The Baldwin Library
RAIL AND WATER SERIES.
BOOKS FOR BOYS.
BY KIRK MUNROE.
Under Orders: THE STORY OF A YOUNG REPORTER.
Prince Dusty: A STORY OF THE OIL REGIONS.
Cab and Caboose: A STORY OF RAILROAD LIFE.
The Coral Ship: A STORY OF THE FLORIDA REEFS.
Each I2mo. Illustrated $1.25
THE WRECKED GALLEON.
. .N .-
> ^ "' '.*
RAIL AND WATER SERIES
THE CORAL SHIP
A STORY OF THE FLORIDA REEF
AUTHOR OF "UNDER ORDERS," "PRINCE DUSTY," "CAB AND CABOOSE,"
"THE FLAMINGO FEATHER," ETC.
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
NEW YORK LONDON
27 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET 24 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND
i 893 r
Entered at Stationers' Hall, London,
BY G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Electrotyped, Printed, and Bound by
tbe 1 nicherbocher iress, elew oork
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
I.-ON BOARD THE "AZTEC," GALLEON I
II.-A NIGHT OF TERROR 9
III.-BLACK CAESAR. 16
IV.-GALE ELLICOT'S DISCOVERY 24
V.-DEBT AND ITS TERRORS 34
VI.-THE YOUNG MATE'S TEMPTATION 41
VII.-ALECK PENROSE, CABIN BOY 51
VIII.-CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS 59
IX.--ABANDONED AT SEA .69
X.-ESCAPING FROM THE WRECK 77
XI.-ON BLACK CAESAR'S ISLAND 86
XII.-MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF ALECK'S
XIII.-SAFETY UNDERNEATH THE SEA 104
XIV.-ALECK'S MARVELLOUS DISCOVERY 112
XV.-GOLDEN OYSTERS 122
XVI.-THE TURNING OF THE TIDE 131
XVII.-SIXTY PEBBLES MARK ONE HOUR
XVIII.-ALECK'S FRIENDSHIP IS TESTED
XIX-A BRAVE COWARD .
XX.-FEATHERED HUNTERS FETCH A
XXI.-GALE LOSES ALECK AND ALECK
XXII.-A PROOF OF CESAR'S DEATH
XXIII.-CAPTURED BY INDIANS
XXIV.-A NIGHT AT SEA ON AN
XXV.-NEGRO, CANOE, SHARK, AND TURTLE 185
XXVI.--CESAR AS A MERMAID 192
XXVII.-ON BOARD THE SCHOONER SHARK" 199
XXVIII.-THE OWNER OF THE EGRET" 206
XXIX.--CESAR AS A SOLDIER 213
XXX.-FIRST FIRE AND THEN CHALLENGE 220
XXXI.-A GOLDEN VASE FROM THE CORAL SHIP 228
XXXII.-GALE OUTWITS THE INDIANS 235
XXXIII.-JoY TREADS ON THE HEELS OF DESPAIR. 245
XXXIV.-How BLACK CAESAR'S PLEDGE WAS RE-
A WRECKED GALLEON F. rontispiece
GALE READING THE MANUSCRIPT 30
" NOTHING DISHONEST, ONLY A LITTLE RISKY 50
THE RESCUE OF CAESAR .68
STRANDED ON THE REEF 76
"A BLACK FIGURE FLUNG ITSELF ON ITS KNEES BEFORE
"THEN ALL HANDS SET TO WORK 88
"THERE CAME A GREAT RUSH OF WATER AND THE LAD
WAS DRENCHED TO THE SKIN 00
" HE STOPPED TO EXAMINE THEIR FISH-TRAP" 106
GALE AND ALECK DISCOVER THE CORAL SHIP 112
"GALE GALE OH, HE IS DEAD HE IS DEAD 168
"HE LEAPED FROM THE CANOE AND LANDED SQUARELY
ON THE TURTLE'S BACK .. 19o
"WHO COMES DAR?" 226
Now IT IS ONLY A FEW FEET AWAY 2AA
THE C 9PAL-IIP _P
FI 4e L ST9RY FRTh
elm -- F-- DA PIF
ON BOAlRD TlnE AZTEC, (fALLEON.
IN the harbor of Vera Cruz lay a goodly fleet of
tall ships. From every masthead :I. and
streamers were 1il n.-i ; in the light morning
breeze, while above each towering poop drooped a
broad 1lbanne that, with languid movements, dis-
closed the royal arms of Spain. Looseled sails
hung from) the heavy yards, and numterless smal
boats passe swiftlyv to and fro, over the sparkling
waters, between the ships atl the shore, laden with
passengers and their personal effects, with small
stores, and with the innumerable things that must
THE CORAL SHIP.
be taken aboard every ship at the last moment be-
fore sailing. It was the annual treasure fleet bound
for Spain, freighted with the products of a year's
labor in the Mexican mines, with golden vessels and
silver plate from hundreds of Aztec temples, with
pearls from the west coast, with chests of gorgeous
feather robes stripped from the bodies of Indian
chiefs, and even with Indians themselves, men,
women, and children torn from their happy homes
to be carried across the wide ocean for the amuse-
ment of an idle populace in the cities of their con-
querors. Besides this rich freight, the spoil of one
of the richest countries that the New World had
yielded to the crown of Spain, the treasure fleet
bore many passengers. There were soldiers who
had acquired fortunes in the Aztec land that they
hoped to enjoy in their own country, priests charged
with the duty of conveying the spoils of heathen
temples to Spanish churches, prisoners of war
claimed as heretics by the Inquisition, and going to
Spain for their trial-which, unless they forswore
their faith, woull end at the rack or stake.
In the great cabin of the Santa Magdalena, the
Admiral's ship, sat the portly Bishop of Vera Cruz,
ON BOARD THE "AZTEC," GALLEON.
recalled to Spain on business connected with the
Church. As he sat in a stuffed easy-chair, fanned
by an Indian slave lad, he grumbled at the hard
fate that d1__ 1 him from the ease and (cmforts of
his New World surroundings, and compelled hinm to
undertake so long and tedious a voyage. In this
mood lie found fault with everybody and r, 1-, ,ihm_
about him. The young Indian who waited upon him
trembled at his harsh words, and even the Admiral
himself wished that courtesy did not compel him to
remain an unwilling listener to the Bishop's co(m-
"Thirteen galleons be they, Don Hernando?"
growled the Bishop. "Thirteen, no more and no
less? I wonder that you could not have provided
other than this unlucky number. The saints have
indeed just cause for displeasure against, one who so
olpenly detfes them, and I doubt, if even my presence
and prayers will avail to avert mishap.
"Miore ships are not to be :had, yolur Holiness,"
answered the Admiral: nor would one less hold
the treasure that thle King demands. You may see
for yourself that all are laden beyond the limit; and
to leave one behind would endanger the safety of all."
THE CORAL SHIP.
Not so greatly as thy safety and-which is of
greater importance-mine own, are endangered by
the unlucky number, Don Hernando," replied the
Bishop, testily ; "and, as I live, you have placed this
ship in the greatest peril of all by crowding her
cabin with thirteen passengers."
"There were but twelve, your Holiness, until this
very moi rin:_, when you insisted upon adding Fray
Agrippa to the number of those who wait upon
"What then!" exclaimed thle Bishop, his dark
face ,Ii'b';, with anger. "Would yol have me
travel with a less number of attendants than be-
comes imy station Have you no respect for the
Church and her representatives ? Fray Agrippa is
a necessity to me and must remain; but another
may be spared, and I command that you transfer
the dog of an Englishman froI'( this ship to some
The Cnglslishma tlhus inlsultingly referred to \as
Sir Richard Allan]soli, a brave semllanl, whose shil)
had been captured ii may months before, after a gal-
lant fight with an entire Spanish fleet. The sur-
vivors of his crew had been scattered to the galleys,
ON BOARD THE "AZTEC," GALLEOV.
the mines, or other places where they might suffer
the fullest effects of Spanish cruelty, while lie had
been thrown into a dungeon of the castle at Vera
Cruz to Ie reserved for ransom. Word was at last
received that the sum demanded had been raised by
his friends, and would be paid upon the safe delivery
of the prisoner at Seville. So lie hiad this day been
released from his sunless prison, and now, weak and
pale from long confinement, lie occupied a berth on
the Santa Mlag(dalena. His mind was full of con-
flicting emotions, as lie lay concealed by a curtain
from the othev occupants of the cabin ; but listening
to and understanding every word of their conversa-
tion. I He hardly dared believe that he was really
on his way' towards liberty and home. He was
fearful lest something might still interfere to dash
his hopes, and above all lie was disgusted to find
that lie was to make the long voyage in company
with the Spanish Bishop who, during his imprison-
mllent, had ee his chiel W' tiinentor and persecutor.
Thus when lhe heard the Admiral, who, brave
man though he was, dared not dispute the Bishop's
commands, order his transfer to the Astec, a galleon
that lay at anchor near the SantaCt.e Mi 7i.r .... he
THE CORAL SHIP.
gladly made ready to leave the hated presence, and
felt that fortune was about to favor him after all.
The transfer of the prisoner from the Admiral's
ship to the Aztec wherer, by the way, he was most
ungraciously received by her captain, who cordially
detested all Englishmen) had scarcely been made,
when the tide served and a gun from the castle of
San Juan de Ulloa announced the hour of departure.
Anchors were weighed, sails sheeted home, and
amid the booming of guns, the fanfare of trumpets,
and the chanting of priests, the treasure il .- stood
out to sea, its homeward voyage begun.
Favored by gentle breezes, the heavily laden gal-
leons sailed slowly but safely across the Gulf of
M.-::Ico to the island of Cuba; where, in the harbor
of Havana, they lay for several days. [Here the
Admiral received despatches, and took on board
several more distinguished passengers; while on the
already over-crowded Azte were stowed, in stifling
quarters, between decks, some fifty ne'gro slaves,
whose owner had decided to remove them to Spain.
These wretched beings, chained to stout wooden
beams, were packed so closely as to find barely
room to lie down, and their scanty allowance of food
ON BOARD THE "AZT7C," GALLEON.
was thrown to them once a day as though they had
been so many wild animals. And yet there were
women and young children among them. Their
sufferings so moved the pity of Sir Richard, hard-
ened as he had become to suffering and torture of
every description, that he appealed to the captain of
the Aztec to relieve it in a measure by allowing
certain of them to come on deck each day, and to
furnish them with a larger supply of drinking water.
Of this there was an abundance on board ; but with
a degree of cruelty that found its keenest pleasure
in the sufferings of others, the brutal Spaniard
caused to be doled out each day to the wretches be-
tween decks, only such drops of the precious fluid
as would save them from dying of thirst.
For answer to Sir Richard's appeal the captain
merely Ibowed, shrugged his shoulders, and turned
on his heel; while the sufferings of the slaves who
had so sadly fallen into his lhan(ls were, if possible,
increased. One day Sir Richard, looking down the
open hattch at the negroes, saw one of them, a
gigantic man, taller by a head than any of his fel-
lows, holding in his arms a child who, with closed
eyes, was moaning piteously. Catching Sir Richard's
8 TfHE CORAL SHIP.
eye the 1ian murmurll ed the single word Agua"
(water). The Englishman could not resist the
appeal, and a moment later, with a 1-,ottle of water
in his hand, he had entered the foul place and the
child was drinking with eager gulps. For this act
Sir Richard was roughly seized by two soldiers who,
by the captain's orders, dragged him to his cabin,
into which lie was thrust witli scant ceremony, and
the door ,olted behind him. Thus for his deed of
mercy he was destined to close imprisonment for all
the weeks that should elapse before a Spainisih port
could be reached. B, ut that Providence which rules
the seas and the lives of men ordered otherwise.
A NI(TI'T OF TE,11ROR.
T HE weather of that (day was intensely hot and
breathless. There had been neen (, eze in the
mor'iJ_. and that of the afternoon came only in
whirling gr'usts that dappled the surface of the water
with (ark patches, )lbt (did] little towards aiding the
progress of the fleet. At the same time the sea was
heaved by great swells that caused the deeply
laden galleons to roll so violently that they were in
danger of Josing their masts. From a brazen sky
the sun'sysrays beat down so fiercely that the pitch
on the decks melted and broke into little bubbles.
Even the Spanish sailors, accustomed as they were
to tropical weather, were 1 prost11ralted by fe the errible
heat. It parched their tongues, and it blistered
their skins whenever they left the shaded places in
vwiceh they lay most of the time, panting and mut-
terinlg c(rses against all things. With such suffer-
THE CORAL SHIP.
ings on deck, those endured by the chained prisoners
beneath it were indescribably greater, and their state
of torment was evidenced by gasping moans that
could be heard throughout the ship, from end to end.
Even Sir Richard in his sweltering cabin, longing
for the cool dampness of the dungeon in which he
had been so long confined, heard them and chided
himself for murmuring at his own condition when
other human beings were in so much worse plight.
As the day drew toward its close and the blessed
relief of darkness was promised, even the furnace-
like gusts of air that had occasionally bellied the
sails ceased to be felt. An utter silence, only broken
by the groaning of the ship, as she rolled heavily on
the ever increasing swell, and by the meanings of
her living freight, fell upon the ocean. Still the
galleons were in motion, for the strong current of
the Gulf Stream was bearing them steadily forward
on their course, and they had almost passed the long
chain of islands known as the Isles of Martyrs,"
which with their outlying network of coral reefs
bound the southern coast of Florida. This was the
most dangerous portion of the entire voyage between
Mexico and Spain, and the frame of many a golden-
A NIGHT OF TERROR.
freighted galleon already lay bleaching in the white
caves of the \i w tyrs' Isles. For some reason, prob-
ably because in a light breeze she was unusually
sluggish of movement, the Aztec was far behind the
rest of the fleet and also nearer to the dreaded reefs
than were any of the others.
Such was the state of affairs when the sun, like a
huge globe of molten copper, sank into the sea.
For a while an angry light glowed in the western
sky, an( then it was overspread as by a pall. The
few stars that came into view were blotted out one
after another, until the whole world was shrouded
in a blackness so intense that it seemed suffocating.
Matters continued in this wise until nearly mid-
night; when, without a warning, the blackness was
pierced by a fearful flash of l_ 1.lil ; i accompanied
by so terrific a burst of thunder that the Spaniards
flung themselves face downwards on the decks,
crying that the e11nd of the world had come. Great
drops of hot rain fell hissing into the sea; while the
electric fluid 1l .-, .i athwart the sky in one con-
tinuous sheet of blinding white light. So unbroken
and tremendous was the crash of its accompanying
thunder that even the roar of the approaching hurri-
THE CORAL SHIP.
cane was unheard, and the blast, sweeping down
upon the doomed galleon, was unnoted until it
struck her. Unprepared to receive it, and uncon-
trolled by her helm, she bent beneath the mighty
weight of the wind, until the water poured in over
her high bulwarks, and a piercing cry arose that she
was about to founder.
At that moment a straining shroud snapped like
a harp fi. -. there came a rending crash of wood,
and the mainmast went by the board, dragging the
others with it in its ruin. Thus relieved, the ship
righted and drove, a helpless wreck, before the
hurricane. Long ere this the treacherous in-shore
current had seized her, and had been drawing her,
with ever increasing strength, toward the cruel white
reefs. Now, urged in the same direction by the
rushing wind, the stricken ship wallowed toward
her fate. In less than an hour she struck with an
awful shock, and a huge sea curling over her side
swept half her company into tlhe seething vwater.s.
Then she lifted, swung round, and struck again, ,l1is
time with her bows pointing seaward. Here she re-
mained fixed; though it seemed as if each blow of
the furious sea must rend her strong frame in pieces.
A NIGHT OF TERROR.
The survivors of the crew made a mad rush for
the boats. Several of them were stove and useless;
but three were found to be still serviceable, and
these were finally launched under the protecting lee
of the towering poop. At the last moment the
Spanish captain bethought himself of the English
prisoner, whose life was worth saving on account of
its ransom. He sprang below, hastily drew the
bolt of Sir Richard's door, threw it open, and bade
the Englisihman follow him if he valued his life.
During the last terrible hour Sir Riclhard's prac-
tised ear had kept him well informed of what was
taking place. He had abandoned all hope of escape
from the first, and the shock of the ship's striking
found him on his knees, calmly commending his
soul to its Maker, and preparing to meet death like
a Christian gentleman and a brave sailor. Nor had
his thoughts and prayers been wholly devoted to his
own condition. lie remembered, with a mighty pity,
the bhwlack wretches, whose piercing shrieks uang in
his (ears, as, chaI.ined and helpless, they awaited a like
fate with himself.
As Sir Richard's door was flung open, a momen-
tary gleam of hope entered his breast, and he quickly
THE CORAL SHIP.
followed the captain to the deck. There the latter
hade him lay hold upon the rope that held one of the
boats and slip down into it; but the Englishman
hesitated. A flash of lightning showed him that the
remnant of the crew did not nearly fill the boats, and
that there was room for as many more.
"The slaves !" he shouted in the captain's ear.
"Are you going to leave them "
"Death and Furies Yes cried the captain.
"Of course we leave them. Would you have me
overload the boats with the black cattle ? In with
you or I will leave you with the "
SThen leave me," answered Sir Richard, calmly.
" If they are black, they are yet human, and no Eng-
lishman would save his own life at the expense of
Por Dios! Your miserable carcass shall be
saved for what it is worth, whether you will or not "
screamed the Spaniard, furiously, as he sprang upon
the Englishman with the intention of pit(chingf him
into one of the boats. Then ensued a sti.i_-1.- the
like of whichh has seldom been recorded. Two bitter
enemies fought, one to save the life of the other, and
one to prevent his own frol being saved. They
A NIGHT OF TERROR.
used no weapons, but, locked in a close embrace,
they reeled to and fro on the wave-washed deck,
each trying to force the other over the stern. Sir
Richard had by no means recovered his full strength
or the Spaniard would have speedily been worsted
in the wrestling match. As it was he was slowly
but surely forcing the Englishman to the rail. They
overhung it, and in another instant he would have
accomplished his purpose.
Suddenly, as the Englishman was about to give
way, a yell as of a wild beast sounded behind them,
and a crashing blow descended on the head of the
Spanish captain. Then his limp body was seized,
held aloft for an instant, and hurled far out into the
Those in the boats hastily cut the ropes that held
them to the wreck of the galleon, and in a moment
the three frail craft were swept out of sight, never to
be heard of more. As they disappeared, a gigantic
black figure towered above the storm-swept deck
a1nd uttered cry after cry of such unhuman wildness
that they fittingly blended with the shrieks of the
hurricane. At the feet of this figure lay the English-
man, Sir Richard Allanson, to all appearance dead.
THE gigantic negro who had so opportunely
come to Sir -Richard's rescue, was known as
"Black Casar." IHe had been chief of his tribe in
his own- country, and although many years had
elapsed since lie had been torn from it and driven
to the barracoons, his authority was still undisputed
by those of his own race who had accompanied him
into slavery. His relentless fury against his op-
pressors and his enormous strength rendered him a
terror to his Spanish masters, and they had exercised
every species of cruelty upon him in the hope of
breaking his spirit. His body was covered with
brands from hot irons, with welts from the drive's
lash, with scars from cuts, and with wounds of every
description, including those made by the teeth of
savage dogs; but Black Casar lad never yielded.
His spirit was still unsubdued, and he still walked
as erect and defiant toward all men, as when in his
native African forests. He would long since have
been killed as being too dangerous a piece of prop-
erty to own, but for one thing. In all the Spanish
islands there was not his equal as a tamer of wild
cattle. He would seize the fiercest bull by the horns
and overthrow him with a single movement of his
mighty arms. Such was the terror he inspired in the
wild creatures that after one of them had felt the
black man's power he was henceforth submissive to
his will, no matter how fierce he might be with
Black Cresar's last owner, a Spanish grandee who
had been Adelantado of Cuba, had, upon being re-
called to Spain, conceived the idea of taking him to
Madrid, and there placing him in the arena as a mata-
dor, or bull-fighter. Now Black Cmsar had one child,
a boy five years of age, whom he called Rabele, and
this child was the one object in all the world that
the man cared for. The boy's mother was dead, and
upon him their fierce athIer lavished the whole wealth
of his affections. A kindness to his bov called forth
such gratitude that he was certain to return it in
some way. On the other hand, did the child suffer
THE CORAL SHIP.
from a suspicion of ill-treatment, the father was
roused to such fury that he became a terror to all
about him. An effort had been made to leave the
child behind, when it was decided to send the father
to fight with Spanish bulls; but Black (Cesar, with
the boy in his arms, had d1-.1.-.1 any one to take him
away, and no one was found bold enough to make
the attempt. So while the Adelantado found lux-
urious quarters on board the Santa iMagdalena, his
huge slave, still holding the child, submitted to be
chained between decks on the Aztec. It was the
life of his boy that Sir Richard Allanson saved when
he defied the wrath of the Spanish captain and car-
ried Kabele the blessed water, for want of which he
From the time that the hurricane first struck the
Aztec, Black Ccesar had made furious efforts to break
his bonds. He succeeded in wrenching apart his
fetters; but could not break the chain, that, as an
extra precaution, had been fastened to an iron collar(
about his neck. At lat st when tih ship struck, her
frame was so broken that the timber about which
this chain was passed worked loose, and the giant,
tearing it from its place, found himself free. -He
rushed on deck to discover the exact condition of
affairs, and found that the ship was deserted, while
he and his companions had been left to perish misera-
bly in their chains. His rage knew no bounds.
Suddenly a flash of lightning revealed two strug-
gling figures at the extreme after-end of the poop
deck, and seizing an axe from a stand at the foot of
the broken mainmast, the negro sprang toward them.
Feeling certain that they were Spaniards and there-
fore enemies, he would have killed them both, had
not another flash disclosed the white face of the
Englishman who had that day saved the life of his
To dispose of the Spanish captain as already de-
scribed, was but the work of a moment. As he
disappeared over the sliip's side the huge negro,
towering to his full height, and with uplifted arms,
screamed defiance to the hurricane and to his human
enemies, with the barbaric blattle-cry of his people.
All at once his mood changed I: le (eased his
wild cha1111, and stooping, lie lifted Sir Richard with
infinite tenderness, and bore him to a spot sheltered
from tie force of the wind and waves. Then lie
brought the child Kabele, and placing him beside
THE CORAL SHIP.
his benefactor, bade him watch the unconscious man
while lie liberated his fellow-captives.
When the Englishman became again thoroughly
conscious of his surroundings, daylight was break-
ing, the force of the storm had sensibly diminished,
and a confused group of black faces was anxiously
watching him. As soon as he was able to sit up
and talk, the giant negro, whom he recognized as
the one who had asked him for water on the preced-
ing day, approached him. Kneeling on the deck
and placing Sir Richard's hand upon his own head
the negro said, in Spanish : White man, you saved
the life of my Kabele. For that, my life is yours,
and Black Cesar is your slave forever. These others
will obey me, and what you tell us that will we do."
"Black man, or 'Black Caesar' if such be your
name," answered Sir Richard, faintly, if you have
cause for gratitude to me it is but slight. When
human beings are thrown together in such desperate
plight as ours, there can ble no master and no slave;
but all must share alike. However, if you come to
me for advice, that will I cheerfully give to the best
of my poor ability, when I shall have considered the
bearings of our situation."
They brought Sir Richard drink and food of which
he stood greatly in need, and by which his strength
was marvellously restored. When the sun rose they
saw a low-lying coast about a league from them, and
directly in the track of the wind as it was then blow-
ing. While the sea still beat with great fury on
the reef where they were, and at times dashed high
over the wrecked galleon, the water between them
and the land was comparatively smooth. They
could discover no signs of the boats, nor yet of the
other ships of the 1,.-i.
While Sir Richard examined into the condition of
the vessel as well as he was able the blacks watched
his movements with eager interest. There were of
them twenty-two men, ten \women, and one child, Ka-
bele. The rest lay dead in their loathsome prison-
house, between decks, or had been washed overboard.
At length the Englishman spoke to Black Cesar, who
had silently followed him about the ship, and said:
"It is a marvel to me that this craft has withstood
the lf-l'etings of the sea so long ; but certain it is,
that if she remains here she must go to pieces sooner
or later. Tile tide appears to me to be flowing, and
with this gale it should be an extra high one. There
THE CORAL SHIP.
is a possibility that, if the ship could be floated over
the reef into smooth water, she might remain on top
long enough to hear us to yonder land, short of
which I can see no chance of onr salvation. Set
your fellows to work then, and let them cast over-
board all guns, anchors, chains, and whatever else of
weight they can lay hands upon."
The negroes, who had only waited directions,
sprang to this work with a will. Their labor was
now for themselves, for their own lives and freedom,
and they performed it with an alacrity such as the
driver's lash had never inspired. Overboard went
the grinning cannon, through open ports, or through
:.,lo openings cut in the high bulwarks. The an-
chors were cut away; tiers of weighty chain cable
were overhauled and dropped into the sea; every
heavy and movable thing that could be got at was
made to follow. At length the galleon was relieved
of many tons of weight and her uneasy mIovements
gave signs that she was almost il.. i.
"She moves! She floats!" shouitced Sir Richard
at last, as. with the send of a great sea, the ship was
lifted clear of the bottom and carried some fifty
yards up the reef. Oh, for a boat," he added,
"that we might aid her progress with a kedge
But there was no need of this. The tide still
rose, slowly but surely, and the movement of the
ship was continued. Finally, after many halting
and bumping, after scrapings that threatened to
tear the planking from her bottom, and forward
plunges that shook her from stem to stern, the Aztec
slid clear of the reef, into the smooth, deep water on
its inner side.
At this happy result of their efforts the negroes
yelled with delight; while Sir Richard's satisfaction
found vent in a cheery Hurrah !" He added a
fervent hope that the old gold mine might still
be sound enough to bear them across the channel in
which they were now floating and plant herself
safely on some sandy beach. This hope was, how-
ever, doomed to disappointment; for it was soon
evident that the galleon was leaking so badly that
ere long she must go to the bottom. The negroes
were p1anic-stricken at this discovery: and while
some of them broke into loud waiilings, others
awaited their fate with expression s of dnll apathy.
Black Ca;sar sternly ordered the cries to cease, and
turned to Sir Richard for orders.
GALE ELLTCOT'S DISCOVERY.
" T HERE is but one thing for it, Cesar," said the
i Englishman, in answer to the black man's in-
quiring look, and that is a raft. It must be made
quickly too, for this old hooker will soon be down
among the mermaids, whose company, I, for one,
have no wish to seek sooner tlian I can help. So
look lively and send some of your spry lads over
the side to lash those spars together. It is a mercy
that we did not cut them adrift, for they are our
The masts and yards that had gone by the board,
at the first blast of the hurricane, still floated along-
side, attached to the ship b1y a, confused tangle of
II- i,,_. To clear this, to cut away the soaked and
dragging sails from the yards, to lash the masts
together with the yards across them, to lay a 11 i..i
of hatches, planks ripped from the bulwarks, and
GALE ELLICOT'S DISCOVERY.
such other material as they could lay hands upon,
was the work of the succeeding hour. At its end
the galleon, which had been steadily drifting toward
land and was now within half a mile of it, had sunk
so low in the water that it was evidently high time
to leave her. Among the things hastily transferred
to the raft were a few casks of provisions, a chest of
tools, several axes, a plentiful supply of powder and
ball, and all the muskets that could be found.
Besides these each of the negroes was armed with a
cutlass, and several of them had seerl th secured pistols ; for
they knew not what enemies they might encounter
on the island they were approaching.
They had no time to search for the treasure of
gold find silver, with which Sir Richard knew the
ship to be laden. Even had they found it they
could not have taken it with them. With their own
weight added to that of the cargo piled upon it
the clumsy craft to which they must entrust them-
selves was already level with the water and would
bear no more. After cutting loose from the galleon
they were surprised to see her drift in one direction
while they were carried in another. It was evident
to Sir Richard that the wreck was impelled by some
THE CORAL SHIP.
strong under-current that was setting it directly
towards shore, but which they did not feel; while
the wind and a surface current were bearing them
toward an opening in the land that resembled the
mouth of a river.
Being so low in the water the occupants of the
raft soon lost sight of the galleon, and knew not
when she took her final plunge to the bottom; nor
did they much care, as their own condition was of
more immediate importance. When last seen she
was close in to a bold rocky shore, and Sir Richard
took a mental note of the place with the vague
thought that, at some future time, it might be worth
while to attempt the recovery of some of the lost
treasure by diving at that point.
In a very short time the raft was carried into
what they had taken for the mouth of a river; it
proved, however, to be a creek separating two
islands, and pouring the ti(de-water with great velocity
into a broad bay that openeled beyond\ them. They
would have been swept through the creek ad11 into
the bay, ha(d not Black Ciesar spring overbl)oard a nd
swum ashore with the end( of a line that he made
fast to a tree and thus arrested their progress.
GALE ELL/ICOT'S DISCOVERY.
It was with mingled emotions of thankfulness,
fear, and curiosity that this band of black men,
whose slavery had been so miraculously exchanged
for freedom, and the white man to whom they
looked for guidance, stepped ashore on one of the
fairest isles of the southern seas. It was of singular
beauty, though of limited extent, being not more
than half a mile broad, by about a mile in length.
It was wholly formed of coral rock, though its height
above the water in the centre showed it to have
been at some time subi.- to the effects of an earth-
quake or some other uplifting force of nature.
While much of its shore line was concealed beneath
a dense thicket of mangrove, there arose behind
these a tall forest of stately trees. Encircled by
this forest the survivors of the Aztec discovered a
small lake, or pond, of fresh ,water as clear as glass,
and fed by a great spi I,. boiling" up from a central
basin of white coral that gleamed like marble in tihe
sunlight. From the lake a narrow stream iran down
to the shore, and at certain stages of the tide, shoals
of mullet and other salt-water fish made their way
up this stream for a holiday in the coral basin.
In this beautiful place on the edge of the pond,
THE CORAL SHIP.
and in the shadow of a grove of tall cocoanut palms,
Black Caesar and his companions, following Sir
Richard's advice, built themselves huts of palmetto
thatch, and surrounded them with a stockade of
stout posts bound together with the tough cables of
the rattan vine.
Here Sir Richard lived for several years, with only
these rude associates for company. They regarded
him with such love and reverence that his slightest
word was Inw, and his influence over them was un-
bounded. He instructed them, so far as le was
able, in the arts of civilization; but with the limited
means at his disposal, the progress made in this di-
rection was small. Although he made several
efforts to discover the wreck of the Aztec, in hopes
of obtaining many useful articles from it, he could
find no trace of the lost ship. In these searches his
negro friends could not be induced to lend any
assistance, so filled were they with a superstitious
dread of the ill-fated vessel in which they had suf-
fered so greatly. By means of an English shipl that
struck on the great reef, but which the crew, assisted
by him and his faithful blacks, succeeded in getting
off almost unharmed, Sir Richard finally escaped
GALE ELLICOT'S DISCOVERY.
from the island and reached the home that he had
well-nigh despaired of ever seeing again. After his
departure from among them the negroes, no longer
restrained by his influence, became first wreckers,
then pirates; and for many years the name of Black
Caesar was the terror of that coast. At length his
depredations ceased and he was heard of no more;
but his fate is involved in mystery, and it is not
known what became of him.
The foregoing incident of Sir Richard Allanson's
life is writ out by his son Hugh for the l.-in.l? of
his children, that they may know what manner of
man their ancestor was, and that they may learn to
imitate the noble qualities that has stamped him as
a hero and a C' 1 il gentleman.
This was the end of the MS. which Gale Ellicot
one day discovered in the little, old-fashioned, brass-
inailed trunk that lie had &gone to the attic to empty
of its musty papers and bring down stairs. It was
evidently of a long-ago date; for, though the hand-
writing was bold and clear, the ink was so faded as
to be in places almost illegible, and the sheets on
which it was written were torn and yellowed by
THE CORAL SHIP.
time. The youth who now sat holding them in his
hand, and absorbed in the reflections aroused by
what he had just read, was a squarely built, bright-
eyed fellow of about seventeen. His well-shaped
hands were hard and brown, while his resolute
young face also bore evidences of a reckless exposure
to sun, wind, and weather. At length he was
aroused from his reverie by the sound of a voice
from below, calling:
Gale Gale What has become of you ? Why
don't you bring the trunk down stairs ? "
Coming, mother," replied the boy, and thrusting
his new-found treasure into his pocket, he shouldered
the empty trunk, and left the attic with it.
That evening after the trunk was packed with his
own things, and the children had gone to bed, Gale
Ellicot and his mother sat together in the living
room of their tiny cottage for a long last talk. The
boy was to leave the next day to be gone for several
months, or longer than he ihad ever before beel
away from home. How dea' even tlhe sha)l)vy 'ui-
ture looked at that moment. On the table stood a
lamp that had been bought with the very first money
he had ever earned. The arm-chair in which he sat
UG"ALL RIAINl; Til' MANUSCRIPT T.
GALE ELLICO T'S DISCO VERY.
had been his father's. Nearly every article in the
room had some tender association clinging to it.
Outside, the wind howled dismally, and a cold No-
vember rainstorm beat against the window panes;
but it only added to the warmth within and to the
brightness of the driftwood fire that blazed, with
many tinted flames, on the open hearth. The dan-
cing firelight disguised the shabbiness of the room,
which would have been painfully disclosed by day;
for, in spite of the apparent comfort of their sur-
roundings, the Ellicots were very poor. Even the
driftwood fire, which is so often an evidence of
wealth and luxury, was one of the signs of their
poverty, and the wood pile in the kitchen shed
rrepesented imany a toilsome day spent by Gale upon
Five years before, the boy's father, who had been
a minister in the seaport village of Rockpine on the
Maine coast, had died, and ever since the Ellicots'
stiruggle for existence hai(d bee(n a bitter' one. Be-
sides Mrs. Elllict and G-ale there was blue-eyed
May, two years younger than he, and sturdy little
John, who was twelve years old and always hungry.
From the first Gale hlad done all that he could for
THE CORAL SHIP.
the support of the family. lie had run errands,
worked in gardens, gathered driftwood, taken sum-
mer visitors out sailing, formed one of the crew of a
fishing vessel, and, during the summer just past, he
had been boatswain of the schooner yacht Egret,
which hailed from Boston, and had put into Rock-
pine shorthanded early in the season. In spite of
his youth there was no better sailor than he in the
place. This fact was so well appreciated by Mr.
Almy, the owner of the tT..7, that lie had just
written to offer Gale a mate's berth for a southern
cruise that would last all winter.
This offer had come like a godsend to the strug-
gling family, for they were at their wit's end to
know how they should get through the season, and
Gale was on the point of shipping for one of the
hardest and most perilous of all voyages, a winter's
cruise to the Banks, when it came. Of course lie
accepted it promptly and gladly. At first lie was
highly elated at the prospect of sailing in those far
Southern seas that lie had so longed to visit, but
without a hope of ever having the chance. But as
the time for his departure drew near he grew more
and more thoughtful, and on this last night before
GALE ELLICOT'S DISCO VERY. 33
leaving his home with all its dear ones, it almost
seemed as though he could not go.
As he and his mother sat hand in hand, talking in
low tones, they were startled by a loud knock at the
outer door. Gale opened it and a man stepped into
the room. At the sight of him Mrs. Ellicot's heart
sank like lead, and she could hardly control her voice
sufficiently to ask him to be seated.
DEBT AND ITS TERRORS.
IT is a perilous thing to run in debt, and one of
the most dangerous forms of debt is a note for
which the only security is one's own home. A note
is transferable, and thus, though it may at first be
held by a friend who is not particular about the in-
terest, and who willingly grants a request for an
extension of time, it may, at any moment, pass into
the hands of one who will demand a prompt pay-
ment of his legal dues to the last cent. It was so ill
the present case. In her distress and poverty, soon
after her husband's death, Mrs. Ellicot had accepted
Deacon Wiggin's kind offer of a loan, for which she
had insisted on giving him a five-years' note. The
loan was a thousand dollars, \which was somletlillng
more than all the property she owned in the world.
On this sum, aided by what Gale could pick up by
doing odd jobs, the widow had managed to support
DEBT AND ITS TERRORS.
her little family and -...n the elder children to school
for nearly five years. Now the money was com-
pletely exhausted, and this had made it necessary for
Gale to give up school that winter and seek for
something to do. He loved to study, and hoped
that, in some way, he might be able to go to college,
for which he was nearly prepared.
The boy did not let his mother know what a pang
it cost him to abandon this cherished scheme ; but,
declaring that he would rather be a sailor than any-
thing else in the world, and dwelling upon the fact
that it was the only business for which hle was
already 'it-r..1, he began seeking for a berth that
would yield support to the little family of which he
was now the main stay.
It so happened that good, warm-hearted Deacon
Wiggin had recently died. In the settlement of his
estate it was discovered that, owing to his wide-
spread charities, he had left little behind, save a
name that was loved and cherished far and wide.
Much of his property, including the Ellicot's note,
passed into the hands of Abel Gripmiore, who owned
a sardine canning factory, and was not only the
wealthiest, but the hardest man in Rockpine.
THE CORAL SHIP.
He had already applied to Mrs. Ellicot for the un-
paid interest, that the easy-going Deacon had never
thought of claiming, and threatened if it were not
paid to take possession of their home the moment
the note fell due. By desperate efforts, during the
past summer, the Ellicots had succeeded in paying
fifty dollars of the interest money; but two hundred
dollars still remained to be raised.
Abel Gripmore was the visitor to the little brown
cottage that November evening, and the moment
Mrs. Ellicot caught sight of his unsympathetic face
she felt that he had come to make further demands
Well, Mrs. Ellicot," he began, "it ain't just the
kind of an evening one would choose to make a call
on, but as I was passing and saw a light, I thought
I might as well drop in and speak of our little mat-
ter of business."
I was afraid so," said the widow, faintly.
Oh, you ain't no call to be afraid, Mrs. Ellicot,"
said the visitor, with a grim smile, for I 've come to
make an offer that's in every way to your advantage.
You see the way of it is this. I 've decided to build a
lobster factory, and there ain't a prettier site for it
DEBT AND ITS TERRORS.
on the coast than this very point of land. Now, if
you can't pay that note and the balance of the inter-
est due on it by the first of May, I shall be obliged
to enter suit against you for it. If you can pay it,
on or before that date, of course I won't have noth-
ing more to say, except that you '11 be paying more 'n
this place is worth."
I 'm very much afraid that I sha'n't be able- "
That 's just it," interrupted Mr. Gripmore. It
is n't no way likely you will be able to find the
money, and so you '11 have to leave here by the first
of May anyway. But I'd like to get to work sooner
than that; so, if you '11 move out by the first of Jan-
uary I 'll let you off the whole of the interest still
due. If you go by the first of February I '11 knock
off one hundred dollars. If it is n't convenient to
do that, and you '11 give possession by the first of
March, I '11 allow you fifty dollars. In either case
I '11 give you a release from all further obligations.
Now I call that a pretty liberal offer, when I might,
easy enough, get judgment for the face of the note
with interest and costs, and could hold it over you
till the very last cent was paid."
",Oh, Mr. Gripmore exclaimed the widow, I
THE CORAL SHIP.
was in hopes that, if we succeeded in paying one
hundred dollars next year and paid the interest
regularly after that, you would be willing to extend
the time of the note, and let us stay here. This has
been my only home ever since I was married ; my
children were born here ; my husband died here,
and if it is taken from us we have nowhere in the
world to go. Gale will be able to earn more and
more money every year now, and I 'm sure it won't
be very long before we shall be able to pay both
principal and interest. If you 'd only please give us
a little time."
I'm very sorry, ma'am, but business is business,"
replied the wealthy man. This place suits me
better 'n any other and on the first of May I shall
certainly take possession of it, if you don't accept
one of my offers and let me have it sooner. I '11 give
you from now till the first of January to consider it;
but I shall hope to hear from you before that time.
Good-evi-ni _, ma'am."
'' Oh, G(ale what shall we do cried Mrs. Elli
cot, as the door closed behind the man who held this
terrible power of debt over them.
We won't do a thing about it, mother, until the
DEBT AND ITS TERRORS.
first of May," replied the boy promptly. We '11
just hold on to our home till the very last minute.
Then we '11 have my winter's wages to fall back on
anyway. But, oh, mother It would be awful to
have to give up our dear little home, would n't it ?
It does n't seem as though we could be happy in any
other place in all the world."
So they talked of their property, their hopes, and
their fears, and of what they would do if they only
had money, until Gale suddenly recollected the
strange story of the long-ago treasure ship, that he
had read that day. Then he produced the package
of time-stained manuscript that he had discovered in
the old trunk, and read it to his mother. She lis-
tened with an ever increasing interest, and when he
finished she exclaimed: Why, Gale, Sir Richard
Allanson must have been your gre-gregreat-grand-
father; for my mother's mother was an Allanson,
and that little trunk came to me with a lot of other
old things from he housee"
Then you think it is a really true story,
mother ? "
"I have u't a doubt of it, though I never heard
of it before."
40 THE CORAL SHIP.
Well," said the boy, I only wish great-great-
grandfather Richard had found the Aztec again.
Maybe we would n't be so poor now if he had.
Just think of all that gold and silver lying at the
bottom of the sea, and doing nobody any good."
I expect it might just as well be there as any-
where else so far as we are concerned," replied his
mother, with a sad smile. But now, dear, you
must go to bed, for it is almost to-morrow, and you
have to make an early start."
THE YOUNG MATE'S TEMPTATION.
T HE following evening Gale Ellicot had left his
home and its dear ones far behind, and had
reported for duty on board the Egret, which he
found lying at an East Boston wharf, where she
was taking in stores and lining for her long cruise.
He was disappointed to be met by a new captain in
place of the weather-beaten old salt with whom he
had sailed the previous summer; but Captain Star-
buck had not cared to take a winter voyage, and
Captain Earl Staver had been engaged in his place.
The latter was not a yacht sailor, but had for sev-
eral years commanded a trading schooner in the
West Ilndie-s, and( had been highly recommended to
\l Al'ny as one of, the most skilful navigators of
those waters. IIe was a sallow, slightly- bilt man,
who looked almost effeminate in comparison with
the broad-shouldered Maine boy who was to be
THE CORAL SHIP.
his mate. The two gazed at each other curi-
ously as they first met and shook hands, and Gale
asked himself if the man who seemed to find such
difficulty in looking him squarely in the face could
be a good sailor.
Whatever Captain Staver thought of his young
mate, he was evidently determined to cultivate the
most friendly relations with him. Hie did everything
in his power to make Gale comfortable and secure
his good-will. The youth would have wondered at
this if he had known that the captain had tried
to fill his berth with a man of his own selection,
and had been unable to conceal his disappointment
when Mr. Almy informed him that he had already
offered the position to another. Captain Staver had,
however, been left to his own choice of a crew, and
in overlooking their work Gale admitted that he had
gathered a lot of :-i t-class sailormen, though none
of them seemed to have ever shipped on a yacht be-
fore. He also remarked upon the fact that most of
them were swarthy chaps, who seemed to be of
Spanish or Portuguese origin, and (Captain Staver
said that he had chosen them for that very reason.
They were acclimated to tropic weather and accus-
tomed to sailing in tropic seas.
THE YOUNG MAATE'S TEMPTATION.
After a few days' hard work in setting up i1 i_,
bending on new sails, taking in stores, and in other
ways getting the yacht ready for sea, Gale felt that
he was pretty well acquainted with his new captain.
He could not help a certain sort of liking for one
who was so uniformly kind to him. TIh,1 h the
man's manner lacked the frankness that generally
marks an honest sailor, Gale strove to forget this and
to regard him with the implicit faith that should
always exist between those who embark on long
voyages in company. At length, one evening after
a hard day's work, the captain invited his mate to
take a shore dinner with him. Gale accepted the
invitation, and thoroughly enjoyed the dinner, which
was served in a private room in a first-class restau-
rant, and was the best to which he had ever sat
down. His entertainer seemed, for a moment, some-
what provoked that lie refused a glass of the cham-
pagne that was brought on toward the close of the
meal, but lie passed tihe matter by with a laugh,
Oh, well, you '11 come to it before you 're much
older. I never drink anything myself on shipboard,
but a glass now and then on shore does n't do any
THE CORAL SHIP.
"Perhaps not," replied Gale, but I 've made up
my mind that I can get along just as well without
Then the subject was changed. After the dinner
was finished and Captain Staver had lighted a cigar,
while Gale had politely declined the one offered to
him, the former said :
"I've taken such a fancy to you, Ellicot, that I 've
decided to let you in on a scheme that will put a
snug sum of money into your pocket. What do
you say to making a clean thousand dollars, and
doing me a favor at the same time ?"
A thought of the dear little home, burdened with
its thousand-dollar debt, flashed into Gale's mind as
he answered: "I shall be only too happy to do vou
a favor, and also to make that amount of money, if I
can do it honestly."
Honestly Oh, yes. There 's nothing dishonest
about the scheme, it 's only a little risky, that's all;
but if I 've sized you up rightly you 're too brave a
lad to hold back from a bit of danger. You see
we're Ie hound for a general cruise among the West
India islands, and will be more than likely to touch
at Hayti. At any rate I can arrange things so that
THE YOUNG MA-TE'S TEMPTA TION.
it will seem necessary for us to do so. Well, there 's
a big fight going on down there just now, between a
lot of honest fellows who have been driven to the
hills, and a lot of rascals who are in power and try-
ing to run the government for what money they can
make out of it. Of course I'in not interested in the
quarrel, except that I 'd naturally like to see the
honest fellows come out ahead. Unfortunately they
are very short of arms. If they don't get a supply
pretty soon they '11 have to give in and the rascals
will have everything their own way.
"Now the honest fellows have some wealthy
friends here in Boston, who will gladly supply
these arms, and are willing to pay something hand-
some for getting them there. Having learned that
we are going down there, and that I know all the
merits of the case, besides being in sympathy with
the honest party, these friends propose that we
shall quietly stow away a few thousand muskets,
bayonets, and pistols in the Ei'-'t, and run our
chances of putting them where they will do the
most good. Of course I could do this alone ; for I
have got together a crew of fellows who will do
anything I say. I always make it a rule though to
THE CORAL SHIP.
share a good thing with my mate whenever he 's a
decent sort of a fellow, as I believe you to be. So
I 've made up my mind to let you in, and put a cool
thousand dollars in your pocket. If you say the
word we can have these things aboard in no time,
and nobody ever be the wiser for it. How does the
scheme strike you "
Have you told Mr. Almy of it ? asked Gale,
who had listened to the plan thus unfolded by his
superior officer, with surprise, and at the same
time with a very confused idea of its right and
"Certainly not," answered the captain. He
does n't need the money that we 'll make out of it,
and then, as owner of the yacht, lie might have
foolish ideas concerning the neutrality laws. But
that would be nonsense, because we are not a govern-
ment vessel, nor even a trader bound to discharge
only such goods as are shown on our manifest. The
Egtyr is a yacht, and, as everybody knows, the crew
of a yacht are entitled to certain peri(luisites. The
cook has the contents of the slush bucket to dispose
of, the steward receives his commission on all pur-
chases, the men receive tips from visitors, and why
THE YO UNG AfA TE'S TEMPTATION.
should n't the officers have a chance to make a
dollar now and then?"
But would n't the yacht be in danger of seizure
if we were caught ? demanded Gale.
"Ah but there 's not the slightest chance of our
being caught. I know that coast and its people too
well for anything of that kind."
But if we were caught ? "
"I tell you we can't be," answered the captain,
I 'm very sorry, sir, but I don't think we ought
to have anything to do with this scheme," said Gale,
to whom the other's refusal to give him a direct
answer was equivalent to an acknowledgment that
the yacht wouhl 1e( placed in danger by such a
transaction as he proposed. "I should like to
oblige you, and I should like to have a thousand
dollars. I could never touch a cent though, that I
had not come by Ihonestly, and I cannot think it
honest to risk the loss of father's of tlI property without
his consent. Moreover, if you insist on carrying out
this scheme, I shall consider it mly duty to inform
Mr. Almy of the danger in which his boat is
THE CORAL SHIP.
So you are a sneak after all, as well a a coward,
are you ?" cried the other, his face livid with rage,
as he rose from the table and begau rapidly pacing
As you please, Captain Staver," answered Gale
coolly: "]ut at any rate I have been taught to be
honest. and so lonig as I live I hope I shall not forget
Oh, well," sanid the other, controlling his feelings
with an effort, it 's all right, if yon will insist upon
holding sic(h absurd notions,and I'm sorry I let mi
temlpr get the better of me. It is a pretty serious
disappointment though to lose the chance of making
several thousand dollars so easily, and of doing real
good at the same time. Of course, if you won't go
into it I shall have to give up the scheme; for with-
out your help it would be impossible for me to
carry it out. So now, if you '11 excuse me, I '11 go
and tell my friends that I can't have anything to do
From that time on, Captain Staver treated his
young mate with marked coolness, and it was
evident that no real friendship could exist between
them. Gale watched carefully everything that was
THEL IYO (UNC M/A Yi' 'S TEMI/PTA TIOfQ\J
taken into the yacht, and seeing no signs of any
muskets, concluded that the captain had kept his
word, and refused to take them. This was a great
relief; for, had he seen anything of the kind coming
on board, he had fully decided to report it to Mr.
Almy, who visited the yacht daily. As it was, he
thought it best not to say anything of what had
passed between him and his superior officer, con-
cerning the matter.
For all this the contraband goods were on board,
and silugly stowed among the Eg,..'' ballast, where
they had been placed the night before Gale's
rThe very day before that appointed for -:ili ,
Gale noticed a pale-faced boy, apparently about
fifteen years of age, sitting on the string-piece of the
wharf, a short distance from the yacht, and gazing
earnestly at it. He also noticed that the JEret's
cabin boy, a Cuban named Manuel, who had been
engaged by Captain Staver, was making faces at the
young stranger and applying insulting epithets
to hini. Gale was too busy to pay much atten-
tion to this, and did not see Manuel slip ashore
and disappear behind one of the buildings on the
50 THE CORAL SHIP.
wharf. Nor did he see the young rascal reappear
around the further corner of the building, steal up
behind the unsuspecting lad, and deal him a sudden
blow. The mate did, however, hear the cry of
terror, and the loud splash, that marked the strange
lad's disappearance, as he lost his balance and
plunged into the swirling tide that was running out
with great force, between the yacht and the wharf
at which she lay.
NOTH]ITN; DISHO-SI, ONLY A 1X IIf mIsKV.
ALECK PENROSE, CABIN BOY.
G ALE ELLICOT was a clear-headed fellow and
prompt to act in an emergency. At the
sounds of the cry and the splash, denoting that
the boy was overboard, he sprang to the side of
the yacht, holding a coil of rope that he intended
to throw to the lad the moment he re-appeared.
When the st ln_'_l -i figure came to the surface
Gale instantly realized, by his actions, that he not
only was unable to swim, but was too paralyzed by
terror to make any effort towards saving himself.
As he again sank, the young mate, kicking off his
shoes, and uttering a shout of M oii overboard!"
took a splendid header from the yacht's rail, and
also disappeared beneath the dark waters.
When next seen ie had one arm about the boy,
and making a desperate i__.1- against the swift
tide to regain the yacht. "Throw me a rope !"
THE CORfAL SHIP.
he shouted, and Captain Staver, who had rushed
up from below on hearing the startling cry of Man
overboard," flung the end of a line toward the brave
swimmer. Had he miscalculated the distance ? Was
his strength insufficient? or did he purposely make
a short cast? Certainly one of these three things
was the case; for the rope failed to meet Gale's out-
stretched hand by several yards. Before it could
be gathered in and thrown again, he and his help-
less burden had been swept far beyond its reach.
At this moment another figure sprang to the
yacht's deck, and an imperative voice gave the order
for a boat to be lowered. It was that of the Ej'r. s
owner, and the crew promptly sprang to obey it.
In their eagerness too many men tried to do the
same thing at once, the falls became tangled, and it
was some minutes before the boat was in the water.
Mr. Almy, who had waved Captain Staver to one
side, sat in the stern sheets and held the tiller ropes.
With a set, white face the owner ordered his men to
"give way!" Under the impulse olf a powerful
stroke the light boat darted forward in the direction
of where Gale had last been seen. Now no trace of
him was to be discovered. The owner's face grew
ALECIK PENROSE, CABIN BOY.
sterner and whiter as the probable result of the
delay in getting the boat overboard became ap-
parent. The strongest swimmer, burdened as the
young mate had been, must have succumbed to that
fierce tide. He was nowhere to be seen, though
they commanded an uninterrupted view for a long
distance. He must have gone down, and the lad
for whom he had perilled his life with him. He
might have saved himself had he been willing to
relinquish his burden, but Mr. Almy knew that
Gale Ellicot would never do that so long as his own
life lasted. No, they must have sunk, and two
lives had been sacrificed to 1 ilnuel's mischievous
blow, which Mr. Almy had witnessed from a dis-
tance as he approached the yacht. He ground his
teeth savagely as lie thought of it.
At length the fruitless search was abandoned, and
the boat was pulled slowly back toward the Egret.
It was kept close in to the wharves to escape the
full force of the tide. Suddenly Mr. Almny held up
his hand for the men to cease rowing, turned his
head and listened intently. Then came the quick
order, "Give way Port! Hold hard Starboard!
Steady Give way all!" and the next minute the
THE CORAL SHIP.
boat dashed into the dripping blackness under a
wharf that they had nearly passed. Now the men
also heard, above the gurgling of the waters, the
faint cry that had attracted the owner's keen-eared
attention; but for some moments they could not
tell whence it proceeded.
"Help Quick! I 'm letting go !" came the cry,
apparently from under their bows, and then the
ready boathook of the bow oarsman was caught in
Gale Ellicot's clothing. They were just in time, for
the strong hold was already relaxing from about the
pile, against which the brave swimmer had been car-
ried by the tide, and to which he had clung. He
had not lost consciousness when they got him into
the boat; but his left arm was clasped so rigidly
about the form of the lad whom he had refused to
abandon, even to save himself, that they had diffi-
culty in relaxing it.
As the boat again ran alongside the yacht, and
Captain Staver saw that its mission had been suc-
cessful, the expression of his face would have puz-
zled an observer. It showed a conflict of emotions;
but there was nothing in it to indicate the joy that
his tone was intended to convey as he said to Mr.
ALECK PENROSE, CABIN BOY.
Alny : "You 've done well, sir, but I 'd about given
up all hope, you were gone so long. It would have
been a terrible blow to me to have lost so fine a
young officer as Mr. Ellicot; all on account of a
miserable little wharf rat too. I 'm sorry, though,
that I caused you so much trouble by that unlucky
heave of the line. I can't think how I happened to
miscalculate the distance."
"It's all right now," replied the owner, grimly;
"but the next time a job of that kind comes in your
way I would advise you to let some one else under-
take it. Now send for the nearest doctor as quickly
as you can. Come, men, bear a hand and get these
lads on deck!"
The dark-browed captain accepted this rebuke
meekly, and was most active in doing everything
possible for the restoration and comfort of those
who had been so nearly drowned. At the end of
an hour Gale was going about his accustomed duties,
looking a little pale and feeling somewhat shaky,
but not otherwise suffering any ill effects from his
recent experience. At the same time the lad whom
he had so bravely rescued had been restored to con-
sciousness and lay sleeping quietly in a comfortable
THE CORAL SHIP.
berth. Manuel, the cabin boy and author of all the
mischief, had disappeared, nor did he ever again
show his face aboard the Egret.
When Mr. Almy came down to the yacht the next
morning, to see if she were ready to receive her
passengers and start on her cruise, he did not, for a
moment, recognize the neat-appearing lad whom he
found sweeping the cabin floor.
Who are you ? he inquired.
I 'm Aleck Penrose, sir," replied the boy, with
a quick flush mounting to his pale cheeks. Mr.
Ellicot said I was to stay here and make myself use-
ful till Mr. Alny came, and perhaps lie would give
me the berth of cabin boy in place of the other
who has n't come back."
"He 'd better not, the young rascal growled
the yacht owner. Then more kindly lie continued:
"So you are the lad whom mny 0 mate jumped over-
board after, are you ? JItdging from your appear-
ance the ducking seems to have done you good."
"I expect it's the I, II ', sir, lfor I hlad n't eaten
anything for nearly two days."
Good gracious, boy You don't mean to say that
you were starving ? Where are your parents ? "
ALECK PENROSE, CABIN BOY.
Where do you live, then ? "
"I lived with my aunt, sir; but she was sick and
I had to take care of her till she died too. Then
the landlord took everything we had for rent and
turned me out, so now I have n't any relatives in the
world but a little sister who lives with a family in
Have you always lived in the city ?"
Can you read and write ?"
Oh, yes, sir. I 've always gone to school."
Do you know anything about yachts or sailing ?"
No, sir, I 'in afraid not ; but I know a lot about
housekeeping and tidying up places."
"Well," laughed Mr. Alny, "I don't know but
what that is more important, considering the berth
that you have applied for, and for want of a better,
I guess I '11 take you along a:s cabin boy."
Oh, thankl you, sir !" exclaimed tihe lad, with a
beaming face. "I '11 do m y very best, and learn as
fast as ever I can."
Two hours later the yacht was under way, and,
with the owner and his family on board, was stand-
58 THE CORAL SHIP.
ing down Boston harbor toward the open sea and
the far away tropic islands for which she was bound.
It was now December, and the day, though clear
and bright, was so cold that, after the excitement of
the start had worn off, the passengers were glad to
gather about the cheerful fire blazing in an open
grate in the '-i. comfortable cabin. The breeze
being steady and favorable, the watch on deck w\as
kept warm and busy getting sail after sail hoisted
and sheeted home, until the yacht was under racing
canvas, and speeding along as though she too were
in a hurry to escape from cold weather.
CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS.
T HE voyage to the Bahamas was uneventful,
and the following four months were happily
spent in cruising among those coral islets, and down
through the Windward and Leeward groups as far
as Trinidad. Nor was the whole of this time spent
in sailing. Often for days, and sometimes for a
week at a time, the Egret would lie quietly at an-
chor in some snug harbor, while her passengers
explored the adjacent water in the swift naphtha
launch that formed part of her equipment, or visited
points of interest on shore.
Of the crew none enjoyed the cruise so much as
did the mate and cabin boy, to whom everything
relating to this tropic experience was new and
delightful. The former, who was a prime favorite
with the Almys, always went in charge of the
launch, and was treated by his employer more as a
THE COR4L SHIP.
friend and companion, than as one whose services
were hired. Thus he saw nearly everything that
was worth seeing, and acquired a vast amount of
useful knowledge concerning the people and pro-
ducts of the islands. Alt.-hl of this he imparted to
Aleck Penrose who, ever since the day of his gallant
rescue by the young mate, had been his loyal friend
and ardent admirer. In consequence of the coolness
with which Captain Staver had treated his second
in command, ever since the latter had refused to
join in his scheme for supplying the Haytian rebels
with arms, Gale was forced to find his most intimate
companion in the cabin boy. Nor did he have oc-
casion to regret, for Penrose, as he was called, proved
to be an exceptionally bright and entertaining lad.
He had improved wonderfully in personal appear-
ance, the result of being well fed and kindly treated,
and now his happy face and well developed figure,
were in striking contrast to what he had exhibited
when Gale first saw him seated on the string-piece
of an East Boston wharf. Only the captain seemed
to have taken a dislike to the lad, and invariably
spoke to him harshly. For this reason Gale took
especial pains to show his friendship toward the boy.
CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS.
He even tried to teach him the rudiments of seaman-
ship, and insisted upon his learning to row, as well
as to gain an understanding of the management of a
small boat under sail. He wanted also to teach the
boy to swim; but in this he could not succeed, for
Penrose had an unconquerable aversion to the water,
that no amount of persuasion or ridicule could over-
come. He only learned what he did concerning
boats, out of pure love and gratitude toward his
instructor, and was never more unhappy than when
he found himself in one, and thus uncomfortably
close to the sea. In his own department, that of
the cabin, he performed his duties with such quick-
ness and dexterity, that Mr. Almy declared him to
be the best cabin boy he had ever shipped.
In all their cruising they had not touched at the
island of Hayti, though they had passed it twice.
For some reason Mr. Amhy did not seem inclined to
stop there, in spite of the captain's suggestions that
it would be a pleasant place to visit. The latter
had proved hiiisell' a most excellent navigator, as
well as a skilful pilot of the dangerous West Indian
waters. For all that, however, his employer could
not bring himself to a liking for him, and held as
THE CORAL SHIP.
little intercourse with him as possible. This was
greatly resented by the man, and served to intensify
his jealousy of the young mate, whose treatment by
Mr. Almy was in such marked contrast to his own.
The first of April found the Egret lying in the
harbor of Havana. Here her owner announced his
intention of travelling overland, with his family,
from one end of Cuba to the other, and gave orders
that the yacht should proceed to Santiago, at the
extreme eastern point of the island. There she was
to await his ...ni,., and prepare for her homeward
Not since the beginning of the cruise had Captain
Staver seemed so pleased with anytli;ii-, as he did
at receiving this order. He at once became affable
and agreeable to everybody, including his young
mate, and went about his duties with his face
wreathed in smiles. The crew seemed to partake of
his feelings, and Gale wondered at the unusual at-
mosphere of good-nature that pervaded the whole
yacht. As for himself he would have been im(ch
better pleased had he been ordered to accompany
the Almys on their overland journey; but of
course that was out of the question.
CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS.
After the departure of the fT '8 passengers he
found new cause for surprise, in the haste shown by
Captain Staver to get under way and start for San-
tiago. To him it seemed as though there were
several good reasons why they should not leave
their anchorage just then. In the first place, they
could reach their destination in two or three days;
while the Almys expected to be as many weeks on
their journey. Then the barometer was falling and
the weather looked threatening. They were also in
need of fresh water. He ventured to suggest these
things to the captain, who only answered sharply:
" I know my own business, sir."
So they sailed out under the frowning walls of
the Moro, shortly before sunset, and that night were
caught in a tropical tempest that very nearly sent
the good yacht cEget to the bottom. For two days
it raged, and when, toward the close of the second
day it broke, allowing the sun to shine out for a few
minutes before setting, the yacht was found to be
sadly battered, though still stanch and seaworthy.
For t\wenty-four hours she had been hove to; but
now, though the w\ind still blew a gale, and there
was a huge sea running, Captain Staver determined
THE CORAL SHIP.
to put her again on her course. As he was about to
issue the necessary orders, there came a cry of
" Wreck Wreck astern and he waited to have
a look at it. The wreck was that of a dismasted
vessel, floating very low in the water, and was only
to be seen when both they and it were hove up on
top of a sea.
As they drifted faster than it they were soon able
to distinguish objects on its deck, and among them
was the figure of a man who was waving his arms
wildly to attract their attention.
Shall I order a boat cleared away, si'r asked
Gale, whose warm-hearted impulse was to hasten to
the assistance of this human being in such deadly peril.
For a moment the captain did not answer, but
continued to regard the wreck steadily through his
glasses. Then he lowered them with a disgusted
expression on his face, and said : No. It 's only a
'nigger' as I thought, and I 'n not going to risk
white men's lives for him."
"Only a 'nigger'!" cried Gale, in amazement.
Do you mean to say, sir, that you \would leave the
man to his fate, merely because he happens to have
a black skin ?"
CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS.
"That 's just what I do mean," answered the cap-
"Then, sir, I denounce your conduct as an outrage
against humanity, and demand that you allow me to
go to his relief. In case you refuse, I shall brand
you as a murderer in every port we enter."
"Oh, you can go if you want to," replied the
captain; "but I forbid a man of the crew to go
"Then I will go alone," said Gale, calmly.
A minute later the _i_, which was the lightest
boat on the yacht, was lowered, with the young
mate as its sole occupant. Just as he was shoving
off, there was a loud cry on deck, and Aleck Pen-
rose, the cabin boy, leaped from the yacht's rail into
the boat, excl.:iiiiih_., You sha'n't go to your death
alone, Gale, not while I am alive to go with you !"
So sudden and unexpected was the boy's action,
that before Gale could recover from his astonish-
ment a big sea had swept the light boat far astern
of the yacht, and it wtas too late to put back. Mak-
ing the best of the situation, he bade Aleck take the
tiller, while he devoted his entire energies to pulling
toward the wreck. They were now abreast of the
THE CORAL SHIP.
unfortunate vessel, and but a short distance from it;
but even to pass over that brief space, filled as it
was with mountainous billows, required all the skill
and strength that the young sailor from Maine could
command. In this position Aleck's steering was of
the greatest service, and as he sat there, cool and
alert, without exhibiting a trace of fear or excite-
ment, it seemed incredible that he could be the same
boy who had refused to learn to swim, because of
his timidity and horror of the water. In that
cockle-shell of a boat, threatened each instant with
destruction, he appeared as unconscious of danger
as though he were standlill on dry land.
The task was finally accomplished, and the wreck
reached. In the comparatively smooth water under
its lee, Gale had little difficulty in catching a line
flung to him from it. In another moment the man
whom he had ventured so much to rescue, a young
negro about his own age, black as jet, and of splen-
did physical proportions, had slid down the rope
into the boat. His first words were, "Agua, senor !
A small breaker, filled with fresh water, was
always kept in each of the 7 .'s boats and from
CRUISING AMONG TROPIC ISLANDS.
the one that had been lashed under a thwart in the
9. the young negro now took such a prodigious
draught that it seemed as though he would empty
it before becoming satisfied.
"Is there any one else on board ?" asked Gale,
when he at length put down the breaker.
"No, sah," answered the negro, in fairly good
English. "I 'se de only one lef'. All de others
done swep' off and drown."
"Then let us get back to the yacht as quickly as
possible. You can pull an oar, I suppose ?"
Oh, yes, sa l!" replied the other, with a broad
grin that revealed a glistening row of teeth, Casar
kin pull like a tarpum fish."
The young mate looked up curiously at the sound
of this name, but had no time to consider it just
then. An oar was put into the negro's hands, and
Gale was about to cast off from the wreck, when his
attention was arrested by a startled exclamation from
(ale, look, quick The Egret is leaving us "
cried the boy.
Gale looked, and could hardly believe his eyes.
He rubbed them and looked again. Yes, there
68 THE CORAL SHIP.
could be no doubt of it. The yacht, under three-
reefed lower sails, was certainly headed on her
course. She was already at a considerable distance
from them, and was rapidly increasing it. They
were cruelly, heartlessly, abandoned to their fate.
-1 E wl b .
TH'' RESCUE. OF CzESAR.
r 7 J; 1 -q
ABANDONED AT SEA.
STANDING upright in the tossing boat, motion-
less and without speaking, Gale Ellicot gazed
after the white sails of the vanishing yacht. He
was stunned by the magnitude of the catastrophe
that had overtaken him. The deliberate cruelty of
their desertion was incredible to the young mate.
Such a thing was unknown and unheard of in all
his experience. It could not be true. The yacht
must still put about and come for them. With
straining eyes he watched her until the last faint
glimmer of her sails was merged in the white crests
of the tumbling billows, and she vanished in the
gathering gloom of night. Then the strong young
spirit gave way, and, dropping to a thwart, Gale
buried his face in his hands.
"Cheer up, Gale !" cried a voice in his ear, while
at the same moment Aleek's arm was thrown lovingly
THE CORAL SHIP.
across his shoulders. "We are not lost yet, even if
those cowards have deserted us. As for myself, I 'd
a heap rather be here with you, than there with
them. They are going to get into trouble and I
know it. Captain Stayer thought I was asleep and
did n't hear, or would n't understand his Spanish if
I did, when, the last night we were in Havana he
talked with old Josc about the guns and cartridges
under the cabin floor. They spoke of some one
they would have to get rid of too, but did n't men-
tion his name. Now I think it must have been you,
and they are going to turn pirates, and every one of
them will be hung. I was going to tell you the
very first chance I got, but the storm scared me so
that I forgot all about it. We '11 come out of this
all right, somehow, see if we don't, and I think we
ought to be glad that we can't be hung for pirates,
These words had the desired effect of completely
changing Gale's current of thought; even before
Aleck finished speaking, lie lifted his head and was
"Guns, did you say, and cartridges under the
cabin floor ?" he asked, as a light began to break on
ABANDONED AT SEA.
the situation. "Then they got them aboard after
all without my knowing it, and they are going to
take them to Hayti. What a fool I was not to find
it out before. That, then, is the reason why Captain
Staver has been so happy lately, and was in such a
hurry to be off, and was so willing to get rid of me.
Hayti lies just east of Cuba. They can easily go
there, discharge their concealed cargo, and get to
Santiago before Mr. Almy does, without anybody
being the wiser. Oh, what a fool I was not to
speak to him about it! And now I 've gone and
got you into this wretched fix too. I declare, Pen-
rose, it 's too bad "
"No it is n't," said the boy, stoutly. "It 's just
right as it is. Besides, you did n't get me into this
fix. I came into it of my own accord, and I 'd do
the very same thing again. But, Gale, don't you
think we 'd better climb up on the wreck ? We
won't be so horribly close to the water as we are
here, and I 'm awfully afraid of it in the dark."
"Right you are, iimy' boy," replied Gale, with re-
newed cheerfulness. I was worse than a baby to
be so cast down. While there 's life there 's hope.
We have plenty of life left, so why should n't we
THE CORAL SHIP.
have lots of hope ? As you say, the wreck looks to
be a more comfortable place to spend the night in
than this boat, and I don't believe it's likely to sink
for a good while yet. Iello there, you black fellow
-what 's your name, CQsar or Caesar's ghost ? Pull
us up to your ship, will you, and invite us aboard.
It would n't be polite, you know, to leave your
visitors out here all night."
With a broad grin illuminating his face, the black
did as directed. Although he was greatly disap-
pointed at having his hopes of a rescue dashed so
unexpectedly, and was utterly at a loss to under-
stand the situation of affairs, he was so refreshed by
the water, for which he had been perishing, and so
rejoiced to have companions in misfortune, that his
spirits rose to the occasion. He even laughed
heartily at Aleck's awkward attempts to climb the
rope leading to the wreck. In these attempts the
ex-cabin boy failed so utterly, that they were finally
obliged to knot a line under his arms, by which the
negro easily hauled him up while Gale steadied the
As the latter also stepped from the frail craft,
after having handed out the precious water breaker,
ABANDONED AT SEA.
and before the boat could be allowed to drop to a
safe distance astern, it was lifted on the crest of a
sea and hurled so violently against the wreck that
its slight frame was crushed like an -h-1ll. and it
almost instantly sank.
At this both Gale and the negro uttered cries of
dismay; but Aleck said he was glad of it, for he
had been frightened almost to death in the thing,
and now he would n't be obliged to trust himself to
The wreck on which the young sailors now found
themselves was that of a large Cuban fishing smack,
which had been schooner l;..-. 1. She had been
turtling on the east coast, and was returning to
Havana when she was thrown on her beam ends
and dismasted by the first blast of the hurricane,
which struck her with much greater fury than it
had the yacht. Thinking that she was about to
founder, her crew had made a rush for the boats.
These were quickly swamped, and only the negro,
by the full exercise of his wonderful strength, had
been able to regain the wreck by swimming. Now,
though the after part of the schooner was so low in
the water that its rail was nearly awash, her bows,
THE CORAL SHIP.
for some unexplained reason, still :1. ,red high. For
two days and nights the negro had drifted alone,
and at the mercy of the elements. IIe had been
constantly wet by the seas that dashed over him,
and had suffered keenly from thirst. Now the
storm had so abated that the waves no longer
swept over the forward part of the deck, and there
the three young sailors could remain in comparative
As darkness came on and the stars shone out in
unclouded splendor, the wind sank to a steady breeze
and the sea rapidly subsided. All three of the lads
shivered as the cool night air penetrated their soaked
clotliin-., and all of them were very hungry, while
the negro was ravenous. At length he descended
into the forecastle, where for some time he groped
about, wading through the water that swashed above
the floor to a depth of several feet. When he re-
appeared he bore in one hand an axe, and in the
other a great bunch of what looked like dried
yellow plums or persimmonos. T1 -11 he proceeded
to eat, after first offering to share them with his
companions. They each tried one, but even their
hunger could not induce them to swallow another
ABANDONED A 7 SEA.
of the evil-smelling things. The dried plums, as
they thought them, were really the yolks of unlaid
eggs taken from the bodies of dead turtles. By the
natives of those southern islands these "yellows," as
they are called, are esteemed a great delicacy, but
their smell alone generally deters a stranger from
testing them further.
After taking the edge off his appetite with these
unsavory _-. the negro curled himself up in the
eyes of the bow, and, with the happy carelessness of
his race, almost immediately fell asleep. Sitting as
close together as possible for warmth, Gale and
Aleck talked of their situation and studied the stars
for several hours. Gale pointed out the Southern
Cross, sunk low on one horizon, and the North Star
above the other. This led him to thoughts of his
own far away home, and when at last he too fell
asleep some time after Aleck had done so, it was
to dream of the little brown cottage and its loved
So, hearing its sleeping passengers in safety, the
water-logged wreck drifted on through the night.
Minor currents urged it this way and that, but
always the powerful tide of the mighty gulf stream
**~~- I* *
76 THE CORAL SHIP.
bore it steadily forward. Some time after midnight
it was (I --!l..r.:. towards the Florida coast by the
young flood, and on the very top of the tide it took
bottom, on an outlying reef, so gently that none of
the sleepers was awakened by the slight shock. By
this time the breeze had died out, and the heaving
bosom of the sea was as unruffled as a mirror.
STRANDE ON ARE
ESCAPINGr FROM THE WRECK.
A T length Gale awoke with a start, rubbed his
eyes and gazed about him in bewilderment.
He was stiff and lame from lying so long in the
dampness on his hard couch, and lie could not at
first recognize his surroundings. He wondered at
the steadiness of the wreck, and rising to his feet
looked over the rail to discover its meaning. The
eastern sky was aglow with the marvellous coloring
of sunrise, and the opal-tinted waters gleamed with
a satiny sheen.
Gazing down into the clear depths he could see a
coral bottom, above which waved the gorgeous crim-
sons and purples of feathery sea fans. Then he knew
the wreck was on a reef, but lie lhad no more knowl-
edge of where it was located than the boy who still
lay sleeping at his feet. A few miles away across
the tinted waters, rose the misty outline of an un-
THE CORAL SHIP.
known land. On all sides great fish glistening like
bars of molten silver and dripping as with diamonds,
leaped high into the air as though rejoicing in the
glory of the new-born day. The young mate's spirits
rose as he gazed about him, and with a loud shout
he startled his companions into such sudden wake-
fulness that Aleck bumped his head against the bul-
warks and sat up rubbing it ruefully, while the negro
sprang to his feet muttering some Spanish words to
the effect that he would be on deck in a minute.
"Come, bear a hand, hearties !" cried Gale, laugh-
ing at their confusion. Here we are hard and fast
aground with land in sight, and breakfast not ready
yet. How about those ill-smelling plums of yours,
Caesar ? Are there any left ? By holding my nose
and shutting my eyes I believe I might manage to
swallow a few, and I must stow something away
inside, for I feel as empty as a last year's bird's
With a grin lighting his sable features, the negro
produced the considerable quantity of "yellows"
still remaining. Both Gale and Aleck managed to
swallow enough of them to take the edge off their
appetites, while Caesar ate greedily all that were left.
ESCAPING G FROM iTHE WRECIC.
There was still water enough in the breaker to wash
these down, and to refresh them greatly.
"Now, fellows, let 's get ready to go ashore," said
Gale, when this scanty meal was finished. "Perhaps
we can get there and find a hotel by dinner-time.
Besides, I am anxious to send a few telegrams as
soon as possible."
"How are you going to get there asked Aleck,
gazing wistfully at the distant land.
"The same way Rob)inson Crusoe did; by means
of a raft," was the reply.
And do you really think we will find people
there? White people I mean."
I should n't be surprised, and perhaps they will
send a tug out for us; but it won't do to wait for
them. The tide is running out now and we must be
ready to take advantage of the very first of the
flood. So let 's look alive and get to work on our
With the wonderful buoyancy of youth, that re-
fuses to be suppressed even by the most adi-erse
circumstances, and aided by those great stimulants
of happiness, plenty of hard work, and full occupa-
tion for their minds, the three castaways set merrily
THE CORAL SHIP.
to work, exchanging jokes and indulging in the most
extravagant conjectures concerning who and what
they should find on reaching land, as they did so.
At first sight the schooner appeared to be stripped
of everything from which they might construct a
raft; but when they got the main hatch off they
found a couple of barrels floating in the hold. These,
emptied of their water and ]pi_ 1-. 1 made a very
buoyant foundation. To them was added the main
hatch, the outer portion of the bowsprit, which after
half an hour's hard work with the axe Gale managed
to chop off, and a few bits of the vessel's lighter
woodwork. Gale and Caesar, who were both pro-
vided with sheath knives, that they carried in their
belts, built the raft; while Aleck explored the fore-
castle, which the falling tide left comparatively ac-
cessible, and brought up whatever he could discover
of value in it. Thus he soon had spread on deck
several bags of sailor's clothing, a roll of canvas, an
iron pot, a number of grains or fish spears, and
two stout fishing lines with hooks attached, besides
a variety of other less useful articles.
To his great disappointment he could find no pro-
visions, and Casar said that as the schooner was
ESCAPING FROM THE WRECK.
just ending a long cruise when she was wrecked there
had been very little of anything to eat left on board.
At the end of three hours of hard work the raft
was completed, and was laden with everything that
Aleck had found, besides all the ropes and rigging
that had still remained on the schooner. The sun
was now beating down with a fervent heat, but in
the afternoon when the tide turned this was pleasant-
ly tempered by a light sea breeze, that promised to
aid them materially on their passage towards the
land. Gale even managed to rig up a mast, and a
yard to which they bent an apology for a sail made
of a square bit cut from the roll of canvas. This with
a plank, fixed to the after end of the raft in such a
way that it formed a clumsy steering oar, completed
When all was ready and they stepped aboard
their rude craft, it was found to be capable of bear-
ing them, but that was all. Its deck was very
nearly awash, while the whole affair proved so loose-
jointed and unmseaw:oirthy, that to poor Aleck it
seemed a \most foolhardy and dangerous thing to
trust themselves to it. As the only alternative was
to remain behind, he reluctantly seated himself on
THE CORAL SHIP.
it, and with a resigned expression prepared to await
whatever fate might hold in store for him.
In spite of its clumsy appearance the raft, aided
by a favoring breeze and a strong current, made such
good progress that with n an hour after leaving the
wreck they were only a couple of miles from the
land for which they were h-:,,m_, and which now
proved to be an island.
Suddenly Casar, who was stationed at the for-
ward end of the raft, called out to Gale, who was
steering, "Look out, Cap'n! Dar 's a reef right
It was too late to do anythil-_, and the next
minute they were rubbing and scraping over a nar-
row sand-bar that seemed to extend to the shore. In
another moment the raft slid into deep water; but
it was so badly wrenched that it seemed on the point
of going to pieces, and they no longer dared carry
sail. On the opposite side of the channel in which
they now floated, and which was not more than
twenty yards wide, they saw another mar, also ex-
tending to the land, so there w as nothing for them
to do but to drift up the channel they were in
wherever it might lead.
ESCAPING FROM THE WRECK.
In the meantime Aleck had become so reassured
by the safe sailing of the earlier portion of the voy-
age, that he had thrown overboard a hook, baited
with a bit of white rag, in the hope of catching one
of the fish that swarmed about them, and had made
the inner end of the line fast about his wrist. Now,
forgetful of this, he, with the others, watched eagerly
the land they were approaching. Finally the cur-
rent swept them into a narrow opening between two
islands, and they could see open water beyond.
T1i. could not aforid to be carried past the only
bit of land within sight, and so, as they floated close
to the left-hand shore, the negro, with a line knotted
about his waist, sprang overboard and swam toward
it. At the same instant there came a tremendous
tug at Aleck's wrist, and le, already partly over-
balanced by CGesar's sudden movement, lost his foot-
ing an d also plunged into the water, uttering a loud
ciy as lie disappeared. Without an instant's hesita-
tion Gale sprang after him, while the raft separated
intoI its collmpolent parts.
It was fortunate that, all this happened close to
the shore for, with the raft tugging at the negro,
and a big fish tugging at Aleck, their situation
THE CORAL SHIP.
would have been hopeless had they been a few yards
farther out in the stream.
When they did finally reach land, and stood
dripping and panting on the rocky bank, Aleck's
first exclamation was: "I wish I might never see
another drop of salt water again, nor step off of dry
land again as long as I live. Oh, you monster!
You 'd drag me in again, would you ?"
The latter part of this speech was addressed to
the fish which was still tIi__nL at the line attached
to the boy's wrist, and which when landed proved to
be a fine barraconta weighing at least twenty pounds.
At the same time C ssar pulled in all that remained
of the raft, which was the main hatch with the axe
lying on it. All the rest of their possessions had
drifted far beyond their reach or gone to the bottom.
While his companions were thus engaged, Gale
was gazing curiously at the remains of what had
evidently been a ship's ways that rested half in the
water, near the mouth of a small stream. A moment
later, without stopping to bemoan their losses in this
second shipwreck, he started to walk up along the
bank of the stream, toward the interior of the island,
and directly afterwards the others followed him.
* I '. .. ...
* J^* .-
I' ,b < .
,A \LI [Fr ILL\( I L U\ K I I I
.\ I[G R 'L N ''SL : 0. [S Z I',: H],' I., IlM '
ESCAPI-A-C FROM TRlE J'RECIC.
The young mate's face wore a puzzled and ex-
pectant expression, and he walked like one in a
dream. As he came to a broad opening in the forest,
in the centre of which lay a small, spring-fed lake,
he stood still and gazed about him with an air of
At length he said aloud: Well If this is n't
Sir Richard Allanson's island, then my name is n't
Gale Ellicot, that 's all "
Sir Richard Allanson cried a voice behind him.
" You know him ? "
Know him Of course I do !" answered Gale.
" He was my great-great-grandfather "
Then a black figure flung itself on its knees before
him; and, in joyful accents, the young negro
Sir Rich' you' granfodder Den you know
Black Caesar You know Kabele, my granfodder !
Now you kill me Kill you' pore slave, an' he be
happy foreber an' eber !"
Looking at this strange tableau in open-eyed
wonder, Aleck Penrose asked himself if they had
both gone crazy, and what lie had better do under
the circumstances ?