousafe, and I wish to express my gratitude tothe brave lad, Jack Junker, who saved yourlife, and to the old man who pulled you outof the water. My friends, I must consultMrs. Brigadier Plumb, how I can best showyou my gratitude. I always do consult heron all important matters. Till then I hopeyou will remain in this house. I am too greatan invalid to talk much to you, but my sonwill do his best to make amends for my de-ficiencies."On this Master Richard went up andwhispered something in his father's ear."Will one or two do?" I heard thebrigadier ask." No, no, father, do it handsomely. Tobe sure, he ran no risk, but it was the way he4
28 OFF TO SEA.did it; and I rather think he looks for someremuneration.On this the brigadier shuffled off his chair,and opening his writing-desk, took out abank note." Here, my friend," he said to old Dick," I should like to pay you for the loss of time,and the expense you have been put to, forthis youngster, so accept these few pounds.I hope to show my sense of what you havedone, more heartily by-and-by."I saw old Dick's eyes sparkle. He hadprobably expected a sovereign at the outside." Jack," he whispered to me, as we leftthe room, "you are in luck; for, if he pays mefive pounds for just picking that young shrimpout of the water, he will certainly do a gooddeal more for you who saved his life."Master Richard soon overtook us, andthen insisted on showing us over the house-into the drawing-room, and dining-room, andbreakfast-parlour, and into several of the bed-rooms, then down into the servants' hall. I
My FIRST START. 29had never been in such a fine house in my lifebefore. And then he took us out intothe garden,and walked us all round, showing us the fruit-trees in blossom, and the beautiful flowers." My mamma will be home soon," heobserved, " and my two sisters. I want herto see the brigadier first, because, you see,although it was a very fine thing in you topick me out of the water, I had no businessto tumble into it, or, indeed, to be in a boat atall. The brigadier did not see that, but shewill. She keeps us all precious strict, I cantell you. I have several brothers-the eldestis in the army, and two are away at school.I have not quite settled what I am going tobe. I should not object to go into the navy,but then I should like to be made an admiralor a post-captain at once. I have no parti-cular taste for the army, and as for the law,or several other things, I would as soon digpotatoes, or go shrimping; and thus, you see,the navy is the only profession likely to suitme, or I am likely to suit."4
30 OFF TO SEA.Old Dick cocked his eye, as he heardyoung master's remarks."I rather think he must be changed a bitbefore he is suited to the navy, howevermuch he may think the navy will suit 'him;and there I have an idea he will be prettyconsiderably mistaken," he whispered to me.The young gentleman had evidently caughtthe habit of a pompous style of speaking fromMrs. Brigadier, as I afterwards discovered.It sounded somewhat ridiculous, especiallyfrom the mouth of so small a chap. I hadreason to suspect that he now and then, too,made curious mistakes; though of course,not very well able to detect them myself.At last an open carriage drove up to thedoor, with a curly-wigged coachman on thebox, and two dark-skinned servants standingbehind, dressed like the one who had openedthe door. Inside was a very tall lady, sittingbolt upright, with two considerably smalleryoung ladies opposite to her. Young mastertold old Dick and me not to make any noise,
MY FIRST START. 3Ilest she should see us, as we were watchingtheir arrival through the shrubbery. She gotout with a dignified air, resting on one of theblack servants, and strode into the house.The two young ladies followed demurely inher wake. She was exactly what I shouldhave expected the brigadier to be, only shewore petticoats, and a bonnet instead of acocked hat. In a short time the servant ap-peared, and summoned young master into thehouse. He quickly appeared, and beckonedus from a window to come in. I did not seethe meeting of the mother and son, but Iknow when I entered she stretched out herarms, and gave me a kiss on the brow." You have rendered me an essentialservice, young lad," she exclaimed, in a voicewell calculated to hail the maintop in a galeat sea, or to shout "Advance!" at the headof a regiment in action. " I wish to show mygratitude, but how can I do so?" "Andyou-" and she looked towards old Dick, whodrew back; and I really heard him say-
32 OFF TO SEA." Oh, don't!"He thought she was going to salute himas she had me."You took them into your boat; youpreserved them from catching cold: I amgrateful-very grateful!" and I saw herfumble in the deep recesses of a side-pocket."My dear," whispered the brigadier, " Ihave already bestowed a pecuniary recom-pense."You have!" she said turning roundsharply, "without consulting me?"This was said in an intended low voice,but I heard it."Well," she said, "money cannot repayyou for the service you have performed. Butyou have found your way to this house.Come again to-morrow, and by that time Iwill have considered how I can best show mygratitude.""Thank you, marm !" answered old Dick,evidently very glad to get away. " Shall Itake Jack with me ? he lives over on this side,
M7Y FIRST STAR T3and I can drop him at his home as I go backto Gosport."" If you so think fit, my friend," answeredMrs. Brigadier; "and if the boy-by-the-by, what is your name? " she asked."Jack Junker," I replied; and I told herthat my father was a sergeant."Jack Junker? Yes, if you wish to go,Jack," she answered. "I also then shall havetime to consider how I can best express mygratitude. Farewell!"She put out her hand, and shook oldDick's; but I thought, as she spoke to me, hermanner was considerably colder than it hadbeen at first. Old Dick and I left the room,and the door was closed behind us." I doubt her," whispered old Dick to me."I am glad the old gentleman, however, gaveme the five pounds. It was handsome inhim. But Jack, my boy, I suspect you willhave to rest satisfied with having saved thelife of a fellow-creature; though, as youwere the means of my gaining this, I thinkC4
34 OFF TO SEA.I must hand over half to you, as yourshare."To this, of course, I would not consent;and somewhat disappointed, perhaps, I ac-companied my old friend through the hall,having the honour of being salaamed to mostprofoundly by the dark-skinned domestics.We walked slowly, and had not got very far,when I heard footsteps coming behind us.Turning round, I saw Master Richard runningwith all his might." Here, Jack!" he said, "the Brigadiergave me this, and told me to hand it overto you. My mother was out of the roomat the time, so do not say anything aboutit to her. She will show you her grati-tude in some other way. I do not meanto say it is as much as I should like tohave offered you; but here, be quick! put itinto your pocket, or we may be seen from thehouse.""Don't be a fool, Jack!" said old Dick,seeing I hesitated. " It's justly yours, boy,
MY FIRST START. 35and let them settle the matter as they thinkbest.""Good-bye, Jack!" said young master,shaking me by the hand. " Good-bye!" headded, taking old Dick's rough paw. "Weare a curious set; but I say, do not refuseanything you can get. If you want anyinterest exerted, then boldly ask my mother.She will do that in a way which overcomesall difficulties. If she wanted to make meArchbishop of Canterbury, she would workaway till she had done it, if she happenedto live long enough."Old Dick dropped me at my home. Therewas a tremendous noise going on, created bymy stepmother's children. She was cryingout and imploring them to be quiet, and theywere squabbling and crying and abusing eachother. -The big ones had appropriated thelittle ones' toys, or other property, and all thepoor woman could do they would not restorethe articles, while the young ones were cryingto get them back, every now and then makingC 24
36 OFF TO SEA.a rush at their bigger brothers and sisters,and getting a box on the ear in return. Myappearance rather increased than quelled thecommotion. Tommy, the biggest, asked mein a threatening "way where I had been, andof course I was not going to answer him; sohe doubled his fist, and, had I not stood onmy guard, he would certainly have hit me, buthe thought better of it. Just at that momentmy father returned off duty, full of my per-formances, of which old Dick had told him allparticulars. He was very indignant with Tom." Is this the way, you young ruffian, youtreat a brave lad who has been saving the lifeof a fellow-creature, and that fellow-creaturethe son of a brigadier? Do you know whata brigadier is, you young jackanapes, eh ?" heexclaimed, giving way for once to anger, ofwhich he was very seldom guilty. Hisremarks silenced all the party, who, of course,were then eager enough to learn what I haddone and what had happened. My poorstepmother embraced me warmly, and tears
MY FIRST START. 37fell from her eyes as she glanced round onher own disorderly offspring. For the restof the evening they behaved better.My father was well pleased on hearing ofthe brigadier's gift, for the purse containedten sovereigns." It's very liberal," he said; " for thoughI suppose he thinks his son's life worth morethan that, yet, from what you tell me, nodoubt it is as much as he dared to give; yetI can tell you, from what I have heard, thatthat shrivelled-up yellow-faced old fellow wasas plucky an officer as ever saw service."My father would not let me go back tothe Bungalow." You have done your duty, Jack, and youhave received a present, which you must layby for a rainy day; and if the brigadier's ladywants to show her maternal gratitude, it's herbusiness to find you out."I thought probably that young masterwould take care to see something more of me.I liked his manner; for although there was a4
38 OFF TO SEA.good deal of seeming bombast and pretensionabout him, I had an idea he was sterling atbottom-a plucky little chap, just as hisfather had been. This circumstance had inno way put aside my wish to go to sea. Ikept talking about it whenever I had anopportunity."I see how it is, "sighed my father; "youare right, Jack. The way Tom stood upto you just now showed me that your oldhome is not as pleasant as it should be.""Then you will let me go, will you not,father ?" I said.The fact was, it was a very different thingfor him to talk about letting me go, and toship me off. He hummed and hesitated, andsaid he thought I had better wait till I was ayear older, or till he himself was sent to sea." Oh, but that may not be for a long time,father; and what should I do with myself tillthen ?" I exclaimed." I am not quite so sure that it will be along time, Jack," he answered, with a sigh.
" "Aw ,,r'-.* *-. ~; i/C ik')9ci. ... :s, t: ...... S..,- K, .---- A, -;"I.,t .I , ,.,..* I -A ~ At17.9,FINS..--. 1\'i i*" .. I. '.... 'L-~~ <.;- a-I.. 4.r--- .....-. .,..3... .., .-,. .. A., ., ... ,, .,'.Ha --H. /. .1/r* t.PAIL' HI ARRIVE ON BOARD,page 39
MY FIRST START. 39"Once upon a time my only wish was toremain on shore, but times are changed. Idon't want to say a word against my presentwife. She is a good woman; an excellentwoman; but somehow or other she does notmanage to keep the house as quiet as it mightbe; and those children of hers are terriblyunlicked cubs."I agreed with him there. "They want tobe under the management of Mrs. Brigadierfor a few months," I observed; "I ratherthink that she would not be long in bringingthem into order."" You are right, Jack. But I have seenher, and with all her perfections, I would notswop my present wife with her on anyaccount." My father gave a shudder."Well, Jack," he said, "there's an old friendof mine-Sergeant Turbot-whose companyhas been appointed to the Roarer, fitting outfor the East India Station, alongside theTopaze sheer hulk."" Well, father," I said, "though I should4
40 OFF TO SEA.like to go with you, yet I fancy that 'a bird inthe hand is worth two in the bush;' and, ifyou will let me, I'll go with Sergeant Turbot.He will look after me and keep me out ofmischief, and stand my friend, if I want one.I should not like to lose the opportunity."" Well, well, I see how it is, home is toohot for you," sighed my poor father. "To-morrow morning, please Heaven! I will takeyou on board, and see what Turbot has to sayto the matter. If he's agreeable, why therewon't be much difficulty in getting you ratedas one of the boys aboard."My father was as good as his word, andat an early hour the next morning we em-barked in a wherry, and pulled alongside theRoarer. When I. got on board, and whilestanding with my father waiting for SergeantTurbot, who was on duty, it seemed to me asif every man and boy in the ship had gonestark staring mad, rushing and rolling about,tumbling over each other, shouting and bawl-ing at. the top of their voices. Presently I
MYly FIRST START. 41heard a ferocious-looking hairy monster of aman growl out, in a voice loud enough towake a dozen midshipmen, however fastasleep they might have been, " Up all steer-age hammocks!" the shrill sound of hiswhistle piercing through my head. I hadbeen on board men-of-war before when therewas no duty going on, and all was quiet andin order. If I had not had hold of my father'shand, I think I should have gone down theside again into the wherry. In reality, how-ever, it was only Ned Rawlings performingan ordinary piece of morning duty-as gentleand tender-hearted a fellow as ever stepped,in spite of his gruff voice and hairy face, andthe "cat" he had sometimes to wield. Ihave a notion, that every time he laid on thatcat, he felt it as acutely as the culprit on whomit was deservedly inflicted. I still felt some-thing like a fish in a tub, trying to escape thedangers I supposed surrounded me, whenSergeant Turbot came along the main deck.He laughed heartily, till his fat sides shookI
42 OFF TO SEA.again, when he saw my affrighted countenance,and my father told him I could not make outthe cause of all the uproar."Why, the men are pretty quiet," heobserved; "they're pretty much like this atall times, except when they're sleeping, orat mess, or at quarters."My father told him our object."That I will, Junker," he observed atonce. " I am sure you would look after a boyof mine if I had one, and I will look afteryours. I cannot teach him much seamanship,but I'll give a hint to those who can, and I'lllook after him, and see that he gets into nomischief, as long as I am in the ship. Weare going out to a somewhat trying climatethough, and men of my figure are apt tosuffer, I am told."He cast a momentary glance over himself.It was fortunate for Sergeant Turbot that hewas a marine, and still more that he had notto go aloft. On board ship he could do hisduty admirably, but on shore his figure was
My FIRST START. 43decidedly against him. He was very stout.It was lucky for me that he was so, for Icould always find him when I wanted him.At first, I thought that I could run awayfrom him, if desirable; but in that respectI was mistaken, for he could send after me,and have me back pretty quickly. All beingarranged, the sergeant undertook to speak tothe first-lieutenant; and he had me and myfather up, and asking him a few questions,told him to fill up different papers, which hedid forthwith, and I was regularly enteredas a boy on board the Roarer.4
CHAPTER III.LIFE ON THE ROARER.I WENT back' with my father, and the remain-der of the day was spent by my stepmotherin getting my outfit ready. It was an un-usually good one, in consequence of thebrigadier's gift."I don't expect to hear much more aboutthat," observed my father. " There is a gooddeal of talk about those sort of people; though,to be sure, the old man and the young onehave some feeling; still I don't see what goodthey could do you, Jack, even if they wishedit. I should not wish you put above yourstation; though, to be sure, your poor dearmother was a lady herself, that she was, everyinch of her, and too good for me. However,Jack, there's one thing I have got to counselyou: do your duty, tell the truth, and nevermind the sneers or laughter of those who try
LIFE ON THE ROARERR." 45to lead you astray. There is One in heavenwho will hear your prayers, and don't you goand forget to tell Him your wants, and askHim to do what is best for you. And now,my boy, you have my blessing; and I amsure, that good mother of yours-she who'sgone I mean-will be looking down fromwherever she is, and watching over you, andpraying for you, if so be she has the power;but of that matter, I must own, I have nocertain knowledge, only I do think it's thework she would like to be employed in, any-how."The next morning I took an affectionatefarewell of my brothers and sisters, and veryfar from an affectionate one of the children ofmy poor stepmother. She herself, however,wept bitterly, as I went out of the house; myfather, and a marine he had got from thebarracks, carrying my chest. It was not avery big one, as may be supposed. We hadgot some distance from the house, whenwho should I see, scampering after us, and4
46 OfF TO SEA.well out of breath, than the young MasterRichard." Oh, Jack!" he exclaimed, "where areyou going? I wanted to come yesterday, butcould not, because my mother took me to seethe Port-Admiral, and all sorts of other navalauthorities. I wanted, as I told you, to go tosea, and she seems to think it's a very goodplace for me to go to. She says that as Ihave been so nearly drowned once, I am notlikely to be drowned again; that it's muchless expensive than being in the dragoons,and, in fact, she made up her mind that to seaI was to go. Somehow or other she and thenaval big-wigs have settled it, and I am to goon board the old Roarer, which is to sail, in ashort time, for the East Indies.""That's the very ship I have joined," Ianswered."Is it ? How jolly! but are you to be amidshipman?"" No," I answered, "I am only rated as aboy on board."
LIEE ON THE ROARERR." 47" Oh II suppose there is no great differ-ence. I do not know much about a ship, orthe ways of a ship. I am to have a fine newuniform, and a dirk, and a chest full of noend of things. Well, we shall know moreabout it by-and-by; but I was forgettingwhat I came for. I wanted you to come upto the house. My father wants to talk to you,and my sisters want to see you; to makemuch of you, I fancy, but that might be abore. But, I say, let those two soldiers takeyour chest aboard, and present your com-pliments to the captain, and say you will comeby-and-by."My father and his companion, on hearingthis, burst out laughing." I have a notion, young master," said myfather, "that that would not do for Jack.Much obliged to you all the same; but youare likely to be in one station, and he inanother, so I am afraid the kindness youintend him will not do him any good. I pro-mised to take him on board the Roarer this4
48 OFF TO SEA.morning, and I shall have to go on duty againvery soon; so once more I have to thank you,and wish you good morning!"Master Plumb seemed rather astonishedat this answer."Rather a proud chap that soldier," hesaid to me. "I should have taken him foran officer, if he had not been carrying thebox. Who is it?"" My father," I answered."Oh, that's it," he observed. "Well, Jack,I wish you could come, but if you cannot, Imust take your excuses; though I am surethe captain would not be angry, if you senthim a polite message."" My father knows better than I do," Ianswered; "and I have not seen the captain,so I must go. I am very sorry, for I shouldlike to have come with you."Master Richard wrung my hand verywarmly, and most unwillingly went backtowards his home. How Sergeant Turbotdid laugh when we got on board, and my
LIFE ON THE " ROARER. 49father told him what had happened. Headvised me not to give Master Richard'smessage. My father, having left me undercharge of the sergeant, took his departure.He came on board, however, several times inold Dick's wherry." I don't ask you to come home, my boy,"he said, "for I have not got the heart to gothrough that parting business again. Besides,Jack, the home is not as comfortable as itshould be. Perhaps, however, when you comeback, four or five years hence, things will havemended. And you will not forget your father,Jack, and I'm sure you won't her that's gone."These remarks were made the last time Isaw my worthy father before the ship went outof harbour. I, in time, got accustomed to theways of a ship, or, rather, to the ways of themen. It was rather curious, at first, to see anumber of big fellows standing round a tubor basin, all washing themselves in the samewater; one toothbrush, if they were particularenough to have such a thing, and one comb,D4
50 OFF TO SEA.serving for the whole party. Only a few,however, of the cleanest men used the formerarticle. Still, things were somewhat tryingto a young chap. When the ship appeared tohave got .a little quiet, suddenly, as I wasseated near Sergeant Turbot, I heard a sharpwhistle and a ferocious growl, which mademe jump off the bench. "All hands ondeck!" or some such cry, were the wordswhich followed the whistle."Who is that growling out?" I askedof the sergeant."That is one of our licensed growlers,"was the answer. " It's his business to growl;he is paid for it. Seamen are fond enoughof growling generally, but they get nothingwhen they do, though they growl till theyare hoarse.Now, as I said, I had been aboard all sortsof ships in ordinary, or in the dockyard, butnever before on board one fitting-out. When,therefore, I stepped on deck after the men, I wasperfectly confounded; and the scene of con-
LIfE ON THE L ROARER." 51fusion around me-such piping, and swearing,and bawling, and shouting, swaying up yards,getting in guns and stores, and pulling andhauling in all directions. Still, I made thebest of it; and, having my eyes about me, keptout of harm's way, and stood ready to try anddo anything I was told to do. This went ontill the men knocked off work again, and thehubbub was concentrated on the main andlower decks, especially round the galley-fire,where the cooks were busy serving out din-ners to the different messes. " It smells fine,at all events," I thought to myself, and wouldhave made me hungry, if I had not been soalready. Then a marine struck a bell fourtimes double, which made eight bells, andthe officer of the watch roared out, " Pipe todinner!" Didn't the whistle of the boatswainand his-men sound shrilly then! The dishesbeing arranged on the mess-tables, whichwere placed in rows along the decks, all handsfell to with a will; and I, among the number,ate my first dinner aboard ship. In aboutD24
S;2 OFF TO SEA.an hour there was another pipe, and the word" Grorg!" was bawled out. Each man went toreceive his quantum of rum and water. Thesergeant said that rum was a bad thing-for littleboys, and drank mine for me. I now thinkthat he was right. I had as yet seen nothingof Master Plumb, and I began to think thathe was not coming after all. This did notconcern me, I own, very much; for, as hewould be at one end of the ship and I at theother, we should not exchange words veryoften, and I knew pretty well, from what I hadalready seen, that he would soon get into theways of his messmates, and look down uponme, and swear and abuse me, as some of theother young gentlemen were apt to do.At last all stores were on board, the sailswere bent, and, casting off from the old hulk,we hauled out into the stream. The Roarercertainly looked to greater advantage than shehad hitherto done. The next day decks werecleared, the men put on clean shirts andtrousers, the officers appeared in full fig,
LIE ON TIHE ROARERR.' 53and the long-expected captain came up theside." Butter won't melt in his mouth," I heardone of the seamen near me observe." You think so?" remarked Ned Raw-lings. " Now do you just get near, and havea look at his eye, and you will sing a differentsong. It's not always the rough-and-readylooking chaps, like you and I, Tom, as arethe best men for work! "Our captain certainly did look more fit fora ball-room, or a naval officer in love on thestage, than for the deck of a man-of-war.He was the most polished article about hiswhole ship. His whiskers were curled; hischeeks were pink; the gold lace on his coatshone with undimmed lustre, not a particleof dust rested on the fine cloth of which itwas made, while it fitted with perfection to hiswell-formed figure. Kid gloves covered hishands, and a fine cambric handkerchief ap-peared from his breast-pocket. He bowed tothe flag, and he bowed to the officers, as he
54 OFF TO SEA.cast a scrutinising glance round the deck.Some of the older officers pulled rather longfaces when they saw him. In a short time,he ordered all hands to come aft, and then, ina clear, somewhat soft voice, made a longspeech. The sum total of it was, that he wasdetermined to have a crack ship, and a crackcrew, and that he did not like to use the lash,but that he did not always do what he liked;still, that he always would have done whathe wanted done. The men could not quitemake him out, nor could I; but I came to theconclusion, that he was not just the sort ofman to whom I should like to carry such amessage as Master Plumb had requested meto give.Next day we went out to Spithead. Nosigns of my friend. I told Sergeant Turbotthat I thought Master Richard Plumb wouldnot come after all." Perhaps not," he answered; " Mrs. Bri-gadier does not like to part from him, ormaybe they are washing and combing him,
LIFE ON THE " ROARER." 55and making him fit to come aboard, which Isuppose occupied the time of a certain personwho should be nameless, and prevented himjoining us till yesterday. Maybe, youngmaster has thought better of the matter, andwould rather go for a parson, or one of thosechaps as goes to foreign courts to bamboozlethe people."I, at all events, made up my mind that Ishould see no more of Master Richard.However, scarcely had I come to this con-clusion, than a large wherry came along-side, and a card was sent up for the captain." Certainly," he answered.The boatswain's mate whistled; the sideboys were called away, I being one of them,and we hastened to our posts on the accommo-dation-ladder. There, in a boat, sat Mrs.Brigadier, with the Brigadier on one side andMaster Richard on the other, and the twoyoung ladies I had before seen. Mrs. Briga-dier, putting her hand on the shoulder of oneof the men who was holding on the boat,4
56 OFF TO SEA.stepped up the accommodation-ladder with adignified air, followed humbly by the Briga-dier. Then came the young ladies. Youngmaster followed his sisters.in a spick-and-span new uniform, looking especially wellpleased at himself. As he came up he espiedme. That there was no pride in him, heshowed by an inclination to shake hands withme. But against this there were two reasons :first, I should have fallen from my perch, andthen it would have been decidedly againstnautical etiquette." Why, Jack, shall I have to do this sortof work ?" he asked, as he passed me." I think not, sir," I answered, for I hadlearned to say " sir " to a uniform. " I am aside boy, you are a midshipman."" Oh, aye, that makes a difference," heobserved, following up his sisters; and I dobelieve he gave the last a pinch in the ankles,as he pretended to keep down her petticoats,for she kicked out behind, missing his nose,though, narrowly. The whole party were soon
LIFE ON THE ROARERR." 57on deck, where the captain stood to receivethem, bowing with formal politeness to Mrs.Brigadier and to the Brigadier, as well as tothe young ladies. He cast a very different sortof glance at young master, who came up, noway disconcerted, by the side of his father." We were anxious to see the last of ourboy," said Mrs. Brigadier, for the Brigadierseldom spoke much in her presence. "Wewished also properly to introduce him to youand to his brother officers. -He is not ouronly son, but he is our youngest son, and assuch we naturally prize him greatly. Theseare our two girls-Leonora and Euphemia.They are not likely to leave us, unless at anytime they should be destined to make thehome of some worthy man happy; but boys,Captain Sharpe, must go out into the world,and Richard Alfred Chesterton does not findhimself an exception to the general rule. Hedesired to enter your noble profession, and Iam sure, Captain Sharpe, that you will watchover him with paternal care: I trust by-and-4
58 OFF TO SEA.by because you appreciate his merits, but atpresent, as he is unknown to you, for mysake-for the sake of a fond, doting mother."" I always do look after my midshipmen,madam," answered the captain; "I wishthem to learn their duty, and I make them doit. If your son behaves himself, he will geton as well as the rest; but if not, he willprobably find himself spending a considerableportion of his time up aloft there," and thecaptain glanced at the mast-head.I saw young master screw up his mouthat this. However, Mrs. Brigadier said nothing.She had unburdened her maternal bosom,and done her duty, as she considered it.The captain now invited the Brigadier andhis family down to luncheon, and MasterRichard followed, his air of confidence some-what abated. He had taken the captain'smeasure, and the captain had taken his, butthey were not likely to get on the worse forthat. I saw many glances of admiration castat the young ladies by the lieutenants and
LIfE ON THE ROARERR." 59-midshipmen, for really they were very pretty,nice girls, according to my notion-not a bitlike their mamma.At last the party came out of the cabinagain, and the side boys were once morecalled away. The old Brigadier took a heartyaffectionate farewell of his boy, and his sisterskissed him-all very right and proper-andthen came Mrs. Brigadier. I saw that poorMaster Richard was rather uncomfortable,when, quite regardless of where they were,she took him up in her long arms, andkissed his cheeks, and his forehead, and hislips, just as if he had been a baby, and abig tear did start into her eye. " Well, sheis human, at all events," I thought, "in spiteof her appearance."Though some of the midshipmen mighthave laughed, the captain looked as grave asa judge, and so did the other'officers. MasterRichard went down the ladder, and saw hisparty off: then he again came up the side,and walked about the deck by himself,4
60 OFF TO SEA.evidently not knowing exactly what to do.At last, the first-lieutenant, Mr. Blunt, wentup to him." Have you ever been to sea before, Mr.Plumb?" he asked." No, indeed, I have not," was the answer,"and I am rather doubtful-""Well, well," broke in Mr. Blunt, "re-member, I speak to you as a friend. Youshould say, Sir when you address a superiorofficer.""Certainly," answered Master Dicky, "butI did not know you were my superior officer."The lieutenant laughed."You will have a good deal to learn, Isuspect, Mr. Plumb. Remember, I am thefirst-lieutenant of the ship, and you mustobey with promptitude any orders which I,or any of the other lieutenants give, or themaster, or the warrant-officers, or, indeed,any officers on duty, may issue. You havea great many people above you on boardthis ship, Mr. Plumb."
LIFE ON THE ROARERR." 61" So it seems, sir," said Richard, "butif they all try to teach me my duty, so muchthe better; I shall learn the faster."" You will," said Mr. Blunt, "only thereis one thing you must never pretend to be,and that is-stupid. The captain believesyou to be one of the sharpest lads who evercame to sea; and, let me tell you, he is notthe man to allow anybody to gainsay hisopinion."
CHAPTER IV.FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING.WE ran down Channel at a rattling rate,the wind off shore, the sea smooth, the sunshining brightly. Young Master Richardsoon got the name from his messmates ofDicky Plumb-a name which, of course,stuck to him. In spite of his airs of dig-nity, he soon showed that he was a pluckylittle fellow; and he was at once for goingaloft with the other midshipmen and boys.The first time, he ran up the main riggingpretty smartly, till he got to the futtock-shrouds; go higher he could not, and gothrough the lubber's hole he would not.He kept looking up, till at length he de-termined to go round by the futtock-shroudsinto the top. He clambered along; I wasaft, cleaning some brass-work, and could nothelp looking up, and watching him. Round
FIms T EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 63into the top he could not get. More thanonce I thought he would lose his hold.The captain, who came on deck, thought sotoo. He made as if he would go aloft him-self, when Ned Rawlings caught his eye." Go and look after the boy," he said.Ned sprang aloft, and in a twinkling hadhis arms round Dicky's waist." Don't struggle," he said, "and I'll haveyou down safe."In a few seconds, Dicky was all right onthe deck. He was not contented, however;aloft he would go again, immediately."I will try once more, sir," he said,turning to the captain-for he had learnedto say "sir," by this time, to everybody-andafter three or four attempts-Ned Rawlingstaking care to be in the top beforehand-round the shrouds he got, and safe into thetop. He was not going to stop there,though; and up the top-mast rigging hewent, and down again on the other side." If that boy does not break his neck, he
64 OFF TO SEA.will do well in the service," I heard thecaptain observe. "The little fellow has gotpluck and coolness.""They say in the berth, sir, that he isa most impudent little chap," observed Mr.Blunt."Very likely," remarked the captain; "ittakes some time to rub that sort of materialout of a boy."Dicky often came forward to have a talkwith me, and though he could be uppishenough with his equals and superiors, hewas as kind and gentle to me as any onecould be." I am very glad I came to sea, Jack," heobserved. "I am learning more about mywork every day; and then the weather is sodifferent to what I thought it was at sea. Ialways fancied we were tumbling and tossingabout, except when the ship was in harbour;but here we have been gliding on for thelast fortnight with the water as smooth as amill-pond."
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 65I, in reply, said I was glad I came; butfrom what I heard, we must expect upsand downs at sea-sometimes smooth, andsometimes blowing hard." It is all the same to me," I observed."When I came to sea, I made up my mindto take the rough and the smooth together.""Jack, were you ever sea-sick?" askedDicky." Not that I remember. Were you ?"" No; and I don't intend to be," heanswered, drawing himself up somewhatproudly. " I am not going to be made thesport of my inside."" More likely of your messmates," Ianswered.We soon found, however, that this easysort of life was not going to last for ever.One night we had to tumble out of our ham-mocks, in the middle watch, pretty fast, atthe cry of-" All hands shorten sail!" Themen were out of bed in a twinkling. It waswonderful how soon they slipped into theirE
66 OFF TO SEA.clothes. The sea was roaring, the wind howl-ing and whistling, and the officers shouting--" Clew up! Haul down! Close reef top-sails!" and similar cries. I was very gladnot to have to go aloft just then, right up intothe darkness, amid the slashing of ropes, andthe flapping of sails, and the fierce whistlingof the blast as it rushed through the rigging.So, I have an idea, was Dicky Plumb, thoughhe had been boasting so boldly the previousafternoon. I remember being ordered aftwith other boys, to man the mizen topsailclew-line, which we did, and pulled, andhauled away, till we vere ordered to belay.This is the only piece of service I recollectrendering to my country that night. Whenthe ship was got under snug sail, the crewwere piped down; and I, with the watchbelow, turned in. I was, however, by thistime, feeling rather curious. I had hithertobeen very well, and remarkably jolly; andwas sure I was going to make a first-ratesailor. The ship, however, began to roll, and
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SA ZLING. 67went on rolling more and more. Not only I,but most of the other boys, and many of themen, too, were looking very queer. I had afriend I have not mentioned before-TommyPunchon by name-a fine little chap. Hehad never seen a ship before he came onboard the Roarer; but he had read of ships,and foreign lands, and that made him cometo sea, he told me. Now he had heard therewas such a thing as sea-sickness, but he wasnot going to knock under to it-not he. I metTommy coming along the lower deck (I amspeaking now of the next morning), lookingvery green and yellow; indeed, all sorts ofcolours; perhaps I looked the same, I ratherthink I did. I asked him how he felt."Very jolly, eh ?"" Oh, don't! don't!" he answered, withthe corners of his mouth curling down. " It'san awful reality; I must confess it." Justthen, I caught sight of Dicky Plumb, whohad been sent along the deck on someduty, which he had evidently a difficulty inE24
68 OFF TO SEA.performing. I doubt if his mother wouldhave owned him, so crest-fallen he looked.I dared not speak to him. He, indeed, castan imploring look at me, as much as to say,'" Don't!" On he went, trying to reach themidshipmen's berth, but overcome by hisfeelings-miserable I know they were, fromexperience-he stopped, and if Sergeant Tur-bot had not caught him in his arms, he wouldhave sunk down on the deck. The sergeant,however, helped him along, till he got himstowed safely away in the berth, where therewere probably several other young gentlemenin a like prostrate condition. Meantime, Igrew worse and worse. Tommy and I weresoon joined by other boys--a most miserablecrew-and we all together went and stowedourselves away in the fore part of the ship,thinking that no one would be troubled aboutsuch wretched creatures as we were. Mygrand idea was a hope that some one wouldcome and throw me overboard. We lay thusfor some time unnoticed, and began to hope
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 69that we should not be discovered. Still, Imust say, I did not care what happened to us.I asked Tommy how he felt." Oh, Jack! Jack!" he groaned out, "Dotake me by the head and heels, and heave meoverboard, there's a good fellow!"" That's just what I was going to ask youto do for me," I answered, in the samedolorous tone, though I have an idea, that ifany one had actually taken us at our word, thecold water would soon have restored us tohealth, and we should have wished ourselveson board again. Suddenly, we were allaroused by a gruff voice sounding in our ears,and, looking up, who should we see, but thathard-hearted individual, Bryan Knowles, theship's corporal, standing over us, cane inhand."What are all you boys idling here for?"he growled out. " Rouse up, every one ofyou; rouse up, you young villains, and go toyour duty!"Poor little wretches that we were; as if4
70 OFF TO SEA.we could possibly do anything but just crawlfrom one place to another, and lie down,wishing to die. But it was not only the boyswho were ill, but great hulking fellows, someseamen, but mostly marines; fully fifty ofthem, lying and rolling about the decks likelogs of wood. I need not further describethe scene, or enter into too minute particulars.At length, old Futtock, the boatswain-afriend of Sergeant Turbot's-gave me leaveto go and lie down in his cabin till I shouldget better. The very feeling that I had someone to care for me did me good.In most ships there is a dirty Jem; wehad one, a miserable fellow, with a skin whichno amount of washing could cleanse. Nowit happened that a party of tall marines hadstolen down the fore cock-pit, and havingfound their way into the cable tier, had snuglystowed themselves on some spare sails. andhawsers. There they lay, groaning andmoaning, and making other noises significantof what was going on, when Mr. Maconochie,
FrIST 7EXrERIE NCES OF SA4 I ING. 71a big, burly Scotchman, mate of the orlopdeck, coming forward, heard them, and verysoon began to peer about with his largegoggle eyes into the recesses of the tier. Idreaded the consequences, as, slipping out ofthe cabin where I had been, I looked out tosee what he was about."What are you sodgers doing there?"he roared out, in a furious passion at seeingwhat they had been about.One of them, with a wicked leer, at oncepointed to Dirty Jem, who lay fast asleep notfar off. Now, whether Mr. Maconochiethought he could not punish the marines, andwas glad to get hold of some other individualon whom to vent his rage, I do not know;but, be that as it may, he roused up the poorboy, and having boxed his ears, ordered himto take-one of the steerage, that is, a midship-man's hammock-which had been left by themarine whoought to have lashed it up-and tocarry it up and stow it in the poop nettings.Poor Jem poked his fingers into one of theS
72 OFF TO SEA.turns, and began to drag the big hammockalong, but so weak was he that he couldscarcely move. I do not think he could everhave got up, even to the lower deck. Fortu-nately for Dirty Jem, Mr. Blunt, who wouldallow no one but himself to bully, and thathe never did, happened to come down, andinquiring why he was dragging the hammock,ordered him to put it down, and hauled Mr.Maconochie pretty severely over the coals forhis barbarity. The marines had meantimesneaked off, and thus escaped the mate's rage.I had got nearly well by this time, andthought, as the ship was still tumbling about,that I was going to enjoy myself. The cap-tain, however, having ascertained that we hadgot our sea legs and sea stomachs into order,ordered the ship's corporal to turn us out ofour hammocks at four o'clock next morningto muster at the lee gangway. We therehad to answer to our number, and then camethe pipe-"Watch and idlers, holystone decks! "
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 73We were sent on to the poop, and wereemployed for some time amidst the slashingand dashing of water, working away onour bare knees on the sanded decks, grind-ing them with the holystones. Then we hadto scrub with hard brushes, while the captainof the mizen-top kept dashing buckets full ofwater round us, often sending one right intoour faces. There were generally one or twoof the midshipmen there, who had to paddleabout, with their trousers tucked up and theirfeet and legs bare; however, as the first lieu-tenant set them the example, they had nocause to complain.For a whole day I had seen nothing ofDicky Plumb. At length, one morning,who should appear on deck but the younggentleman himself. He looked doubtinglyat first -at what was going forward, then offhe slipped his shoes and socks, rolled up histrousers, and began like the others runninghere and there, seeing that all hands workedaway with a will. We had to muster forW
74 OFF TO SEA.numerous purposes-to see that we wereclean, and that our hammocks were lashed upproperly. The latter was severe work; for,the hammocks being heavy and we little,when the ship was rolling it was asmuch as we could do, and sometimes morethan we could do, to hold on to them, andkeep ourselves from rolling away across thedeck. Poor Jem (Dirty Jem, I mean) wasoften in trouble. The lieutenant made ustuck up our shirt-sleeves and trousers, andthen lift our arms and legs to see that theywere properly washed. Dirty Jern had reallygot his arms clean up to his elbows, and legsup to the knees." Turn up your shirt-sleeves higher, boy,and your trousers too," said the lieutenant.A dark rim of dirt was seen at each place."Corporal, give this boy twelve finnams "exclaimed the lieutenant."Please, sir, I didn't know that we wereto muster there," spluttered out Dirty Jem.The excuse, however, did not save him.
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 75He got the finnams, and had to clean himselfinto the bargain. To the latter operation heobjected even more than the first, and seemedto think it a very hard case of cruelty. How-ever, I shall have no space for our adventuresin the far East, if I go spinning my yarn inthis style. We touched at Madeira, the chiefobject, I fancy, being to procure a cask ortwo of wine for the captain and the admiralon the station. Hearing one day that wewere nearing the line, I, with Tommy Pun-chon and several other boys, were veryanxious to know what that could mean. Ipromised to ask Sergeant Turbot. I did so.He looked very wise, and replied--"Why,you understand, Jack, that the line is whatyou don't see, but it's there, and runs rightround the world, from east to west, or westto east,-it's all the same. And then it's veryhot there, because the sun is right overhead,and for the same cause it's always summer,and the days are neither very long nor veryshort, and there are mostly calms. For this4f
76 OFF TO SEA.reason, and because he could not pick out amore comfortable part of the whole wateryworld, the king of the ocean, Daddy Neptune,as we call him, once on a time used to livethere. He does not now, that I know of,because I have heard say that all the heathengods and goddesses have given up living atall on the earth; though, to be sure, I don'tsay but what he and they may visit it nowand then. Now, Jack, you understand allabout the matter, or as much as I, a sergeantof the Royal Marines, do, and that surelymust. be quite enough for a second-class boyon board ship."Full of the lucid information I had re-ceived, I returned to my mess-mates, whotold me that, in spite of what the sergeant hadsaid, they heard, positively, that Neptune andall his court were coming on board, eitherthe next day or the following. Sure enough,Daddy did come on board, in right fashion,when the opportunity was taken of givingDirty Jem a thorough washing, and punishing
Fi::1sr EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 77three or four other individuals in a ratherunpleasant way, by cramming their mouthsfull of grease and pitch, under the pretenceof lathering them, before being shaved byNeptune's barber. I should say, that a lowerstudding-sail had been fastened up, in theform of a long bag, in the main-deck, on thestarboard side, and filled with water. The skidgratings had been taken off, so that, lookingdown from the starboard gangway, nothingbut water was to be seen. Neptune and hiswife made their appearance from forward,sitting on what they said was their chariot,but which looked like a gun-carriage. Theyhad two infants, who put me wonderfully inmind of two small boys in our mess, while hiswife had very much the appearance of NedRawlings; and I thought, too, I recognizedthe features of .his secretary, his coachman,and barber. They were followed by a numberof courtiers, and twenty-four bears, and asmany constables. The chief business of thelatter was to catch the fellows who were to4
78 OFF TO SEA.be shaved and ducked. We boys were tossedabout from side to side of the tank by thebears, they crying out, "He's none of mychild I" and very fortunate we thought our-selves when we got out again. The sidebeing smooth and steep as an earthen pan, wewere very much like rats caught in one.Besides Dirty Jem, the smaller, we had a big,hulking fellow-Michael Clack, by name. Hewas a dirty, lazy, lubberly fellow, disliked anddespised by all the ship's company. He had,from the first, I doubt not, a pretty goodnotion that he would receive no very delicatetreatment from Neptune's ministers, so hewent and hid himself away, thinking that hemight, perhaps, escape notice. He had beenmarked, however, from the first." Michael Clack! Michael Clack!" wassoon called out by the secretary, and "MichaelClack! Michael Clack !" resounded along thedecks. The constables searched for himeverywhere, along each deck, behind everychest,. and each store-room, and in each
FIRST EXPERIENCES OF SAILING. 79corner into which he could possibly havecrept. At last, it was believed that he musthave gone overboard. Still, as he had beenseen by more than one of the boys scuddingalong the decks faster than he had ever beenknown to move before, the fact that he hadgone overboard was doubted by a great many.At length, the constables instituted anothersearch along the orlop deck, and in the cabletier. A shout proclaimed that Clack wasfound. He was stowed away in the coil of acable, and a piece of canvas drawn neatlyover him. He was dragged up, and placedon the plank before Neptune."You are a big, lazy, idle, mischievous,do-nothing rascal," began his Majesty. " Youdeserve no good from any one, and you willget it, too, my hearty! Give him No. I."That was the roughest razor in use." Plenty of lather! Lay it on thick! "Neptune's ministers of justice did notrequire a second bidding. The moment theunhappy Clack opened his mouth to plead his4
80 OfF TO SEA.cause, the tar-brush was run almost down histhroat. His face was next covered with it,and scraped with a jagged razor, till the bloodran out in all directions. In this state hewas tossed into the tank, and bandied aboutamong the bears, every one of whom owedhim a grudge, till some one cried out that hewas done for. He had fainted, or, like theAustralian dingo, had pretended to faint, andlooked, indeed, as if he were dead. The cap-tain, seeing what had happened, was veryangry, and ordering him to be taken to thedoctor, forbade the sports to be continued.Neptune and his secretary begged pardon aswell as they could for what had happened,and he and his followers waddled forward,and disappeared over the bows. We heardthat evening that Michael Clack was very ill,and there was a general idea that he wasgoing to die. What the doctor thought aboutthe matter I do not know.Clack hated work, but he disliked nastyphysic still more. This the doctor knew;
FiRST EXPERIENCES OF SA LING. 81and by giving him all the most nauseousdraughts he could think of he soon got himout of the sick list. Clack, though out of thesick list, was very soon in the black list; andbeing shortly afterwards detected in helpinghimself to the contents of another man's bag,he was adjudged by the captain to be placedin irons, to be kept in solitary confinement,and otherwise punished.F4
CHAPTER V.ACROSS THE OCEAN.FALLING in at length with the north-easttrade-winds, we stood towards the coast ofSouth America, and entered Rio de Janeiroharbour, which was but very little, if any-thing, out of our course for the Cape of GoodHope. This will be seen by a glance at amap of the world, and ships, therefore, fre-quently touch there on their way to theregions beyond the Cape of Good Hope. Itis a magnificent bit of water, surrounded bycuriously-shaped mountains and peaks, witha big city on its shores, full of large streetsand no end of churches. Sergeant Turbottook Tommy Punchon and me with him, tokeep us out of mischief, though we wouldrather have gone alone to try and get into it.I was astonished at the quantity of blackslaves, grunting and groaning away under
ACROSS THE OCEAN. 83their heavy loads. Still, they were ever readyfor a joke, and the niggers we met with loadswere merry laughing fellows, who went alongsinging and joking, as if no such thing asslavery existed. I might fill my journal withan account of the numberless curious thingsI saw on shore, but if I did I should haveno space for my own adventures; so I willleave to others to give a description of Rio,and go on with my sea log.That night, when we got on board again,Sergeant Turbot and the boatswain werewalking the forecastle, and Punchon and Iwere standing not far off, when a splash washeard, and the sentry shouted out, " A manoverboard !" He immediately fired, but didnot hit the man, whose head I could see as Ilooked out from one of the ports as he struckout boldly for the land; there were plenty ofsharks about, so that there was not muchchance of his reaching it, even if he was allowedto go. The sentry's shot was, however, fol-lowed by the officer of the watch calling awayF24
84 OFF TO SEA.the second cutter. She was lowered andmanned pretty quickly, and I watched hereagerly as she made chase after the fugitive.He was soon brought back, and proved to beno other than Michael Clack, who, takingadvantage of the short interval when a pri-soner is relieved 'from his manacles in theevening, had contrived to slip overboard.No one had supposed that he was a goodswimmer, yet, to reach the shore, he musthave been a first-rate one. Perhaps somefriend had told him that an American vessellay inside of us, and he hoped to reach her,when he would have been taken on board andconcealed. He would, however, have beena somewhat dear bargain, if they had gothim. We were soon again at sea, steeringacross the Atlantic for the Cape of GoodHope. I need scarcely say that soon afterwe got out of harbour Michael Clack gotfour dozen for his attempt at desertion. Iam not going to describe the ceremony; it isa very unpleasant one for all hands concerned.
A CROSS THE OCEAN. 85Still, I must own, Master Michael got whathe deserved."You have heard of good service stripes,may-be, Jack?" said the sergeant to me." Those are what we call bad service stripes;and mind you, boy, never do anything todeserve them."I asked Sergeant Turbot if he could tellme anything of these trade-winds, which hadbeen blowing so strong in our favour for somany days." That's just what I have been talking toFuttock about," he answered. " He and I makeit out, that they always do blow in some partsfrom the north-east, and, further south, fromthe south-east. Why they blow thus, ismore than I can tell you; but I've heard say,that they have got the name of trade-winds,because they help on traders in a voyagethrough the Atlantic."I was not quite satisfied with this answer,and determined to try and find out moreof the matter by-and-by. The weather had4
86 OFF TO SEA.been threatening for some hours, and towardsevening the hands were turned up to reeftopsails. Three reefs were at once taken in,and not a moment too soon. Down came thegale upon us. The big ship heeled over tillthe lower-deck ports were under water. Therolling seas tossed round her, and roared, asif eager to swallow her up. The wind whistled,the thunder growled, every now and thenbreaking overhead with tremendous rattlesand crashes, and a pitchy darkness came downover the ocean, the occasional flashes oflightning only rendering the darkness stillmore dark. Before long we had our fore-top-sail close reefed, three reefs in the main-top-sail, and mizen-topsail furled, and we wererunning dead before the gale, at not lessthan fifteen knots an hour. Mr. Futtocksaid that we were going twenty; and, of,course, I believed him; but I do not now,because I never found the fastest ship goso fast, and the old Roarer was, as themen said, a good one to fight, but not to
ACROSS THE OCEAN. 87go. In spite of the remarks I made ofour captain, many of the men still held tothe notion that there was more talk thando in him."Just a lady's man-very fine to look at,with his cambric handkerchiefs and scentbottles, but you never get much out of suchchaps."Officers little think how much they arediscussed by the men. The second-lieutenantwas thought still less of, and not withoutreason. He was fond of spouting poetry, anddoing the polite to young ladies, wheneverany came off to see the ship; but as to sea-manship, he knew little about it. He oftengot the ship into a mess, but had no idea ofgetting her out of it again. Now, it happenedto be his first watch; it had just struck eightbells. -The starboard watch had been called,and a few minutes afterwards the other watchwas mustered. During this time the roundswent to see all cleared up and safe below.The watch relieved was just turning in.4
88 OFF TO SEA.Some already had their clothes off, whensuddenly a fearful crashing sound was heard.No one knew what had happened, only thatthere was a feeling that the ship was in someawful danger. Not a word was heard fromthe officer of the watch. If we were in perilhe was not going to take us out of it-so itseemed. Neither Punchon nor I had takenoff our clothes, so we scrambled on deck tosee what was the matter. A seaman willunderstand our position, when I say that theship was taken right aback, and driving, sternfirst, at the rate of some twelve knots anhour, with the sea breaking over her poop,two-thirds of which were already under water.No one spoke; not an order was given.Suddenly, a loud voice was heard, shouting," On deck, lads, for your lives !" and directlyafterwards Ned Rawlings piped, "All handssave ship!" The crew were on deck almostbefore the sound of the pipe had died away;aid again the same voice-we now knew it tobe that of the captain--shouted, Man the
A cRoss THE OCEAN. 89starboard fore-brace!" Officers, marines,any one who was near, grasped the rope, andhauled away on it with a will. The headyards were very soon braced right up, andthe head sails took and filled at the verymoment that the poop was nearly under water,and it seemed as if the ship was going bodilydown. The main and cross-jack yards weresoon braced round, and in less than a quarterof an hour from the time the wind hadshifted we were braced sharp up on the star-board tack, and going seven knots throughthe water." We have had a merciful deliverance," Iheard old Futtock remark to the gunner ashort time afterwards. " It's not often that aship gets into the position we were in and getsout of it. In another minute the sea wouldhave been rushing right over the poop downon our quarter-deck, and it would have beenall over with us. If Mr. Muddlehead hadhad his wits about him, he would have bracedthe yards up the moment we were taken4
90 OFF TO SEA.aback. A pretty go it would have been, if wehad not been under snug sail. Why, weshould have gone right down, stern foremost,and never have come up again. That's beenthe fate of many a ship out in these parts,which has never since been heard of.""A fine fellow, our skipper," I heard Mr.Plumb observe to a messmate. " I really didthink at first that the Brigadier and mymother would have had to bewail my loss. Iam deeply indebted to him."A loud laugh followed the young gentle-man's remark. "Ha! ha! ha! Dicky, re-member that all people are not taken at theirown value," exclaimed an old mate, who wasfond of putting Mr. Plumb down now andthen. After this night our captain was morethan ever respected by the crew, because hewas now known to be a thorough seaman-adoer as well as a talker-and in consequencehe maintained discipline on board withoutflogging and without difficulty.We touched at the Cape, where Dicky
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ACRoss THE OCEAN. 91Plumb really did go on shore and dine withthe Governor, who happened to be a friend ofhis father's, and he took good care afterwardsto talk not a little about his visit to his mess-mates, and the way he was treated by theGovernor.I was at this time appointed to wait onthe midshipmen, the boy I superseded beingthe unfortunate Jem Smudge." I don't like having you to wait on us,"observed Mr. Midshipman Plumb to me, oneday soon after this. " I am afraid the fellowswill be abusing you, and I could not standthat; but you must not mind it, if they do;and if you will bear abuse for a little time,I will manage to make all square in the end.""Do not trouble yourself about that,Master- Richard," I answered. "Dependupon it, I don't care what the young gentle-men say to me. I intend to do my duty tothem, and Sergeant Turbot says it will be allthe better for me. So, whatever they say, letit pass. Don't say anything for or against me."4
92 OFF To SEA."As to that, Jack, you must let me takemy own course," answered Mr. Plumb.I found that Dicky Plumb got consider-ably laughed at by his companions for whatthey called his uppishness, and his boasting ofhis various friends and relations of rank.Still, nothing would ever put him down." It is no fault of mine if my father hap-pens to have a Duke for a cousin, or aGovernor-General of India for a brother-in-law, or if he is intimate with the PrimeMinister, or if the Queen herself holds himin high estimation; so I do not see why youchaps should laugh at me."" But, I say, Master Dicky," exclaimed anold mate, Sampson Trueman by name, "is ita fact that your father has a cousin a Duke,and is brother-in-law to the Governor-General ?""I ask you, Mr. Trueman, whether it isbecoming of you-a master's mate in theBritish navy, and soon, I hope, should theLords Commissioners of the Admiralty be
ACRosS THE OCEAN, 93made aware of your superlative merits, tobecome a lieutenant-to call in question theword of another officer, notwithstanding thathe may not be of your own exalted rank," ex-claimed Dicky, in his usual pompous manner."I must decline answering those questions."There was a general laugh, in which Mr.Trueman joined; and though, probably, theolder members of the mess suspected that thegentleman had been romancing, others werestill under the impression that he reallypossessed the exalted connections of whomhe boasted.Helped along by a fine steady breeze wemade good progress, and at length reachedthe entrance to the river Hoogley. Dickygot leave to accompany the captain up to Cal-cutta. Whether or not he was received as arelative by the Governor-General no one inhis own mess could ascertain. He dined,however, at Government House, but thatmight have been in consequence of someintroduction sent out by Mrs. Brigadier. She4