The story garden


Material Information

The story garden
Uniform Title:
Sleeping Beauty
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Hall, S. C., 1800-1881 ( Author )
Taylor, Emily, 1795-1872 ( Author )
Corner ( Julia ), 1798-1875 ( Author )
Whymper, Elijah, fl. 1848-1863 ( Engraver )
Gilbert, John, 1817-1897 ( Illustrator )
Friston, David Henry ( Illustrator )
Groombridge and Sons ( Publisher )
Groombridge and Sons
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's plays   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1880   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1880
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London


Statement of Responsibility:
by Mrs. S.C. Hall, Emily Taylor, Julia Corner and other authors ; illustrated.
General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Frontispiece printed in colors and some illustrations engraved by E. Whimper (Whymper) and some drawn by John Gilbert, D.H. Friston.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002237990
notis - ALH8485
oclc - 62074973
System ID:

Full Text

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WE cannot boast of many fine
evenings in old England-dear old England for ail
that !-and when they do come they are truly lovely
and worthy of being prized the more. It was on one
of the finest of a fine summer that Mr. Frampton, the
owner of a beautiful estate in Devonshire, was seated on
a rustic bench in his garden, his son Harry, who stood
at his knee, looking up inquiringly into his face.
Father," said Harry, "I have often heard you
speak about the North American Indians-the Red men


of the deserts. Do tell me how it is that you know so
much about them-have you ever been in their country ?"
"Yes, my boy; I passed several of the earlier years
of my life in that part of North America which may
truly be said to belong as yet to the Red men, though as
there are but some fifty thousand scattered over the
whole central portion of it, it must be acknowledged that
they do not make the best possible use of the territory
they inhabit. A glance at the map of North America
will show you where the Red River is, with its settle-
ment founded by Lord Selkirk. I was very young when
I went there with my father, my elder brother Malcolm,
and John Dawes, a faithful servant who had been brought
up in the family from childhood. John was a great
sportsman, a most kind-hearted fellow, and could turn
his hand to anything. We went through Canada to
Lake Superior, and from thence it took us, by a chain of
lakes and rivers, about twenty-five days to reach the
banks of the Red River. I need not describe how we
selected our ground, built a cottage, ploughed a field,
and stocked our farm; we will suppose all these pre-
liminaries over and our party permanently settled in our
new home. I must tell you before I proceed a little about
the Indians of this region.

THERE are different tribes. Some are called Crees, others
Ojibways or Salteux, and these are constantly at war with
the Sioux to the south, chiefly found across the United
States boundary. There are also found on the prairies
Assiniboines, Blackfeet, Bloodies, and others with scarcely
more attractive names. All these people were at that time
sunk in the most abject state of heathenism, and were con-
stantly at war with each other. They were clothed chiefly
in skins made into leather, ornamented with feathers
and stained grass and beads. The tents of the prairie
Indians were of skins, and those of the Indians who in-
habit the woods of birch bark. Many had rifles, but
others were armed only with bows and spears, and the
dreadful scalping-knife. Of these people the Sioux bore
the worst character, and were the great enemies of the
half-bred population of the settlements. These half-
breds, as they are called, are descended from white
fathers and Indian mothers. There are some thousands
of them in the settlements, and they live chiefly by hunt-
ing and fishing, and retain many Indian customs and
habits of life. Such was the strangely mixed community
among whom we found ourselves.
The autumn was coming on, and the dayswere shorten
ing, but the weather was very fine-sharp frosts at night,
though warm enough, yet bracing, with a bright sky and
pure atmosphere during the day. Sometimes a light
silvery mist or haze hung over the landscape. Such is
the Indian summer, the most delightful period of the
year in North America.


The dzly's work was over, and while my brother and
I were preparing the table, and Sam Dawes was cooking
the supper, we were startled by a loud and peculiar
shout, or rather shriek. Our father, who had been sitting
reading, started up, and taking his rifle from the wall,
turned to the door. Sam, quitting his frying-pan, also
took down his rifle and followed with us. In the dis-
tance was an Indian decked with war paint and feathers
bounding over the ground towards us, while further off
were five or six more, as if in hot pursuit of the first.
"That first fellow is an Ojibway by his adornments,
and a young man by the way he runs," observed Sam.
"He's seeking protection here, that's poz."
"And he shall enjoy it, though we should have to
fight for him," observed my father warmly. We must
teach the Red men that we always protect those in dis-
The fugitive came on at great speed. He was flying
for his life. His pursuers, however, were gaining on
him. They had fire-arms in their hands, but did not use
"They have exhausted their powder," observedUmy
father. "That is fortunate."
The young Indian was within fifty yards of us. We
could see the gleam of the scalping knives which his
foes had drawn, thirsting for his blood. He bounded on
up to the door of the hut and fell exhausted within..
Then for the first time his pursuers perceived that we
stood armed at the entrance. Guessing truly that we
possessed plenty of ammunition, and two or more of their
number might fall if they attempted to advance, they
paused, casting glances of disappointed vengeance t*
wards their victim, who lay unconscious behind us. ur

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father told Malcolm and me to take him in and 6 try
and revive him. We did so, and when we had moistened
his lips with water he quickly revived. Springing up
he seized Malcolm's gun and hurried to the door. The
other Indians had not moved. On seeing him, however,
they instantly darted behind some trunks of trees for
shelter, and then we saw them darting away till they got
beyond range of our fire-arms. The young Indian would
have followed, but my father restrained him, and gave
him to understand that though he had saved his life he
had no intention of allowing him to take the lives of
others. Darkness was coming on, and we soon lost sight
of the band. Having closed our door with more than
usual care, we placed food before our guest, of which he
eagerly partook, and then told us that his name was
Sigenok; that he with others of his tribe had been out
hunting, and had been surprised by a war party of Sioux,
who had taken the scalps of all the rest. He had
wandered away unarmed from the camp when he saw
all his companions killed. To revenge them, which the
Indian thought was his first duty, was then impossible,
so he took to flight, hoping to retaliate on another occa-
sion. His wary foes, however, discovered his trail and
followed. He had caught sight of them when they were
not aware of it, and redoubled his speed, making for the
settlements. He gave us to understand that he could
not have continued his flight many more hours, and that
he was very grateful to us for preserving his life. We
had brought a dog from England, and we had lately got
another, both very sagacious animals, and so we stationed
them outside the hut at a little distance to give us due
notice should the Sioux return.
Sigenok, as soon as he had satisfied his hunger, prov.


ing his confidence in us, laid himself down in a corner
of the room and was immediately fast asleep. He spent
two days with us to recover his strength, which had been
greatly tried, and then set off to carry to his tribe the
sad tidings of the loss of their friends. For an Indian
he was a good-looking young man, and decked with his
war paint and feathers he had a picturesquely savage

l ;l.. .



THE winter came-we did not feel the cold so much as
we expected-it passed on and spring approached. We
were looking forward to the pleasures of summer and to
a buffalo hunt which we had promised ourselves, when,
after finding the heat unusually great at night, on rising
m the morning, loud cracks in the ice were heard, and
we discovered that a thaw had commenced. We were
surprised at the rapidity with which the snow melted,
and the low shrubs and the green grass appeared, and
long dormant Nature seemed to be waking up to life.
How jolly," exclaimed Malcolm; we shall soon be able
to paddle about in our canoe; we may as well have a
look at her to see that she is in order."
We had a supply of gum with which to cover up the
seams as the Indians do, and our canoe was soon fit for
We must look to the plough and our spades," re-
marked our father; we shall speedily be able to get in
our seeds."
Perhaps Sam Dawes thought more of his fishing
lines and nets and guns.
The next day an Indian coming up from the lake
told us that there was an extraordinary accumulation of
ice at the mouth of the river, which had begun to
swell, with an impetuous torrent, carrying vast masses
along with it. Speedily it rose higher and higher, the
waters came up the bank and then filled the narrow
gully which usually discharged water into it after rain,
but now carried its waters backward into the plain.
"It will soon subside," observed our father. "That


current will soon carry away the barriers at the mouth."
So we all went as usual to bed.
The next morning when we looked out we were on an
island. The water covered our field and the greater
part of the garden round the house. Between us and
the house of the nearest settler to the south was one
sheet of water, while to the north not an habitation was
visible. We made out at the distance of a mile our
neighbour and his family crossing in a large boat to the
hills on the east. We may possibly have to follow his
examplee" observed our father; "but I hope that the
waters may decrease before that becomes necessary."
The sheep and cows were now collecting of their own
accord in the garden, and we had to drive up the pigs,
whose stye was threatened with submersion. The scene
was truly one of desolation as we looked beyond our
own homestead; trunks of trees and palings, and now
and then a haystack, and barns, and parts of houses,
and occasionally whole dwellings came floating by, show-
ing what ravages the flood must have committed above
us. Malcolm and I agreed that it was fortunate we had
repaired our canoe. As the waters extended, the current
in the river was less strong. Our father observed this.
" My sons," he said, freight your canoe with the tent
and some provisions, and take this case of books, and go
off to the hills. Should the waters increase return for
Sam and me ; we must remain to look after the cattle.
Mounted on our horses we shall be able to drive them to
yonder rising ground on the south-west."
He pointed to a slight elevation, between which
and us he considered that the water was not more than
one foot and a-half deep. Accustomed to obey without
question, Malcolm and I, having loaded our canoe with


as many valuables as she could possibly carry, prepared
to cross to the eastern hills, hoping that our father and
Sam would start at once with the cattle towards tke
more remote but seemingly more accessible ground to
the west. Just as we were shoving off he remarked-
The water has not risen lately; we may still avoid
a remove. Heaven prosper you, my dear boys."
We hoped that his words would prove true-the sky
was bright, the water smooth, and it was difficult to be-
lieve that there was any danger. Malcolm and I were
expert with the use of the paddle, but in crossing the
river we were swept down some way, and narrowly
escaped staving in the canoe against stumps of trees
or palings and remnants of buildings. We persevered,
however, and at length reached the eastern hills, or the
mountains as they were called. Here we found our
neighbour and several other families encamped. He
told us that he had driven his cattle off on the first day,
and wished that we had done the same. The waters did
not appear to be rising, though we looked with anxiety
towards our home; but it was too small a speck to be
visible among the wide expanse of waters at the distance
we were from it. We had put up our tent and were in-
tending to occupy it, when we recollected that there were
several of the other settlers' wives and daughters with-
out so good a covering, so we went and begged them
to occupy it, while we slept under our canoe.
The night was bright and starlight, but we could not
sleep much for thinking of our father and Sam Dawes.
We resolved as early as we could see in the morning to
go back to them. We were awoke early in the morning
by a peculiar murmuring and hollow sound. As soon as
it was daylight we looked out over the flooded country.


We asked others if they had heard the noise. They
replied that they had, and that it was caused by the
water rushing over the land. "Then the flood must
have increased," exclaimed Malcolm and I with anxiety.
No doubt about it, boys," was the unsatisfactory
We were for starting off immediately, but one of the
farmer's wives, to whom we had given up our tent, in-
sisted on preparing some breakfast for us, and in putting
a supply of food into our canoe.
It is a long voyage, my boys, and you do not know
what you may require before you return," she observed.
We paddled on very anxiously. We had only the
line of eastern hills we were leaving and some high land
to the south to guide us, but we thought that we could
not help hitting upon the spot where our abode stood.
For a long way we paddled on easily enough, only
taking care not to run against stumps of trees, and as
we got nearer the settlement, stakes or ruined buildings
were our chief danger. Too many evidences met us on
either side that the water had increased considerably
since the previous day. In vain our eyes ranged around,
in no direction was our cottage visible. We must have
mistaken the locality. The current was here very
strong, we thought that we might have drifted down
further than we had calculated on doing. We went
further west, and then steered south, where the current
was less strong. After going some way, Malcolm
stopped paddling suddenly, and exclaimed-
"Look, Harry! look there! Do you know that
tree ?"
"Its head is very like one that grows close to the
house" I answered.


We had both mechanically turned the head of the
canoe in the direction in which he pointed. We had
been engaged in fastening a flag-staff to the tree near our
house. A minute would decide whether this was it.
Our hearts sank within us, our paddles almost dropped
from our hands, when we perceived among the bare
branches the rope and the pole which we had been about
to erect. Where was our cottage ? where our kind
father and the faithful Sam ? Not a vestige of the cot-
tage remained, it had too evidently been carried away
by the flood.
Had they been able to escape with the cattle ?" was
the question we asked each other. We hoped they
might; but still it was too possible that our father
would have persisted in remaining in the house, as a
sailor will by his ship, to the last, and Sam, we knew,
would never have deserted him. We could just distin-
guish the heads of some strong palings above the water,
marking the position of our cottage. We made fast to
the tree for a few minutes to rest and recover ourselves,
and to consider what course to pursue. We naturally
turned our eyes towards the rising ground in the south-
west, to which our father intended to drive the cattle.
It seemed a long, long way off, still we determined to
attempt to reach it. We felt thankful that the farmer's
wife had supplied us with provisions, though we were
too anxious just then to be hungry. We left the tree
and paddled on, but it was very hard work, for there
was a current against us setting towards Lake Winni-
peg; but the canoe was light, and as there was no wind
we managed to stem it. Hitherto the sky had been
bright, and there had been a perfect calm, but as we
paddled on we saw cloudy rising above the high ground


for which we were steering. They rose, and roses and
then rushed across the sky with fearful rapidity, and the
water ahead of us, hitherto bright and clear, seemed
turned into a mass of foam, which came sweeping up
towards us.
"We cannot face it," exclaimed Malcolm. Quick,
quick, about with the canoe, we must run before it."
We were hardly in time. The blast very nearly upset
the canoe, and we had to throw our whole weight over
on the side the wind struck her, to prevent this, as she
spun round like a top, and away we flew before it. All
we could do was to keep the canoe before the wind, and to
steer her clear of logs of wood or stumps of trees, against
which she might have been cast and knocked to pieces.
"But where are we going ?" we asked ourselves.
"If we continue thus, we may be driven into Lake
Winnipeg, and hurled among the masses of ice which
are dashing about on its waters."
We thought still more about our father and Sam.
How disappointed they would be, should they have
reached the dry land when the storm came on, and they
knew that we could not get to them. But our attention,
I must own, was soon concentrated on our own situation.
The rain fell in torrents, sufficient of itself almost to
swamp our light canoe, while the thunder roared and the
lightning darted from the sky, filling my heart, at all
events, with terror. I felt both awe-struck and alarmed,
and could scarcely recover myself sufficiently to help
Malcolm. He was far less moved, and continued guiding
the canoe with his former calmness. At last I could
not help crying out-
"Oh, Malcolm, how is it that you cannot see our
dA_ rP?"


"I do, Harry, clearly," he answered gravely; "but
we are in the performance of our duty, and God will
take care- of us,"
His words and tone made an impression on me which
I have never forgotten. When dangers have surromuded
me, I have asked myself, "Am I engaged in the per-
formance of my duty ? then why need I fear, God will
protect me. He always has protected me." The grand-
ests receipt for enabling a person to be truly brave, i&
that he must ever walk on in the strict line of d cty,
We were driving northward at a fearful rate, for the
rapidity of the current was greatly increased by the
wiad. We wished that we could get back to our oak
tree, as we might make fast to its branches, but it was
nowhere visible. To have paddled against the gale
would have only exhausted our strength to no purpose.
As Malcolm found that he could guide the canoe with-
out me, he told me to bail out the water. As I turned
round to do so, I shouted with joy, for I thought I saw
a large boat under full sail coming down towards us.
On it came, much faster than e were driving;. but as it
drew near, it looked less and less like a boat, till to my
bitter disappointment I discovered that it was a large
hay-stack which had been floated bodily away. At
length just before us appeared a clump of trees- and we
hoped that the ground on which they stood might be out
of water. Malcolm steered towards the spot. We might
remain there till the storm was over. The trees beat
with the wind, and it appeared as if they could not pas-
sibly stand. We approached the spot perhaps with les
caution than we had before employed. Suddenly the
canoe spun round, a large rent appeared in her bows,
over she went, and we were thrown struggling into the


water. Before we could regain the canoe she had
floated far away, and not without a severe struggle did
we succeed in reaching the land. We climbed up by
some bushes, and found ourselves on the summit of a
little knoll rising out of the water, and not comprising
more than fifty square yards. Our first impulse was to
look out to see what had become of our canoe, and we
stood watching it with a bewildered gaze as it floated
away half filled with water. It was not till it had dis-
appeared in the distance that we remembered it had
contained all our provisions. That was bad enough, but
we had never experienced hunger, and did not know how
long we might exist without food. What appeared then
worse was, that the waters were rising round our island,
and we might soon have no dry spot on which to rest
our feet. We might climb up into the trees, but we lad
seen other trees washed away, and such might be the
fate of these our last refuge. The day wore on, the storm
ceased, and the weather again became calm and beau-
tiful. I now grew excessively hungry, and cried very
much, and felt more wretched than I had ever done be-
fore. Malcolm, who bore up wonderfully, tried to com-
fort me, and suggested that we should hunt about for
roots or underground nuts such as we had seen the In-
dians eat. We fortunately had our pocket knives, and
with these we dug in all directions, till we came upon
some roots which looked tempting, but then we remem-
bered that we had no means of kindling a fire to cook
them, nor could we tell whether they were poisonous or
not. The hunt had given us occupation, and prevented
us for a time from dwelling on our misfortunes
We then tried every device we could think of to
kindle a fire, for we wished to dry our clothes, if we


could not cook our roots. None of our attempts sue.
ceeded, and Malcolm suggested that we should run
round and round our island to try and warm ourselves
before night came on. At last I felt very sleepy, and so
did Malcolm, but he said that he would let me sleep
first while he watched, lest the waters should rise and
carry us away before we had time to climb up a tree.
I lay down and was asleep in a minute, and when I
awoke the stars were shining out brightly through the
branches of the trees, the young grass blades reflecting
them on their shining surfaces, while I saw my good
brother still walking up and down keeping guard over
me. The noise of the rushing waters sounded in my
ears and made me desire to go to sleep again, but I
aroused myself, ashamed that I had slept so long, and
urged my brother to lie down.
No, Harry," he answered," I wished you to get as
much rest as possible; but look there, we shall soon be
obliged to climb a tree for refuge."
Walking a few paces, I found that the water had
greatly encroached on our island; a southerly wind
had begun to blow, which sent large waves rolling in
on us.
Should the wind increase, they will completely
sweep over where we stand," I exclaimed. Oh, Mal-
colm, what shall we do ?"
Trust in God," he replied calmly. "From how
many dangers has He not already preserved us. But
remember, our father has often told us that it is our
business while praying to God for help, to exert our-
selves, and so let us at once try and find a tree we can
climb quickly in case of necessity, and whose boughs
will afford us a resting-place."


I loved Malcolm dearly. I admired him now more
than ever, and was ready to do whatever he wished.
"We soon found a tree up which we could help each
other. The wind howled and whistled through the
trees, the waves lashed the shore furiously, and Malcolm
had just time to shove me up the tree, when one larger
than the rest swept completely over the ground on
which we had been standing, with a force sufficient to
have carried us off with it. We had seated ourselves
among the branches, which waved to and fro in the
wind, and as we looked down, we saw the water foaming
round the trunk, and often it seemed as if it must be
uprooted and sent drifting down with the current.
Malcolm said that he felt very sleepy, and told me
that if I would undertake to hold him on, he would rest
for a few minutes. I gladly promised that I would do
a he wished, but asked him how he could think of
sleeping while the tempest was raging round us.
"Why, Harry, we are as safe up here as on the
yound," he answered, in his usual sweet tone of voice,
"" God is still watching over us !"
I need scarcely say how tightly I held on to his
clothes, trembling lest he should fall. I felt no incli-
nation to go to sleep, indeed I soon found that I must
have slept the greater part of the night, for before Mal-
colm again opened his eyes, I observed the bright streaks
of dawn appearing over the distant hills in the east.
Daylight quickly came on. It was again perfectly calm,
and on looking down, we could see the blades of grass
ring above the water. Malcolm woke up, saying that
he felt much better. Looking down below us, he said
that he thought the water had decreased since he went
to sleep. He might have been right, I could not1 tell.


At that moment there was only one thing I thought of
the pain I was suffering from hunger. I shall die II
shall die !" I exclaimed. Malcolm cheered me up.
"Help will come though we cannot now see how,"
he observed; God will protect us. Trust in Him."
Still I felt that I should die. It is very difficult to
sustain gnawing hunger, such as I then felt for the first
time. I have no doubt that Malcolm felt the same, but
he was too brave to show it. Hour after hour passed
by; the water did not appear to be rising; the blades of
grass were still seen below us round the tree. I how-
ever felt that I could not endure many more hours of
suffering. I must fall, indeed I must," I cried out
over and over again. I should indeed have let go my
hold, had not my brave brother kept me up. Even he
at last showed signs of giving way, and spoke less en-
couragingly than before. He was silent for some time.
I saw him looking out eagerly, when he exclaimed-
Cheer up, Harry, there is a canoe approaching; it
will bring us help."
I gazed in the direction towards which he pointed.
At first I could only see a speck on the water. It
grew larger and more distinct, till I could see that it
was certainly a canoe. Then we discovered that there
were two Indians in it. We shouted, but oar voices
sounded shrill and weak. The Indians heard us, for
they waved their paddles and turned the head of the
canoe towards the clump of trees. The canoe could not
get under the tree, but one of the Indians jumped out,
and Malcolm told me to slide down. The Indian caught
me and cMwed me in his arms to the canoe, for I was
too weak to walk. Malcolm followed, and the Indian
helped him along also. It was not till we had been


placed in the canoe that we recognized in our preserver
the young Indian, Sigenok, whose life we had saved. We
pronounced his name. He gave a well-satisfied smile.
"Ah, you have not forgotten me, nor I you," he said
in his own language. "Favours conferred bind gene-
rous hearts together. Sigenok guessed that you were
in distress. Your elder brother has long been looking
for you."
It appeared that Sigenok had been at a distance
hunting when the flood commenced; that he had hast-
ened back, and soon perceiving from the height the
water had attained that our house was in danger, had
embarked in his canoe and hastened toward it, but on
his nearing the spot found that it had been swept away.
Guessing that we had escaped to the eastern hills, he
paddled there, when our friends told him that we had
proceeded in search of our father and servant. Having
ascertained the exact time of our departure, with the
wonderful powers of calculation possessed by Red men,
he had decided the events which had occurred and the
course we had pursued, and was thus able to look for us
in the right direction. Had he not found us there, he
would have visited other places which he mentioned,
where we might have taken refuge. As he was leaving
the hills the farmer's wife had given him a supply of
food for us, and on his producing it our hunger was soon
satisfied. We now told him of our anxiety about our
father and Sam Dawes. He listened attentively, and
then shook his head.
"They and the cattle never reached the hills," he
observed. We will search for them. There are still
some hours of daylight. If the house has held together,
they will be found much further down than this."


I fancied by the Indian's manner that his hopes were
slight. We now shoved off from the little island which
had afforded us so valuable a refuge, and Sigenok and
"his companion paddled off at a rapid rate to the north.
Anxious as I was, I soon fell asleep, and so I believe did
Malcolm for a short time. I was aroused by a shout
from Sigenok. I lifted up my head and saw a dark
object in.the distance rising above the water.
"It is our house !" exclaimed Malcolm, "Sigenok
says so. Oh, that our father may be there !"
We kept our eyes anxiously fixed on the distant ob-
ject. It was growing dusk. Malcolm said that he saw
something moving on it.
"Man there, alive !" observed Sigenok.
Our hopes were raised; but he spoke only of one
man. How long the time appeared occupied in reach-
ing the spot! Even through the gloom we could now
distinguish the outline of our log hut, which had grounded
on a bank among some strong fences and brushwood,
and was now fixed securely, partly tilted over.
Who is there? who is there ?" we shouted.
"Father, father we are Malcolm and Harry !"
"Woe's me, young masters, your father is not here,"
said a voice which, hollow and husky as it was, we re
cognized as that of Sam Dawes. We were soon up to
our hut, to the roof of which Sam was clinging. The
Indians lifted him into the canoe, for he had scarcely
strength to help himself.
"But our father, Sam! our father !" we exclaimed.
"Where is he ? what has happened ?"
"." He no speak till he eat," observed Sigonok, after
he had secured the canoe to the hut.
We took the hint, and gave him some food. In a


north time he revived, and told us that our father, after
we went away, would not believe that the water would
rise higher, and that they had retired to rest as usual,
when they were awoke by the sound of the water rush-
ing round the house; that they both ran out and mounted
their horses to drive off the cattle, as had been arranged..
Our father took the lead, urging on before him the cows
and horses, while he followed with the sheep, when his
horse fell and he was thrown into a deep hole. As he
scrambled out, the current took him off his legs. He was
nearly drowned, but after floundering about for some
time, he found himself carried up against the hut. He
immediately climbed to the roof and shouted as loud as he
could in the hopes of recalling our father, but there was
no answer. Again and again he shouted. He tried to
pierce the gloom which still hung over the land, though
it was nearly morning. He felt a wish to leap off and
try and follow his master, but what had become of his
horse he could not ascertain. The waters were increas-
ing round the cottage. He felt it shake violently, when,
to his horror, it lifted and floated bodily away. The
logs had been put together in a peculiar manner, dove-
tailed into each other, which accounted for this. He
told us how forlorn and miserable he felt, without another
human being in sight, believing that his master was lost,
uncertain as to our fate, and that he himself was hurry-
ing to destruction. More than once he felt inclined to
drop off the roof, but love of life, or rather a sense of the
wickedness of so doing, prevailed, and he clung on till
the hut grounded where we found it.
We were now in as secure a place as any we could
find in the neighbourhood, and so Sigenok proposed
meking some necessary rest before continuing our search-


We proposed going into the house to sleep, but we found
that our bed-places had been carried away, and so, of
.course, had every particle of furniture, as the bottom of
the hut had literally come out. We therefore returned
to the canoe to sleep. At early dawn we once mom
paddled south. There was little current and a perfect
calm. The waters, too, were subsiding, for several alight
elevations, before submerged, were now visible. Afer
paddling for many hours, we reached the senth-western
hills I have before described. Several settlers were there,
but no one had seen our father. We crossed back to the
eastern hills before night-fall. There were no tidings of
him there. The flood subsided, and we, like others, set
of to return to the now desolate site of our former abode.
Sigenok conveyed us in his canoe, and we pitched our
tent on the very spot our hut had occupied. In vain we
searched for our father, in vain we made inquiries of
other settlers, no one had seen him. Day after day we
waited, thinking that he might have been swept down-
ward with the flood clinging to a piece of timber or some
other floating body, and that he might as yet be unable
to return. Sam Dawes looked more and more sad when
we spoke of his return. Sigenok, who had remained by us,
shook his head. He gone, no come back," he observed.
Our hearts sank within us as the sad truth forced
itself on our minds that we were orphans.


LONG we continued to hope against hope. Neither was
our father's body, nor were any of the cattle he was
driving off ever discovered. The current must have
swept them down into Lake Winnipeg.
"I aint much of a person for it, young masters,"
said Sam Dawes, taking a hand of each of us and look-
ing at us affectionately, "but I loves ye as sons, and I'll
be in the place of a father, that I will."
Faithfully did Sam Dawes keep his word.
Grief is right and does us good in the end, depend
don't, or it wouldn't be sent; but it mustn't make us forget
duty. Now you see it is our duty to live, and we can't
live without food, and we can't get food without we work,
so let's turn to and plough and sow the ground."
This proposal may seem like mockery, but among
the valuables placed by our father in the canoe was a
good supply of seed corn and other seeds, and we had
discovered our plough driven deep into the ground. Sige-
nok disappeared the moment he understood our intentions.
and Sam looked very blank, and said that he feared he
did not like work and had gone off.
I think not," observed Malcolm; and he was rig'i.
In a few hours Sigenok returned with two horses and
several hides well tanned, and needles, and fibre for
thread. I thought Sam would have hugged him, he was
so delighted. Without loss of time they set to work and
cut out a set of harness, and, lighting a lamp, seated at
the entrance to our tent, laboured at it the greater part
of the night, Malcolm and I helping as far as we could.
Sam made us go to sleep, but as I looked up they were
still at work, and when I awoke in the morning it was


finished. The horses were a little restive, evidently not
being accustomed to ploughing, but they obeyed Sige-
nok's voice in a wonderful way, though it was necessary
in the first place to teach him what ought to be done.
It is said by some that Indians will not labour. I have
reason to know that they will when they have a sufficient
motive. Sigenok showed this. His motive was grati-
tude tG us, and affection excited by compassion. No

white ian would have laboured harder. When the wheat
and Indian corn was in the ground, he with his horses
helped Sam and us to bring in stuff for fencing and
to put it up. All this time he slept outside our teht,
under shelter of a simple lean-to of birch bark. Another
day he disappeared, and we saw him in the evening
coming up the river towing some timber. He brought a


heavy log up on his shoulders. There is part of your
house," he observed, we can get the rest in time."
So we did; we borrowed a large boat, and taking
advantage of a northerly wind, we brought up, piece by
piece, the whole of our hut, which had grounded near
the banks of the river. Our neighbours, in spite of the
value of their time to themselves, came and helped us,
and we very soon had our hut over our heads, though,
excepting the articles we had saved in the canoe, we had
no furniture remaining.
Sigenok live here with you," observed our Indian
"Of course; very glad," we answered, thinking he
intended to take up his abode in our hut.
We had arranged that morning to go to the Fort* to
obtain flour and other articles. We were not without
money, for our father had put his desk in the canoe, and
imit we found a sum of money, considerable for our wamts.
On our return from the Fort, we found that Sigenok had
erected close to our door an Indian wigwam. It was very
simple of construction. It consisted of about a dozen
iong poles stuck in the ground in a circle, and fastened
together at the top so as to make the figure of a cone.
Against these poles were placed large slabs of birch bark.
-It comes off the tree in layers, which, having a tendency to
regain their circular form, cling round the cone, and are
ffirther secured with bands of fibre. In the centre is the
fire, while the smoke escapes through an opening left in tho
top; some mats on the ground, and some lines stretched.
across on which clothes or other articles can be hung up,
form the chief furniture of these wigwams. To these may
be added a bundle of hides or mats, and an iron pot.
Fort Garry, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company.


We had purchased some bedding at the Fort, and
Sam and Malcolm soon knocked up some rough furni-
ture, which served our purpose. We should often have
been on short commons had not Sam and Sigenok been
expert fishermen, so that we were never without an
ample supply of white-fish, or gold-eyes, or sturgeon.
"This very well," observed Sigenok. "Fish very
good, but in winter buffalo better."
Will you help us to go and hunt the buffalo, then ?"
we both exclaimed.
Sigenok nodded; it was what he had proposed to
himself that we should do. Although a wood Indian, he
had connections among the prairie Indians, and from
living with them had become a good rider and expert
hunter. Sam did not like our going; he was afraid
some accident might happen to us, but he had not the
heart to tell us so. He was to remain at home to take
care of the farm. Sigenok procured two other horses,
one for himself, and another to drag a light cart which
we bought, made entirely of wood. It was laden with
our tent and provisions, and our rifles and powder and
shot. We felt in high spirits when we were ready to
start, and wishing Sam an affectionate farewell, set off
to join a large band of hunters proceeding to the plains
There were nearly three hundred men, besides their
wives and children. The greater number were half-
breeds, but there were also a large body of Indians,
among whom we found Sigenok's relatives, who received
us in the most cordial manner, and told us that we
should be their brothers, that our friends should be their
friends, and our foes their foes. The half-breeds had
nearly five hundred carts, each with a distinguishing
flag; and there must have been even a larger number of


hunters, all mounted. Their tents, or lodges, are formed
of dressed buffalo skins. They are pitched in a large
circle, with the carts outside; and when in a hostile
country, with the animals in the centre, otherwise they
feed outside the circle. They have a captain, and regular
officers under him; and a flag hoisted on a pole in the
centre serves as a signal. When hauled down, it is a
sign that the march is to be continued. When the
whole body was on the move, it reminded us of a caravan
in the East, with the long line of carts winding along
over the plain, and the horsemen galloping about on
either side. For several days we travelled on without
seeing any buffalo, till one day, soon after we had
camped, notice was brought by the scouts that a large
herd were in the neighbourhood. All was now excite-
ment and preparation in the camp. Sigenok called us
early in the morning, and, after a hasty breakfast, in
high spirits we mounted our horses, and accompanied
the band of hunters. We made a wide circuit, so as to
let the wind blow from the buffaloes towards us. I
should tell you that the animal denominated the buffalo
by the North Americans is what is properly called the
bison by naturalists. They roam in vast herds over the
interior of North America, from Mexico as far north as
the large river Saskatchewan and Lake Winnipeg. We
rode on, drawing nearer and nearer, till, as we ascended
a slight elevation, we saw over it on the plain on the
other side a vast herd of big-headed, dark, hairy mon-
sters, more buffaloes than I supposed existed on the
whole continent. They were feeding quietly, as if not
aware of the approach of foes. Our captain, an experi-
enced hunter, rode along the ranks commanding silence,
directing over man to look to his arms, and exhorting


the novices not to shoot each other, a danger which
might justly be apprehended. Each hunter now ascer-
tained that his rifle was loaded, and then filled his mouth
with bullets-a ready-at-hand pouch, that he might the
more quickly drop them into his piece. I was afraid of
following this example, for fear of the bullets dropping
down my throat or gun bursting. Malcolm and I
kept close to Sigenok. He told us to do what he did, not to
lose sight of him, assuring us that our horses understood
hunting perfectly. Our hearts beat with eagerness. We
had now got near enough, in the opinion of our leader,
to charge. The signal was given, and at headlong speed
the band of huntsmen dashed in among the astonished
animals. The buffaloes fled in all directions, the horse-
men following, firing right and left, and loading again
with extraordinary rapidity, seldom missing; and as
each animal fell, the hunter who had killed it dropped
some article of his dress, or other mark, by which he
might distinguish it. It was the most exciting scene in
which I was ever engaged-the hunters, so lately a
dense and orderly body, were now scattered far and wide
over the plain, many miles apart, in pursuit' of the
buffaloes; some terror-stricken, others infuriated to mad-
ness. Sigenok had killed five or six, and Malcolm had
also, much to our gratification, killed one, though I
had not been so successful, from nervousness, I fancy;
when the Indian being at some distance, as we were in full
chase of another buffalo, a huge bull started out from
behind a knoll, and rushed towards us. My brother's
horse started at the unexpected sight, and putting his
foot into a badger hole, stumbled, and threw him over
his head. The faithful animal stood stock still, but on
came the bull. I shrieked out to Malcolm to leap on


his hose and fy, but he was stunned, and did not hear
me. The bull was not twenty paces from him; in another
instant he would have been gored to death. I felt thank-
fl that I had not before fired. Raising my rifle to my
shoulder, I pulled the trigger, the huge animal was
within ten paces of him; over it went, then rose on its
knees, and struggled forward. I galloped up to Mal-
colm, who was beginning to recover his senses. With a
strength I did not fancy I possessed I dragged him up,
and helped him on his horse just before the monster fell
over the spot where he had lain, and would have crushed
him with his weight. By the time Sigenok returned,
the buffalo was dead. He highly praised me when he
heard what had occurred, but said that we had had
hunting enough that day, and that he would now
summon his people to take possession of the animals we
had killed. The skins are called robes, and are valued
as articles of trade, being taken by the fur traders and
sent to Canada, England, Russia. and other parts of the
world. Parts of the flesh of the slain animals was
carried into the camp for immediate consumption, but
the larger portion was prepared forthwith in a curious
way for keeping. The meat is first cut into thin slices
and dried in the sun, and these slices are then pounded
between two stones till the fibres separate. This pounded
meat is then mixed with melted fat, about fifty pounds
of the first to forty pounds of the latter, and while hot
is pressed into buffalo-skin bags, when it forms a hard,
compact mass. It is now called pemmikon, from pemmi,
meat, and &on, fat, in the Cree language. One pound of
this mixture is considered as nutritious as two of
ordinary meat, and it has the advantage of keeping for
years through all temperatures.


SooN after the grand hunting-day I have described, our
scout brought word that a party of Sioux were in the
neighbourhood. Our fighting-men attacked them and
killed several. A scalp-dance took place, and other
orgies which I will not describe. I was so horrified with
what I saw, that I agreed with Malcolm that we would
get back to the settlements as soon as we could. We
expressed our wish to Sigenok, and he promised to re-
turn with us on the following day. Malcolm's great wish
was to withdraw Sigenok from his savage companions,
and to induce him to settle down as a civilized man and
a Christian. We talked to him on the subject, but he
replied, that he had been all his life accustomed to hunt-
ing and fighting, and that he could not abandon them.
The next day we set out, leaving the larger body of
Indians still encamped.
We had travelled on for two days, when the belief
being entertained that we had no enemies to fear, there
was less than the usual caution observed by thr; natives
in our march. We were passing through a sparsely
wooded country, I was in advance with Sigenok, while
Malcolm and several young Indians, whose interest he
wished to excite by descriptions of England and the
wonders of the civilized world, brought up the rear, at
a considerable distance. Suddenly Sigenok stopped, the
crack of a rifle was heard, several others followed.
"The Sioux!" he exclaimed, turning round his horse.
" Quick quick! our friends are attacked." No other
order was required; keeping close to him we all galloped
back the way we had come, getting our rifles ready for


action as we proceeded. A terrible anticipation of mis-
fortune seized me as I thought of Malcolm, and the fate
which might have overtaken him. Still he and his com-
panions might be defending themselves, and we should
be in time to rescue them. My heart sunk when the
firing ceased. I knew that the Sioux would not have
attacked the party unless greatly superior in numbers
and I dreaded that all was over, and that having slaugh-
tered their victims they had retired victorious. Sigenok
might have thought the same, for he sent out scouts on
either side, and advanced with greater caution than be-
fore, though still at a rapid pace. We pulled up at an
open glade. Sad was the sight which met our eyes.
On every side were strewed the bodies of our com-
panions, all denuded of their scalps. I almost fell faint-
ing from my horse. I dreaded to find the body of my
dear brother among them; still I eagerly hurried on to
ascertain his fate. He was not to be found among the
slain. My hopes slightly revived. He might have
escaped and be concealed somewhere near, or he might
have been carried off as a prisoner. My blood ran cold
when I thought of this latter possibility, for I had heard
of the horrible mode in which the Red men tortured
their prisoners, and I dreaded lest such should be the
lot of my poor brother. The rage and fury of the
Indians at finding that their friends had thus been cut
off was terrific, and their threats of vengeance terrible.
I had hitherto, till this expedition, seen the Red men
only under more favourable aspects. I now perceived
what they could become when excited by passion. Still
the loss of my brother mac e me anxious that they should
immediately undertake an expedition which might result
in his recovery. I saw the Indians examining the ground


round on every side, and they soon pronounced aa opit
nion that the party who had attacked their friends did
not equal them in numbers, and would not have are.
needed had they not lain in ambush and taken them by
surprise. We must have passed cose to the Sioux, bat
in consequence of the superiority of our numbers they
were afraid to attack us. A council was immediately
held; the principal men spoke, and various plans were
suggested. The result of them was, that it was deter-
mined to form a camp on the spot, while twenty well.
mounted warriors should go in pursuit of the Sioux. I
entreated Sigenok to allow me to accompany him.
" You are young for warfare, but your heart is strong-
you shall go," he answered. No time was to be lost.
It was of great consequence to follow up the foe so
rapidly that they might not be prepared for our ap-
proach. A hurried meal was taken, and each warrior
furnishing himself with a supply of pemmikon for seve-
ral days, we immediately set off. Three men, on foot,
always kept ahead to act as scouts and to feel the way,
while their horses were led by the rest, and when the
first were tired others took their places. The Sioux
must have retreated very rapidly, for fwo whole days
passed, and though my friends assumed me we were on
the right trail, we had not overtaken Lhem. I was al-
most in despair, and began to doubt that, even if
Malcolm was alive, he could be with them. I had just
expressed my fears to Sigenok when one of the scouts
came hurrying back and exhibited a tag-the end of a
boot-lace, such as my brother had worn. This Sigenok
considered a sure sign that Malcolm was with them.
My eagerness, therefore, increased to overtake them,
but ..he Indians assured me that great caution was re.


"quisite, and that instead of going faster, it might be
necessary to go slower. This is often the case I have
since found in other affairs of life. More scouts were
now sent out and still greater caution used. It was the
intention of my companions, if possible, to make the
onslaught on the camp of their foes at night. All
depended, however, on our approach not being sus-
pected. The Sioux, of course, would have scouts out,
and the difficulty was to avoid their meeting ours, or
discovering any traces. At last, just before dusk, one
of our scouts brought in word that they had encamped,
and that we were about two miles from them. It was
suspected, from the way in which they had formed their
camp, they must have thought that they had distanced
us. We had now no longer any doubt about overtaking
them, but the question was as to the best means of making
the attack. The Indians' chief thought was of revenging
themselves for the loss of their relatives, my only desire
was to recover my brother should he still be alive. We
continued to advance till we got within about half a
mile of the Sioux camp-the hilly nature of the ground
and the woods concealing our approach. Beyond that
we dared not proceed, as the country was so open that
we might easily have been seen had we made the at-
tempt. The band, accordingly, here left their horses
under charge of five of their number, and as soon as it
was dusk they commenced their stealthy approach to the
camp. Sigenok and another young and active Indian
undertook to look after me. Not a word was spoken
after we set out-not a leaf was moved, scarcely a blade
of grass was uselessly pressed down. On they crept
slowly, and so gently that I could scarcely hear the
ootfalls even of my two companions. I imitated their


way of walking, and as I had on mocassins I also was
able to avoid making the slightest noise. We had got
within a thousand yards of the camp when we all stop.
ped to listen. The camp was still astir, and there were
sounds of feasting and revelry. The Indians with me
ground their teeth-their enemies, fancying themselves
secure, were about to indulge in a scalp-dance over the
scalps they had taken in the morning. As yet the
scouts had not got near enough to ascertain if my
brother was with them. I entreated Sigenok to let me
go and ascertain. "Not without me," was his answer.
" Bah, we will go." I eagerly and fearlessly pressed
on. We had to crawl along the ground lest our figures
might be perceived, by the sharp eyes of the Sioux,
against the sky. We reached a small stream. The
camp was formed a little way beyond it. We waded
across it, and creeping up, looked over the bank. In the
centre was a fire which, as it blazed up, threw a strange
light on the groups of fierce savages clustering round it.
At a little distance was a figure which attracted all my
attentiQn-it was that of my brother. He was seated
on a log of wood, close to which a stake was driven in,
and to this his wrists were tightly secured, though his
feet were free. His head was bent down; he sat per-
fectly quiet, as if resigned to his fate. By the gestures
of his captors I thought that they were talking about
him, and I feared that they were proposing forthwith
to put him to death. I dared not ask Sigenok what he
thought; the slightest sound might have betrayed us.
Oh how I longed to rush forward and join his fate, what-
ever that might be. I believe that I should have done
so when I saw him lift up his pale countenance, so ex-
pressive of grief and pain, had not Sigenok held me


back. He was, I was sure, thinking of me, and how
miserable I should be when he was taken from me, and
I was left alone in the world. Sigenok now made a sign
to me to retreat; keeping close to him as before, I un-
willingly left the spot. We crawled on till we rejoined
our companions. It may seem surprising that the Sioux
should have been so completely off their guard; but this
arose from their despising their foes, the fact being that
the Ojibways are generally very unwarlike, and they,
therefore, believed that they would not venture to follow
them. My companions' plans were soon formed. It was
arranged that the whole party should creep forward as
we had done, and that each man should single out one
of the enemy according to his position, and that at
a signal from Sigenok, the low croak of a frog, all
should fire at the same moment. With the sound of the
first shot the men with the horses were to come gallop-
ing on, as if a fresh party were approaching the scene
of conflict. As, undoubtedly, all the Sioux would not be
killed, some might, otherwise, attempt to rush on their
concealed foes, but, with the fear of falling into the hands
of their enemies, they would now take to flight. My
heart beat quick as we now moved on towards the camp
of our treacherous foes. The night was very dark, and
so noiseless were the movements of the Indians that, till
I actually touched Sigenok's heel, I fancied at one time
that I must be alone. The shouting and shrieking of
the Sioux as they sang their songs of triumph yet farther
assisted us to approach. In another moment the death
volley would be given, and most of those fierce savages
would be laid low. My only wish all the time was to
rush forward and to release my beloved brother. How
breathlessly I waited for the signal! Tho warriors were


moving about, and Sigenok was not yet satisfied, appa-
rently, with the positions which they had taken up.
Little did they dream of the danger which threatened
them. Sigenok's object was to wait till the Sioux were
separated as much as possible, so that there should be no
mistake as to which of them should be aimed at by the
warriors of our party. After sitting down for some
time, they all arose with eager and violent gestures;
some went in the direction of the temporary wigwams
they had formed, and others advanced towards Malcolm.
By their looks and gesticulations I had little doubt that
it was with the intention of torturing him. Poor M.
colm lifted up his countenance and gazed with cala
resignation at his approaching tormentors. My knees
trembled for very anxiety. Just then I heard a low
"croak! croak!" Though warned, I believed that it
was really a frog close to me. It was followed by a
click as if caused by the cocking of the rifles. The
Sioux one and all started and looked round. Their quick
ears had detected the sound. There was another low
croak, and at the same instant a rattling volley, and
fourteen savages lay stretched on the grass. The rest
rushed in all directions seeking for shelter, but in their
alarm, scarcely perceiving whence the volley had pro
ceeded, some darted towards the bank of the streak
where my friends still lay concealed rapidly reloading
their rifles. Scarcely had the smoke cleared off than
I saw through it a savage darting towards Malcolm with
uplifted knife, resolved apparently, before he died, to
plunge it in his bosom. I shrieked out, and sprang
forward to throw myself between them. The savage
saw me, and was about to vent his rage on my head,
but at the moment his gleaming knife was uplifted to


strike, a bullet struck him, fired from Sigenok's rifo,
and he fell within a foot of me, in vain endeavouring to
reach me with his weapon. I sprang to my brother':
side, he was unhurt, my knife was busily employed in
cutting through the thongs which bound him. More
shots were heard as my Ojibway friends caught sight
of their Sioux foes endeavouring to escape. A few of
the latter had, however, got to some distance and were
trying to catch their horses, on which their only hope
of safety now depended. The object of the Ojibwaya
was, of course, to prevent them, lest they should carry
the news of what had happened to their tribe, who
would, in their turn, send off another war party in pur-
suit of us.
The approach of our horses was now heard. Sigenok
with a dozen other men threw themselves on their backs
almost without stopping them, and galloped off in hot
pursuit of their flying enemies. I stood by the side
of my brother, who was too much bewildered to un-
derstand what had happened. His first words were,
"Harry, dear Harry, tell me is it a dream or a reality.
Am I really free ?"
"Free, Malcolm, I trust," I answered; "though I
might almost ask you the same question; I can scarcely
believe my happiness."
Now I take your hand and hear your voice, I know
that it is true," he said eagerly. And that poor savage
who lies so helpless there, I thought he was going to
kill me; but I have been mercifully protected; I will tell
you all about it by and by. Oh what a dreadful state of
existence is this wild life; we will quit it, and return to
our quiet home and never leave that. I had often read
about savages, and thought them very fine fellows, but


little knew what they really are-how bloodthirsty,
cruel, murderous. Let us fly, Harry, let us fly at once.
Do not stay here."
I pacified him after a little time, and persuaded him
to remain till Sigenok returned. "He, though still a
savage, is, at all events, faithful," I observed; he will
not desert us till he has seen us home and safe again
with Sam Dawes. I wish that we could wean him alto-
gether from his mode of life, and induce him to become
a civilized man."
While Malcolm and I were talking, the rest of the
Ojibways had collected, with the exception of those who
had gone in pursuit of the Sioux. The fire had sunk
low, and I was thankful that the darkness prevented us
from watching the horrid task in which they were
engaged-that of scalping their fallen foes. The ex-
clamations they uttered while thus employed, showed the
delight they took in the dreadful work. Our brothers
are avenged! our brothers are avenged!" they kept
shouting. "Their mothers, and wives, and children will
not mourn alone; there will be grief and wailing also
in the lodges of the Sioux. They will no longer be able
to boast that they are the great warriors of the plains.
We have conquered them; we have slain them; we have
their scalps to show." Nearly an hour thus passed; so
greatly excited all the time were the savages that they
took little notice of us.
At last we heard shouts in the distance, which became
louder and louder, till by the light of the fire, which had
been renewed, we saw Sigenok and his companions ride
into the camp flourishing at the end of their spears the
dreadful trophies of their success. But I should, not
have described those scenes at all, were it not to afford


you a true picture of savage life, not as it is painted by
romance writers, but as it really is, debased, and wretched,
and hopeless. We soon reached the camp and recom-
menced our return to the settlements as rapidly as we
could push on.
Sigenok told us that the Sioux of whom they had
gone in chase, had nearly effected their escape, but that
he had come up with them as they were attempting to
pass a broad river, and where, from being in the water,
not hearing the approach of their foes, he and lhis com-
panions had shot them all down, so that he believed not
one had got off. Still, had one escaped he might prove
as dangerous as many, and therefore it might be safer to
proceed homeward at once. We urged him to do so, and
accordingly without even resting, we at once set out to
return to the camp. We reached it in safety; but I will
not attempt to describe the scenes which took place,
and the savage triumph even of the women; how they
shrieked, and shouted, and danced, and clapped their
hands till they appeared lire so many furies rather than
human beings. As a war party of the Sioux would be
able to travel much faster than we could, the household
goods were at once packed, and we set out on our return
homeward. We travelled rapidly, and to guard against
surprise we had scouts m the rear constantly on the
watch for the approach of a foe. The conversation of
the men all the way related to the events of the expe-
dition, and they evidently gloated over the way in which
they had put their enemies to death.
As we proceeded I often turned my head when I
heard any noise behind me, expecting to see the enemy
darting out of a wood, or scouring over the prairie in
chase of us, and at night, while we were encamped, I


frequently started up under the belief that the Sioux
were upon us.
"All our sufferings, and the dangers we have gone
through, and the horrors we have witnessed, have been
owing to our folly," observed Malcolm; "had, we
remained at home, steadily assisting Sam Dawes to
cultivate the farm, we should have escaped them alL
We will be wiser in future."



WITH great satisfaction, and gratitude for the dangers
we had escaped, our eyes once more rested on the silvery
waters of the Red River, as it wound its way through
the rich plains of the settlement, towards the lengthened
expanse of Lake Winnipeg. Malcolm and I, putting
our spurs into our mustangs' flanks, galloped on eager
to announce our arrival to Sam Dawes. He was labour-
ing by himself, putting up a fence to a new field. He
saw us coming, and, throwing down his axe, hurried
forward to meet us. Never was there a more happy
meeting. He had a great deal to tell us, as we had to
tell him. Gathering up his tools, he walked by our sides
to the hut; a hut though it was no longer, for by his
persevering industry he had converted it into a very
comfortable residence; while he had replaced, though in
a somewhat rough iusmon, nearly anu me furniture we had
)ost. My brother and I felt ashamed at having deserted
him for so long, while he was labouring for our benefit.
"Well, dear masters, I did ofttimes feel sad and
lonely like while you were away, but now I've got you
back safe all that seems as light as a feather," he
exclaimed, pressing our hands and looking into our
faces with the affection of a parent. He told us that
great changes had taken place in the settlement during
our absence, that a clergyman had settled near us, that
a church was built and a school established, and that
many new colonists had bought land along the banks
of the river for many miles towards the south as well
as to the north of us. The good clergyman had also


induced several families of Indians to settle in the
neighbourhood, and that they seemed to have accepted
with joy the glad tidings of salvation which he had been
the means of offering them.
I wish that Sigenok would come and join them
then," exclaimed Malcolm warmly; so brave and ener-
getic a man would bring many others over to the truth."
The next day Sigenok himself came in to see us.
Malcolm opened the subject of which he had been
speaking. Sigenok listened attentively, and said that
he would go and hear what the missionary had to say.
He did so.
The winter set in, and the river and lake were frozen
over, and the ground was covered with snow, and
sleighs had taken the place of carts, and thick buffalo
skin coats of light dress, and stoves were lighted and
windows closed, and the whole face of Nature seemed
changed. Sigenok came to us. "Ah !" he exclaimed,
" when I knew you first my heart was like the great
prairie when the fire has passed over it, all black and
foul; now it is white like that field of glittering snow
on which we gaze. I am a Christian; I look with
horror on my past life, and things which I considered
before praiseworthy and noble, I now see to be abomi-
nable and vile."
Day after day, in spite of cold and wind and snow,
did Sigenok come up'to the missionary's house to re-
ceive instruction in the new faith which had brought
such joy to his heart. Many followed in his footsteps,
and there now exists a whole village of Christian Indians
in the settlement who have put away and for ever their
medicine men and their charms, and their false Maniton,
end their cruelties and bloodthirstiness, and are wor-


shippers of the true God in sincerity and simplicity
of faith. Several of the Indian boys brought up at the
school have obtained a considerable amount of learning,
and some are ordained minister- of the gospel, and
others catechists and schoolmasters at various mis-
sionary stations scattered throughout the wide extent of
Rupert's Land.
You may like to hear something more about that
wonderful land, that terra ignota of British Central
America. At the time of which I have been speaking
it was supposed that the only fertile land was to be
found on the banks of the Red River, but it is now
ascertained that an extremely rich and fertile belt ex-
tends from the Red River right across the continent, for
eight hundred miles or more, to the base of the Rocky
Mountains, where it unites with the new province of
Columbia. This fertile belt is capable of supporting
innumerable herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, and droves
of horses, and of giving employment and happy homes
to millions of the human race. It produces wheat and
barley, and oats, and Indian corn, or maize, in great
perfection, and potatoes and i variety of other roots and
vegetables of all sorts, and the finest grass for hay, and
hemp and tobacco, and many other plants with diffi-
culty grown in England. The rivers are full of fish, and
game of all sorts abound. The climate is very uniform
throughout, like that of Upper Canada-warm in summer
and very cold in winter, but dry and healthy in the
When, as I hope the case may be before long,
those lakes and rivers along which we travelled on our
journey from Lake Superior to the Red River are made
navigable for steamers, this country will become the


great highway to British Columbia, to China, Japan, and
the wide-spreading shores and isles of the Pacific. With
a line of settlements established across it, the journey
may easily be performed, and some day, Harry, you and
I will run over, and we will pay a visit to the very scenes
which I have been describing to you; but instead of
roving savages, murdering and scalping in every di-
rection, living by hunting and fishing, I hope that we
may find the Indians settled down as Christian men, and
persevering cultivators of the soil which Providence will
compel to yield a rich return for their labour. You will
wish to know more of your uncle Malcolm's and my
proceedings. We soon became acquainted with the
good clergyman I have mentioned, and after a time he
suggested to us that, as our education was far from
perfect, it would be wise if we recommended our studies.
This we did, and though we continued to help Sam
Dawes in his farm labours even more efficiently than
before, so steady was our application when engaged with
our books under our kind tutor, that we made consider-
able progress in our studies. For three years or more
we lived on very happily, with nothing to change our
course of life, when we received notice from England
that a relation of our father's especially wished us to
return. On consulting our friend the clergyman, he
strongly recommended us to accept the invitation offered
1 As we expected speedily to return we left Sam
Dawes in charge of the farm, though he was almost
heart-broken at parting from us. He would, indeed.
never have consented to remain had he not believed that
it was for our interest to do so. On reaching England
great was our surprise to find that our relative intended
to leave us his property. On ascertaining our attain


inents in knowledge, he insisted on our both going to
the university. Your uncle Malcolm took high honours,
and entered into holy orders. I became, as was our
relative, a merchant, and without allowing business tq
absorb me, I have considerably increased the small
portion he left me. Your uncle Malcolm and I have
constantly talked of going over to visit Sam Dawes, but
circumstances have prevented us. We long ago made
over the farm to him, and he has greatly increased and
improved it. He is, we hear, a hale old man. And
now, Harry, I have told you a long story enough for
to-day. Some other time I will tell you more about the
wonders of Rupert's Land.

.,,/ .-" _- __

--o-il- --._' -_




SA M- -
66H O

_- /I '.i
"TH ~~~~~~~~~ GOO OL XIG WOT U LVE AO.

--- -- __ -


STt was the memorable 1st of June.
\ I. A sea fight ever to be renowned
in history was raging between the
S, i fleets of England and France. The
Great guns were thundering and
S,\, roaring, musketry was rattling, round
S shot, and chain shot, and grape, and
S) langridge, and missiles of every de-
l scription, invented for carrying on
the bloody game of war, were hissing
A through the air, crashing against the
sides of the ships, rending them
asunder, shattering the tall mastB
and spars, sending their death-dealo
ing fragments flying around, and
hurling to the deck, mangled and
bleeding, the gallant seamen as they stood at their
quarters in all the pride of manhood, fighting for the


honour and glory of their respective countries. A dar
anopy hung over the scene, every moment increasing im
density as the guns belched forth their flashes of flame
an clouds of smoke, filling the pure air of heaven witb
salphureous vapours, and almost concealing the fierce
eWrbatants from each other's gaze.
Who isa kat brave youngster ?" asked the captain
of the renowned 'Marlborough,' a seventy-four, which
lay hotly engaged surrounded by foes in the thick of
the fight; I never saw a cooler thing or better timed."
"The son of Mr. Ripley the boatswain, sir," was
the answer.
"I must have my eye on him, there is stunf in that
lad," observed the captain. The deed which had called
forth this eulogium was certainly well worthy of praise.
The Marlborough" had for some time been furiously
engaged, almost broadside to broadside, with the Im-
p6tueux," a French seventy-four, which ship had just
fallen aboard her, the Frenchman's bowsprit becoming
entangled in her mizen rigging. To keep her an-
tagonist in that position was of the greatest consequence
to the Marlborough," as she might thus rake her fore
and aft, receiving but little damage in retmr. An
officer and two or three men sprang into the Marl-
borough's mizen rigging to secure the bowsprit to it.
The French small-arm men rushed forward to prevent
this being done, by keeping up a fire of musketry. The
two seamen fell. The lieutenant still hung in the
rigging, but the rope with which he was lashing the
bowsprit to it was shot from his hand; no other was
within reach. Having just delivered the powder he
bad brought from below, young Ripley was watching
the proceeding. Seizing a rope he sprang into the


rigging unhurt amid a shower of bullets, and handed it
to the brave officer. Together they made the required
turns for lashing it fast, and descended to the deck in
safety. The young powder-boy then resuming his tub
was speedily again seen at his station, composedly
sitting on the top of it as if he had performed no
unusual deed. The Marlborough" had soon another
antagonist, the "Mucius," seventy-four, which fell
aboard her on the bow, the three ships thus forming a
triangle, of which the British ship was the base. With
these two opponents, each more powerful than she was,
the "Marlborough" continued the seemingly unequal
fight, but the stout arms and hearts of her crew
made amends for their inferiority in numbers. Her
mizenmast fell soon after the "Mucius" engaged her,
her fore and main masts followed, and the Frenchmen
began to hope that victory was to be theirs, but they
had not discovered at that time the stuff of which
British tars are made. Though dismasted herself, she
had her foes fast so that they could not escape. So
well did her crew work their guns, that they quickly
shot away the bowsprit and all the lower masts of the
" Impetueux,' those of the Mucius" soon sharing the
same fate. At this juncture another French ship, the
" Montagne," passing under the Marlborough's" stern,
fired a broadside into her of round 1shi atnd langridge,
killing many of her brave crew, and wounding among
others her captain, though receiving but a few shots in
return. The first battle in that long, protracted, anjd
bloody war was over, and won by England's veteran
admiral, Lord Howe; six of the enemy's finest line of
battle ships forming the prize of victory, and among
'hem the Imptieux."


The "Marlborough's" captain had not forgot the pro*
mise he had made to himself in favour of Young Ripley.
As he lay wounded in his cabin he sent for the boat-
swain. The proud father had heard of his son's gal-
lantry, and the captain's words had been repeated to
him. It would have been difficult to find a finer speci-
men of the superior class of British seaman, the pith
and sinew of the navy, than the boatswain of the "Marl-
borough" presented, as, still in the prime of manhood, he
stood, hat in hand, before his captain. By his manner
and appearance he looked indeed well fitted for the
higher ranks of his profession, but it was his lot to be a
boatswain, and he did not complain. With unfeigned
satisfaction he heard the account of his son's gallantry
and coolness rehearsed by the captain's lips.
You have always proved yourself to be a brave
man and a good officer, and although I have it not in
my power to reward you as you deserve, I can your
son," said the captain. Would it be satisfactory to
you to see him placed on the quarterdeck ?"
The father's heart beat quick; the blush of gratified
pride rose to his cheeks as he answered, "It is the
thing of all others I should prize. I trust that he
will not be found unfitted for the rank to which he
may attain if you thus put his foot on the lower
I am glad to have hit the thing to please you,
Mr. Ripley," said the captain. "Your son shall at
once be rated as a midshipman in the ship's books;"
and then he added, a shade of grief passing across his
countenance, He will have no difficulty in getting an
outfit from the kits of the four youngsters who were
killed on the 1st. By the by, what is he called ?"


"Pearce, sir-Pearce Ripley is his name," answered
the boatswain.
Very well; send my clerk to me, and tell your
boy that he is a midshipman. The first lieutenant will
introduce him to his new messmates, and secure him a
favourable reception," said the captain as the boat-
swain withdrew.
Pearce Ripley was a fine-looking lad of about four-
teen, with an ingenuous countenance and frank manner,
which spoke of an honest, brave heart. With the ship's
company he had been a general favourite; it was to be
proved how far he would recommend himself to the
In the afternoon the young gentlemen, as all the
members of the midshipmen's mess were called, were
summoned on the quarterdeck, and briefly addressed by
Mr. Monckton, the first lieutenant. Pearce Ripley was
then sent for, and the boatswain's son had no cause to
complain of his reception by those whose messmate he
was about to become. They, with one exception, came
forward and cordially shook him by the hand, and when
he entered the berth they all seemed to vie who should
pay him the most unobtrusive attention as forthwith to
place him at his ease. So surely will true bravery and
worth be rightly esteemed by the generous-hearted
officers of the British Navy. Pearce had gained the
respect of his messmates; he soon won their regard by
his readiness to oblige, his good temper, his evident
determination not to give or take offence, and his
general kind bearing towards all.. On duty he showed
that he was resolved to merit the good opinion which
had been formed of him. The only person who differed
from the majority was Harry Verner, a midshipman of


about his own age. Though Verner 'had shaken hands
with him, it had been with reluctance and marked cold-
ness. His manner was now haughty and supercilious
in the extreme, and he took every opportunity of
making sneering remarks about men who had risen
from the lower orders always being out of place and
never doing any good. If such were to become cus-
tomary in the service, it would drive all the gentlemen
out of it," he remarked one day in Pearce's hearing.
"Not if those who entered it knew how to behave as
gentlemen," Pearce replied, quietly. Verner said nothing
in return, but he gave a look to show his intense dis-
pleasure. Generally Pearce walked away when Verner
spoke in that style, or when at table, and he could not
move, pretended not to hear what was said.
The fleet reached Portsmouth. Great was the satis-
faction of the British nation at the victory won. The
good King George the Third and the kind Queen
Charlotte went on board all the ships and visited the
wounded; honours were awarded to the chiefs, and
those officers who had especially distinguished them-
selves were presented to their Sovereigns. Among
others was Pearce Ripley, as the midshipman who had
helped to take the "Imp6tueux." The Marlborough's"
crew declared on this that he was a marked man and
must get on in the service. The remark greatly excited
Harry Verner's indignation and wrath. "It is high
time for me to quit the service after this," he remarked,
when the King patted Pearce on the head, but did not
even glance towards him. Of memorable days in
English history, the 1st of June, 1794, stands justly


THE "i Marlborough," though victorious, had received so
tremendous a battering from her numerous opponents,
that it was very clear the stout craft could not again go
to sea without a thorough repair. Her officers and
crew were therefore distributed among other ships then
fitting out, and thus Pearce, for the first time in his life,
was separated from his father, to whom he had always
been accustomed to look up for guidance and advice.
In some respects this might have been an advantage to
the young midshipman, but the parting cost both more
pains than either confessed. "I am no great preacher,
my boy, but remember there's One ever watching over
you, and He'll be true to you if you try honestly to be
true to Him," said the boatswain, as he wrung his son's
hand, and stepped down the side of the fine frigate to
which Pearce through the interest of his late captain had
been appointed. The crew went tramping round the
capstan to the sound of the merry fife, the anchor was
away, and under a wide spread of snowy canvas the
dashing Blanche" of thirty-two guns, commanded by
the gallant Captain Faulkner, stood through the Needle
passage between the Isle of Wight and the main, on
her way down channel, bound out to the West Indies.
It was a station where hurricanes, yellow fever, and
sicknesses, and dangers of all sorts were to be en-
countered, but it was also one where enemies were to be
met with, battles to be fought, prizes to be captured,
and prize-money to be made, glory, honour, and pro-
motion tL be obtained, and who on board for a moment
balanced one against the other ?


Several of Pearce's old shipmates were on board the
"Blanche," and two of his messmates, from one of whom,
Harry Verner, he would rather have been separated; the
other, David Bonham, he was very glad to see. Be-
tween Bonham and Verner the contrast was very great;
for the former, though of excellent family, was the most
unpretending fellow possible, free from pride, vanity,
and selfishness, and kind-hearted, generous, good tem-
pered, and the merriest of the merry. The first A. B.
who volunteered for the Blanche," when he knew Mr.
Pearce had been appointed to her, was Dick Rogers, an
old friend of his father's, with whom he had served
man and boy the best part of his life; and if there was
one thing more strongly impressed on Dick's mind than
another, it was that John Ripley, the boatswain, ought
to have been a post captain. For his father's sake Dick
had at first loved Pearce, and now loved him for his
own. Though his father isn't what he should be, he
shall be, that he shall, or it won't be my fault," he said
to himself. Dick was no scholar, and had not many ideas
beyond those connected with his profession, except that
particular one in favour of Pearce which might or might
not be of any service to him, and yet let us never despise
a friend, however humble. Pearce did not, though he
possibly had not read the fable of the lion and the mouse.
Dick Rogers was short and broad in the shoulders,
though not fat, with a huge, sandy beard, a clear blue
eye, and an honest smile on his lips, and saying that he
was a seaman every inch of him, he needs no further
description. Verner let it be known, among their new
messmates, that Pearce Ripley was only the boatswain's
son; and hearing this, Bonham took great care to re-
count to them his gallant act on the 1st of June, and to


speak otherwise in his praise. Dick forward did not
fail to make the young midshipman his theme, and
there the fact of his parentage was undoubtedly in his
favour. "We shall be, no doubt, alongside an enemy
some day soon, and then will be seen what stuff the
youngsters are made of," was the remark of several on
board. They were not wrong in their prognostications.
The Island of Desiderade, near Guadeloupe, was in
sight to windward. A sail on the weather bow !" was
shouted by the look-out at the mast's head, always the
keenest sighted of the seamen on board in those days.
The frigate made all sail in pursuit of the stranger,
a large schooner under French colours. The chase stood
into a bay defended by a fort, where she was seen to
anchor with springs to her cables. Along the shore a
body of troops were also observed to be posted. The
drum beat to quarters as the "Blanche" worked up
towards the fort, when, the water shoaling, she anchored
and opened her fire in return for that which the fort,
the schooner, and the soldiers were pouring in on her.
Captain Faulkner's first object was to silence the fort.
This was soon done. The schooner, which it was clear
was heavily armed, must be brought out. The boats
were called away, under command of the second lieu-
tenant. Pearce leaped into the one to which he be-
longed. A master's mate, Fitzgibbon, had charge of
her, and Dick Rogers formed one of her crew. Harry
Verner was in another. Away the boats dashed, at a
rate boats always do move pulled by British seamen
when a prize is to be taken. The Frenchmen worked
their guns bravely. A shot disabled the leading boat.
Pearce, sitting by Fitzgibbon's side, heard a deep groan,
and before he could even look up the master's mate fell


forwardd, shot through the head. His boat took the
lead. Now's your time," cried Dick Rogers; we'll
"be the first aboard, lads." The crew were not slack to
follow the suggestion. In another moment they were
up to the schooner, and, leaping on her deck, led by
Pearce, laid on them so fiercely with their cutlasses that
the Frenchmen, deserting their guns, sprang over the
bulwarks into their boats on the other side nearest the
shore, and, before another boat reached the vessel, pulled
away towards where the troops were marching down to
their support. The cables were quickly cut, and amid a
shower of bullets sail was made, and the prize carried
out. I said as how he'd do it-I said he wouldn't
be wanting," exclaimed Dick Rogers, as he gave his
account of the cutting out expedition to his chums on
board. He'll do more too come another occasion."
That occasion did occur before many days were over.
Two days afterwards the Blanche" was joined by the
" Quebec" frigate, and together, when sailing by Guade-
loupe, they discovered the French thirty-six-gun frigate
" Pique" lying at anchor in the harbour of Pointe-a-
Pitre, ready for sea. Not to deprive his brother captain
of the honour he might obtain by engaging an anta-
gonist so worthy of him, Captain Carpenter parted
company, and the Quebec," steering westward, was
soon out of sight. The next thing to be done was to
get the French frigate to come out from under her
protecting batteries to fight. This seemed no easy
matter, for prizes were captured and sent away under
her very nose, and still she did not venture forth. At
length, however, on the memorable evening of the 4th
of January, the Blanche," towing off another prize in
triumph, the "Pique" was seen to follow. The sun


went down. It was the last many a brave man was
destined to see. Darkness had come on, when the
French frigate was observed through the gloom astern.
The Blanche" tacked in chase.
In the solemn hour of midnight, while darkness
covered the face of the deep, the two vessels approached
each other, their relative positions clearly distinguished
by the light from the fighting lanterns which streamed
from their ports. The British crew, mostly stripped to
the waist, stood at their quarters, grim and determined,
with the gun-tackles in hand, eager for the moment to
open fire. Pearce was on the quarterdeck. Young as
he was, the whizzing of shots and the whistling of
bullets scarcely made his heart beat quicker than usual,
and yet, as in gloom and silence he waited for the signal
when the bloody strife must commence, he felt an awe
creep over him he had never before experienced. Nearer
and nearer the combatants drew to each other. The
"Pique" commenced the fight. The "Blanche" returned
her distant fire; and, after various manoeuvres, the two
frigates ranged up alongside each other and hotly en-
gaged, broadside to broadside, in the fashion in which
British tars have ever delighted. Fiercely the two
crews fought; the French, once having began, proved
themselves no unworthy antagonists. The main and
mizen masts of the "Blanche" fell, and the French, seiz-
ing the moment, ran alongside and attempted to board.
The British crew sprang up to repel them. Among the
foremost was Pearce, with Dick Rogers by his side.
With their sharp cutlasses they drove the Frenchmen
back. Again the guns roared as before. Once more
the French ship fell aboard the "Blanche," her bowsprit
touching the latter's capstan. Captain Faulkner hur-


ried to secure it there, for the "Pique," thus held, was
exposed to the raking fire of his frigate. Among those
who flew to assist him were Pearce Ripley and Dick
Rogers, the Frenchman's musketry playing hotly on
them. This is something like what you did in the old
'Marlborough,' sir," said Dick to Pearce, so loud that all
might hear him-so many did, and noted the words.
Death was busy around them. While he was passing
the lashing the young and gallant Captain Faulkner
fell to the deck-a musket ball had pierced his heart.
That was no time for grieving, even for one well-beloved
as the captain. A hawser was being got up from below
to secure the enemy's ship; but before it could be used
she broke adrift, to the disappointment of the British
tars. A cheer, however, burst from their throats as,
directly afterwards, the Blanche," paying off for want
of after-sail, the "Pique," while attempting to cross
her stern, fell once more aboard her. This time they
took good care to secure the bowsprit to the stump of
their mainmast; and now, running before the wind, the
"Blanche" towing her opponent, the fight was continued
with greater fury than ever. In vain the Frenchmen
strove to free themselves by cutting the lashings-each
time they made the attempt the marines drove them
back with their musketry. Still it seemed doubtful
with whom victory would side. The Blanche" had no
stern ports through which guns could be fought; the
carpenters were unable to aid them. A bold expedient
was proposed. The guns must make ports for them-
selves through the transome. Firemen with buckets
were stationed ready to extinguish the fire which the
discharge would create. With a thundering roar the
guns sent their shot through the stern, and, the fire


being extinguished, they began to play with terrific
effect into the bows of the French frigate. Her fore-mast
was immediately shot away; her mizen-mast was seen
to fall. Still her crew, getting their quarter-deck guns
trained aft, fought on; but what were they to the
"Blanche's" heavy guns, which mercilessly raked her,
the shot entering her bow and tearing up her deck fore
and aft, sweeping away numbers of her crew at each
discharge. "If those Mounseers are not made of iron,
they'll not stand this battering much longer," cried
Dick Rogers, who was working one of the after-guns.
Pearce was standing near him. The space between the
decks was filled with smoke, through which the twinkling
light, of the lanterns could scarcely penetrate, the flashes
at each discharge showing the men, begrimed with
powder, with sponge and rammers ready to load, or
with their tackles to run in their guns. A cheer from
the deck told them that the Frenchman's remaining
mast had fallen, and now another and another that the
foe had struck. The "Pique" was totally dismasted;
the "Blanche" had but her fore-mast standing. Every
boat was knocked to pieces, and how to get on board
the prize, still towed by the hawser, was the question.
"The hawser must form our bridge," cried Mr. Milne,
the second lieutenant of the ship, springing on to it,
followed by Pearce, Rogers, and several men. Their
weight brought the rope down into the water. For
some distance they had to swim till they could climb
up by it on board. What havoc and destruction a few
short hours had wrought. Of a crew not far short of
three hundred men, one-third lay dead or wounded, the
deck covered with gore and the wrecks of the masts
and spars; guns lay dismounted, bulwarks knocked


away, all telling the tale of the bravery and hardihood
of both the combatants. When the sun arose there lay
the victor and the conquered almost equally helpless.
"Such was one of the scenes through which young Ripley
fought his way upwards, and gained a name and fame.

THE person who is constantly keeping his eye on the
reward he aims at is very likely to stumble and fall, and
never to reach it. He, on the contrary, who thinks
only how he can best perform his duty will be upheld
and encouraged, and very probably obtain a higher
reward than any at which he might have aspired. Pearce
Ripley found this to be true in his case. Duty was
his leading star. It never occurred to him to say, Will
this please my captain ?" "Will this advance me
in the service ?" The Blanche was soon refitted
and at sea again. Several prizes were made, and,
greatly to his satisfaction, he was appointed to the
command of one of them, with Bonham as his mate,
and Dick Rogers as boatswain. She was a richly-laden
West Indiaman, recaptured from the enemy. He was
ordered to take her to England, where, on his arrival,
he found his commission waiting for him.
Pearce received a rig it hearty welcome from his father,
and intense was the satisfaction of the brave seaman
when his son showed him his commission and appoint-
ment as second lieutenant to the Vestal," an eighteen
gun sloop* of war, commanded by Captain Gale, and
destined for the North A merican station.
You have got your first step up the ratlins, Pearce.
Go on as you have begun, and Heaven preserving your


life, there is no reason why you shouldn't reach the
highest," said the proud father, as he once more parted
from his son.
Those were days of pressgangs, and Dick Rogers
took good care to hide away till he ascertained the craft
Pearce was to join, when he at once volunteered for
her. Bonham, who had still a year to serve, was ap-
pointed to the same ship. The Vestal" had a quick
run across the Atlantic till within about five days' sail
of Halifax, Nova Scotia, when a heavy gale sprang up,
which tried to the utmost her seaworthy qualities. The
sloop behaved beautifully, hove to, and rode buoyantly
over the raging seas. Well indeed was it for her that
she was properly handled, for the gale went on in-
creasing till the oldest seamen on board declared that
they had never met with such another. It continued
for a week, each day the wind blowing harder and
harder, or if there was a lull it seemed to come
only that the gale might gain greater strength. For
days not a glimpse of sun, or moon, or stars had
been obtained. It was the morning watch; the grey
cold dawn had just broke. Pearce was on deck, when
sweeping his eye round the horizon as the sloop rose to
the summit of a sea he perceived on the lee beam the
hull of a ship, rising and sinking amid the tumultuous
waters. At first he thought she was keel up, but as
the light increased he saw that she was a large ship
with the stump of the foremast alone remaining. That
she was in a bad plight was very clear. She was re-
markably low in the water he fancied, and who could
say how long even she might keep afloat.
The captain, being summoned, soon came on deck.
To bear away for the stranger would be a work of


danger to the Vestal." Still who could tell how many
human beings might be on board that sinking ship!
With hatches battened down and men lashed to the
helm, the captain resolved to go to the rescue.
The seas came roaring up with furious rage, as the
sloop flew before them, some breaking aboard; and round-
ing to under the stern of the ship, she again hove to.
Many people appeared on the deck of the stranger who,
stretching out their arms, implored assistance. How
was it to be afforded ? Would a boat live in such a
sea ? Such appeals to British seamen are never made
in vain. Pearce Ripley offered to make the experiment
if men were found ready to go with him. There was
no want of volunteers. A boat was lowered. It seemed
as if she must be engulfed before she left the sloop's
side. Ripley's progress was watched by eager eyes
from both ships. Now he is in the trough of the sea, a
watery mountain about to overwhelm him; now he is
on the summit surrounded by driving foam. A shout is
raised as he neared the sinking ship, but to get along-
side was even more dangerous than the passage from
one to the other. As the ship rolled and her deck was
exposed to view, he saw that there were women on
board, and other people besides the crew. Ropes were
hove to him. He seized one, and sprang up the side.
A few hurried words told him what had occurred. The
ship was conveying troops and stores to Halifax, the
master and first mate had been washed overboard, the
second lay wounded by the falling of a spar. Many of
the crew had been lost with the captain. There was no
sea officer who could enforce orders; the men were
mutinous. Ripley instantly assumed the command
There were several ladies. They must first be placed


in safety before a man enters the boat," he cried out,
presenting a pistol at some seamen who showed an
intention of leaping into her.
Smaie entreated that their husbands might accompany
then.. "Oh, father, father, come with me," exclaimed a
fair girl, who was being conveyed to the side to be

......___.__-__ _

lowered into the boat; "I cannot, I will not leave you."
She looked towards a fine, soldier-like man, who stood
with several officers around him. "Impossible! Heaven
protect you, dearest. Even for your sake I cannot desert
my post. It is here with my men," was the answer.
The boat had already nearly as many persons in. her


as it would be safe to carry. This was no time for
delay. Pearce lifted the young lady in his arms, and
lowered himself with her into the boat. The boat re-
turned to the Vestal," and all those who had been
rescued were put on board. The young lady again and
again entreated him to save her father. Pearce pro-
Inised to make every effort to bring off the colonel.
"But unless his men are rescued, I doubt that he will
leave the ship," he added, as he returned to his boat.
Two other boats were now lowered, but it was too
evident that they could only save a part of the people
from the foundering ship. Those on her deck were now
seen forming a raft. It was their last hope of life should
the boats not take them off. Though several of the
people made a rush to the side, they were driven back
by the officers and soldiers who remained firm, and the
men were told off in order to allow of them to embark
as arranged by Pearce. Twice the boat returned with-
out an accident to the Vestal." The young lady cast
a reproachful look at Ripley, when she saw that her
father was not among the saved. He would not come,
lady, but I will make another effort," he exclaimed, as he
prepared once more to leave the corvette's side. Just then
arose the fearful cry, She is sinking she is sinking !"
Oh, save him! save him!" shrieked the poor girl
in an agony of terror, stretching out her hands towards
the spot where she fancied that she saw her beloved father
struggling in the waves. Pearce and his brave com-
panions needed not such an appeal to make them use
every effort to reach their drowning fellow-creatures.
Some had leaped on the half-finished raft as the ship
sunk beneath them, but many of these were speedily
washed off. Others were clinging to spars, and oars,


and gratings, Pearce was soon in the midst of tli
hapless beings, many with despair on their countenances,
unable to reach the boat, sinking as he neared them.
He looked round for the colonel. He could not dis-
tinguish him among the rest. Three people had been
hauled in, when as the boat rose to the summit of a sea
he saw below him a person clinging to a grating. A hand
was waved towards him. Give way, lads," he shouted,
and in another minute he had the satisfaction of hauling
on board the brave officer for. whom he was searching.
The other boats took off the people from the raft.
He picked up several more, and returned in safety on
board. The meeting of the father and his daughter need
not be described. They were, he found, a colonel and
Miss Verner. He was struck by the name as that of
his former unamiable messmate. When the weather
moderated, and the colonel was sufficiently recovered to
appear on deck, he warmly expressed his gratitude to
Pearce, and his admiration of the gallantry he had dis-
played. His daughter Alice was not less grateful. A
calm succeeded the gale, and Pearce had frequent
opportunities of seeing her. He did not mention Harry
Verner to her, and indeed so great was the contrast he
perceived between the two in manners and behaviour,
that he could not suppose they were nearly related.
Still there was at times an expression in Colonel
Verner's countenance when he was annoyed which re-
minded him strongly of Harry.
There was a frank heartiness and sincerity about
the young lieutenant which at once gained Miss
Verner's regard. It was very different to what she
had been accustomed, still his manner towards her was
gentle and deferential, as if he in no way presumed on


the service he had rendered her. Indeed, it never
entered his head that he had rendered her any especial
service, or that he had the slightest claim on her regard.
He felt, as he wroto to his father, "that he had had
the good fortune to command the boat which saved a
colonel and Miss Verner; that they were very nice
people'; that the colonel was to be stationed at Halifax,
and had invited him to his house whenever he could
get leave on shore." He added, That will not be very
often during these stirring times, but I shall thoroughly
enjoy it when I do go, for Miss Alice Verner is the
most beautiful and amiable girl I have ever seen or
expect to meet; without a bit of pride about her, and
she talks to me as if I were an old friend."
At length the "Vestal" dropped her anchor in the fine
harbour of Halifax, and with a regret which surprised
him, Pearce saw the passengers depart for the shore.
"Remember, my dear Mr. Ripley, Miss Verner
and I shall at all times be glad to see you," said
Colonel Verner as he was about to leave the ship.
Alice did not say as much as her father, but Pearce
believed from the expression of her countenance that
she willingly seconded her father's invitation. Still he
knew that the familiar intercourse which had been so
delightful to him on board must come to an end.
" What can she ever be to me more than she is at
present?" he exclaimed to himself. She says that I
saved her life and her father's life; but then I saved
the lives of many other people. To be sure I have got
one step up the ratlins, but it may be very long before
I get another. No, no, I'll not think about it."
The next day a special invitation to the governor's
tabie, where he met Colonel and Miss Verner, and where


all the gentlemen from the governor downwards drank
wine with him, considerably altered his feelings. This was
the first of many attentions which he received from the
military officers and the principal inhabitants of Halifax.*
His time on shore was indeed fully occupied in making
morning calls and in attending the parties to which he
was invited. A portion of every morning he spent in
the society of Miss Verner. It was very delightful, and
he felt sure that he was welcome.
At length the Vestal" was suddenly ordered to sea.
Pearce had the greatest difficulty in getting on shore to
wish his friends good-bye. Alice turned pale when he
told her that the ship was to sail that evening. You
will come back here surely, Mr. Ripley," she said, in a
trembling voice; you have been every thing to us since
that awful day when you saved our lives from the sink-
iiig ship; we shall miss you, indeed we shall, very much."
Pearce could not frame a reply, at least, satisfactory
to himself. He scarcely knew what he said, as he
hurried away. The words might have made a vainer
man than he was much happier than they did him.
The Vestal" was bound for the West Indies. She
cruised for some time, making several rich prizes, which
she sent into Port Royal, Jamaica, and which filled the
purses of her officers and men in a very satisfactory
manner. Still, no honour or promotion was to be
obtained by the capture of honest merchantmen. At
length, however, there appeared a chance of falling in
with an antagonist worthy of her. One morning at
dawn a stranger was discovered on the lee beam. The
"Vestal" was kept away, and all sail made in chase. As
the "Vestal" gained on the chase, she was discovered to
be a large ship, and pronounced to be flush-decked.


Then we'll tackle her; never mind how many
guns she carries," exclaimed the captain-a sentiment
to which his officers and men responded heartily.
SThe chase was accordingly continued, and as the
vessel came up with her on the weather quarter, it was
seen that she was a large flush-decked ship, carrying
twenty-two guns. The ensign of France flew out from
the stranger's peak, and was saluted by a shot from
one of the corvette's bow guns. The battle thus begun,
the "Vestal" keeping the weather gauge, was con-
tinued for half-an-hour with great fury, till the French-
man's fore-mast went by the board. The enemy's
guns were well handled, and the corvette began to
suffer accordingly. The first lieutenant and five men
were killed, and the captain, a midshipman, and several
men wounded. The captain was carried below, and the
command devolved on Pearce. The young lieutenant's
heart beat high. Bonham," he said, addressing his
friend who was standing near him, "we'll take that
ship, or go down with our colours flying." The breeze
which had fallen returned, and as the corvette was still
under perfect command, he was able at length to obtain
a position by which he could pour several raking broad-
sides into the bows of the enemy. Her main-top. mast
was shot away; her mizen-mast followed. The ensign
of France was again hoisted, but did not long remain
flying. Pearce poured in another broadside, and down
it came, the cheers of the British crew giving notice of
what had occurred to their wounded shipmates below.
The prize, which proved to be the "Desiree," had lost a
considerable number of her crew, most of them killed
during the latter part of the action. Bonham was sent
on board to take command, and in two days the


"Vestal and her prize entered in triumph the harbour
of Port Royal. Here the admiral with part of the fleet
were at anchor. Pearce went on board the flag-ship to
make his report. He was warmly received, and highly
complimented on his conduct. The next day he found
that he was to be first lieutenant of the corvette, and
Bonham received an acting order as second lieutenant.
The "Vestal" had received so much damage, that she
was obliged to refit at Port Royal. This took several
weeks, and Captain Gale considered himself sufficiently
recovered, when she was ready, to go to sea in her.
Pearce had, however, virtually the command. Several
more prizes were taken. "That's young Ripley's
doing," exclaimed the admiral, he deserves his pro-
motion, and he shall have it."


ONCE more the Vestal" was at anchor in Port Royal
harbour. In vain her brave captain had striven against
the effects of his wounds. He must return home if he
would save his life, he was told, so he applied to be
superseded. The admiral came on board the "Vestal"
to inspect her. The next day he sent for Ripley, and
put a paper into his hand. Pearce's heart beat quick
with proud satisfaction. The document was an order
to take the acting command of the corvette. I have
written home by this post to ask for your commission,
and to recommend that you should be confirmed in the
command of the 'Vestal,'" added the admiral. "I
am sure that you will take care she does as good service
as she performed under Captain Gale." Bonham, who


had received his commission a few months before,
became first lieutenant, and a young protege' of the
admiral's received an acting order as second; so that
the united ages of the three principal officers of the
ship amounted to little more than fifty-five years. Old
heads were worn then on young shoulders. Many
prizes had been taken, and the time approached for
their return to Port Royal. The corvette lay becalmed.
A French store-ship was expected, which had been
separated from her convoy. The "Vestal" lay dis-
guised, as was usual in those days, looking very unlike
the smart sloop she was. A blue line was seen in the
horizon, the sign of an approaching breeze, and in the
midst of it a sail. The breeze brought up the stranger,
a fine brig, to within about a mile, when it died away.
She was an armed vessel, and showed by her colours
that she was French. Before long, two boats were
seen to put off from her. Three boats were instantly
lowered from the opposite side of the "Vestal," and
manned. The Frenchmen pulled rapidly on, expecting
to make an easy prize of the "Vestal." Their look of
consternation was very great when they first perceived
the painted canvas which concealed the corvette's guns.
Pearce had carefully watched for the first sign of
their wavering, and now ordered the three boats to
make chase. The Frenchmen, taken by surprise, made
but a slight show of resistance, and in ten minutes
the whole party found themselves prisoners on the deck
of the corvette. The "Vestal" was now towed up
towards the brig, which opened her fire at the boats,
but this did not deter them from placing the corvette
on her quarter, when a few rapidly delivered and
almost raking broadsides compelled, her to haul down

A ih
.r- .- -- '-.-' ---

il __ _ "- -- --- ""

I --'



her colours, having had the chief officers left on
board and ten of her crew killed or wounded. The
privateer, which mounted fourteen guns, was on her
way to France, having a large amount of specie and valu-
able goods on board, the result of a successful cruise.
It was with no little pride that -Captain Ripley
returned to Port Royal from his first cruise, with the
fine brig in company, the British ensign flying over
that of France. The admiral congratulated him on his
success, and at the same time put his commission and
appointment into his hand.
You must be ready for sea again very soon
though," said the admiral; "I have dispatches to send
to Halifax, and unless another cruiser comes in, I must
send you."
Pearce, rather to the admiral's surprise, replied
with 'animation, that he should be ready to sail that
evening if required, provided he could get water, fuel,
and fresh provisions on board. The admiral gave him
permission to make everybody exert themselves.
By noon the next day the young commander had
got his ship ready for sea, and receiving his dispatches
with a joyous heart, he shaped a course for Halifax. A
bright look-out was kept, but on this occasion it was to
avoid strange sails. He was only to fight for the
purpose of escaping capture. Halifax was reached, and
Pearce having delivered his dispatches, hurried up to
Colonel Verner's house.
Miss Verner was at home. She started, and the
colour rose to her cheeks when Captain Ripley was
announced. She put out her hand, and did not with-
draw it, for Pearce forgot to let it go.
"Are you really a captain already ?" she asked.


"Yes; that is, a commander. I am captain of the
'Vestal, he answered, and he told her how Captain
Gale had been compelled to go home, and that he had
been appointed in his stead. He mentioned also the
number of prizes he had taken-a matter which
interested Colonel Verner more than it did her.
"That young Ripley is a very fine fellow," observed
the colonel to a brother officer." Why, in one cruise
hl must have made not far short of ten thousand
pounds as his own share of prize-money. A capital
haul for the admiral. Those naval men have better
chances than we have of filling their purses."
If Pearce had received attentions when only a young
lieutenant, he was doubly courted now that he was
a commander, with an established name for gallantry
and energy. Alice Verner no longer hesitated acknow-
ledging to herself that she had given him her entire
heart. She felt honoured by his preference, and proud
of it among so many others who seemed anxious to
obtain it. Halifax was always a lively place. There
were a great number of resident families with young
people, and dances were therefore much in vogue. Con-
sequently naval officers were always welcome, lieu-
tenants and passed midshipmen were acceptable, but
young commanders were treated with especial favour.
A more experienced man than Pearce might have had
his head turned with the attentions he received. While,
however, he was grateful for them, he enjoyed to the
full the society in which he found himself, and became
neither conceited nor vain. He had also the oppor-
tunity of comparing Alice Verner with other girls, and
he became more than ever convinced of her superiority
to them all. His stay at Halifax was likely to be short.


He naturally wished to spend as much of his time as
possible in her society. She invariably received him so
frankly and cordially that all restraint was thrown
aside. He felt almost sure that she loved him; so he
took her hand and told her how much he loved her, and
that he believed he had made enough prize money
already to enable her to live as she had been accustomed
to; that he hoped to make more, and that he had good
reason to believe he should before long be a post captain,
when he should be her father's equal in rank. Alice
was not very much surprised nor agitated, because she
was before sure that he loved her. Still it was very
pleasant to hear him say so. Pearce also felt supremely
happy, and did not for a moment contemplate the
clouds and storms which might be ahead. Alice herself
might possibly have seen difficulties which he did not.
She loved her father, but she knew that he was a proud
man and weak on certain points, and that few men
thought more of family and connections. It had always
surprised her that he had not inquired more particularly
about Pearce's parentage, but she concluded that he
was acquainted with the circumstances of the case, and
was satisfied. It was, at all events, her duty to tell her
father that Captain Ripley had declared himself. Pearce
was to dine with them that day. In the meantime he
had to go on board. He returned some time before the
dinner hour. Colonel Verner had not come in, so that
Alice had not had an opportunity of speaking to her
father. Pearce told her that a frigate had arrived that
morning direct from England. Everybody was eager
to hear the news she brought. Probably that kept the
colonel from home. While seated together, and in-
terested more in themselves than in the world at large,


the door was suddenly opened, and Lieutenant Harry
Verner was announced.
"Why, Cousin Harry, where have you dropped
from ?" said Alice, rising to welcome him, I did not
even know that you were a lieutenant. You have grown
up out of a little midshipman since I saw you last."
"I've dropped from His Britannic Majesty's Fri-
gate Hecate," of which I have the honour of being
third lieutenant," announced the young man. "And
as for changes, though you are lovely as ever, I shall
not know soon whether I am standing on my head or
my feet;" he looked fixedly at Pearce as he spoke.
"I beg your pardon, Captain Ripley," said Alice,
recovering herself from the slight confusion into which
she had been thrown; I should have introduced my
cousin to you."
"Harry Verner and I are old shipmates I suspect,
unless there are two of the name very much like each
other," said Pearce, rising and putting out his hand.
Yes, as midshipmen we were together, I believe,"
answered Harry, superciliously ; but really it is difficult
to remember all one's old shipmates."
Pearce under some circumstances would have been
inclined to laugh at Harry Verner's impudence, but it
was very evident that the lieutenant wished to pick a
quarrel with him, which was by all means to be avoided.
Alice had thought her cousin a tiresome boy; he now
appeared to have grown more disagreeable than before.
Colonel Verner came in and welcomed his nephew, who
was the only son of his elder brother; other guests
arrived, and the conversation became general. Harry
at once assumed to be the person of most importance in
the house, and though he was lauglting and talking


with every one, Alice discovered that he was constantly
watching her and Captain Ripley whenever they spoke.
Captain Ripley had to return on board. He never slept
out of his ship if he could avoid it.
I suppose, colonel, that you can give me a shake
down," said Harry; "I have got leave to remain on
Her cousin's remaining prevented Alice from speak-
ing to her father that night. Harry showed no intention
of going to bed till Pearce had taken his leave, and
Alice had retired. He then, jumping up from the sofa
on which he had thrown himself, exclaimed, My dear
uncle, where did you pick up that man ?"
"Whom do you mean, Harry ?" asked the colonel,
rather astonished at his nephew's somewhat impertinent
Why, Captain Ripley, who has just left this,"
answered the lieutenant. He seems as much at home
with Alice as if he were engaged to her. Indeed, I am
half expecting you to tell me that he is."
Really, Harry, you are speaking too fast," said the
colonel; Captain Ripley is one of the finest officers in
the navy, and having rendered the greatest possible
service to my daughter and me, I feel bound to treat
him with every consideration and kindness."
"Which he repays by aspiring to my cousin's
hand," answered Harry. Were he a man of family I
should say nothing, of course; but he is, sir, a mrre
adventurer. His father is a common boatswain-a
warrant officer-not a gentleman even by courtesy, and
his mother, for what I know to the contrary, might have
been a bum-boat woman, and his relations, if he has
any, are probably all of the lowest order."



The colonel walked up and down the room very
much annoyed. "Though what you say may be true,
Harry, that cannot detract from Captain Ripley's fine
qualities nor relieve me of the obligations I owe him,"
he observed after a time. Of course, were he to dream
of marrying Alice, that would alter the case, and I
should be compelled to put a stop to our present
friendly intercourse; but I do not believe that such an
idea enters his head. He is like you sailors generally,
here to-day and gone to-morrow. Probably when he
leaves this we may not see him again for years to
"Not so sure of that," said Harry; "Ripley was
always very determined when he made up his mind to
do a thing, and you will pardon me, uncle, but the way
in which he was speaking to her when I came into the
room was anything but that of an ordinary acquain-
I'll see about it, I'll see about it," exclaimed the
colonel, now more than ever annoyed. "It is impossible
that a man of such low extraction should aspire to the
hand of my daughter. The idea is too absurd !"
Harry Verner retired to rest that night under the
comfortable belief that he had revenged himself on the
man whom he had always disliked, and now envied, for
his rapid promotion and success.


THE arrival of the "Hecate relieved the "Vestal," which
was ordered to proceed at once to sea. Poor Alice received
Captain Ripley with marks of sorrow in her counte-


nance which alarmed him. C" My father will not hear
of it," she exclaimed, giving way to a burst of grief;
"but I told him, and I promise you, that I will marry
no one else."
"I know, I feel, and I am sure you will not,
dearest," said Pearce, tenderly gazing at her. "And
be of good courage, I trust yet to do deeds and to gain
a name to which those who now scorn me for my.
humble birth may be proud to ally themselves."
Pearce had never before uttered anything like. a
boast, but his swelling heart assured him of what he
could do, and his indignation at the contempt in which
his father was held made him speak in a vaunting tone
so different to. his nature. The moment of parting
arrived; Alice, unasked, renewed her promise, and
Pearce hurried' on board unwilling to encounter any
of his ordinary acquaintances in the town. It was
well for Harry Verner that he did not fall in with him.
Before night the corvette was far away from Halifax.
Pearce was not exactly unhappy, but he was in an ex-
cellent mood for undertaking any daring act which
might present itself. Once more he returned to
Jamaica, picking up a few prizes on the way. Always
welcome, Captain Ripley," said the admiral, cordially
greeting Pearce when he appeared at the Penn to report
himself. "You've done so well in the sloop that we
must get you into a smart frigate; you'll not have to
wait long for a vacancy, I dare say." This commenda-
tion was sufficient to restore Pearce's spirits. He hoped
to do something before the corvette had to return
home. There are two classes of people who hope to 'do
something--one waits for the opportunity to oecur, the
[ other goes in search of it and seldom fails in the search.


Pearce Ripley belonged to the latter class. Several
more prizes were taken, and a considerable amount of
damage done to the commerce of the enemy; but
still the "Vestal" had not fallen in with an enemy
the conquest of whom would bring glory as well as
profit. Week after week passed away. It had been
blowing hard. The wind dropped at sunset; the night
was very dark and thick, an object could scarcely have
been discerned beyond the bowsprit end. The
island of Deserade, belonging to France, bore south-
east by south, six or seven leagues, when, as day broke
and the light increased, a ship was perceived close on
the weather-beam, which in a short time was made out
to be an enemy's frigate. The breeze had by this time
sprung up agtin and was blowing fresh.
We may fight her or try to escape," said the cap-
t nin to Bonham, eyeing the frigate as if he would rather
try fighting first.
"I should say that the odds being so greatly against
us we ought to try to escape," answered the first lieu-
tenant; "but I speak my own sentiments, and I am
sure that of all on board, if fight we must, we will all
be ready to stand by you to the last. Victory does not
always side with the biggest."
Sail was accordingly made to the north-west, but no
sooner had she shaped a course than the frigate under a
cloud of canvas came tearing after her at a rate which
proved that the Vestal" had not a chance of escaping.
The crew showed by unmistakable signs that they ex-
pected to be captured, by going below and putting on
their best clothes. Pearce called them aft, "Lads, we
have served together for three years, and done many a
deed to be proud of. Do not let the Freochmen boast


that they took us without our having done our best to
prevent them. I purpose to fight that frigate if you
will stand by me, and that I am sure you will."
Aye, aye, that we will, and would if she were twice
as big, and sink at our guns before we strike," shouted
Dick Rogers, and their loud cheers expressed the senti.
ments of the rest. The corvette at once prepared for
action, and as soon as all was ready she shortened sail
to allow the frigate to come up, greatly to the French-
men's surprise probably. The latter began firing as
soon as her guns could reach the corvette. Let not a
shot be returned till I give the order, lads," cried
Ripley; "we must throw none away." He waited till
his carronades would tell with effect. Now give it
them, lads," he shouted.
The heavy shot crashed against the side of the frigate
in a way which astonished the Frenchmen. With won-
derful rapidity the guns were run in, loaded, and again
sent forth their death-dealing shower of iron, this time
tearing through the frigate's upper bulwarks, sweeping
across her quarter-deck and wounding her masts.
"Hurrah! we have knocked away her wheel," cried Bon-
ham, who had sprung into the mizen rigging to ascertain
the effect of the last broadside; she's ours, if we are
smart with our guns."
The Frenchmen had just fired a broadside which had
killed three of the Vestal's" crew, knocked one of her
boats to pieces, and done other damage, but had not
materially injured her running rigging. Firing another
broadside in return, Pearce saw that by wearing sharp
round he could pass under the stern of the frigate, and
at the same time bring a fresh broadside to bear on her.
The manoeuvre was rapidly executed, the effect was


very great on board the enemy. The crew were seen to
be hurrying to and fro as if in dread of some event
about to occur. It was next seen that all sail was being
made on the frigate. The men had deserted their guns.
The British seamen plied the enemy with their car-
ronades with still greater energy. The great masses of
iron were hauled in and out as if they had been made
of wood. Their only fear was that their antagonist
would escape them. More sail was made on the corvette
to keep up with him. To prevent the corvette from
following, the Frenchmen again returned to their guns,
and the frigate suddenly hauling up let fly her broadside.
Pearce saw the manoeuvre a1out to be executed, and
was just in time to haul up also to save the "Vestal"
from being raked. The frigate's shot, accompanied by
a shower of musketry, came tearing on board. Hitherto
one officer and four men had been killed on board the
"Vestal," and six wounded, including the master
slightly-a heavy loss but of a sloop's complement, but
Pearce saw victory within his grasp, and resolved to
persevere. The last broadside from the frigate told
with fearful effect on the corvette. Her spars and
rigging were much cut about; three more men were
struck, and the brave captain was seen to stagger back.
Had not Rogers sprang forward and caught him in his
arms he would have fallen to the deck. He was speech-
less, but he motioned to Bonham, who ran up to con-
tinue the fight. When an attempt was made to carry
him below,'he signified that he would remain on deck
till the battle was won. The surgeon came up and
stanched the blood flowing from his shoulder. The
nervous system had* received a violent shock, but he
could not tell whether the wound would prove mortal,


the surgeon reported. Still the battle raged. The
French were again seen to quit their guns. The cor
vette followed up her success. It was observed that
buckets were being hauled up through the ports, the
frigate must be on fire; her foremast fell, the corvette
ranged up alongside, the French ensign was still flying.
Bonham was ordering another broadside to be poured
in, when down came the enemy's flag, and at that
moment, Pearce recovering, joined in the cheer which
burst from the lips of the British crew.
Go and help the poor fellows," were the first words
the young captain spoke. The corvette's boats which
could swim were lowered and armed with buckets, the
English seamen hurried up the sides of their late oppo-
nent. Her deck presented everywhere signs of their
prowess, covered with the bodies of the slain, and
the wreck of the foremast and rigging; the wheel
had been shot away and three men killed at it. As
a security Bonham, who had gone on board and re-
ceived the commanding officer's sword, the captain
having been killed, sent him and three others on board
the corvette, while he and his men set to work to extin
guish the flames. The magazine was happily drowned,
which was of itself a sufficient reason for the frigate to
have struck, though the state of her masts and spars,
and the number of her killed and wounded showed the
skill and courage of her comparatively tiny opponent.
The fire was at length got under, very much by the
efforts of thl Englishmen, who had to hint to the French
that if they did not exert themselves they would:be left
to perish, as it would be impossible to get them.all on
board the corvette before the frigate would become
antenable. The corvette and her prize having been put


somewhat to rights, made sail for Jamafca. They had
a long passage up, and the greatest vigilance was ne-
cessary to keep the prisoners in order. A plot was
discovered for retaking the frigate, and Bonham had to
threaten the French officers with severe punishment
should anything of the sort be again attempted.
Pearce Ripley lay in his cabin unable to move. The
hearts of the officers and men were deeply grieved, for
the surgeon would not pronounce a favourable opinion.
He was young, and had a good constitution. He might
recover. The corvette succeeded in carrying her prize
to Jamaica. The admiral himself came on board to see
Ripley and to congratulate him on his achievement.
"Your promotion is certain, Captain Ripley," he said
kindly; and I should think his Majesty, when he hears
of your gallantry, won't forget to give a touch on your
shoulder with the flat of his sword, eh. You will find
a handle to your name convenient, and you deserve it,
that you do, my lad."
The admiral's kindness contributed much to restore
Pearce to health. While he remained on shore Bonham
received an acting order to take command of the
" Vestal." Before Pearce had totally recovered he re-
ceived his post rank with a complimentary letter on his
gallantry. Bonham, at the same time, found that he
was made a. commander; the "Vestal," having been
upwards of four years in commission, was ordered home,
Captain Ripley taking a passage in her. She escaped
all the enemy's cruisers, and arrived safely in Ports-
mouth harbour. She was, however, considered fit to go
to sea again after an ordinary repair, and was recom-
missioned by Captain Bonham. Pearce was sent for
by the First Lord of the Admiralty to attend the King's


levee. He was presented to his Majesty, that good cd
king who truly loved a sailor, and knew how to appr.e-
ciate honour and valour. On kneeling to kiss his sove-
reign's hand he felt a touch on his shoulder, and with
astonishment, gratitude, and delight, heard the King say,
"Rise, Sir Pearce Ripley; you are well deserving of
Pearce felt very much inclined to shake the King
cordially by the hand, and to assure his Majesty that no
reward could be more satisfactory. He did not, how-
ever, nor did he say why he was so pleased with the
rank bestowed on him, but made the usual bow, and
moved off to allow others to present themselves. There
was one, however, waiting for him outside the palace,
as fine and officer-like looking man as any of those
present in admirals' or post captains' uniforms-his
father, and the knowledge of the intense delight his
promotion gave him, greatly added to the satisfaction
Pearce felt on the occasion. Sir Pearce Ripley was
gazetted the next day to the command of a fine frigate,
the name of which he soon made well known by the
gallant exploits he performed in her.


Two years had passed by. Colonel Verner, now a
general, with his daughter, had returned to England,
and they were spending some weeks during the summer
at the house of a friend, Admiral Sir J. B- in the
Isle of Wight, in the neighbourhood of the then pretty
little village of Ryde. Alice looked thinner and paler



than formerly, but her beauty was in no way impaired,
and the sweet smile which lit up her countenance-one
of its chief charms when she spoke, was still there.
She had accompanied her father and the admiral on a
walk into Ryde. When some little distance from the
village, they met a fine dignified-looking man, his
silvery hair showing that his age was greater than
would have been supposed from his florid, clear com-
plexion. An undress naval uniform set off his fine
figure to advantage. The admiral looked at him for a
moment, and then shaking him cordially by the hand,
inquired what brought him to Ryde.
"I have taken a cottage in the neighbourhood for
my son's sake when he comes home, for as I have
quitted the service I shall always be ready to receive
"him," was the answer.
"Oh, then we are near neighbours. Come over and
dine with me to-day. I like to talk over by-gone days
with an old shipmate," said the admiral.
The stranger accepted the invitation, and after a
little more conversation, he walked on.
"' A distinguished man," observed General Verner,
when the admiral rejoined him.
A right noble and brave man," said the admiral,
but made no further remark.
The stranger was in the drawing-room when Miss
Verner entered, and was soon engaged in an animated
conversation with her. She thought him somewhat
old-fashioned in his phraseology, perhaps, and mode of
pronunciation, but she had so frequently heard officers
of high rank speak in the same way, that she was not
surprised, and as he had seen a great deal of the world,
and described well what he had seen, she was much


interested. As she listened, she felt her interest
increase, and became insensibly drawn towards the old
gentleman. As there were many married ladies present,
she was led out among the first, and so she did not see
when he left the room, which might have given her an
idea as to his rank, but she found herself sitting next to
him at dinner. Her father was opposite, and appeared
to be much interested in his conversation. According
to the good old custom, the admiral drank wine round
with all his guests. Mr, Ripley, will you take wine?"
he said, addressing her companion in his kind friendly
tone. She started, and she felt the blood rush to her
cheeks. She had not recovered from her confusion
before the ceremony of wine-taking was over, and the
old gentleman again addressed her. Could he be the
father of Pearce ? She had always understood that his
father was a boatswain, and this old gentleman could
not be that, or he would scarcely have been dining at
the admiral's table. Her father would make the inquiry
probably of the admiral; if not, she must try to muster
courage to do so. In the mean time she would
ask her companion if he knew Sir Pearce Ripley.
In a low and somewhat trembling voice she put the
Indeed I do, young lady, and am proud to own
him as my son," answered the old seaman, fixing his
clear grey eyes on her, as if he would read her heart.
"I have a hope that you know him too, and that no
two people love him better in the world," he added in a
Alice felt her cheeks glow, and yet she was not
annoyed. "Indeed you are right," she said, in a low
tone, which she hoped no one else would hear, for


several people were speaking loudly, and there was a
clatter of knives and forks.
"He will be in England again soon to refit, for he
has allowed his frigate very little rest since he com-
manded her," observed the old gentleman. He, I
hope too, will then get a spell at home, for since he
went to sea at ten years of age, he has never once been
ten days on shore at a time, aye, I may say, not a month
Alice whispered her hope that he would remain on
shore. After retiring to the drawing-room she looked
anxiously for the arrival of the gentlemen. Her father
and Mr. Ripley entered together. The general soon
came and sat down by her.
"A very agreeable old naval officer that is we've
been talking to," he remarked; "I did not catch his
name, but the admiral tells me that he is a master in
the service."
Alice was pleased to hear this, but much puzzled.
She managed to speak to the admiral when no one was
near. He put on a quizzical look. "Now, young lady,
if you had been inquiring about Sir Pearce Ripley, his
son, I should not have been surprised," he answered.
"The fact is, my friend Ripley became a master late in
life. He had served in the lower grades of the pro-
fession, and if the rules of the service had allowed it, he
should have been made a post captain. I cannot tell
you all the brave things he has done. When in charge
of a prize, he fought a most gallant action; he prevented
his ship's company from joining the mutineers at the
Nore. On two several occasions, he saved the ship
from being wrecked, not to mertion his conduct on the
first of June, and on numerous previous occasions. I


placed his son on the quarter-deck, predicting that he
would be an honour to the service, and so he is, and I
am proud of him."
While the admiral was speaking, Alice was con-
sidering whether she should confide her case to him,
and beg him to intercede with her father, or rather to
speak to him of Mr. Ripley in a way which might over-
come his prejudices. She almost gasped for breath in
her agitation, but her resolution was taken, and with-
out loss of time she hurriedly told him of her engage-
ment to Sir Pearce Ripley.
I am heartily glad to hear of it, my dear young
lady," exclaimed the admiral warmly; "he is worthy of
you and you are of him, and that is saying a great deal
for you. Hoity toity! I wonder my friend General
Verner has not more sense; the idea of dismissing one
of the finest officers in the service because he hasn't a
rent-roll and cannot show a pedigree as many do a yard
long, and without a word of truth from beginning to end.
If a man is noble in himself what does it matter who his
father was ? The best pedigree, in my opinion, is that
which a man's grandson will have to show. Better to
have one noble fellow like old Ripley there for a father,
than a line of twenty indifferent progenitors, such as
nine-tenths of those who set such store by their ancestry
can boast of."
Alice very naturally agreed with the admiral, who
was himself a man of much older family than her father.
He attacked the general the next morning. He hated
circumlocution and went directly to the point. "You
object to your daughter marrying Sir Pearce Ripley
because his father was a boatswain. I tell you I was
fr many years of inferior rank to a boatswain. I


entered the navy as captain's servant. What do you
say to that? It does not signify what a man has been,
it is what he is should be considered. Now, my dear
general, just clap all such nonsense under hatches, and
the next time young Ripley asks your daughter to
marry him, let her, and be thankful that you have
secured so fine a son-in-law and so excellent a husband
for the girl."
General Verner had not a word of reply to his
friend's remonstrance. The admiral, when he met Alice,
exclaimed, I've been pouring my broadsides into your
father till I left him without a stick standing and every
gun dismounted; if you give him a shot depend on't
he'll strike his flag."


THE admiral's house commanded an extensive view of
the Solent, looking across to Portsmouth, down the
channel towards Cowes and up over Spithead. One
bright morning after breakfast, the admiral, as usual,
with his eye at the telescope, was watching the ever-
varying scene on the waters before him, when he ex-
claimed, "Two frigates standing in, and one is French,
a prize to the other. To my eye the Frenchman seems
the biggest of the two; I must send over and learn all
about it. He rang the bell,' his old coxswain appeared.
" Judson, take the wherry and board that frigate, and
give my compliments and learn the particulars of the
action, and if her captain can spare time I shall be very
glad to see him. Here, give this note if--- The


admiral spoke a few words in an under tone heard b\r o
one else.
Judson hurried off. There was a. fair breeze to
Spithead4 and back-a soldier's wind. Alice watched
the progress of the boat with great interest. She
reached the English frigate, remained a short time, and
was speedily on her way back. Before she had long
left the frigate she was followed by another boat which
overtook her as she reached the shore.
A short time afterwards, Judson appeared, and put a
card into his master's hand, Say that I shall, be de-.
lighted to see him when he can come up."
"What about the action, Judson ?" asked the
"Just the finest, sir, that has been fought during
the war," answered Judson. He'll be up here pre-
sently, and tell you more about it than I can."
Scarcely ten minutes had passed by, when Judson
announced "Captain Sir Pearce Ripley !" The
admiral received the young captain with every mark of
regard. And now let me introduce you to my guests,
General and Miss Verner; but, by the by, you know
them, I think."
Alice, lost to all sense of decorum, sprang forward
to receive him. The general put out his hand in a
cordial manner, and with many compliments congratu-
lated him on his success. The admiral having listened
to an account of the action, dragged off the general to
see some improvements on the farm; the ladies of the
family left the room, and Pearce Ripley heard from
Alice's own lips that her father fully sanctioned their
union. He claimed a sailor's privilege, and before a
month had passed their marriage took place.


Bonham obtained his post rank, and though he had
not the talent of his friend, he ever proved himself an
active efficient officer. Harry Verner quitted the service,
finding that, notwithstanding his connections, his
merits were not appreciated, and that he was not likely
to obtain his promotion. He soon afterwards broke his
neck out hunting. Sir Pearce Ripley commanded several
line of battle ships, and took an active part in three of
England's greatest naval victories. He in due course
became an admiral, and was created a baronet, and his
sons entering the navy rose to the highest rank in
their noble profession.




it 'IN


I I~



HE always was an uncomfortable child to manage,
U and I am sure. even you can't deny it, Mistress Mar-
g'ate; that's my opinion-a most uncomfortable child;
indeed, I may go back to the first, the very first of all, arid
say, she was a most unaccountable baby. Oh, the nights
and nights of sleep I've lost through her !-but what a
pretty darling she was! Ah, Mistress Marg'ate, you
may smile !-if all the babies in Europe and America
were crying their precious eyes out around you, yoix
would be cool Yes, ma'am, you'd be as cool as you

"were just now, standing under the blaze of that July
gsun; that's my opinion, ma 'am-nothing warms yoi,
Mistress Marg'ate; and Nurse Griffin, having delivered
&hat opinion" to a friend she loved to snap at, drew


the white gauze handkerchief a little to the right of
the new baby she supported with skill and dexterity in
the bend of her arm.
"Nurse Griffin" was a careful, kind-hearted nurse,
patronized by a certain number of families, who had
long known one another-and each seeming to have an
especial claim to her services. She was not, as my
readers will have perceived, well educated; but practice
and keen habits of observation had taught her much;
and the doctors-or, as she called them, her doctors,"--
who knew her watchfulness and intelligence, were always
glad to see her in the sick-room, knowing that whatever
they desired to be done would surely be attended to.
On this particular morning, she was walking---
With stately step and slow,"

up and down the shady side of Onslow Square, display.
ing, to the best advantage, the draperies of a little baby
of some six weeks old.
Mistress Marg'ate was housekeeper to the aunt of
the young lady whom Nurse Griffin had, with a very
fair show of reason, described as "an uncomfortable
child to manage;"and indeed, dearly as Mistress Marg'ate
loved Miss Fanny Seaton, she well knew that the said
Fanny had been a most "unaccountable baby," and
was an uncomfortablee child."
Mistress Marg'ate was a quiet, calm, undemonstrative
woman-that is to say, she never talked much, but
she was thoughtful and considerate-one of those trea-
sures of truth and fidelity who are both the comforts
and the safeguards of our homes. Nurse Griffin, of
course, led a rambling sort cf life-spending a month
here, and a month there. She was a never-ceasing