Citation
The story of Jack Ballister's fortunes

Material Information

Title:
The story of Jack Ballister's fortunes
Creator:
Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911
Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911 ( Illustrator )
Century Company ( Publisher )
De Vinne Press ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Century Co.
Manufacturer:
De Vinne Press
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ix, [3], 420 p., [12] leaves of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Kidnapping -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Redemptioners -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Pirates -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Seafaring life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Escapes -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Rescues -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- Virginia -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre:
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Illustrations by the author.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Howard Pyle ; being the narrative of the adventures of a young gentleman of good family, who was kidnapped in the year 1719 and carried to the plantations of the continent of Virginia ; where he fell in with that famous pirate Captain Edward Teach, or Blackbeard ; of his escape from the pirates and the rescue of a young lady from out their hands.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026927860 ( ALEPH )
ALH6840 ( NOTIS )
228107528 ( OCLC )

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Full Text


















LAYTON B. REGISTER











JACK: BALLISTER’S FORTUNES





















MAREE: at So HEA

(CSPEAK UP, BOY, SPEAK UP,’ SAID THE GENTLEMAN,” (SHE PAGE 90.)



THE STORY OF
JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

BY

HOWARD PYLE _
;

BEING THE NARRATIVE OF THE ADVENTURES
OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF GOOD FAM-
ILY, WHO WAS KIDNAPPED IN THE YEAR 1719
AND CARRIED TO THE PLANTATIONS OF THE
CONTINENT OF VIRGINIA, WHERE HE FELL
IN WITH THAT FAMOUS PIRATE CAPTAIN
EDWARD TEACH, OR BLACKBEARD: OF HIS
ESCAPE FROM THE PIRATES AND THE RESCUE
OF A YOUNG LADY FROM OUT THEIR HANDS



NEW YORK
THE CENTURY CoO.
1895:



Copyright, 1894, 1895, by
TuE CENTURY Co.

JHE DE VINNE PRESS,



CHAPTER
I

Ir

Til

IV

Vv

VI
VII:
VIII
IX

xX

XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
XVI
XVII
XVIII
XIX
XX
XXI
XXII
XXII
XXIV
XXV

CONTENTS

PAGE
Tur AMERICA MERCHANT............0.0..00cccee eee 5
JACK BALLISTER ....... Raat Seaman a aah eNO Ree a AN 9
JACK AND HIS: UNCLE e225 Souda i ee ne ls 26
CAST ACEN IBS DVDS ee acs ce oe en eee nace et ee sia 31
KGED WAP BIND 1G os eeee een Wille sec cemmr sce anile Meant ieee 38
ABOARD: THE ARUNDEL. . 2.2. .6..5e 8. 43
EN CROSSs DEIR y, OCHAN 20 ce Gagliano lea 47
To THE END OF THE VOYAGE................0.0000. 57
TEN VATS GEN TEAM tige ty ea aul Ph oer Stn Cg Ce 65
INTO MBONDA GH Retry sate eri lee Goce gle ana ane 77
MEATS BO ROU G rie cry aiers yoga ery cee pene ekll 85
DOWN THECRIVER es NOs acer es eee Sea ie) eee 92
ULE ERO OSU ee catia an ee un co Cu ahaaan edie dn aire 97
In EN@LAND .............. i sepasant: te aenee mor eien ete epee ae 102
GIR ATT THE ROOST Me sate a) ete uecn teeters aan 109
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS...................400. 116
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION.......... 000. cece cece eee 124.
Miss ELEANOR PARKER............. 0.0.0 ccc ce eee eee 130
Wane VISTO Ri AIGEATING oes eee nea ee ied ete Oi 135
TEENS WEED URRY: srs a Rel eee ene ee 146
THE STRUGGLE..... Uae ae ee ci hee ag teen oe ns aN cue ee a 154
EVE SHS CASE Whi dee eieys tect ent, go Were sd naan cr sgageen 161
SACS MI RUIEN Gio te Pee iain See) Uveitis aie oral gleams 168
FATE MART BOROUGEIAC i cice aoe apt eee eee ge rns 179
EIN g © APT Vai S GE reat hasta oer iet Ue eRe 190
ERROR PTRACT RS SITAR ae eior oe sins) one se ake oe et 198
PADS AND OWN Es oreo Soe inte cast ne ameter Oeutencne 203



viii
CHAPTER
XXVIII
XXIxX
Xxx
XXXI
XXXII
XXXII
XXXIV
XXXV
XXXVI
XXXVII
XXXVIII
XXXIX
XL

XLI
XLII
XLII
XLIV
XLV
XLVI
XLVII
XLVIII
XLIX

L



CONTENTS

PAGE
In NortH CAROLINA—IN VIRGINIA.............. 211
NIT: J Dp ODDDIMMLONS Was rine Sean gh EAM Nyy Heim oen ey cals 221
THe ATTEMPT ....... See reac 30 Aree au igo ap De ee 229
THE RETURN ....:..... era Ab Naren ee 237
ASS ONE aes eet cr nee ea nu egos ae 243
How: JAOK RESOLVED: 2 20 0ncs fie ce ee 253
UTSET Ee HS GAC i eerie esses ea eg ote eee cre en eu ees 265
THe BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE ...........,..... 272
AUSTOP“OVER ONIGHT® Sau. of. apse. eae 280
PEERS SECOND) “DAV eyo ma tcc en lan chainen ony ciara 287
HEREDIA ETE: Dy Bt) Avi prculiicsere crear Ips aise gerueinocnt eect tas el ereaies is 296
FREER SIH UR Deg D)ACYiaee cence gen a inl ray nee Te eee 305
FRETEAI SU STEED PAN ate ate ees tea to eceeg eyo ec ciea ey cen aye 319
HINER OAT ASD RRR S Uae eel Vin 2 at ate tee Arak ay 327
ET Ereen SIN Tae DAV eh eae te areas lees ines aren ieee aa 336
FM Eire EGRET UDR Nia Soe pee Seat iat Ente ste eae at Cleaver eu mit cae eae 346
FRISEN GSE OR TUNIS Sei scet te cee trou Noe nectgetli lire eroe 353
IP REPAIR ACI O Neer uct ney rit evtoe Wa intern tier ge ene hones 362
NI epi SFG ELT es spetea eee eee ei are eee fT erseea enn IA 373
INDE NG We GTR peg el eee nl tact eon 385
JACK MEETS SOME OLD FRIENDS .................. 391
DEE DD RPAR TURING tints elena ian asap ieee ate 404

FIMEDE IGE DURING seer encode a ean sunning iy A noes 412



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

“< FACING PAGE
“<< He LL COME TO BY AND BY; HE’S ONLY STUNNED A TRIFLE,’

ASTD TOT al © AMPIUATIN Sie soe cess lan epee ca ete Un ee alc 42
“<(Now, THEN, GENTLEMEN, HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS
Boy?? SAID THE AUCTIONEER” ...........0000 000 e ee eee 82
“Mr. PARKER STOOD LOOKING STEADILY AT HIS VISITOR”... 122
“<¢T pon’T want TO BE ANyBODY’s SERVANT, LaDy, AND
WOULD N’T IF ] COULD HELP IT’”..............2-.0005- 132
“He PICKED UP THE BIRD AND HELD IT OUT AT ARMS
ATER GTC 22 ease erate ete res en eee a ett age eee CeCe eae 152

“Hr LED JACK UP TO THE MAN WHO SAT UPON A BaRREL”. 174
“JACK FOLLOWED THE CAPTAIN AND THE Young LaDy UP

THE CROOKED PaTH To THE HovusE”............- kone 200
“THEY FOUND HER STILL SITTING IN THE SAME PLACE”..... 234
JACK AND DRED RESCUE HLEANOR—THE START............. 272
Tue PIRATES FIRE UPON THE FUGITIVES .................0-. 316

“COLONEL PARKER REACHED AND LAID HIS HAND UPON JACK’S
SHOULDER. ‘AY,’ SAID HE, ‘’T IS A GOOD, HONEST Face’” 348

“THE COMBATANTS CUT AND SLASHED WITH SAVAGE Fury’’.. 384

“(THEN I WILL COME,’ SAID HE”................. SO ees 408



JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES



JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

INTRODUCTION

NE of the most important problems that confronted
the Virginia plantations in the earlier colonial days
was the question as to how to obtain sufficient labor to
till the soil and to raise tobacco for the English market.
Some of the colonial planters of Virginia owned thou-
sands of acres of the richest tobacco land in the world
— whole tracts of virgin earth where the priceless loam
lay open to the rain, the air, and the warm sky; boun-
tifully fruitful loam, only waiting for tillage to be comed
into vast tobacco fortunes for the princely owners.
All that was needed was human labor to dig the earth,
to plant, to hoe, to cultivate, and to prepare the to-
bacco for market, for there was not a hundredth part
enough labor to turn the waiting soil, that lay ready to
yield at any time its thousands of hogsheads of tobacco,
and the question was, where and how labor was to be
obtained.

The easiest and quickest solution of the question ap-
peared to be the importation of negro slave labor from
Africa.

The introduction of such slave labor began almost in
the earliest days of the provinces. Hundreds of ship-
loads of African negroes were brought across the ocean

and set to work digging and hoeing in the tobacco
1 1



2 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

fields, and slave trade became a regular traffic between
the west coast of Africa and the Americas.

But the African slaves, when imported, were found
only fit to do the very rudest and simplest sort of la-
bor. They were poor, ignorant savages, who, until they
were set to work on the plantations, knew almost noth-
ing at all about such labor as was practised by civilized
mankind. When they were told to dig the earth, they
dug, but they labored without knowing either why they
worked or wherefore. They did just as their masters
or their overseers bade them, and nothing more. Be-
yond this they could be taught little or nothing, for not
only were those earlier savages like children, incapable
of learning much of anything; but, in most instances,
they could not even speak a single word of the language
of their masters, and so could not understand what their
owners wanted of them. They were of use only to work
as a dumb animal might work, and not as white men
could work.

So the Virginia plantations were still without that in-
telligent labor which white men alone could bring to
the tilling of the soil; labor that knew what it was about
when it dug the earth, and which, when told to do so,
could turn its hand to other things that might be re-
quired of it. And so it was that every means was used
- to bring English men and women to the Virginia plan-
tations. |

Even in the last part of the seventeenth century those
immigrants who afterward developed our great coun-
try into what it now is, were beginning to pour into
the colonies. But, of this immigrant labor, the best
and the most intelligent did not come to Virginia or
other of the southern provinces. It drifted to the New
England or the Pennsylvania provinces rather than to
those in the South. There, in the North, any man
could obtain a farm for himself by hewing it out of the



INTRODUCTION 3

wilderness. In Virginia the land was nearly all owned
by the great tobacco planters. Hence it was that only
the poorest and least ambitious of these white men
and women could in the earlier provincial days be
induced to go thither, and hence white labor was so
much more in demand in the South than in the North.

A certain class of the immigrants of that time were
called “redemptioners” or “redemption servants.”
They were so called because they had to redeem by
their labor the cost of their passage across the ocean
from England to America. Upon their arrival in the
New World they were sold for a term of years — seven,
eight, nine, ten, as the case might be — and the money
received from such sale was paid to the ship captain
or the merchant who transported them from the Old
World to the New. Thus their debt was redeemed,
and hence their name.

Those who came thus as radeniption servants from
England were generally the poorest and most wretched
of its people—paupers, outcasts, criminals—unfortu-
nates who were willing to do almost anything to get
away from their surroundings into a new life, where
they hoped something better might be in store for them
than that wretchedness which they had had to endure
at home.

Thousands of such people were sent across the ocean
to the Virginia and other plantations, where, poor and
miserable as they often were, the demand for them grew
ever greater and greater as the wilderness became more
and more open to cultivation.

Every year higher and higher prices were paid for
such servants, until, at last, a ship-load of redemptioners
(provided. the voyage across the ocean had been speedy
and no contagious disease had developed aboard the
vessel) bocatnc) almost the most profitable cargo exported
from England.



4 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

When the transportation of servants became thus so
remunerative, the crimps who supplied them to mer-
chants or to ship captains were oftentimes tempted,
when other means failed, to resort to kidnapping, or
man-stealing, to supply the demand.

During the earlier fifty years of the last century,
thousands of men, women, and even children were
stolen from England and sent away to the Americas,
perhaps never to return, perhaps never even to be heard
of again. In those days—“ The kidnapper will catch
you!” were words of terror to frighten children and
gadding girls on all the coastways of England.



CHAPTER I
THE AMERICA MERCHANT

EZEKIAH TIPTON had been a merchant in the

America trade for upwards of forty years. He

had shipped hundreds of servants to the Americas;

they were as much a part of his cargo as tea or broad-
cloth or books or silk stuffs.

Maybe he was not always scrupulously careful to
know whence came some of the servants he thus trans-
ported. He was reasonably honest in his dealings, as the
times went, and he would not often buy a servant from a
crimp if he knew positively that the crimp had kid-
napped the man. But if he was not positively sure, he
would not go out of his way to inquire into things that
did not concern him. He would either take the servant
offered for sale, or else he would not take him; but he
would not trouble himself to ask how the crimp ob-
tained the man, or whether the man himself was or was
not really willing to emigrate to the colonies.

There was, for instance, a good deal of talk at one
time about three men whom Hezekiah had sent to South
Carolina. A Dutchman had brought them into the har-
bor in his lugger. He said that the men desired to
emigrate, and Hezekiah, who at that time had a ship
just clearing for Charleston, expressed his willingness
to pay the captain something for them, if he did not
demand too much. Two of the men were stupefied with
drink, and the third had a bloody clout wrapped around

5



6 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

his head, and was cut and bruised as though he had
been beaten with a club or a belaying-pin. It was an
evident case of kidnapping, but nevertheless Hezekiah
paid the Dutch captain for the men, and had them sent
directly aboard the ship. One of the three men was
sober the next morning. Hezekiah had come aboard
the ship, and as he was rowed away toward the shore
the man leaned over the rail above, shouting out curses
after the old merchant, swearing that he would cer-
tainly come back to England some time and murder
_ him. “You think you ’re safe,” bawled the man after
the departing boat,—“you think you ’re safe! Wait
till you feel my knife in your back this day twelve-
month—d’ ye hear?—then you won’t feel so safe.”
The men rowing the boat to the shore grinned and
winked at one another. Old Hezekiah sat immovably
in the stern, paying no attention to the man’s threats
and imprecations, which continued until the captain of
the ship knocked him down, and so silenced his outcries.

This affair created, as was said, a good deal of talk
at the time.

In the year 1719, beginning in February and ending
in November, Hezekiah Tipton sent away to the Ameri-
can colonies or plantations in all over five score servants.

One day early in March, a company of nineteen men
who had volunteered to emigrate to the Virginias was
brought up from London to meet the brig Arundel at
Southampton. They were quartered at the Golden Fish
Inn, and during the morning the old America mer-
chant went to look them over. The men were ranged in
a row along by the wall of the inn yard, and the old man
walked up and down in front of the line, peering at
each man with half-shut eyes and wrinkled face, while
a few people from the inn stood looking on with a sort
of inert interest. He did not seem very well pleased



THE AMERICA MERCHANT 7

with the appearance of the servants. There were only
nineteen, and there should have been one and twenty.
The agent explained that there had been twenty-one of
them when he wrote from London, but that one of them
had run away during the night, and that another would.
not sign the papers. “’T was,” said he, “as fine, good
a young lad of sixteen or eighteen as ever you see.
But his mother, methinks it was, comes in crying at
the last minute and takes him away from under our
werry noses, so to speak.” Hezekiah grunted a reply
as he walked up and down along the row of grinning,
shuffling men, looking them over. The big knotted
joints of the old man’s fingers gripped the cracked and
. yellow ivory head of his walking-stick, which he every
now and then tapped, tapped on the stones of the court-
yard. “That man,” said he, in his cracked, querulous
voice, poking his walking-stick as he spoke at a lean
little man standing in the line—“that man—why did
ye bring him? How much d ye think hell fetch in
the Virginias? I’s warrant me not fifteen guineas.”
“Why, Master Tipton,” said the agent, referring to a
slip of paper which he held in his hand, “there you
are mightily mistook. Maybe, like enough, that man is
worth more than any of ’em. He’s askilled barber and
leecher, and a good man he is, and knows his trade,
to be sure, and that werry well. Just you think, Master
Tipton, how much he might be worth as a vally or
body-servant to one of them there Virginia planters.”
“Humph!” grunted the old man, and he shook his
lean head slowly from side to side. “Ill tell you what
it. is, Master Dockray,” he said again, after a while,
“they be not nigh so good as those I had last—and
only nineteen where there should have been one and
twenty.” The agent made no answer and the old man
continued his inspection for a while. He did not say
anything further, and by and by he turned away and,



8 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

with the agent at his heels, entered the inn to receipt the
papers, and with his going the inspection came to an end.

Finally, in making you acquainted with old Hezekiah
Tipton, it may be said that he was a notable miser of his
time. To see him hobbling along the street in his snuff-
colored coat, threadbare at the seams, and here and
there neatly patched and darned, one might take him,
perhaps, for a poor decent school-teacher of narrow
means, but certainly not for one of the richest men in
the county, as he was reputed to be. There were a
great many stories concerning him in Southampton,
many of them doubtless apocryphal, some of them
based upon a foundation of truth. One such story was
that every Sunday afternoon the old man used to enter
into his own room, bolt the door, and spread gold money
out on the floor; that he would then strip himself and
roll in the yellow wealth as though taking a bath. An-
other story was that he had three iron chests in the
garret of his home, each chest bolted to the floor with
iron bolts. That the one chest was full of Spanish
doubloons, the second full of French louis d’ors, the
third full of English guineas. The Southampton trades-
men used to say that it was more difficult to collect.
their bills from Hezekiah Tipton than from almost
any one in the town.



CHAPTER II
JACK BALLISTER

ACK BALLISTER at this time was a little over
sixteen years old, and had now been living with his
uncle Tipton something over two years.

Jack’s father at the time of his death had been vicar
of Stalbridge for nearly nineteen years, so that Jack,
until he had come to Southampton, had never known
anything but that part of Wiltshire which immediately
surrounded Stalbridge and Stalbridge vicarage. The
only other inmates of the vicarage were old Janet, the
housekeeper, and a farmer’s daughter who helped about
the house, and old Giles Cobb, who came up now and
then to work in the garden.

There was, by the way, always a singular charm to
Jack in the memories of this garden. Some of his
earliest recollections were of playing out in the tangled
sunny reaches while old Giles bent, with stooping
shoulders and rounded back, over his work, digging
and planting and picking about at the weeds in the
brown, loamy beds. There was a yew hedge, and two
bee hives that stood under a cherry tree, and a row of
two or three cucumber frames that lay bright and
shining, reflecting in their glassy surface the clouds
and the warm sky above. There was always an asso-
ciation of flowers, of birds, and of warm yellow sunlight
about the tangled, flowery space, and in the years after-

wards, when Jack visited the old vicarage, one of the
: 9



10 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

first places he went to was the garden. It looked
strangely familiar yet strangely unfamiliar. It seemed
more unkempt and uncared for. The birds were sing-
ing in the trees over beyond the hedge, but the two
straw-thatched bee hives were gone. Nevertheless he
could almost faney that old Giles with his hunched
shoulders and his smock frock might at any moment
come in through the gate, trundling his squealing wheel-
barrow before him.

Jack was not quite four years old when his mother
had died. It seemed to him that he could remember
her, yet the image he held in his mind might not have

-been an actual memory, but only some strong associa-
tion connected with things that Janet had told him
about her. Yet it seemed to him that he really did hold
a mental impression of her in his memory of early things,
an impression of a large, tender, shadowy figure, dressed
in black, and with a white kerchief or shawl around her
shoulders. He could almost fancy that he could re-
member a peculiar fragrance that lingered about the
folds of her dress—a fragrance like that of the old
lavender chest where Janet kept the house linen. This
recollection of his mother might have been only an
image conjured up out of what had been told him con-
cerning her, but, as was said, it always seemed as though
it were a real and living memory. It is sometimes
difficult to tell where fancy ends and memory begins in
those broken fragments of recollections of early child-
hood.

It seemed to him that the same figure was present in
the memory of a certain time when he, as a little, little
boy, had fallen down the steps and cut his chin. It
seemed to him that it was she who had comforted him,
singing to him while she scraped a crisp half-apple and
fed him with the pulp from the point of a knife. Janet
had said that that fall had not happened until the year



JACK BALLISTER 11

after his mother’s death, but it seemed to Jack that it was
his mother’s presence that had filled the memory of the
accident, and he always felt that maybe it was Janet
who was mistaken, and not his own recollections of the
trivial event.

He often thought of his mother, as a motherless boy
is apt to think of that missing presence, and it seemed
to him that if she had only lived he would have loved
her very much, and that his life would have been much
sweeter to him.

Janet often talked to him about her. His grand-
mother, Janet told him, had adopted her as a little
girl, and had brought her up with her own daughter, who
was now Lady Arabella Sutton. She had been, Janet
said, more of a companion than a waiting-maid. Of
these stories of by-gone times, that children so delight
to have told to them, Jack would make Janet tell him
most often of the great family quarrel that had hap-
pened when his father had told the others that he
and Anne Tipton were going to be married. Janet
always made the most out of the story, embellishing
it more and more as the years passed by, and as her
imagination suggested new details. “ Indeed,” she would
maybe say, “you should ha’ seen him stand up before
your grandmother, as grand as you please, with his arms
folded so. ‘A Ballister, madam,’ says he, ‘can marry
where he chooses,’ ”

Jack could not imagine lis father as the hero of any
such scene, still less could he image him as riding post-
haste to Southampton when his mother had been sent
away home from Grampton Hall.

He often heard people say that his father was a
great scholar. The vicar was always silent and pre-
occupied, sometimes deep in his books, sometimes
scribbling away with a busy pen, a litter of papers scat-
tered all over the floor about him, and his wig pushed



12 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

back awry from his smooth, round forehead; sometimes
walking up and down the garden paths with his hands
clasped behind his back, his head bent forward, and
his eyes fixed on the ground. He used especially to
walk thus while he was formulating in his mind the
outlines of one of the pamphlets he used to write. Jack
could not imagine that any one so absorbed in his
books and his studies could ever have been the hero of
such romance. And then he always seemed so very,
very old to Jack. It was hard to imagine that such a
dry and sapless life could ever have had the ichor of
romance flowing through it.

Before Janet had come to Stalbridge she had been
one of the dependents of the other Ballisters. “They
be grand, grand folks,” she would sometimes say, “and
hold their heads as high as ever the Duke of Newcastle
himself.” She sometimes told Jack that if his father
had not set his family all against him, he might have
been a bishop as like as not. “TI’d never come to Stal-
bridge only for your mother, poor soul,” said she.
“But she was fond of me, and I was fond of her, and so
I came.” ;

It seemed to Jack that he could hardly remember the
time when his father did not teach him Latin and
Greek. One of his first recollections as a little, little
boy was of his father teaching him the Greek alphabet.
He learned little or nothing else than the two languages,
and it is not likely that his father thought anything
else was worth learning. Jack once overheard the vicar
say to old Sir Thomas Harding, “ Sir, I will make the
boy the best scholar in England.” The words remained
fixed in Jack’s memory as such fragmentary speeches do
sometimes fix themselves, for no especial reason, in the
mind of boyhood. The promise of great scholarship was,
however, never to be fulfilled, for Jack was only four-
teen years old when the vicar died, and in the neglected



JACK BALLISTER 13

two years at Southampton he never went to school a
day, or studied six words of a lesson, or read a page of
Greek or Latin, except one or two times when Mr. Stet-
son made him read a passage or two of Greek as 2
matter of curiosity.

Jack’s father never said anything to him about his
mother or his relations. His uncle Tipton had come
up from Southampton just before his father’s death,
but that was the only time that Jack had ever really
seen one of his own kindred.

During the fall of the year in which Jack’s father had
died, a messenger on horseback, with great jackboots and
a suit of green livery turned up with scarlet, rode up to
the vicarage and delivered a packet to Janet, who pres-
ently brought it in to the vicar, where he sat in the sag-
ging wainscoted study, writing in the midst of a litter
of papers scattered on the floor. The vicar set his pen
in his mouth and took the letter, and Jack watched
him as he broke the great red seal and began reading
the packet, now and then frowning, either in the effort
of reading the written words or else at the purport of
the words themselves. When he had finished the letter
he laid it to one side and resumed his writing where it had
been interrupted. The messenger who had brought the
letter did not immediately go away. Jack could hear
now and then the jingle of his bridle or spurs, and now
and then the sound of his whistling, as he lounged in
the warm sunlight outside. Then there was the noise
of voices talking together—the voices of Janet and the
messenger—and presently the housekeeper came into
the study to say that the man wanted to know when he
could’ have his answer. The vicar looked up with the
bewildered air he always wore when he was interrupted.
“Hh!” he said, “eh! what d’ ye say? Answer? Who
wants an answer?” ‘Then remembering, “oh, aye,
there ’s no answer to send. You may tell him, there’s



14 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

no answer.” And then presently the messenger rode
clattering away whence he had come.

The letter lay where the vicar had left it until the
next afternoon, and Jack, impelled bycuriosity, managed -
to read a part of it. It was from his grand-aunt Lady
Dinah Welbeck. She said that she was very ill, and she
asked the vicar to come and see her before her end, and
that all should be forgiven. The vicar did not go, either
because he did not think of the message again, or else
because he did not choose to resume his correspondence
with hisfamily. The letter lay about until the vicar tore
a great strip off from it with which to light a candle in the
next room, and the next day the written sheet was gone.

Some time after Lady Dinah Welbeck’s death another
communication, long and bulky, was brought to the vic-
arage. The vicar read it but paid no attention to it.
Then another letter came and another. The last letter
the vicar did not even open for several days. He was
very busy at work upon a pamphlet, and. the letter lay
neglected upon the writing table until one morning
Janet brought it and thrust it into his hand. “Eh!”
said he, as though suddenly awakening to things about
him, “what is this? what is this?” He took the letter
and looked at it. “Why, this letter should have been
given me three days ago,” he said.

“So ’t was, master,” said Janet, “but you did not
read it.”

“Did I not so?” said Jack’s father, and then he
broke the seal and read it. But still he paid no atten-
tion to it.

No doubt the vicar’s family would long since have
received him back among them if he had cared to have
them do so. He and they had drifted far apart in the
nineteen years that had passed. During that time all
ill feeling—at least on the part of the family—had
faded away and died. There was no intimacy, hardly



JACK BALLISTER 15

any acquaintance, between the vicar and his brother,
Sir Henry, neither was there any longer rancor between
them.

Some of the letters written at this time had been
written by Sir Henry, and after a number had been sent
without eliciting any reply, the baronet sent the Gramp-
ton lawyer down to Stalbridge. The attorney and the
vicar were closeted together for a long time, and when
they at last came out of the study the vicar was very
angry. It was the only time that Jack had ever seen
him so. “They may keep it all!” he was saying in a
great loud voice. “They may keep it all! I want none
of it, I say. All that I want of them is to let me alone
as I let them alone. I want, I say, none of their money
or nothing that belongs to them. They may keep all
for themselves.”

Jack was leaning out of an upper window in the sun-
light, looking down upon their heads, as they stood just
below. Their voices came up to him through the warm
air very distinctly.

“ But, sir,” said the lawyer, “do you not Ane con-
sider ine Tole of your own son?”

“Sir,” said the vicar in the same loud voice, “that, I
believe, is not your affair. J will look after my son’s
welfare mine own self. I tell you, sirrah, that those
who sent you may e’en keep all of the money for them-
selves. I want nothing of them, and neither shall my
son take aught from them.”

“But, sir,” said the lawyer, “you forget that the
money hath been left to you individually. In taking
it you do not take anything from them. It was not
left to your brother, it is not a gift from him or, indeed,
from any one, and it does not belong to any one but
you. Your family cannot even receive it from you with-
out process of law, and you cannot help taking it.”

“Aye, but I can help taking it,” cried out the vicar.



16 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Sir, sir!” said the lawyer, “pray be calm, sir. Pray
look at this matter reasonably. Here is this money —”

“T will not hear anything more,” eried out the vicar,
‘only I tell you I shall not touch a farthing of it.”

Then the lawyer lost his temper. “Sir,” said he, “T.
must needs tell you that you are the most unreasonable
man that ever I met in all of my life.”

The vicar drew himself up to his full height. “ Sir,”
said he, “sure you forget yourself and to whom you
speak. You forget who I am, sir. You are welcome to
think as you choose about me, but you are not welcome
to tell me your opinion of me. Who are you, sirrah,
to speak so to James Ballister?” And then he turned
upon his heel back into the house, shutting the door
behind him.

Jack, as he still leaned out into the sunlight, looking
down from above, saw the stranger stand irresolutely
for a while, then turn and go slowly out of the gate and
mount his horse and ride away.

That winter the vicar died, and Jack went to South-
ampton to live.

Perhaps one of the bitterest days in Jack Ballister’s
boyhood life was the first evening after his arrival at
hisnew home. His uncle had had the parlor opened, as
though to do some honor to his coming. Jack sat for
nearly an hour on the stiff uncomfortable chair, saying
almost nothing, but just sitting there by the dim light
of a candle. Old Hezekiah had tried to talk, but the
conversation had lapsed and dwindled away into silence.
Now he sat winking and blinking in the light of the
candle, looking as though he were trying to think of
something more to say, but yet saying nothing, and
Jack, too miserable and depressed to talk, ventured
nothing upon his own part. He was very glad when
at last he was permitted to creep away miserably to



JACK BALLISTER 17

bed and to yield himself fully to the luxury of hot
tears and of utter loneliness and homesickness.

-Itseemed to him that night as though he never would
be happy again, but even by the next morning he found
himself awakened to a new and fresh hold upon his
life. Things appeared bright and cheerful again in
the fresh sunlight of a new day, and after he had fin-
ished his frugal breakfast he went out into the streets
and down to the harbor, full of interest in the new sur-
roundings in which he found himself placed. The har-
bor and the ships at anchor there seemed very won-
derful to the boy fresh from the inland country. There
was a great high-pooped battle-ship lying at anchor in
the harbor that morning, and its sloping decks, whence
came the distant rattle of a drum, seemed to teem with
bustling life, lit every now and then by a spark of sun-
light glinting on the slant of a musket-barrel. As Jack
stood and gazed, he forgot how lonely he had been the
night before.

In a little while—in a few weeks—his life had
drifted into all these new circumstances, and had be-
come one with them, and he presently found himself
looking back to that old life at Stalbridge as a thing
gone by and done with forever. All that remained
was the memory of those things as episodes ended and
done.

It is wonderful with what ductility life fits itself into
new circumstances, becoming so accustomed to them,
even in a few days, that they no longer seem to be new.

After that first formal reception in the musty, stuffy
parlor, old Hezekiah seemed to consider his duty to his
nephew as ended. Thereafter Jack was allowed to go
where he pleased and to do as he chose. The old man
hardly ever spoke to the lad excepting now and then in
some dry and constrained fashion. Old Deborah, the
housekeeper, used to send him on errands occasionally,



18 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

but excepting for such little demands upon him, he had
no ties to bind him to his new home except as it was a
place wherein to eat his meals and to sleep at night.

He spent nearly all his time lounging about the har-
bor front, for there was a never-ending delight to him
in the presence of the great ships and the rough sailors,
who would talk of strange foreign countries—of having
been to Calcutta, or to Shanghai, or to Jamaica, or to
the Americas or the Brazils, as Jack might have talked
of having been to the Isle of Wight. They spoke of
the Caribbean Sea, or of the Indian Ocean, as he might
speak of the Solent.

He often used to strike up an acquaintance with
these sailors an acquaintance that would become,
maybe, almost intimate for the two or three days that
they were in the harbor.

It was an idle, aimless, useless life that he lived at
this time. Sometimes—maybe when he was running
on some petty, trivial errand for old Deborah—a sudden
feeling of almost nauseating shame for his useless ex-
istence would come upon him and weigh him down
with a leaden weight. It seemed almost as though an
inner voice, as of conscience, would say: “Fie upon
you! A great, big, hulking fellow like you to go earry-
ing a little crock of yeast through the streets like this!”
Generally when such an inner voice as of conscience
would speak, he would satisfy himself by replying as
with an inner voice of his own: “Oh, well, ’t is Uncle
Hezekiah’s fault. If he’d only set me work to do, why,
I’d do the work, and be glad enough of the chance.”

Mr. Stetson, the rector, used sometimes to talk to
him almost like an echo of that inner accusing voice.
‘oT is a vast pity, Jack,” he would sometimes say, “ that
such a great, stout fellow as thou art should live so in
useless idleness. If nothing else better, why do you
not study your books?” And Jack would be very un-



JACK BALLISTER 19

comfortable with the heavy feeling that he had left
some part of duty undone.

He used often to go to supper at the rectory. He
felt more at ease there—less big-jointed and clumsy
_ thanalmost anywhere else. And besides, he very heartily
enjoyed the good things he had to eat at such times, for
Deborah set a very poor and skimpy table at his uncle’s
house. They generally had preserved ginger and thin
sweet cakes at these suppers at the rectory, and Jack
used sometimes to contrive to slip a couple of cakes
into his pocket to nibble after he got home.

Sometimes, especially if there were visitors present,
the good old rector would insist upon talking to Jack
about his uncle the baronet, or about Lady Dinah
Welbeck, or about his aunt Lady Arabella Sutton.
“Indeed,” he would maybe say, “ Jack’s poor father was
a very learned man, a very learned man. His pamphlet
on the apostolic succession was the best that was writ
at the time of the controversy. "I is, methinks, impos-
sible for a man to be so perfectly ripe a scholar unless
he hath good blood in his veins such as that of the
Ballisters or haply of mine own. Why should it not
be so? To be sure, you cannot make as good wine out
of gooseberries as you can out of currants. Mine own
father used often to say to me: ‘ Andrew, never forget
that you have the blood of Roger Stetson in your
veins.”

Jack always felt a certain awkward constraint when
the rector would talk in this way. It made him some-
how feel ashamed, and he did not know just where to
look or what to answer.

Sometimes Mr. Stetson would make him read aloud
in Greek. “You should hear him read ‘The Frogs,’” he
would maybe say, and he would almost thrust a copy
of Aristophanes into Jack’s not very willing hand.
Jack would read a page or two in a perfunctory sort of



20 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

a way, while the rector would sit smiling and tapping
his finger-tips on the table beside which he sat. “Thou
hast the making of a fine scholar in thee, Jack,” he
would perhaps say, “and ’t is a vast pity thy uncle
Tipton does not send thee to school. I will have a talk
with him about it when the time comes.”

Several times the rector spoke to old Hezekiah about
his nephew. Once he walked all the way back from
church with the old merchant, and almost into the
parlor. But nothing ever came of such talks. “ Hey!”
said the old man; “go to school? What does he want
to go to school for? Well, well! Ill see to it, and think
it over by and by,” and there the matter would rest.

Another friend whom Jack made was the attorney
Burton. One day, as Jack was walking whistling along
the street, the little lawyer came running out of his
office and called after him to stop. ‘Master Jack!
Master Jack! stop a little bit,” he cried out. “Master
Jack Ballister!—I have a word or two to say to you.”
He had run out bareheaded, and he was half breathless
with his haste and his calling. He held an open letter
in his hand. “Who d@ ye think, young gentleman,”
said he, still panting a little, “I have heard from?
Why, from your uncle Sir Henry Ballister, to be sure.
He hath writ to me asking about you—how you are,
what you are doing, and how Master Tipton is treating
you. What shall I tell him?”

“Why, you may tell him,” said Jack, “that I do very
well.”

This was the beginning of Jack’s acquaintance with
the attorney Burton. Several times afterward the lit-
tle lawyer told him that Sir Henry had written about
him. “He hath a mind, methinks,” said the attorney,
“to be more particular as to what your uncle Tipton is
doing for you. Indeed, he hath asked me very espe-
cially about what he does for you. I know what I



JACK BALLISTER 21

shall tell him, for I have talked to Master Stetson
about you, and he tells me what a famous scholard you
are. But harkee, Master Jack, if ever you have need
of advice, you come to me, for so Sir Henry advised me
to say to you.”

Jack stood listening to the little man with a feeling
of pleased and fatuous gratification. It was very pleas-
ant to be so remembered by his grand relation. ‘“ Why,
then, I take it very kind of Sir Henry, Master Burton,
and of you, too, for the matter of that,” said he. “ And
if ever I do have need of your advice, why, I will come
to you just as freely as you give me leave to do.”

As he walked away down the street, thinking over
what the attorney had said, he almost wished that he
had some definite cause of complaint against his uncle
Hezekiah, so that he might call upon the aid of Sir
Henry and the attorney. How fine it would be to have
Sir Henry take his part! He fancied to himself a talk
with his uncle Hezekiah, in which he made himself per-
haps say, “Sir, you shall not treat me so, for I tell you
plain that there are those now to take my part against
you, and that it is not just a poor orphaned boy with
whom you have to deal.” Boys love to build up in their
imagination such foolish scenes and fortunate conver-
sations that never happen. Sometimes such fancyings
seem so like the real thing that, like Jack, one almost
forgets that they are not really likely to happen. But
by and by the time came when Jack really did appeal
to the lawyer and when he really did come to an under-
standing with his uncle.

That spring a young cooper named Dan Williamson
had a boat that he wanted to sell. It had belonged
partly to his brother, who had died during the fall be-
fore, and Dan, who was one of that sort who always
had need of money, was very anxious to sell it. Jack’s
great desire was to possess a boat of his own. It



22 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

seemed to him that Dan’s boat was exactly the one that
would best suit him. He used to think with a keen
and vivid delight of how glorious it would be to own
Dan’s boat. And then she was so very cheap. If the
boat were his he would give her a fresh coat of paint,
and name her the Sea-gull. If he could only get twenty
pounds from his uncle Hezekiah, he could not only buy
the boat, but add a new suit of sails.

He talked so often to Dan about the boat that at last
the cooper began to believe that he might be able to sell
it to Jack. ‘‘She’s the cheapest boat,” said Dan, “that
was ever offered for sale in Southampton.”

“T don’t know about that,” said Jack; “but I do be-
lieve that she ’s a good boat.”

“Good!” said Dan. “She’s the best boat in South-
ampton to-day, and, what is more, she ’s as cheap as
the dirt under your feet. You ’d better buy her, for
you ll never get such another chance as long as you
live.”

Jack shook his head. “I do believe she is a
good boat, Dan,” he said; “but how shall I buy a boat
without money to buy it with? I have no money in
hand, and am not like to have any.”

“Well, well,” said Dan, “to be sure, that ’s too bad”;
and then, after a little space, he continued: “But Ill
tell you what,—you come down with me, and I'll take
you out in her; then you may see for yourself what:
a fine boat she is.”

“Tl go out with you,” said Jack; “but I can’t buy
her, though. I wish I could.”

Then they went off together down to the cooper-shops
where Dan kept the boat.

Jack helped Dan step the mast. Then they pushed
the boat off beyond the end of the shed. As the sail
filled, Dan put down the helm, and brought the boat
out under the stern of a bark lying at anchor a little



JACK BALLISTER 23

distance from the shore. The watch on deck, a tipsy-
looking sailor with his throat wrapped around with a
woolen stocking, stood looking over the stern of the
bark and down at them as they sailed by. Jack
looked up at the towering hulk above him. The
name of the bark—the Prophet Elijah—was painted
in great, fat letters across the stern. At one side
there was a picture of the prophet’s head, with his
long beard. There was a rushing sound of water un-
der the stern of the vessel. Then they were out in
the wide, shining harbor, the warm air blowing mildly
and softly about them.

‘Look, how she lies up to the wind,” said Dan
Williamson; “why, I do believe I could sail her straight
into the wind’s eye if I chose to. I tell ee what ’t is,
Jack, you ’ll never find such another chance as this to
get what you want.”

“Maybe I won’t and maybe I will, ” said Jack; ‘all
the same, I sha’n’t buy her, for why, T have no on
to buy her with.”

“No money!” said Dan Williamson; “why, if I had as
much money as belongs to you, I’d give up coopering
and live a gentleman all my life, I would. Why don’t
ye go and ask your uncle Tipton for eighteen pound
straight and fair? Sure, themoney’s your own, and not
his. Why don’t ye ask him for it 2?”

“Ask him for it?” said Jack. “And what good would
that do? Asking won’t do any good. The money ’s
mine, sure enough, yet I can’t touch a penny of it till I
am of age.”

‘oT won't do any harm to ask tii, anyway,” said Dan
Williamson. “Here, you come ne take the tiller, and
see for yourself how close up she sails.”

Jack took the tiller, and then they sailed along for a
while in silence, By and by Dan spoke again. “TI ’ll
tell you what’t is, Jack, if I was you I'd go straight to



24 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Master Burton, I would, and I’d ask him about it. What
did you say ? other evening down at the Golden Fish?
Did n’t you say that he told you to come to him if ever
you wanted anything that your uncle Tipton would n’t
give you, and that he said your t’ other uncle that’s a
lord would get it for you? Well, then, why don’t you
go to him and ask for eighteen or twenty pound?
What you said was true, was n’t it?”

“Why, yes, ’t was true enough, as far as that goes,”
said Jack.

“Well, then,” said Dan Williamson, “there you are.”

Jack sat for a little while in silence, then he spoke.

“T tell you what it is, Dan, maybe you don’t believe
what I told you, but itis true enough. I tell you what—
I’m going to go to Master Burton this very day, and ask
him about what you say.” He did not really entertain
any hope, however, that he could get twenty pounds
from his uncle Hezekiah.

As soon as he came ashore again, he went straight
up to the little lawyer’s house.

The little man was in his office—a musty, stuffy
little den of a place, smelling of stale tobacco smoke,
and set around with dusty cases of worn and yellow-
backed books and tin boxes.

The attorney sat in the midst of the litter surround-
ing him like a little gray mouse. He had black, beady
eyes, a long nose, and a thin, leathery face.

He gat looking with his little twinkling black eyes at
Jack as he stated his case. “Why, as for your fortune,
Master Jack, I must needs tell you plain that it might as
well be locked up in the church belfry for all the good it
may do younow. For so itis locked up in your father’s
will, tight and fast as if it were in a box, and your uncle
hath the keeping of it for you.”

“And can I get none of my money of him, then?”
said Jack.



JACK BALLISTER 25

_ “Why, as for that, I don’t say that, neither,” said the
little lawyer. “It may be a hard matter to get it, and yet,
after all, I may be able to get it for you. Ill tell you
what to do, Master Jack. Go you to your uncle and ask
him plain and straight for what money you need. How
much was it you wanted ?”

“Well, say twenty pounds,” said Jack.

“Well, then, you ask him for twenty pounds, plain
and straight, and if he says you nay, then come back
to me, and I ll see what I can do for you. Sir Henry
hath asked me to look after you a trifle, and so I
will do.”



CHAPTER III
JACK AND HIS UNCLE

ACK, following the attorney’s advice, had made up
his mind to ask his uncle for the money that very
night, but when he came face to face with doing it, it
was very hard. They were sitting together over their
poor frugal supper, and the old miser’s utter uncon-
sciousness of what Jack had it on his mind to say made
the saying of it very hard. At last he suddenly spoke.
“Unele Hezekiah,” said he.

The old man looked up sharply, almost as though
startled at the sound of Jack’s voice. He did not say
anything, but he sat looking at Jack as though inviting
him to continue.

“Unele Hezekiah,” said Jack again. He did not
know in just what words to frame what he had to say.
Then he continued: “I want to—to talk to you about
a matter of business.”

“Hey!” said the old man, “business! business!
What d’ ye mean — what d’ ye mean by business?”

“Why,” said Jack, “I want some money to buy
something. I went to see Master Burton to-day, and
he told me I had best come to you and ask you for it.”
Gradually Jack was becoming bolder as he became
accustomed to the sound of his own voice. “Dan
Williamson hath a boat for sale,” he continued. “He
wants eighteen pound for it, and if I had twenty
pound it would be just enough to fit her up as I would

26



JACK AND HIS UNCLE 27

like to have her. I went and talked to Master Burton,
and he told me I had best come to you and ask you for
the money.”

The old man stared blankly at Jack, his lean jaw
hanging gaping with speechless surprise. ‘“ Why!
why! what ’s all this?” he said, finding his voice at
last. “Twenty pound! Why, I do believe you’re gone
clean clear crazy. Twenty pound! What’s Roger Bur-
ton got to do with my giving you twenty pound, I’d
like to know? Youll not get a farden, and that’s the
long and the short of it. Master Burton, indeed! What
business is it of his, I’d like to know?” He sat looking
at Jack for a little while, and then he slowly resumed
his interrupted supper again.

Jack sat leaning back in his chair, with his hands in
his breeches’ pockets, looking across the table at his
'unele. His heart was swelling with a feeling of very
choking and bitter disappointment and anger. It ©
seemed to him that he had not expected much, but
now that his uncle had denied him, his disappointment
was very bitter. He watched his uncle as the old man
continued eating in silence. “Very well,” said he at
last, “then I know what I ‘ll do. I ll go back to Master
Burton again. He told me what to do, and that if you
said me nay I was to go back to him again. He says
that Sir Henry Ballister has been writing to him about
me, asking how you treated me and what you did for
me, and he told me if you would not give me what I
asked for, I was to go back to him, and he ’d write to
Sir Henry and tell him all about it, and that he ’d see
if something could n’t be done on my account.”

Old Hezekiah looked up again. “Sir Henry Bal-
lister?” said he. “What’s he been writing to Roger
Burton about, I should like to know? What’s he got
to do with it? He’s not your guardeen, ishe? I’m
your guardeen, and the guardeen of your money as



28 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

well. As for Sir Henry Ballister, why, he ’s got no
more to do with you than the man inthe moon.” Then
he went on eating again, and again Jack sat watching
him in silence. In a little while Hezekiah finished his
supper, chasing the fatty gravy around and around his
plate with the point of his knife. Then he laid down
his knife and fork, pushed away his plate, and arose
from the table.

“Very well,” said Jack, breaking the silence, “we 711
see about all this business. I tell you what I’m going
to do. I’m going to write to Sir Henry Ballister my-
self, and tell him about the way I’m treated by you. You
never give me a farthing to spend, and as for being
~ your own flesh and blood—why, I might as well be a
dog in this house as to be your own kin. You keep all
my money and use it as your own, and yet you don’t
speak six words to me in a month.” Jack was dimly
surprised at his own boldness in speaking. Now that
he had made a beginning, it seemed very easy to say
his say and to speak out all that lay on his mind.
“Tm not going to be treated like a dog by you or by
anybody,” he said.

“Yes, I do speak to you, too,” said Hezekiah, stop-
ping at the door. “ What d’ ye want me to say to you,
anyhow?” he added. “Don’t I give you all you want
to eat and drink, and never charge you a farden for it?
What more d’ ye want than that? You’re the most
ungratefulest nevy that ever lived, so you are, to talk
to me that way.”

Then he went out of the door, and along the dark
passageway, and Jack heard him enter the office, and
shut the door behind him. Then he began eating his
supper again. He felt very bitter and very angry
against the old man.

So he sat eating for a long time in lonely silence,
broken only by the sound of Deborah clattering now



JACK AND HIS UNCLE 29

and then among the pots and pans in the kitchen be-
yond. Suddenly he heard the office door open again,
and the sound of his uncle’s steps coming back along
the passage. He reached the door, and Jack heard his
fingers fumbling for the latch in the darkness, and then
the sharp click as it was raised. Then the door opened,
and the old man came in. He stood for a moment, and
then came straight across to the table where Jack sat.
He stood leaning with both hands upon the table.
Jack did not know exactly what to expect. He drew
himself back, for the first thought that came into his
mind was that the old man was going to attack him
personally. “ Lookee, Jacky,” said old Hezekiah, at last,
“T ve been thinking of that there twenty pound you
was speaking of. Well, Jacky, you shall have that
twenty pound, you shall.”

“What @ ye mean, Uncle Hezekiah ?” said Jack.

“Why,” said Hezekiah, “I mean what I said. You
shall have that twenty pound, Jacky. I ’ve been think-
ing about it, and what you said, and I’m going to give
you what you want. I can’t give it to you just now,
for twenty pound is a deal of money, and I have n’t
that much to give you straight away. But I'll give it
to you after a while, I will, Jacky. Ill give it to you
—let me see—I 11 give it to you on Monday next.
Will that be time enough?” —

“Why, yes, it will,” said Jack, “if you really mean
what you say.”

“Aye,” said the old man, “I mean it sure enough;
but don’t you say anything more to Roger Burton, will
ye? Just you come to me when you want anything,
and don’t you go to him. I mean to be a good, kind.
uncle to you, Jacky, I do,” and he reached out a lean,
tremulous hand, and pawed at Jack, who drew in-
stinctively away from his approach. “I do, Jacky, I
do,” said the old man, almost whining in his effort to



30 . JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

be affectionate. “But don’t you be writing to Sir
Henry Ballister about me, will you, Jacky?”

~“T won't write to him if you ’ll treat me decently,”
said Jack.

““ Aye, aye,” said the old man, “I mean to do that,
Jacky, I do. Only don’t you be talking any more to
Lawyer Burton. I ‘Il give you that twenty pound.
I ‘ll give it to you on—on Monday next, I will.”

Then he turned and went away again. Jack sat
looking after him. He felt very uncomfortable. He
could not understand why the old man had yielded so
suddenly. He did not believe at all that he had
yielded, or that he would give him what he asked for.
He felt sure, in spite of his uncle’s words, that he had
been put off with a barren promise that would never
bear fruit.



CHAPTER IV
CAPTAIN BUTTS

N the evening of the next day a number of boys were
* gathered at the end of the wharf in front of Hezekiah _
Tipton’s warehouses. They were throwing stones into
the water. Jack went out along the wharf to where
they were. They were all of them boys younger than
himself.

“Well, if that’s all the better you can throw,” said
Jack, “to be sure you can’t throw well. Just you watch
me hit yon anchor-buoy out there with this pebble.”

A brig had come into the harbor during the day, and
now lay at anchor some distance off from the shore.
The sails were half reefed and hung limp from the
yards. The men were washing down the decks, and
from the shore you could see them busy about the decks,
and every now and then a gush of dirty water as it ran
through the scupper-holes. A boat was just about put-
ting off from the brig. Presently some one climbed down
over the side of the vessel and into the boat, and then
it was pushed off. Jack stopped throwing stones and
stood looking. The boat came rowing straight toward
the wharf where he and the other boys stood. It pulled -
in around the back of a sloop that lay fast to the end of
the wharf, and was hidden from sight. Jack jumped
down from the wharf to the deck of the sloop, and
went across to see who was in the boat. It had come in

under the side of the sloop, and two of the men were
31



32 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

holding it to its place, grasping the chains. They looked
up at Jack and the other boys as they came to the rail of
the sloop and looked down at them. There were two men
in the stern of the boat. One was just about to climb
aboard the sloop, the other sat still. He who still sat in
his place had a knit cap pulled down half over his ears.
He held a pipe in his mouth and he had gold earrings
in his ears. The other, who was about to climb aboard
the sloop, was plainly the captain of the brig. He was
short and thick-set. He wore a rough sea coat with
great flapped pockets and brass buttons. One of the
pockets bulged out with a short pistol, the brass butt of
which stuck out from under the flap. He wore canvas
petticoat-breeches strapped to his waist by a broad
leather belt with a big flat brass buckle. His face and
as much of the short bull-neck as Jack could see were
tanned red-brown like russet leather, and his cheeks
and chin were covered with an unshaven beard of two
or three days’ growth. He stood up in the boat, with
his hand resting on the rail of the sloop.

““Do you know where Master Hezekiah Tipton lives?”
he asked in a hoarse, rattling voice.

“Why, yes, I do,” said Jack. “This is his wharf, and’
I’m his nephew.”

“Well, then,” said the man, “I wish you’d show me
to him.”

As Jack accompanied the other up the stony street to
his uncle’s house, he turned to look at his companion
every now and then.

“Where do you hail from, captain?” said he.

“T hail from the land where every man minds his
own business,” said the other in his rattling voice.
“Where do you hail from, my hearty?”

Jack did not know just what to reply at first. “Oh,
well,” he said, ‘if you don’t choose to give me a civil
answer, why, then you need n’t.”



CAPTAIN BUTTS 33

After that they walked in silence till they reached
the house. Jack looked into the office, but Hezekiah was
not there. “If you ’ll come into the parlor,” said he,
“T ll go and tell him you’re here, only I don’t know who
you are, to be sure. He opened the door of the room
as he spoke, and showed the captain into the darkened
parlor. It always smelled damp and musty and unused,
and the fireplace had a cold, dark look as though no
comforting fire had ever burned there.

“Mell Master Tipton ’t is Captain Butts of the Arundel
wants to see him,” said the stranger, laying aside his
hat with its tarnished gilt lace and wiping his partly
bald head with the corner of his red neckerchief. All
the time he was looking strangely about him at his un-
familiar surroundings.

There was the sound of a knife and fork rattling against
a plate in the distance, and Jack, following the sound,
went along the passage to the room beyond, where he
knew Hezekiah was sitting at supper.

“There ’s a man in the parlor,” said Jack, “would
like to see you. He says his name ’s Captain Butts of
the Arundel.”

Hezekiah was looking at Jack as he spoke. He laid
down his knife and fork immediately, and pushed back
his chair and arose. Jack followed him back to the
parlor. He stood outside of the door, looking in. The
stranger arose as Master Tipton came in, holding out
to the old America merchant a big, brown, hairy hand
with a hard, horny-looking palm.

“How d’ ye do, Master Tipton?” said he in his rat-
tling voice. “I be mightily glad to see you.”

“Well, then, Master Captain Butts,” said Hezekiah,
giving him a limp, reluctant hand, “I be mightily
glad to see you, too,— more glad than you are to see me,
like enough, for I’ve been looking for you these three
days past, and wondering where was the


34 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

There be them nineteen servants down at the ‘Duck
and Doe’ that should have been took away yesterday
morning. Their lodging at the inn isa matter of ten
pence aday each. Now, who do you think ’s to pay for
that there?”

“Well, well, Master,” said the other, “’t were n’t no
fault of mine that I were n’t here yesterday. Wind and
tide be to blame, so whatever ye lose ye may just charge
up agin’ them. We can’t sail without wind, can we?
and we can’t sail ag’in’ the tide, can we? As for the
men, why, the sooner I get my clearance papers and the
men aboard the better ’t will suit me. The tide turns at
eight o’clock, and if the wind comes up, as’t is like to do,
why, Ill drop out and away with the turn o’ the water.”

Master Hezekiah looked around. Jack was still
standing in the doorway. “You go in and get your
supper, Jacky,” said he, and then he got up and closed
the door, and Jack went back into the supper-room.

All the time that Jack sat at his meal old Deborah
scolded him ceaselessly for being so late.

“oT is always so,” said she, her voice growing shriller
and shriller. “ You be always late, and think of nobody
but your own self.”

“No, I’m not always late, neither,” said Jack; “I was
n’t late to breakfast, or to supper either, yesterday.”

“ But you did n’t come home to dinner at all,” said old
Deborah, “and I kept it for you, and I keptit for you, and
the ’taties all like wax in the oven, and not fit to eat.”

“T did n’t want any dinner,” said Jack. “TI had some-
thing to eat down at the wharf.”

“Well,” said old Deborah, “you might just as well
have been late as not to come at all, for I kept a-waiting
and a-waiting for you till itwas all dried up and wasted —
aye, all wasted, and it what many a pore body ’u’d ’a’
been glad enough to ’a’ had, too.”

In, the interval of her scolding Jack could occasion-



CAPTAIN BUTTS 35

ally hear the distant rumbling of Captain Butts’s voice
in the office.

It grew darker and darker in the twilight gloom of
the kitchen, until Jack could hardly see the food upon
his plate.

“T wish you ’d bring a candle, Deborah,” said he, “T
can’t see to find the way to my own mouth.”

“A candle!” said Deborah; “if you ’d come to your
supper in time you ’d not need a candle to see. Now
you may just go without.”

“Very well,” said Jack, “I don’t care, for I ’m done.”

“Then, if you ’re done, you may go down to the
pump and fetch back some water.”

Jack took the pail and went off with it. He was gone
a long time, and the night was fairly settled when he
came stumbling back into the kitchen, slopping the
water upon the steps and the floor.

“Why,” said Deborah, I thought you was never com-
ing. Your uncle’s asking for you. He’s over in the
office now, and he wants to see you there.”

“Very well,” said Jack, “if I ’d known that, may be
I ’d hurried and may be I would n’t.”

In the office he found Captain Butts seated at the
tall desk, with a bottle of Hezekiah’s old Jamaica rum
before him. They had been looking over some papers,
and the Captain had evidently been helping himself very
freely to the rum. He smelt strong of the liquor. He
was leaning over the desk, his chin resting upon his fists.
He looked up at Jack with his keen gray eyes from
under his bushy eyebrows. “Is this the boy?” said he.
Hezekiah, who sat opposite to his visitor, nodded with-
out speaking.

“Come hither, my hearty,” said Captain Butts, beckon-
ing to Jack. Jack came forward slowly. ‘And so ye’re
a hard one to manage, be ye? By blood! if I had
ye aboard the Arundel for a few days, I’d manage ye.”



36 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Who says I’m hard to manage?” demanded Jack,
indignantly.

“That does your good uncle,” said the Captain. As
he spoke he reached out suddenly, and catching Jack
by the arm held him tight, feeling up and down the
length of hisarm. “ Ye be well put together,my hearty,”
said he; “ye ’d make a valuable servant in the tobacco-
fields,” and he winked tipsily as he spoke. ‘ Now, be-
ing as ye ’re so hard to manage, how ’d you like it if
you was to take a cruise to the Americas with old Benny
Butts?”

Jack could smell the rum fancy upon the captain’s -
breath, and he saw that he was a little tipsy. He jerked
his arm away from the other’s grasp.

“YT am well enough off here as I am, thank you,
Master Captain,” said he, “and I don’t choose to go to
the Americas at all.”

The Captain burst out langhing. He fetched athump ~
upon the desk before him that made the bottle of rum
and the tumbler hop and jingle. ‘“Harkee to that,
now!” said he, “he don’t choose to go to the Ameri- .
cas,” and he gave another roar of laughter.

Master Hezekiah sat looking on at the two, resting
his forehead upon his lean fingers, his hand shading his
eyes from the light of the candle. Suddenly he cut
into the talk. “Come, come, Captain Butts!” said he
tartly, “let there be an end to this! Sure you forget.
what you ’re saying. Come hither,” said he to Jack.
Jack came around to him, and the ‘old man lifted the
lid of the desk and Eronet out a bundle of papers and
a little bag of money. He counted out a few coins,
which he made into a little pile. Then he untied the
tape and.chose a paper from among the others. Jack
stood watching him. “Here be a list of the America
servants down at the Golden Fish,” said Hezekiah,
‘““and this”—here he chinked the money between his



CAPTAIN BUTTS’. 37

fingers as he gave it to Jack —“‘is fifteen shillings ten-
pence. I want you to do something for me, Jacky. I
want you to go down to the Golden Fish and pay Land-
lord Evans his account, and then give this release to
Dockray, who hath the America men in charge. After
that I want you to take them down to the wharf and
deliver them over to Captain Butts, and get his receipt.
D’ ye understand?”

“Why, yes, I do,” said Jack; “but why do you want
me to do this when the crimp can serve you so much
better than I?” He could not understand why his
unele, who had never before made any demands upon
him should suddenly prefer such a request as this.

“Why,” said Hezekiah, “you ask me for money
_ ¥ other day, did n't ye? Well, then, if you want
money you must begin to do something for to earn it.
What I want you to do now is to take these servants
down and deliver them over to Captain Butts.”

_ “Oh, well,” said Jack, “I’m willing enough, but I
don’t see why you should choose me to do it. What
am Ito do with them? ‘Tell me again.”

“Youre to take them down to the wharf, d ye un-
derstand? Then Captain Butts will give you a receipt
for’em. Then you ’ll have nothing more to do with the
business.”

“Very well,” said Jack; “methinks I understand.
And now if the Captain is ready to go, why, I am, too.”

As he and Captain Butts walked together down the
street in the darkness, Jack said again: “I don’t see
why he wants me to take his servants down to the
wharf. He never asked such a thing of me before.”

Captain Butts, for reply, burst out laughing, and
fetched him a clap on the shoulder that jarred him
through and through. “ Well, I do suppose you ’ll find
out some day why he sends you on his errands,” he said.



CHAPTER V
KIDNAPPED

T the end of the court the two parted, the Captain
going on down to the wharf and Jack up to
the Golden Fish. He found the crimp and gave him
Hezekiah’s release, and then the redemptioners imme-
diately began to make themselves ready. There was
something pitiful in the meagerness of their prepara-
tion. One or two of them had nondescript bundles tied
up in handkerchiefs, and one had a pair of stockings
wrapped up in a piece of dirty paper. Beyond this
they had nothing at all to take with them to the new
world to which they were bound. But they seemed to
borrow very little trouble on that score. They were
very restless and turbulent at the near prospect of sail-
ing. They had somehow contrived to obtain some
liquor, and two or three of them were more than half
drunk.

The crimp brought them out-into. the court of the
inn and arranged them in some sort of order, two by
two, by the dim light of the lantern. They jostled and
pushed one another, and leered in the lantern light at
Jack as he stood looking at them helplessly. “Ill
never be able to take them down to the whart by my--
self,” said he.

oe Oh, youll be able to take us,” said a big, bull-necked
aloe “‘a, baby ’d lead us wherever he chose for to
go,” and then they all laughed.

38



KIDNAPPED 39

“Well, I don’t know,” said the crimp, shaking his
head as he looked them over; “like enough I’d better
go with you as far as the wharf. I don’t know why he
should have sent you to take ’em, anyhow. lLookee!”
said he to the huddled line of servants, in a suddenly-
changed voice; ‘I won’t have none of your tricks, d’ ye
understand? D’ ye see this?” and he fetched a blud-.
geon out of his pocket and showed it to them. “The
first man as tries any of his tricks, I knocks him on the
head, d’ ye understand ? ”

“Why, master,” said one of the men, “you would n’t
hurt us, would you? We be your lambs.”

“Never you mind,” said the crimp, shaking his head.
“Don’t you go trying any of your tricks on me. Come
along now, march!”

“ Hurrah for the Golden Fish and Johnny Waddels!”
cried out one of the men.

‘The others gave a broken and confused cheer as they
marched away out of the court, the crimp walking be-
side ‘the first couple, and Jack coming after to keep a
lookout upon them. They marched along for a while,
first down one street and then another until they had
come to the water-front. The wind was blowing chilly.
The bull-necked fellow had begun to sing. They walked
along for some little distance and then crossed the street.
Here the store-houses stood dark and deserted as they
passed by them. At last they came to the wharf, across
which the night wind swept without shelter.

“Well,” said the crimp, “I ‘ll leave you here. "I is
no use my going any further.”

“Ves,” said Jack, “I can manage them very well now
by inyself, I suppose.”

“T ll just wait under the lee of the shed here,” said
the crimp, “ till I see you ’re all right.”

“Very well,” said Jack. “Come along,” said he to
the men as they stood shivering in their thin, ragged



40 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

clothes. The bull-necked fellow had ceased his dis-
cordant singing. At Jack’s bidding they now marched
out along the wharf. There were lights out in the dark-
ness at the end of the wharf, where the sloop lay black
and shapeless in the night. When Jack came to where
the light was he found two dark figures standing wait-
ing for him on the wharf. One of them was Captain
Butts, the other was the man in the knit cap, who now
carried a lantern hanging over his arm. There were
two or three men, two of them also with lanterns, stand-
ing on the deck of the sloop. Jack knew that the boat
that had brought the Captain off from the brig was
lying in the darkness beyond, for he could hear the
sound of voices, and then the sound of the rattle of
an oar.

Captain Butts had twisted his handkerchief well up
about his throat. “ Well,” said he, “I thought you was
never coming.”

“T came as soon as I could,” said Jack.

“Just bring the men out to the boat, across the
sloop here,” said the Captain; and at Jack’s bidding the
men, one after another, jumped down from the wharf
to the deck of the sloop below. Jack followed them,
and the Captain and the man with the lantern followed
him. “ Where’s your list?” said the Captain, and then,
as Jack gave it to him: ‘“ Hold the lantern here, Dyce.
That ’s it.” He held the list to the dull light, referring
to it as he counted the shivering transports who stood
inline. “ Sixteen—seventeen —eighteen—nineteen —
nineteen all told. That’s right. Now, then, look alive,
my hearties, and get aboard as quick as you can!” ©

Jack stood with his hands in his pockets and his
back to the chill night breeze. The wharf and the sloop,
deserted in the night, seemeda singularly dark and lonely
background to the dimly moving figures. The water,
driven by the wind, splashed and dashed noisily around



KIDNAPPED 41

the end of the wharf. One by one the redemptioners
clambered clumsily over the rail of the sloop and down
into the boat alongside, stumbling over the thwarts in
the darkness and settling themselves amid the growling
and swearing of the sailors. “Are you all right?” asked
the Captain.

“ All right, sir,” said Dyce.

Suddenly the Captain turned sharply toward Jack.
“Now, then,’ said he, “you get aboard too!” Jack
gaped at him. “You get aboard too!” said Captain
Butts again.

“What do you mean?” said Jack.

“T mean that you’re going aboard too,” said the Cap-
tain, and as he spoke he reached out and caught Jack
by the collar. “That ’s why you were sent here,” said he,
“and that’s what I’m bound to do. I’m bound to take
you to the Americas with me.”

Then Jack saw it all in a flash. He stood for one
stunned instant, and then he began struggling fiercely
to loosen himself from the Captain’s grasp upon his col-
lar. The next instant he felt himself jerked violently
backward and he heard the Captain’s voice saying:
“You get into the boat down there! You ll do as I
tell you, if you know what ’s good for you!”

Jack twisted and struggled desperately and franti-
cally, but still the Captain held him in a grip like a
vise. “Let me go!” gasped Jack. “Let me go!”

“Into the boat, I tell ye!” he heard the Captain’s
voice growling in his ear, and at the same time he found
himself flung forward violently toward the rail of the
sloop. The boats and the dark waters were just below.
He saw dimly, his sight blurred with the fury of his
struggles, the dark figures of the men in the boat below.
He flung out his feet against the rail, bracing himself
against the Captain’s hold; at the same time he clutched
hold of the stays. “ Here, Dyce, loose his hand there,”



42 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

said the Captain’s voice, panting with his struggles.
“The young villain! What d’ ye mean, anyhow?”

The man with the knit cap sprang forward at the Cap-
tain’s bidding, and, still holding the lantern, began to
pluck Jack’s fingers-loose from the stays. Then sud-
denly Jack screamed out, “ Help !—Help!— Help!”
three times, and at the same time he kicked backward
violently against the Captain’s shins.

“You will, will you!” wheezed the Captain. As he
spoke he jerked Jack violently backward. Jack had
just time to see a whirling flash in the light of the lan-
tern. Then there came a deafening, blinding crash.
Ten thousand sparkling stars flew whirling around and
around him. He felt a hot stream shoot down across
his face, and he knew that it was blood. There was
another crash, this time duller and more distant, then
a humming that droned away into stillness—then
nothing.

“By blood! Captain,” said Dyce, “I believe you ’ve
killed the boy.”

The Captain thrust the pistol with which he had
struck Jack back again into his pocket. “The young
villain!” he said, panting with his late efforts. “He ’ll
kick me, will he? And he’d’a’ had the town down on
us if I had n’t shut his noise.” He lowered down upon
Jack’s figure lying deathly still and in a dark heap on
the deck. Dyce bent over the senseless form, holding
the lantern to the face. Jack’s eyes were upturned.
His legs and body twitched; his head was streaming
with blood and his face was bloody. Captain Butts
stoopedoverhim. “Oh! he’sall right,” said he roughly;
“he ll come to by and by; he’s only stunned a trifle.
Get him aboard and be quick about it! There’s some-
body coming along the wharf now. Here; here ’s his
hat. - Catch it there.”



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CHAPTER VI
. ABOARD THE ARUNDEL

NOR a long while Jack was very light-headed and
sick. He did not seem to have any strength. It
seemed to him that several days passed while he lay
in his berth, now partly waking, now partly sleeping.
When he was partly awake his mind seemed to wander,
and he could not separate the things he now saw from
the things he had seen before. Both seemed grotesque
and distorted. It seemed to him that his father was
nearly always with him. He had a line of Greek to con-
strue, but he could never get the words correctly. He
kept trying and trying to get the words in their proper
order, but always, when he would get the line nearly
correct, it would fall to pieces, and he would have to
begin all over again. He felt that his father was very
angry with him, and that he was driving him on to com-
plete the line, and he felt that if he could only finish
the task he would have rest and be well again. But
there were three words that never would fit rightly into
the line, and he never could make them fit into it.
With these several fancyings there commingled the
actual things about him. His father seemed to him
to be waiting and waiting for him to complete his
task; but at the same time he saw the sloping deck of
the vessel and the berths upon the other side, and could
feel the brig rising and falling and rolling upon the sea.
There was ever present in his ears the sound of creak-
43



44 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ing and groaning and rattling and sliding, and there
were men talking together and smoking their pipes, the
pungent smell of the tobacco helping to make him feel
very sick. If he could only fit these words together into
the line, then his father would go away, and he would
be well and could go up on deck. Oh, how his head
ached! He wished he could get away from these words
that would not fit into the sentence.

Then the night would come, and he would be partly
asleep. Sometimes he would lie half dreaming for an
hour or more, and in the darkness the things of his
fancy were very real.

Very soon after he had been brought aboard he had
a dim, distorted vision of Dyce, the mate, coming with
a lantern to where he lay, bringing somebody along with
him. It seemed to him that the two men had leaned
over him talking about him while a number of other
people had stood near. The man who had come with
the mate must have been Sim Tucker, a thin, little
man, with a long, lean chin, who was a barber-leech.
Jack had felt some one trim his hair, and then do some-
thing that had hurt him very much. It seemed to be
a grotesque nightmare that the barber-leech had sewed
up his head. Afterward a bandage was tied around
his head, and then he felt more comfortable.

Jack knew very well that it had all been a dream,
and he was always surprised to wake up and find the
bandage around his head.

Now and then Sim Tucker would come and speak to
him. “How d’ ye feel now?” he would maybe say.

“Why,” said Jack, “I would be all well if my father
would only go away. But I can’t construe that sentence.”

“You can’t what?”

“T can’t get those Greek words right, and my father
won't go away.”

“Why, your father says they ’re all right.”



ABOARD THE ARUNDEL 45

“Does he?”

“ Aye.”

“But there are those four words. They won’t fit.”

“Why, yes, they fit allright. Don’t you see?” Then
it seemed to Jack that they did fit into the sentence,
and for a little while he was more easy in his mind.

After a while he began to get better, and his head got
clearer. Then one day he was so well that he was able
to crawl up to the deck. He had not eaten anything
at all and was very weak. He climbed up the com-
panionway and stood with his head just above the
scuttle. He looked aft almost along the level of the
deck. In the distance was the rise of the poop-deck,
with a man at the wheel just under the over-hang. The
first mate, Dyce, still wearing his knit cap pulled down
half over his ears, was walking up and down the poop- ~
deck, smoking. With the rise and fall of the vessel,
Jack could catch every now and then a glimpse of the
wide, troubled ocean, moving and heaving with cease-
lessly restless, crawling waves, cut keenly and blackly
at the sharp rim of the horizon against the gray sky.
Every now and then there was a great rush of air from
the vast hollow sails overhead, that swept back and
forth, back and forth across the wide, windy sky. The
sailors looked at him as he stood there with the ban-
dage wrapped around his head. He began to feel
very sick and dizzy with the motion of the vessel,
and presently he crept down below, back to his berth
again.

“Be you feeling better?” said one of the men, coming
to him. :

“Yes, I think I am,” said Jack, “only it makes me
sick and faint-like to stand up.”

“Well, you ’ve been pretty sick,” said the man, “and
that’s the sacred truth. I thought the Captain had
killed you for sure when I saw him hit you that second



46 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

erack with the pistol. I thought he ’d smashed your
head in.”

Several of the other men had gathered about his berth
and stood looking down at him. Jack wished they
would go away. He lay quite still, with his eyes shut,
and by and by they did leave him.

He felt very lonely and deserted. A great lump rose
in his throat when he thought of all that had happened
to him. “I have not a friend in the world,” he said to
himself, and then the hot tears forced themselves out
from under his eyelids.

When next he opened his eyes he saw that Sim Tucker
was standing over him. “How d’ ye feel now?” said
the barber-leech.

“Oh, I feel better,” said Jack irritably. “I wish
you ’d go away and let me alone.”

“Let me look at your head,” said the leecher. He
unwound the bandage deftly with his long, lean fingers.
“ Aye,” said he, “ye ’re getting along well now. To-
morrow I'll take out them stitches. He must have hit
ye with the cock of the pistol to make a great, big,
nasty cut like that.



CHAPTER VII
ACROSS THE OCEAN

HE next morning Jack was up on deck again for

a while, feeling very much better and stronger than

the day before. In the afternoon Mr. Dyce came down

into the steerage and told him that the Captain wanted
to see him.

Jack, although he was now out of his bunk, was
still very weak, and not yet accustomed to the roll-
ing heave and pitch of the vessel at sea. He followed
the mate along the deck in the direction of the round-
house, balancing himself upon the slanting, unsteady
plane, now and then catching at the rail or at the
shrouds or stays to steady himself. Everything was
still very fresh and new to him, so that, even though his
mind was heavy with leaden apprehension concerning
the coming interview with Captain Butts—the thought
which weighed down his spirit with dull imaginings—
even though his mind was full of this, the freshness
and newness of everything was yet strong in his con-
sciousness—the tumultuous noise of the sea, the sun
shining bright and clear, the salt wind blowing strong
and cold. Every now and then a cresting wave would _
flash out a vivid whitecap in the sunlight against the
profound green of the limitless ocean; the sky was full of
clouds, and purpling shadows dappled the wide stretch
of ever-moving waters. The brig, plowing its way
aslant to leeward, plunged every now and then with a

47



48 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

thunderous clap of white foam into the oncoming wave,
and the broad shadows of sail and rigging swept back
across the sunlit deck with the backward and forward
sweep of the masts against the sky high overhead. Of.
all these things Jack was strongly conscious as he
walked along the deck, wondering, with that dull and
heavy apprehension, aie Captain Butts was going to
say to him.

Two men on the poop-deck were heaving the log,
one of them keeping tally with a slate; a third, with a
red bandana handkerchief knotted about his head, stood -
gripping the wheel, holding the yawing vessel steadily
to its course. The man with the slate looked at Jack as.
he came along the deck, clinging to the rail for support..

Captain Butts was waiting in the round-house, lean-
ing with elbows upon the table. A bottle of rum and
a half-emptied tumbler stood on the table at his elbow,
and the cabin was full of the strong, pungent odor of
the liquor. A chart, blackened and dirty as with long
use, lay spread out on the table. Part way across it
stretched a black line which the Captain had drawn—
probably the supposed course of the vessel—for Captain
Butts sailed by dead reckoning. He looked up from
under his brows asJack entered » frowning until his partly
bald forehead swelled with knotted veins, but he did
not immediately say anything. Jack had come forward
and stood at the end of the table. The mate, who lin-
gered close to the door, had taken out his pipe and was.
filling it with tobacco. Jack did not know how pale
. and thin he was, how sick he looked; he was conscious.
only of the weakness that seemed not only to make him
unsteady upon his legs, but to unnerve him of all
strength of spirit. As he stood there now, facing the -
Captain, he felt an hysterical choking in his throat, and
he swallowed and swallowed upon the hard, dry ine
that seemed to be there.



ACROSS THE OCEAN 49

“Well, my hearty,” said the Captain, breaking the
silence at last with his hoarse, rattling voice, ‘“‘ well, my
hearty, you got your dose that time, or else I ’m mis-
took. By Blood!” he continued with sudden savage-
ness, “Ill teach you to play with Benny Butts, I will,
and to kick at his shins. By Blood! When you’re deal-
ing with me, you ’re not dealing with your poor old un-
cle as ye can bully and blatherskite as you please. By
Blood! Ill break your back if you go trying any of
your airs with me, I will” And as his anger rose with
his own words, he opened his eyes wide and glared upon
his victim. Jack did not dare to reply. He stood look-
ing down, holding tight to the edge of the table and
striving to balance himself to the lurching of the ship.
“Your uncle told me all about you, he did,” said Cap-
tain Butts, beginning again; “how you threatened him
‘with the law and tried to make mischief atwixt him
and your t? other folks. He told me how you stole his
money away from him for to—”
“T never stole a farthing in my life,” said Jack
hoarsely.
“T)’ ye give me back talk?” roared the Captain; smiting
his palm upon the table. ‘By Blood! if ye answer me
any of your back talk, I ll clap ye in irons as quick as
look at ye. I say ye did steal money from your uncle.”
Again he glared at Jack as though defying him to reply,
and Jack, conscious of his utter powerlessness, did not
venture to answer. “TI say ye did steal money from your
uncle,” repeated the Captain, “and that again and again.
He might have sent ye to jail had he been so minded,
_and maybe he would ha’ done so only for the shame 0”

the thing. Now tell ye what you ’re going to do. You
“xe going to the Americas to be put to work under a
master who ll keep you out o’ mischief for five years.
That’s what you ’re going to do. After you ’ve served

out your five years in the Americas under a master,
4



50 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

why, then, maybe, you ’ll know how to behave yourself
arter you get back home again.”

The brig gave a sudden heaving lurch that sent the
bottle and glass sliding across the table. The Captain
caught them with a quick sweep of his hand, while
Jack, losing his balance, partly fell, partly sat abruptly
down upon the seat beside him. He was up again
almost instantly and stood once more holding by the
side of the table.

“Now, you listen to what I say. You behave your-
self decent while you’re aboard this here brig, and you 11
be treated decent, but you go a makin’ any trouble for
me, and by Blood! I'll clap you in irons, I will, and
I'll lay ye down in the hold, and there ye ’ll stay till we
drop anchor in Yorktown. D?’ ye hear that?”

Jack nodded his head.

“Well, then, if ye hear me, why don’t ye answer me?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jack.

“Very well, then, you go and remember what I ’ve
said.”

Jack, so dismissed, went out of the round-house and
into the wide, bright sunlight again. Nor was it un-
til he had returned half way back across the slanting
deck that anything like a full realization of his fate
came upon him. Then suddenly it did seize upon him,
gripping him almost like a physical pang. He stopped
short and caught at the foremast stays under that sud-
den grip of despair, and bent leaning over the rail of
the ship. Then, in an instant the sky and the ocean
blurred together and were lost in the blinding flood,
and hot tears went raining down his face in streams.
He stood there for a long time facing the ocean and
erying. No one knew what he was doing, and he was
as much alone as though he stood all by himself in the
midst of the empty universe, instead of aboard a brig
with footsteps passing around him and the grumbling



ACROSS THE OCEAN 51

growl of men’s voices as they talked together sounding
‘in his ears.

It had seemed to Jack at that time, when he stood
there crying out into the face of the sea and the sky, as
though life had no hope and no joy, and as though he
never could be happy again. It was not so, however,
and it never is so. We grow used to every sorrow and
trouble that comes to us. Even by the next day he had
begun to grow accustomed to the thought of his fate.
He awoke to an immediate consciousness of it, and all
day it stood there, a big, looming background to the
passing events of his life, while he helped the other re-
demptioners wash down the decks, pattering about in
the wet with his bare feet in the slushing slop of water ;
all the while he stood leaning over the rail, dumbly joy-
ing in the consciousness of the sweep and rush of wind
and water —looking out astern of the vessel at the
wake that spread away behind, over which hovered
and dipped and skimmed the little black Mother Carey’s
ehickens. In all the things of his life it- was thus present
with him, but he did not again suffer a despair so poign-
ant and so bitter as had struck him down that time he
had stood there crying out toward the sky and the
ocean with his back to the ship’s company. So it is
that time so quickly wears away the sharp edges of
trouble, until it grows so dull and blunted that it no
longer hurts.

The crew had come somehow to know something of
Jack’s history. The first day he was out on deck after
a spell of stormy weather into which the Arundel sailed,
Tom Roberts, the carpenter, asked him if he had not
an uncle as was a lord. “ He’s a baronet,” said Jack,
and Roberts said he knowed he was summat of the
kind. The same day, as Jack was standing in line with
the others waiting for his dinner to be served out to



52 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

him, the carpenter passed close to him with a wink.
“You come over along o’ we,” he said, “and you shall
have a taste o’ grog with your victuals,” and Jack, after
a hesitating moment, had, with a feeling of gratification
and pleasure, followed him over to the forecastle scuttle,
where a part of the crew sat eating in the sunshine that.
shone aslant under the foresail. After that he nearly
always messed with the crew, and by the end of the
voyage it had become a regularly established thing for
him to do so.

Some of the crew had either lived in the Colonies, or
had sailed from one to the other in coasting vessels, and
Jack learned much about his future home from them..
Roberts himself had lived for two years as ship-car-
penter in Boston, in the province of Massachusetts, and
one of themen, named Dred — Christian Dred—had lived.
for a while in North Carolina with Blackbeard, the fa-
mous pirate. He had been one of the pirate’s men, and.
had sailed with the renowned freebooter in his famous.
ship, the Queen Annes Revenge.

During the voyage Jack became better acquainted.
with Dred than with any one aboard the Arundel, and
before they had reached Virginia the two had become
very intimate. Dred was a silent, taciturn man,
speaking but rarely to any one and saying what he had
to say in as few words as possible. But he seemed
pleased with Jack’s friendship. He questioned Jack
much as to his former life, and in return told a good.
deal about himself. He said he had left Blackbeard the:
year before and had surrendered upon the King’s Procla-
mation of Pardon. He always carried his pardon about
with him rolled up in oil-skin and hung about his neck
by-a bit of string, and he showed it to Jack one day,
unrolling the oil-skin very carefully and gingerly, and.
then rolling it up again with just as particular care as
he had opened it. He told Jack that after he had sur-



ACROSS THE OCEAN 53

rendered to the Pardon, Blackbeard and others of
the pirates had also surrendered. He said that Black-
beard was now living on a farm down at Bath Town,
in North Carolina, and had married a fine young “gell”
of sixteen or thereabouts. He once told Jack that he
had begun his “h— cruising,” as he called it, when he
had sailed from New York in a “Red Sea Trader” in
795, and that ever since then he had “smelled brimstone.”

(The Red Sea Traders, it may be explained, were those
who earried supplies of stores, chiefly of rum and gun-
powder, to the pirates who then so infested the west
coast of Africa, exchanging their commodities for
plunder captured by those freebooters.)

Dred told Jack that he was only eighteen years old
when he had sailed in the Red Sea trade. “Not much
older than you be now,” he added.

Once, when Dred was overhauling his gunny-bag, he
brought out a string of a dozen or so jingling coins
hung on a bit of silver wire. He held the trinket out
at arm’s length. “ D’ ye see this here string o’ money?”
said he; “I gave that to a Spanish gell once down in
Port Royal, Jamaicy, and what ’s more, I took it off of
her neck again arter she had died of yellow fever, and
no one else ‘Id go nigh her.”

Jack grew to like Dred very heartily. He did not
think of him as being a red-handed and wicked pirate.
It did not seem to him that his new friend was, after
all, very different from other men—excepting that he
had had very wonderful adventures happen to him.

And yet Dred was indeed a red-handed pirate.

It was toward the latter part of the voyage that he
told Jack the story of the taking of the English ship
that Blackbeard afterward used as the flag-ship of his
pirate fleet, and which became so famous under the
name of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Dred’s was almost
the most important part in that tragedy. He told the



54 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

story almost naively, and did not at all seem to appre-
ciate the significance of what he had done.

They—the pirates — had, he said, been cruising in the
West Indies. Then they sailed northward until they
came to Charleston. (Here he told incidentally how
they had blockaded the town for over a week, stopping’
and searching all incoming and outgoing vessels, and
how they had even gone up boldly into the town in
search of a chest of medicine.) After they had left.
Charleston, they had, he said, cruised away off shore:
with two sloops and a bark which they had taken.
They “made no purchase,” as he phrased it, until one
morning they sighted a sail, which proved to be an
armed ship of some six or seven hundred tons burden,
bound apparently for the Chesapeake Capes.

When they had come to within hailing distance of
the vessel they ordered her to heave to. But she
would not, and there was some exchange of shots be-
fore she would finally surrender. The ship had only
one passenger aboard, a young Virginia gentleman, Mr.
Edward Parker, who had been to college in England.
and who was now returning home, having finished his.
education. Dred said that the supercargo, on being:
threatened by Blackbeard, told the pirates that the
young gentleman had in his charge a valuable chest of
money and of goldsmiths’ bills of exchange. On hear-.
ing this Blackbeard and two or three of the pirates ran
aft to the cabin, only to find that the young gentleman
had locked himself in and refused to come out.

After some parleying the pirates tried to break in the
door, but it was braced from within, and the young
gentleman at once began firing at them through the
panels. Two of the pirates were shot. ‘One on ’em,”
said Dred, “was Abraham Dolling, and he was shot
that bad through the neck that we had to hale him off
by the legs, and he died a little bit after just at the
bottom of the poop ladder.”



ACROSS THE OCEAN 55

His own part in the tragedy that followed. Dred told
somewhat thus:

““Seein’ as how we was makin’ nothing of it at all by
the way we was doing, I climbs up on the poop-deck,
thinking maybe to get a sight of my yotung gentleman
through the sky-light. But no; he had blocked up the
sky-light with mattresses from the captain’s berth. So
then I went across the poop-deck to the stern falls.
The boat had been shot away from the lee davit by
our fire, and the lines hung loose from the falls over —
the stern. I lashed two on ’em together and let my-
self down from the davits with one hand, holding my
pistol with t? other. I eased myself to one side until
I was low enough, and then I peeped in at the stern
window. There I could see my young gentleman off
beyond in the captain’s cabin standing close by the
door, and I can see him now as plain as I can see this
here hand o’ mine. He had pulled a couple of sea chists
to the door, and he had a plank from the captain’s berth
set agin ’em and propped agin the braces of the table.
He was in his shirt sleeves, and he had a pistol in each
hand. The captain o’ the ship was a’ talkin’ to him
from t? other side of the door, telling him he ’d better
gin up and surrender the money, and I could hear my
young gentleman swearing by all that was holy that he
would never gin up the money. He had his head turned
to one side, and he did n’t see me, so I crawled in
through the window. But I’d no more’n set foot on
deck than all on a sudden he wheels around like a flash,
and afore I knowed what he was at— Bang! —he fires
his pistol fair for my head. I felt the wind of the ball
and it smashed into a chiny closet just behind me.
Then, seeing he had missed me, he ups with t? other
pistol and arter that ’t was either him or me. So [I let
fly, and down he went all of a heap acrost the chist
afore the door.”

“Was he dead?” asked Jack.



56 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“T think he were,” said Dred. ‘“ Leastways he was
dead afore we could get him out of the cabin.”

Dred told this story to Jack one afternoon as they
were sitting together up under the lee-forecastle rail, and
then he showed him the pardon in the oilskin bag hung
around his neck.

In the intimacy between the two Jack talked much
to Dred about his own prospects, and his new friend ad-
vised him to submit to his fate with patience. “ Arter

all,” he said, “ five year be n’t so werry long—not nigh
as long as death. And then you'll see a deal o’ the
world, and arter that you goes back home agin, an’
there ye be,” and the illogical words brought a good
deal of comfort to Jack.



CHAPTER VIII:
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE

N a long sea voyage you come to lose all sense of

time. One day melts and blends into the other so

that you can hardly tell them apart. They stretch along

into weeks, and the weeks, perhaps, into months which

can neither be called long nor short, but only just a
monotonous reach of time.

The only thing that brings its change fo the cease-
less monotony are the changes that happen in the
weather. Twice they had a spell of heavy weather
during the voyage; the first time, a few days after Jack
had become well enough to be about on deck, Jack was
very seasick, and so were nearly all of the transports.

It was quite a heavy storm, lasting for three or four
days, and at on: time Jack thought that the brig must
really be in danger. As he lay prone in his bunk his
heart quaked with every tumultuous lift of the vessel.
Some of the crew were in the forecastle beyond, and
the deep sound of their talk and now and then a burst
of laughter came to him where he lay. He did not see
how they could be so indifferent to the loud and inces-
sant creaking and groaning of the ship’s timbers, alter-
~nated now and then with the noise of distant thumping
and bumping, and always the gurgling rush of water, as
though it were bursting through the straining timbers
and streaming into the hold. It seemed to him some-
times as though the vessel must capsize, so tremendous

57



58 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

was the mountainous lift and fall of the fabric, and so
strenuous the straining of its timbers. Sometimes he
would clutch tight hold of the box-like side of his bunk
to save himself from being pitched out bodily upon the
deck. The steerage became a horrible pit, where the
transports rolled about stupefied with sickness, and
when, by and by, he himself began to recover, it be-
came impossible for him to bear it.

So the afternoon of the second day of the storm he
crawled up to the decks above. The level stretch lay
shining with sheets of drifting wet. Jack stood cling-
ing dizzily to the shrouds looking about him. A number
of the crew were strung out along the yard-arm high
aloft, reefing the fore-topsail, clinging with feet and
hands to the lines and apparently indifferent to the vast
rush of the wet wind and the gigantic sweep of the un-
certain foothold to which they clung. The hubbub of
roaring wind and thundering waters almost stunned
Jack as he stood clinging there. The voice of Dyce
shouting his orders through a trumpet from the quarter-
deck seemed to be upborne like a straw on that vast
and tremendous sweep of uproar. One of the crew
came running along the wet and slippery deck in his
bare feet, cursing and swearing at Jack and waving to
him to go below. The next moment, and before Jack
could move to obey, the vessel plunged down into a
wave, with a thunder-clap of sound and a cataract of
salt water that nearly swept him off his feet and wet
him to the skin.

Perhaps of all the actual events of the voyage, this
episode and the two or three minutes’ spectacle of the
storm lingered most vividly of all in Jack’s memory.

It was at this time that he first began to get better
acquainted with the crew. When, at the bidding of the
sailor, he went down below, wet and dripping, he could
not bear to go back into the steerage, and the crew let



TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 59

him lie out in the forecastle. They laughed at him and
his plight, but they did not drive him back into the
steerage.

Then there were many other days of bright sunlight
and of smooth breezy sailing; and still other times of
windy, starry nights, when the watch would sit smoking
up under the lee sail, and Jack would sit or maybe lie
stretched at length listening to them as they spun their
yarns—yarns, which, if the truth must be told, were
not always fit for the ears of a boy like Jack.

So the days came and went without any distinct defi-
nition of time, as they always do in a long voyage such
as this, and then, one soft warm afternoon, Jack saw
that there were sea-gulls hovering and circling around
the wake of the brig. One of the crew told him that
they had come within soundings again, and when he
looked over the side of the vessel he saw that the clear,
tranquil green of the profounder depths of the ocean
had changed to the cloudy, opalescent gray of shoaler
waters.

Then it was the next morning and Jack felt some one
shaking him awake. “What is it?” said he, opening
his eyes heavily and looking up into the lean face of
Sim Tucker that was bent over him.

The little man was all in a quiver of excitement.
“oT ig land!” he cried in a shrill, exultant voice—‘“’t is
land! We’re in sight of land! Don’t you want to get
up and see it? You can see it from the deck.” His
voice piped shriller and shriller with the straining of
his excitement.

Jack was out of his berth in an instant; and, almost
before he knew it, up on deck, barefoot, in the cool
brightness of the early day.

The deck-was wet and chill with the dew of the early
morning. The sun had not yet risen, but the day was.
bright, and as clear as crystal. The land lay stretched



60 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

out sharp and clear-cut in the early morning light —a
pure white, thread-like strip of sandy beach, a level strip
of green marsh, and, in the far distance, a dark, ragged
line of woodland standing against the horizon.

Jack had seen nothing but the water for so long, and
his eyes had become so used to the measureless stretch
of ocean all around him, that the land looked very near,
although it must have been quite a league away. He
stood gazing and gazing at it. The New World! The
wonderful new world of which he had heard so much!
And now he was really looking at it with his very living
eyes. Virginia! That, then, was the New World. He
stood gazing and gazing. In the long line of the hori-
zon there was an open space free of trees. He won-
dered whether that was a tobacco-plantation. There
was a single tree standing by itself —a straight, thin
- trunk, and a spread of foliage at the top. He wondered
if it was a palm-tree. He did not then know that there
were no palm-trees in Virginia, and that single, solitary
tree seemed to him to be very wonderful in its sugges-
tion of a strange and foreign country.

Then, as he stood gazing, a sudden recollection of the
fate that now, in a little while, awaited him in this new
world — of his five years of coming servitude. The rec-
ollection of this came upon him, gripping him with an
almost poignant pang; and he bent suddenly over,
clutching the rail tightly with both hands. How would
it be with him then? What was in store for him in
this new world upon which he was looking? Was it
hope or despair, happiness or misery?

Captain Butts and Mr. Dyce were standing on the
poop-deck, the Captain with a glass held to his eye look-
ing out at the land. By and by he lowered the glass,
and said something to the mate. Then he handed the
glass to the other, who also took a long, steady look at
the distant thread of shore.



TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 6L

Some of the crew were standing in a little group for-
ward. Among the others was Dred, the red bandana
handkerchief around his head blazing like a flame in
the crystal brightness of the morning. As Jack, still
possessed by that poignant remembrance of his coming
fate, went up to where they stood, Dred turned and
looked at him, almost smiling. The light of the rising
sun glinted in his narrow black eyes, and cut in a.
sharp seam the crooked, jagged scar that ran down his
cheek. He nodded at Jack ever so slightly; but he did
not say anything, and then he turned and looked out
again toward the land. Just then the mate shouted an
order, and then the group of sailors broke asunder,
some of them running across the deck in their bare feet,
throwing loose the ropes from the belaying-pins, others.
scrambling up the ratlines higher and higher, until they
looked like little blots in the mazy rigging against the
blue, shining sky overhead.

It was after sunset when the brig, half sailing, half
drifting, floated with the insweep of the tide up into
the York River. Jack stood with the other redemption
servants gazing silently and intently at the high bluff
shores. Above the crest of the bluff they could see the
roofs and brick chimneys of the little town. A half-
dozen vessels of various sorts were riding at anchor in
the harbor, looming darkly against the bright face of
the water, just ruffled by the light breeze. The line
of a long, straggling wharf reached some distance out
across the water to a frame shed at the end. Along
the shore toward the bluff were two or three small
frame-houses and a couple of big brick buildings. Some-
body had told Jack that they were the tobacco ware-
houses, and they appeared very wonderful to him. A
boat was pulling off from the wharf—it was the custom
officer’s boat. Other boats were following it, and a sail-
boat came fluttering out from the shore into the bright —



62 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

stretch of water. Suddenly there was a thunderous
splash. It was the anchor dropped. There was a quick
rattling of the cable and a creaking as it drew taut.
Then the Arundel swung slowly around with the sweep
of the tide, and the voyage was ended.

A minute later the boat with the custom officer came
alongside. Captain Butts met him at the gangway and
took him into the cabin. Ina little while boats, canoes,
and dug-outs came clustering about the Arundel. ‘They
all seemed strange and foreign to Jack. Nearly every-
body wanted to come aboard, but the mate, who stood
at the gangway, allowed only a few to come up on deck.
These he directed to the cabin, whither Captain Butts
had taken the custom officer The others remained in
their boats below, looking up at the redemption servants
who stood crowded at the rail, staring down at them. A
ceaseless volley of questions and answers was called
back and forth from those below to those above. “ Where
d’ ye come from?” “Gravesend and Southampton.”
“What craftis this?” “The Arundel of Bristol.” “ Comes
from Gravesend, d’ ye say?” “ Be there any man aboard
that comes from Southwark?” “Hey, Johnnie Stivins,
here be a man asks of Southwark.” “ Hi, there! what
are ye doin’, 7’ ye want to stave us in?”—a babel of a
dozen voices at a time.

Jack stood looking down through the now falling
twilight to the figures below, dim and shadowless in the.
pallid light. Just beneath where he stood was a dug-
out that had come off from the shore among the first.
It was rowed by a negro naked to the waist. A white
man sat in the stern. He appeared to have a kind of
hat, of woven grasses upon his head. He wore loose
cotton trousers and was smoking a leaf of tobacco rolled
into a cigarro, the lighted tip of which alternately
glowed and faded in the dimming light. How strange
and wonderful it all was!



TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 63

Just then Captain Butts came out of the cabin with
the custom officer. He did not then pay any attention
to the group of redemptioners gathered at the rail. He
stood looking at the custom officer as he climbed down
into the boat. Then he turned sharply around. “Here,
Dyce!” he roared to the mate, “send those men down
into the steerage. We ’ll have half on’em running away
in the dark next we knows on.”

The transports grumbled and growled among them-
selves as they were driven below. One or two of them
were disposed to joke, but the others swore as they
climbed stumblingly down the forecastle ladder.

The day had been warm, and the steerage was close
and hot; a lantern hung from the deck above, and in
the dim, dusky light the men stood crowded together.
Presently one of them began singing a snatch of a scur-
rilous song. Other voices joined in the refrain, and
gradually the muttering and grumbling began to change
into a noisy and rebellious turbulence. The singing
grew louder and louder, breaking now and then into a
shout or yell.

Jack had crept into his berth. It was close and stuffy
and it smelt heavy and musty after the fresh air above.
He felt very dull and numb, and the noises and tumult
in the close confines of the steerage stunned and deaf-
ened him.

Suddenly Captain Butts’s voice sounded from the open
seuttle of the forecastle companionway. ‘What qd’ ye
mean below there?” he roared; “are ye all gone drunk
or crazy? Stop that there noise or I'll put a stopper
on ye that ’ll be little enough to your liking! D’ ye
hear?”

A moment’s lull followed his voice; then one of the
men gave a shrill cat-call. It was, as a signal, instantly
followed by a burst of yells and whistles and jeers.
Jack expected to see Captain Butts down among them
bodily, but he did not come, and for a while’the trans-



64 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ports whistled and yelled and shouted unchecked. Pres-
ently there was the noise of some one coming down
into the forecastle beyond. It was Joe Barkley— one
of the sailors. He came into the steerage, and at his
coming an expectant lull fell upon the tumult.. He
carried a cocked and loaded pistol in his hand. His
face was stolid and expressionless, and he looked neither
to the right nor to the left. ‘ What be ye going to do,
Joe,” called out one of the redemptioners. He did not
answer; he went straight up to the lantern, opened it,
blew out the light, closed it again, and then turned
away without saying a word. He went into the fore-
castle and blew out the lantern there, and then every-
thing was instantly engulfed in an impenetrable and
pitchy darkness. A burst of derisive yells followed Joe
as he climbed clattering up the forecastle ladder again,
but he paid no attention to the jibes and jeers, and the
next moment Jack heard the rattling of the slide of the
scuttle as it was closed, and then the snapping of the
lock. For a while after the lights were put out the up-
roar was louder than ever. The men thumped and
banged and kicked. But in time the pitchy darkness
quelled their spirits in spite of themselves, and little by
little the turmoil ceased. It broke out intermittently,
it quieted again, and then at last it subsided into a
muffled grumbling.

Jack lay in his berth staring into the darkness; his.
ears seemed to hum and tingle with the black stillness
that surrounded him. He felt intensely wide awake as.
though he could never sleep again. Teeming thoughts.
passed vividly through his brain. Visions of all he had
seen during the day—the sandy shore, the distant strip:
of pine woods, the restless, crawling waters between —
he could almost see the water. But gradually thoughts
and visions intermingled, and almost before he knew it
he had drifted off into the ocean of sleep.



CHAPTER IX
IN VIRGINIA

INCE the capital of Virginia had been removed from
Jamestown to Williamsburg, and since the Gov-
ernor’s palace and the Government House had been
established there, it had become the center of fashion
in the colony. Just now the Court was in session, and
the Council sitting, and Governor Spottiswood was hold-
ing court every Thursday.

The day was rather close and warm, but there was an
unusually large representation of the provincial aris-
tocracy present. It was still not late in the afternoon,
but there had already been a good many arrivals, and
the gabbling sound of talking filled the assembly room.
The Governor, where he stood at the end of the room,
was the center of a group of gentlemen who were clus-
tered about him and in his immediate vicinity. It was
almost difficult for one to get past them to pay respect
to his Excellency. A group, perhaps, would move a
little aside to make way for newly arriving ladies and
gentlemen, but such as were now coming in could only
get to the Governor with a sense of discomfort and of
being crowded. In parts of the room more distant from
the Governor the talk was, perhaps, more of social
matters, but near his Excellency the knots of men dis-
cussed things relating to colonial affairs.

Just then the talk was about a renewed trouble with
pirates, who had begun again to infest the mouth of the
bay and the North Carolina sounds.

5

65



66 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

It was just about this time that Blackbeard had
broken his pardon and was again stopping vessels sail-
ing between Virginia and the Carolinas.

The Pearl and the Lyme, ships of war, were then
lying at Jamestown, and some of the officers had come
over to pay their respects at the palace. Some of them
were standing near listening to Councillor Page, who
was just then speaking of the latest depredations of
Blackbeard. “He was lying down at Ocracock,” said
Mr. Page. “TI had a sloop coming from the Tar River
with some shingle thatch for my new warehouse. Well,
the villains stopped her and came aboard of her. They
overhauled her cargo, and I do believe if they ’d known
*t was for me they would have thrown it all overboard.
But Williams said naught about that, and so they did
not know whose ’t was. There was nothing on board’
to serve the villains’ turn, and they might just as well
have let the sloop go; but no, there that wretch, Black-
beard, held her for nearly two days, so that she might
not give the alarm of his being there to any in-coming
vessels. Williams—he was the captain of my sloop—
Williams said that while he was lying there under the
pirates’ guns, he himself saw Blackbeard stop and levy
upon some nine vessels of different sorts, rummaging
all over their cargoes. He said it was chiefly rum and
cloth the villain was after. Williams said that ’t was
reported the villains held every boat that came through
the inlet, and would neither let them go in nor come
out, but made ’em all lie at anchor under his guns.
He hath two armed sloops now and a crew altogether
of some forty or sixty men, and twice or thrice as many
more to call upon if he chooses.”

“Lieutenant Maynard, of the Lyme, was standing by,
listening to the talk.

“Why, zounds!” said he, “ Why then do you people
here in the provinces put up with such a rascal as this



IN VIRGINIA 67

Teach or Blackbeard or what-ye-call-him? I ’d blow
him out of the water, were I in his Excellency’s place.
Aye, I would fit out an expedition and send it down
there and blow the villain clean out of the water and
have done with him.”

“What was that?” said the Governor, turning around
smiling toward the speaker. “Tut, tut! Lieutenant,
that shows how little you men of war know about
civil affairs. How could I, as Governor of Virginia, fit
out an expedition and send it down into North Caro-
lina. Ocracock is under Governor Hden’s jurisdiction,
not under mine, and ’t is his place to move against pi-
rates in the waters of his own province. They ’re inland
waters, and under the jurisdiction of North Carolina.”

“Well, your Excellency,” said Lieutenant Maynard,
“to be sure I know naught about the law, and only
about fighting. But if a villain stood at my neighbor's
door and stopped my own people from coming out and
going in upon my business, and robbed them, By
Zounds! your Excellency, I would have it out with
him, even if I had to chase him into my neighbor's
house to do it.” The Governor laughed, and the little
group around him joined in the laughter. Then his
Excellency turned again to meet some new-comers who
made their way toward him through the circle sur-
rounding him. ,

“T do declare,” said Mr. Dillworth, “methinks Gov-
ernor Eden of North Carolina is as bad as ever was
Fletcher of New York at his worst times. ’I was
through this Blackbeard that poor Ned Parker was
murdered—the first young gentleman of Virginia. ’T is
currently known everywhere—and yet Eden grants the
villain the King’s pardon as soon as he asks for it.
T is said his Excellency — Eden, I mean —has more
than once had his share of the booty that the pirates
have taken. Why, would you believe it, the villain



68 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pirate was only last year up here at Norfolk, coming
and going as he pleased, carrying his Majesty’s pardon
in his pocket and flaunting it in the eyes of everybody.
Well, if ever we catch him, now he hath broken his
pardon, ’t will be a short enough shrift he ‘ll get of it,
Ill promise him.”

“How is Colonel Parker now?” asked Mr. Page.

“He ’s about well now,” said Mr. Cartwright, a cousin
of Colonel Parker’s. ‘Iwas at Marlborough last week,
and his gout seems to have fairly left him.”

“Methinks he hath never been the same man since
poor Master Ned was murdered,” said Mr. Dillworth. “T
never saw anybody so broken by trouble as he was
at that time.”

“His daughter, Miss Nelly, is a great beauty, I hear,”
said Lieutenant Maynard.

“The girl is well enough,” said Mr. Cartwright briefly.

A group of some half dozen ladies and two gentlemen
were gathered at one of the open windows, into which
the warm air blew widely. One of the gentlemen was
Mr. Harry Oliver, a young man about eighteen years
old. He wore his own hair curled and hanging to his
shoulders, and he put it back with his hand every now
and then as he talked. He showed his white teeth when.
he smiled, and his large, dark eyes moved restlessly
hither and thither.

‘Yonder comes Dick Parker,” said he suddenly.

“Why, so it is,” said Miss Peggy Oliver. They all
looked toward the new comer. “ Upon my word,” she
continued, “he is a man I can’t abide for the life of
me. As proud, haughty a man asever I saw. He turns.
me to a block of ice whenever I am near him, and I
can’t find a word to say for myself.”

“Why, Peggy,” said Oliver, “that, then, must be why
you can’t abide him,” and thereupon the group broke
into a laugh.



IN VIRGINIA 69

Mr. Richard Parker, who had just come into the
room, was standing quietly waiting to speak to the
Governor. He did not try to push his way through the
circle that surrounded his Excellency, and for a while
nobody saw him. His handsome, florid face, surrounded
by a fine powdered wig, looked calmly and steadily in
the direction of the Governor. He stood quite impassive,
waiting an opportunity to go forward when he would
not have to push his way through the crowd. Presently
some one saw him and spoke to the others, and they
made way for him almost as with deference. He went
forward calmly and paid his respects in a few brief
words. He spoke with the Governor for a little while,
or rather the Governor spoke to him, and he replied.
All the time the Governor was speaking, Mr. Parker
was looking steadily and composedly around the room,
glancing back toward his interlocutor every now and
then to reply. Presently there was a pause, and then
at last Mr. Richard Parker bowed and withdrew to a
little distance.

“Why, only look at him now,” said Peggy Oliver,
“even his Excellency is not good enough for him.”

“Well, to be sure, Peggy,” said one of the elder
ladies, “if Mr. Parker is proud, he hath enough to
make him proud when you think what a great man of
fashion he hath been in his day. "I is not every man
who hath had the luck to be a friend of the Duke of
Marlborough. ’I is a wonder to me that he should ever
have come here to the provinces, seeing what a great
man of fashion he was at home in England.”

The two gentlemen burst out laughing. “ Why,” said
Will Costigan, “for that matter, ’t was Hobson’s
choice betwixt Virginia or the debtor’s prison, madam.”

“They say old Dunmore Parker when he was alive
used to send a fortune every year to England for him
to spend,” said one of the ladies. “Tom told me t’ other



70 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

day that he one time played a game of piquet for four
days on end. "I was with a Frenchman; a nobleman
—TI forget his name — who was a prisoner at Malpla-
quet. Indeed it must have been mightily hard upon
him after his father died to find that all the estate, ex-
cept the Dunmore Plantation, was left to his brother.”

Just then Mr. Parker approached the group and
the talk ceased. He nodded to Oliver and then passed
by and stood at a little distance looking about him.
Presently Harry Oliver edged over toward him. “How
d’ ye do, Parker,” said he.

Mr. Parker turned his eyes toward the young man
with an answering “ How d’ ye do, Oliver.”

There was a moment’s pause. “That’s a prodigious
handsome piece of lace you ’ve got there, Parker,” said
the young man, looking at Mr. Parker’s cravat.

‘OT is good enough,” said Mr. Parker briefly.

“Ts it Flemish?”

“Yes, sir.”

“We don’t come across any such lace as that here in
Virginia,” said the young man.

“Don’t you?”

Oliver stood for a while in silence. Almost uncon-
sciously he assumed somewhat of the older man’s man-
ner, standing with his hands behind him and looking
indifferently around the room. “ Tell me, Parker,” said
he, “do you go down to Parrot’s to-morrow ?”

Again Mr. Parker looked slowly toward him. “To
Parrot’s?” said he. “What d’ ye mean?”

“Why, have you not heard?” exclaimed the young
man eagerly, glad to have found something that prom-
ised to interest the other. ‘“ Why, to-morrow there ’s
to be fought seven as fine mains as ever were pitted
in Virginia. There are to be six mains fought between
the Gentlemen of Surry and the Gentlemen of Prince
George’s. Will Costigan yonder hath brought his red



IN VIRGINIA 71

cock over from t’ other side of the Bay. The bird hath
been all the talk for six months past. He offers to pit
it against the winner of all themains. I heard say, too,
that Ned Williamson purposes to bring down a three-
year horse that he hath broke, and will run it in the
afternoon, perhaps, against Tom Lawson’s Duke of
Norfolk.”

Mr. Parker listened impassively. “TI had not heard
anything about it,” said he; “I only came down yester-
day. What time do you go down to Parrot’s?” he
asked presently.

“To-morrow morning. I’m going to stay at my uncle
Tom’s over night. Will you go along?”

“Why,” said Mr. Parker, “I hadn’t thought of it be-
fore. Maybe I will go.”

“T start in the morning,” said Oliver, eagerly; “T ‘ll
come over for you if you ’ll go.”

“Very well,” said Mr. Parker, “you can come over,
and if I find I can, Ill go with you. Is not that Mis-
tress Denham and her daughter coming into the room?”

Then Mr. Parker moved away across the room to
speak to the two Maryland ladies.

It was early twilight of the next evening when Mr.
Richard Parker and Harry Oliver rode up to Parrot’s
house. The house itself was the largest of a cluster of
unpainted frame buildings that stood just beyond a
clearing, overlooking the bay from a low, sandy bluff.
A number of outbuildings and sheds surrounded it to
the rear. Three pine trees stood not far from the low
porch that sheltered the doorway, and a dozen or more
horses stood clustered around the shaggy resinous
trunks. Near by them lounged a group of men, black
and white, talking together with now and then the
break of a laugh. They fell silent, and some of them
took off their hats as Mr. Parker and Mr. Oliver rode



72 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

up to the door and alighted. Mr. Oliver nodded in
reply, but Mr. Parker paid no attention to any one.
“Where is Parrot?” asked the younger man.

“He ’s inside, Mr. Oliver,” answered one of the group.
“They were at cards awhile ago, sir, and I reckon they
be at it yet.”

The two gentlemen went directly into the house.
Tom Parrot’s wife met them in the hallway, where was
a scattered heap of hats and riding coats. From the
room to one side came the deep sound of men talking,
and then a sudden outburst of voices. “I be mortal
proud to see ye, gentlemen,” said Mrs. Parrot, dropping
them a courtesy. “Indeed, Mr. Parker, you do honor
us in coming. You’ll find Tom and the gentlemen in
yonder.”

“You go ahead, Oliver,” said Mr. Parker.

Another loud burst of voices greeted the two as they
entered the room, so dense with tobacco smoke that at
first they could see nothing at all. The room was full
of the smell of rum. A great bowl of punch stood on
the side-table, and there was a continual tinkle and
jingle of glasses. Tom Parrot pushed back his chair
noisily and rose to meet the new comers. He was a
little stout man with a red face. It was redder than
ever now, and bedewed with drops of sweat. He had
laid aside his wig, and his bald head glistened with
moisture. He wore no coat, his waistcoat was opened,
and his breeches loosened at the waistband. He wiped
his face and head with his shirt sleeve as he spoke.
“Why, Mr. Parker,” said he, “who’d a-thought to see
you! You be mighty welcome, Mr. Parker. Won’t you
take a hand at the game, sir? Tim (to the negro), push
up that there chair for Mr. Parker. Fetch a clean glass
and fill it with punch. You know all the gentlemen
here, don’t you, Mr. Parker?” And then he stopped
abruptly as though struck by a sudden thought.



IN VIRGINIA 73

Mr. Richard Parker looked briefly around the table.
He did know, at least by sight, all who were there but
one. That one was a stranger to him; a tall man
with a long, thick, perfectly black beard tied into a
knot with a piece of string. His thick, black hair was
parted in the middle and brushed smoothly down upon
either side of his head, and was trimmed squarely all
around his neck. The locks at his temple were plaited
into long strings, that hung down in front of his ears,
in which twinkled a pair of gold ear-rings. His face
was tanned by exposure to a leathery russet, but deep-
ened to a bricky red in his cheeks. At the name of
Parker the stranger had looked up sharply for an in-
stant, and then had looked down again at the cards
he was in the act of shuffling. A sudden hush as of
expectancy had fallen upon the room. Everybody was
looking attentively at Mr. Parker and at the stranger.

“Who is your friend yonder, Parrot?” asked Mr.
Parker, “TI don’t know him.”

“Him?” said Parrot, “why, he’s no more a friend
of mine than he is a friend of all the rest of us, Mr.
Parker.”

Seeing the other’s hesitation, the stranger spoke up
boldly and loudly. “My name is Teach,” said he,
“Captain Teach, and I hail from North Carolina. It’s
like enough you ’ve heard of me before, as I ’ve heard
of you, sir. Well, then, I’m glad to make your acquaint-
ance, Mr. Parker.” He reached a brown, hairy hand
across the table toward Mr. Richard Parker, looking
up at him as he did so with the most impudent cool-
ness and steadiness. Mr. Richard Parker made no sign
of having recognized the stranger’s name. He and the
pirate seemed to be the only self-possessed men in the
room. He calmly ignored the proffered hand, but said
in a perfectly equal voice: “Why, then, I.am obliged
to you for telling me who you are,” and then coolly



74. JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and composedly took his seat. “ What game do you
play, Parrot?” said he.

“Why, Mr. Parker,” said Parrot eagerly, “’t is lan-
terloo, and Captain Teach is holding the bank just
now. Will you take a hand, sir?”

By midnight the bowl of punch had been emptied
and filled, and emptied again, and at times the uproar
was stunning. Mr. Richard Parker had laid aside his
coat and unbuttoned his waistcoat. His shirt was
opened at his handsome, round throat, and the sweat
trickled down his smooth red neck. ‘“ Harkee now,
Captain Teach,” he called across the table in a loud,
rather hoarse, voice, ‘I know very well who you are,
you bloody villain! You ’re a bloody pirate, d’ ye’
hear?”

The other glowered with tipsy truculence back at
him for a moment or two in silence. ‘ You can’t prove
me pirate, Mr. Dick Parker,” said he at last, ‘and no
man can prove me pirate now. Maybe I am a pirate
and maybe I ’m none, but how can you prove I’m a
pirate ?”

Mr. Parker’s flaming face did not change a shade in
the heavy haughtiness of its expression. “A pirate
you are,” said he, “and what ’s more, you ’re at your
tricks again. I’ve heard all about you, and I know all
about you, d’ ye see? Well, you ’ve been losing at
your cards all night, Mr. Pirate. You may do well
enough in your villainy afloat, stabbing poor coasting
captains and murdering young gentlemen of blood
like my nephew Ned, but what a poor figure do you
make ashore when you try your luck with the gentle-
men at play. See what I ’ve won of you! Look ’ee
now, sirrah, I ‘ll play you a game of hazard man to
man, and clear you out o’ all you have left if you dare
to play me.”



IN VIRGINIA 15

“Dare! Why should I not dare to play you, Dick
Parker? D’ ye think I’m afeard of you? Ill play
you as long as ye can see. Why not?”

Harry Oliver pushed back his chair and rose. He
came rather unsteadily to where Mr. Parker sat.
‘Don’t do it, Dick,” said he, thickly. “ Don’t you play
that man. He’s a bloody villain, Dick, and ’t is n’t fit
you should play him. D’ ye forget what everybody
knows, and that he had a hand in Ned’s death ?”

“Sit down, Oliver!” the other replied, wiping his
face with his sleeve. “Here, Parrot, clear the table of
these cards and hand the dice over here. There’s your
cup, you villain!” and he tossed the box across the table.
‘“‘ And now set your stakes and throw your cast.”

Everybody gathered around the two to watch the
game, and for a while nothing was heard but the rattle
and fall of the dice. At first the luck ran all in Mr. Par-
ker’s favor, and Teach’s face grew blacker and blacker.
Then suddenly fortune changed, and in a little while
- the winner had lost everything he had gained. Again
and again he threw, and again and again he lost. He
played more and more desperately, and his opponent
grinned at every cast.

“Don’t play any more, Parker!” cried Harry Oliver.
“Your luck ’s against you, and you ’ve lost too
much already.” But the other only pushed him aside
with his elbow, and gathered up the dice with trembling
fingers. At last he dashed down the dice and box
furiously, and thereupon Captain Teach burst out
laughing. “And have ye had enough?” he exulted
hoarsely.

Mr. Parker stared haughtily at him without deigning
any reply. ‘Did you order out the horses, Oliver?”
he said, pushing back his chair and rising.

“Yes, I did. They ’re waiting outside now, and
have been this hour.”



76 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Then, come along, let us go; ’t is nearly morning
now.”

The moon, nearing its last quarter, hung in the east
like a flattened globe of white light. The air was chill:
and smelt rank of marsh and woodland. The mocking
birds were singing in ceaseless medley from the inky-
black thickets beyond. Blackbeard followed the two
gentlemen as they came out of the house. ‘“ And when
may I look for you to settle your losses, Mr. Parker?”
said he.

“Tl talk with you to-morrow,” said Mr. Parker, as
he set his foot in the stirrup.

“But you ll give me some written obligation of some
sort, won’t you?”

“T tell you, sirrah, I ll talk with you to-morrow. Do
you hear me? To-morrow.” And then the two gentle-
men rode away into the night, leaving the other stand-
ing looking after them.



CHAPTER X
INTO BONDAGE

T was the morning after the arrival at Yorktown.
Jack was awake and up on deck bright and early.
The sun had just risen upon a clear and cloudless day,
and the brisk, fresh wind drove the crisp waves splash-
ing against the brig as she rode at anchor. The foli-
age of the trees on shore whitened to the breeze, and
the smoke blew sharply away here and there from some
tall brick chimney. The town looked fresh and strangely
new inthe brightness of the morning. Three of the
vessels that had lain in the harbor over night were get-
ting under way. The yo-hoeing of the sailors, and the
creaking and rattling of block and tackle, as the sails
rose higher and higher apeak, sounded sharp and clear
across the water. One large schooner, heeling over be-
fore the wind, slid swiftly and silently past the Arwn-
del. Three or four sailors, clustered along the rail, were
looking over toward the Arundel as they passed the
brig, but the man at the helm —he wore a red woolen
monteray cap — gazed out steadily ahead, stooping a
little so as to see under the boom of the mainsail.
Several of the redemptioners had come up on deck;
one or two of them, doubtless remembering the tumult
and disorder of the night before, wore a hang-dog doubt-
ful look. Suddenly Jack saw the mate coming toward
them from aft. ‘“ What are ye doing up here on deck?”
he called out. “Were n’t you ordered below last night ?
Very well then, you go down below now, and don’t ye
U7



78 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

come up till you ’re sent for; @ ye hear?” The men,
though sullen and lowering, had no thought of dis-
obeying the mate’s orders, and Jack, with the others,
climbed down the ladder into the forecastle again.

It was well toward the middle of the day, and Jack
was lounging in his berth, when Dred suddenly ap-
peared in the steerage. He stood looking silently
around for a moment or two, and then, seeing Jack,
beckoned to him. Dred did not speak until they were
out in the forecastle. “The agent ’s come from shore
to take you all off, lad,” said he; “he ’s with Captain
Butts in the cabin now, and in a minute or two you ’ll
be sent for.”

“To take us ashore?” said Jack. A sudden, keen
pang gripped his heart, followed instantly by an utter
falling away of the spirits, that left him almost physi-
cally weak. “To take us ashore?” Had the time then
come at last?

“* Aye,” said Dred, “ye ’ve got to go ashore now, lad.
But sit you down there a bit,” and he pointed to a sea-
chest. “I’ve a notion to try and tidy ye upa bit. I
don’t choose to have ye looking like they riff-raff,” and
he jerked his head toward the steerage. ‘Dye see, we
two ha’ been mates, ha’ n’t we?” He had taken out his
gunny-bag, and he now brought out of it his needle and
thread. He looked up at Jack from under his brows
and then looked away again. Jack did not return the
look but sat with dry and choking throat, his breath
coming hot and heavy from him. “ Well, then,” said
Dred, “seeing as we ’re mess-mates, I won’t have ye going
ashore looking like nothing but trash. Give me your
_ coat and waistcoat.” He had threaded his needle and
waxed the thread deftly. Jack stripped off his coat and
waistcoat, and without a word Dred began mending the
frayed and tattered edges of the waistcoat. Jack sat
silently in his shirt-sleeves watching him. He knew



INTO BONDAGE 79

that Dred was talking for the sake of talking. He felt
almost stifled with his hot and labored breathing as he
sat watching the other’s busy fingers.

“There, that looks betterish,” said Dred, holding the
waistcoat off and looking at it, still carefully avoiding
Jack’s eyes as he did so. “ Here, take it,” and he tossed
it to Jack. “And now for the coat. I be a wonderful
man at mending clothes, be n’t 1? Lord! what a hole is
here, to be sure.” There was a long time of silence,
Dred busily sewing away at the coat. “There,” said
he at last, “what @’ ye think of that for a bit of mend-
ing? Well, well, lad, the time comes to all on us to part
some time, so what matters it soon or late? Harkee,
Jack; don’t you go making trouble for yourself. You
be a good boy, and you ‘Il be treated well enough, I
dare say. You ’re mightily young yet, and five or six
year won’t matter so much to you, and then think o’
what a deal you ‘Il see in that time.” He was talking
very briskly, meantime putting away the needle and
thread neatly.

Five years! Jack stood watching Dred fumbling in
his gunny-bag. Presently he fetched out a pair of yarn
stockings. “Here, put these on,” said he, “the ones
you got be all full of holes. Give ’em to me.”

Jack did not dare to trust himself to speak. He be-
gan dumbly changing his stockings, Dred standing over
him.

Suddenly the boatswain appeared at the companion-
way of the forecastle, and piped all hands up on deck.
Jack and Dred went up together. Captain Butts and
the agent were standing waiting for the men, the agent
holding a little packet of papers in his hand. Jack, in
a glance, saw that the agent was a tall, lean man dressed
in rusty black, wearing a long, black coat, and with the
flaps of his hat tied up with leather thongs. His lips
moved as he counted the redemptioners, one by one,



80 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

as they came up out of the companion-way and were

formed in a line before him by the boatswain. A great,

flat boat, rowed by four negroes and with a white man

in the stern, had been made fast to the side of the brig.

“Nineteen, twenty —that ’s all of ’em, Captain,” — the

agent had counted Jack in with the others, —“ and very

lucky you ’ve been with ’em. Now, Bo’s’n, get ’em’
down as soon as you can.”

‘“ Aye, aye, sir,” said the boatswain; and then to the
men, “ Now then, look alive, my hearties, and don’t
take all day about it!”

Then, suddenly, Jack went straight up to where the
agent stood. “Sir,” said he, hoarsely, “I have been
ill-used. I was knocked down and kidnapped, and
brought away from home against my will. Will you
not listen to me and hear what I have to say ?”

“Hold your noise!” roared the captain.

“No, I won’t, neither,” said Jack. He did not expect
much, indeed he felt that he had no hope of escape, but
still the effort was worth making. He stood chokingly
looking at the agent, and he felt that his heart was
beating very heavily within him.

“T don’t know anything about what you say,” said
the agent. “The bill calls for twenty men shipped from
Southampton, and your name must be among them.
What’s your name?”

“ Jack Ballister.”

“Yes, here ’t is—John Ballister— shipped for five
years. If there is something wrong, you ll have to hold
Captain Butts and Mr. Hezekiah Tipton to answer. I’m
only an agent, and ’t is none of my business.”

“T wish I had ye for a couple of days longer,” said
Captain Butts, “I’d answer ye, I would. I’d put my
answer upon your back, I would, afore I let ye go.”

“But Master Hezekiah Tipton is my own uncle,” said
Jack.



INTO BONDAGE 81

“T don’t know anything about that,” said the agent,
““T is none of my business.”

Jack did not say another word. He crossed the deck,
hardly knowing what he was doing, and climbed down
into the boat, where the other transports were already
seating themselves. A moment or two, and the agent
followed, and then immediately the boat was cast loose.
As it pulled away toward the shore, Jack gave one look
back across the widening stretch of water. It was almost
like a dream; it seemed to him as though that which was
passing was not really happening to him. Dred’s red
handkerchief gleamed like a flame against the blue
sky as he stood on the rail looking after the departing
boat. Then Jack turned his face quickly away. He
could not trust himself to look again, lest he should
break down before all the boat-full of men.

A little scattered cluster of men stood upon the wharf
waiting for the flat boat as it drew nearer and nearer,
and when it struck the piling with a bump half a dozen
willing hands caught the line that was thrown them
and made it fast. Jack scrambled with the others to
the wharf under the curious gaze of those who stood
looking on. They were formed into a line, two by two,
and then marched down the wharf toward the shore.
The loungers followed them scatteringly. Beyond
the wharf they crossed a narrow strip of beach, and
climbed a sloping, sandy road cut through the high
bluff. At the crest they came out upon a broad,
grassy street, upon which fronted the straggling houses,
one or two built of brick, but most of them unpainted
frame-structures, with tall, sharp-pointed roofs and out-
' side chimneys of brick. A curious smoky smell per-
vaded the air. People stood at their doors looking at
Jack and his companions as they marched two by two
down the center of the dusty street.

So at last they reached and were halted in front

6



82 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

of a large brick warehouse. Then the agent opened
the door, and they entered. Within it was perfectly
empty, and smelt damp and earthy from disuse. The
board floor was sunken unevenly, and the plaster was
broken from the walls here. and there in great patches.
The two windows, which looked upon the rear of the
adjoining houses, were barred across with iron. Jack
heard his companions talking together. “ Well, Jack,”
said Sim Tucker, “here we be at last.”

Jack sometimes wondered whether the two days that
followed passed very quickly or very slowly. Food was
sent over three times a day to the warehouse by the
agent, and twice a day all hands were allowed to walk
about for a few minutes in a little yard back of the
building. It seemed to him that he slept nearly all the
rest of the time, except now and then when he stood on
an empty box looking out of one of the windows. The
windows overlooked a yard and a shed, beyond the roof
of which was a cluster of trees, and beyond that again
two tall chimneys. Nearly always there were pigeons
onthe roof of the shed. Now and then there was the
noise of their clapping flight, but the gurgling coo of the
strutting males sounded almost continuously through
the warm silence.

About eleven o’clock of the third day, they were
brought out of the store-house, formed into line in front
of the building, and then marched away in the hot sun
down the street about a hundred yards to the custom-
house. Jack saw a lounging, scattered crowd of men
there gathered in a little group, and he guessed that
that was where they were to be sold.
~ The agent and the auctioneer stood by a horse-block
talking together in low tones as the man who had
marched Jack and the others down from the warehouse
formed them in line against the wall of the building.







So

“tnow TH



HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS BOY?

EMEN,

GENTL

EN,

”

E AUCTIONEER,

H

SAID T



INTO BONDAGE 83

The agent held a slip of paper in his hand, which he
referred to every now and then. At last the auctioneer
mounted upon the horse-block.

“Gentlemen,” Jack heard him say, “I have now to
offer as fine a lot of servants as hath ever been brought
to Virginia. There be only twenty, gentlemen, but
every one choice and desirable. Which is the first one
you have upon your list, Mr. Quillen?” said he, turning
to the agent.

The agent referred to a slip of paper he held in his
hand. “Sam Dawson,” he called out in a loud voice.
“Step out, Sam Dawson!” and in answer to the sum-
mons a big, lumbering man, with a heavy brow and
dull face, stepped out from the line and stood beside
the horse-block.
“Thisis Sam Dawson, gentlemen,” said the auctioneer,

‘addressing the crowd. “He hath no trade, but he is a
first-rate, healthy fellow and well fitted for the tobacco
fields. He is to be sold for five years.”

“They ’re all to be sold for five years,” said the agent.

“You have heard, gentlemen,” said the auctioneer —
“they ’re all to be sold for five years. This is a fine big
fellow. How much have I bid for him? How much?
Ten pounds is bid for his time—ten pounds is bid,
gentlemen! I have ten pounds. Now I have twelve
pounds! Now I have fifteen pounds!”

In a minute the price had run up to twenty pounds,
and then a voice said quietly: “I will give you twenty-
five pounds for the man.”

“Mr. Simms bids twenty-five pounds for the man’s
time in behalf of Colonel Birchall Parker,” said the
salesman. “Have I any more bids for him?” But Mr.
Simme’s bid seemed to close the sale, for no one appeared
to care to bid against him.

Jack had been so dazed and bewildered by coming
out from the dark and chill warehouse into the sunlight



84 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and life, that~he had scarcely noticed anything very
particularly. Now he looked up at the man who had
bought Sam Dawson’s time, and saw that he was a stout,
red-faced, plain-looking man, dressed very handsomely
in snuff-colored clothes. As Jack wondered who he
was, another man was called out from the line of ser-
vants. Again the bids had run up to ten or twelve
pounds, and then again Mr. Simms made a bid of
twenty-five pounds, and once more no one bid against
- him. Another man and another man were sold, and
then Jack heard his own name. —

“ Jack Ballister!” called the agent. “Stand out, boy,
and be quick about it!” and Jack mechanically ad-
vanced from the others and took his place beside the
block, looking around him, as he did so, at the circle of
faces fronting him and all staring at him. His mouth
felt very dry, and his heart was beating and pounding |
heavily. ‘Here is a fine, good boy, gentlemen,” said the
salesman. “ Heis only sixteen years old, but he will do
well as a serving or waiting-man in some gentleman’s
house who hath need of such. He hath education, and
reads and writes freely. Also, as you may see for your-
selves, gentlemen, he is strong and well built. A lively
boy, gentlemen—a good, lively boy! Come, boy, run to
yonder post and back, and show the gentlemen how
brisk ye be.”

Jack, although he heard the words, looked dumbly at
the speaker. “D’ ye hear me!” said the agent. “Do
as I bid ye; run to yonder post and back!”

Then Jack did so. It seemed to him as though he
were running in a nightmare. As he returned to his
place he heard the agent saying: “The boy is strong,
but doth not show himself off as well as he might. But
he is a good boy, as you may see for yourselves.” The
next thing he knew was that Mr. Simms had bought
him for twenty pounds.



CHAPTER XI
MARLBOROUGH

ARLBOROUGH was the house of Colonel Birch-

all Parker. It was in its day, perhaps, the finest
house in Virginia, not even excepting the Governor’s
palace at Williamsburgh. It stood upon the summit of
a slope of the shore rising up from the banks of the
James River. The trees in front nearly hid the house
from the river as you passed, but the chimneys and the
roof stood up above the foliage, and you caught a
glimpse of the brick fagade, and of the elaborate door-
way, through an opening in the trees, where the path led
up from the landing-place to the hall door. The main
house was a large two-storied building capped by a tall,
steep roof. From the center. building long wings
reached out to either side, terminating at each end in a
smaller building or office standing at right angles to its
wing, and, together with the main house, inclosing on
three sides a rather shaggy, grassy lawn. From the
front you saw nothing of the servants’ quarters or out-
buildings (which were around to the rear of the house),
but only the imposing facade with its wings and offices.
Now it was early morning; Colonel Birchall Parker
had arisen, and his servant was shaving him. He sat
by the open window in his dressing-gown, and with
slippers on his feet. His wig, a voluminous mass of
finely curled black hair, hung from the block ready for

him to put on. The sunlight came in at the open win-
85



86 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

dow, the warm mellow breeze just stirring the linen
curtains drawn back to either side and bringing with
it the multitudinous sounds of singing birds from the
thickets beyond the garden. The bed-clothes were
thrown off from a mountainously high bed, and the
wooden steps, down which Colonel Parker had a little
while before descended from his couch to the bare
floor, were still standing beside the curtained bedstead.
The room had all the confused look of having just been
slept in.

Colonel Parker held the basin under his chin while
the man shaved him. He had a large, benevolent face,
the smooth double chin just now covered with a white
mass of soap-suds. As he moved his face a little to one
side to receive the razor he glanced out of the open
window. “I see the schooner is come back again,
Robin,” said he.

“Yes, your honor,” said the man, “it came back last
night.”

“Were there any letters?”

“T don’t know, your honor; the schooner came in
about midnight, and Mr. Simms is not about yet.”. The
man wiped the razor as he spoke and began whetting
it to a keener edge. “Mr. Richard came up with the
schooner, your honor,” said he.

“Did he?”

“Yes, your honor, and Mr. Simms fetched up a lot of
new servants with him. They ’re quartered over in the
empty store-house now. Will your honor turn your
face a little this way?”

The noises of newly awakened life were sounding
clear and distinct through the uncarpeted wainscoted
spaces of the house—the opening and shutting of
doors, the sound of voices, and now and then a break
of laughter.

The great hall and the side rooms opening upon it,



Full Text















LAYTON B. REGISTER








JACK: BALLISTER’S FORTUNES












MAREE: at So HEA

(CSPEAK UP, BOY, SPEAK UP,’ SAID THE GENTLEMAN,” (SHE PAGE 90.)
THE STORY OF
JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

BY

HOWARD PYLE _
;

BEING THE NARRATIVE OF THE ADVENTURES
OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF GOOD FAM-
ILY, WHO WAS KIDNAPPED IN THE YEAR 1719
AND CARRIED TO THE PLANTATIONS OF THE
CONTINENT OF VIRGINIA, WHERE HE FELL
IN WITH THAT FAMOUS PIRATE CAPTAIN
EDWARD TEACH, OR BLACKBEARD: OF HIS
ESCAPE FROM THE PIRATES AND THE RESCUE
OF A YOUNG LADY FROM OUT THEIR HANDS



NEW YORK
THE CENTURY CoO.
1895:
Copyright, 1894, 1895, by
TuE CENTURY Co.

JHE DE VINNE PRESS,
CHAPTER
I

Ir

Til

IV

Vv

VI
VII:
VIII
IX

xX

XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
XVI
XVII
XVIII
XIX
XX
XXI
XXII
XXII
XXIV
XXV

CONTENTS

PAGE
Tur AMERICA MERCHANT............0.0..00cccee eee 5
JACK BALLISTER ....... Raat Seaman a aah eNO Ree a AN 9
JACK AND HIS: UNCLE e225 Souda i ee ne ls 26
CAST ACEN IBS DVDS ee acs ce oe en eee nace et ee sia 31
KGED WAP BIND 1G os eeee een Wille sec cemmr sce anile Meant ieee 38
ABOARD: THE ARUNDEL. . 2.2. .6..5e 8. 43
EN CROSSs DEIR y, OCHAN 20 ce Gagliano lea 47
To THE END OF THE VOYAGE................0.0000. 57
TEN VATS GEN TEAM tige ty ea aul Ph oer Stn Cg Ce 65
INTO MBONDA GH Retry sate eri lee Goce gle ana ane 77
MEATS BO ROU G rie cry aiers yoga ery cee pene ekll 85
DOWN THECRIVER es NOs acer es eee Sea ie) eee 92
ULE ERO OSU ee catia an ee un co Cu ahaaan edie dn aire 97
In EN@LAND .............. i sepasant: te aenee mor eien ete epee ae 102
GIR ATT THE ROOST Me sate a) ete uecn teeters aan 109
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS...................400. 116
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION.......... 000. cece cece eee 124.
Miss ELEANOR PARKER............. 0.0.0 ccc ce eee eee 130
Wane VISTO Ri AIGEATING oes eee nea ee ied ete Oi 135
TEENS WEED URRY: srs a Rel eee ene ee 146
THE STRUGGLE..... Uae ae ee ci hee ag teen oe ns aN cue ee a 154
EVE SHS CASE Whi dee eieys tect ent, go Were sd naan cr sgageen 161
SACS MI RUIEN Gio te Pee iain See) Uveitis aie oral gleams 168
FATE MART BOROUGEIAC i cice aoe apt eee eee ge rns 179
EIN g © APT Vai S GE reat hasta oer iet Ue eRe 190
ERROR PTRACT RS SITAR ae eior oe sins) one se ake oe et 198
PADS AND OWN Es oreo Soe inte cast ne ameter Oeutencne 203
viii
CHAPTER
XXVIII
XXIxX
Xxx
XXXI
XXXII
XXXII
XXXIV
XXXV
XXXVI
XXXVII
XXXVIII
XXXIX
XL

XLI
XLII
XLII
XLIV
XLV
XLVI
XLVII
XLVIII
XLIX

L



CONTENTS

PAGE
In NortH CAROLINA—IN VIRGINIA.............. 211
NIT: J Dp ODDDIMMLONS Was rine Sean gh EAM Nyy Heim oen ey cals 221
THe ATTEMPT ....... See reac 30 Aree au igo ap De ee 229
THE RETURN ....:..... era Ab Naren ee 237
ASS ONE aes eet cr nee ea nu egos ae 243
How: JAOK RESOLVED: 2 20 0ncs fie ce ee 253
UTSET Ee HS GAC i eerie esses ea eg ote eee cre en eu ees 265
THe BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE ...........,..... 272
AUSTOP“OVER ONIGHT® Sau. of. apse. eae 280
PEERS SECOND) “DAV eyo ma tcc en lan chainen ony ciara 287
HEREDIA ETE: Dy Bt) Avi prculiicsere crear Ips aise gerueinocnt eect tas el ereaies is 296
FREER SIH UR Deg D)ACYiaee cence gen a inl ray nee Te eee 305
FRETEAI SU STEED PAN ate ate ees tea to eceeg eyo ec ciea ey cen aye 319
HINER OAT ASD RRR S Uae eel Vin 2 at ate tee Arak ay 327
ET Ereen SIN Tae DAV eh eae te areas lees ines aren ieee aa 336
FM Eire EGRET UDR Nia Soe pee Seat iat Ente ste eae at Cleaver eu mit cae eae 346
FRISEN GSE OR TUNIS Sei scet te cee trou Noe nectgetli lire eroe 353
IP REPAIR ACI O Neer uct ney rit evtoe Wa intern tier ge ene hones 362
NI epi SFG ELT es spetea eee eee ei are eee fT erseea enn IA 373
INDE NG We GTR peg el eee nl tact eon 385
JACK MEETS SOME OLD FRIENDS .................. 391
DEE DD RPAR TURING tints elena ian asap ieee ate 404

FIMEDE IGE DURING seer encode a ean sunning iy A noes 412
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

“< FACING PAGE
“<< He LL COME TO BY AND BY; HE’S ONLY STUNNED A TRIFLE,’

ASTD TOT al © AMPIUATIN Sie soe cess lan epee ca ete Un ee alc 42
“<(Now, THEN, GENTLEMEN, HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS
Boy?? SAID THE AUCTIONEER” ...........0000 000 e ee eee 82
“Mr. PARKER STOOD LOOKING STEADILY AT HIS VISITOR”... 122
“<¢T pon’T want TO BE ANyBODY’s SERVANT, LaDy, AND
WOULD N’T IF ] COULD HELP IT’”..............2-.0005- 132
“He PICKED UP THE BIRD AND HELD IT OUT AT ARMS
ATER GTC 22 ease erate ete res en eee a ett age eee CeCe eae 152

“Hr LED JACK UP TO THE MAN WHO SAT UPON A BaRREL”. 174
“JACK FOLLOWED THE CAPTAIN AND THE Young LaDy UP

THE CROOKED PaTH To THE HovusE”............- kone 200
“THEY FOUND HER STILL SITTING IN THE SAME PLACE”..... 234
JACK AND DRED RESCUE HLEANOR—THE START............. 272
Tue PIRATES FIRE UPON THE FUGITIVES .................0-. 316

“COLONEL PARKER REACHED AND LAID HIS HAND UPON JACK’S
SHOULDER. ‘AY,’ SAID HE, ‘’T IS A GOOD, HONEST Face’” 348

“THE COMBATANTS CUT AND SLASHED WITH SAVAGE Fury’’.. 384

“(THEN I WILL COME,’ SAID HE”................. SO ees 408
JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES
JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

INTRODUCTION

NE of the most important problems that confronted
the Virginia plantations in the earlier colonial days
was the question as to how to obtain sufficient labor to
till the soil and to raise tobacco for the English market.
Some of the colonial planters of Virginia owned thou-
sands of acres of the richest tobacco land in the world
— whole tracts of virgin earth where the priceless loam
lay open to the rain, the air, and the warm sky; boun-
tifully fruitful loam, only waiting for tillage to be comed
into vast tobacco fortunes for the princely owners.
All that was needed was human labor to dig the earth,
to plant, to hoe, to cultivate, and to prepare the to-
bacco for market, for there was not a hundredth part
enough labor to turn the waiting soil, that lay ready to
yield at any time its thousands of hogsheads of tobacco,
and the question was, where and how labor was to be
obtained.

The easiest and quickest solution of the question ap-
peared to be the importation of negro slave labor from
Africa.

The introduction of such slave labor began almost in
the earliest days of the provinces. Hundreds of ship-
loads of African negroes were brought across the ocean

and set to work digging and hoeing in the tobacco
1 1
2 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

fields, and slave trade became a regular traffic between
the west coast of Africa and the Americas.

But the African slaves, when imported, were found
only fit to do the very rudest and simplest sort of la-
bor. They were poor, ignorant savages, who, until they
were set to work on the plantations, knew almost noth-
ing at all about such labor as was practised by civilized
mankind. When they were told to dig the earth, they
dug, but they labored without knowing either why they
worked or wherefore. They did just as their masters
or their overseers bade them, and nothing more. Be-
yond this they could be taught little or nothing, for not
only were those earlier savages like children, incapable
of learning much of anything; but, in most instances,
they could not even speak a single word of the language
of their masters, and so could not understand what their
owners wanted of them. They were of use only to work
as a dumb animal might work, and not as white men
could work.

So the Virginia plantations were still without that in-
telligent labor which white men alone could bring to
the tilling of the soil; labor that knew what it was about
when it dug the earth, and which, when told to do so,
could turn its hand to other things that might be re-
quired of it. And so it was that every means was used
- to bring English men and women to the Virginia plan-
tations. |

Even in the last part of the seventeenth century those
immigrants who afterward developed our great coun-
try into what it now is, were beginning to pour into
the colonies. But, of this immigrant labor, the best
and the most intelligent did not come to Virginia or
other of the southern provinces. It drifted to the New
England or the Pennsylvania provinces rather than to
those in the South. There, in the North, any man
could obtain a farm for himself by hewing it out of the
INTRODUCTION 3

wilderness. In Virginia the land was nearly all owned
by the great tobacco planters. Hence it was that only
the poorest and least ambitious of these white men
and women could in the earlier provincial days be
induced to go thither, and hence white labor was so
much more in demand in the South than in the North.

A certain class of the immigrants of that time were
called “redemptioners” or “redemption servants.”
They were so called because they had to redeem by
their labor the cost of their passage across the ocean
from England to America. Upon their arrival in the
New World they were sold for a term of years — seven,
eight, nine, ten, as the case might be — and the money
received from such sale was paid to the ship captain
or the merchant who transported them from the Old
World to the New. Thus their debt was redeemed,
and hence their name.

Those who came thus as radeniption servants from
England were generally the poorest and most wretched
of its people—paupers, outcasts, criminals—unfortu-
nates who were willing to do almost anything to get
away from their surroundings into a new life, where
they hoped something better might be in store for them
than that wretchedness which they had had to endure
at home.

Thousands of such people were sent across the ocean
to the Virginia and other plantations, where, poor and
miserable as they often were, the demand for them grew
ever greater and greater as the wilderness became more
and more open to cultivation.

Every year higher and higher prices were paid for
such servants, until, at last, a ship-load of redemptioners
(provided. the voyage across the ocean had been speedy
and no contagious disease had developed aboard the
vessel) bocatnc) almost the most profitable cargo exported
from England.
4 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

When the transportation of servants became thus so
remunerative, the crimps who supplied them to mer-
chants or to ship captains were oftentimes tempted,
when other means failed, to resort to kidnapping, or
man-stealing, to supply the demand.

During the earlier fifty years of the last century,
thousands of men, women, and even children were
stolen from England and sent away to the Americas,
perhaps never to return, perhaps never even to be heard
of again. In those days—“ The kidnapper will catch
you!” were words of terror to frighten children and
gadding girls on all the coastways of England.
CHAPTER I
THE AMERICA MERCHANT

EZEKIAH TIPTON had been a merchant in the

America trade for upwards of forty years. He

had shipped hundreds of servants to the Americas;

they were as much a part of his cargo as tea or broad-
cloth or books or silk stuffs.

Maybe he was not always scrupulously careful to
know whence came some of the servants he thus trans-
ported. He was reasonably honest in his dealings, as the
times went, and he would not often buy a servant from a
crimp if he knew positively that the crimp had kid-
napped the man. But if he was not positively sure, he
would not go out of his way to inquire into things that
did not concern him. He would either take the servant
offered for sale, or else he would not take him; but he
would not trouble himself to ask how the crimp ob-
tained the man, or whether the man himself was or was
not really willing to emigrate to the colonies.

There was, for instance, a good deal of talk at one
time about three men whom Hezekiah had sent to South
Carolina. A Dutchman had brought them into the har-
bor in his lugger. He said that the men desired to
emigrate, and Hezekiah, who at that time had a ship
just clearing for Charleston, expressed his willingness
to pay the captain something for them, if he did not
demand too much. Two of the men were stupefied with
drink, and the third had a bloody clout wrapped around

5
6 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

his head, and was cut and bruised as though he had
been beaten with a club or a belaying-pin. It was an
evident case of kidnapping, but nevertheless Hezekiah
paid the Dutch captain for the men, and had them sent
directly aboard the ship. One of the three men was
sober the next morning. Hezekiah had come aboard
the ship, and as he was rowed away toward the shore
the man leaned over the rail above, shouting out curses
after the old merchant, swearing that he would cer-
tainly come back to England some time and murder
_ him. “You think you ’re safe,” bawled the man after
the departing boat,—“you think you ’re safe! Wait
till you feel my knife in your back this day twelve-
month—d’ ye hear?—then you won’t feel so safe.”
The men rowing the boat to the shore grinned and
winked at one another. Old Hezekiah sat immovably
in the stern, paying no attention to the man’s threats
and imprecations, which continued until the captain of
the ship knocked him down, and so silenced his outcries.

This affair created, as was said, a good deal of talk
at the time.

In the year 1719, beginning in February and ending
in November, Hezekiah Tipton sent away to the Ameri-
can colonies or plantations in all over five score servants.

One day early in March, a company of nineteen men
who had volunteered to emigrate to the Virginias was
brought up from London to meet the brig Arundel at
Southampton. They were quartered at the Golden Fish
Inn, and during the morning the old America mer-
chant went to look them over. The men were ranged in
a row along by the wall of the inn yard, and the old man
walked up and down in front of the line, peering at
each man with half-shut eyes and wrinkled face, while
a few people from the inn stood looking on with a sort
of inert interest. He did not seem very well pleased
THE AMERICA MERCHANT 7

with the appearance of the servants. There were only
nineteen, and there should have been one and twenty.
The agent explained that there had been twenty-one of
them when he wrote from London, but that one of them
had run away during the night, and that another would.
not sign the papers. “’T was,” said he, “as fine, good
a young lad of sixteen or eighteen as ever you see.
But his mother, methinks it was, comes in crying at
the last minute and takes him away from under our
werry noses, so to speak.” Hezekiah grunted a reply
as he walked up and down along the row of grinning,
shuffling men, looking them over. The big knotted
joints of the old man’s fingers gripped the cracked and
. yellow ivory head of his walking-stick, which he every
now and then tapped, tapped on the stones of the court-
yard. “That man,” said he, in his cracked, querulous
voice, poking his walking-stick as he spoke at a lean
little man standing in the line—“that man—why did
ye bring him? How much d ye think hell fetch in
the Virginias? I’s warrant me not fifteen guineas.”
“Why, Master Tipton,” said the agent, referring to a
slip of paper which he held in his hand, “there you
are mightily mistook. Maybe, like enough, that man is
worth more than any of ’em. He’s askilled barber and
leecher, and a good man he is, and knows his trade,
to be sure, and that werry well. Just you think, Master
Tipton, how much he might be worth as a vally or
body-servant to one of them there Virginia planters.”
“Humph!” grunted the old man, and he shook his
lean head slowly from side to side. “Ill tell you what
it. is, Master Dockray,” he said again, after a while,
“they be not nigh so good as those I had last—and
only nineteen where there should have been one and
twenty.” The agent made no answer and the old man
continued his inspection for a while. He did not say
anything further, and by and by he turned away and,
8 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

with the agent at his heels, entered the inn to receipt the
papers, and with his going the inspection came to an end.

Finally, in making you acquainted with old Hezekiah
Tipton, it may be said that he was a notable miser of his
time. To see him hobbling along the street in his snuff-
colored coat, threadbare at the seams, and here and
there neatly patched and darned, one might take him,
perhaps, for a poor decent school-teacher of narrow
means, but certainly not for one of the richest men in
the county, as he was reputed to be. There were a
great many stories concerning him in Southampton,
many of them doubtless apocryphal, some of them
based upon a foundation of truth. One such story was
that every Sunday afternoon the old man used to enter
into his own room, bolt the door, and spread gold money
out on the floor; that he would then strip himself and
roll in the yellow wealth as though taking a bath. An-
other story was that he had three iron chests in the
garret of his home, each chest bolted to the floor with
iron bolts. That the one chest was full of Spanish
doubloons, the second full of French louis d’ors, the
third full of English guineas. The Southampton trades-
men used to say that it was more difficult to collect.
their bills from Hezekiah Tipton than from almost
any one in the town.
CHAPTER II
JACK BALLISTER

ACK BALLISTER at this time was a little over
sixteen years old, and had now been living with his
uncle Tipton something over two years.

Jack’s father at the time of his death had been vicar
of Stalbridge for nearly nineteen years, so that Jack,
until he had come to Southampton, had never known
anything but that part of Wiltshire which immediately
surrounded Stalbridge and Stalbridge vicarage. The
only other inmates of the vicarage were old Janet, the
housekeeper, and a farmer’s daughter who helped about
the house, and old Giles Cobb, who came up now and
then to work in the garden.

There was, by the way, always a singular charm to
Jack in the memories of this garden. Some of his
earliest recollections were of playing out in the tangled
sunny reaches while old Giles bent, with stooping
shoulders and rounded back, over his work, digging
and planting and picking about at the weeds in the
brown, loamy beds. There was a yew hedge, and two
bee hives that stood under a cherry tree, and a row of
two or three cucumber frames that lay bright and
shining, reflecting in their glassy surface the clouds
and the warm sky above. There was always an asso-
ciation of flowers, of birds, and of warm yellow sunlight
about the tangled, flowery space, and in the years after-

wards, when Jack visited the old vicarage, one of the
: 9
10 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

first places he went to was the garden. It looked
strangely familiar yet strangely unfamiliar. It seemed
more unkempt and uncared for. The birds were sing-
ing in the trees over beyond the hedge, but the two
straw-thatched bee hives were gone. Nevertheless he
could almost faney that old Giles with his hunched
shoulders and his smock frock might at any moment
come in through the gate, trundling his squealing wheel-
barrow before him.

Jack was not quite four years old when his mother
had died. It seemed to him that he could remember
her, yet the image he held in his mind might not have

-been an actual memory, but only some strong associa-
tion connected with things that Janet had told him
about her. Yet it seemed to him that he really did hold
a mental impression of her in his memory of early things,
an impression of a large, tender, shadowy figure, dressed
in black, and with a white kerchief or shawl around her
shoulders. He could almost fancy that he could re-
member a peculiar fragrance that lingered about the
folds of her dress—a fragrance like that of the old
lavender chest where Janet kept the house linen. This
recollection of his mother might have been only an
image conjured up out of what had been told him con-
cerning her, but, as was said, it always seemed as though
it were a real and living memory. It is sometimes
difficult to tell where fancy ends and memory begins in
those broken fragments of recollections of early child-
hood.

It seemed to him that the same figure was present in
the memory of a certain time when he, as a little, little
boy, had fallen down the steps and cut his chin. It
seemed to him that it was she who had comforted him,
singing to him while she scraped a crisp half-apple and
fed him with the pulp from the point of a knife. Janet
had said that that fall had not happened until the year
JACK BALLISTER 11

after his mother’s death, but it seemed to Jack that it was
his mother’s presence that had filled the memory of the
accident, and he always felt that maybe it was Janet
who was mistaken, and not his own recollections of the
trivial event.

He often thought of his mother, as a motherless boy
is apt to think of that missing presence, and it seemed
to him that if she had only lived he would have loved
her very much, and that his life would have been much
sweeter to him.

Janet often talked to him about her. His grand-
mother, Janet told him, had adopted her as a little
girl, and had brought her up with her own daughter, who
was now Lady Arabella Sutton. She had been, Janet
said, more of a companion than a waiting-maid. Of
these stories of by-gone times, that children so delight
to have told to them, Jack would make Janet tell him
most often of the great family quarrel that had hap-
pened when his father had told the others that he
and Anne Tipton were going to be married. Janet
always made the most out of the story, embellishing
it more and more as the years passed by, and as her
imagination suggested new details. “ Indeed,” she would
maybe say, “you should ha’ seen him stand up before
your grandmother, as grand as you please, with his arms
folded so. ‘A Ballister, madam,’ says he, ‘can marry
where he chooses,’ ”

Jack could not imagine lis father as the hero of any
such scene, still less could he image him as riding post-
haste to Southampton when his mother had been sent
away home from Grampton Hall.

He often heard people say that his father was a
great scholar. The vicar was always silent and pre-
occupied, sometimes deep in his books, sometimes
scribbling away with a busy pen, a litter of papers scat-
tered all over the floor about him, and his wig pushed
12 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

back awry from his smooth, round forehead; sometimes
walking up and down the garden paths with his hands
clasped behind his back, his head bent forward, and
his eyes fixed on the ground. He used especially to
walk thus while he was formulating in his mind the
outlines of one of the pamphlets he used to write. Jack
could not imagine that any one so absorbed in his
books and his studies could ever have been the hero of
such romance. And then he always seemed so very,
very old to Jack. It was hard to imagine that such a
dry and sapless life could ever have had the ichor of
romance flowing through it.

Before Janet had come to Stalbridge she had been
one of the dependents of the other Ballisters. “They
be grand, grand folks,” she would sometimes say, “and
hold their heads as high as ever the Duke of Newcastle
himself.” She sometimes told Jack that if his father
had not set his family all against him, he might have
been a bishop as like as not. “TI’d never come to Stal-
bridge only for your mother, poor soul,” said she.
“But she was fond of me, and I was fond of her, and so
I came.” ;

It seemed to Jack that he could hardly remember the
time when his father did not teach him Latin and
Greek. One of his first recollections as a little, little
boy was of his father teaching him the Greek alphabet.
He learned little or nothing else than the two languages,
and it is not likely that his father thought anything
else was worth learning. Jack once overheard the vicar
say to old Sir Thomas Harding, “ Sir, I will make the
boy the best scholar in England.” The words remained
fixed in Jack’s memory as such fragmentary speeches do
sometimes fix themselves, for no especial reason, in the
mind of boyhood. The promise of great scholarship was,
however, never to be fulfilled, for Jack was only four-
teen years old when the vicar died, and in the neglected
JACK BALLISTER 13

two years at Southampton he never went to school a
day, or studied six words of a lesson, or read a page of
Greek or Latin, except one or two times when Mr. Stet-
son made him read a passage or two of Greek as 2
matter of curiosity.

Jack’s father never said anything to him about his
mother or his relations. His uncle Tipton had come
up from Southampton just before his father’s death,
but that was the only time that Jack had ever really
seen one of his own kindred.

During the fall of the year in which Jack’s father had
died, a messenger on horseback, with great jackboots and
a suit of green livery turned up with scarlet, rode up to
the vicarage and delivered a packet to Janet, who pres-
ently brought it in to the vicar, where he sat in the sag-
ging wainscoted study, writing in the midst of a litter
of papers scattered on the floor. The vicar set his pen
in his mouth and took the letter, and Jack watched
him as he broke the great red seal and began reading
the packet, now and then frowning, either in the effort
of reading the written words or else at the purport of
the words themselves. When he had finished the letter
he laid it to one side and resumed his writing where it had
been interrupted. The messenger who had brought the
letter did not immediately go away. Jack could hear
now and then the jingle of his bridle or spurs, and now
and then the sound of his whistling, as he lounged in
the warm sunlight outside. Then there was the noise
of voices talking together—the voices of Janet and the
messenger—and presently the housekeeper came into
the study to say that the man wanted to know when he
could’ have his answer. The vicar looked up with the
bewildered air he always wore when he was interrupted.
“Hh!” he said, “eh! what d’ ye say? Answer? Who
wants an answer?” ‘Then remembering, “oh, aye,
there ’s no answer to send. You may tell him, there’s
14 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

no answer.” And then presently the messenger rode
clattering away whence he had come.

The letter lay where the vicar had left it until the
next afternoon, and Jack, impelled bycuriosity, managed -
to read a part of it. It was from his grand-aunt Lady
Dinah Welbeck. She said that she was very ill, and she
asked the vicar to come and see her before her end, and
that all should be forgiven. The vicar did not go, either
because he did not think of the message again, or else
because he did not choose to resume his correspondence
with hisfamily. The letter lay about until the vicar tore
a great strip off from it with which to light a candle in the
next room, and the next day the written sheet was gone.

Some time after Lady Dinah Welbeck’s death another
communication, long and bulky, was brought to the vic-
arage. The vicar read it but paid no attention to it.
Then another letter came and another. The last letter
the vicar did not even open for several days. He was
very busy at work upon a pamphlet, and. the letter lay
neglected upon the writing table until one morning
Janet brought it and thrust it into his hand. “Eh!”
said he, as though suddenly awakening to things about
him, “what is this? what is this?” He took the letter
and looked at it. “Why, this letter should have been
given me three days ago,” he said.

“So ’t was, master,” said Janet, “but you did not
read it.”

“Did I not so?” said Jack’s father, and then he
broke the seal and read it. But still he paid no atten-
tion to it.

No doubt the vicar’s family would long since have
received him back among them if he had cared to have
them do so. He and they had drifted far apart in the
nineteen years that had passed. During that time all
ill feeling—at least on the part of the family—had
faded away and died. There was no intimacy, hardly
JACK BALLISTER 15

any acquaintance, between the vicar and his brother,
Sir Henry, neither was there any longer rancor between
them.

Some of the letters written at this time had been
written by Sir Henry, and after a number had been sent
without eliciting any reply, the baronet sent the Gramp-
ton lawyer down to Stalbridge. The attorney and the
vicar were closeted together for a long time, and when
they at last came out of the study the vicar was very
angry. It was the only time that Jack had ever seen
him so. “They may keep it all!” he was saying in a
great loud voice. “They may keep it all! I want none
of it, I say. All that I want of them is to let me alone
as I let them alone. I want, I say, none of their money
or nothing that belongs to them. They may keep all
for themselves.”

Jack was leaning out of an upper window in the sun-
light, looking down upon their heads, as they stood just
below. Their voices came up to him through the warm
air very distinctly.

“ But, sir,” said the lawyer, “do you not Ane con-
sider ine Tole of your own son?”

“Sir,” said the vicar in the same loud voice, “that, I
believe, is not your affair. J will look after my son’s
welfare mine own self. I tell you, sirrah, that those
who sent you may e’en keep all of the money for them-
selves. I want nothing of them, and neither shall my
son take aught from them.”

“But, sir,” said the lawyer, “you forget that the
money hath been left to you individually. In taking
it you do not take anything from them. It was not
left to your brother, it is not a gift from him or, indeed,
from any one, and it does not belong to any one but
you. Your family cannot even receive it from you with-
out process of law, and you cannot help taking it.”

“Aye, but I can help taking it,” cried out the vicar.
16 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Sir, sir!” said the lawyer, “pray be calm, sir. Pray
look at this matter reasonably. Here is this money —”

“T will not hear anything more,” eried out the vicar,
‘only I tell you I shall not touch a farthing of it.”

Then the lawyer lost his temper. “Sir,” said he, “T.
must needs tell you that you are the most unreasonable
man that ever I met in all of my life.”

The vicar drew himself up to his full height. “ Sir,”
said he, “sure you forget yourself and to whom you
speak. You forget who I am, sir. You are welcome to
think as you choose about me, but you are not welcome
to tell me your opinion of me. Who are you, sirrah,
to speak so to James Ballister?” And then he turned
upon his heel back into the house, shutting the door
behind him.

Jack, as he still leaned out into the sunlight, looking
down from above, saw the stranger stand irresolutely
for a while, then turn and go slowly out of the gate and
mount his horse and ride away.

That winter the vicar died, and Jack went to South-
ampton to live.

Perhaps one of the bitterest days in Jack Ballister’s
boyhood life was the first evening after his arrival at
hisnew home. His uncle had had the parlor opened, as
though to do some honor to his coming. Jack sat for
nearly an hour on the stiff uncomfortable chair, saying
almost nothing, but just sitting there by the dim light
of a candle. Old Hezekiah had tried to talk, but the
conversation had lapsed and dwindled away into silence.
Now he sat winking and blinking in the light of the
candle, looking as though he were trying to think of
something more to say, but yet saying nothing, and
Jack, too miserable and depressed to talk, ventured
nothing upon his own part. He was very glad when
at last he was permitted to creep away miserably to
JACK BALLISTER 17

bed and to yield himself fully to the luxury of hot
tears and of utter loneliness and homesickness.

-Itseemed to him that night as though he never would
be happy again, but even by the next morning he found
himself awakened to a new and fresh hold upon his
life. Things appeared bright and cheerful again in
the fresh sunlight of a new day, and after he had fin-
ished his frugal breakfast he went out into the streets
and down to the harbor, full of interest in the new sur-
roundings in which he found himself placed. The har-
bor and the ships at anchor there seemed very won-
derful to the boy fresh from the inland country. There
was a great high-pooped battle-ship lying at anchor in
the harbor that morning, and its sloping decks, whence
came the distant rattle of a drum, seemed to teem with
bustling life, lit every now and then by a spark of sun-
light glinting on the slant of a musket-barrel. As Jack
stood and gazed, he forgot how lonely he had been the
night before.

In a little while—in a few weeks—his life had
drifted into all these new circumstances, and had be-
come one with them, and he presently found himself
looking back to that old life at Stalbridge as a thing
gone by and done with forever. All that remained
was the memory of those things as episodes ended and
done.

It is wonderful with what ductility life fits itself into
new circumstances, becoming so accustomed to them,
even in a few days, that they no longer seem to be new.

After that first formal reception in the musty, stuffy
parlor, old Hezekiah seemed to consider his duty to his
nephew as ended. Thereafter Jack was allowed to go
where he pleased and to do as he chose. The old man
hardly ever spoke to the lad excepting now and then in
some dry and constrained fashion. Old Deborah, the
housekeeper, used to send him on errands occasionally,
18 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

but excepting for such little demands upon him, he had
no ties to bind him to his new home except as it was a
place wherein to eat his meals and to sleep at night.

He spent nearly all his time lounging about the har-
bor front, for there was a never-ending delight to him
in the presence of the great ships and the rough sailors,
who would talk of strange foreign countries—of having
been to Calcutta, or to Shanghai, or to Jamaica, or to
the Americas or the Brazils, as Jack might have talked
of having been to the Isle of Wight. They spoke of
the Caribbean Sea, or of the Indian Ocean, as he might
speak of the Solent.

He often used to strike up an acquaintance with
these sailors an acquaintance that would become,
maybe, almost intimate for the two or three days that
they were in the harbor.

It was an idle, aimless, useless life that he lived at
this time. Sometimes—maybe when he was running
on some petty, trivial errand for old Deborah—a sudden
feeling of almost nauseating shame for his useless ex-
istence would come upon him and weigh him down
with a leaden weight. It seemed almost as though an
inner voice, as of conscience, would say: “Fie upon
you! A great, big, hulking fellow like you to go earry-
ing a little crock of yeast through the streets like this!”
Generally when such an inner voice as of conscience
would speak, he would satisfy himself by replying as
with an inner voice of his own: “Oh, well, ’t is Uncle
Hezekiah’s fault. If he’d only set me work to do, why,
I’d do the work, and be glad enough of the chance.”

Mr. Stetson, the rector, used sometimes to talk to
him almost like an echo of that inner accusing voice.
‘oT is a vast pity, Jack,” he would sometimes say, “ that
such a great, stout fellow as thou art should live so in
useless idleness. If nothing else better, why do you
not study your books?” And Jack would be very un-
JACK BALLISTER 19

comfortable with the heavy feeling that he had left
some part of duty undone.

He used often to go to supper at the rectory. He
felt more at ease there—less big-jointed and clumsy
_ thanalmost anywhere else. And besides, he very heartily
enjoyed the good things he had to eat at such times, for
Deborah set a very poor and skimpy table at his uncle’s
house. They generally had preserved ginger and thin
sweet cakes at these suppers at the rectory, and Jack
used sometimes to contrive to slip a couple of cakes
into his pocket to nibble after he got home.

Sometimes, especially if there were visitors present,
the good old rector would insist upon talking to Jack
about his uncle the baronet, or about Lady Dinah
Welbeck, or about his aunt Lady Arabella Sutton.
“Indeed,” he would maybe say, “ Jack’s poor father was
a very learned man, a very learned man. His pamphlet
on the apostolic succession was the best that was writ
at the time of the controversy. "I is, methinks, impos-
sible for a man to be so perfectly ripe a scholar unless
he hath good blood in his veins such as that of the
Ballisters or haply of mine own. Why should it not
be so? To be sure, you cannot make as good wine out
of gooseberries as you can out of currants. Mine own
father used often to say to me: ‘ Andrew, never forget
that you have the blood of Roger Stetson in your
veins.”

Jack always felt a certain awkward constraint when
the rector would talk in this way. It made him some-
how feel ashamed, and he did not know just where to
look or what to answer.

Sometimes Mr. Stetson would make him read aloud
in Greek. “You should hear him read ‘The Frogs,’” he
would maybe say, and he would almost thrust a copy
of Aristophanes into Jack’s not very willing hand.
Jack would read a page or two in a perfunctory sort of
20 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

a way, while the rector would sit smiling and tapping
his finger-tips on the table beside which he sat. “Thou
hast the making of a fine scholar in thee, Jack,” he
would perhaps say, “and ’t is a vast pity thy uncle
Tipton does not send thee to school. I will have a talk
with him about it when the time comes.”

Several times the rector spoke to old Hezekiah about
his nephew. Once he walked all the way back from
church with the old merchant, and almost into the
parlor. But nothing ever came of such talks. “ Hey!”
said the old man; “go to school? What does he want
to go to school for? Well, well! Ill see to it, and think
it over by and by,” and there the matter would rest.

Another friend whom Jack made was the attorney
Burton. One day, as Jack was walking whistling along
the street, the little lawyer came running out of his
office and called after him to stop. ‘Master Jack!
Master Jack! stop a little bit,” he cried out. “Master
Jack Ballister!—I have a word or two to say to you.”
He had run out bareheaded, and he was half breathless
with his haste and his calling. He held an open letter
in his hand. “Who d@ ye think, young gentleman,”
said he, still panting a little, “I have heard from?
Why, from your uncle Sir Henry Ballister, to be sure.
He hath writ to me asking about you—how you are,
what you are doing, and how Master Tipton is treating
you. What shall I tell him?”

“Why, you may tell him,” said Jack, “that I do very
well.”

This was the beginning of Jack’s acquaintance with
the attorney Burton. Several times afterward the lit-
tle lawyer told him that Sir Henry had written about
him. “He hath a mind, methinks,” said the attorney,
“to be more particular as to what your uncle Tipton is
doing for you. Indeed, he hath asked me very espe-
cially about what he does for you. I know what I
JACK BALLISTER 21

shall tell him, for I have talked to Master Stetson
about you, and he tells me what a famous scholard you
are. But harkee, Master Jack, if ever you have need
of advice, you come to me, for so Sir Henry advised me
to say to you.”

Jack stood listening to the little man with a feeling
of pleased and fatuous gratification. It was very pleas-
ant to be so remembered by his grand relation. ‘“ Why,
then, I take it very kind of Sir Henry, Master Burton,
and of you, too, for the matter of that,” said he. “ And
if ever I do have need of your advice, why, I will come
to you just as freely as you give me leave to do.”

As he walked away down the street, thinking over
what the attorney had said, he almost wished that he
had some definite cause of complaint against his uncle
Hezekiah, so that he might call upon the aid of Sir
Henry and the attorney. How fine it would be to have
Sir Henry take his part! He fancied to himself a talk
with his uncle Hezekiah, in which he made himself per-
haps say, “Sir, you shall not treat me so, for I tell you
plain that there are those now to take my part against
you, and that it is not just a poor orphaned boy with
whom you have to deal.” Boys love to build up in their
imagination such foolish scenes and fortunate conver-
sations that never happen. Sometimes such fancyings
seem so like the real thing that, like Jack, one almost
forgets that they are not really likely to happen. But
by and by the time came when Jack really did appeal
to the lawyer and when he really did come to an under-
standing with his uncle.

That spring a young cooper named Dan Williamson
had a boat that he wanted to sell. It had belonged
partly to his brother, who had died during the fall be-
fore, and Dan, who was one of that sort who always
had need of money, was very anxious to sell it. Jack’s
great desire was to possess a boat of his own. It
22 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

seemed to him that Dan’s boat was exactly the one that
would best suit him. He used to think with a keen
and vivid delight of how glorious it would be to own
Dan’s boat. And then she was so very cheap. If the
boat were his he would give her a fresh coat of paint,
and name her the Sea-gull. If he could only get twenty
pounds from his uncle Hezekiah, he could not only buy
the boat, but add a new suit of sails.

He talked so often to Dan about the boat that at last
the cooper began to believe that he might be able to sell
it to Jack. ‘‘She’s the cheapest boat,” said Dan, “that
was ever offered for sale in Southampton.”

“T don’t know about that,” said Jack; “but I do be-
lieve that she ’s a good boat.”

“Good!” said Dan. “She’s the best boat in South-
ampton to-day, and, what is more, she ’s as cheap as
the dirt under your feet. You ’d better buy her, for
you ll never get such another chance as long as you
live.”

Jack shook his head. “I do believe she is a
good boat, Dan,” he said; “but how shall I buy a boat
without money to buy it with? I have no money in
hand, and am not like to have any.”

“Well, well,” said Dan, “to be sure, that ’s too bad”;
and then, after a little space, he continued: “But Ill
tell you what,—you come down with me, and I'll take
you out in her; then you may see for yourself what:
a fine boat she is.”

“Tl go out with you,” said Jack; “but I can’t buy
her, though. I wish I could.”

Then they went off together down to the cooper-shops
where Dan kept the boat.

Jack helped Dan step the mast. Then they pushed
the boat off beyond the end of the shed. As the sail
filled, Dan put down the helm, and brought the boat
out under the stern of a bark lying at anchor a little
JACK BALLISTER 23

distance from the shore. The watch on deck, a tipsy-
looking sailor with his throat wrapped around with a
woolen stocking, stood looking over the stern of the
bark and down at them as they sailed by. Jack
looked up at the towering hulk above him. The
name of the bark—the Prophet Elijah—was painted
in great, fat letters across the stern. At one side
there was a picture of the prophet’s head, with his
long beard. There was a rushing sound of water un-
der the stern of the vessel. Then they were out in
the wide, shining harbor, the warm air blowing mildly
and softly about them.

‘Look, how she lies up to the wind,” said Dan
Williamson; “why, I do believe I could sail her straight
into the wind’s eye if I chose to. I tell ee what ’t is,
Jack, you ’ll never find such another chance as this to
get what you want.”

“Maybe I won’t and maybe I will, ” said Jack; ‘all
the same, I sha’n’t buy her, for why, T have no on
to buy her with.”

“No money!” said Dan Williamson; “why, if I had as
much money as belongs to you, I’d give up coopering
and live a gentleman all my life, I would. Why don’t
ye go and ask your uncle Tipton for eighteen pound
straight and fair? Sure, themoney’s your own, and not
his. Why don’t ye ask him for it 2?”

“Ask him for it?” said Jack. “And what good would
that do? Asking won’t do any good. The money ’s
mine, sure enough, yet I can’t touch a penny of it till I
am of age.”

‘oT won't do any harm to ask tii, anyway,” said Dan
Williamson. “Here, you come ne take the tiller, and
see for yourself how close up she sails.”

Jack took the tiller, and then they sailed along for a
while in silence, By and by Dan spoke again. “TI ’ll
tell you what’t is, Jack, if I was you I'd go straight to
24 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Master Burton, I would, and I’d ask him about it. What
did you say ? other evening down at the Golden Fish?
Did n’t you say that he told you to come to him if ever
you wanted anything that your uncle Tipton would n’t
give you, and that he said your t’ other uncle that’s a
lord would get it for you? Well, then, why don’t you
go to him and ask for eighteen or twenty pound?
What you said was true, was n’t it?”

“Why, yes, ’t was true enough, as far as that goes,”
said Jack.

“Well, then,” said Dan Williamson, “there you are.”

Jack sat for a little while in silence, then he spoke.

“T tell you what it is, Dan, maybe you don’t believe
what I told you, but itis true enough. I tell you what—
I’m going to go to Master Burton this very day, and ask
him about what you say.” He did not really entertain
any hope, however, that he could get twenty pounds
from his uncle Hezekiah.

As soon as he came ashore again, he went straight
up to the little lawyer’s house.

The little man was in his office—a musty, stuffy
little den of a place, smelling of stale tobacco smoke,
and set around with dusty cases of worn and yellow-
backed books and tin boxes.

The attorney sat in the midst of the litter surround-
ing him like a little gray mouse. He had black, beady
eyes, a long nose, and a thin, leathery face.

He gat looking with his little twinkling black eyes at
Jack as he stated his case. “Why, as for your fortune,
Master Jack, I must needs tell you plain that it might as
well be locked up in the church belfry for all the good it
may do younow. For so itis locked up in your father’s
will, tight and fast as if it were in a box, and your uncle
hath the keeping of it for you.”

“And can I get none of my money of him, then?”
said Jack.
JACK BALLISTER 25

_ “Why, as for that, I don’t say that, neither,” said the
little lawyer. “It may be a hard matter to get it, and yet,
after all, I may be able to get it for you. Ill tell you
what to do, Master Jack. Go you to your uncle and ask
him plain and straight for what money you need. How
much was it you wanted ?”

“Well, say twenty pounds,” said Jack.

“Well, then, you ask him for twenty pounds, plain
and straight, and if he says you nay, then come back
to me, and I ll see what I can do for you. Sir Henry
hath asked me to look after you a trifle, and so I
will do.”
CHAPTER III
JACK AND HIS UNCLE

ACK, following the attorney’s advice, had made up
his mind to ask his uncle for the money that very
night, but when he came face to face with doing it, it
was very hard. They were sitting together over their
poor frugal supper, and the old miser’s utter uncon-
sciousness of what Jack had it on his mind to say made
the saying of it very hard. At last he suddenly spoke.
“Unele Hezekiah,” said he.

The old man looked up sharply, almost as though
startled at the sound of Jack’s voice. He did not say
anything, but he sat looking at Jack as though inviting
him to continue.

“Unele Hezekiah,” said Jack again. He did not
know in just what words to frame what he had to say.
Then he continued: “I want to—to talk to you about
a matter of business.”

“Hey!” said the old man, “business! business!
What d’ ye mean — what d’ ye mean by business?”

“Why,” said Jack, “I want some money to buy
something. I went to see Master Burton to-day, and
he told me I had best come to you and ask you for it.”
Gradually Jack was becoming bolder as he became
accustomed to the sound of his own voice. “Dan
Williamson hath a boat for sale,” he continued. “He
wants eighteen pound for it, and if I had twenty
pound it would be just enough to fit her up as I would

26
JACK AND HIS UNCLE 27

like to have her. I went and talked to Master Burton,
and he told me I had best come to you and ask you for
the money.”

The old man stared blankly at Jack, his lean jaw
hanging gaping with speechless surprise. ‘“ Why!
why! what ’s all this?” he said, finding his voice at
last. “Twenty pound! Why, I do believe you’re gone
clean clear crazy. Twenty pound! What’s Roger Bur-
ton got to do with my giving you twenty pound, I’d
like to know? Youll not get a farden, and that’s the
long and the short of it. Master Burton, indeed! What
business is it of his, I’d like to know?” He sat looking
at Jack for a little while, and then he slowly resumed
his interrupted supper again.

Jack sat leaning back in his chair, with his hands in
his breeches’ pockets, looking across the table at his
'unele. His heart was swelling with a feeling of very
choking and bitter disappointment and anger. It ©
seemed to him that he had not expected much, but
now that his uncle had denied him, his disappointment
was very bitter. He watched his uncle as the old man
continued eating in silence. “Very well,” said he at
last, “then I know what I ‘ll do. I ll go back to Master
Burton again. He told me what to do, and that if you
said me nay I was to go back to him again. He says
that Sir Henry Ballister has been writing to him about
me, asking how you treated me and what you did for
me, and he told me if you would not give me what I
asked for, I was to go back to him, and he ’d write to
Sir Henry and tell him all about it, and that he ’d see
if something could n’t be done on my account.”

Old Hezekiah looked up again. “Sir Henry Bal-
lister?” said he. “What’s he been writing to Roger
Burton about, I should like to know? What’s he got
to do with it? He’s not your guardeen, ishe? I’m
your guardeen, and the guardeen of your money as
28 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

well. As for Sir Henry Ballister, why, he ’s got no
more to do with you than the man inthe moon.” Then
he went on eating again, and again Jack sat watching
him in silence. In a little while Hezekiah finished his
supper, chasing the fatty gravy around and around his
plate with the point of his knife. Then he laid down
his knife and fork, pushed away his plate, and arose
from the table.

“Very well,” said Jack, breaking the silence, “we 711
see about all this business. I tell you what I’m going
to do. I’m going to write to Sir Henry Ballister my-
self, and tell him about the way I’m treated by you. You
never give me a farthing to spend, and as for being
~ your own flesh and blood—why, I might as well be a
dog in this house as to be your own kin. You keep all
my money and use it as your own, and yet you don’t
speak six words to me in a month.” Jack was dimly
surprised at his own boldness in speaking. Now that
he had made a beginning, it seemed very easy to say
his say and to speak out all that lay on his mind.
“Tm not going to be treated like a dog by you or by
anybody,” he said.

“Yes, I do speak to you, too,” said Hezekiah, stop-
ping at the door. “ What d’ ye want me to say to you,
anyhow?” he added. “Don’t I give you all you want
to eat and drink, and never charge you a farden for it?
What more d’ ye want than that? You’re the most
ungratefulest nevy that ever lived, so you are, to talk
to me that way.”

Then he went out of the door, and along the dark
passageway, and Jack heard him enter the office, and
shut the door behind him. Then he began eating his
supper again. He felt very bitter and very angry
against the old man.

So he sat eating for a long time in lonely silence,
broken only by the sound of Deborah clattering now
JACK AND HIS UNCLE 29

and then among the pots and pans in the kitchen be-
yond. Suddenly he heard the office door open again,
and the sound of his uncle’s steps coming back along
the passage. He reached the door, and Jack heard his
fingers fumbling for the latch in the darkness, and then
the sharp click as it was raised. Then the door opened,
and the old man came in. He stood for a moment, and
then came straight across to the table where Jack sat.
He stood leaning with both hands upon the table.
Jack did not know exactly what to expect. He drew
himself back, for the first thought that came into his
mind was that the old man was going to attack him
personally. “ Lookee, Jacky,” said old Hezekiah, at last,
“T ve been thinking of that there twenty pound you
was speaking of. Well, Jacky, you shall have that
twenty pound, you shall.”

“What @ ye mean, Uncle Hezekiah ?” said Jack.

“Why,” said Hezekiah, “I mean what I said. You
shall have that twenty pound, Jacky. I ’ve been think-
ing about it, and what you said, and I’m going to give
you what you want. I can’t give it to you just now,
for twenty pound is a deal of money, and I have n’t
that much to give you straight away. But I'll give it
to you after a while, I will, Jacky. Ill give it to you
—let me see—I 11 give it to you on Monday next.
Will that be time enough?” —

“Why, yes, it will,” said Jack, “if you really mean
what you say.”

“Aye,” said the old man, “I mean it sure enough;
but don’t you say anything more to Roger Burton, will
ye? Just you come to me when you want anything,
and don’t you go to him. I mean to be a good, kind.
uncle to you, Jacky, I do,” and he reached out a lean,
tremulous hand, and pawed at Jack, who drew in-
stinctively away from his approach. “I do, Jacky, I
do,” said the old man, almost whining in his effort to
30 . JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

be affectionate. “But don’t you be writing to Sir
Henry Ballister about me, will you, Jacky?”

~“T won't write to him if you ’ll treat me decently,”
said Jack.

““ Aye, aye,” said the old man, “I mean to do that,
Jacky, I do. Only don’t you be talking any more to
Lawyer Burton. I ‘Il give you that twenty pound.
I ‘ll give it to you on—on Monday next, I will.”

Then he turned and went away again. Jack sat
looking after him. He felt very uncomfortable. He
could not understand why the old man had yielded so
suddenly. He did not believe at all that he had
yielded, or that he would give him what he asked for.
He felt sure, in spite of his uncle’s words, that he had
been put off with a barren promise that would never
bear fruit.
CHAPTER IV
CAPTAIN BUTTS

N the evening of the next day a number of boys were
* gathered at the end of the wharf in front of Hezekiah _
Tipton’s warehouses. They were throwing stones into
the water. Jack went out along the wharf to where
they were. They were all of them boys younger than
himself.

“Well, if that’s all the better you can throw,” said
Jack, “to be sure you can’t throw well. Just you watch
me hit yon anchor-buoy out there with this pebble.”

A brig had come into the harbor during the day, and
now lay at anchor some distance off from the shore.
The sails were half reefed and hung limp from the
yards. The men were washing down the decks, and
from the shore you could see them busy about the decks,
and every now and then a gush of dirty water as it ran
through the scupper-holes. A boat was just about put-
ting off from the brig. Presently some one climbed down
over the side of the vessel and into the boat, and then
it was pushed off. Jack stopped throwing stones and
stood looking. The boat came rowing straight toward
the wharf where he and the other boys stood. It pulled -
in around the back of a sloop that lay fast to the end of
the wharf, and was hidden from sight. Jack jumped
down from the wharf to the deck of the sloop, and
went across to see who was in the boat. It had come in

under the side of the sloop, and two of the men were
31
32 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

holding it to its place, grasping the chains. They looked
up at Jack and the other boys as they came to the rail of
the sloop and looked down at them. There were two men
in the stern of the boat. One was just about to climb
aboard the sloop, the other sat still. He who still sat in
his place had a knit cap pulled down half over his ears.
He held a pipe in his mouth and he had gold earrings
in his ears. The other, who was about to climb aboard
the sloop, was plainly the captain of the brig. He was
short and thick-set. He wore a rough sea coat with
great flapped pockets and brass buttons. One of the
pockets bulged out with a short pistol, the brass butt of
which stuck out from under the flap. He wore canvas
petticoat-breeches strapped to his waist by a broad
leather belt with a big flat brass buckle. His face and
as much of the short bull-neck as Jack could see were
tanned red-brown like russet leather, and his cheeks
and chin were covered with an unshaven beard of two
or three days’ growth. He stood up in the boat, with
his hand resting on the rail of the sloop.

““Do you know where Master Hezekiah Tipton lives?”
he asked in a hoarse, rattling voice.

“Why, yes, I do,” said Jack. “This is his wharf, and’
I’m his nephew.”

“Well, then,” said the man, “I wish you’d show me
to him.”

As Jack accompanied the other up the stony street to
his uncle’s house, he turned to look at his companion
every now and then.

“Where do you hail from, captain?” said he.

“T hail from the land where every man minds his
own business,” said the other in his rattling voice.
“Where do you hail from, my hearty?”

Jack did not know just what to reply at first. “Oh,
well,” he said, ‘if you don’t choose to give me a civil
answer, why, then you need n’t.”
CAPTAIN BUTTS 33

After that they walked in silence till they reached
the house. Jack looked into the office, but Hezekiah was
not there. “If you ’ll come into the parlor,” said he,
“T ll go and tell him you’re here, only I don’t know who
you are, to be sure. He opened the door of the room
as he spoke, and showed the captain into the darkened
parlor. It always smelled damp and musty and unused,
and the fireplace had a cold, dark look as though no
comforting fire had ever burned there.

“Mell Master Tipton ’t is Captain Butts of the Arundel
wants to see him,” said the stranger, laying aside his
hat with its tarnished gilt lace and wiping his partly
bald head with the corner of his red neckerchief. All
the time he was looking strangely about him at his un-
familiar surroundings.

There was the sound of a knife and fork rattling against
a plate in the distance, and Jack, following the sound,
went along the passage to the room beyond, where he
knew Hezekiah was sitting at supper.

“There ’s a man in the parlor,” said Jack, “would
like to see you. He says his name ’s Captain Butts of
the Arundel.”

Hezekiah was looking at Jack as he spoke. He laid
down his knife and fork immediately, and pushed back
his chair and arose. Jack followed him back to the
parlor. He stood outside of the door, looking in. The
stranger arose as Master Tipton came in, holding out
to the old America merchant a big, brown, hairy hand
with a hard, horny-looking palm.

“How d’ ye do, Master Tipton?” said he in his rat-
tling voice. “I be mightily glad to see you.”

“Well, then, Master Captain Butts,” said Hezekiah,
giving him a limp, reluctant hand, “I be mightily
glad to see you, too,— more glad than you are to see me,
like enough, for I’ve been looking for you these three
days past, and wondering where was the 34 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

There be them nineteen servants down at the ‘Duck
and Doe’ that should have been took away yesterday
morning. Their lodging at the inn isa matter of ten
pence aday each. Now, who do you think ’s to pay for
that there?”

“Well, well, Master,” said the other, “’t were n’t no
fault of mine that I were n’t here yesterday. Wind and
tide be to blame, so whatever ye lose ye may just charge
up agin’ them. We can’t sail without wind, can we?
and we can’t sail ag’in’ the tide, can we? As for the
men, why, the sooner I get my clearance papers and the
men aboard the better ’t will suit me. The tide turns at
eight o’clock, and if the wind comes up, as’t is like to do,
why, Ill drop out and away with the turn o’ the water.”

Master Hezekiah looked around. Jack was still
standing in the doorway. “You go in and get your
supper, Jacky,” said he, and then he got up and closed
the door, and Jack went back into the supper-room.

All the time that Jack sat at his meal old Deborah
scolded him ceaselessly for being so late.

“oT is always so,” said she, her voice growing shriller
and shriller. “ You be always late, and think of nobody
but your own self.”

“No, I’m not always late, neither,” said Jack; “I was
n’t late to breakfast, or to supper either, yesterday.”

“ But you did n’t come home to dinner at all,” said old
Deborah, “and I kept it for you, and I keptit for you, and
the ’taties all like wax in the oven, and not fit to eat.”

“T did n’t want any dinner,” said Jack. “TI had some-
thing to eat down at the wharf.”

“Well,” said old Deborah, “you might just as well
have been late as not to come at all, for I kept a-waiting
and a-waiting for you till itwas all dried up and wasted —
aye, all wasted, and it what many a pore body ’u’d ’a’
been glad enough to ’a’ had, too.”

In, the interval of her scolding Jack could occasion-
CAPTAIN BUTTS 35

ally hear the distant rumbling of Captain Butts’s voice
in the office.

It grew darker and darker in the twilight gloom of
the kitchen, until Jack could hardly see the food upon
his plate.

“T wish you ’d bring a candle, Deborah,” said he, “T
can’t see to find the way to my own mouth.”

“A candle!” said Deborah; “if you ’d come to your
supper in time you ’d not need a candle to see. Now
you may just go without.”

“Very well,” said Jack, “I don’t care, for I ’m done.”

“Then, if you ’re done, you may go down to the
pump and fetch back some water.”

Jack took the pail and went off with it. He was gone
a long time, and the night was fairly settled when he
came stumbling back into the kitchen, slopping the
water upon the steps and the floor.

“Why,” said Deborah, I thought you was never com-
ing. Your uncle’s asking for you. He’s over in the
office now, and he wants to see you there.”

“Very well,” said Jack, “if I ’d known that, may be
I ’d hurried and may be I would n’t.”

In the office he found Captain Butts seated at the
tall desk, with a bottle of Hezekiah’s old Jamaica rum
before him. They had been looking over some papers,
and the Captain had evidently been helping himself very
freely to the rum. He smelt strong of the liquor. He
was leaning over the desk, his chin resting upon his fists.
He looked up at Jack with his keen gray eyes from
under his bushy eyebrows. “Is this the boy?” said he.
Hezekiah, who sat opposite to his visitor, nodded with-
out speaking.

“Come hither, my hearty,” said Captain Butts, beckon-
ing to Jack. Jack came forward slowly. ‘And so ye’re
a hard one to manage, be ye? By blood! if I had
ye aboard the Arundel for a few days, I’d manage ye.”
36 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Who says I’m hard to manage?” demanded Jack,
indignantly.

“That does your good uncle,” said the Captain. As
he spoke he reached out suddenly, and catching Jack
by the arm held him tight, feeling up and down the
length of hisarm. “ Ye be well put together,my hearty,”
said he; “ye ’d make a valuable servant in the tobacco-
fields,” and he winked tipsily as he spoke. ‘ Now, be-
ing as ye ’re so hard to manage, how ’d you like it if
you was to take a cruise to the Americas with old Benny
Butts?”

Jack could smell the rum fancy upon the captain’s -
breath, and he saw that he was a little tipsy. He jerked
his arm away from the other’s grasp.

“YT am well enough off here as I am, thank you,
Master Captain,” said he, “and I don’t choose to go to
the Americas at all.”

The Captain burst out langhing. He fetched athump ~
upon the desk before him that made the bottle of rum
and the tumbler hop and jingle. ‘“Harkee to that,
now!” said he, “he don’t choose to go to the Ameri- .
cas,” and he gave another roar of laughter.

Master Hezekiah sat looking on at the two, resting
his forehead upon his lean fingers, his hand shading his
eyes from the light of the candle. Suddenly he cut
into the talk. “Come, come, Captain Butts!” said he
tartly, “let there be an end to this! Sure you forget.
what you ’re saying. Come hither,” said he to Jack.
Jack came around to him, and the ‘old man lifted the
lid of the desk and Eronet out a bundle of papers and
a little bag of money. He counted out a few coins,
which he made into a little pile. Then he untied the
tape and.chose a paper from among the others. Jack
stood watching him. “Here be a list of the America
servants down at the Golden Fish,” said Hezekiah,
‘““and this”—here he chinked the money between his
CAPTAIN BUTTS’. 37

fingers as he gave it to Jack —“‘is fifteen shillings ten-
pence. I want you to do something for me, Jacky. I
want you to go down to the Golden Fish and pay Land-
lord Evans his account, and then give this release to
Dockray, who hath the America men in charge. After
that I want you to take them down to the wharf and
deliver them over to Captain Butts, and get his receipt.
D’ ye understand?”

“Why, yes, I do,” said Jack; “but why do you want
me to do this when the crimp can serve you so much
better than I?” He could not understand why his
unele, who had never before made any demands upon
him should suddenly prefer such a request as this.

“Why,” said Hezekiah, “you ask me for money
_ ¥ other day, did n't ye? Well, then, if you want
money you must begin to do something for to earn it.
What I want you to do now is to take these servants
down and deliver them over to Captain Butts.”

_ “Oh, well,” said Jack, “I’m willing enough, but I
don’t see why you should choose me to do it. What
am Ito do with them? ‘Tell me again.”

“Youre to take them down to the wharf, d ye un-
derstand? Then Captain Butts will give you a receipt
for’em. Then you ’ll have nothing more to do with the
business.”

“Very well,” said Jack; “methinks I understand.
And now if the Captain is ready to go, why, I am, too.”

As he and Captain Butts walked together down the
street in the darkness, Jack said again: “I don’t see
why he wants me to take his servants down to the
wharf. He never asked such a thing of me before.”

Captain Butts, for reply, burst out laughing, and
fetched him a clap on the shoulder that jarred him
through and through. “ Well, I do suppose you ’ll find
out some day why he sends you on his errands,” he said.
CHAPTER V
KIDNAPPED

T the end of the court the two parted, the Captain
going on down to the wharf and Jack up to
the Golden Fish. He found the crimp and gave him
Hezekiah’s release, and then the redemptioners imme-
diately began to make themselves ready. There was
something pitiful in the meagerness of their prepara-
tion. One or two of them had nondescript bundles tied
up in handkerchiefs, and one had a pair of stockings
wrapped up in a piece of dirty paper. Beyond this
they had nothing at all to take with them to the new
world to which they were bound. But they seemed to
borrow very little trouble on that score. They were
very restless and turbulent at the near prospect of sail-
ing. They had somehow contrived to obtain some
liquor, and two or three of them were more than half
drunk.

The crimp brought them out-into. the court of the
inn and arranged them in some sort of order, two by
two, by the dim light of the lantern. They jostled and
pushed one another, and leered in the lantern light at
Jack as he stood looking at them helplessly. “Ill
never be able to take them down to the whart by my--
self,” said he.

oe Oh, youll be able to take us,” said a big, bull-necked
aloe “‘a, baby ’d lead us wherever he chose for to
go,” and then they all laughed.

38
KIDNAPPED 39

“Well, I don’t know,” said the crimp, shaking his
head as he looked them over; “like enough I’d better
go with you as far as the wharf. I don’t know why he
should have sent you to take ’em, anyhow. lLookee!”
said he to the huddled line of servants, in a suddenly-
changed voice; ‘I won’t have none of your tricks, d’ ye
understand? D’ ye see this?” and he fetched a blud-.
geon out of his pocket and showed it to them. “The
first man as tries any of his tricks, I knocks him on the
head, d’ ye understand ? ”

“Why, master,” said one of the men, “you would n’t
hurt us, would you? We be your lambs.”

“Never you mind,” said the crimp, shaking his head.
“Don’t you go trying any of your tricks on me. Come
along now, march!”

“ Hurrah for the Golden Fish and Johnny Waddels!”
cried out one of the men.

‘The others gave a broken and confused cheer as they
marched away out of the court, the crimp walking be-
side ‘the first couple, and Jack coming after to keep a
lookout upon them. They marched along for a while,
first down one street and then another until they had
come to the water-front. The wind was blowing chilly.
The bull-necked fellow had begun to sing. They walked
along for some little distance and then crossed the street.
Here the store-houses stood dark and deserted as they
passed by them. At last they came to the wharf, across
which the night wind swept without shelter.

“Well,” said the crimp, “I ‘ll leave you here. "I is
no use my going any further.”

“Ves,” said Jack, “I can manage them very well now
by inyself, I suppose.”

“T ll just wait under the lee of the shed here,” said
the crimp, “ till I see you ’re all right.”

“Very well,” said Jack. “Come along,” said he to
the men as they stood shivering in their thin, ragged
40 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

clothes. The bull-necked fellow had ceased his dis-
cordant singing. At Jack’s bidding they now marched
out along the wharf. There were lights out in the dark-
ness at the end of the wharf, where the sloop lay black
and shapeless in the night. When Jack came to where
the light was he found two dark figures standing wait-
ing for him on the wharf. One of them was Captain
Butts, the other was the man in the knit cap, who now
carried a lantern hanging over his arm. There were
two or three men, two of them also with lanterns, stand-
ing on the deck of the sloop. Jack knew that the boat
that had brought the Captain off from the brig was
lying in the darkness beyond, for he could hear the
sound of voices, and then the sound of the rattle of
an oar.

Captain Butts had twisted his handkerchief well up
about his throat. “ Well,” said he, “I thought you was
never coming.”

“T came as soon as I could,” said Jack.

“Just bring the men out to the boat, across the
sloop here,” said the Captain; and at Jack’s bidding the
men, one after another, jumped down from the wharf
to the deck of the sloop below. Jack followed them,
and the Captain and the man with the lantern followed
him. “ Where’s your list?” said the Captain, and then,
as Jack gave it to him: ‘“ Hold the lantern here, Dyce.
That ’s it.” He held the list to the dull light, referring
to it as he counted the shivering transports who stood
inline. “ Sixteen—seventeen —eighteen—nineteen —
nineteen all told. That’s right. Now, then, look alive,
my hearties, and get aboard as quick as you can!” ©

Jack stood with his hands in his pockets and his
back to the chill night breeze. The wharf and the sloop,
deserted in the night, seemeda singularly dark and lonely
background to the dimly moving figures. The water,
driven by the wind, splashed and dashed noisily around
KIDNAPPED 41

the end of the wharf. One by one the redemptioners
clambered clumsily over the rail of the sloop and down
into the boat alongside, stumbling over the thwarts in
the darkness and settling themselves amid the growling
and swearing of the sailors. “Are you all right?” asked
the Captain.

“ All right, sir,” said Dyce.

Suddenly the Captain turned sharply toward Jack.
“Now, then,’ said he, “you get aboard too!” Jack
gaped at him. “You get aboard too!” said Captain
Butts again.

“What do you mean?” said Jack.

“T mean that you’re going aboard too,” said the Cap-
tain, and as he spoke he reached out and caught Jack
by the collar. “That ’s why you were sent here,” said he,
“and that’s what I’m bound to do. I’m bound to take
you to the Americas with me.”

Then Jack saw it all in a flash. He stood for one
stunned instant, and then he began struggling fiercely
to loosen himself from the Captain’s grasp upon his col-
lar. The next instant he felt himself jerked violently
backward and he heard the Captain’s voice saying:
“You get into the boat down there! You ll do as I
tell you, if you know what ’s good for you!”

Jack twisted and struggled desperately and franti-
cally, but still the Captain held him in a grip like a
vise. “Let me go!” gasped Jack. “Let me go!”

“Into the boat, I tell ye!” he heard the Captain’s
voice growling in his ear, and at the same time he found
himself flung forward violently toward the rail of the
sloop. The boats and the dark waters were just below.
He saw dimly, his sight blurred with the fury of his
struggles, the dark figures of the men in the boat below.
He flung out his feet against the rail, bracing himself
against the Captain’s hold; at the same time he clutched
hold of the stays. “ Here, Dyce, loose his hand there,”
42 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

said the Captain’s voice, panting with his struggles.
“The young villain! What d’ ye mean, anyhow?”

The man with the knit cap sprang forward at the Cap-
tain’s bidding, and, still holding the lantern, began to
pluck Jack’s fingers-loose from the stays. Then sud-
denly Jack screamed out, “ Help !—Help!— Help!”
three times, and at the same time he kicked backward
violently against the Captain’s shins.

“You will, will you!” wheezed the Captain. As he
spoke he jerked Jack violently backward. Jack had
just time to see a whirling flash in the light of the lan-
tern. Then there came a deafening, blinding crash.
Ten thousand sparkling stars flew whirling around and
around him. He felt a hot stream shoot down across
his face, and he knew that it was blood. There was
another crash, this time duller and more distant, then
a humming that droned away into stillness—then
nothing.

“By blood! Captain,” said Dyce, “I believe you ’ve
killed the boy.”

The Captain thrust the pistol with which he had
struck Jack back again into his pocket. “The young
villain!” he said, panting with his late efforts. “He ’ll
kick me, will he? And he’d’a’ had the town down on
us if I had n’t shut his noise.” He lowered down upon
Jack’s figure lying deathly still and in a dark heap on
the deck. Dyce bent over the senseless form, holding
the lantern to the face. Jack’s eyes were upturned.
His legs and body twitched; his head was streaming
with blood and his face was bloody. Captain Butts
stoopedoverhim. “Oh! he’sall right,” said he roughly;
“he ll come to by and by; he’s only stunned a trifle.
Get him aboard and be quick about it! There’s some-
body coming along the wharf now. Here; here ’s his
hat. - Catch it there.”
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CHAPTER VI
. ABOARD THE ARUNDEL

NOR a long while Jack was very light-headed and
sick. He did not seem to have any strength. It
seemed to him that several days passed while he lay
in his berth, now partly waking, now partly sleeping.
When he was partly awake his mind seemed to wander,
and he could not separate the things he now saw from
the things he had seen before. Both seemed grotesque
and distorted. It seemed to him that his father was
nearly always with him. He had a line of Greek to con-
strue, but he could never get the words correctly. He
kept trying and trying to get the words in their proper
order, but always, when he would get the line nearly
correct, it would fall to pieces, and he would have to
begin all over again. He felt that his father was very
angry with him, and that he was driving him on to com-
plete the line, and he felt that if he could only finish
the task he would have rest and be well again. But
there were three words that never would fit rightly into
the line, and he never could make them fit into it.
With these several fancyings there commingled the
actual things about him. His father seemed to him
to be waiting and waiting for him to complete his
task; but at the same time he saw the sloping deck of
the vessel and the berths upon the other side, and could
feel the brig rising and falling and rolling upon the sea.
There was ever present in his ears the sound of creak-
43
44 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ing and groaning and rattling and sliding, and there
were men talking together and smoking their pipes, the
pungent smell of the tobacco helping to make him feel
very sick. If he could only fit these words together into
the line, then his father would go away, and he would
be well and could go up on deck. Oh, how his head
ached! He wished he could get away from these words
that would not fit into the sentence.

Then the night would come, and he would be partly
asleep. Sometimes he would lie half dreaming for an
hour or more, and in the darkness the things of his
fancy were very real.

Very soon after he had been brought aboard he had
a dim, distorted vision of Dyce, the mate, coming with
a lantern to where he lay, bringing somebody along with
him. It seemed to him that the two men had leaned
over him talking about him while a number of other
people had stood near. The man who had come with
the mate must have been Sim Tucker, a thin, little
man, with a long, lean chin, who was a barber-leech.
Jack had felt some one trim his hair, and then do some-
thing that had hurt him very much. It seemed to be
a grotesque nightmare that the barber-leech had sewed
up his head. Afterward a bandage was tied around
his head, and then he felt more comfortable.

Jack knew very well that it had all been a dream,
and he was always surprised to wake up and find the
bandage around his head.

Now and then Sim Tucker would come and speak to
him. “How d’ ye feel now?” he would maybe say.

“Why,” said Jack, “I would be all well if my father
would only go away. But I can’t construe that sentence.”

“You can’t what?”

“T can’t get those Greek words right, and my father
won't go away.”

“Why, your father says they ’re all right.”
ABOARD THE ARUNDEL 45

“Does he?”

“ Aye.”

“But there are those four words. They won’t fit.”

“Why, yes, they fit allright. Don’t you see?” Then
it seemed to Jack that they did fit into the sentence,
and for a little while he was more easy in his mind.

After a while he began to get better, and his head got
clearer. Then one day he was so well that he was able
to crawl up to the deck. He had not eaten anything
at all and was very weak. He climbed up the com-
panionway and stood with his head just above the
scuttle. He looked aft almost along the level of the
deck. In the distance was the rise of the poop-deck,
with a man at the wheel just under the over-hang. The
first mate, Dyce, still wearing his knit cap pulled down
half over his ears, was walking up and down the poop- ~
deck, smoking. With the rise and fall of the vessel,
Jack could catch every now and then a glimpse of the
wide, troubled ocean, moving and heaving with cease-
lessly restless, crawling waves, cut keenly and blackly
at the sharp rim of the horizon against the gray sky.
Every now and then there was a great rush of air from
the vast hollow sails overhead, that swept back and
forth, back and forth across the wide, windy sky. The
sailors looked at him as he stood there with the ban-
dage wrapped around his head. He began to feel
very sick and dizzy with the motion of the vessel,
and presently he crept down below, back to his berth
again.

“Be you feeling better?” said one of the men, coming
to him. :

“Yes, I think I am,” said Jack, “only it makes me
sick and faint-like to stand up.”

“Well, you ’ve been pretty sick,” said the man, “and
that’s the sacred truth. I thought the Captain had
killed you for sure when I saw him hit you that second
46 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

erack with the pistol. I thought he ’d smashed your
head in.”

Several of the other men had gathered about his berth
and stood looking down at him. Jack wished they
would go away. He lay quite still, with his eyes shut,
and by and by they did leave him.

He felt very lonely and deserted. A great lump rose
in his throat when he thought of all that had happened
to him. “I have not a friend in the world,” he said to
himself, and then the hot tears forced themselves out
from under his eyelids.

When next he opened his eyes he saw that Sim Tucker
was standing over him. “How d’ ye feel now?” said
the barber-leech.

“Oh, I feel better,” said Jack irritably. “I wish
you ’d go away and let me alone.”

“Let me look at your head,” said the leecher. He
unwound the bandage deftly with his long, lean fingers.
“ Aye,” said he, “ye ’re getting along well now. To-
morrow I'll take out them stitches. He must have hit
ye with the cock of the pistol to make a great, big,
nasty cut like that.
CHAPTER VII
ACROSS THE OCEAN

HE next morning Jack was up on deck again for

a while, feeling very much better and stronger than

the day before. In the afternoon Mr. Dyce came down

into the steerage and told him that the Captain wanted
to see him.

Jack, although he was now out of his bunk, was
still very weak, and not yet accustomed to the roll-
ing heave and pitch of the vessel at sea. He followed
the mate along the deck in the direction of the round-
house, balancing himself upon the slanting, unsteady
plane, now and then catching at the rail or at the
shrouds or stays to steady himself. Everything was
still very fresh and new to him, so that, even though his
mind was heavy with leaden apprehension concerning
the coming interview with Captain Butts—the thought
which weighed down his spirit with dull imaginings—
even though his mind was full of this, the freshness
and newness of everything was yet strong in his con-
sciousness—the tumultuous noise of the sea, the sun
shining bright and clear, the salt wind blowing strong
and cold. Every now and then a cresting wave would _
flash out a vivid whitecap in the sunlight against the
profound green of the limitless ocean; the sky was full of
clouds, and purpling shadows dappled the wide stretch
of ever-moving waters. The brig, plowing its way
aslant to leeward, plunged every now and then with a

47
48 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

thunderous clap of white foam into the oncoming wave,
and the broad shadows of sail and rigging swept back
across the sunlit deck with the backward and forward
sweep of the masts against the sky high overhead. Of.
all these things Jack was strongly conscious as he
walked along the deck, wondering, with that dull and
heavy apprehension, aie Captain Butts was going to
say to him.

Two men on the poop-deck were heaving the log,
one of them keeping tally with a slate; a third, with a
red bandana handkerchief knotted about his head, stood -
gripping the wheel, holding the yawing vessel steadily
to its course. The man with the slate looked at Jack as.
he came along the deck, clinging to the rail for support..

Captain Butts was waiting in the round-house, lean-
ing with elbows upon the table. A bottle of rum and
a half-emptied tumbler stood on the table at his elbow,
and the cabin was full of the strong, pungent odor of
the liquor. A chart, blackened and dirty as with long
use, lay spread out on the table. Part way across it
stretched a black line which the Captain had drawn—
probably the supposed course of the vessel—for Captain
Butts sailed by dead reckoning. He looked up from
under his brows asJack entered » frowning until his partly
bald forehead swelled with knotted veins, but he did
not immediately say anything. Jack had come forward
and stood at the end of the table. The mate, who lin-
gered close to the door, had taken out his pipe and was.
filling it with tobacco. Jack did not know how pale
. and thin he was, how sick he looked; he was conscious.
only of the weakness that seemed not only to make him
unsteady upon his legs, but to unnerve him of all
strength of spirit. As he stood there now, facing the -
Captain, he felt an hysterical choking in his throat, and
he swallowed and swallowed upon the hard, dry ine
that seemed to be there.
ACROSS THE OCEAN 49

“Well, my hearty,” said the Captain, breaking the
silence at last with his hoarse, rattling voice, ‘“‘ well, my
hearty, you got your dose that time, or else I ’m mis-
took. By Blood!” he continued with sudden savage-
ness, “Ill teach you to play with Benny Butts, I will,
and to kick at his shins. By Blood! When you’re deal-
ing with me, you ’re not dealing with your poor old un-
cle as ye can bully and blatherskite as you please. By
Blood! Ill break your back if you go trying any of
your airs with me, I will” And as his anger rose with
his own words, he opened his eyes wide and glared upon
his victim. Jack did not dare to reply. He stood look-
ing down, holding tight to the edge of the table and
striving to balance himself to the lurching of the ship.
“Your uncle told me all about you, he did,” said Cap-
tain Butts, beginning again; “how you threatened him
‘with the law and tried to make mischief atwixt him
and your t? other folks. He told me how you stole his
money away from him for to—”
“T never stole a farthing in my life,” said Jack
hoarsely.
“T)’ ye give me back talk?” roared the Captain; smiting
his palm upon the table. ‘By Blood! if ye answer me
any of your back talk, I ll clap ye in irons as quick as
look at ye. I say ye did steal money from your uncle.”
Again he glared at Jack as though defying him to reply,
and Jack, conscious of his utter powerlessness, did not
venture to answer. “TI say ye did steal money from your
uncle,” repeated the Captain, “and that again and again.
He might have sent ye to jail had he been so minded,
_and maybe he would ha’ done so only for the shame 0”

the thing. Now tell ye what you ’re going to do. You
“xe going to the Americas to be put to work under a
master who ll keep you out o’ mischief for five years.
That’s what you ’re going to do. After you ’ve served

out your five years in the Americas under a master,
4
50 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

why, then, maybe, you ’ll know how to behave yourself
arter you get back home again.”

The brig gave a sudden heaving lurch that sent the
bottle and glass sliding across the table. The Captain
caught them with a quick sweep of his hand, while
Jack, losing his balance, partly fell, partly sat abruptly
down upon the seat beside him. He was up again
almost instantly and stood once more holding by the
side of the table.

“Now, you listen to what I say. You behave your-
self decent while you’re aboard this here brig, and you 11
be treated decent, but you go a makin’ any trouble for
me, and by Blood! I'll clap you in irons, I will, and
I'll lay ye down in the hold, and there ye ’ll stay till we
drop anchor in Yorktown. D?’ ye hear that?”

Jack nodded his head.

“Well, then, if ye hear me, why don’t ye answer me?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jack.

“Very well, then, you go and remember what I ’ve
said.”

Jack, so dismissed, went out of the round-house and
into the wide, bright sunlight again. Nor was it un-
til he had returned half way back across the slanting
deck that anything like a full realization of his fate
came upon him. Then suddenly it did seize upon him,
gripping him almost like a physical pang. He stopped
short and caught at the foremast stays under that sud-
den grip of despair, and bent leaning over the rail of
the ship. Then, in an instant the sky and the ocean
blurred together and were lost in the blinding flood,
and hot tears went raining down his face in streams.
He stood there for a long time facing the ocean and
erying. No one knew what he was doing, and he was
as much alone as though he stood all by himself in the
midst of the empty universe, instead of aboard a brig
with footsteps passing around him and the grumbling
ACROSS THE OCEAN 51

growl of men’s voices as they talked together sounding
‘in his ears.

It had seemed to Jack at that time, when he stood
there crying out into the face of the sea and the sky, as
though life had no hope and no joy, and as though he
never could be happy again. It was not so, however,
and it never is so. We grow used to every sorrow and
trouble that comes to us. Even by the next day he had
begun to grow accustomed to the thought of his fate.
He awoke to an immediate consciousness of it, and all
day it stood there, a big, looming background to the
passing events of his life, while he helped the other re-
demptioners wash down the decks, pattering about in
the wet with his bare feet in the slushing slop of water ;
all the while he stood leaning over the rail, dumbly joy-
ing in the consciousness of the sweep and rush of wind
and water —looking out astern of the vessel at the
wake that spread away behind, over which hovered
and dipped and skimmed the little black Mother Carey’s
ehickens. In all the things of his life it- was thus present
with him, but he did not again suffer a despair so poign-
ant and so bitter as had struck him down that time he
had stood there crying out toward the sky and the
ocean with his back to the ship’s company. So it is
that time so quickly wears away the sharp edges of
trouble, until it grows so dull and blunted that it no
longer hurts.

The crew had come somehow to know something of
Jack’s history. The first day he was out on deck after
a spell of stormy weather into which the Arundel sailed,
Tom Roberts, the carpenter, asked him if he had not
an uncle as was a lord. “ He’s a baronet,” said Jack,
and Roberts said he knowed he was summat of the
kind. The same day, as Jack was standing in line with
the others waiting for his dinner to be served out to
52 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

him, the carpenter passed close to him with a wink.
“You come over along o’ we,” he said, “and you shall
have a taste o’ grog with your victuals,” and Jack, after
a hesitating moment, had, with a feeling of gratification
and pleasure, followed him over to the forecastle scuttle,
where a part of the crew sat eating in the sunshine that.
shone aslant under the foresail. After that he nearly
always messed with the crew, and by the end of the
voyage it had become a regularly established thing for
him to do so.

Some of the crew had either lived in the Colonies, or
had sailed from one to the other in coasting vessels, and
Jack learned much about his future home from them..
Roberts himself had lived for two years as ship-car-
penter in Boston, in the province of Massachusetts, and
one of themen, named Dred — Christian Dred—had lived.
for a while in North Carolina with Blackbeard, the fa-
mous pirate. He had been one of the pirate’s men, and.
had sailed with the renowned freebooter in his famous.
ship, the Queen Annes Revenge.

During the voyage Jack became better acquainted.
with Dred than with any one aboard the Arundel, and
before they had reached Virginia the two had become
very intimate. Dred was a silent, taciturn man,
speaking but rarely to any one and saying what he had
to say in as few words as possible. But he seemed
pleased with Jack’s friendship. He questioned Jack
much as to his former life, and in return told a good.
deal about himself. He said he had left Blackbeard the:
year before and had surrendered upon the King’s Procla-
mation of Pardon. He always carried his pardon about
with him rolled up in oil-skin and hung about his neck
by-a bit of string, and he showed it to Jack one day,
unrolling the oil-skin very carefully and gingerly, and.
then rolling it up again with just as particular care as
he had opened it. He told Jack that after he had sur-
ACROSS THE OCEAN 53

rendered to the Pardon, Blackbeard and others of
the pirates had also surrendered. He said that Black-
beard was now living on a farm down at Bath Town,
in North Carolina, and had married a fine young “gell”
of sixteen or thereabouts. He once told Jack that he
had begun his “h— cruising,” as he called it, when he
had sailed from New York in a “Red Sea Trader” in
795, and that ever since then he had “smelled brimstone.”

(The Red Sea Traders, it may be explained, were those
who earried supplies of stores, chiefly of rum and gun-
powder, to the pirates who then so infested the west
coast of Africa, exchanging their commodities for
plunder captured by those freebooters.)

Dred told Jack that he was only eighteen years old
when he had sailed in the Red Sea trade. “Not much
older than you be now,” he added.

Once, when Dred was overhauling his gunny-bag, he
brought out a string of a dozen or so jingling coins
hung on a bit of silver wire. He held the trinket out
at arm’s length. “ D’ ye see this here string o’ money?”
said he; “I gave that to a Spanish gell once down in
Port Royal, Jamaicy, and what ’s more, I took it off of
her neck again arter she had died of yellow fever, and
no one else ‘Id go nigh her.”

Jack grew to like Dred very heartily. He did not
think of him as being a red-handed and wicked pirate.
It did not seem to him that his new friend was, after
all, very different from other men—excepting that he
had had very wonderful adventures happen to him.

And yet Dred was indeed a red-handed pirate.

It was toward the latter part of the voyage that he
told Jack the story of the taking of the English ship
that Blackbeard afterward used as the flag-ship of his
pirate fleet, and which became so famous under the
name of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Dred’s was almost
the most important part in that tragedy. He told the
54 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

story almost naively, and did not at all seem to appre-
ciate the significance of what he had done.

They—the pirates — had, he said, been cruising in the
West Indies. Then they sailed northward until they
came to Charleston. (Here he told incidentally how
they had blockaded the town for over a week, stopping’
and searching all incoming and outgoing vessels, and
how they had even gone up boldly into the town in
search of a chest of medicine.) After they had left.
Charleston, they had, he said, cruised away off shore:
with two sloops and a bark which they had taken.
They “made no purchase,” as he phrased it, until one
morning they sighted a sail, which proved to be an
armed ship of some six or seven hundred tons burden,
bound apparently for the Chesapeake Capes.

When they had come to within hailing distance of
the vessel they ordered her to heave to. But she
would not, and there was some exchange of shots be-
fore she would finally surrender. The ship had only
one passenger aboard, a young Virginia gentleman, Mr.
Edward Parker, who had been to college in England.
and who was now returning home, having finished his.
education. Dred said that the supercargo, on being:
threatened by Blackbeard, told the pirates that the
young gentleman had in his charge a valuable chest of
money and of goldsmiths’ bills of exchange. On hear-.
ing this Blackbeard and two or three of the pirates ran
aft to the cabin, only to find that the young gentleman
had locked himself in and refused to come out.

After some parleying the pirates tried to break in the
door, but it was braced from within, and the young
gentleman at once began firing at them through the
panels. Two of the pirates were shot. ‘One on ’em,”
said Dred, “was Abraham Dolling, and he was shot
that bad through the neck that we had to hale him off
by the legs, and he died a little bit after just at the
bottom of the poop ladder.”
ACROSS THE OCEAN 55

His own part in the tragedy that followed. Dred told
somewhat thus:

““Seein’ as how we was makin’ nothing of it at all by
the way we was doing, I climbs up on the poop-deck,
thinking maybe to get a sight of my yotung gentleman
through the sky-light. But no; he had blocked up the
sky-light with mattresses from the captain’s berth. So
then I went across the poop-deck to the stern falls.
The boat had been shot away from the lee davit by
our fire, and the lines hung loose from the falls over —
the stern. I lashed two on ’em together and let my-
self down from the davits with one hand, holding my
pistol with t? other. I eased myself to one side until
I was low enough, and then I peeped in at the stern
window. There I could see my young gentleman off
beyond in the captain’s cabin standing close by the
door, and I can see him now as plain as I can see this
here hand o’ mine. He had pulled a couple of sea chists
to the door, and he had a plank from the captain’s berth
set agin ’em and propped agin the braces of the table.
He was in his shirt sleeves, and he had a pistol in each
hand. The captain o’ the ship was a’ talkin’ to him
from t? other side of the door, telling him he ’d better
gin up and surrender the money, and I could hear my
young gentleman swearing by all that was holy that he
would never gin up the money. He had his head turned
to one side, and he did n’t see me, so I crawled in
through the window. But I’d no more’n set foot on
deck than all on a sudden he wheels around like a flash,
and afore I knowed what he was at— Bang! —he fires
his pistol fair for my head. I felt the wind of the ball
and it smashed into a chiny closet just behind me.
Then, seeing he had missed me, he ups with t? other
pistol and arter that ’t was either him or me. So [I let
fly, and down he went all of a heap acrost the chist
afore the door.”

“Was he dead?” asked Jack.
56 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“T think he were,” said Dred. ‘“ Leastways he was
dead afore we could get him out of the cabin.”

Dred told this story to Jack one afternoon as they
were sitting together up under the lee-forecastle rail, and
then he showed him the pardon in the oilskin bag hung
around his neck.

In the intimacy between the two Jack talked much
to Dred about his own prospects, and his new friend ad-
vised him to submit to his fate with patience. “ Arter

all,” he said, “ five year be n’t so werry long—not nigh
as long as death. And then you'll see a deal o’ the
world, and arter that you goes back home agin, an’
there ye be,” and the illogical words brought a good
deal of comfort to Jack.
CHAPTER VIII:
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE

N a long sea voyage you come to lose all sense of

time. One day melts and blends into the other so

that you can hardly tell them apart. They stretch along

into weeks, and the weeks, perhaps, into months which

can neither be called long nor short, but only just a
monotonous reach of time.

The only thing that brings its change fo the cease-
less monotony are the changes that happen in the
weather. Twice they had a spell of heavy weather
during the voyage; the first time, a few days after Jack
had become well enough to be about on deck, Jack was
very seasick, and so were nearly all of the transports.

It was quite a heavy storm, lasting for three or four
days, and at on: time Jack thought that the brig must
really be in danger. As he lay prone in his bunk his
heart quaked with every tumultuous lift of the vessel.
Some of the crew were in the forecastle beyond, and
the deep sound of their talk and now and then a burst
of laughter came to him where he lay. He did not see
how they could be so indifferent to the loud and inces-
sant creaking and groaning of the ship’s timbers, alter-
~nated now and then with the noise of distant thumping
and bumping, and always the gurgling rush of water, as
though it were bursting through the straining timbers
and streaming into the hold. It seemed to him some-
times as though the vessel must capsize, so tremendous

57
58 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

was the mountainous lift and fall of the fabric, and so
strenuous the straining of its timbers. Sometimes he
would clutch tight hold of the box-like side of his bunk
to save himself from being pitched out bodily upon the
deck. The steerage became a horrible pit, where the
transports rolled about stupefied with sickness, and
when, by and by, he himself began to recover, it be-
came impossible for him to bear it.

So the afternoon of the second day of the storm he
crawled up to the decks above. The level stretch lay
shining with sheets of drifting wet. Jack stood cling-
ing dizzily to the shrouds looking about him. A number
of the crew were strung out along the yard-arm high
aloft, reefing the fore-topsail, clinging with feet and
hands to the lines and apparently indifferent to the vast
rush of the wet wind and the gigantic sweep of the un-
certain foothold to which they clung. The hubbub of
roaring wind and thundering waters almost stunned
Jack as he stood clinging there. The voice of Dyce
shouting his orders through a trumpet from the quarter-
deck seemed to be upborne like a straw on that vast
and tremendous sweep of uproar. One of the crew
came running along the wet and slippery deck in his
bare feet, cursing and swearing at Jack and waving to
him to go below. The next moment, and before Jack
could move to obey, the vessel plunged down into a
wave, with a thunder-clap of sound and a cataract of
salt water that nearly swept him off his feet and wet
him to the skin.

Perhaps of all the actual events of the voyage, this
episode and the two or three minutes’ spectacle of the
storm lingered most vividly of all in Jack’s memory.

It was at this time that he first began to get better
acquainted with the crew. When, at the bidding of the
sailor, he went down below, wet and dripping, he could
not bear to go back into the steerage, and the crew let
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 59

him lie out in the forecastle. They laughed at him and
his plight, but they did not drive him back into the
steerage.

Then there were many other days of bright sunlight
and of smooth breezy sailing; and still other times of
windy, starry nights, when the watch would sit smoking
up under the lee sail, and Jack would sit or maybe lie
stretched at length listening to them as they spun their
yarns—yarns, which, if the truth must be told, were
not always fit for the ears of a boy like Jack.

So the days came and went without any distinct defi-
nition of time, as they always do in a long voyage such
as this, and then, one soft warm afternoon, Jack saw
that there were sea-gulls hovering and circling around
the wake of the brig. One of the crew told him that
they had come within soundings again, and when he
looked over the side of the vessel he saw that the clear,
tranquil green of the profounder depths of the ocean
had changed to the cloudy, opalescent gray of shoaler
waters.

Then it was the next morning and Jack felt some one
shaking him awake. “What is it?” said he, opening
his eyes heavily and looking up into the lean face of
Sim Tucker that was bent over him.

The little man was all in a quiver of excitement.
“oT ig land!” he cried in a shrill, exultant voice—‘“’t is
land! We’re in sight of land! Don’t you want to get
up and see it? You can see it from the deck.” His
voice piped shriller and shriller with the straining of
his excitement.

Jack was out of his berth in an instant; and, almost
before he knew it, up on deck, barefoot, in the cool
brightness of the early day.

The deck-was wet and chill with the dew of the early
morning. The sun had not yet risen, but the day was.
bright, and as clear as crystal. The land lay stretched
60 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

out sharp and clear-cut in the early morning light —a
pure white, thread-like strip of sandy beach, a level strip
of green marsh, and, in the far distance, a dark, ragged
line of woodland standing against the horizon.

Jack had seen nothing but the water for so long, and
his eyes had become so used to the measureless stretch
of ocean all around him, that the land looked very near,
although it must have been quite a league away. He
stood gazing and gazing at it. The New World! The
wonderful new world of which he had heard so much!
And now he was really looking at it with his very living
eyes. Virginia! That, then, was the New World. He
stood gazing and gazing. In the long line of the hori-
zon there was an open space free of trees. He won-
dered whether that was a tobacco-plantation. There
was a single tree standing by itself —a straight, thin
- trunk, and a spread of foliage at the top. He wondered
if it was a palm-tree. He did not then know that there
were no palm-trees in Virginia, and that single, solitary
tree seemed to him to be very wonderful in its sugges-
tion of a strange and foreign country.

Then, as he stood gazing, a sudden recollection of the
fate that now, in a little while, awaited him in this new
world — of his five years of coming servitude. The rec-
ollection of this came upon him, gripping him with an
almost poignant pang; and he bent suddenly over,
clutching the rail tightly with both hands. How would
it be with him then? What was in store for him in
this new world upon which he was looking? Was it
hope or despair, happiness or misery?

Captain Butts and Mr. Dyce were standing on the
poop-deck, the Captain with a glass held to his eye look-
ing out at the land. By and by he lowered the glass,
and said something to the mate. Then he handed the
glass to the other, who also took a long, steady look at
the distant thread of shore.
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 6L

Some of the crew were standing in a little group for-
ward. Among the others was Dred, the red bandana
handkerchief around his head blazing like a flame in
the crystal brightness of the morning. As Jack, still
possessed by that poignant remembrance of his coming
fate, went up to where they stood, Dred turned and
looked at him, almost smiling. The light of the rising
sun glinted in his narrow black eyes, and cut in a.
sharp seam the crooked, jagged scar that ran down his
cheek. He nodded at Jack ever so slightly; but he did
not say anything, and then he turned and looked out
again toward the land. Just then the mate shouted an
order, and then the group of sailors broke asunder,
some of them running across the deck in their bare feet,
throwing loose the ropes from the belaying-pins, others.
scrambling up the ratlines higher and higher, until they
looked like little blots in the mazy rigging against the
blue, shining sky overhead.

It was after sunset when the brig, half sailing, half
drifting, floated with the insweep of the tide up into
the York River. Jack stood with the other redemption
servants gazing silently and intently at the high bluff
shores. Above the crest of the bluff they could see the
roofs and brick chimneys of the little town. A half-
dozen vessels of various sorts were riding at anchor in
the harbor, looming darkly against the bright face of
the water, just ruffled by the light breeze. The line
of a long, straggling wharf reached some distance out
across the water to a frame shed at the end. Along
the shore toward the bluff were two or three small
frame-houses and a couple of big brick buildings. Some-
body had told Jack that they were the tobacco ware-
houses, and they appeared very wonderful to him. A
boat was pulling off from the wharf—it was the custom
officer’s boat. Other boats were following it, and a sail-
boat came fluttering out from the shore into the bright —
62 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

stretch of water. Suddenly there was a thunderous
splash. It was the anchor dropped. There was a quick
rattling of the cable and a creaking as it drew taut.
Then the Arundel swung slowly around with the sweep
of the tide, and the voyage was ended.

A minute later the boat with the custom officer came
alongside. Captain Butts met him at the gangway and
took him into the cabin. Ina little while boats, canoes,
and dug-outs came clustering about the Arundel. ‘They
all seemed strange and foreign to Jack. Nearly every-
body wanted to come aboard, but the mate, who stood
at the gangway, allowed only a few to come up on deck.
These he directed to the cabin, whither Captain Butts
had taken the custom officer The others remained in
their boats below, looking up at the redemption servants
who stood crowded at the rail, staring down at them. A
ceaseless volley of questions and answers was called
back and forth from those below to those above. “ Where
d’ ye come from?” “Gravesend and Southampton.”
“What craftis this?” “The Arundel of Bristol.” “ Comes
from Gravesend, d’ ye say?” “ Be there any man aboard
that comes from Southwark?” “Hey, Johnnie Stivins,
here be a man asks of Southwark.” “ Hi, there! what
are ye doin’, 7’ ye want to stave us in?”—a babel of a
dozen voices at a time.

Jack stood looking down through the now falling
twilight to the figures below, dim and shadowless in the.
pallid light. Just beneath where he stood was a dug-
out that had come off from the shore among the first.
It was rowed by a negro naked to the waist. A white
man sat in the stern. He appeared to have a kind of
hat, of woven grasses upon his head. He wore loose
cotton trousers and was smoking a leaf of tobacco rolled
into a cigarro, the lighted tip of which alternately
glowed and faded in the dimming light. How strange
and wonderful it all was!
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE 63

Just then Captain Butts came out of the cabin with
the custom officer. He did not then pay any attention
to the group of redemptioners gathered at the rail. He
stood looking at the custom officer as he climbed down
into the boat. Then he turned sharply around. “Here,
Dyce!” he roared to the mate, “send those men down
into the steerage. We ’ll have half on’em running away
in the dark next we knows on.”

The transports grumbled and growled among them-
selves as they were driven below. One or two of them
were disposed to joke, but the others swore as they
climbed stumblingly down the forecastle ladder.

The day had been warm, and the steerage was close
and hot; a lantern hung from the deck above, and in
the dim, dusky light the men stood crowded together.
Presently one of them began singing a snatch of a scur-
rilous song. Other voices joined in the refrain, and
gradually the muttering and grumbling began to change
into a noisy and rebellious turbulence. The singing
grew louder and louder, breaking now and then into a
shout or yell.

Jack had crept into his berth. It was close and stuffy
and it smelt heavy and musty after the fresh air above.
He felt very dull and numb, and the noises and tumult
in the close confines of the steerage stunned and deaf-
ened him.

Suddenly Captain Butts’s voice sounded from the open
seuttle of the forecastle companionway. ‘What qd’ ye
mean below there?” he roared; “are ye all gone drunk
or crazy? Stop that there noise or I'll put a stopper
on ye that ’ll be little enough to your liking! D’ ye
hear?”

A moment’s lull followed his voice; then one of the
men gave a shrill cat-call. It was, as a signal, instantly
followed by a burst of yells and whistles and jeers.
Jack expected to see Captain Butts down among them
bodily, but he did not come, and for a while’the trans-
64 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ports whistled and yelled and shouted unchecked. Pres-
ently there was the noise of some one coming down
into the forecastle beyond. It was Joe Barkley— one
of the sailors. He came into the steerage, and at his
coming an expectant lull fell upon the tumult.. He
carried a cocked and loaded pistol in his hand. His
face was stolid and expressionless, and he looked neither
to the right nor to the left. ‘ What be ye going to do,
Joe,” called out one of the redemptioners. He did not
answer; he went straight up to the lantern, opened it,
blew out the light, closed it again, and then turned
away without saying a word. He went into the fore-
castle and blew out the lantern there, and then every-
thing was instantly engulfed in an impenetrable and
pitchy darkness. A burst of derisive yells followed Joe
as he climbed clattering up the forecastle ladder again,
but he paid no attention to the jibes and jeers, and the
next moment Jack heard the rattling of the slide of the
scuttle as it was closed, and then the snapping of the
lock. For a while after the lights were put out the up-
roar was louder than ever. The men thumped and
banged and kicked. But in time the pitchy darkness
quelled their spirits in spite of themselves, and little by
little the turmoil ceased. It broke out intermittently,
it quieted again, and then at last it subsided into a
muffled grumbling.

Jack lay in his berth staring into the darkness; his.
ears seemed to hum and tingle with the black stillness
that surrounded him. He felt intensely wide awake as.
though he could never sleep again. Teeming thoughts.
passed vividly through his brain. Visions of all he had
seen during the day—the sandy shore, the distant strip:
of pine woods, the restless, crawling waters between —
he could almost see the water. But gradually thoughts
and visions intermingled, and almost before he knew it
he had drifted off into the ocean of sleep.
CHAPTER IX
IN VIRGINIA

INCE the capital of Virginia had been removed from
Jamestown to Williamsburg, and since the Gov-
ernor’s palace and the Government House had been
established there, it had become the center of fashion
in the colony. Just now the Court was in session, and
the Council sitting, and Governor Spottiswood was hold-
ing court every Thursday.

The day was rather close and warm, but there was an
unusually large representation of the provincial aris-
tocracy present. It was still not late in the afternoon,
but there had already been a good many arrivals, and
the gabbling sound of talking filled the assembly room.
The Governor, where he stood at the end of the room,
was the center of a group of gentlemen who were clus-
tered about him and in his immediate vicinity. It was
almost difficult for one to get past them to pay respect
to his Excellency. A group, perhaps, would move a
little aside to make way for newly arriving ladies and
gentlemen, but such as were now coming in could only
get to the Governor with a sense of discomfort and of
being crowded. In parts of the room more distant from
the Governor the talk was, perhaps, more of social
matters, but near his Excellency the knots of men dis-
cussed things relating to colonial affairs.

Just then the talk was about a renewed trouble with
pirates, who had begun again to infest the mouth of the
bay and the North Carolina sounds.

5

65
66 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

It was just about this time that Blackbeard had
broken his pardon and was again stopping vessels sail-
ing between Virginia and the Carolinas.

The Pearl and the Lyme, ships of war, were then
lying at Jamestown, and some of the officers had come
over to pay their respects at the palace. Some of them
were standing near listening to Councillor Page, who
was just then speaking of the latest depredations of
Blackbeard. “He was lying down at Ocracock,” said
Mr. Page. “TI had a sloop coming from the Tar River
with some shingle thatch for my new warehouse. Well,
the villains stopped her and came aboard of her. They
overhauled her cargo, and I do believe if they ’d known
*t was for me they would have thrown it all overboard.
But Williams said naught about that, and so they did
not know whose ’t was. There was nothing on board’
to serve the villains’ turn, and they might just as well
have let the sloop go; but no, there that wretch, Black-
beard, held her for nearly two days, so that she might
not give the alarm of his being there to any in-coming
vessels. Williams—he was the captain of my sloop—
Williams said that while he was lying there under the
pirates’ guns, he himself saw Blackbeard stop and levy
upon some nine vessels of different sorts, rummaging
all over their cargoes. He said it was chiefly rum and
cloth the villain was after. Williams said that ’t was
reported the villains held every boat that came through
the inlet, and would neither let them go in nor come
out, but made ’em all lie at anchor under his guns.
He hath two armed sloops now and a crew altogether
of some forty or sixty men, and twice or thrice as many
more to call upon if he chooses.”

“Lieutenant Maynard, of the Lyme, was standing by,
listening to the talk.

“Why, zounds!” said he, “ Why then do you people
here in the provinces put up with such a rascal as this
IN VIRGINIA 67

Teach or Blackbeard or what-ye-call-him? I ’d blow
him out of the water, were I in his Excellency’s place.
Aye, I would fit out an expedition and send it down
there and blow the villain clean out of the water and
have done with him.”

“What was that?” said the Governor, turning around
smiling toward the speaker. “Tut, tut! Lieutenant,
that shows how little you men of war know about
civil affairs. How could I, as Governor of Virginia, fit
out an expedition and send it down into North Caro-
lina. Ocracock is under Governor Hden’s jurisdiction,
not under mine, and ’t is his place to move against pi-
rates in the waters of his own province. They ’re inland
waters, and under the jurisdiction of North Carolina.”

“Well, your Excellency,” said Lieutenant Maynard,
“to be sure I know naught about the law, and only
about fighting. But if a villain stood at my neighbor's
door and stopped my own people from coming out and
going in upon my business, and robbed them, By
Zounds! your Excellency, I would have it out with
him, even if I had to chase him into my neighbor's
house to do it.” The Governor laughed, and the little
group around him joined in the laughter. Then his
Excellency turned again to meet some new-comers who
made their way toward him through the circle sur-
rounding him. ,

“T do declare,” said Mr. Dillworth, “methinks Gov-
ernor Eden of North Carolina is as bad as ever was
Fletcher of New York at his worst times. ’I was
through this Blackbeard that poor Ned Parker was
murdered—the first young gentleman of Virginia. ’T is
currently known everywhere—and yet Eden grants the
villain the King’s pardon as soon as he asks for it.
T is said his Excellency — Eden, I mean —has more
than once had his share of the booty that the pirates
have taken. Why, would you believe it, the villain
68 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pirate was only last year up here at Norfolk, coming
and going as he pleased, carrying his Majesty’s pardon
in his pocket and flaunting it in the eyes of everybody.
Well, if ever we catch him, now he hath broken his
pardon, ’t will be a short enough shrift he ‘ll get of it,
Ill promise him.”

“How is Colonel Parker now?” asked Mr. Page.

“He ’s about well now,” said Mr. Cartwright, a cousin
of Colonel Parker’s. ‘Iwas at Marlborough last week,
and his gout seems to have fairly left him.”

“Methinks he hath never been the same man since
poor Master Ned was murdered,” said Mr. Dillworth. “T
never saw anybody so broken by trouble as he was
at that time.”

“His daughter, Miss Nelly, is a great beauty, I hear,”
said Lieutenant Maynard.

“The girl is well enough,” said Mr. Cartwright briefly.

A group of some half dozen ladies and two gentlemen
were gathered at one of the open windows, into which
the warm air blew widely. One of the gentlemen was
Mr. Harry Oliver, a young man about eighteen years
old. He wore his own hair curled and hanging to his
shoulders, and he put it back with his hand every now
and then as he talked. He showed his white teeth when.
he smiled, and his large, dark eyes moved restlessly
hither and thither.

‘Yonder comes Dick Parker,” said he suddenly.

“Why, so it is,” said Miss Peggy Oliver. They all
looked toward the new comer. “ Upon my word,” she
continued, “he is a man I can’t abide for the life of
me. As proud, haughty a man asever I saw. He turns.
me to a block of ice whenever I am near him, and I
can’t find a word to say for myself.”

“Why, Peggy,” said Oliver, “that, then, must be why
you can’t abide him,” and thereupon the group broke
into a laugh.
IN VIRGINIA 69

Mr. Richard Parker, who had just come into the
room, was standing quietly waiting to speak to the
Governor. He did not try to push his way through the
circle that surrounded his Excellency, and for a while
nobody saw him. His handsome, florid face, surrounded
by a fine powdered wig, looked calmly and steadily in
the direction of the Governor. He stood quite impassive,
waiting an opportunity to go forward when he would
not have to push his way through the crowd. Presently
some one saw him and spoke to the others, and they
made way for him almost as with deference. He went
forward calmly and paid his respects in a few brief
words. He spoke with the Governor for a little while,
or rather the Governor spoke to him, and he replied.
All the time the Governor was speaking, Mr. Parker
was looking steadily and composedly around the room,
glancing back toward his interlocutor every now and
then to reply. Presently there was a pause, and then
at last Mr. Richard Parker bowed and withdrew to a
little distance.

“Why, only look at him now,” said Peggy Oliver,
“even his Excellency is not good enough for him.”

“Well, to be sure, Peggy,” said one of the elder
ladies, “if Mr. Parker is proud, he hath enough to
make him proud when you think what a great man of
fashion he hath been in his day. "I is not every man
who hath had the luck to be a friend of the Duke of
Marlborough. ’I is a wonder to me that he should ever
have come here to the provinces, seeing what a great
man of fashion he was at home in England.”

The two gentlemen burst out laughing. “ Why,” said
Will Costigan, “for that matter, ’t was Hobson’s
choice betwixt Virginia or the debtor’s prison, madam.”

“They say old Dunmore Parker when he was alive
used to send a fortune every year to England for him
to spend,” said one of the ladies. “Tom told me t’ other
70 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

day that he one time played a game of piquet for four
days on end. "I was with a Frenchman; a nobleman
—TI forget his name — who was a prisoner at Malpla-
quet. Indeed it must have been mightily hard upon
him after his father died to find that all the estate, ex-
cept the Dunmore Plantation, was left to his brother.”

Just then Mr. Parker approached the group and
the talk ceased. He nodded to Oliver and then passed
by and stood at a little distance looking about him.
Presently Harry Oliver edged over toward him. “How
d’ ye do, Parker,” said he.

Mr. Parker turned his eyes toward the young man
with an answering “ How d’ ye do, Oliver.”

There was a moment’s pause. “That’s a prodigious
handsome piece of lace you ’ve got there, Parker,” said
the young man, looking at Mr. Parker’s cravat.

‘OT is good enough,” said Mr. Parker briefly.

“Ts it Flemish?”

“Yes, sir.”

“We don’t come across any such lace as that here in
Virginia,” said the young man.

“Don’t you?”

Oliver stood for a while in silence. Almost uncon-
sciously he assumed somewhat of the older man’s man-
ner, standing with his hands behind him and looking
indifferently around the room. “ Tell me, Parker,” said
he, “do you go down to Parrot’s to-morrow ?”

Again Mr. Parker looked slowly toward him. “To
Parrot’s?” said he. “What d’ ye mean?”

“Why, have you not heard?” exclaimed the young
man eagerly, glad to have found something that prom-
ised to interest the other. ‘“ Why, to-morrow there ’s
to be fought seven as fine mains as ever were pitted
in Virginia. There are to be six mains fought between
the Gentlemen of Surry and the Gentlemen of Prince
George’s. Will Costigan yonder hath brought his red
IN VIRGINIA 71

cock over from t’ other side of the Bay. The bird hath
been all the talk for six months past. He offers to pit
it against the winner of all themains. I heard say, too,
that Ned Williamson purposes to bring down a three-
year horse that he hath broke, and will run it in the
afternoon, perhaps, against Tom Lawson’s Duke of
Norfolk.”

Mr. Parker listened impassively. “TI had not heard
anything about it,” said he; “I only came down yester-
day. What time do you go down to Parrot’s?” he
asked presently.

“To-morrow morning. I’m going to stay at my uncle
Tom’s over night. Will you go along?”

“Why,” said Mr. Parker, “I hadn’t thought of it be-
fore. Maybe I will go.”

“T start in the morning,” said Oliver, eagerly; “T ‘ll
come over for you if you ’ll go.”

“Very well,” said Mr. Parker, “you can come over,
and if I find I can, Ill go with you. Is not that Mis-
tress Denham and her daughter coming into the room?”

Then Mr. Parker moved away across the room to
speak to the two Maryland ladies.

It was early twilight of the next evening when Mr.
Richard Parker and Harry Oliver rode up to Parrot’s
house. The house itself was the largest of a cluster of
unpainted frame buildings that stood just beyond a
clearing, overlooking the bay from a low, sandy bluff.
A number of outbuildings and sheds surrounded it to
the rear. Three pine trees stood not far from the low
porch that sheltered the doorway, and a dozen or more
horses stood clustered around the shaggy resinous
trunks. Near by them lounged a group of men, black
and white, talking together with now and then the
break of a laugh. They fell silent, and some of them
took off their hats as Mr. Parker and Mr. Oliver rode
72 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

up to the door and alighted. Mr. Oliver nodded in
reply, but Mr. Parker paid no attention to any one.
“Where is Parrot?” asked the younger man.

“He ’s inside, Mr. Oliver,” answered one of the group.
“They were at cards awhile ago, sir, and I reckon they
be at it yet.”

The two gentlemen went directly into the house.
Tom Parrot’s wife met them in the hallway, where was
a scattered heap of hats and riding coats. From the
room to one side came the deep sound of men talking,
and then a sudden outburst of voices. “I be mortal
proud to see ye, gentlemen,” said Mrs. Parrot, dropping
them a courtesy. “Indeed, Mr. Parker, you do honor
us in coming. You’ll find Tom and the gentlemen in
yonder.”

“You go ahead, Oliver,” said Mr. Parker.

Another loud burst of voices greeted the two as they
entered the room, so dense with tobacco smoke that at
first they could see nothing at all. The room was full
of the smell of rum. A great bowl of punch stood on
the side-table, and there was a continual tinkle and
jingle of glasses. Tom Parrot pushed back his chair
noisily and rose to meet the new comers. He was a
little stout man with a red face. It was redder than
ever now, and bedewed with drops of sweat. He had
laid aside his wig, and his bald head glistened with
moisture. He wore no coat, his waistcoat was opened,
and his breeches loosened at the waistband. He wiped
his face and head with his shirt sleeve as he spoke.
“Why, Mr. Parker,” said he, “who’d a-thought to see
you! You be mighty welcome, Mr. Parker. Won’t you
take a hand at the game, sir? Tim (to the negro), push
up that there chair for Mr. Parker. Fetch a clean glass
and fill it with punch. You know all the gentlemen
here, don’t you, Mr. Parker?” And then he stopped
abruptly as though struck by a sudden thought.
IN VIRGINIA 73

Mr. Richard Parker looked briefly around the table.
He did know, at least by sight, all who were there but
one. That one was a stranger to him; a tall man
with a long, thick, perfectly black beard tied into a
knot with a piece of string. His thick, black hair was
parted in the middle and brushed smoothly down upon
either side of his head, and was trimmed squarely all
around his neck. The locks at his temple were plaited
into long strings, that hung down in front of his ears,
in which twinkled a pair of gold ear-rings. His face
was tanned by exposure to a leathery russet, but deep-
ened to a bricky red in his cheeks. At the name of
Parker the stranger had looked up sharply for an in-
stant, and then had looked down again at the cards
he was in the act of shuffling. A sudden hush as of
expectancy had fallen upon the room. Everybody was
looking attentively at Mr. Parker and at the stranger.

“Who is your friend yonder, Parrot?” asked Mr.
Parker, “TI don’t know him.”

“Him?” said Parrot, “why, he’s no more a friend
of mine than he is a friend of all the rest of us, Mr.
Parker.”

Seeing the other’s hesitation, the stranger spoke up
boldly and loudly. “My name is Teach,” said he,
“Captain Teach, and I hail from North Carolina. It’s
like enough you ’ve heard of me before, as I ’ve heard
of you, sir. Well, then, I’m glad to make your acquaint-
ance, Mr. Parker.” He reached a brown, hairy hand
across the table toward Mr. Richard Parker, looking
up at him as he did so with the most impudent cool-
ness and steadiness. Mr. Richard Parker made no sign
of having recognized the stranger’s name. He and the
pirate seemed to be the only self-possessed men in the
room. He calmly ignored the proffered hand, but said
in a perfectly equal voice: “Why, then, I.am obliged
to you for telling me who you are,” and then coolly
74. JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and composedly took his seat. “ What game do you
play, Parrot?” said he.

“Why, Mr. Parker,” said Parrot eagerly, “’t is lan-
terloo, and Captain Teach is holding the bank just
now. Will you take a hand, sir?”

By midnight the bowl of punch had been emptied
and filled, and emptied again, and at times the uproar
was stunning. Mr. Richard Parker had laid aside his
coat and unbuttoned his waistcoat. His shirt was
opened at his handsome, round throat, and the sweat
trickled down his smooth red neck. ‘“ Harkee now,
Captain Teach,” he called across the table in a loud,
rather hoarse, voice, ‘I know very well who you are,
you bloody villain! You ’re a bloody pirate, d’ ye’
hear?”

The other glowered with tipsy truculence back at
him for a moment or two in silence. ‘ You can’t prove
me pirate, Mr. Dick Parker,” said he at last, ‘and no
man can prove me pirate now. Maybe I am a pirate
and maybe I ’m none, but how can you prove I’m a
pirate ?”

Mr. Parker’s flaming face did not change a shade in
the heavy haughtiness of its expression. “A pirate
you are,” said he, “and what ’s more, you ’re at your
tricks again. I’ve heard all about you, and I know all
about you, d’ ye see? Well, you ’ve been losing at
your cards all night, Mr. Pirate. You may do well
enough in your villainy afloat, stabbing poor coasting
captains and murdering young gentlemen of blood
like my nephew Ned, but what a poor figure do you
make ashore when you try your luck with the gentle-
men at play. See what I ’ve won of you! Look ’ee
now, sirrah, I ‘ll play you a game of hazard man to
man, and clear you out o’ all you have left if you dare
to play me.”
IN VIRGINIA 15

“Dare! Why should I not dare to play you, Dick
Parker? D’ ye think I’m afeard of you? Ill play
you as long as ye can see. Why not?”

Harry Oliver pushed back his chair and rose. He
came rather unsteadily to where Mr. Parker sat.
‘Don’t do it, Dick,” said he, thickly. “ Don’t you play
that man. He’s a bloody villain, Dick, and ’t is n’t fit
you should play him. D’ ye forget what everybody
knows, and that he had a hand in Ned’s death ?”

“Sit down, Oliver!” the other replied, wiping his
face with his sleeve. “Here, Parrot, clear the table of
these cards and hand the dice over here. There’s your
cup, you villain!” and he tossed the box across the table.
‘“‘ And now set your stakes and throw your cast.”

Everybody gathered around the two to watch the
game, and for a while nothing was heard but the rattle
and fall of the dice. At first the luck ran all in Mr. Par-
ker’s favor, and Teach’s face grew blacker and blacker.
Then suddenly fortune changed, and in a little while
- the winner had lost everything he had gained. Again
and again he threw, and again and again he lost. He
played more and more desperately, and his opponent
grinned at every cast.

“Don’t play any more, Parker!” cried Harry Oliver.
“Your luck ’s against you, and you ’ve lost too
much already.” But the other only pushed him aside
with his elbow, and gathered up the dice with trembling
fingers. At last he dashed down the dice and box
furiously, and thereupon Captain Teach burst out
laughing. “And have ye had enough?” he exulted
hoarsely.

Mr. Parker stared haughtily at him without deigning
any reply. ‘Did you order out the horses, Oliver?”
he said, pushing back his chair and rising.

“Yes, I did. They ’re waiting outside now, and
have been this hour.”
76 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Then, come along, let us go; ’t is nearly morning
now.”

The moon, nearing its last quarter, hung in the east
like a flattened globe of white light. The air was chill:
and smelt rank of marsh and woodland. The mocking
birds were singing in ceaseless medley from the inky-
black thickets beyond. Blackbeard followed the two
gentlemen as they came out of the house. ‘“ And when
may I look for you to settle your losses, Mr. Parker?”
said he.

“Tl talk with you to-morrow,” said Mr. Parker, as
he set his foot in the stirrup.

“But you ll give me some written obligation of some
sort, won’t you?”

“T tell you, sirrah, I ll talk with you to-morrow. Do
you hear me? To-morrow.” And then the two gentle-
men rode away into the night, leaving the other stand-
ing looking after them.
CHAPTER X
INTO BONDAGE

T was the morning after the arrival at Yorktown.
Jack was awake and up on deck bright and early.
The sun had just risen upon a clear and cloudless day,
and the brisk, fresh wind drove the crisp waves splash-
ing against the brig as she rode at anchor. The foli-
age of the trees on shore whitened to the breeze, and
the smoke blew sharply away here and there from some
tall brick chimney. The town looked fresh and strangely
new inthe brightness of the morning. Three of the
vessels that had lain in the harbor over night were get-
ting under way. The yo-hoeing of the sailors, and the
creaking and rattling of block and tackle, as the sails
rose higher and higher apeak, sounded sharp and clear
across the water. One large schooner, heeling over be-
fore the wind, slid swiftly and silently past the Arwn-
del. Three or four sailors, clustered along the rail, were
looking over toward the Arundel as they passed the
brig, but the man at the helm —he wore a red woolen
monteray cap — gazed out steadily ahead, stooping a
little so as to see under the boom of the mainsail.
Several of the redemptioners had come up on deck;
one or two of them, doubtless remembering the tumult
and disorder of the night before, wore a hang-dog doubt-
ful look. Suddenly Jack saw the mate coming toward
them from aft. ‘“ What are ye doing up here on deck?”
he called out. “Were n’t you ordered below last night ?
Very well then, you go down below now, and don’t ye
U7
78 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

come up till you ’re sent for; @ ye hear?” The men,
though sullen and lowering, had no thought of dis-
obeying the mate’s orders, and Jack, with the others,
climbed down the ladder into the forecastle again.

It was well toward the middle of the day, and Jack
was lounging in his berth, when Dred suddenly ap-
peared in the steerage. He stood looking silently
around for a moment or two, and then, seeing Jack,
beckoned to him. Dred did not speak until they were
out in the forecastle. “The agent ’s come from shore
to take you all off, lad,” said he; “he ’s with Captain
Butts in the cabin now, and in a minute or two you ’ll
be sent for.”

“To take us ashore?” said Jack. A sudden, keen
pang gripped his heart, followed instantly by an utter
falling away of the spirits, that left him almost physi-
cally weak. “To take us ashore?” Had the time then
come at last?

“* Aye,” said Dred, “ye ’ve got to go ashore now, lad.
But sit you down there a bit,” and he pointed to a sea-
chest. “I’ve a notion to try and tidy ye upa bit. I
don’t choose to have ye looking like they riff-raff,” and
he jerked his head toward the steerage. ‘Dye see, we
two ha’ been mates, ha’ n’t we?” He had taken out his
gunny-bag, and he now brought out of it his needle and
thread. He looked up at Jack from under his brows
and then looked away again. Jack did not return the
look but sat with dry and choking throat, his breath
coming hot and heavy from him. “ Well, then,” said
Dred, “seeing as we ’re mess-mates, I won’t have ye going
ashore looking like nothing but trash. Give me your
_ coat and waistcoat.” He had threaded his needle and
waxed the thread deftly. Jack stripped off his coat and
waistcoat, and without a word Dred began mending the
frayed and tattered edges of the waistcoat. Jack sat
silently in his shirt-sleeves watching him. He knew
INTO BONDAGE 79

that Dred was talking for the sake of talking. He felt
almost stifled with his hot and labored breathing as he
sat watching the other’s busy fingers.

“There, that looks betterish,” said Dred, holding the
waistcoat off and looking at it, still carefully avoiding
Jack’s eyes as he did so. “ Here, take it,” and he tossed
it to Jack. “And now for the coat. I be a wonderful
man at mending clothes, be n’t 1? Lord! what a hole is
here, to be sure.” There was a long time of silence,
Dred busily sewing away at the coat. “There,” said
he at last, “what @’ ye think of that for a bit of mend-
ing? Well, well, lad, the time comes to all on us to part
some time, so what matters it soon or late? Harkee,
Jack; don’t you go making trouble for yourself. You
be a good boy, and you ‘Il be treated well enough, I
dare say. You ’re mightily young yet, and five or six
year won’t matter so much to you, and then think o’
what a deal you ‘Il see in that time.” He was talking
very briskly, meantime putting away the needle and
thread neatly.

Five years! Jack stood watching Dred fumbling in
his gunny-bag. Presently he fetched out a pair of yarn
stockings. “Here, put these on,” said he, “the ones
you got be all full of holes. Give ’em to me.”

Jack did not dare to trust himself to speak. He be-
gan dumbly changing his stockings, Dred standing over
him.

Suddenly the boatswain appeared at the companion-
way of the forecastle, and piped all hands up on deck.
Jack and Dred went up together. Captain Butts and
the agent were standing waiting for the men, the agent
holding a little packet of papers in his hand. Jack, in
a glance, saw that the agent was a tall, lean man dressed
in rusty black, wearing a long, black coat, and with the
flaps of his hat tied up with leather thongs. His lips
moved as he counted the redemptioners, one by one,
80 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

as they came up out of the companion-way and were

formed in a line before him by the boatswain. A great,

flat boat, rowed by four negroes and with a white man

in the stern, had been made fast to the side of the brig.

“Nineteen, twenty —that ’s all of ’em, Captain,” — the

agent had counted Jack in with the others, —“ and very

lucky you ’ve been with ’em. Now, Bo’s’n, get ’em’
down as soon as you can.”

‘“ Aye, aye, sir,” said the boatswain; and then to the
men, “ Now then, look alive, my hearties, and don’t
take all day about it!”

Then, suddenly, Jack went straight up to where the
agent stood. “Sir,” said he, hoarsely, “I have been
ill-used. I was knocked down and kidnapped, and
brought away from home against my will. Will you
not listen to me and hear what I have to say ?”

“Hold your noise!” roared the captain.

“No, I won’t, neither,” said Jack. He did not expect
much, indeed he felt that he had no hope of escape, but
still the effort was worth making. He stood chokingly
looking at the agent, and he felt that his heart was
beating very heavily within him.

“T don’t know anything about what you say,” said
the agent. “The bill calls for twenty men shipped from
Southampton, and your name must be among them.
What’s your name?”

“ Jack Ballister.”

“Yes, here ’t is—John Ballister— shipped for five
years. If there is something wrong, you ll have to hold
Captain Butts and Mr. Hezekiah Tipton to answer. I’m
only an agent, and ’t is none of my business.”

“T wish I had ye for a couple of days longer,” said
Captain Butts, “I’d answer ye, I would. I’d put my
answer upon your back, I would, afore I let ye go.”

“But Master Hezekiah Tipton is my own uncle,” said
Jack.
INTO BONDAGE 81

“T don’t know anything about that,” said the agent,
““T is none of my business.”

Jack did not say another word. He crossed the deck,
hardly knowing what he was doing, and climbed down
into the boat, where the other transports were already
seating themselves. A moment or two, and the agent
followed, and then immediately the boat was cast loose.
As it pulled away toward the shore, Jack gave one look
back across the widening stretch of water. It was almost
like a dream; it seemed to him as though that which was
passing was not really happening to him. Dred’s red
handkerchief gleamed like a flame against the blue
sky as he stood on the rail looking after the departing
boat. Then Jack turned his face quickly away. He
could not trust himself to look again, lest he should
break down before all the boat-full of men.

A little scattered cluster of men stood upon the wharf
waiting for the flat boat as it drew nearer and nearer,
and when it struck the piling with a bump half a dozen
willing hands caught the line that was thrown them
and made it fast. Jack scrambled with the others to
the wharf under the curious gaze of those who stood
looking on. They were formed into a line, two by two,
and then marched down the wharf toward the shore.
The loungers followed them scatteringly. Beyond
the wharf they crossed a narrow strip of beach, and
climbed a sloping, sandy road cut through the high
bluff. At the crest they came out upon a broad,
grassy street, upon which fronted the straggling houses,
one or two built of brick, but most of them unpainted
frame-structures, with tall, sharp-pointed roofs and out-
' side chimneys of brick. A curious smoky smell per-
vaded the air. People stood at their doors looking at
Jack and his companions as they marched two by two
down the center of the dusty street.

So at last they reached and were halted in front

6
82 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

of a large brick warehouse. Then the agent opened
the door, and they entered. Within it was perfectly
empty, and smelt damp and earthy from disuse. The
board floor was sunken unevenly, and the plaster was
broken from the walls here. and there in great patches.
The two windows, which looked upon the rear of the
adjoining houses, were barred across with iron. Jack
heard his companions talking together. “ Well, Jack,”
said Sim Tucker, “here we be at last.”

Jack sometimes wondered whether the two days that
followed passed very quickly or very slowly. Food was
sent over three times a day to the warehouse by the
agent, and twice a day all hands were allowed to walk
about for a few minutes in a little yard back of the
building. It seemed to him that he slept nearly all the
rest of the time, except now and then when he stood on
an empty box looking out of one of the windows. The
windows overlooked a yard and a shed, beyond the roof
of which was a cluster of trees, and beyond that again
two tall chimneys. Nearly always there were pigeons
onthe roof of the shed. Now and then there was the
noise of their clapping flight, but the gurgling coo of the
strutting males sounded almost continuously through
the warm silence.

About eleven o’clock of the third day, they were
brought out of the store-house, formed into line in front
of the building, and then marched away in the hot sun
down the street about a hundred yards to the custom-
house. Jack saw a lounging, scattered crowd of men
there gathered in a little group, and he guessed that
that was where they were to be sold.
~ The agent and the auctioneer stood by a horse-block
talking together in low tones as the man who had
marched Jack and the others down from the warehouse
formed them in line against the wall of the building.




So

“tnow TH



HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS BOY?

EMEN,

GENTL

EN,

”

E AUCTIONEER,

H

SAID T
INTO BONDAGE 83

The agent held a slip of paper in his hand, which he
referred to every now and then. At last the auctioneer
mounted upon the horse-block.

“Gentlemen,” Jack heard him say, “I have now to
offer as fine a lot of servants as hath ever been brought
to Virginia. There be only twenty, gentlemen, but
every one choice and desirable. Which is the first one
you have upon your list, Mr. Quillen?” said he, turning
to the agent.

The agent referred to a slip of paper he held in his
hand. “Sam Dawson,” he called out in a loud voice.
“Step out, Sam Dawson!” and in answer to the sum-
mons a big, lumbering man, with a heavy brow and
dull face, stepped out from the line and stood beside
the horse-block.
“Thisis Sam Dawson, gentlemen,” said the auctioneer,

‘addressing the crowd. “He hath no trade, but he is a
first-rate, healthy fellow and well fitted for the tobacco
fields. He is to be sold for five years.”

“They ’re all to be sold for five years,” said the agent.

“You have heard, gentlemen,” said the auctioneer —
“they ’re all to be sold for five years. This is a fine big
fellow. How much have I bid for him? How much?
Ten pounds is bid for his time—ten pounds is bid,
gentlemen! I have ten pounds. Now I have twelve
pounds! Now I have fifteen pounds!”

In a minute the price had run up to twenty pounds,
and then a voice said quietly: “I will give you twenty-
five pounds for the man.”

“Mr. Simms bids twenty-five pounds for the man’s
time in behalf of Colonel Birchall Parker,” said the
salesman. “Have I any more bids for him?” But Mr.
Simme’s bid seemed to close the sale, for no one appeared
to care to bid against him.

Jack had been so dazed and bewildered by coming
out from the dark and chill warehouse into the sunlight
84 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and life, that~he had scarcely noticed anything very
particularly. Now he looked up at the man who had
bought Sam Dawson’s time, and saw that he was a stout,
red-faced, plain-looking man, dressed very handsomely
in snuff-colored clothes. As Jack wondered who he
was, another man was called out from the line of ser-
vants. Again the bids had run up to ten or twelve
pounds, and then again Mr. Simms made a bid of
twenty-five pounds, and once more no one bid against
- him. Another man and another man were sold, and
then Jack heard his own name. —

“ Jack Ballister!” called the agent. “Stand out, boy,
and be quick about it!” and Jack mechanically ad-
vanced from the others and took his place beside the
block, looking around him, as he did so, at the circle of
faces fronting him and all staring at him. His mouth
felt very dry, and his heart was beating and pounding |
heavily. ‘Here is a fine, good boy, gentlemen,” said the
salesman. “ Heis only sixteen years old, but he will do
well as a serving or waiting-man in some gentleman’s
house who hath need of such. He hath education, and
reads and writes freely. Also, as you may see for your-
selves, gentlemen, he is strong and well built. A lively
boy, gentlemen—a good, lively boy! Come, boy, run to
yonder post and back, and show the gentlemen how
brisk ye be.”

Jack, although he heard the words, looked dumbly at
the speaker. “D’ ye hear me!” said the agent. “Do
as I bid ye; run to yonder post and back!”

Then Jack did so. It seemed to him as though he
were running in a nightmare. As he returned to his
place he heard the agent saying: “The boy is strong,
but doth not show himself off as well as he might. But
he is a good boy, as you may see for yourselves.” The
next thing he knew was that Mr. Simms had bought
him for twenty pounds.
CHAPTER XI
MARLBOROUGH

ARLBOROUGH was the house of Colonel Birch-

all Parker. It was in its day, perhaps, the finest
house in Virginia, not even excepting the Governor’s
palace at Williamsburgh. It stood upon the summit of
a slope of the shore rising up from the banks of the
James River. The trees in front nearly hid the house
from the river as you passed, but the chimneys and the
roof stood up above the foliage, and you caught a
glimpse of the brick fagade, and of the elaborate door-
way, through an opening in the trees, where the path led
up from the landing-place to the hall door. The main
house was a large two-storied building capped by a tall,
steep roof. From the center. building long wings
reached out to either side, terminating at each end in a
smaller building or office standing at right angles to its
wing, and, together with the main house, inclosing on
three sides a rather shaggy, grassy lawn. From the
front you saw nothing of the servants’ quarters or out-
buildings (which were around to the rear of the house),
but only the imposing facade with its wings and offices.
Now it was early morning; Colonel Birchall Parker
had arisen, and his servant was shaving him. He sat
by the open window in his dressing-gown, and with
slippers on his feet. His wig, a voluminous mass of
finely curled black hair, hung from the block ready for

him to put on. The sunlight came in at the open win-
85
86 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

dow, the warm mellow breeze just stirring the linen
curtains drawn back to either side and bringing with
it the multitudinous sounds of singing birds from the
thickets beyond the garden. The bed-clothes were
thrown off from a mountainously high bed, and the
wooden steps, down which Colonel Parker had a little
while before descended from his couch to the bare
floor, were still standing beside the curtained bedstead.
The room had all the confused look of having just been
slept in.

Colonel Parker held the basin under his chin while
the man shaved him. He had a large, benevolent face,
the smooth double chin just now covered with a white
mass of soap-suds. As he moved his face a little to one
side to receive the razor he glanced out of the open
window. “I see the schooner is come back again,
Robin,” said he.

“Yes, your honor,” said the man, “it came back last
night.”

“Were there any letters?”

“T don’t know, your honor; the schooner came in
about midnight, and Mr. Simms is not about yet.”. The
man wiped the razor as he spoke and began whetting
it to a keener edge. “Mr. Richard came up with the
schooner, your honor,” said he.

“Did he?”

“Yes, your honor, and Mr. Simms fetched up a lot of
new servants with him. They ’re quartered over in the
empty store-house now. Will your honor turn your
face a little this way?”

The noises of newly awakened life were sounding
clear and distinct through the uncarpeted wainscoted
spaces of the house—the opening and shutting of
doors, the sound of voices, and now and then a break
of laughter.

The great hall and the side rooms opening upon it,
MARLBOROUGH 87

when Colonel Parker came down-stairs, were full of
that singularly wide, cool, new look that the beginning
of the morning always brings to accustomed scenes.
Mr. Richard Parker, who had been down from his room
some time, was standing outside upon the steps in the
fresh, open air. He turned as Colonel Parker came out
of the doorway. “ Well, brother Richard,” said Colonel
Parker, “I am glad to see you; I hope you are well?”

“Thank you, sir,” said the other, bowing, but without
any change in his expression. “I hope you are in
good health, sir?”

“Why, yes,” said Colonel Parker, “I believe I have
naught to complain of now.” He came out further
upon the steps, and stood at a little distance, with his
hands clasped behind him, looking now up into the
sky, now down the vista between the trees and across
the river.

There was a sound of fresh young voices echoing
through the upper hall, then the noise of laughter, and
presently the sound of rapid feet running down the un-
carpeted stairway. Then Eleanor Parker burst out of
the house in a gale, caught her father by the coat, and
standing on her tip-toes, kissed both of his cheeks in
rapid succession.

Two young girl visitors and a young man of sixteen
or seventeen followed her out of the house, the girls
demurely, the young man with somewhat of diffidence
in the presence of Mr. Richard Parker.

“My dear,” said Colonel Parker, “do you not then
see your uncle?”

“Why, to be sure I do,” said she, “but how could
you expect me to see anybody until I had first kissed
you. How do you do, Uncle Richard?” and she offered
him her cheek to kiss.

Mr. Richard Parker smiled, but, as he always did, as
though with an effort. “Why, zounds, Nell!” said he,
88 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“sure you grow prettier every day; how long do you
suppose ’t will be before you set all the gentlemen in the
colony by the ears? If I were only as young as Rod-
ney, yonder, I ’d be almost sorry to be your uncle, ex-
cept I would then not have the right to kiss your cheek
as I have just done.”

The young girl blushed and laughed, with a flash of
her eyes and a sparkle of white teeth between her red.
lips. “Why, Uncle Richard,” said she, “and in that
case, if you were as handsome a man as you are now,
I too would be sorry to have you for nothing better
than an uncle.” :

Just then a negro appeared at the door and an-
nounced that breakfast was ready, and they all went
into the house.

Mistress Parker, or Madam Parker, as she was
generally called, followed by her negro maid carrying
a cushion, met them as they entered the hall. The
three younger gentlemen bowed profoundly, and Madam
Parker sank almost to the floor in a courtesy equally
elaborate.

She was a thin little woman, very nervous and quick
in her movements. She had a fine, sensitive face, and,
like her daughter, very dark eyes, only they were quick
and brilliant, and not soft and rich like those of the
young girl.

The morning was very warm, and so, after breakfast
was over, the negroes carried chairs out upon the lawn
under the shade of the trees at some little distance
from the house. The wide red-brick front of the build-
ing looked down upon them where they sat, the elder
gentlemen smoking each a long clay pipe of tobacco,
while Madam Parker sat with them talking intermit-
tently. The young people chatted together in subdued
voices at a little distance, with now and then a half-
suppressed break of laughter.
MARLBOROUGH 89

“T hear, brother Richard,” said Colonel Parker, “ that
Simms brought up a lot of servants from Yorktown.”

“Yes,” said Mr. Parker, “there were about twenty.
altogether, I believe. And that brings a matter into
my mind. There was one young fellow I would like
very much to have if you can spare him to me—a boy
of about sixteen or seventeen. I have no house-servant
since Tim died, and so, if you have a mind to part with
this lad, sir, I’d like mightily well to have him.”

“Why, brother Richard,” said Colonel Parker, “if
Simms hath no use for the boy I see no reason why you
should not have him. What hath Simms done with
him?”

“He is with the other servants over at the old store-
house, I believe, sir; Simms had them sent there last
night. May TI send for the lad, that you may see him?”

“T should be glad to see him,” said Colonel Parker.

Jack had come up from Yorktown packed with the
other servants in the hold of the schooner. The hatch
was tilted to admit some light and air, but he could see
nothing of whither he was being taken, and his only
sense of motion was in the slant of the vessel, the wind,
and the rippling gurgle of the water alongside.

He had been wakened from a deep sleep to be
marched past a clustering group of darkly black trees,
across a grassy stretch of lawn, in the silent and pro-
foundly starry night, to a brick building into which he
and his companions were locked, as they had been
locked in the old warehouse at. Yorktown.

Now, as he followed the negro through the warm,
bright sunlight, he gazed about him, half bewildered
with the newness of everything, yet with an intense
and vivid interest. He had seen really nothing of Marl-
borough as he had been marched up from the landing
place at midnight with his companions the night before.
90 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

As the negro led him around the end of the building,
he gazed up curiously at the wide brick front. Then
he saw that there was a party of ladies and gentlemen
sitting in the shade across the lawn. He followed the
negro as the other led him straight toward the group,
and then he halted at a little distance, not knowing just
what was expected of him.

Mr. Richard Parker beckoned to him. “Come hither,
boy,” said he, “this gentleman wants to see you.” Jack
obeyed, trying not to appear ungainly or uncouth in his
movements, and feeling that he did not know just how
to succeed.

“Look up, boy; hold up your head,” said a gentleman
whom he at once knew to be the great Colonel Parker
of whom he had heard —a large, stout, noble-looking
gentleman, with a broad, smooth chin and a diamond
solitaire pinned in the cravat at his throat. As Jack
obeyed he felt rather than saw that a pretty young lady
was standing behind the gentleman’s chair, looking at
him with large, dark eyes. “Where did you come
from?” asked the gentleman.

Jack, with the gaze of everybody upon him, felt shy
of the sound of his own voice. “I came from South-
ampton,” said he.

“Speak up, boy, speak up,” said the gentleman.

“T came from Southampton,” said Jack again, and
this time it seemed to him that his voice was very loud
indeed.

“From Southampton, hey?” said the gentleman. He
looked at Jack very critically for a while in silence.
“Well, brother Richard,” said he at last, “’t is indeed a
well-looking lad, and if Simms hath no special use for
him I will let you have him. How long is he bound
for?”

“Five years,” said Mr. Parker. “They were all bound
for five years. I spoke to Simms about him yesterday,
MARLBOROUGH 91

and he said he could spare him. Simms gave twenty
pounds for him, and I will be willing and glad enough
to pay you that for him.” °

“Tut, tut, brother Richard,” said Colonel Parker,
“ don’t ee to me of paying for him; indeed, I give
him to you very willingly. u

“Then, indeed, sir, I am very much ponecd to you.
You may go now, boy. ” Jack hesitated for a moment,
not knowing clearly if he understood. ‘“ You may go,
I said,” said Mr. Richard Parker again. And then Jack
went away, still accompanied by the negro.

The gloomy interior of the store-house struck chill
upon him as he reéntered it from the brightness and
heat outside, and once more he was conscious of the
dampness and all-pervading earthy smell. The trans-
ports, huddled together, were dull and silent. One or
two of them were smoking, others lay sleeping heavily,
others sat crouching or leaning against the wall doing
nothing—perfectly inert. ‘They hardly looked up as
Jack entered.
CHAPTER XII
DOWN THE RIVER

'T was the next morning that the door of the store-
house in which Jack and his companions were con-
fined was suddenly opened by a white man. He was
a roughly-dressed fellow, with a shaggy beard and with
silver ear-rings in his ears. ‘ Where’s that there boy
of Mr. Richard Parker’s?” said he.
“D’ ye mean me?” said Jack, “I am the only boy

_ here.”

“Why, then, if you are the only boy here, you must
be the one,” said the man with a grin. “Come along
with me,” he added, “and be quick about it.”

“Am I going for good and all?” asked Jack.

“T reckon ye be.”

The other redemptioners had roused themselves
somewhat at the coming of the man and were listening.
““Good-by, Jack,” said one of them, as he was about to
go, and the others took up the words: ‘ Good-by —
good-by, Jack.” “Good-by,” said Jack. He shook
hands with them all, and then he and the man went out
into the bright sunlight.

His conductor led the way down back of the great
house, and past a clustered group of cabins, in front of
which a number of negro children played like monkeys,
half naked and bareheaded, who stopped their antics
and stood in the sun, and watched Jack as he passed,
while some negro women came to the doors and stood
also watching him.

92

*
DOWN THE RIVER 93

“Won't you tell me where I’m going to be taken?”
said Jack, quickening his steps so as to come up along-
side of his conductor.

“Vou ’re going with Mr. Richard Parker,” said the
man. “I reckon he ‘ll be taking you down to the Roost
with him.”

“The Roost?” said Jack, “ and where is the Roost?”

“Why, the Roost is Mr. Parker’s house. It’s some
thirty or forty mile down the river.”

As they were speaking they had come out past a
group of trees at the end of the great house, and upon
the edge of the slope. From where they were they
looked down to the shore of the river, and upon a large
flat-boat with a great square sail that lay at the landing
place, a rod or so away. There was a pile of bags, and
a lot of boxes and bundles of various sorts lying upon
the wharf in the sun. Three or four negro men were
slowly and indolently carrying the bags aboard the
flat-boat.

“ Are we going down the river in that boat?” asked
Jack, as he descended the slope at the heels of the other.

“Yes,” said the man briefly.

On the bank at the end of the wharf was a square
brick building, in the shade of which stood Mr. Simms
and Mr. Parker, the latter smoking a cigarro. Mr.
Simms held in his hand a slip of paper, upon which he
kept the tally of the bags as they were carried aboard.
Jack went out along the wharf, watching the negro men
at work, until Mr. Simms called out: “Get aboard the
boat, young man.” Thereupon he stepped into the
boat, climbing over the seats to the bow, where he
settled himself easily upon some bags of meal, and
whence he watched the slow loading of the boat.

At last everything was taken aboard. “We ’re
all ready now, Mr. Simms,” called out the man who had
brought Jack down from the storehouse.
94 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Mr. Parker and Mr. Simms came down the wharf
together. Mr. Parker stepped aboard the scow, and
immediately it was cast loose and pushed off from the
landing.

“Good-by, Mr. Parker, sir,” called Mr. Simms across
the widening stretch of water, and he lifted his hat as
he spoke. Mr. Parker nodded a brief reply. The boat
drifted farther and farther away with the sweeping
stream as the negro rowers settled themselves in their
places, and Mr. Simms still stood on the wharf look-
ing after them. Then the oars creaked in the row-
locks and the head of the boat came slowly around in
the direction intended. Jack, lying upon and amid the
meal bags, looked out astern. Before him were the
naked, sinewy backs of the eight negro oarsmen, and
away inthe stern sat the white man—he was the
overseer of the North Plantation—and Mr. Parker, who
was just lighting a fresh cigarro. Presently the oars
sounded with a ceaseless chug, chug, in the rowlocks,
and then the overseer left the tiller for a moment and
came forward and trimmed the square, brown sail, that
now swelled out smooth and round with the sweep of
the wind. The rugged, wooded shores crept slowly
past them, and the now distant wharf and brick build-
ings, and the long front of the great house perched
upon the slope, dropped further and further astern.
Then the flat-boat crept around the bend of the river,
and house and wharf were shut off by an intervening
point of land.

Jack could not but feel the keen novelty of it all.
~ The sky was warm and clear. The bright surface of
the water, driven by the breeze, danced and sparkled
in the drifting sunlight. It was impossible that he

should not feel a thrill of interest that was like delight
in the newness of everything.
About noon the overseer brought out a hamper-like
DOWN THE RIVER 95

basket, which he opened, and from which he took a
plentiful supply of food. A couple of cold roast pota-
toes, a great lump of Indian-corn bread, and a thick
slice of ham were passed forward to Jack. It seemed
to him that he had never tasted anything so good.

After he had finished his meal he felt very sleepy.
He curled himself down upon the bags in the sunlight,
and presently dozed off.

The afternoon sun was slanting when he was aroused
by a thumping and bumping and a stir on board. He
opened his eyes, and sat up to see that the boat had
again stopped at a landing-place. It was a straggling,
uneven wharf, at the end of which, upon the shore,
was an open shed. Thence a rough and rugged road
ran up the steep bluff bank, and then turned away into
the woody wilderness beyond. A wagon with a non-
descript team of oxen and mules, and half a dozen
men, black and white, were waiting beside the shed at
the end of the wharf for the coming of the flat-boat.

Then followed the unloading of the boat.

Mr. Parker had gone ashore, and Jack could see him
and the overseer talking together and inspecting a
small boat that lay pulled up from the water upon a
little strip of sandy beach. Jack himself climbed out
from the boat upon the wharf, where he walked up and
down, stretching himself and watching those at work.
Presently he heard some one calling, ‘‘ Where ’s that
young fellow? Hi, you, come here!”

Then Jack saw that they had made ready the smaller
boat at which they had been looking, and had got the
sail hoisted upon it; it flapped and beatin the wind. A
little group stood about it, and Jack saw that they were
waiting for him. He ran along the wharf, and jumped
down from it to the little strip of sandy beach. They
were in the act of pushing off the boat when he climbed
aboard. As it slid off into the water Mr. Parker stepped
96 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

into it. Two men ran splashing through the water and
pushed it off, and as it reached the deeper water, one
of them jumped in over the stern with a dripping splash
of his bare feet, catching the tiller and trimming the
sail as he did so, and bringing the bow of the boat
around before the wind. Then there was a gurgling
ripple of water under the bows as the wind filled the
sail more strongly, and presently the wharf and the
flat-boat dropped rapidly astern, and once more Jack
was sailing down the river, while wooded shores and
high bluff banks, alternating one another, drifted by,
and were dropped away behind.
CHAPTER XIII
THE ROOST

HE sun had set, and the dusk was falling rapidly.
The boat was running toward a precipitous bluff
shore, above the crest of which, and some forty or fifty
yards inland, loomed the indistinct form of a house,
the two tall chimneys standing out sharply against the
fading sky. There was a dark mass of trees on the
one side, and what appeared to be a cluster of huts on
the other. The barking of two or three dogs sounded
distantly across the water, and a dim light shone from
one of the windows. The boat drew nearer and nearer
to the dark shore; then at last, with a grinding jar of
the keel upon the beach, the journey was ended.

A flight of high, ladder-like steps reached from the
sandy beach to the summit of the bluff. Jack followed
Mr. Parker up this stairway, leaving the man who had
brought them to furl and tie the sail. Excepting the
barking of dogs and the light in the window, there was
at first no sign of life about the place as they ap-
proached. Then suddenly there was a pause in the
dogs’ barking; then a renewed clamorous burst from
half a dozen throats at once. Suddenly the light in
the room began to flicker and move, and Jack could
see a number of dim forms come around the end of the
house. The next minute a wide door was opened, and
the figure of a woman appeared, holding a candle above
her head. Instantly half a dozen hounds burst out of the

7 97
98 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

house from behind her and came rushing down toward
Jack and Mr. Parker, barking and baying.

Mr. Parker paid no attention to the dogs, but led the
way directly up the flight of tall, steep steps and into
the hallway. He nodded to the woman as he passed,
speaking briefly to her, and calling her Peggy.

She was rather a handsome woman, with a broad
face and black hair and eyes. She stood aside and the
master passed her into the house, Jack following close
at his heels. “Here are two letters for you,” said the
woman, and she gave them to him from the table; and
Mr. Parker, without laying aside his hat, took them,
tore one of them open and began reading it by the
light of the candle which she held for him. As he
read, his eyebrows drew together into a knot of a frown,
and his handsome florid face lowered. |

Meantime Jack stood gazing about him at the large,
barren hallway barely lit by the light of the candle. At
the further end he could just distinguish the dim
form of a broad bare, stairway leading up to the floor
above. It seemed to be very cheerless, and he felt
strange and lonely in the dark, gloomy space. Several
negroes were standing just outside of the door, looking
in; he could see their forms dimly in the darkness.
They appeared weird and unreal, with their black faces
and shining teeth.

Suddenly Mr. Parker looked up from the letter he
was reading and bade the woman, Peggy, to take Jack
out to the kitchen and to give him something to eat.

When Jack entered the kitchen he found the man
who had brought him and Mr. Parker down the river
in the boat, sitting at the table eating, while a bare-
- foot negro woman, with necklace and bracelets of blue
glass beads, waited upon him. The man looked up and
welcomed Jack as he came in, and then almost imme-
diately began asking him questions about England.
THE ROOST 99

The feeling of loneliness and depression was settling
more and more heavily upon Jack’s spirits, and he re-
plied vaguely hardly knowing what were the questions
asked him, or what he said in answer. After he had
ended his supper, he went and stood in the doorway,
looking out into the starlit night. He thought he saw
the dim forms of human figures moving about in the
gloom, and the black outlines of rude buildings. The
warm darkness was full of the ceaseless whispering
noises of night, broken now and then by the sudden
sound of loud gabbling negro voices. The mocking-
birds were singing with intermittent melody from the
dark stillness of the distant woods. His feeling of de-
pression seemed to weigh upon Jack’s soul like a leaden
weight. He could almost have cried in his loneliness
and homesickness.

When Jack woke at the dawning of the next day,
in the little bare room at the end of the upper hall
where he slept within easy call of Mr. Parker’s voice,
he did not at first know where he was. Then instantly
came recollection, and with it a keen longing to see his
new surroundings. He arose, dressed hastily, and went
down- stairs and out of doors. Hverything looked
very different in the wide clear light of early morning.
The buildings he had seen in the blackness of the
night before resolved into a clustered jumble of negro
huts,—some of frame, some of wattled sticks,—about
which moved the wild figures of the half-savage black
men, women, and children.

Jack walked out into the open yard, and turned and
looked back at the house.

It was a great rambling frame structure, weather-
beaten and gray. Several of the windows were open,
and out of one of them hung a patchwork bed-coverlet, -
moving lazily now and then in the wind. A thin
100 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

wreath of smoke curled away from one of the chimneys
into the blue air. Everything looked very fresh and
keen in the bright light of the morning.

A lot of negro children had been playing about the
huts, some of them entirely naked. They ceased their
play and stood staring at Jack as he came out into
the open yard, and a negro lad of about his own age,
who was standing in the door of a wattled hut at a
little distance, came over and spoke to him. The black
boy was lean and lanky, with over-grown, spider-like
legs and arms. He had a little round, nut-like head
covered with a close felt of wool.. “Hi, boy!” he
said, when he had come up close to Jack, “what your
name?”

“My name ’s Jack Ballister,” said Jack; “what ’s
your name?”

“My name Little Coffee,” and the negro boy grinned
with a flash of his white teeth.

“Little Coffee! Why, to be sure, that’s a very queer
name for any Christian soul to have,” said Jack.

The negro boy’s grin disappeared into quick dark-
ness. “My name no queer,” he said, with a sudden
childish sullenness. “My name Little Coffee all right.
My fader Big Coffee—I Little Coffee.”

“Well,” said Jack, “I never heard of anybody named
Coffee in all my life before.”

“Where you come from?” asked the-negro boy.

“T came from England, "said Jack; ‘we drink coffee
there; we don’t give Coffee as a name to Christian oe
Wikere do you come from, Coffee ?”

“Me come nowhere,” said Coffee, with a returning
_grin. “Me born here in yan house.”

Beyond the row of negro huts was a small wooden
cabin of a better appearance than the others. Sud-
denly a white man came out of the door of this hut,
stood looking for a moment, and then walked forward
THE ROOST 101

toward Jack. Itwas Dennis, the overseer. He—unless
Peggy Pitcher be excepted—became almost the most
intimate friend Jack had for the two months or so that
he lived at the Roost; and in this curiously strange
fragment of his life, perhaps the most vivid recollec-
tions that remained with him in his after memory were
of intervals of time spent in Dennis’s hut; of the great
black, sooty fireplace; of the shelf-like floor at the fur-
ther end of the cabin, where was the dim form of the
bed with the bright coverlet; of Dennis’s negro wife,
pattering about the earthen floor in her bare feet, her
scant red petticoat glowing like a flame of fire in the
shadowy interior; of Dennis himself, crouching over
the smoldering ashes, smoking his Indian clay pipe of
tobacco. As Dennis now approached, Jack thought
that he had hardly ever seen a stranger-looking figure,
for a pair of gold earrings twinkled in his ears, a
broad hat of woven grass shaded his face, he wore a
pair of loose white cotton drawers, and a red beard
covered his cheeks and chin and throat. “I do sup-
pose,” said Dennis, when he had come close enough to
Jack—“T do suppose that you are the new boy that
came last night.”
“Yes,” said Jack, “TI am.”
CHAPTER XIV
IN ENGLAND

T is not to be supposed that Jack could have disap-

peared so suddenly and entirely as he had done

without leaving behind him much talk and wonder as
to what had become of him.

One day, for instance, Mr. Stetson stopped old Heze-
kiah in the street and began asking after Jack. “I
know nought of him, Master Stetson,” said the old man.
“He always was a main discontented, uneasy lad as
ever I see. Time and time again have he talked to me
about running away to sea—and that, whenever I
would tell him ’t was time for him to be earning his
own living by honest, decent work.”

“But, Mr. Tipton,” said the rector, “I do hear talk
that he hath been kidnapped.”

““Mayhap he have been,” said Hezekiah; “ but I know
naught of him.”

“ And are you not, then, going to do anything to try
to find him?” cried out the good old rector. “Sure,
you would leave no stone unturned to discover what
hath become of your nephew.”

“What can I do, master?” said Hezekiah, almost
whining. “I’m main sorry Jacky be gone, and am
willing to do whatever I can for to find him again, but
what can I do?”

“Why, Master Tipton,” said the rector, “ that, me-

seems, is your affair and not mine. I can hardly tell
102
IN ENGLAND 103

you how to set about doing your own duty in this thing.
But sure am I you should do whatever you can to find
what hath become of your poor nephew.”

It was the very general opinion that Jack Ballister
had been kidnapped, and nearly every one surmised
that old Hezekiah himself had had a hand in it. If any
of this talk reached Hezekiah’s own ears he paid no at-
tention to it, but went his way either unconscious of
or indifferent to all that his neighbors said about him.

Then, one morning, the old America merchant re-
ceived a communication from the little attorney, Bur-
ton, telling him that if he would stop at his (the attor-
ney’s) office, betwixt the hours of three and five in the
afternoon, he should receive certain news im re John
Ballister that might be of interest to him.

The old man came promptly at three o’clock, and
found the little lawyer rustling among a litter of papers
like a little gray mouse. He had a great pair of bar-
nacle glasses perched astride his nose, and he pushed
them up on his sharp bony forehead, where they
gleamed like two disks of brightness as he turned
around to face the old man. There was a moment or
two of silence, broken at last by the old America
merchant. -

“Well, master,” said he, lifting his wig and wiping the
bald pate beneath with a red handkerchief—“ Well,
master, here I be; and what is it you have to say to
me about my nephew—about Jacky? I be in a vast
hurry this art’noon, master, and wait here with great
business upon my hands.”

“Perhaps so, but I dare say you have time to listen
to me, though,” said the attorney. ‘For what I have
to say concerns you very nearly, Master Tipton.”

Then he opened the lid of the desk and brought out
from a pigeonhole a bundle of papers tied up with
a piece of tape. “Some time ago, Master Tipton,”
104 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

he said, “Sir Henry Ballister, who is an honored
client of mine, gave me instructions to look after his
‘nephew, John Ballister, who was left by his father in
your ward. When the young man disappeared I wrote
to Sir Henry to that effect, and received from him
further instructions to inquire into the affair.”

The little lawyer had been untying the packet while
speaking. He now spread the papers out in front of
him, touching them one by one as he continued: “ First
of all, Master Tipton,” he said, “I heard it reported
that, when last seen, Master John Ballister was in
company with one of your own crimps and a party of
redemption servants you were shipping to the Amer-
icas. I found, further, that the crimp’s name was
Weems—Israel Weems. Here is a letter from Weems
in answer to one from me, in which letter he acknow-
ledges that Master John Ballister was with him the
night that the servants were shipped, and that he did
not again see the young man after leaving him at the
wharf. Here is another communication from John
Barkley, merchant, of London, relating to the cargo of
the Arundel, in which it is supposed the young man
was carried away. He specified that there were but
nineteen servants to be shipped from this port to the
Virginia plantations. These are my notes taken during
a cursory examination of Jonah Doe, landlord of the
Golden Fish Inn.” And so the little man continued,
recapitulating his evidence, and touching, as he spoke
of them, the different papers spread out on the desk
before him. “The result of all this, Master Hezekiah
Tipton,” he concluded, “is that it is perfectly con-
clusive to my mind that Master John Ballister hath
been kidnapped and carried away to the Virginias. I
don’t say that you had a hand in the business, Master
Tipton —I would be loath to suppose so, and to so
accuse a fellow-townsman and an old acquaintance;
IN ENGLAND 105

but ’t is my belief your nephew hath been stole, and
I would like to hear what you yourself have to say
about it.”

Old Hezekiah did not reply immediately. He sat for
a while staring absently at the other as though not see-
ing him. Then suddenly he aroused himself almost as
with a start. ‘“Hey?” he said, “How? Oh, ay! what
you say appeareth all very true, Master Burton. But—
will you let me see them papers?”

“To be sure I will,” said the other; “and if you can
explain the business satisfactorily, Master Tipton, and
if you can satisfy Sir Henry Ballister that his nephew
is safe and sound, and shall be duly fetched back again
with no ill having befallen him, why, I, for one, will be
as glad as glad can be.”

“That’s right, that’s right,” said the old man, almost
briskly. He adjusted his spectacles as he spoke, and
then opened the first paper of the packet and began
slowly and deliberately reading it. Then he took up
the second and gave it a like close and deliberate
serutiny, and so on through the packet.

“Well, Master Hezekiah,” said the attorney, when the
other had finished the perusal of the packet, “now
you ’ve read these papers, what do you think of ’em,
and what do you intend to do about this business? I
will report to Sir Henry Ballister just what you choose
for me to say.”

The old man did not reply immediately. He had
taken up his spectacles again, and was rubbing them
and rubbing them with his red bandana handkerchief.
‘““Those papers, Master Burton,” said he, at last, “ bear
mightily hard upon me. They make it appear like I
kidnapped Jacky myself. Here be you spending all
your time a-hunting up evidence to make it look like
as though I had dealt foul with my own flesh and
blood—and you a neighbor of mine, and I one who
106 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

hath put many and many a good guinea’s worth of
work into your way.”

“That last is true enough, Master Tipton,” said the
little lawyer; “and, as I said before, I, for one, have
no wish to do aught to harm you. Just you think,
Master Tipton,—that was why I sent for you to come
and see me; else I would have sent these papers
straight to Sir Henry Ballister instead of showing
them, first of all, to you.”

“T be much beholden to you, neighbor,” said the old
man. “But these papers look mightily ill for me.
Suppose anything should happen to you, and those
papers should fall into strange hands; how would it
be with me then? Ha’ ye thought of that?”

“Ay, ay,” said the little lawyer, “I have thought
of it, and it is all arranged for, Master Tipton. If
aught should happen to me, I have so arranged it
that only a part of these papers go to Sir Henry Bal-
lister. All that concerns you is cared for, so that no
harm shall happen you.”

““T be much beholden to you, neighbor,” said the old
man again.

“And now,” said the attorney, after another little
pause of silence, “what have you to say, Master Tip-
ton? What am I to write to Sir Henry Ballister?”

Then the old America merchant arose: “ Well, mas-
ter,” said he, “all this be so sudden that, to be sure,
I don’t know what to say. Give me time to think over
it, and then I will talk to you in full some other day.
Let me see; this be Wednesday. On Friday next I
11 meet you here, and tell you all that I have to say.
Can you give me so long as that?”

“To be sure I can,” said the lawyer. “Take your
own time, and ’t will suit me.”

“Very well, then, on Friday next,” said the old man. —
IN ENGLAND 107

It was the next day that the little lawyer returned
home by night from the King’s Arms Coffee-House,
where he used to spend an occasional bachelor’s even-
ing gossiping with his cronies over his toddy, or talking
politics.

It was maybe ten o’clock when he left the coffee-
house. There was a chill drizzling rain falling, and
the little lawyer shuddered as he stepped out into the
darkness, gathering his wrap-rascal more closely about
him and turning up the collar about his ears. The
night, coming as he did into it from the lights of
the warm coffee-house, appeared as dark as pitch.
The little lawyer took the middle of the street just lit
by the occasional dim light of a corner lamp. There
were few folks stirring, and only now and then the sound
of a voice or a distant footstep. The far-away baying
of a dog sounded from out the more distant hollow of
the wet night. The little attorney was recapitulating
in his mind the points of an argument he had had with
the writer Willowood during the evening. He had
had the better of the question, and he felt a warm
glow of pleasure as he went stumbling through the
night, as he thought, point by point, of the advantage he
had had in the discussion. There was some one walk-
ing behind him, and it came into his mind to think
how easy it would be for some one to knock him upon
the head without his neighbors being any the wiser.
Then he began again thinking of how he had answered
Master Willowood.

The thought of a possible attack upon himself came
into his mind again as he reached the mouth of the dark
court upon which fronted his own house, and he paused
for a moment before he turned into the black and silent
street. In the stillness he could hear the rain pattering
and dripping everywhere, and there was a light shining
108 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

dimly from an upper window of a house further down
the court.

The attorney thought he heard soft footsteps near
him, and he was in the act of turning to satisfy him-
self that he was mistaken, when in the instant there
came a crash as though the heavens had burst asunder.
There was a flashing flame of livid fire and a myriad
sparkling points of light. The thought had time to
shoot through his brain, “ What has happened to me?”
—the thought and a hundred possibilities of answer,
—before the sparks had vanished, and the roaring
in his ears had hummed away into the silence of un-
consciousness.

It all passed in a moment; there was no struggle
and no outery. Excepting for a quivering twitch, the
attorney Burton was lying as though dead, a dark and |
indistinguishably motionless heap upon the ground, and
two men were bending over him, looking down at him.
CHAPTER XV
LIFE AT THE ROOST

ACK’S after recollections of this earlier part of his

life in America while he lived at the Roost always
remained with him as singularly fragmentary memo-
ries of things passed. The various events that then
happened to him never, in those recollections, had a
feeling of keen and vivid reality as a part of his own
life. It was almost as though they might have some-
how happened outside of the real things of his life.
Nearly every one who has reached manhood and who
looks back thence to the earlier periods of his adoles-
cence, feels such strangeness of unfamiliarity in cer-
tain fragmentary parts of his younger life.

Maybe Jack felt this lack of reality in the events of
that time because that just then he was passing from
boyhood into manhood; perhaps the memory of those
times seemed strange to him and lacking of vitality be-
cause of the many changes of scene and circumstance
that then happened to him, and because he did not have
time to become intimately acquainted with any especial
arrangement of his surroundings before it was changed
for some other surroundings of a different sort.

For Jack’s master was very often away from home,
and generally he would take Jack with him, and so it
was that during this period there were successive mem-
ories of queer rambling Virginia towns—level streets

of earth fronted by gray wooden buildings with narrow
109
110 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

windows and wide brick chimneys, in the midst of
which lesser buildings there towered here and there
maybe amore pretentious mansion of brick, set back in
a tangled garden, approached by a steep flight of stone
steps. The towns were nearly all of this nature :—York-
town, Jamestown, Williamsburg and the lesser court-
house towns, more or less inland, up the river; and they
always remained in Jack’s memory as so many pictured
seenes rather than as various settings of his actual life.

At other times Mr. Parker would maybe take Jack
with him on his periodical visits to the plantation
houses of his friends; nearly all wide, rambling, barn-
like structures, where wild company sometimes gathered,
and where, during the time of his master’s visits, Jack
would live in the company of the white servants and
negroes who lounged about, ready to run at any mo-
ment at the owner’s call. Jack made many acquaint-
ances among these people, but no friends.

This life was so varied and so entirely different from
anything that he had known before that he never got
to feel as though it were perfectly a part of himself.
Even the Roost, with its bare, rambling rooms and hall-
ways, never entirely lost this feeling of unfamiliarity.

Nearly always there was more or less company at the
old house—the same sort of wild, roistering company
that gathered at the other plantation houses; men who
came riding fine high-bred horses, who fought cocks,
who gambled, drinking deeply and swearing with loud
voices, and with an accent that was not at all like the
English speech that Jack had known at home.

One of his earlier experiences of this new life of his
in the strange new world into which he had come was
of such a company that one day came riding up to the
gray old wooden mansion with a vast clattering of
horses’ hoofs, a shouting of voices and laughter, and
a cloud of dust. The party was accompanied by a fol-
LIFE AT THE ROOST 11

lowing group of negro servants, one of whom carried
a fighting-cock on a saddle before him. Jack and Little
Coffee and another negro boy ran out to hold the horses,
and Dennis and two negroes came over from the stable
to help. Mr. Parker came out and stood on the upper
step in the doorway, looking on as the visitors dis-
mounted. The scene was always very vivid in Jack’s
memory.

The most prominent of the visiting party was young
Mr. Harry Oliver. He had been drinking, and his smooth
cheeks were dyed a soft, deep red. He dismounted with
some difficulty, and then with uncertain steps went
over to his negro servant, who still sat on his horse,
holding the cock before him on the horn of the saddle. .
“Give the bird to me, Sambo,” said the young man in a
loud, unsteady voice.

ne He strike you, mea-asta, you no take anne? said the
negro warningly.

“Better let me take him, Mr. Oliver,” cried out
Dennis.

The young man paid no heed to either warning, but
took the bird from the negro. It struggled, and one of
the spurs caught in the lace of Mr. Oliver’s cuff, tearing
a great rent in it. Everybody laughed but Mr. Parker,
who stood looking calmly on at the scene. “Ouch!
Look what he ’s done to me,” cried out Mr. Oliver.
“Here, Dennis, you take him.” And again the others
laughed loudly at the young man’s mishap.

Dennis took the bird, seizing its narrow cruel head
deftly, and holding it so that it might not strike him.

“Hath Mr. Castleman been here yet?” asked one of
the visitors of Dennis.

““No, your honor,” said Dennis.

“ Aha!” shouted Harry Oliver, “what do you think
of that, Tom? I tell you hell not come. His black
cock ’s no match for Red Harry. Ill bet you five
112 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pounds he does n’t come at all. I knew he was only
talking for talk’s sake last night when he said that he
would match his bird against Harry.”

The others, ready to be amused at anything the tipsy
young fellow said, again laughed loudly.

“Tf you want to bet your money, I’ll cover your five
pounds that the gentleman is here in the hour,” said
one of the party, who was a stranger to Jack.

“Tet him alone, Phillips,” said Mr. Parker, coming
down the steps. ‘The boy is not cool enough to bet
his money now. Won’t you come in, gentlemen?”

“Yes, I am cool enough, too,” cried out Oliver. “Ill
bet my money as I choose; and you shall mind your
own business, Parker, and I ‘ll mind mine.”

Then they all went into the house and to the dining-
room, where the rum and the sugar stood always ready
on the sideboard.

Jack, as was said, was still new to all this life. “ What
are they going to do?” he asked of Dennis as he led
the horse he held over toward the stable.

“To?” said Dennis; ‘ what d’ ye think they ’d do but
fight a cock main?”

About an hour after the arrival of the first party of
guests, Mr. Castleman and four of his friends came in
a body. Mr. Castleman’s negro also brought a cock,
and almost immediately the birds were pitted against
one another in the bare and carpetless hall-way.

Jack did not see the beginning of the fight. He was
up-stairs helping Mrs. Pitcher make up some beds for
the night. When he heard that they were fighting the
cocks down in the hall, he hurried down-stairs, boy-
like, to see what was going on. A burst of loud voices —
greeted his ears as he descended the stairway. A num-
ber of the negroes.and some white servants were clus-
tered on the steps, looking over the banister and down
below. There was another loud burst of voices domi-
LIFE AT THE ROOST 113

nated by Mr. Oliver’s shrill boyish tones crying out,
“Why, then! Why, then! That’smy hero! Give it to
him again! Why,then! 'T is Red Harry against them
all! Where’s your fifty pounds now, Castleman?”
Jack at the head of the stairs could look down upon
the tragedy being enacted on the floor below. He stood
for a second—two seconds—gazing fascinated. The
black cock—a dreadful bloody, blinded thing— was
swaying and toppling to death. The red cock towered
above him, cruel, remorseless, striking, and striking
again; then poising, then striking its helpless dying
enemy again. Harry Oliver was squatted behind his
bird, hoarse with exultation. The end was very near.
Mr. Parker sat calm and serene, looking down at the
fight. The others stood or squatted around in a circle,
tense and breathless with excitement. All this Jack
saw in the few dreadful seconds that he stood there,
and the scene was forever fixed upon his memory. He
awoke to find that his mouth was clammy with a dread-
ful excitement. Peggy Pitcher had followed him out
on the landing. Suddenly she burst out laughing.
“Took at Jack!” she cried. ‘’T hath made him sick.”
Jack saw many cock-fights after that one, but the
circumstances of this time always remained the most
keenly stamped upon his memory as one of the most
vivid of those unreal realities of that transition period.
Another memory of an altogether different sort was
of one time when Mr. Parker was away from home, and
when he himself went with Dennis, and Little Coffee,
and two other negroes, down the river to the Roads,
fishing. Mrs. Pitcher had advised him not to go. “ His
honor may come back,” said she; “and if he does and
finds you away he ’ll be as like as not to give you a
flaying with his riding-whip.”
“A fig for his honor!” said Jack. “I’m not afraid

of his honor. And as for being away when he comes
8
114. JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

back, why, that I shall not. Hell be sure not to be
back from Annapolis for a week to come.”

The memory that followed was of a long sail in the
open boat of some forty miles or so in the hot sun and
the swift, brisk wind; a memory of sitting perched on
the up-tilted weather-rail listening to Dennis and the
negroes chattering together in the strange jabbering
English that was becoming so familiar to him now.

It was pretty late in the afternoon when they ap-
proached the fishing-ground.. Dennis leaned over the
rail every now and then, and peered down into the
water, as the hoy drifted along close-hauled to the wind.
One of the negroes stood ready to drop the sail, and the
other stood in the bow to throw over the stone that
served as an anchor when Dennis should give the order.
“Let go!” shouted Dennis suddenly, and the sail fell
with a rattle of the block and tackle, and in a heap of |
canvas. At the same time the negro in the bow threw
the stone overboard with a great loud splash.

Jack and Little Coffee were the first to drop their lines
into the water. Jack sat watching the negro boy; he
hoped with all his might that he might catch the first
fish, but it did not seem possible that he could catch a
fish in that little open spot of the wide, wide stretch of
water. ‘Then all of a sudden there came a sharp, quiv-
ering pull at the hook, and he instantly began hauling
in the wet and dripping line wildly, hand over hand.
He thought for a moment that he had lost the fish;
then there came a renewed tugging at his line, and in
another second he had jerked the shining thing into
the boat, where it lay flashing and splashing and flapp-
ing upon the boards of the bottom. “I caught the first
fish, Little Coffee!” he shouted.

“Look dar, now,” said Little Coffee, testily. “Fish
just bite my hook, and you talk and scare ’um away.”

Jack jeered derisively, and Dennis burst out laugh-
LIFE AT THE ROOST 115

ing, while Little Coffee glowered at Jack in glum
sullenness.

They fished all that afternoon, and it was toward
evening when they hoisted up the anchor stone. ‘Two
of the negroes poled the hoy to the shore. Jack was
the first to jump from the bow of the boat to the
white, sandy beach, littered with a tangle of water-
grasses and driftwood, washed up by the waves. A
steep bluff bank of sand overlooked the water, and
Jack ran scrambling up the sliding, sandy steep, and
stood looking around him. For some little distance
the ground was open, and there was a low wooden
shed, maybe fifty or sixty paces away; beyond it
stood the outskirts of the virgin forest. He stood
and gazed about him, realizing very keenly that this
was the new world, and sensing a singular thrilling
delight at the wildness and strangeness of everything.

This, too, was a very vivid memory fragment of
that strange and distantly impersonal period of his
life.
CHAPTER XVI
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS

ACK had been living nearly a month at the Roost
before he saw anything of those money troubles
that so beset and harassed his master. He was after-
ward to learn how fierce and truculent Mr. Parker
could become at those times when he was more than
usually tormented by his creditors.

It was about noon, and Jack was busy getting ready
the clothes that his master was to wear for the morn-
ing. There had been company at the Roost the night
before, and Mr. Parker, who had sat up till past mid-
night, and who had only just risen, sat at the open
window in his nightcap and dressing-gown, with his
half-eaten breakfast beside him, smoking a long pipe
of tobacco out into the warm, soft air.

Suddenly there came the sound of horses’ hoofs ap-
proaching from the distance, and then the opening of
the gate. Mr. Parker craned his neck and peeped out of
the window cautiously. Immediately he laid down his.
pipe of tobacco, and turning to Jack,—“‘Harkee,” said
he, in a voice instinctively lowered, “yonder is a man
coming whom I don’t choose to see, so you just go
_ down and tell him I’m not at home, and that I won’t
be back till next Thursday; d’ ye understand?” Jack
nodded his head. ‘“ Well, then, do as I tell you, and
don’t you let him guess I’m at home.”

Even as the master spoke there came a loud knock-
116
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS . 117

ing at the door. Jack ran down-stairs and through
the hall, and opened it before any of the slower ne-
groes could reach it. There were two men outside, one
of them held a pair of horses, and the other had just
' knocked. .The man with the horses had the look of a
servant. The other was a lean, wizened fellow with
smoothly brushed hair tied behind with a bit of string,
a flapped hat, and a long-skirted gray coat—he looked
like an attorney or a money-lender. “ Well, master,”
said Jack, “and what ‘ll you have?”

“T want to see your master,” said the man shortly.

“Who?” said Jack.

“Your master.”

“My master?”

“Yes; what ’s the matter with the oaf? Where ’s
your master? Why don’t ye answer me and tell me
whether Mr. Parker is at home.”

“Oh, Mr. Parker! So ’t is him you wish to see, to
be sure.”

But, after all, Jack did not have to tell the lie Mr.
Parker had bidden him to tell. A voice suddenly
sounded from overhead—a keen, shrill voice. ‘“ What
d’ ye want, Master Binderly ? Who d’ ye come to see?”

The man at the door stepped back a pace or two and
looked up, and Jack craned forward and looked up also.
Mrs. Pitcher was leaning out of the window just above
their heads. She wore a morning wrapper, and a cap
very much the worse for wear, which gave her a singu-
larly frowsy, tousled appearance.

“Why, you know what I want, Mistress Pitcher, just
as well as I do,” said the man. “I want to see Mr.
Richard Parker, and by zounds! I will see him, too!
Here have I been running after him and looking for
him up and down the Province these two weeks past.
Here are obligations of his which have come into my
hands for over a thousand pounds, and he won’t pay
118 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

any attention to me, and he won’t renew his notes, and
he won’t do anything.”

Jack stood in the doorway listening with very great
interest, and two or three grinning negroes had gath-
ered at the end of the house, looking on with a vague
and childish curiosity. ‘Well, Master Money-Shark,”
said the woman, “I don’t know what you are talking
about; all I know is that you won’t find Mr. Richard
Parker here, and so you may as well go about your
business.”

“Why, what are you talking about?” bawled the
money-lender. “If this is not my business, what is
my business?” and Jack could not help laughing at —
his loud voice.

“Well, that I don’t know anything about, or don’t
care anything about,” Mrs. Pitcher answered shrilly.
“ All I know is this here—Mr. Parker ain’t about, and
won't be about till next Thursday.”

“T don’t believe what you tell me,” answered the man
roughly; “anyhow, I ‘ll come in and wait—and I ‘ll
wait till next Thursday, if I have to. Hither I’m go-
ing to have my money, or I’m going to have satisfac- |
tion for it.”

“No, you won’t come into the house, neither,” cried
Mrs. Pitcher; and then, as the money-lender made as
though to enter, she called, “Shut the door, there,
Jack!” and Jack at her bidding banged the door in the
man’s face, shooting the bolt and locking it.

The man kicked and pounded upon the door, and
Jack could hear the housekeeper pouring vituperation
down upon him from above. He himself, now having
nothing more to do, went up stairs and leaned out of
another window to see what the outcome of it all
would be.

The housekeeper was just saying: “If you don’t go
away from there, now, I'll pour a kittle of hot water
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS » 119

on ye.” Whereupon Mr. Binderly seemed to think it
best to quit his knocking. He went out into the road-
way in front, and stood there for a while talking in low
tones to his servant.

“Very well, then, Mistress Pitcher,” said he at last.
“You ’ve got the power on me here; but you tell your
master this for me, that he may hide himself from me
as he pleases, but for all that there is law to be had in
the Province of Virginia. And that ain’t all, neither,
Mrs. Pitcher; you tell your master that I ain’t going to
law till I try other things first. I ’m going to his
brother, Colonel Birchall Parker, first, and see what
he ’ll have to say to this here. He’s the richest man in
Virginia, and he ain’t got the right to let his brother
ruin a poor man like me.”

Peggy Pitcher made no answer to the money-lender,
but snapped her fingers at him. Then she leaned on
the window-sill watching him as he clambered on his
horse and rode away again as he had come, with his
serving-man at his heels.

There were several other occasions when creditors
eame pressing Mr. Parker for money, but never any
that had such a smack of comedy about it.

It was somewhat more than a month later when an-
other sort of visitor than poor Mr. Binderly appeared at
the Roost. Again the master was at home, and alone,
but upon this occasion it was after nightfall when the
visitor arrived. Jack was reading aloud the jokes from
an old almanac to Mrs. Pitcher, who sat idly listening
to him. Mr. Parker was in the room beyond, and every
now and then in the intervals of his muttered reading,
Jack would turn and glance toward the half-opened
door. The master was very quiet, and very intent
upon what he was doing. He sat by the light of a can-
dle, smoking a pipe of tobacco, and shuffling and deal-
ing to himself and an imaginary opponent a hand of
120 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

cards which he turned face up upon the table. Then,
leaning with his elbows upon the board, he would
study and calculate the combinations of the two hands
until he was satisfied, and then again would shuffle and
deal the cards. A bottle and a glass of rum and water
stood at his elbow, and every now and then he would
take a sip of it.

Then a loud, sudden knock upon the door startled the
stillness of the nee Jack pushed back his chair, grat-
ing noisily upon the bare floor, and hurried to open to
the visitor. It was a tall, brown-faced man with a great,
heavy, black beard hanging down over his breast. His
figure stood out dimly in the light of the candle from
the darkness of the star-lit night behind. The brass
buttons of his coat shone bright in the dull yellow
light. “Is Mr. Richard Parker at home, boy?” he asked
in a hoarse, husky voice.

““J—I believe he is, sir,” said Jack, hesitatingly.

““ Hath he any visitors ?”

“Why, no,” said Jack. “I believe not to-night.”

Then the stranger pushed by into the house.

“T want to see him,” said he, roughly; “ where is he?

Mrs. Pitcher had arisen and had managed to quietly -
close the door of the room in which Mr. Parker sat.
“And what might be your business with his honor,
master?” she said. —

“Well, mistress,” said the man, “that ’s my affair
and not yours. Where is Mr. Parker?”

At that moment the door that Mrs. Pitcher had closed
was opened again and Mr. Parker appeared. He wore
a silk nightcap upon his head, and carried his pipe in
his hand. “’T is you, is it, captain?” said he. “Well,
I had n’t looked to see you so far up the river as this;
but come in here.”

He held the door open as the other entered, and then
closed it again. “Sit down,” said Mr. Parker, pointing
JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS 121

toward the table with the stem of his pipe. “Sit down,
and help yourself.”

As the stranger obeyed the invitation, Mr. Parker
stood with his back to the great empty fireplace, look-
ing with his usual cold reserve, though perhaps a little
curiously, at his visitor. The other tossed off the glass
of rum and water he had mixed for himself, and then
wiped his mouth with the palm of his hand. Then,
thrusting his hand into an inside pocket of his coat
he brought out a big, greasy leather pocket-book, un-
tied the thongs, opened it, and took from it a paper.
“Here ’s that note of hand of yours, Mr. Parker,” said
he, “that you gave me down at Parrott’s. "I is due
now some twenty days and more, and yet I have re-
ceived nothing upon it. When may I look for you
to settle it?”

“Tet me see it,” said Mr. Parker calmly, reaching
out his hand for it.

The other looked at him quizzically for a moment,
and then without a word replaced the paper in his
pocket-book, retied the thongs, and thrust the wallet
back into his pocket again. “Why,” said he, “ me-
thinks I’d rather not let it go out of my own hands
and into yours, if it ’s all the same to you.”

Mr. Parker’s expression did not change a shade, but
he shrugged his shoulders ever so slightly. “ Why, Mr.
Captain Pirate,” said he, dryly, “methinks then you’re
mightily careful of small things and not so careful of
great things. If I were of a mind to do you some ill
turn, what do you think is to prevent me from opening
this window. and calling my men to knock you on the
head, tie you up hand and foot, and turn you over to the
authorities? Governor Spotteswood and my brother
would be only too glad to lay hands on you, now you’ve
gone back to your piracies and broken your pardon
and fallen under the law again, as I hear you have
122 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

done. What’s to prevent me from handing you over
to my brother, who would rather than ten thousand
pounds have the chance of hanging you?”

The other grinned. “Why,” said he, “I’ve taken
my chances of that. I dare say you could do me an ill
enough turn if you chose—but you won’t choose.”

“Why, Mr. Pirate?” said Mr. Parker, looking down
at his visitor coldly.

‘Because, Mr. Tobacco-planter, I’ve made my calcu-
lations before I came here! I know very well how you
depend upon your honorable brother for your living,
and that he ’d cut you off to a farthing if he knew that
you’d, been so free and easy with me as to sit down
quietly at table with me and lose four or five hundred
pounds at play. You can afford to give your note to
anyone but me, Mr. Gambler-Parker, but you can’t
afford to give it to me and then lord it overme! Come!
come! Don’t try any of your airs with me,”—this with
a sudden truculence—“ but tell me, when will you settle
with me in whole or part?”

My. Parker stood for a while looking steadily at his
visitor, who showed by every motion and shade of ex-
pression that he did not stand in the least awe or fear
of the other. “TI don’t know,” said Mr. Parker at last.
“Suppose I never pay you, what then?”

“Why, in that case I Il just send the paper to your
brother for collection.”

Another long space of silence followed. ‘“ Lookee,
sirrah,” said Mr. Parker at last, “I’ll be plain with you.
I can’t settle that note just now. I have fifty times
more out against me than I can arrange for. But if
you ‘ll come—let me see—three days hence, I’ll see
what I can do.”

The other looked suspiciously and cunningly at him
for a moment or two. “Come! come! Mr. Tobacco-
planter,” said he, “you ’re not up to any tricks, are
you?”
“MR, PARKER STOOD LOOKING STEADILY AT HIS VISITOR.”


JACK’S MASTER IN THE TOILS 123

“No; upon my honor.”

The other burst out laughing. “Upon my honor,”
he mimicked. “ Well, then, I’ll be here three days
from now.”

Jack and Mrs. Pitcher, as they sat in the next room,
heard nothing but the grumbling mutter of the two
voices and now and then the sound of the stranger's _
laugh. “What d’ ye suppose he’s come for, Mrs.
Pitcher?” asked Jack.

“Like enough for money,” said Mrs. Pitcher, briefly.
CHAPTER XVII
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION

T was the next morning after this visit that Jack,
coming at Mr. Parker’s call, found his master lying
propped up in bed, clad in his nightcap and dressing-
gown. As Jack entered he thrust his hand under the
pillow and brought out a letter. “ Harkee,” said he,
“qd ye see this letter?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“Very well, then, now listen to me. This is to go to
my brother, Colonel Parker, and I choose that you shall
take it. Go out to the stables and tell Dennis that I
say he is to give you a good fresh horse. Ride to Marl-
borough and back as soon as you can. You can make
the South Plantation to-night if you post along briskly,
and they will give you a change of horses. I want you
to be back by Friday night, so lose no time, and see
that Colonel Parker gets this letter from your own
hand, @’ ye understand ?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jack. “Shall I fetch you your break-
fast fir st’ 2”

“No, Peggy will attend to that.”

Jack hurried off to the stables, stopping only long
enough on his way to tell Little Coffee where he was
going. Then the black boy and the white boy went
down- together to find Dennis. Little Coffee was dis-
tinetly displeased. “ What for he send you, anyhow?”
said he. “ You no find um way—you get lost in woods,

boy. I find um way if he send me.”
124
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION 125

Jack burst out laughing. “ Why, to be sure,” said
he, “that would be a pretty thing to do! How could
Mr. Parker send you to Marlborough, Coffee? Why,
you ’re nothing but a black boy. You could n’t do
what he wants to have done.”

“You call me black boy all um time,” burst out Little
Coffee. “TI no like you call me black boy. Black boy
good as white boy, anyhow.” —

“No, he ain’t, neither,” said Jack; and just then
Dennis came out of the stable, and Jack told him the
master’s bidding.

As Jack, mounted upon one of the best horses in the
stable, trotted down past the house with Little Coffee
running along beside him, Peggy Pitcher stopped him
to give him some food wrapped up in a paper, and Jack
tucked it into the saddle-bag. “You lose um way,”
shouted Little Coffee after him as he cantered away,
but he did not deign any reply but galloped on down
the dusty road toward the woodland, into which the
ragged roadway plunged, presently to be lost in a jungle
of trees and bushes and undergrowth.

In the woods all was still and warm and fragrant
with the spicy odors. A squirrel ran across the way;
further on a rabbit scurried out of the bushes and along
the road. At one place a great wild turkey ran down
across the open path. Jack shouted at it as it plunged
into the thickets again, and he could hear it rustling
thunderously through the bushes for a long while as
he sat peering in through the dense screen of leaves
whither it had gone. At another place he came upon
a black snake that lay motionless in a sunny patch in
the road, watching him with its bright, diamond-like
eyes, and shooting out its quivering tongue. . The horse
shied and refused to pass the snake, and Jack, follow-
ing the instinct of all men, got off his saddle and killed
it. Once he forded a great, wide, shallow creek, the
126 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

horse splashing and thundering through the water,
and the fish darting swiftly away from either side.
He had some trouble in finding the road on the fur-
ther shore, but by and by he regained it and drove the
horse scrambling up the steep, bluff bank. At this time
the noon sun was shining straight down through the
leaves overhead, and Jack dismounted, tied his dripping
horse to a sapling, and took out his lunch. He sat in
a little open, grassy spot, with the waters of the ford
spread out before him. The solitude of the woods was
full of a ceaseless stir and rustle and the resonant sing-
ing of wood birds; it seemed to Jack as though there
was nobody in the whole world but himself. The horse
plucked at the leaves every now and then with a loud
rustle of the branch, and then chewed them, champing
upon the bit.
_ Itwas nearly sundown before Jack came to the end of
the first stage of his journey. Then suddenly, almost
before he knew it, he was out from the woods into an
open clearing where there was a growing field of maize,
the harsh, crisp leaves glinting and rattling dryly in the
wind. Beyond the field of Indian corn was a great and
wide stretch of tobacco-fields, bordered, in the distance,
by woodlands, nearly a mile away. In the mid-distance
he could see a low log house surrounded by what ap-
peared to be huts and cabins of various sizes and sorts.

Jack dug his heels into the horse’s side and galloped
down the straight, dusty road that stretched away
between the unfenced fields toward the houses, the
horse pricking up his ears and whinnying.

At last he drew rein in front of the largest of the
log houses. A number of half-naked negro children
ran out as he approached, and, as he reined up his
panting and sweating horse, a barefoot negro woman
with a string of beads around her neck, and another
around each of her wrists and each of her ankles, came
to the door and stood looking at him. Her tall, con-
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION 127

ical turban blazed like a flame in the light of the set-
ting sun and against the dark interior of the cabin.
“Tg this the South Plantation?” asked Jack.

“Um! Um!” assented the woman, nodding her head.

“Where ’s the master?” asked Jack. “ Where’s the
overseer ?”

The woman stared at him, making no attempt to
answer his question. ‘Where’s your master?” said
Jack again; and then, the woman still not replying, he
said: “What ’s the matter, don’t you speak English?”

“Iss,” said the woman with a grin; “me Ingiss.”

“Well, then,” said Jack, “where’s your master,
where is he, eh?” and he waved his hand off toward
the plantation field in a general way. Perhaps the
negro woman understood the action better than the
words. “He dar,” she said, pointing with her fingers.
“He beat white man.”

“What?” said Jack.

“He beat white man—he dar,” and she pointed
again. Jack did not understand what she meant,
but he knew that the overseer was in the direction
indicated, so he rode off toward the long row of
huts that stretched away beyond, some built of boards
and bark, and some of wattled sticks smeared with
clay. Turning the end of the last hut he came sud-
denly upon an open space fronted by the outbuild-
ings. A little crowd of men—black and white—stood
gathered in this open. A man, evidently the overseer,
was mounted upon a barrel and was addressing the
group clustered before him. He carried one arm in a
sling, and the sling was stained with fresh blood. Two
assistant helpers, or overseers, stood behind the speaker.

The crowd of slaves in front of the overseer—black
and white—barefoot, half-clad, wretched, low-browed,
- made a motley group. The overseer was evidently just
finishing his harangue to them when Jack came up
-around the corner of the cabin. He stopped for a
128 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

moment in his speech and turned his head as Jack ap-
peared upon the scene, and the listening crowd turned
their eyes toward him from the speaker as with one
movement. Jack recognized the overseer as the man
who had come down with him and his master in the
flatboat from the Hall. Then the overseer went on
with his speech, concluding, perhaps, rather more ab-
ruptly than he otherwise would have done. “ And
don’t you forget this here what I’ve been telling to
you,” said he; “I be one of the best drivers in the
province of Virginia if ye did but know it—and.what
be ye, I should like to know? Why, the very dirt of
the earth under my feet. How many drivers @’ ye sup-
pose there be in this here Colony, but what would have
killed that there Will Dickson if they ’d been in my
place, and been struck with a hoe in the arm and cut to
the bone? But I tell you, I’ve got my eye on ye all,
and the first man that lifts his hand ag’in’ me again had
better never been born. And now you go about your
business, all of ye, and remember what you’ve seen.”
Then he stepped down from the barrel and came across
to Jack. “ Well, master,” said he, “and who be ye?”

“T’m Master Richard Parker’s serving-man,” said
Jack. “Don’t you remember me? I came down with
you in the flatboat from the Hall.”

“ Ay, to be sure,” said the other. ‘“ Now I remember
you very well. But what brings you here?”

“Why,” said Jack, “I take a letter up to Colonel
Parker, and his honor—that is Mr. Richard Parker—
told me I was to stay here all night and then be on
again to-morrow.”

“Did he?” said the overseer. “Then we Il go on to
the -house and tell Chloe to fit ye up a room. How
long ha’ ye been over from the old country?” he asked
as they walked off together.

“T was just brought here when you saw me in the
boat,” Jack answered. .
JACK RIDES ON A MISSION 129

“Ay, to be sure,” said the other. “And what part
o’ England do ye hail from?”

“T was fetched from Southampton,” said Jack. “T
was kidnapped.” :

“So?” said the man. “IT came from Hampshire myself,
and I was kidnapped, too. That’s been more than twelve
year ago. I had acousin in Southampton. D”’ ye hap-
pen to know anything of her—Polly Ackerman?”

“Ves, indeed,” said Jack, “I do know a Mistress Mary
Ackerman. She livesin Kennel Alley. Her husband ’s
a, tailor-man. A tall, thin man with a wart on his
chin.”

“ Ay,” said ‘the man, “that’s Polly Ackerman’s hus-
band to a T, and to think it’s been twelve year since
I see ’em. Well, here we are; walk in. Here, Coffee,
take this horse and put it up in the stable. Walk in.”
And Jack entered the barren interior with its earthen
floor and its rude, home-made furniture.

That evening, after supper, Jack and his host sat out
in front of the house in the gloaming. Three of the over-
geer’s helpers came over from their cabins to sit with
them and smoke their pipes. Jack, being a new-comer,
was questioned and cross-questioned about the old coun-
try until he was wearied of telling what he knew. It

was all very quiet and restful after the day’s journey.
Some voices from the servants’ quarters sounded loud
in the stillness of the hot, breathless evening. . The night-
hawks flew high, circling with piping cries, and now and
then dropping with sudden booming flight. The frogs
from the distant swamp piped and croaked ceaselessly,
and a whippoorwill perched on the edge of the roof in
the darkness, and uttered its hurried repeated notes over
and over again in answer to one of its kind in the more
distant thickets. Once or twice Jack wondered aim-
lessly how it was faring with the poor servant whom
he had only just missed seeing whipped an hour or two
before, but he did not ask the overseer about him.
CHAPTER XVIII
MISS ELEANOR PARKER

c- was nearly noon the next day when Jack rode up
to the front of Marlborough. A group of negroes
came gathering about the horse, and Jack asked of them
whether Colonel Parker was at home.

“Tss, he be at home,” was the grinning answer; but
no one made any offer to help him in any way. Just
then Mr. Simms came to the door of his office in one of
the wings of the house, and then, though bare-headed,
walked directly across in the sun to where Jack stood
holding his horse.

“What d@’ ye want?” said the factor, and Jack an-
swered that he brought a letter cea Mr. Richard
Parker to his honor.

“Humph!” said Mr. Simms, and his face fell some-
what. “You don’t know what your master wants, do
you?”

Jack looked at the factor somewhat cunningly. “ How
should I know?” said he.

“Well, then, give me the letter,” said Mr. Simms,
“and I 1 take it to Colonel Parker. You came just in
time to find him at home, for he’s going to Williams-
burg this afternoon. You may go into the hall and
wait for your answer there, if you choose. Here,
Blackie ”—to one of the negroes—‘‘take this horse
over to the stable. Come in, young man, come in!”

The great empty, shady hallway, open from one end
to the other, felt and looked very dark and cool after

180
MISS ELEANOR PARKER 131

the glare of the morning sun outside. The great doors
stood open from the rear to the front, and from where
he sat Jack, through the vista of trees, could catch a
glimpse of the wide river stretching away in the sun-
light, sparkling and glittering in the warm breeze.
The strong wind swept through the space, and it was
very cool and sweet. Jack sat there waiting and wait-
ing. Somewhere a mocking-bird in a cage was singing
its mimic notes, and now and then he could hear the
noise of voices echoing loudly through the summer
stillness of the great house. There was the sound of
an occasional banging of a door, a distant snatch of a
high-pitched, monotonous negro song. Through all
these he could hear the ceaseless tinkling and jingling
of a spinet played in one of the more distant rooms.
As Jack sat listening, holding his hat in his hand, he
knew that it must be Miss Eleanor Parker who was
playing the spinet; and thinking of her he recalled
that first day of his servitude, in which he had come
out across the lawn and had seen her standing behind
her father, looking at him. It seemed as though all
that had happened not two or three months ago but
two or three years ago, in some far-away time of the
past. Suddenly the music ceased—a door opened, and
the young lady came into the hall fanning herself. As
she came forward Jack rose and stood waiting for her
to pass by. She glanced toward him and was about to
do so, when she suddenly recognized him and stopped.
“Why,” said she, “are you not the young man that papa
gave to Uncle Richard for a servant some while ago?”
“Yes, lady,” said Jack, and he blushed hotly.
“Methought I remembered your face,” she said;
“and tell me, how do you like to be with my uncle?”
“T like it—that is, I like well enough to be with
him,” said Jack, “if I have to be with any body. I
would n’t be anybody’s servant, if I could help it.”
132 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“But sure,” said she, “you must be somebody’s ser-
vant. Why else did you come from England except to
be a servant?”

“T could not help coming,” said Jack. “I was
knocked in the head and kidnapped.”

“Why, then,” said she, “it was a very great pity, in-
deed, for you to have been treated so. What is your
name?”

“Jack —that is, John Ballister.”

Just then Mr. Simms came down-stairs to where
Jack and the young lady stood. “Colonel Parker
wants to see you up-stairs in his closet, young man,”
said the factor; and then to the young lady, “ By your
leave, Mistress Nelly,” said he, “I'll have to take him
up-stairs with me, his honor wishes to speak with him.” —

“He tells me, Mr. Simms, that he hath been kid-
napped and fetched here to Virginia against his will,”
she said.

“Tike enough, Miss Nelly. "I is the only way we
can supply enough servants nowadays. If they did but
know it, they are a thousand times better off here liv-
ing at ease than they are at home living in poverty.”

“T was n’t living in poverty,” Jack said, indignantly.

“There, Mr. Simms, you hear what he says?” said
the young lady.

“Well, Miss Nelly, you can talk about this some
other time, maybe, for now by your leave I must take
the young man away. His honor wants to see him.”

When Jack was ushered into Colonel Parker’s pres-
ence he found him seated in a large, double-nailed arm-
chair at an open window. Some books and a lot of
letters and papers lay upon the writing-desk near at
hand. His head was covered by a silk nightcap, and he
wore a silk dressing-gown. A sealed letter lay upon
the window-sill beside him. “ Come hither, young man,”
he said to Jack. - “ Have n’t I seen you before?”














“T DONT WANT TO BE ANYBODY’S SERVANT, LADY, AND WOULD N’T IF
I COULD HELP IT.”
MISS ELEANOR PARKER 133

“Why, yes, your honor,” said Jack. “You gave me
as a servant to Mr. Richard Parker.”

“He was one of the servants I fetched over from
Yorktown when the Arundel came in,” said Mr. Simms.

“Oh, yes, I remember now,” said Colonel Parker.
“ How long have you been with your master?”

“ Between two and three months, sir.”

“Two or three months, hey? Well, tell me now,
how does your master live—what does he do?”

“T don’t know what you mean, sir,” said Jack hesi-
tatingly, and then he looked in the direction of Mr.
Simms.

“You need not mind my agent,” said Colonel Parker,
“and I want you to speak plainly. Tell me, does your
master play much at cards or dice?”

““Yes—yes, sir,” hesitated Jack, “he does play some-
times.”

“You see, Simms,” said Colonel Parker. “I knew
% was so. That is where the money all goes.” Mr.
Simms did not reply, and Colonel Parker turned to
Jack again. “Tell me,” he said, “is my brother often
away from home?”

“Methinks, sir,” said Mr. Simms, very respectfully
but firmly, “you do your brother an injustice in thus
questioning his servant behind his back.”

“T mean to do him no injustice, Simms,” said Colonel
Parker, impatiently, “but I mean to do myself justice.
Tell me, boy,” he continued, turning to Jack, “do men
come pushing your master for money?”

“Sometimes, sir,” said Jack. “There was a man
came once saying that Mr. Parker owed him a thou-
sand pounds, and last night—”

“A thousand pounds!” interrupted Colonel Parker.
‘OM is enough. I willnot ruin myself, Simms, for him or
for any other man. Take this letter, sirrah, and give
it to your master,” and he handed Jack the sealed letter
134 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

that lay in the window place beside him. “ And now get:
you gone.”
It was the middle of the afternoon of the following
- day when Jack finally reached the Roost. Mr. Parker
himself came to the door as he galloped up and leaped
to the ground, and the housekeeper looked down from
an upper window. Jack’s master snatched Colonel
Parker’s note from his fingers and tore it open violently.
He hesitated for a moment, and then he began reading
it, running his glance rapidly down the letter. As he
did so, his face gathered into a heavier and heavier
frown, and his strong, white teeth bit deep into the end
of the cigarro. At last he crushed the letter in his
hand. Jack, for fear he should appear to notice any-
thing, had turned and had begun to stroke and rub the
neck of the sweating horse. When he looked again,
he saw that Mr. Parker had reopened the crumpled
letter and was reading it through once more, this time
very carefully. Then, having finished it the second
time, he tore it sharply across, and then across again
and again and into little pieces that fell at last in a
white fluttering shower.
CHAPTER XIX
THE VISITOR AGAIN

T was the next day after Jack had returned from
Marlborough. The night was still and sultry, with
just a breath of hot breeze blowing. Jack and Little
Coffee were sitting together on the door-step, and Jack
was telling about Miss Eleanor Parker. The moon had
risen full and round, and bathed all the dark, hot, pant-
ing earth with a flood of shimmering silver. The fire-
flies, which were now just beginning to illuminate the
night, flashed and twinkled here and there in clusters
out over the damper places. Jack’s coat lay upon the
step beside him, and now he sat in his shirt sleeves.
Every now and then he slapped at the mosquitos that
sang persistently in his ears. He had been speaking
of Miss Eleanor Parker.

““T see her once myself,” said Little Coffee.

‘“‘ And she spoke as kind as could be to me, and asked
me all about myself,” continued Jack, without paying
any attention to Little Coffee. “TI told her how I had
been kidnapped. I do believe she ’ll speak to her fa-
ther about me. M—m—m—!” he groaned, stretching
himself. “I’m that sore with riding that if I’d hada
beating I could n’t be sorer. Drat that mosquito!” and

he slapped his cheek violently.
~ “T gee her once,” said Little Coffee again. “ Ai! she
a beauty! Um! You ain’t de only one in de world

see her. She came down de ribber in de big boat and
185
136 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

stopped yan at de landing. Istand up on de bluff and
I see her with three, four fine people, all going down
ribber. Dey stop here for de ma—aster.”

They were so intent upon their talk that they did
not notice the approach of astranger through the milky
brightness of the night, until he was close to them.
Then he was there. Jack jumped up from the step
as the visitor approached, his feet rustling in the long,
dry, moon-lit grass. Jack did not know him at first;
then he recognized him. It was the man with the long
black beard who had come at night three days before
to see the master. He was trigged out now with a
sort of tinsel finery that made a great show in the
moonlight. He wore petticoat canvas breeches and a
short-skirted coat, trimmed, as was the hat, with gilt
braid. He wore a satin waistcoat, and across his breast
a silken sling, from which dangled a brace of pistols.
A broad leathern belt, from which hung a cutlass, was
fastened at his waist by a brass buckle. The moonlight
shone upon a gold chain about his neck, and his beard,
which before had hung loose over his breast, was now
plaited into three plaits.

Jack looked at him with wonder, and Little Coffee
stared with mouth agape and shining eyes. The stran-
ger, perfectly indifferent to them, spoke directly to
Jack. “Is your master at home, boy?” he said, in his
hoarse, husky voice.

“Yes, he is,” said Jack.

“Well, then, just tell him I ’m here,” said the visitor,
“for he ’s expecting me.”

The doors and windows of the house stood wide open
in the warm night. Jack led the stranger into the hall,
the man’s heavy shoes clattering loudly in the silence.
Mr. Parker sat at the desk in the room beyond, looking
over some papers by the light of a candle. The warm
breeze came in at the window, and the candle flickered
THE VISITOR AGAIN 137

and wavered. The insects flew around and around the
light, and great beetles droned and tumbled in blun-
dering flight. The room was full of the sooty smell
from the empty fireplace. Mr. Parker sat in his shirt
sleeves. He looked up as Jack tapped upon the door,
and his fine florid face glistened with sweat. ‘“ Here’s
a man wants to see your honor,” said Jack.

The stranger pushed roughly by Jack and entered.
“T thought it must be you, captain,” said Mr. Parker,
eoldly; “I’ve been looking for you all the afternoon.
Here; take this chair and sit down,” and he pointed to
a seat as he spoke, turning his own chair around so as
to bring his back to the candle and his face into
shadow. ‘You may go,” said he to Jack, “and shut
the door after you.”

Mr. Parker waited, after the door closed, until he
heard Jack’s departing footsteps quitting the house.
Meantime, he looked his visitor over with perfectly cool
indifference, but with a sort of dry interest in his sin-
gular costume —his eyes lingering particularly upon
the plaited beard and the chain around the neck. “I
suppose, my good man,” said he at last, “that you ’ve
come for the settlement of that paper of yours?”

““Why, yes, I have,” said the other. “Why else d’ ye
suppose I ’d come?”

“Well, then,” said Mr. Parker, “I’m sorry for you,
for I can’t say that I’m ready, after all, to settle it, or
even a part of it. And what ’s more, I won’t be for
_ four weeks or more yet, nor until my brother’s agent
pays me my quarterly allowance.”

“Not ready !” exclaimed the other, and he stared with
bold anger at Mr. Parker. “ What d’ ye mean by that?
Why should you tell me last week that you ’d pay me
to-day, and then in so short a time change your mind
and blow # other way?” Mr. Parker shrugged his
shoulders coolly, but did not condescend to explain how
138 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

he had been disappointed in getting money from his
brother. :

“And don’t you intend to pay me at all, then?” the
stranger asked in a loud voice.

“Why, fellow,” said Mr. Parker, “it will do you no
good to lift your voice and to bluster at me. You can’t
squeeze blood out of a stone, and you can’t squeeze
money out of a man who hath none.”

“ And when will you pay me, then?”

“That I cannot tell you either, except, as I said, I
will settle something upon the paper when my allow-
ance is paid me, and that will be four weeks from
next Monday.”

“Why, then, Mr. Parker,” said the other, speaking
more and more violently, “you know very well that I
can’t be here four weeks from now. You know very
well what danger I stand in here in Virginia as it is,
and that I can’t come and go as I please, or as you
please for me. You was pleased to tell me, last time I
was here, that I’d broke my pardon, and you know I
come here with a halter around my neck. Come, come,
Mr. Parker, if you know what’s good for you you ‘Il
make some reasonable settlement with me, and by
you must make it to-night.”

“Must? Must, Mr. Pirate?”

“Yes, must, Mr. Gambler. Lookee, wind and weather
permitting, I sail for North Carolina the day after to-
morrow. If by that time you don’t make some settle-
ment of this paper of yours, I ’Il send it to your brother
for collection, and tell him how I came by it. D’ ye
understand ?”

Mr. Parker, who from the first had not seemed to
be keenly alert to the importance of the business in
hand, sat fingering the papers upon his desk, looking
intently at the other, but as though he did not hear
what he was saying. After his visitor had ended speak-



7
THE VISITOR AGAIN 139

ing he still sat gazing at him for a little space of silence.
At last, as though suddenly arousing himself, he said:
“Pull your chair up here, I want to say something in
your ear.”

“What d’ ye mean?” said his visitor, suspiciously.

“T mean that I have to say something privately to
you. So pull your chair up here close to me.” And
then the other obeyed, drawing his chair close to the
desk in front of which Mr. Parker sat. “I have some-
thing in my mind,” said Mr. Parker, presently, break-
ing the silence and speaking in a lower voice, “I have
something in my mind that may be of advantage to
us both if you are the man to help me earry it out, and
% is of that I want to speak to you.”

The other sat looking intently at Mr. Parker as he
spoke. “D’ ye mean,” said he, “that you and I shall
go into some venture together?”

“T mean something of that sort,” said Mr. Parker,
and as he spoke there was more than the usual haugh-
tiness in his tone and bearing.

“Well, what is it you have to propose, then?” said
the visitor, in no way overawed. Again there was a
little time of silence, and then Mr. Parker suddenly
said: “I have a mind to be plain with you, Pirate, and
I will be so, for I am driven to it. The case is just
this” —and then, as with some effort—“ I am a ruined
and a desperate man. I am pushed fairly to the wall,
and know of nowhere to get a single farthing of money
to help me out of my pinch.” Even with his back to the
candles the other could see that his handsome, florid
face had flushed to a redder red than usual, and that he
frowned a little as he spoke. “I will tell you plain,”
he said, “I am in such straits that only some desperate
chance can set me to rights again. So far as I can tell,
I owe some five or six thousand pounds to one and an-
other here in Virginia, besides something in Maryland,
140 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and something more in South Carolina. ’T is not so
very much, but ’t is enough to give you and others a
chance to push me hard. The time was—that was
when I was living in England—that my father would
send me that much money in a lump, and did so two
or three times. But now my brother Birchall hath
everything and I have nothing; and ten thousand
pounds is more to me now than fifty thousand pounds
was tome then. If I could by some chance get seven
thousand pounds, methinks I could set myself to rights.
But where can a desperate man get seven thousand
pounds except by some desperate chance?”

He did not say all this sequentially, but with many
breaks and pauses, and it was so he continued, pausing -
every now and then, and then speaking suddenly again
as though with an effort. Now he had stopped in his
speech and was playing, fiddling with a pen. Then he
began his broken talk again: “ Well, I ’d as leave say
this to a rascal like you as to any other man—I am a
ruined, desperate man. Day before yesterday I sent a
letter to my brother Birchall asking for an immediate
loan of five hundred pounds, and offering any sort of
security that he might demand, and that I could give,
if he would loan me five thousand pounds. I set forth
to him how desperate were my circumstances, but no,
he would not consider or think of anything, but sent
me a letter—” He ceased and sat frowning at the
other. ‘You see,” he said, resuming, “when I came
back from England four years ago I came a ruined
man. My father had given me all that I had asked
for while I was living in England, but when he died
he left everything to my brother Birchall, and nothing
to me except this plantation, which is not a tenth
part, I may say, of what had been the estate. He said
that he had given me my share, and more than that,
while he lived, and so he gave the estate to my brother,
THE VISITOR AGAIN 141

who had married a great heiress and needed it not. I
had to run away from England to escape my debts,
and still they followed me up. Then I was forced into
asking my brother for help. I spoke pretty roundly
to him, telling him what I thought of such injustice,
that gave him everything and me nothing, and so in
the end he paid my debts for me. But he talked to me
in such a way as showed plainly enough that he
thought, in paying my debts, he had bought me body
and soul, and might treat me as he chose, and say
things to me as he pleased. I bore from him what I
would not have borne from any other man in all the
world. Well, this letter which he hath sent me in an-
swer to my request for aloan of money, is such as hath
driven me clean to the wall, and with no help left to
me, and I am a desperate man. He comes as near to
calling me a rogue as he dares to do, and tells me in
so many words that I am a disgrace and a dishonor to
him. Well, then, if he thinks that I am a dishonor
to him, I may as well be so.”

All this time the stranger had been sitting motion-
lessly listening to what the other said, his eyes fixed
intently upon the shadowed face of the master of the
Roost. Presently Mr. Parker resumed:

“ His letter is of the kind that makes me feel easy to
do what I can to get from him what he will not give
me, and what, if my father had but been just to me,
would have been mine by rights. "I would have cost
him nothing to have spared me five hundred pounds,
or five thousand pounds, either; but now I will get it
from him if I can, let him suffer from it ever so much.”
He checked himself suddenly, and then said, ‘“‘ Why, do
you suppose, am I telling you all this that I would not
tell to any other man in all the world.”

“Why, that is the very thing I’m waiting for you to
let me know,” said the other.
142 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Mr. Parker hesitated for a moment, and then he said,
“Will you have something to drink?”

“Why, yes,” said the other. “If you have it handy
here, I would like right well to have-a glass of grog.”

Mr. Parker turned as though to summon Jack, then,
as if thinking better of it, he himself arose, went to the
closet at the side of the fireplace, and brought thence
a bottle of rum and a glass. “Can you do without
water?” said he.

“Yes, I can if I must,” said the other.

Mr. Parker pushed the papers aside on the desk and
set the bottle and glass within reach of his visitor, who
poured out nearly half a tumblerful of the liquor.

Mr. Parker looked coldly on as he filled his glass.
“Well, then, my plan is, as I said, to get from my
brother Birchall by force what he would not give me
_ of his own free will. Are you listening?” The other

nodded briefly, raised the glass to his lips, and drank
off the rum he had poured out. ‘“ You know perhaps
that my brother has only one living child ?”

The visitor seemed struck by Mr. Parker’s sudden
question. He looked at him for a second or two in an
almost startled silence, and then again nodded briefly.

“His child is a daughter,” said Mr. Parker, “and a
very beautiful and charming young lady, and one of
whom Jam very fond. Now, if some desperate pirate—
one, for example, like yourself”—and he looked his
visitor steadily almost scornfully in the face as he
spoke—“ should kidnap this young lady, and carry her
away, say to somewhere in North Carolina, I know
very well that my brother would give ten, yes, maybe
twenty thousand pounds by way of ransom to have
her safe back again.” é

A pause of perfect and unbroken silence followed.
“T never did anything of that kind before,” said Mr.
Parker’s visitor at last, “and I would n’t know how to
manage it.”
THE VISITOR AGAIN — 143

“Why, as for managing it,” said Mr. Parker, “it
could be managed easily enough. You would only
have to go up the river some time when my brother
was away from home and when nobody was there, and
earry off the young lady. You live down in North
Carolina, and you could take her home until her father
could ransom her.” Then, after a moment or two of
brooding silence, he continued almost with a flash:
“But, understand, she is my niece, and. if anything of
the kind is done she is to be treated in every way as
befits a lady of such rank and quality in the world.
There shall be no needless roughness, nor anything
said or done after she is taken away from home that
may be unfit for her to hear or to see. I have naught
against my niece. I am very. fond of her. If her
father suffers, tis his own fault, but I wall not have
her suffer. D’ ye understand?”

“Yes,” said the other with a sort of sullen acquies-
cence, ‘I understand.”

“You have a home down in Bath and you have a
wife there, I understand. The young lady shall be
taken to your wife and waited upon by her.”

The other nodded his head, but made no reply.
Presently he asked: “But how is the rest to be man-
aged? How is your brother to be approached, and how
is the money to be handled that is to redeem the young
lady ?”

“T am about to tell you that,” said Mr. Parker, curtly.
“T understand that Mr. Knight, the Colonial Secretary
in North Carolina, is a friend of yours. Now it shall
be arranged that Mr. Knight shall send, by some decent,
respectable merchant-captain, a letter addressed to me.
The letter will be of a kind to tell me that my niece
hath been taken by some of the Pamlico pirates, who hold
her for ransom. Then I will approach my brother, and
the matter will be arranged—I acting as my brother's
agent and Mr. Knight as the agent of the pirates.”
144 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

The other listened closely and attentively. “ And
what share of the money might you expect when the
matter is settled?” he asked.

“T shall expect,” said Mr. Parker, “to have the half
of it. You and Mr. Knight can settle the balance
betwixt yourselves.”

The other whistled and then arose, pushing back the
chair noisily. “Why, Mr. Parker,” said he, “I am not
used to doing business that way. If the thing is done
at all, I take it, it is done at the risk of my neck and
not at the risk of your neck. The danger falls all upon
me and none of it upon you, and yet you expect the
half of all the gain for yourself. My terms are these:
I shall have half of what comes of the venture, and not
you; and you and Mr. Knight, as agents, shall share
the balance betwixt you.”

Mr. Parker also pushed back his chair and rose.
“Then, sir,” said he, “if you choose to quibble so, the
business is all over between us, for I tell you plainly
that I shall not abate one single jot or tittle. I shall
have the half of what is made of this venture for my
share, or there shall be no venture and nothing to share
at all. As for that paper of mine you hold, you will
get not a farthing upon it as it stands, and you may
send it to my brother if you choose, for, after all, I
can’t be worse ruined than I am now,” and he shrugged
his shoulders.

The other looked into his face for a moment or two,
but there was not a shade or sign of yielding in it. Then
he burst out laughing. ‘ Well, Mr. Tobacco-Planter-
Gambler,” said he, “you do drive a mightily hard bar-
gain, to be sure. Well, as you won’t come to me I
must come to you. I tell you what it is, I will think
over all that you have said, and then let you know your
answer.

“Very well,” said Mr. Parker, “and when will
that be?”
THE VISITOR AGAIN 145

“Well, I will let you know it on Wednesday next.”

“Very well,” said Mr. Parker, “I will be down at
Parrott’s on Wednesday next, and then we can settle
the matter one way or the other.”

“At Parrott’s, on Wednesday next,” repeated the
other. “That will suit me very well indeed.”

“ And now, is there anything more?”

“Why, yes, there is,” said the other. ‘“ How about
this note of hand that you was to settle this evening ?”
and he tapped the breast of his coat.

“That,” said Mr. Parker, “must go without settle-
ment. You shall keep it for the present as an assur-
ance of good faith upon my part. But when Mr.
Knight sends the letter to me, as I have planned for
him to do, the paper must be inclosed in it and sent
to me.”

“ And how about settlement upon it?”

“Tt must,” said Mr. Parker, “go, as I told you, with-
out settlement, for I tell you plainly that I won’t con-
clude this business with you if you hold any paper
with my name signed to it. I don’t choose so to put
myself into the hands of any man, much less into your
hands.” i

Then once more the other burst out laughing. He
clapped Mr. Parker upon the shoulder. Mr. Parker
drew himself a little back, though he chose to show
no resentment at his visitor’s familiarity. “Methinks
you had better go now,” said he.

“Very well,” said the other, “very well, I'll go.”

He stopped only long enough to pour for himself an-
other half-glass of rum while Mr. Parker stood by
watching him; then he opened the door and walked
across the hall and out of the house. Mr. Parker fol-
lowed him and stood upon the door-step watching him
as he stalked away through the white moonlight toward
the bluff overlooking the misty distance of the river
beyond.

10
Aso XX

THE WILD TURKEY

HE ending to that strange and unsettled life that

Jack led at the Roost came as suddenly and as
sharply as though the one part of his existence had
been severed from the other part by the keen cut of
the knife of fate.

Mr. Parker had been away from home for nearly a
couple of weeks. He had not taken Jack with him, so
that during that time the lad had little or nothing to
do excepting such light work about the house as Peggy
Pitcher demanded of him.

A great deal of his time he spent in or about Dennis’s
cabin, maybe sitting in the great sooty fireplace talk-
ing ramblingly ‘to the overseer, while the negro wife
pattered about the bare earthen floor in her naked feet,
her face always stolid and expressionless as with a sort
of savage, almost resentful reserve.

When the master was away from home, Dennis, as
has been said, sometimes went off fishing or hunting.
He had an old musket hidden away in his cabin, and
now and then he would fetch home a raccoon, an opos-
sum, a half-dozen squirrels, or some other such bit of
fresh meat from the forest or the clearing. One hot
and sultry afternoon during this memorable time of
the master’s absence, he and Jack started off to a clear-
ing about a mile away, where of a morning or in the
slant of the day a flock of turkey-cocks, banished now

146
THE WILD TURKEY 147

from the company of their hens, would gather together
to feed in the long, shaggy grass.

Peggy Pitcher was very angry at Jack’s going with
Dennis instead of staying at home to attend to his
work. She and Jack were very good friends, but there
were times when she would become very provoked with
him. “TI just wish his honor would come home and
find you gone,” she said. “I’d just like him to give
you a good leathering some fine day. Then maybe you’d
learn to stay at home and ’tend to your own work.”

She was very angry, and Jack burst out laughing at
her as he ran away out of the house and into the hot
yellow afternoon sunshine.

Dennis, with his musket balanced over his shoulder,
was waiting for Jack, and the two struck off together
across a shaggy field of last year’s Indian corn, toward
a dark belt of pine woods in the distance. There were
some half-dozen negroes hoeing in a neighboring field
under guard of a half-breed overseer, and they stopped
from their work and stood looking as the two passed
by. Before they reached the woodland, Little Coffee
came running after them. He reached them panting,
the sweat running down his black face in bright drops.
Dennis did not order him home again, but without
seeming to perceive his presence, walked away, straight
across the shaggy field, striking into the edge of the
clearing that bounded the deeper growth of moods be-
yond, Jack keeping pace with him on one side and
Little Coffee upon the other.

“When I rode over to Marlborough ? other day,”
said Jack, “there was a great big turkey came out and
crossed over the road just in front of me. I believe I
could have knocked it over with a stick or a stone if
I’d had one in my hand.”

“Aye,” said Dennis, “there be a me of them
through the woods.” He was chewing upon a piece of
148 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

spice-wood which he had broken off from one of the
bushes as he passed by.

“Me see heaps of turkeys lots of times,” said Little
Coffee, but neither Jack nor Dennis paid any attention
to him.

To Jack the woods presently became an impenetrable
maze of trees and undergrowth, but Dennis walked
straight on without any hesitation. It was very warm
under the still shadows of the pines. Now and then
_ there were patches of underbrush, and now and then
they had to stoop low to pass through the thickets;
Little Coffee was sometimes obliged to pick his way
so carefully through the cat-briers that he was left far
behind. At a certain place they came to a morass in
the woods which seemed to be the head waters of some
creek—a cluster of smooth, glassy pools, surrounded
by trees and bushes. Here the ground was soft and
spongy under foot, and Dennis picked his way carefully
along, Jack following in his footsteps.

“Look at that snake!” cried out Dennis sharply, and
Jack started violently at the quick words breaking
upon the silence. Dennis made a thrust at the reptile
with the butt of his gun, but it slipped quickly into the
water and was gone.

‘Ol was a moccasin-snake,” said Dennis.

Jack laughed. “I’m glad I have n’t Little Coffee’s
bare legs, anyhow,” he said. Dennis grinned and looked
at Little Coffee where he stood with rolling eyes, seeing
another snake in every coil of roots.

Jack never forgot these minute particulars of that
day’s adventures; that which happened afterward
seemed to stamp them indelibly upon his memory.

So, at last, they came out into an open space of some
twenty or thirty acres in extent where the trees had
been cleared away. Here and there were little patches
of bushes, and here and there the tall trunk of a tree,
THE WILD TURKEY 149

blackened and seared by fire, stood stark and erect.
Across, beyond the clearing, was a strip of blue river,
the distant further shore hazy in the hot sunlight.

“Ts this the place where the turkeys feed?” Jack
asked.

“Aye,” said Dennis. “Phew!” he continued, wiping
his streaming face with his shirt-sleeve, “it surely be
mortal hot this day.”

Jack looked all around the wide spread of clearing.
There was not a sign of life in all the vast shimmering
expanse, except a few turkey-buzzards sailing smoothly
through the air and two or three others perched upon
a blackened limb of a tree.

“There ’s something dead over yonder,” observed
Dennis.

‘ “Where do you find the turkeys, Dennis?” said
Jack.

“Wind ’em!” said Dennis. “Why, you find ’em
here. Where else should you find ’em?” Jack did not
ask further questions, and presently Dennis explained:
“They won't come out of the woods till toward the
cool of the afternoon, when they come out to feed.
Then we’ve got to creep upon ’em or lay by till they
come to us.” As he spoke he wiped his face again with
his sleeve.

By and by he began loading his musket, measuring
the powder very carefully, wrapping the bullet in a
piece of greasy cloth, and ramming it down with some
difficulty into the gun.

Jack sat upon a fallen log, watching him, and Little
Coffee sat squatted upon his hams, also looking on.
After Dennis had loaded his musket, he propped it
carefully upon the log and then stretched himself out
. at length upon a little grassy place under the shade of a
tree. “By smoke!” he said, “I wish I had a drink of
water.”
150 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Jack had not realized until Dennis spoke how thirsty
he himself was. ‘I wish I had one, too,” he said.

“Well, you can just wish for it,” said Dennis, “and
so can I, and that’s the best we can do. You keep a
sharp lookout now,” he said, “and the best pair of eyes
sees the turkeys first.”

He stretched himself out as he spoke and closed his
eyes, as though to sleep.

The sun had sunk further and further toward the
west, and the shadows of the trees were growing longer
and longer. Jack sat listening and enjoying the warm
solitude. How strange and wonderful it all was; how
far remote from that old life he had left behind in Eng-
land. England! his mind went backward feeling around
amid the things of the past, and measuring them with
the present. That was England—this was America.

“Yan de turkey, Massa Dennis!” Little Coffee whis-
pered, suddenly, and Jack came sharply back to the
consciousness of things about him with a sudden keen
thrill that was almost painful in its intensity.

Dennis had started up from where he lay and was
looking in the direction in which Little Coffee was
pointing. Jack raised himself cautiously and also
looked in the same direction. His heart was beating
very quickly. The turkeys had come out from the
woods without any one of the three having seen them
until that moment. They were feeding in the open
about a furlong away, and maybe fifty or sixty yards
from the edge of the woods.

Dennis arose, and, without speaking, took up his gun.
Then, partly crouching, he skirted back into the woods
and along the edge of the clearing, Jack following him
and Little Coffee following Jack. So they went on for
some distance, and then Dennis turned sharply out
again toward the edge of the woods. He went forward
THE WILD TURKEY : 16k.

now very slowly and cautiously, and Jack still followed»
him, half crouching. He was intensely excited, his
mouth was dry and clammy, and his pulse beat heavily
in his ears. He did not notice the sweat trickling
down his face. Would Dennis really shoot one of the
turkeys ?

“Wait a little,” said Dennis, without turning around,
“till I see where I be.”.

Jack could now see between the thickets that the
clearing was just ahead. Dennis crept cautiously for-
ward and Jack stood watching him. Presently he saw
that the other was beckoning for him to come forward.
He did so, approaching very carefully. Dennis was
crouched down, looking out through the bushes, and
Jack came close to him, Little Coffee following. He
peered out from between the leaves; there were the
turkeys, perhaps fifty or sixty yards away—a half a
dozen or more great cock turkeys. To Jack’s eyes they
looked very big and very near.

“OT is like if we went on a little furder,” whispered
Dennis, “’t would bring us nigher to them, but I have a
mind to risk a shot from here.” He was crouched, gaz-
ing at the turkeys. Then he carefully raised the musket
and thrust it out through a fork of the bush in front of
him. He took a long, steady aim. Jack waited, hardly
daring to breathe, every nerve tensely braced to meet
the shock of the discharge.

Something must have alarmed the birds, for one
great cock suddenly raised his head and looked sharply
this way and that, and then they were all standing
with their necks stretched high, looking intently about
them. Then suddenly there came the stunning, deafen-
ing report of the musket. A cloud of pungent smoke
hid everything for a little while; then it had dissolved.

Could Jack believe his eyes? One great turkey cock
was flapping and struggling upon the ground.
152 ' JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

He leaped up with a shout and ran out into the clear-
ing. He heard Little Coffee shout behind him as he
ran forward through the long, shaggy grass, jumping
over the stumps, and he had a vision of the rest of the
turkeys scattering with shrill, piping cries toward the
woods—half-flying, half-running—then he was stand-
ing over the turkey cock where it lay upon the ground
in the tall, brown grass. It was nearly motionless when
he reached it, and its half-closed eyes were still bright
with the life that was just leaving them. There it lay,
and Jack looked down at it in an ecstasy. The sun
shone upon the burnished, metallic luster of its neck-
feathers— purple, blue, green. Its great horny foot
gave a futile, scratching struggle, and then it was quite
still.

Dennis was coming hurrying forward at a trot, carry-
ing his musket hanging at his side. Little Coffee
was capering around. Dennis came up to where Jack
stood. He hid whatever exultation he might have felt
under an assumed air of indifference. “’T was a pretty
long shot,” he said, “and methought I’d miss it. But
+ was the only chance I had.”

As he spoke he wiped his face with his sleeve. He
picked up the bird and held it out at arm’s length. Its
wings fell open as he did so. Then he dropped it again
heavily upon the ground. “ Well,” he said, “there ’s
fresh meat for Nama, anyhow.”

“Tl carry it home for you, Dennis,” said Jack.

“You may if you choose,” said Dennis.

The shadows were growing longer and longer as they
plunged into the woods again with their faces turned
homeward. Jack soon found his load was very heavy,
and presently he was glad to share it with Little Coffee.
He tied the feet of the great bird together with one of
his shoe-strings; then he slung it over a branch, he


66 PICKED UP THE BIRD AND HELD IT OUT AT ARM’S LENGTH.”
THE WILD TURKEY 153

taking one end upon his shoulder and Little Coffee the
. other. Then aan they went onward, Dennis leading
the way.

The sun had set and the first shade of twilight was
beginning to fall when they came out again from the
woods and in sight of the Roost. As they came up to
the row of cabins Kala came out to meet them. ‘De
master he came home while ago,” he said. “He be
axing for you.”

Jack stood stock-still. “What’s that, Kala?” said he.

“De master he came home,” repeated Kala. “ He
been axing for you.”

Somehow Jack could not believe what he heard.
“TY ye mean Mr. Parker’s come back?” he said.
“Hum-hum,” said Kala, nodding his head.
CHAPTER XXI
THE STRUGGLE

ACK and Little Coffee had laid the dead turkey
down upon the ground. Without another word he
ran away toward the house. He heard voices as he ap-
proached; they ceased at the sound of his footsteps as
he entered the house. He found Mr. Parker standing
in the middle of the hall with his hat upon his head;
Peggy Pitcher stood leaning over the lean, rickety ban-
ister-rail, half-way up the stairs. ‘There he is now,”
she said as Jack entered. “And ’t is no use to bluster
and swear at me any more. I told you ’t was none of
my doings that he went.” ’

Jack had never before seen Mr. Parker in one of his
humors. He had heard others about the Roost speak
of those times when the master would be in one of his
fits of temper, but he himself had as yet never beheld
one of those dreadful moods. Now he saw that the
master’s eyes were bloodshot. Mr. Parker had not been
drinking, but his face was congested to a purple-red,
and the veins in his neck and forehead stood out full
and round. He turned a dull, heavy; truculent look
upon Jack as he came in, and Jack, under that heavy
and forbidding glare, stood still and looked down upon
the floor.

“Come hither,” said Mr. Parker at last, in a gloomy
voice, and at his bidding Jack advanced slowly and re-
luctantly. “Come hither, I say,” he repeated, as Jack

154 :
THE STRUGGLE 155

hesitated at a little distance, and again Jack advanced.
When he had come near enough Mr. Parker reached
out and caught him by the collar of his coat. Jack
made no effort to resist him; he stood perfectly quiet,
his soul heavy with a dumb apprehension as to what
was about to happen to him.

“Mrs. Pitcher hath told me that she bade you not
to go away from home,” said Mr. Parker; “but that
in spite of all she could say you did go, leaving your
work undone behind you. Well, then, I ‘ll lay my
mark on you, by , and in such a way that you ‘Il
not forget it soon, nor run away again when you ’re
told to stay at home.”

He drew Jack across the room as he spoke, and Jack,
fearing to resist, yielded himself to be led as the master
chose. It was not until Mr. Parker had taken down
the heavy riding-whip from the wall that he fully
understood what his master intended to do to him.
His first instinct was of defense, and as Mr. Parker
raised his arm he too reached up, hardly knowing what
he did, and caught the other by the sleeve, holding it
tightly. ‘“ Your honor!” he cried, and he recognized
that his voice was hoarse and dry —“‘ your honor, I’m
mightily sorry for what I’ve done, and I promise you
I ‘ll never do the like again. I ’ll never run away
again, your honor, indeed I won’! Pray don’t strike
me, your honor! 1”

“Let go my arm!” cried Mr. Parker, harshly. ‘“ What
d’ ye mean by holding my sleeve like that?” He strove
to break away from Jack’s hold, but Jack clung to him
more closely than ever.

“T promise you,” he cried panting, “I promise you—
T’ll never go away again. I promise you after this I ’ll
do just as you would have me, but—but—don’t beat
me. I’m mightily sorry for what I’ve done—I am—
but don’t try to beat me!


156 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Tet go my arm, I tell you!” cried Mr. Parker, and
he tried to wrench himself loose. But still Jack held
him tightly. Then Jack felt that Mr. Parker had let go
his grasp upon his collar and was trying to pluck away
the hold of the fingers that clutched the sleeve. ‘ Let
me go, I tell you!” he cried out again. “ Are you mad
to handle me thus?— What do you mean?— Are you
mad?—Let me go!” The next moment he had torn his
arm free. He struck at Jack with the whip, but Jack
clung to him so closely that the blow was without ef-
fect, and before he could strike him again Jack had
caught him once more.

He heard the rasping sound of ripping cloth, and he
knew that he must have torn some part of his master’s
dress. “You sha’ n’t beat me!” he gasped. “You
sha’ n’t beat me!” Mr. Parker tried to thrust him away
with his elbow, but he clung all the more tightly. As
Mr. Parker pushed him partly away, he could see the
other’s handsome face flaming purple-red, but in the vio-
lence and excitement of the struggle he only half knew
what he was doing. He could feel the struggling move-
ments of his master’s body as he clutched him, and
he was conscious of the soft linen of his shirt and the
fine smell of his person. Then he felt that some one
had caught him by the collar, and, in the turmoil of
his excitement, he knew that it was Mrs. Pitcher who
held him, and he heard her voice crying in his ear:
“Let go, Jack! Are you clean gone crazy? What
are you doing? Let go, I say.”

“No, I won’t!” cried Jack, hoarsely, “he sha’ n’t beat
me!” He hardly knew what he was doing; his only
instinct was of self-defense. In his struggles he felt
himself strike against the edge of the table, and then
against a chair. Then he stumbled against another
chair, overturning it with a loud clatter. At the same
instant, Mr. Parker tripped over it and fell, rolling
THE STRUGGLE 157

over and over on the floor. In the fall his hat and wig
were knocked off, but he still held the whip clutched
in his hand. Jack stood panting, and Peggy Pitcher
still had hold of him by the collar of his coat. In
the sudden cessation of the tumult of the struggle,
Jack could hear the blood surging with a ceaselessly
beating “hum—hum—hum” in his ears.

Mr. Parker lay still for a second or two as though
_ partly stunned by his fall, then he scrambled up from
the floor. He picked up his wig and put it on his head.
He did not seem to see his hat where it had fallen
under the table. He put his hand to his head and
stood so for a second or two. Then he flung the
riding-whip down upon the table and walked to the
door without looking at Jack. Dennis, who was on his
way to his cabin, had heard the sound of the struggle
and loud voices, the scuffling of feet upon- the bare
floor, the clattering overturning of the chair. He had
stopped, and now stood with the musket over his
shoulder, Little Coffee carrying the turkey. He was
still so standing when Mr. Parker came to the door.
“Dennis!” cried the master hoarsely, “bring three or
four men and come over here directly.” Then, without
waiting for a reply, he came back to the table and
poured out a glass of rum for himself, the bottle clink-
ing and tinkling against the edge of the glass with the
nervous trembling of his hand.

Jack heard Mr. Parker’s words to Dennis, and then
he realized for the first time how utterly and helplessly
powerless he was, and into what a pit of trouble he had
fallen. His heart sank away within him and he stood
without moving, numb with despair, the rapid pulse-
beats still thumping and surging in his ears. “Your
honor—your honor,” he said huskily, “I—I did n’t
know what I was doing—I did n’t. I did n’t mean to
tear your dress. Pardon me, your honor, I did n’t
158 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

mean it!” He almost choked, swallowing upon a hard
lump in his throat. Mr. Parker paid not the slightest
attention to him. “ Won’t you listen to me, your honor?”
he cried despairingly. He heard the approaching foot-
steps of Dennis and those whom he had brought with
him, and the sound lent a still heavier agony of despair
to his apprehension. “I did n’t mean to do it, your
honor,” he cried, with a final effort to placate that im-
placable one, and then the next moment Dennis and /
three negroes came into the house.

“T want you to take that boy,” said Mr. Parker,
pointing to Jack, “and lock him up in the cellar for
the night. Ill flay you alive to-morrow,” said he, turn-
ing with a flash upon Jack and grinding his white
teeth together. “I’ll spare you for to-night, but to-
morrow I?ll murder you, I will,” and then he turned
and went out of the room.

“What have you been doing, Jack?” said Dennis.

“Oh! I don’t know, Dennis,” Jack panted—almost
sobbing. “He was going to beat me and I tried to
keep him from doing it, that was all.”

“We fought with his honor like a wild-cat,” said Mrs.
Pitcher, “and he threw him down over a chair onto
the floor.”

“Why did you do that, Jack?” said Dennis. “ You
must have been clean gone crazy to do such a thing as
that.” Jack tried to reply, but he could not do so for
the choking in his throat. “ Well,” said Dennis, “ there
is nothing left now but to do as his honor said. You
had better come along now, and not make any more
_ trouble.”

“Oh, I’m not going to make any more trouble,” said
Jack, rece

Dennis and Mrs. Pitcher seed looking at him.
“Well,” said Dennis, as though giving himself a shake,
‘““t is a bad, bad piece of business. I can’t do anything
THE STRUGGLE 159

to help you. Come along, and I ‘ll make it as easy for
you as I can.”

“T 11 send you down something good to eat,” said
Mrs. Pitcher.

“T don’t want anything to eat,” said Jack, despair-
ingly.

The cellar was a vault-like dungeon of a place, built
solidly of brick, with only a narrow, barred window and
the door from the kitchen opening into it. Indeed, it
had once been used as a place of confinement or reten-
tion for the slaves in olden days, and there was a pair
of rusty unused shackles with chains yet hanging from
a staple in the wall. Jack could not tell how long it
was he sat there, in the cold dampness of the place,
thinking and thinking, and yet with a mind inert and
dull as to any precision of consciousness. He could
hear distant sounds through the house, and now and
then the echo of footsteps passing overhead. All
around him was a dead and muffled silence of dark-
ness. It must have been nightfall when Mrs. Pitcher
came, bringing some food wrapped up in a napkin.
“Here,” she said, “you eat this, and you ’ll feel the
better for it.” Jack shook his head. “ Well, I’ll put it
down. here, and maybe youll eat it after a while. And
then she went away, leaving him once more to the
darkness and the silence.

By little and little the sounds of moving in the house
above were stilled. Jack’s ears hammed and tingled and
buzzed, and he sat there thinking, thinking, thinking,
and yet not thinking with any set purpose of thought.
What was to happen to him? Oh! if he had not re-
sisted his master! Why had he resisted? If there were
only some way in which he could set himself right with
that master! If he could only beg and obtain some par-
don! And then he realized with despair that there was

no way in which he could undo what he had done; that
160 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

there was no possible pardon for him. He saw asin a
mental picture his master rolling over on the floor, and
he knew that he would never be forgiven such an in-
sult. Now and then he thrilled almost as with an
agony—if he could only escape the inevitable to-mor-
row! But, no! There was nothing for him to do but
to sit there all night waiting for the day. Oh! if he
could only stop thinking about it. He might have
sat there thinking thus for an hour; he might have
sat there ten hours; there was no sequence of thought
by which he might measure the length or the short-
ness of time —nothing but a level stretch of dull and
numb despair. Then, suddenly, he felt that he was
parched and dry with thirst. He wondered if Peggy
Pitcher had brought him anything to drink. He reached
over, fumbling in the darkness, and opened the cloth
in which was wrapped the food she had brought him.
There was a bottle with something in it. It was rum
and water, and Jack, as he drank a long draught of
it, felt an almost animal gratitude in the quenching
of his parching thirst. Presently he began eating some
of the food, and before he knew it he had made a
hearty meal. ;

For a while the eating distracted his mind, and his
troubles lay big and dumb, brooding within him; but
after he had finished the food and sat again in the hum-
ming silence, it all came back to him with a renewed
and overwhelming keenness. He bowed his head over
on his knees. Recollections of the warm, bright day .
that had just passed—a recollection of the dead turkey
as it lay in the grass—came vividly to him. The trivial
recollection seemed to make the terror of that which
afterward happened all the more tragic by contrast.
He felt the hot drops well bigger and bigger under his
burning eyelids, and then one fell upon his hand and
trickled slowly down across it.
CHAPTER XXII
THE ESCAPE

T had not seemed to Jack that he had been asleep,
but vision-like recollections of the happenings of
the day skimmed ceaselessly in a panorama-like vision
through his tired brain. Now he saw the hot stretch
of clearing as he had seen it that afternoon—the quiv-
ering, pulsing air, the slanting sun, the distant river, the
blue further shore. Again and again he thought he
struggled with his master. Sometimes he dreamed
that the next day had come, and that his master had
forgiven him. But through all these vision-like dreams
there ever loomed, big and terrible in the background
of his half-consciousness, the unknown fate that awaited
him in the morning, and he would awaken to find those
dreams dissolve into a black and terrible reality in
which there was no spark of hope.

Suddenly he was startled from one of hese half-wak-.
ing visions by the sound of footsteps passing overhead,
and then by the noise of a key rattling furtively in the
lock. It sounded loud in the death-like silence. Then
the door at the head of the cellar-steps opened, and the
yellow light of a candle slid slanting down along the
wall. Jack looked with straining eyes, and then he
saw that it was Peggy Pitcher who was coming. She
was in her stocking feet, and wore a loose wrapper and
a mob-cap tied under her chin. “ Why, Mrs. Pitcher,”

whispered Jack, tremulously, “is that you?”
11 161
162 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Ves,” she said, “’t is I, but you be quiet.”

“What time of night is it?” Jack whispered.

“Why, ’t is early yet—not more than nine o’clock,
I reckon.”

“Ts that all?” said Jack.

She did not reply, but set the candle down upon the
floor and stood for a while regarding Jack, her arms
akimbo. ‘“ Well,” she said at last, speaking angrily,
“+ is all your own fault. that you’re here, and ’t is none
of my business. I told you not to go away from home
with Dennis, but you did go in spite of all, and now
you see what’s come of it. By rights I should let you
alone; but no, here I be,” and she tossed her head.
“Well,” she continued, “I’m not going to stand by and
see you beat to death, and that’s all there be of it.”

Jack’s very heartstrings quivered at her latter words.

“What do you mean, Mrs. Pitcher?” he said, hoping
dumbly that he had somehow misunderstood.
- “Why,” said she, “I mean that his honor ’s in that
state of mind I would n’t trust him not to have you
whipped to pieces out of pure deviltry. I never saw
him as mad as this before, and I don’t know what's got
into him. He’s been away from home somewhere, and
something ’s gone wrong, and the very black evil ’s got
into him. I’ve been talking to him ever since he sent
you here, but he, won’t listen to anything. I’ve seen
him in bad humors, but I never saw him in as black a
humor as he’s in to-night. If he sets on you to-mor-
row he ‘ll never stop till he finishes you, and that I do
believe.”

Jack could not speak. He sat looking at hee in the
light of the candle.

“Well,” Mrs. Pitcher burst out at last, “ I’ve thought
it all over and I’ve made up my mind. I dare say I’m
a fool for my pains, but I’m going to let you get away.
For the long and short of it is that I sha’ n’t stay by and
THE ESCAPE - 163

see ye beat to pieces like he. beat one of the blackies last
summer. After Dennis had locked you up, his honor
must needs send for him and ask where you was, and
if you was safe; and then he must needs have the key
of the cellar in his own pockets. He was dead tired,
and so went to bed a while ago, and I’ve just contrived
to steal the keys out of his pockets. Now I’m going to
let you go, I am.”

“Oh, Peggy!” cried Jack, hoarsely. His mouth
twitched and writhed, and it was all he could do to
keep from breaking down. ‘“ But how about you?” he
said, wiping his hand across his eyes.

“Never you mind about me,” said Mrs. Pitcher, an-
erily. “You mind your own business, and Ill mind my
business. I ain’t going to see you whipped to death —
that ’s all there is about it.. So you just mind your
business and I Il mind mine.” |

“But where shall I go after you let me out, Mrs.
Pitcher?”

“Why,” said she, “ that youll have to settle for
yourself. ’T is as much as I ean do to let you go. All
I know is, you must get away from here. Now go, and
don’t you lag about any longer. If his honor should

- chance to wake and find his keys gone, and suspicioned
you’d got away, ’t would be a worse lookout for you
than ever, not to speak of myself.”

Then J. ale realized that he was free to escape. “TI ’Il
—I ‘ll never forget what you’ve done for me,” said he
in a choking voice, “as long as ever I live.”

“There, you go now,” she said, and she pushed him
roughly toward the cellar stairway. . “ As for me, don’t
you think anything about me, Jack; I’ll do well enough
for a poor wicked creature, and even if his honor does
find out that’t was I let you go, why, he won’t murder
me. But then he won’t find out,” she added. “So, now
you go.”
164 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Good-by, Mrs. ECS said Jack; “won’t you say
good-by ?”

“No, I won’t,” said she. “You go, and don’t you lose
any more time about it.”

- But it was not until he was fairly out into the starlit
night that he realized that he had really escaped. He
ran some little distance away before he stopped. Then
he stood looking about him. Where was he to gonow?
Where was he to escape to? He stood still thinking.
He wondered if Dennis would help him. Then without
any especial object he crept around back of the group
of huts. He could see that there was a faint light in
Dennis’s cabin, but he was afraid to approach closer.
Some one was singing in the darkness beyond, and he
knew that it was Little Coffee chanting in his high-
pitched voice. He crept slowly and cautiously toward
the sound of the singing, and presently he could distin-
guish the outline of Little Coffee’s form against the sky.
He was sitting perched upon the fence. “Coffee!”
whispered Jack, “Little Coffee!” But Little Coffee
did not hear him and continued his barbaric chant,
which seemed to consist chiefly of a repetition of the
words, ‘“ White man came to de green tree, black man,
he go ’way.” “Little Coffee!” whispered Jack again,
and then instantly the singing ceased.

' There was a moment or two of listening silence.
““Who da?” said Little Coffee presently, and Jack
could see that he had turned his face toward him in
the darkness.

“Hush!” whispered Jack, “’t is I, Jack.”

“Who ?—Jack?— Dat you, boy?” said Little Coffee.

“Yes,” answered Jack.

Little Coffee jumped down instantly from the fence
and came in the darkness toward Jack’s voice. “How you
git away?” said he to Jack, “dey say Massa Dennis
lock you up in de cellar. How you git out, boy?”
THE ESCAPE 165

“Never mind that,” said Jack; “’tis enough that I
got out, and here Jam. Come out here, Coffee, away
from the cabins; somebody ’Il hear us.”

He led the way down toward the edge of the bluff,
and Little Coffee followed him for a while in an amazed
silence. “What you go do now, boy?” he asked after
a little while.

Jack did not answer immediately. “I’m going to
run away,” he said at last.

“You no run away,” said Little Coffee, incredulously.
Jack did not reply. “How you going to run away,
anyhow?” asked Little Coffee.

“T am going to go off in the boat,” said Jack.

“Vou no run away, boy,” said Little Coffee again.

“Yes, I will, too,” said Jack; and then he added, almost
despairingly, “I’ve got to run away, Little Coffee. I
wonder if the oars are down by the dug-out?”

“Yes, ’im be,” said Little Coffee; “I see Kala prop de
oars up ag’in’? de bank when he come in from de pot-
nets! Where you run away to, anyhow?” he asked.

“T don’t know,” said Jack; and then, as the thought
came to him, he said: “ First of all, I’m going over the
river to Bullock’s Landing. I don’t know where I ‘ll
go then—most likely down to North Carolina. That’s
where all the runaways go. Ill try to get to England
from there.”

Little Coffee looked at him in the darkness for a while.
“T be no more ’fraid to run away dan you be ’fraid to
run away,” said he at last.

“Would n’t you be afraid?” Jack cried out eagerly ;
“then you shall go along with me if you choose. “He
grasped at the chance of a companion in his escape;
for now, that every step brought him more nearly face
to face with what he had to do, he began to see what a
thing it was to undertake. It seemed to him that if he
had someone with him it would make it easier for him.
166 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

The two stood looking out across the water. From
the edge of the bluff bank where they stood the water
stretched away, vast and mysterious, into the distance.
The rude dug-out canoe in which Kala had rowed over
to the nets was lying drawn up on the shore. Jack
could see its shapeless form below in the darkness. He
descended the steps to the beach, followed by Little
Coffee. The oars still stood leaning against the bank
where Kala had left them. Jack gathered them up and
carried them down to the dug-out. Some water had
leaked through the cracks into the boat, and before he
pushed it off he baled it out with the gourd dipper.
Little Coffee stood looking silently at the preparations
he was making. “You going to run away for sure,
boy?” he said at last.

“Why, don’t you see I am?” said Jack.

“Den you berry foolish,” said Little Coffee. “I no
run away with you, boy.” |
- “What’s that?” said Jack, standing up abruptly and *
facing Little Coffee. “ What’s that? Why, you just
now said: you’d run away with me if I went.”

“Tno say dat,” said Little Coffee, “I say maybe I run
away.” And then he burst out indignantly, “Guess
you tink me fool, boy!”

“And so you’d let me go alone, would you?” said
Jack bitterly. Little Coffee made no reply. “Well, then,
help me push the boat off, anyhow,” Jack said.

Little Coffee sprang eagerly enough to lend him a
hand, and as the two pushed the clumsy boat off into the
water, Jack stepped into it. He placed the oars care-
fully in the rowlocks, and then spat upon his hands.
All around him was the night and the water. The
bluff bank loomed big against the sky. He could see
Coffee’s dim form standing upon the shore, but still he
sat resting without pulling the boat off. “Won’t you go
with me, Little Coffee?” he said, making a last appeal.
THE ESCAPE 167

“Um!—um!” Little Coffee grunted in negative.

The water lapped and gurgled against the side of the
boat, and the current drifted it slowly around against
the shore. Jack still hesitated and lingered. For one
moment of failing courage he told himself that he would
go back and face what he would have to face the next
day, and then, with a rush of despair, he recognized
how impossible it would be to face it. “TI believe you
be ’fraid to run ’way, after all,” said Little Coffee from
where he stood.

The jar of the words roused Jack to action. ‘“‘ Good-
by, Little Coffee,” said he hoarsely, and then he dipped
the oars into the water and pulled off from the shore
into the night.
CHAPTER XXIIT
A MEETING

ULLOCK’S LANDING, the settlement of which
Jack had spoken, was a little cluster of poor
frame houses on the other side of the wide river from
the Roost. You could see it easily enough from the
high bluff bank, but not what sort or condition of
houses they were. But there were people living there,
for now and then boats stopped at the little straggling
landing. Jack’s first plan was to cross the river to this
place. From there he thought he might be able to find
some road through the woods to North Carolina. Or
if he were not pursued he might find a chance to work
a passage down to Norfolk, and thence, perhaps, to
England. Anyhow, the first thing was to get away
from the Roost, and Bullock’s Landing was the nearest
habitable place. He remembered now that a sloop
had been lying there for two days. If it had not left,
maybe he could work a passage in it down to Norfolk.
He rowed steadily away into the river, and in a little
while the shore he had left behind him disappeared into
the darkness of night. All around him was the lapping,
splashing water of the river. He guided his course by
the stars, still pulling away steadily. His mind drifted
aimlessly as he rowed, touching a dozen different points
of thought that had nothing to do with his present
trouble. Now and then he wondered what he would do
when he reached the further shore; but generally he

168
A MEETING 169

let his thoughts drift as they chose. He planned in-
definitely to himself that, when he got to the further
shore, where, no doubt, he would find somebody awake,
he would, in the morning, go aboard of the sloop and
ask the master or captain to let him work his passage
to Norfolk. Or, if the captain of the sloop should seem
to show any signs of dealing dishonestly with him, and
if there appeared to be any danger of his being kid-
napped again, he would try to get away into the inte-
rior of the country. He could very easily beg his way
from house to house until he reached North Carolina.
There was a splash in the water, very loud in the
stillness —it sounded like a fish. It startled Jack for
a moment, and he lay on his. oars, listening breathlessly.
Presently he began rowing again. He did not doubt
that he could easily escape, if need be, into North Caro-
lina. Plenty of people had escaped thus from the plan-
tations, and he was sure he could do the same.

So his scattered thoughts drifted as he continued
rowing with almost instinctive regularity. Every now
and then he stopped to rest himself for a little while,
and then the breathless silence would brood over him,
broken only by the ceaseless lap and gurgle and splash
of the water all around him.

It was an hour or more before he came to the further
shore of the river. At the point which he reached
there was nothing to be seen but the black pine forest
coming down close to the water’s edge, and two stunted.
cypress trees that stood out in the stream. In the
darkness of the night he could not tell whether the
settlement to which he was directing his course lay
above or below the point he had reached. The woods
brooded dark and still. Millions of fireflies spangled its
blackness with quick pulsing sparkles of light, and a
multitudinous whisper and murmur of woodland life
breathed out from the dark, mysterious depths. He
170 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

unshipped his oars, rattling loudly in the dark stillness,
and stood up in the boat, looking first up the stream
and then down, then up again. He thought he saw a
dim outline that looked like a group of houses and the
sloop far away up the river, and then he sat down, re-
placed the oars, and began rowing up the shore.

It was the sloop he had seen. Gradually it came out
more and more defined from the obscurity. Then he
could see the outline of the long, narrow landing.
There were signs of life about the sloop, and up on
the shore. The door of one of the houses stood open,
and there was a light within. By and by he could, hear
the noise of laughing and singing and of boisterous
voices coming from it. As he came nearer and nearer
to the landing someone suddenly hailed him through
the night.“Ahoy! Who’s that? Who be ye?” He did
not reply, but rowed up under the wharf and lashed
the dug-out to one of the piles. Three or four men
came over across the wharf from the sloop, one of
them carrying a lantern. They stood looking down
at him as he made the boat fast. Then he climbed
up to the wharf. The man with the lantern thrust it
close to his face, and almost instantly a voice, very
familiar to his ears, called out: “ Why, Jack, is that
you? What are you doing here?”

Jack looked up and, in the dim light of the lantern,
saw who it was. It was Christian Dred. “ Why, Dred,”
he cried out, “is that you? What are you doing here?”

“That.’s what I axed you,” said Dred. ‘ What be
you doing here at this time of night.”

“T ll tell you,” said Jack. “I’ve been treated badly,
and I ’m running away from my master, Dred. He
used me mightily ill, and I had either to run away or to
be whipped to-morrow. But, O Dred, I’m glad to find
you here, for I did n’t know what I was to do without a
friend to help me.” For suddenly the joy and relief of
A MEETING 171

having thus unexpectedly found his friend began to
erow so big in Jack’s soul that he could hardly save
himself from breaking down before them all. Every
instant the wonder of it grew bigger and bigger within
him—the wonder that he should so have met Dred face
to face in the boundless spaces of the new world —thus
at midnight in the wild depths of the Virginias. Then
he heard Dred asking, ““ Who was your master?”

“My master ?—His name was Richard Parker,” Jack
answered. :

“But, O Dred; how is it you were to be here? "I is
the wonderfullest thing I ever heard tell of.”

Dred burst out laughing, “Ill tell ye that by and
by,” he said. A little crowd had gathered about him
by this time, and more were coming over from the
sloop, aboard of which there seemed to be a great
many men. They crowded closely about, listening
curiously to what was said. “But Richard Parker!”
said Dred. “Was then Mr. Richard Parker your
master? Why, he was here this very arternoon. He
and the captain are great friends. Why, the captain
came up here just to see Mr. Richard Parker, and
that ’s why I be here, too.”

Jack, as he looked about him at the faces dim in the
lantern-light, wondered dumbly who the captain was,
but he was too bewildered and confused to think with
any sharpness or keenness of intelligence. __

“What are you going to do now?” asked Dred.

“T do n’t know,” said Jack. “I thought maybe I
might work a passage to Norfolk inthis sloop, for I’d
seen it yesterday from +t? other side of the river and
remembered it when I ran away. If I could n’t do that
I was going to try to get down into North Carolina,
afoot. What is this sloop, Dred?” |

Dred took Jack by the arm. “ Never mind that, now,”
he said, “you come along with me. Ill be back again
172 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

in a trifie or so, Miller,” he said to the man who carried
the lantern. Then he pushed his way through the
group that had surrounded them, and led Jack along
the landing toward the shore. Suddenly as they walked
along together he spoke. “ Look ’ee,” he said, “did
you ever hear of Blackbeard the Pirate?”

“Ves,” said Jack, “TI have, and that not afew times.”

“Well, then,” said Dred, “I’m going to take you to
him now. He’s the captain, and if ye wants to get —
away from your master, the only thing I can do for to
help you is to get the captain to take ye along of us.
Arter you left the Arundel I disarted and ran away
to North Caroliny ag’in, and so here I be now. Youll
have to join with us if you want to get away, and
that’s all I can do for you. Will you do that?”

“Indeed I will,” cried Jack. “I’m glad enough to
get away to be willing to go anywhere. And then, do
you see, you ll be along, Dred.”

Dred was still holding him by the arm, and he gave
it a squeeze. ‘ Well then, we’ll just go up to Bullock’s
and have a talk with the captain about it,” he said.

They had left the landing by now and were ascend-
ing a little rise of ground to the house, the door of
which stood open, and from which was coming the
sound of loud voices, and now and then a burst of
laughter. Dred, still holding Jack by the arm, led him
up to the door of the house and into it. It seemed to
be a sort of store, or drinking-house—a wide, barrack,
shed-like place. There was a kind of bench or counter,
some shelves seemingly empty, and two or three bar-
rels, apparently of spirits. It was reeking hot, and full
of men who were drinking and talking with loud voices.
Some of the men had the appearance of being planters
or settlers; others looked like sailors.

Dred, still holding Jack by the arm, looked around
for a brief moment, then he elbowed his way through
_A MEETING 173

the crowd toward the other end of the room, almost
dragging Jack with him. ‘ Who have you got there,
Dred ?”—“ Who’s that, Dred?” was asked by a dozen
voices as Dred pushed his way up the length of the
room. Dred did not reply; he led Jack up to a man
who sat upon a barrel, swinging one leg and holding
a glass of spirits in the hand that rested upon his knee.

Jack knew the man as soon as he saw him. It was
_ the stranger who had twice come to the Roost. He
was still dressed in the sort of sailor dress in which
Jack had last seen him, and his beard was plaited into
three plaits that hung down and over his breast. Jack
saw that he had been drinking, perhaps a great deal. He
did not move, except to raise his eyes sullenly as Dred
led Jack up to him. “ Captain,” said Dred, “this young
man’s just come ashore down at the wharf. I know him
very well, seeing as how he came over from England with
me and that we was, so to say, messmates. He’s run
away from his master, and says he ’d like to ’list with
us. He’s a good, able-bodied lad, and very willing too.”

“Don’t you come from Mr. Parker’s?” said the cap-
tain, in his hoarse, husky voice.

“Yes, I do,” said Jack. “He was going to have me
whipped, and I ran away from him.”

“T thought I knew your face,” said the pirate.
“ And so you’re running away, are you? And he was
going to beat you, was he? Well, I dare say you de-
served it. What were you doing to have him beat you ?”

The strange, shaggy crowd pressed up close around
them, and Jack gazed about him at the half-drunken
faces. “I was doing naught to be whipped for,” he
said. “I went away with the overseer, and while I was
gone Mr. Parker came back. He tried to whip me with
a riding-whip, and while I was keeping him off he fell
down. He was going to have me beaten for that to-
morrow, and so I ran away.”
174 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

The pirate captain stared at him for a little while of
gloomy silence, shaking his head slowly from side to
side the while. “Well, then,” he said, “Mr. Parker
and I are very good friends, and I don’t choose to help
his servants to run away from him. So Ill just make
across to his place to-morrow, and drop you on our
way up the river.”

Jack saw thatthe pirate was ‘not sober, and he
turned to look to Dred. Dred had let go his hold upon
Jack’s arm; now he leaned over toward the pirate cap-
tain, and began whispering in his ear, the other listen-
ing gloomily and sullenly, and Jack watching them
both with an anxious intentness. “ Well, I can’t help.
that,” the pirate said aloud to something that Dred
urged; and he raised his elbow and tried to push the
other away. Dred leaned forward to whisper some last
words as the other thrust him off. “I wish you
would n’t come here troubling me this way, Chris Dred,”
he said: “I don’t care anything about the fellow, he
won't be any usetome. Well, then, take him aboard if
you choose, and Ill think about it to-morrow morning.
Now you go back to the sloop. You should n’t ha’ left
it, as ’t is.”

Again Dred took Jack by the arm. “Come along,
Jack,” he said, “’t is all right now.”

“But he said he was going to send me back,” said
Jack, as they made their way back through the room,
and toward the open air.

“Oh, that ’s all very well; he won’t send you back”;
you ae set your mind at rest on that.. I know him ie
well as I know my own hand. He’s give in so far now,
he won’t send you back.” Then, as they came out of
doors once more—“ Lord!” drawing a deep breath,
“but it do feel good to get a breath of fresh air.”

“Tell me,” said Jack, as they walked down to the
wharf together, “was that Blackbeard?”


ED JACK UP TO THE MAN WHO SAT UPON A BARREL,”

“AE L
A MEETING 175

“ Ay,” said Dred, “that ’s what they call him here-
abouts.”

“Why, then,” said Jack, “I’ve seen him before. He
was over to the Roost twice in the last two weeks,
but I never thought ’t was Blackbeard.”

When, after a deep and profound sleep, Jack awoke
almost at the dawn of the following day, he looked
about him, at first not knowing just where he was. The
hold of the sloop was full of the forms of sleeping men
huddled into groups and clusters. The air was heavy
and oppressive. He sat for a while staring about him,
then suddenly he remembered everything — his sur-
roundings, and how he had fallen asleep there the night
before. He roused himself and, stepping cautiously
over thesleeping forms without disturbing them, climbed
up the ladder to the deck above.

A thick fog had arisen during the night, and every-
thing was shrouded in an impenetrable mist that drifted
in great clouds across the deck. The ropes and sheets
were wet and fuzzy with the moisture that had settled
upon them, and the sails looked heavy and sodden with
dampness, the decks and the two boats hanging from
the davits wet and shining with moisture. Two or three
of the crew were upon watch in the early morning.
One of them, his hair and woolen cap white with parti-
cles of the drifting mist, lay stretched upon the top of
the galley deck-house, a carbine lying beside him. He
was smoking his pipe, a faint, blue thread of smoke ris-
ing into the mist-laden air. He raised himself upon his
elbow and stared at Jack as he came up on deck. The
cook, who was also awake, was busy in the galley, and
every now and then the clatter of pans sounded loud in
the damp silence. A cloud of smoke from the newly-
lighted galley fire rolled in great volume out of the
stovepipe and drifted slowly across the deck and through
the ratlines. In the brightening light Jack could see
176 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

more of his surroundings. There was a large cannon
in the bow of the sloop, partly covered with a tarpau-
lin, and there were two carronades amidships. The
sloop still lay lashed to the end of the wharf. The shore
was hidden in the fog, which opened now and then, just
showing a dim, fleeting, misty outline which, the next
moment, would be again lost in the drifting cloud.

A figure, dim and white in the distance, stood looking
over the stern down into the water. It was very familiar
to Jack, and then presently it turned toward him and
he saw it was Christian Dred. As soon as Dred saw
Jack he came directly forward to where he was. “Well,”
he said, catching him by the arm and shaking it, “ here
we be together again, hey?”

Jack laughed, and then he asked, “ Are you sure he
— Captain Teach —won’t send me back to Mr. Parker
again?”

“Why, no,” said Dred, “in course he won’t. That
was only his talk last night while he was in his drink.
He don’t care nothing for Mr. Parker, and he won't
bother to send you back again. Just you rest your
mind easy on that, Jack. If I ’d thought there was
any chance of his sending you back there, I would n’t
’a? kept you aboard here, last night, and you may be
sure of that. But’t is mightily queer, Jack, to think
that Mr. Parker was only with us yesterday art’noon,
and here you comes and finds your way aboard in the
night. What did you come over here for, anyhow?”

As Jack stood, giving Dred a brief account of his
adventures and of his plans of escape, the signs of awak-
ening life began gradually to show aboard the sloop.
The men were coming up from below, and after a while
the captain himself came up on deck, from the cabin aft.
‘He stood for a while, his head just showing above the
companion-way, looking about him with eyes heavy
and bleared with sleep. Then he came slowly up on
A MEETING 177

deck. He beckoned to one of the men —a negro— who
ran in his bare feet and hauled up a pail of water from
alongside. Jack, from a distance, watched the pirate
captain as he washed his face in the water, puffing and
splashing and spluttering, rubbing it into his shaggy
hair. Then he fished out a yellow and greasy comb from
his pocket, and, with a great deal of care, parted his
hair in the middle and smoothed it down on either side.
Then he began plaiting the two locks at his temples,
looking about him all the while with his heavy lower-
ing gaze. Presently his eyes fell upon Jack. “Come
here,” he said, without stopping his toilet, and Jack
came forward and stood before him. “ What ’s your
name?” he asked. He had finished plaiting the first
long, thin lock, and was winding a bit of string
around it.

“ Jack Ballister.”

“You waited on Mr. Dick Parker, did n’t you?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jack.

“Well, d’? ye think you could wait on a gentle-
woman?”

“T don’t know,” said Jack; “I believe I could.”

“Well, I expect a lady aboard here, maybe to-night,
and it may be I ’ll call on you to wait upon her now
and then. D?’ ye think ye could?”

“T believe I could,” said Jack.

“Very well, that will do now. You can go.”

’ The sound of hissing and sizzling was coming from
the galley, and as Jack went forward again, the air was
full of the smell of cooking pork.

During the early part of the morning a rude cart
drawn by two oxen came out along the wharf. It was
driven by a negro, and two men with carbines over
their shoulders marched beside it. There were two .
barrels full of fresh water in the cart, and a half dozen
of the crew presently rolled them aboard the sloop.

12
178 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

A breeze had come up as the sun rose higher, and in
an hour or more—it was about the middle of the morn-
ing—the fog began to drift away in bright yellow clouds,
through which the disk of the sun shone thin and
watery. Now and then the outline of the houses on the
shore stood out faint and dim; they looked very dif-
ferent to Jack in the wide light of day. Then the sun
burst out in a sudden bright, hot gleam. The pirate
captain had gone below, but Dred and the sailing-
master, Hands, were on deck. The boatswain’s whistle
trilled shrilly, and the great patched, dingy mainsail,
flapping and bellying sluggishly, rose slowly with the
yo-hoing of the sailors and the creaking of block and
tackle. The lines were cast loose, Dred standing direct-
ing the men as they pushed the sloop off with the sweeps.
Some of the settlers had come down to the shore, and
stood watching. “ All away!” called Dred, and Hands
spun the wheel around. The sloop fell slowly off, the sail
filling out smooth and round. The men on the wharf
shouted an adieu, and two or three of the men aboard
the sloop replied, and then they were out in the wide
expanse of the river.
CHAPTER XXIV
AT MARLBOROUGH

OME time a little after noon the sloop sailed into
the wide mouth of a lesser stream that opened into
the broader waters of the James.

The pirate captain lounged upon the rail not far from
Dred, who held the wheel, stooping as he looked out
ahead under the boom of the main-sail. The gunner,
a man named Morton, joined the pirate captain, with
whom he stood talking for a while in low tones, Dred
every now and then turning to speak to them. The
sloop, close hauled to the wind, drifted slowly into
the tributary river. “J reckon they ’re going to bring
her up back o’ the p’int yonder,” said one of the pirates
to Jack, where nobody ’ll be like to see us till we gets
our young lady aboard.

“Ts nt that a house over on the other side of the
river?” asked Jack. ‘Those look like chimneys over
the top of the trees.”

“Why, yes,” said the other, “that ’s a place they call
Marlborough. They say’t is a grand, big, fine house.”

“Marlborough!” said Jack, “and so ’t is a big, fine
house, for I’ve been there myself and have seen it; ’t is
as grand a house as ever you would wish to see.”

“Do you, then, know it?” said the other. ‘“ Well, ’t is
there the captain ’s going to-night to bring off a young
lady he’s going to fetch down to North Caroliny.”

Jack listened to the man, not for a moment supposing
179
180 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

anything else than that the young lady of whom the
pirate spoke was to be a willing passenger. He only
wondered vaguely why she should choose to go with
Blackbeard.

The sloop lay in the creek all that afternoon. Dred
was in the cabin nearly all the time, and Jack saw almost
nothing of him. Meantime the crew occupied them-
selves variously. Six of them near Jack were playing
cards intently ; sometimes in silence, sometimes break-
ing out into loud bursts of talking and swearing. Jack
lay upon the forecastle hatch watching them. Hvery
now and then the trum-trumming of Blackbeard’s
guitar sounded from the cabin. As the dealer dealt
the cards around, one of the pirates snapped his fin-
gers in time to the strumming of the music. “TI tell
you what ’t is, messmates,” he said, “the captain be the _
masterest hand at the guitar that ever I heard in all
my life.”

“To be sure,” said another, “he plays well enough,
but Jem Willoughby down at Ocracock can give him
points how to play.”

“Did ye ever hear Jem Willoughby play the fan-
dango?” said one of a half-dozen men who lay at a
little distance under the shade of the rail.

“Never mind Jem Willoughby and the fandango
now,” said the dealer, as he took up his hand of cards
and, wetting his thumb, ran them over; “you play
your game, messmates, and never taind Jem Wil-
loughby.”

Again they played with silent intentness. Mean-
time a negro was dancing in the forecastle below.
From above, Jack could see his dim form obscurely
in the darker depths, and, as he watched the hands of
cards that the others played, he could not but hearken
to the shuffling and pat of the dancing feet sounding
in rhythmical time to the clapping of hands. Then,
AT MARLBOROUGH 181 -

after awhile, there was a sudden burst of talking
from the card-players, and the dealer reached out and
raked in the half score of silver pieces that lay upon
the deck-house.

The afternoon slowly waned; the sun set, and a dim
gray of twilight seemed to rise from the swampy lagoon.
Then the dusk shaded darker and darker to the dim-
ness of early nightfall. Suddenly the pirate captain
came up on deck, followed by Hands and Dred. Dred
spoke to the boatswain, who came forward directly and
ordered the crews of the three boats to lower them and
to bring them alongside. Then there followed a bustle
of preparation. Presently, through the confusion, Jack
saw that the men were arming themselves. They were
going down below into the cabin and were coming up
again, each with a pistol or a brace of pistols and a cut-
lass. Finally Morton, the gunner, came up on deck,
and soon after the crews began scrambling over the
rail and into the three boats with a good deal of noise
and disorder. It was after dark when they finally
pushed off from the sloop. The pirate captain sat in
' the stern of the yawl-boat, Hands took command of one
of the others, and Dred and Morton went off in the
third. Jack stood watching them pull away into the
darkness, the regular chug-chug-chug of the oars in the
rowlocks sounding fainter and fainter as the dim forms
of the boats were lost in the obscurity of the distance.

Everything seemed strangely silent after the boats
were gone. Only five men besides Jack remained aboard
the sloop, and the solitude of the darkness that seemed
to envelop:them all around about was only emphasized
by the tide that gurgled and lapped alongside. ‘“ Who

is it they ’re going to fetch from Marlborough?” Jack. .

asked of one of the men who stood beside him leaning
over the rail, smoking his pipe and looking after his
companions.
‘182 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Who?” said he, without looking around. “ Why,
they ’re going to fetch a young lady”; and that was all
Jack knew until she was actually aboard the pirate
sloop.

Colonel Parker was away from home. He had gone
to Williamsburgh, but there was some company at
Marlborough — Mr. Cartwright (a cousin of Madam
Parker’s), his wife, and the Reverend Jonathan Jones,
minister of Marlborough parish church —a rather
sleek, round-faced man, dressed in sober clerical black,
with a very white wig and a smooth, clean, starched band
of fine, semi-transparent linen. Madam Parker and her
guests sat at a game of ruff. Miss Eleanor Parker was
trying a piece of music at the spinet, playing smoothly
but with an effort at certain points, and then stumbling
at the more difficult passages, to which she sometimes
returned, repeating them. The four played their game
out without speaking, and then, as the last trick was
taken, released the restraint of attentive silence to a
sudden return of ease. “’I was two by honors this
time, I think,” said Mr. Cartwright to Madam Parker,
who was his partner.

“Yes,” she said, “I held the queen and ace myself,
and you the knave.”

“Then that makes four points for us,” said Mr. Cart-
wright, as he marked them.

“Tig strange how ill the hands run with me to-

night,” said the reverend gentleman; “that makes the
third hand running without a single court card.” He
opened his snuff-box and offered it to Madam Parker,
and then to the others, taking finally a profound and
vigorous pinch himself, and then shutting the lid of
the box with a snap. Madam Parker and her partner
smiled with the amused good-nature of winners at the
game.
AT MARLBOROUGH 183

“Upon my word, Eleanor,” . said Madam Parker, “I
wish you would not play so loud; my nerves are all
of a jingle to day; as ’t is, I can’t fix my mind on the
game.” The young lady made no answer; she did not
even turn round, but she continued her playing in a
more subdued key.

“Was not that Lady Betty Arkwright in your pew
last Sunday, Madam?” asked the rector of Madam
Parker, as he shuffled the cards.

“Yes, t was,” said the lady. “She came up from
Williamsburgh last week, and Colonel Parker went
back with her yesterday.”

“T thought I could not be mistook,” said the Reverend
Jonathan, “and that’ was indeed her. She hath a fine
air of good breeding, hath she not, Madam?”

“Why, yes, she is good enough,” said Madam Parker,
“but has nothing like the fine breeding of her sister,
Lady Mayhurst.”

The reverend gentleman did not reply except by a
deferential smile and half bow. He had picked up his
hand and had begun to run it over swiftly, and then
another round of the game began in silence.

Presently the young lady ceased playing and began
turning over tle leaves of her music-book.

It was in this pause of silence that there came sud-
denly a loud and violent knock upon the outside hall
door. Madam Parker started. “Why, who can that
be?” she said, folding her hand of cards nervously and
holding it face downward, and looking around the table
at the others.

The players all sat listening, and Miss Eleanor partly
turned around upon her music-stool. It was very late
for visitors, and the negroes had closed the house some
time since. “It sounded like some one who may have
come in a haste,” said Mr. Cartwright. “Maybe Colonel
Parker has sent a message.”
184 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“T don’t know why he should send a message,” said
Madam Parker. “TI hope he has not been ailing again.
But that may hardly be, for he has not had a single
touch of the gout for over three months, and no sign of
its coming back again.”

They listened as the negro crossed the hall to answer
the knock. Then came the sound of the rattling of the
chain and the turning of the key. Then the door was
opened. As the card-players listened they heard the
sound of a man’s voice and then the reply of the negro.
Then once more the man’s voice and then the negro’s
again —this time speaking, as it seemed, rather eagerly.
Then there came a sharp exclamation and then a sound
as of some one pushed violently against the door—then
silence. There was something unusual, something very
alarming in the noise. “ What was that?” said Madam
Parker, sharply, and there was a tone of keen anxiety in
her voice.

As in answer, there was the shuffling sound of many
feet crossing the hall. Mr. Cartwright rose from his seat,
and the Reverend Jonathan Jones turned half-way
round upon his chair. The next instant three or four men
with blackened faces were in the room. The foremost
man wore the loose petticoat trousers of a sailor, a satin
waistcoat, and a coat and hat trimmed with gold braid.
His face was tied up in a handkerchief, but they could
see that he had gold earrings in his ears. “Don’t
you be frightened,” said he in a hoarse, husky voice,
“there ‘ll no harm happen to you if you only be quiet
and make no noise. But I won’t have any noise, d’ ye
hear?”

The three ladies sat staring with wide-eyed, breathless
terror at the speaker. His companions stood silently at
the doorway, each armed with a brace of pistols. There
was something singularly dreadful in their silence, their
black faces, their lips red by contrast with their sooty
AT MARLBOROUGH 185

countenances, the whites of their eyes, which every now
and then blinked into darkness and then were white
again.

“What d’ ye want?” said Mr. Cartwright. ‘“Who are
you? What do you want?” He had grown very pale,
but his voice was strong and full, without a tremor in it.

The stranger, though he was armed, did not carry any
weapon in his hand. He came out a little further into
the room. ‘Ye see I have nothing to make you afraid
of me!” he said, opening the palms of his hands. “So
you may see I mean you no harm. But harkee! there’s
to be no noise—no screaming, d’ ye understand—no
ealling for help. So long as you keep still no harm
shall be done to any of ye — man or woman.”

“You villain!” cried out Mr. Cartwright, with rising
choler. “What do you mean by coming here this way,
breaking into Coloner Parker’s house and blustering
and threatening? Do you know where you are?” He
pushed back the chair from which he had risen and
looked around the room as though seeking for some
weapon.

“Come, come, sir,” said the other sharply, and he
clapped his hand to the butt of one of his pistols,
“don’t you make any trouble for yourself, sir. I say
there ’ll be nobody harmed if you don’t make any trou-
ble for yourself. But if you do, I tell you plain it ‘11
be the worse for you. I’ve got a score of men out-
side, and you can’t do anything at all, and if you make
any trouble you ’Il be shot, with no good to come of it.
I'll tell you what we came for — but first of all I want
you to understand plainly that no harm is intended to
the young lady and that no harm shall happen to her.
And now Ill tell you what we have come for. Young
Mistress Parker yonder must go along with us.

The words were hardly out of his mouth when Madam
_ Parker started up out of her chair with aloud and violent
(186 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

scream. Then she fell back again, catching at the table,
overturning one of the candles, and scattering the cards
on the floor in a litter. The other ladies screamed as
in instant echo, and shriek upon shriek rang violently
through the house. Miss Hleanor Parker had run to
her mother, burying her face in Madam Parker’s lap.
“You villain!” roared Mr. Cartwright, and as he spoke
he snatched up the heavy candlestick that had been
overturned, and threw it with all his might at the head
of the pirate. Blackbeard ducked, and the candlestick
whirled past his head, striking with a crash against the
wall beyond. “What d’ ye mean?” roared he, as Mr.
Cartwright grasped at the other candlestick; “ don’t you
touch that candlestick! Ha! would you?” The next
instant he had flung himself upon the gentleman, clutch-
ing him around the body. Mr. Cartwright struck at his
assailant again and again, trying to free himself. For
one moment he had almost wrenched himself loose. The
men at the door ran around to their leader’s aid. A chair
was overturned with a crash, and the next moment the
two had stumbled over it and fallen, and had rolled un-
der the table.

Mr. Jones, with a face ghastly white and eyes strain-
ing with terror, thrust away his chair and rose, draw-
ing back from the two as they struggled and kicked
upon the floor beneath the table; and still the ladies
screamed piercingly, shriek upon shriek. “ Would
you?” snarled the pirate captain, almost breathlessly,
under the table—‘“ Would you! Here— Morton —
Dred — the devil’s choking me! Ach! let go there!”
The men who had run to his aid strove to drag the
two apart, and a dozen or more, all with faces black-
ened, came running into the room just as they were
separated. The pirate captain scrambled to his feet
disheveled and furious. Before he raised himself he
tied up his face in the handkerchief again. Then he
AT MARLBOROUGH 187

stood up, feeling at his throat and glaring around him.
Mr. Cartwright lay upon the ground, held down by two
or three men. His lip had been cut in the struggle,
and was bleeding. His breath came thick and hoarse,
and his face was strained and knotted with fury. -
Every now and then he made a futile effort to wrench
his arm loose.

“T don’t know what you all mean, anyhow,” said the
pirate captain, “squalling and fighting like that. By
Zounds!—to Mr. Cartwright, as he lay upon the floor
—“T believe you’ve broke my Adam’s apple —I do.
I tell you”— said he to Madam Parker, who, white and
haggard, and shrunk together with terror, sat looking
up at him—“T tell you, and I tell you again, that I
don’t mean any harm to you or to the young lady.
She ’s got to go along with me, and that’s all. I tell
you I ll take good care of her, and she ’Il be in the care
of a woman who knows how to look after her; and just
as soon as his honor the colonel chooses to pay for
her coming back, then she ’ll come. I’ve got a good
safe boat down here at the shore, and no harm ’Il come
to her. She ‘Il only be gone for a month or so, and
then she ’ll be fetched back safe and sound. Now, if
she wants to carry any change of her clothes along
with her to wear, she ’d better get ’em together. D’ ye
understand me, Madam ?”

Madam Parker, with her daughter’s face buried in
her lap, still sat looking up at the pirate captain. Her
lips moved once or twice, and then she whispered
breathlessly, ‘‘ Yes —I understand.”

“What d’ ye say, Madam? I don’t hear ye.”

“T understand,” she repeated a little louder, as he
leaned forward across the table to hear her.

“Why, then, Madam,” said he, “I ’m glad you do;
for I want the young mistress to be as comfortable as
she can, and if you don’t get something for her to wear
188 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and make her comfortable, I ’ve got to take her off
without. Now, Madam, will you get some clothes to-
gether? Maybe you ’ll send one of your black women
to get them.”

Madam Parker sat gazing at him without moving;
the pirate captain stood looking at her. “ What ’s
the matter with her, anyhow?” said he. One of the
men stooped forward and looked into her face. ‘“‘ Why,
captain,” said he, “the lady ’s dazed like; she don’t
know what you’re saying. Don’t you see she don’t
understand a word you say?”

The captain looked round and his eyes fell upon
Mrs. Cartwright. “D’ ye think ye could get some
change of clothes for the young lady, some clothes to
take away with her, mistress?” said he. “She can’t go
away from home for a month or so without a change
of clothes to wear. You can see that for yourself.”

“Shall I go, Edward?” said Mrs. Cartwright.

Mr. Cartwright groaned. “You ’ll have to go, Polly,”
he said; “there ’s nothing else to do. But, oh, you
villains, mark my words! Youll hang for this, every
mother’s son of you!”

“Why, I like your spirit, Mr. Tobacco-Planter,” said
the pirate captain; “and maybe you ’ll hang us, and
maybe you would n’t, but we ’ll take our chances on
that.” Then with a sudden truculence, “I’ve put up
with all the talk from you I’m going to bear, and if
you know what’s good for you you ’ll stop your ‘ vil-
lains’ and your ‘hangings’ and all that. We’ve got
the upper hand here, and you ’re the cock that ’s down,
so you won't crow any more, if you please.”

Mr. Cartwright groaned again. ‘“ You ’re breaking
my arm,” he said to the men who were holding him
down.

When Mrs. Cartwright came back into the room,
carrying a large silk traveling-bag packed with clothes,
AT MARLBOROUGH 189

she was crying, making no attempt to wipe away the
tears that ran down her cheeks. The pirate captain
came and stooped over Miss Eleanor as she knelt with
her face in her mother’s lap. “Come, mistress,” he said,
“vou must go along with us now.” He waited for
a moment, but she made no reply. “You must go
along with us,” he repeated in a louder tone; and he
took her by the arm as he spoke. Still she made no
sound of having heard him. Then he stooped over
and lifted her head. Mr. Cartwright caught sight of
the face, and felt a keen thrill pierce through him.
“She is dead,” he thought. “Come here, Morton,”
called out the pirate captain, “and lend a hand; the
young lady ’s swooned clean away.”

Madam Parker made some faint movement as her
daughter was taken from her, but she could not have
been conscious of what was passing. Mrs. Cartwright
wept hysterically in her husband’s arms as they carried
the young lady away, leaving behind them the room
littered with the cards, the chair overturned, and the
one candle burning dimly on the ecard-table. Outside
of the house the negroes and the white servants stood
looking on in helpless, interested terror from a dis-
tance, hidden by the darkness. Mr. Simms was sitting
in his office, gagged and bound in his chair.
CHAPTER XXV
IN CAPTIVITY

T seemed to Jack as he sat in the darkness with
the watch upon the deck of the sloop, that the
time passed away very, very slowly. The vessel lay
pretty close to the shore, and myriad sounds from
the dark, woody wilderness seemed to fill the air—the
sharp quivering rasp of multitudinous insects, the
strange noise of the night birds, and now and then the
snapping and cracking of a branch, and always the
lapping gurele of water. He lounged on a coil of rope,
watching the twinkling flicker of the fireflies, and list-
ening to the men as they talked among themselves
about people whom he did not know. There was a
strong interest in hearing what they said, and so catch-
ing, as it were, a glimpse of a world so different from
his own. A lantern swung in the shrouds, shedding a
dim, yellow circle of light upon the deck, in which sat
and squatted the five men left in charge of the sloop.
“She never got the better of me,” one of the men
was saying. “T tell you what’t is, I ain’t the man to put
up with any women’s notions. Her and I was keeping
company then, and I took her down to Derrick’s P’int
—that time you was speaking of, Bob. Well, Ned Sal-
ter had just come back from South Caroliny with the
captain, and had a pocket full of money. I see her
making eyes at him all the time, and by and by they
stands up to dance together. Jem Smith, he says to

190
IN CAPTIVITY 191

me, ‘Tommy, my boy, d’ ye see what a figure Sally
and Ned Salter be a-cutting together?’ ‘I do,’ says I,
and I just walks across the floor and up to her, and
says: ‘Sally, I fetched you here, and if you means to
shake me loose you means it, and that ’s all’ She
laughed, kind of like, and I saw her give Ned Salter a
nudge with her elbow. She did n’t think I see it, but
I see it all the same. ‘Very well, says I, ‘then I see
how ’t is’ So without another word I goes away. I
goes right down to the P’int, and I gets in my boat and
I rows back to Ocracock, leaving her to get home as
she chose. The next day I see her, and she says to me:
‘Why, Tommy, says she, ‘where was you last night? I
could n’t find you nowheres’ ‘ Why,’ says I, ‘I was
where it suited me to be,’ and I walks on and leaves her.
I tell you, there be n’t a woman around that can try her
tricks with me.”

They all sat in silence for a while, digesting what the
speaker had said. “It must be pretty near midnight,”
’ gaid another of the men irrelevantly, looking up into
the starry sky as he spoke.

“Harkee, I hear summat,” said another, holding up
his finger. “ Like enough it be the boats a-coming back.”

They all listened intently, but only the ceaseless
murmurings of the night filled the air, and always the
lapping gurgle of the water. “Then, there was Hetty
Jackson,” said the man who had just told of his adven-
ture. “D?’ ye remember her, Bill? She ’d just come
down from Maryland way —”

Suddenly one of the men—he who had spoken be-
fore—scrambled up to his feet. “There they are,” he
said, cutting sharply into the narrative that the other
was beginning. “I knowed I heard ’em.”

A breath of air had sprung up from the river and
had brought down with it the distant sound of meas-
ured chug-chug of the oars in rowlocks.
192 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Yes, that’s them for certain,” said another of the
watch, and every one scrambled to his feet. They all
stood looking out toward the river. It was a great
while before the distant boats gradually shaped them-
selves into forms out of the pale watery darkness be
yond. “There they are; I see them,” said one of the
men. And then, in a minute, Jack also saw the dim,
formless dark blots upon the face of the water. As
the boats drew slowly nearer and nearer to the sloop,
Jack climbed up into the shrouds, whence he might ob-
tain a better view of the men when they should come
aboard. He did not know at all what the business was
that had taken the pirates to Marlborough, nor did he
suspect that it was anything startlingly unusual; he
was merely curious to see the return of the boats.
Presently they were alongside—the yawl-boat first of
all—the men unshipping their oars with a noisy rattle
and clatter. Some of them caught the chains just below
Jack as the boat slid under the side of the sloop, and the
other boats came alongside almost at the same time.
Jack could see by the light of the lantern that those in
the stern of the yawl were assisting a dark figure to
arise, and that a sort of hushed attention was directed
toward it. He wondered what was the matter, and
his first thought was that some one had been hurt;
then he saw that they were helping somebody up
to the deck, and then, as the light fell upon the face,
recognition came with a sudden keen shock,—it was
Miss Eleanor Parker,— and even in the dim light he
could see that her face was as white as death. Then he
saw that the faces of all that had come in the boats
were blackened as though with soot. The pirate cap-
tain had come aboard the sloop. “ Easy, now,” he said,
as they lifted the young lady up to the deck. Jack still
clung to the ratlines, looking after them as they partly
supported, partly carried the fainting figure across the
IN CAPTIVITY 193

deck. The next moment they had assisted her down into
the cabin. Then Jack, who had been lost in wonder,
returned sharply to the consciousness of other things.
He became aware of the confusion of the boats’ crews
coming aboard, the rattling and clatter and movement
and bustle all around him on the deck. “ Look alive,
now, Gibbons!” he heard Hand’s voice say to the boats-
wain. “Get her under way as quick as you can,” and
he knew that the sloop was about to quit its anchorage.

Dred, who had gone down into the cabin, had by and
by returned upon deck, his face still sooty black. He
stood by while the men hoisted the boats aboard. Jack
came over to where he stood. “ Why, Dred,” said he,
“was n’t that Mistress Eleanor Parker you brought
aboard just now?” for even yet he thought he might
possibly have been mistaken.

“You mind your own business, lad,” said Dred, turn-
ing upon him and speaking more sharply than he had
ever spoken to Jack before. “You mind your own
business and go for’ard where you belong.” Then he
turned on his heel and walked away as though in a
hurry, and the next moment Jack saw him go down
into the cabin again.

The next morning Jack came on deck to find the sloop
beating down the river in the face of a stiff breeze. They
had been sailing all night and had made a long reach.
He recognized where they were. The shore toward
which they were now heading was the high, sandy bluff
that overlooked the oyster banks, where he had once
gone fishing with Dennis and the negro. He could see in
the distance the shed standing upon the summit of the
high, sandy bank. It looked very strange and new to
him, and, at the same time, curiously familiar. It was
as though a piece of his past life had been broken out
and placed oddly into the setting that was so strangely

new and different.
13
194 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Where ’s Jack Ballister?” he heard Dred’s voice
say, and then he turned around sharply.

“Here I am!” he said.

Dred came forward a little distance, then he beck-
oned and Jack went over to him. “The young lady
down in the cabin seems very queer like,” said Dred.
“She won’t say nothing and she won’t eat nothing.
Did n’t you say as you knowed her at one time and
that she knowed you, or summat of the sort?”

“Why, yes,” said Jack. “I know her very well, but
I don’t know whether or no she remembers me now.”

“Well, lookee,” said Dred, “the captain thinks as
how it might rouse her up a bit if somebody as knowed
her was to come down and speak to her and take her
down summat to eat. Can’t you get summat to eat,
such as gentlefolk like her cares for? D’ ye see, we
don’t know just what they kind likes and what they
needs, and ’t would be a mightily serious thing for
all on us if this here young ey was to take ill and
die on our hands.”

“T don’t know,” said Jack, “whether I could do any-
thing for her or not, but I 1 try.”

“Well, then, you go down into the galley and see if
you can get summat for her to eat, and then fetch it
aft to the cabin, and try to persuade her to eat a bite.”

When Jack came out of the galley a half hour later,
carrying a plate of food, he heard the trum-trumming
of the guitar sounding distantly from below, aft. It was
the first time he had been down into the cabin. He found
it fitted up with some considerable comfort, but now
dirty and disorderly. The bedding in the berths was
tumbled and dirty, as though it had not been made up for
a long time, and the place was filled with a close, stuffy,
sour smell, pervaded with the odor of stale tobacco
smoke. Hands was lying, apparently asleep, upon the
bench that ran around the cabin, and Captain Teach sat
IN CAPTIVITY \ 195

upon the other side of the table, with a glass of grog
at his elbow. He held his guitar across his breast,
and his brown fingers —one of them wearing a silver
ring— picked at the strings. Behind the captain a dark
figure lay in the berth, still and motionless. Jack could
gee one hand, as white as wax, resting upon the edge
of the berth, and he noticed the shine of the rings upon
the fingers.

Captain Teach looked at him as he entered. He
stopped playing as Jack came to the place where the
young lady lay and kneeled with one knee upon the -
cushions of the bench. The pirate looked at him with
great curiosity, and Jack stood there for a while, not
knowing what to say. “Won’t you eat something,
mistress?” he said at last, awkwardly. No reply.
“Won't you eat something, mistress?” he said, again;
“T brought you something here that I think you can
eat —a bit of chicken and some rice. Won’t you eat
Ties

She shook her head, without turning around. He
stood there for a while in silence, looking at her. “She
won’t eat anything,” said he at last, turning toward
Captain Teach.

The pirate captain stared at her for a while, in brood-
ing thought. ‘Oh, very well, then,” he said; “let her
alone. She’ll be sharp enough for something to eat,
maybe, by afternoon. You can take the victuals back
to the galley. Stop! let’s see what you ’ve got.” He
fingered the food over curiously, as Jack held the plate
for him to see. “Chicken and rice, heh?” he said.
“Where did you get the chicken?”

“The cook had two of them in a coop up in the
bows,” said Jack.

That day it became known that the captain was go-
ing to stop over night at Norfolk, where he had friends ;
and about sundown they dropped anchor in the river,
196 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

with the little town, the spire of its church showing
above the trees, lying about a mile away. Presently the
captain came up from below. He had combed out the
plaits of his long black beard, and he was dressed rather
quietly in a suit of brown clothes with brass buttons,
white stockings, and shoes with plate buckles. The
boat was ready and waiting for him alongside, and he
stepped down into it. Jack watched it as it pulled
away toward the shore, rising and falling and bobbing
over the tumbling waves, the brown figure of the cap-
tain perched high in the stern, with his coat tails spread
out upon either side. “He’s got a lot of friends in
Norfolk,” said one of the men, who, smoking his pipe,
lounged over the rail not very far from Jack, “but he’s
got no call to stop there now. If he were in my place
and I in hisn, I’d make out to sea without stopping to
-go ashore for a game of cards or a taste o’ grog at this
time.” He took his pipe from between his teeth and
puffed a broken cloud of smoke out into the swift
windy. air, looking gloomily after the boat. “’T is as
much as our necks are worth, as he well knows, for to
lie in these here waters with this young lady aboard.
Supposen some ’un was to take a notion to come
aboard on us and should find out who we had here in
the cabin, how long do you suppose ’t would be afore
all on us would be a-lyin’ in the jug in Williamsburgh
with a halter about our necks?”

Jack felt a sudden rush of apprehension seize upon
him at the man’s words. He had not realized, until
that moment, what it meant for him to be aboard the
pirate’s sloop; that, having joined himself with out-
laws, he himself was now an outlaw. He stood silently
for a while, staring after the receding boat. “I do sup-
pose,” he said at last, “that the captain won’t be long
ashore.”

The man shrugged his shoulders. “If he once gets
IN CAPTIVITY 197

ashore with his friends and a bottle of grog, maybe
*t will be the best part of the night afore he gets away
again.”

Jack drew a deep breath. ‘‘ Well,” he said, “’t was
a mightily foolhardy thing for him to do, to be sure.”

Just then some one laid a hand upon his shoulder,
and he turned around with a start. It was Dred.
“The young lady ’s roused up a bit,” he said; “maybe,
if you ’d take summat down to her now, she ’d eat it.”
CHAPTER. XXVI
THE PIRATE'S LAIR

T took nearly a week to run from Norfolk to Bath

Town. The sloop had run into Ocracock before the
breaking of the fourth day; had discharged nearly all.
of its crew, with noisy hubbub, into the inscrutable
gray of the dawning, and had then sailed away up the
sound, with only the pirate captain, Dred, and Hands,
and Jack, and two negroes left of the thirty or more
who had comprised the vessel’s company. It was in
the early daylight of the following day that the sloop
came about and, with a short tack, sailed into the
mouth of Bath Creek. On one side a swamp fringed
with giant cypress-trees, their bright-green foliage
standing out against the darker green of the trees
behind, came close down to the point. ‘Upon the other
side were open clearings of plantations. About half
a league up, at the head of the mouth of the creek,
the houses of the little town clustered among the trees
upon a gentle rise of open ground. The sloop was
sailing smoothly nearer and nearer to the bluff shore,
upon which stood a square frame house with a tall,
sloping roof and two lean chimneys. The house, which
appeared to be of a somewhat better quality than the
ordinary wooden house of the common settler, was
almost hidden by the shade of two great cypress-trees
that grew up from what seemed to be a little marshy

hollow. Behind it, a glimpse of a clearing showed,
198
THE PIRATEH’S LAIR 199

stretching away to the edge of the woods beyond. A
skiff and a dug-out lay drawn up on the beach close to
a landing-place, and Jack could see two rough-looking
white men standing on the little wharf, looking out
toward the sloop. He was standing by with the two
negroes who now composed the crew, ready to help let
go the anchor at the word of command, when Dred
came up out of the cabin and across the deck to where
he stood. ‘ You come with me,” he said; “the captain
wants you down in the cabin.”

As Jack went below he heard the loud splash of the
anchor, and then the sound of the running of the block
as Hands let the sail go to the wind. The captain was
combing out his shaggy hair, and the young lady sit-
ting leaning with her arms upon the table as he came
down the companion-way. She wore an air as of
dumb expectation. “Here, young man,” said the cap-
tain, “you ’re to go ashore with me and the young
lady. I want you to carry that bag of clothes up to
the house,” nodding his head toward the table where
lay the bundle. There was a long pause as the pirate
continued his toilet. “ You’re to wait upon the young
lady, and be handy to help whenever my wife wants
you,” he continued, “d’ ye understand ?”

“Ves, sir,” said Jack.

Then Hands came to the companion-way to say that
the boat was ready; and Blackbeard turned to the
young lady. “Come, mistress,” he said, “if you ’re
ready now we ’ll go ashore.”

The young lady rose instantly from her place, and
stood resting her hand upon the table, looking about
her. “D’ ye want any help?” said the pirate. She
shook her head. ‘“ Well, come along, then.”

The captain led the way to the deck; Miss Eleanor
Parker followed, and Jack came behind. The young
lady looked around her as she came up into the open
200 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

air. The faint wind stirred the hair at her temples as
she gazed steadily at the little town lying seemingly
so close. Jack had not noticed before how thin and
pale she had grown. The bright glare of the sunlight
made her look singularly wan. The boat was alongside,
the negroes holding it close to the side of the sloop.
They helped the young lady into it almost officiously,
and then the captain took his place beside her. ‘“ You
jump aboard up there in the bow,” he said to Jack;
and, as Jack took his place, the negroes pushed off and
began rowing away toward the shore. Jack watched
the wharf as it came nearer and nearer. He could see
that one of the white men who stood there looked
haggard and pinched as though with illness. They did
not look like sea-faring men, and he judged them to be
neighboring planters from some of the places further
inland. The next moment the negroes backed oars, the
bow of the boat touched with a bump against the land-
ing, and Jack jumped ashore. At the captain’s bidding
he reached out his hand, and in instant response felt
Miss Eleanor Parker’s grasp, soft and warm. She held
tightly to him as he helped her up from the boat to
the landing, and he was conscious that the two men
on the wharf were staring intently at him and at her.
They still stood dumbly staring as Jack, carrying
Miss Eleanor Parker’s bundle, followed the captain and
the young lady up the crooked path to the house. ,
From a distance the house had appeared picturesque
—almost beautiful — hidden among the soft-green foli-
age of the cypress-trees; but it looked shabby and
weather-worn and even squalid upon a nearer approach.
A young woman of sixteen or seventeen years old stood
in the doorway, looking at them as they came up the
path. Her face was not uncomely, but was heavy and
dull. Her hair was light and colorless, and was tied
up under a dirty cap. She was in her bare feet; she








































































os
S
OS eee
: :



“JACK FOLLOWED THE CAPTAIN AND THE YOUNG LADY UP THE
CROOKED PATH TO THE HOUSE.”
THE PIRATE’S LAIR 201

wore a jacket without sleeves, partly pinned, partly
buttoned, and under it a flaming red petticoat. She
stared at them with wide eyes, but the pirate said no-
thing at all to her, and she stood aside as he led the
way directly into the house. The floor was bare and
uncarpeted. There were a table and two chairs; some
tin boxes and a couple of candlesticks, caked with
grease, stood upon the mantel together with a loud-
ticking clock. Altogether, the room, with its bare plas-
tered walls, was very naked and cheerless, and was filled
with a rank, smoky smell. “Sit down, mistress,” said
Blackbeard; and then, as Miss Eleanor Parker obeyed
him, “This is my wife,” he said, “‘and she ’Il look after
you for a while. D’ ye hear, Betty? You ’re to look
after the young lady. Go up-stairs now, and get the
spare room ready, and be as lively about it as you can.
You take the young lady’s bundle up-stairs, boys; he —”
nodding toward his wife —“ she ‘ll show you where.”

Jack followed the young woman up the rickety stairs
to the sagging floor above. ‘“ Here, this is the place,”
she said, opening the door upon a room directly under
the roof. It looked out through two windows across
the creek to the swamp on the other side, a half mile
or so away. “Who is she?” said the woman to Jack,
as he followed her into the room, and laid the trav-
eling-bag upon the bed.

“The young lady down-stairs? She’s Miss Hleanor
Parker,” Jack answered.

“A grand, fine lady, be n’t she?” and Jack nodded.
“Well, you trig up the room a little now, won’t you?
I ll just go put on a better dress, for, d’ ye see, I did n’t
look for Ned to bring such fine company. You ’d
better bring up a pail of water, too, for I reckon she ‘Il
be wanting to wash herself.”

Blackbeard’s wife was gone for a long time. The
pirate walked restlessly and irritably up and down the
202 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

room, stopping once at the mantel-shelf to fill a pipe
of tobacco. The young lady sat impassively, with her
hands lying in her lap, gazing absently upon the floor.
Once or twice the pirate glared with angry impatience
at the door. At last there was the sound of footsteps
—this time not of bare feet—clattering down the
stairs, and a second later the pirate’s wife opened the
door and entered the room. She had changed her
slatternly dress for a medley of finery. She wore high-
heeled shoes and silk stockings with red clocks. She
courtesied to the young lady as Blackbeard glared at
her. “If you come along with me now, madam,” she
said with an air, “Ill show you to your room.”
CHAPTER XXVII
AT BATH TOWN

os OU and Chris Dred will have to sleep together,”

the pirate’s wife had said to Jack, the first eve-
ning of his arrival. “He ’s lived here ever since he
came back. He sleeps in the corner room; there ain’t
no bed in t? other; so, now the young lady ’s come,
you ll have to sleep together, or one of you ‘ll have
to sleep on the floor.” And so Jack was settled at
the pirate’s house.

The next morning the pirate captain sent Jack in a
boat up to the town with a letter to Mr. Knight, the
colonial secretary. .

The town appeared singularly interesting to Jack as,
leaving the skiff at a little landing, under the care of
the negro who had rowed him up to the place, he walked
up a straggling lane between some fishing huts, and
so to the main street, which, with its dirt sidewalk,
was shaded with trees, through which filtered uncer-
tain, wavering spots of sunlight. The day was hot,
a dry wind rustled the leaves overhead, and a belated
cicada trilled its shrill note that, rising for a while,
pulsed whirring away into silence. The houses, mostly
built of wood, were small and not very clean. They
nearly all stood close to the street. A sort of indolent
life stirred in the place, and further down the street a
lot of men were lounging in front of a building that

looked as if it might be a store of some sort. They
203
204 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

stared at Jack as he drew near, and when he asked
where he should find Mr. Knight, they did not imme-
diately reply.

“Mr. Knight?” said one of the group. “Why, I
reckon Mr. Knight be n’t in town; he went off across
the country the day afore yesterday, and I reckon he
be n’t back yet.

“Yes, he be back,” said another; “ anyways, his horse
be back again, for I saw Jem a-rubbing it down as I
came by the stable a while ago.”

Then one of the men got slowly up from where he
sat, and led Jack out into the middle of the street.
“D’ ye see that open place yonder? Well, that’s where
the church stands. Just beyond that— you can see it
from here —is the house. "I is the very next house
to the church. Well, that’s Mr. Knight’s house.”

Mr. Knight’s residence was built of brick and was very
much better looking than the houses that surrounded
it. Jack found that the secretary was at home, and
was shown into his office. He was smoking a pipe of
tobacco and looking over some papers which littered
the writing-desk at which he sat. He was a rather
thin, dark man, not ill-looking, but nervous and jerky
in his movements. He wore a black cloth skull-cap
upon his head, and Jack saw a fine wig of black hair
hanging behind the door.

He turned his head and looked over his shoulder at
Jack as he came into the room. “ Well,” he said in a
sharp, quick voice, “what d’ ye want?”

“Why, master,” said Jack, “Captain Teach hath sent
me up with this note for you, sir.”

““O! he did, did he? Well, let me have it.” He leaned
back in his chair and reached out for the note, which
Jack handed to him and which he tore open quickly
and sharply. Jack noticed how the letter trembled in
his nervous hand as he held it. He watched his eyes as
AT BATH TOWN 205

they traveled down the page until they reached the bot-
tom, and then as he turned over the paper to make sure
that there was nothing upon the other side. “Very well,”
he said when he had ended; “tell the captain I ’Il be
there to-morrow.”

“Ves, sir,” said Jack, lingering fora moment. “Is that
all?”

“That ’s all. Ill be down to-morrow night.”

“Ves, sir,” said Jack again.

Mr. Knight came down to the pirate’s house at the
appointed time, and Captain Teach stood at the door
watching him as he came up the crooked path. The
pirate had been playing upon his guitar, and he now
stood holding it under his arm as Mr. Knight ap-
proached, limping slightly and walking with a cane.
The evening was warm, and he carried his hat under
his arm. Jack stood around the end of the house, also
looking at the colonial secretary as he approached.
“How d’ ye do, captain?” said Mr. Knight, as soon
as he had come near enough.

“Why, I ’m well enough,” said Blackbeard, surlily,
taking his pipe out of his mouth toreply. ‘ Hands and
Dred are both here, and we ’ve been waiting for you
for some time now. Come in.”

He led the way into the room, where the two of whom
he had spoken were sitting smoking and drinking rum
and water in the dusk. Mr. Knight nodded to the others.
“Well, captain,” he said as he took his seat and laid his
hat and cane upon the table, “ what’s this business you
want to see me about? What ’s this I hear about a
young lady you’ve brought down from Virginia?”

“Why,” said Captain Teach, “TI reckon ’t is just about
as you.’ve heard it.” He had laid aside his guitar, and
had gone to the mantel-shelf and was striking a flint
and steel to light the candle. “I brought a young lady
206 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

down with me from Virginia — she’s SHAyine here with
my wife.”

“Well, what ’s the business you have with me?”

“T ll tell you that in a minute as soon as I get this
bloody candle lighted. Ill murder that woman some
day. This is the third time she’s left the punk out
to get wet. There it comes!” He blew the spark into
blaze and lit the candle. Now, Mr. Secretary Knight,”
he said, “TI ’ll tell you just exactly what the business is
we want of you and just what we ’ve been doing. Do
you know of Colonel Birchall Parker ?”

“Why, to be sure I do,” said Mr. Knight. “ Why do
you ask such a thing as that?”

“Well, I’ve carried his daughter off from Virginia;
we ’ve got her here in this house.”

Mr. Knight sat quite still for a long time. “Then
*t is just as I heard this morning,” he said at last, “but
indeed I could n’t believe it, nor how you would dare
do such a thing as to carry off Colonel Birchall Parker’s
daughter. ’T is the maddest thing I ever heard tell of
in all my life, and if I was you I’d send the young lady.
back just as soon as ever I could.”

“Why, then, Mr: Secretary,” said Captain Teach, “I’m
much beholden to you for advice, but just you listen to
me for a little, will you? and give me time to say my say
before you advise me. I’m not going to send her back
just now, in spite of your advice, nor until her father
pays a good round sum to get her back.” And then,
after a little pause, during which he filled his pipe,—
“T tell you what ’t is, Mr. Secretary Knight, there be
a greater one than you or me mixed up in this here
business—no less a one, if you will believe me, than
Mr. Dick Parker.”

“What?” exclaimed Mr. Knight, “Mr. Richard Parker?
‘What d’ ye mean by that?”

“Why, I just mean what I say,” said Captain Teach.
AT BATH TOWN 207

“Mr. Parker is the one man in this, and we manage it
as his agents. So you may see for yourself we ’re not
so likely to come to any harm as ye might think, for if
we come to any harm it drags him along with us. "I’ was
his plan and by his information that the young lady was
taken—and, more than that, his plan is that you shall
write to him as though to give him the first informa-
tion of her being here in the keep of the Pamlico Pirates.
Then he’s to go to Colonel Parker and make the best
bargain he can to have her redeemed.”

“ Stop a bit, captain!” interrupted Mr. Knight. “You
’re going all too fast in this matter. You seem to be
pleased to count on me in this business without asking
me anything about it. I tell you plain that this is too
serious a thing for me to tamper with. Why, @’ ye think
I’m such a villain as to trade in such business as this
at the risk of my neck?”

“Well,” said the pirate captain, “that is just as you
choose, Mr. Secretary. But I don’t see that you need
bring yourself into any danger at all. You won’t appear
in it as a principalin any way. Tis I and those with
me,” sweeping his hands toward Hands and Dred, “who
really take all the risk; and I take it even though I
know that if anything should happen you ’d throw us
overboard without waiting a second moment to think
about it.” ;

Mr. Knight sat in thoughtful silence for a while.
“What money is there in this for you?” said he, look-
ing up sharply.

“That I don’t know, neither,” said the other. “Mr.
Parker will manage that at t? other end, and methinks
we can trust him to squeeze out all there is in it.”

“What does he expect for his share in this precious”
conspiracy ?” the secretary asked after a while of silent
thought.

“Why,” said the other, “there he drives a mightily
208 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

hard bargain — he demands a half of all for his share,
and he will not take a farthing less.”

Mr. Knight whistled to himself. ‘ Well,” he said,
“he does indeed drive hard at you, captain. But,
after all, I do not know that I can be easier upon you;
for if I go into this business it ‘ll be upon the same
stand that Mr. Parker takes: I will have the half that
is left after he has taken his half.”

Captain Teach burst out laughing. “ Why, ye bloody
leech!” he roared, “ what d’ ye mean by saying such a
thing as that tome? ’T is one thing for Mr. Parker to
make his terms, and ’t is another thing for you to do it:
ye pistareen. I tell you what shall be your share of it:
I shall have my third first of all, and you shall stand
in for your share with Hands and Morton and Dred.”

Mr. Knight shook his head. “ Very well, then,” said
the pirate captain, harshly, pushing back his chair and
rising as he spoke. “If you choose to throw away what
may drop into your hands without any risk to yourself,
you may do so and welcome. Ill manage the business
as best I can without you.”

“Stop a bit, captain,” said Mr. Knight. “You are too
hasty by half. Tell me now, just what is it you want
me to do in this affair?”

“ Why,” said Captain Teach, “I have told you in part
what I want you to do. ’T is first of all to write a letter
to Mr. Richard Parker, saying that you have certain in-
formation that the young lady, Colonel Parker’s daugh-
ter, is in the hands of certain pirates, and that they
won’t give her up unless a ransom is paid for her. Ye
may add also—as is the truth—that she appears to be
in the way of falling sick if she is n’t taken away home
pretty quick. Then, after you have writ your letter, you
must hunt up a decent, respectable merchant-captain or
master to take it up to Virginia and see that it is deliv-
ered into Mr. Richard Parker’s hands.”
AT BATH TOWN 209.

Mr. Knight looked very serious. “ But is the young
lady really. sick ?” he asked.

“ Well, I can’t truly say she is sick, but she ’s not so
well, neaher Y

“And have you thought of what danger you ’d be in
if she was to die on your hands ?”

“Ves, I have,” said the other, “and so you need n't
waste any more words about it. Tell me, will you take
in with this business, or will you not?”

_“Humph!” said Mr. Knight, rubbing his chin thought-
fully. He sat for a long time looking broodingly at the
flickering candle-light. “ There ’s Nat Jackson hath gone
up the river for a cargo of wood shingles. He’s looked
- for back here on Friday: ’t is like enough he would be

your man to take the letter if I go into this business.”

“T dare say he ’ll do well enough,” said Captain Teach,
impatiently. “But tell me, what is your answer, Mr.

‘Secretary? Will you go into the business or not?”

“T I] tell you to-morrow,” said Mr. Knight. “If I go
into it I ll send you a draft of the letter to Mr. Parker.
Will that suit you?”

“Why,” said the other, sullenly, “’t will have to suit;
but methinks you might give a plain yes or no without
so much beating around the bush, or taking so much
time to think it over.”

Jack and the pirate’s wife sat in the kitchen. They
could hear the grumble of talk from the room beyond.
“T tell you what ’t is,” said Jack, breaking the silence,
“to my mind the young lady don’t look anything like
so well as when I saw her in Virginia.”

“T don’t know why she ’d be sick,” said the woman.
‘We give her good enough victuals to eat and she don’t
lack for company. I’m sure I sat with her nigh all
afternoon, and she answered me pretty enough when I
talked to her.”

14
210 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

- By and by they heard the party in the other room
break up and Mr. Knight’s parting words as he left the
house. Presently Dred came into the kitchen; he looked
dull and heavy-eyed. “I reckon I must ’a’ caught the
fever,” he said; “my head beats fit to split, and 1’m that
hot I’m all afire. D’ ye have any spirits of bark here,
mistress ?”

The pirate’s wife got up and went to the closet and
brought out a bottle of decoction of bitter bark from
which she poured a large dose into a teacup. Dred
drank it off at a gulp, making a hideous, wry face.
Then he spat and wiped his hand across his mouth.
CHAPTER XXVIIT
IN NORTH CAROLINA—IN VIRGINIA

HREE or four days after Mr. Knight’s interview
with the pirates, Captain Jackson, of whom the
colonial secretary had spoken as having gone up the
river for a cargo of wood shingles, stopped at Bath
Town on his way to Baltimore, and Mr. Knight sent a
note to Blackbeard, telling him that he would bring the
coasting captain down that same evening. Dred was just
then sickin bed with the earlier stages of his fever, so that
only the pirate captain himself and Hands, the master,
were left to meet the secretary and the Baltimore skipper.
It was after dusk when Mr. Knight and the Baltimore
man came down from the town to the pirate’s house.
The boat in which they arrived was rowed by two white
men of the crew of the “ Eliza Boydell,” the coasting
schooner. ‘ Where’s your master, boy?” said Mr.
Knight to Jack, who stood at the landing, watching
their approach.

“He’s over aboard the sloop,” said Jack. “ He went
there an hour or more ago, and left word you were to
go over there when you came.”

Mr. Knight looked displeased. “TI fear he ’ll be drink-
ing,” he said to Captain Jackson, “and as like as not
be in one of his devil’s humors. ’I is so he ever appears
to be when he hath some venture of especial risk in
-hand. I’ve a mind to go back to the town again, and

come another day.”
211
212 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Tm not afraid of him,” Jack heard Captain Jack-
son say. “I’ve seen him often enough to know him
well, and I’ve seen him in his liquor and I’ve seen him
sober;” and then the boat rowed away from the land-
ing toward the sloop.

No one met Mr. Knight and Captain Jackson as the
two came aboard the pirate vessel. Even before they
reached the cabin hatchway they could smell the fumes
of liquor which filled the space below. It was as Mr.
Knight had apprehended—the captain and his master
had been drinking. The visitors found the cabin lit
by the light of a single candle, and a squat bottle of
rum stood on the table, from which both pirates were
tippling freely. As the two visitors entered, Hands
was in the act of filling his pipe with uncertain, tipsy
fingers, and Captain Teach sat leaning upon the table,
the lean, brown fingers of his hands locked around
his glass. He glowered gloomingly at the two visitors,
but he offered them no word of welcome. “ Well, cap-
tain,” said Mr. Knight, “d ye see, I fetched our friend,
Captain Jackson. And I ’ve fetched the letter I’ve writ
to our friend in Virginia for you to see.” Captain Teach
still looked gloomily from under his brows at his visitors,
without vouchsafing any answer.

“Tm glad to see you, captain,” said Captain Jack-
son. “’T'is a long while since we met, and you be
looking hale and well.”

Captain Teach turned his dull, heavy eyes upon the
speaker, but still he did not say anything.

“Oh, he ’s well enough, he is,” said Hands, thickly.
“He ’s never sick —sick, he ain’t.” He tilted the bowl
of his pipe uncertainly against the candle flame, at first
not quite hitting the object at which he aimed. “ Well,
when he dies,” said Hands, with a wink toward Mr.
Knight, “the devil dies, he does, and then honest —
honest men all go to h—ic— heaven.”
IN NORTH CAROLINA—IN VIRGINIA 213

Captain Teach did not look at his sailing-master.
“Vou be still,” he growled. “You don’t know what
you ’re saying — you don’t. You’re in liquor, you are.”

Hands winked tipsily at the visitors, as though what
the other said was a great joke. Mr. Knight stood
looking uncertainly from one to the other. ‘Perhaps
we ’d better come some other time,” he said; “I don’t
think you choose to talk about this business now,
captain.”

“What d’ ye mean?” growled the pirate. ‘D’ ye
mean to say I’m drunk, ye villain?” and he turned his
heavy-eyed glare at the secretary.

“Why, no,” said Mr. Knight, soothingly, “I don’t
mean to say you ’re drunk, captain. Far be it from me
to say that. I only mean to say that maybe ’t would suit
you better to have us come another time, as I see you ’re
in the humor of having some sport to-night, and maybe
don’t choose to talk business.”

“T know what you mean to say,” said the pirate cap-
tain, moodily. “You mean to say that I ’m drunk.
Maybe I’m drunk, but I’m sober enough to know what
I’m at yet.” He was fumbling in his coat pocket as he
spoke, and as he ended, he brought out a pistol of the
sort called a dag or dragon —a short, stubby weapon
with a brass-barrel. “I’m just as steady as a rock,”
said he, “and I could snuff that candle easy enough
without putting out the light.” He aimed his pistol, as
he spoke, toward the candle, shutting one eye. Captain
Jackson was directly in range upon the other side of
the table, and he ducked down like a flash, crouching
beneath the edge of the board. “ Hold hard, captain,”
he cried, in a muffled voice. “Take care what you ’re
at! You ll do somebody a harm the next thing.”

Captain Teach still aimed the weapon for a few
seconds of breathless hush. Mr. Knight waited tensely
for the report of the pistol, but it did not come, and
214 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

presently the captain lowered the hammer and slipped
it back again in his pocket. “Come, come, captain,”
said Captain Jackson, “don’t try any more jokes of that
kind.” He smoothed down his hair with the palm of
his hand, grinning uneasily as he did so.

“Come, captain,” said Mr. Knight, “you must n’t act
so, indeed you must n’t. If we ’re to talk business
we must be serious about it and not go playing with
pistols to shoot somebody dead, maybe, before we
begin upon whatever we have to do. Our friend Cap-
tain Jackson here sails to-morrow morning, wind and
weather permitting, and here ’s the letter he ’s to take
up to Mr. Parker. He understands what we ’re about,
and he undertakes to take the letter up for five pounds.”

“Why, you black-hearted son of a sea-cook!” Captain
Blackbeard roared at the other captain. “ What d’ ye
mean by asking five pounds to take a bit of paper like
that up to Virginia?” He glowered at his visitor for a
moment or two, and the skipper laughed uneasily.
“Ye call yourself an honest man, do ye? Ay, an
honest man that’ll rob a thief and say ’t was not him
- took it first. Let me see the letter,” said he, reaching
out his hand to Mr. Knight.

Mr. Knight handed him the letter, and the pirate
captain drew the candle over toward him and read it
slowly and deliberately. ‘ Well,” he said, as he folded
it, “I dare say ’t is good enough.”

“Trust the captain to tell what’s what,” said Hands,
taking the pipe out of his mouth as he spoke. “He
—he can read a let—ter as well as the betht o’—the
best 0’ ye.” He held the pipe for a while, looking uncer-
tainly into the bowl, and then thrust his finger into it.

“You hold your noise, Hands,” said Captain Teach;
“vou ’re in your liquor, and not fit to talk.”

“Well, captain,” said Captain Jackson, “I ll take
the letter for five pounds; but I won’t take it for a far-
IN NORTH CAROLINA —IN VIRGINIA 215

thing less. D’ ye see, I run a risk in doing it, for I’m
an honest man —I am, and nobody hath yet said that
black is the white of my eye. And if I’m to run the
risk of losing my honesty by dealing with pirates,— if
I may be so bold as for to say so,—why, five pounds is
little enough to ask for it.”

Captain Teach stared at him for awhile in silence with-
out replying. “ Here, captain,” he said, “fill a glass for
yourself,” and he pushed the bottle and a glass across
the table toward his visitor. “Fill your glass, Mr. Sec-
retary. You villain!”—to Captain Jackson —“ you ’re
worse than any of us to play you’re decent and honest,
and to be a thief upon pirates.”

“Why, captain,” said Mr. Knight, “I believe I don’t
choose to drink anything to-night.”

“By heaven! you shall drink,” said Captain Teach,
scowling at him, and then Mr. Knight reluctantly filled
his glass. But he kept a keen eye upon the pirate cap-
tain, and presently, as he more than expected, he saw
him begin fumbling again in the pockets in which he
carried his pistols. And then, as he still watched, he
was certain he saw the glint of the light upon the barrel.
Whether he was right or wrong, he did not care to risk
the chance; neither did he choose to say anything of
what he saw, fearing lest he might precipitate some
desperate drunken act, and perhaps call the pirate’s
anger down upon himself.

“Wait a bit,” he said, “I want to go up on deck a
minute—I ’ll.be down again by and by,” and he edged
his way out along the bench.

Captain Teach watched him gloomily as he left the
cabin, and after his legs had disappeared through the
companionway he still sat staring for a while out of
the open scuttle. Then he turned and looked glower-
ingly at the other two. Hands was trying to explain to
the skipper how he had once been an honest man him-
216 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

self. “ Yes, sir,” he was saying, “I’d have no more to
do with such bloody villains as these here be — than —
than—but what was an honest man to do for hisself ?”

“Well, I don’t know,” said Captain Jackson. “ Where’s
Mr. Knight gone?” he asked.

Hands looked about, as though observing for the first
time that he was not there. ‘“ Why, I don’t know,” he
said. “Mr. Knight—where be Mr. Knight?” As the sail-
ing-master spoke, Blackbeard leaned a little forward,
and suddenly blew out the light of the candle, leaving
the cabin in utter darkness. The next moment there
came a double dull, stunning report from beneath the
table, and Hands yelled out in instant echo: “O Lord!
I’m shot!”

Captain Jackson sat for a moment, dazed by the sud-
denness of that which had happened. Then he scram-
bled desperately out along the bench upon which he sat,
and ran clattering up on the deck. ‘“ What’s the mat-
ter?” cried Mr. Knight, who had turned at the sound.
of the pistol-shots. ‘“ What ’s happened?”

“Oh!” panted Captain Jackson, breathlessly, “I don’t
believe that ’s a man; I believe it’s a devil. He blew
out the light and shot his pistols under the table. He’s
shot Hands.”

The two stood listening for a moment — there was
perfect silence below, only for the now regular groaning
of the wounded man. “Here, fetch that lantern,” Mr.
Knight called out. “There ’s somebody shot down in
the cabin.” .

The men from the boat came scrambling over the
edge of the sloop, one of them bringing the lantern with
him.

Captain Jackson took the light from him and went to
the open companionway, where he held it for a while,
looking down into the yawning darkness beneath. He
hesitated for a long time before venturing down. “Go
IN NORTH CAROLINA —IN VIRGINIA 217

on,” said Mr. Knight. “Why don’t you go on? He’s
shot off both his pistols and he hath no more to shoot
now.”

“Why, to be sure,” said Captain Jackson, “I don’t
like to venture down into a pit with such a man as that.
There ’s no knowing what he ’Il do.”

“He can’t do any more harm,” urged Mr. Knight.
“He hath shot his pistols now, and that ’s all there is
of it.” ;

“Oh! oh!” groaned the wounded man from out of
the darkness.

Finally, after a great deal of hesitation, Captain Jack-
son went slowly and reluctantly down below. Mr. Knight
waited for a moment, and, as nothing happened, he
followed after, and the two sailors who had come
aboard followed after him. The close space was filled
with the pungent mist of gunpowder smoke. By the
light of the lantern they saw that Captain Teach was
sitting just where he had sat all the evening, gloomy and
moody. One of the empty pistols lay upon the table
beside him, and the other he must have thrust back
again into his pocket. Hands was leaning over with his
face lying upon the table; it was ghastly white, and
there were drops of sweat upon his forehead. “Oh!”
he groaned, “O—h!” He -was holding one of his legs
with both his hands under the table.

“Where are you hurt?” said Mr. Knight.

“Oh!” groaned Hands, “I ’m shot through the
knee.”

“‘Lookee, captain,” said Mr. Knight, “you ’ve done
enough harm for to-night. D’ ye mean any more mis-
chief, or do you not?”

Captain Blackbeard looked heavily at him, swaying
his head from side to side like an angry bull. “ Why,
how can I do any more mischief?” he said. “Don’t
you see that both pistols are empty? If I had another
218 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

I would n’t swear that I would n’t blow both your lives
out.”

“Let ’s see where you ’re hurt,” said Captain Jackson
to Hands. “Can you walk any?”

_ “No,” groaned Hands. “Ah—h!” he cried more

shrilly and quaveringly as Captain Jackson took him
by the arm and tried to move him. “Let me alone—
let me alone!”

“You ’ve got to get out of here somehow,” said Cap-

tain Jackson. “Come here, Jake—Ned!” he called
out to the two sailors who stood close to the foot of
the companion-ladder. “Here, help me get this man
out!”
' With a great deal of groaning and dragging and
shuffling of feet they finally dragged Hands out from
behind the table. The blood was flowing down from his
knee, and his stocking was soaked with it. Captain
Teach sat gloomily looking on, without moving from his
place or saying anything.

“What did ye shoot the man for, anyhow?” said Mr.
Knight, as he stood over the wounded Hands, who now
sat on the floor holding his shattered leg with both
hands, swaying back and forth and groaning.

Captain Blackbeard looked at him for a moment or
two without replying. “If I don’t shoot one of them
now and then,” said he, thickly, “they ‘ll forget who
I be.”

The letter reached Mr. Richard Parker some two
weeks later at Marlborough, where he was then stay-
ing. The great house was full of that subdued bustle
that speaks so plainly of illness. It was Colonel Parker.
In the shock and despair that followed the abduction
of his daughter, the gout had seized him again, and
since then the doctor had been in the house all the
time. “ How is my brother this morning?” Mr. Richard
Parker had asked of him.
IN NORTH CAROLINA —IN VIRGINIA 219

“Why, sir, I see but very little change,” said the
doctor.

“Yes, I know that; but can’t you tell me whether
the little change is for the better or worse?”

“Why, Mr. Parker, sir, ’t is not for the worse.”

“Then it is for the better?”

“No, I do not say that, either, sir.”

“Well, what do you say, then?” said Mr. Parker, his
handsome face frowning.

“Why, sir, I can only say that there is little change.
His honor does not suffer so much, but the gout still
‘clings to his stomach, and is not to be driven out.”

It was some little time after the doctor had so spoken -
that Mr. Knight’s letter was given to Mr. Parker. He
had eaten his breakfast alone, and the plate and broken
pieces of food still lay spread before him as he read and
re-read the note. He sat perfectly still, without a shade
of change passing over his handsome face. “ I’ is in-
deed true,” said part of the letter, “that the young lady
appears to be really ill, and if her father does not pres-
ently redeem her out of their hands she may, indeed,
fall into a decline;” and then was added, in a postscript
to the passage, “ This is, [assure you, indeed the truth ;”
and the words were underscored.

There was no change upon his face when he read
the passage, but he sat thinking, thinking, thinking,
holding the open letter in his hand, his gaze turned,
as it were, inward upon himself. Should she die, what.
then? There could be no doubt as to how it would
affect him if father and daughter should both die. By
his father’s will, the Parker estate that had been left to
his brother would come to him in the event of the other's
dying without heirs. One of the servants came into
the room with a dish of tea. Mr. Parker looked heavily
and coldly at him, his handsome face still impassive
and expressionless. “I can do nothing with my brother
220 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

now,” he was saying to himself as he looked at the ser-
vant; “he is too ill to be troubled with such matters.
Yes, Nelly will have to take her chances until Birchall
is well enough for me to talk to him. I meant her no
harm, and if she falls sick and dies, ’t is a chance that
may happen to any of us.”

°
CHAPTER XXIX
AN EXPEDITION

LACKBEARD had been away from home for some
days in Bath Town —a longer stay than he com-
monly made. Meantime Jack was the only hale man
left about the place. He and Dred had been turned
out of their beds to make way for Hands, who had been
brought ashore to the house from the sloop when he
was shot through the leg. That had been four or five
weeks before, and since then Jack and Dred had slept
in the kitchen. It was very hard upon Dred, who was
weak and sick with the fever.

Then one morning the pirate captain suddenly
returned from the town.

Jack and Betty Teach were at breakfast in the
kitchen, and Dred lay upon a bench, his head upon a
coat rolled into a pillow.

“You ’d better come and try to eat something,” said
Betty Teach. “TI do believe if you try to eat a bit you
could eat, and to my mind you ’d be the better for it.”
Dred shook his head weakly without opening his
eyes. Jack helped himself to a piece of bacon and a
large yellow yam. “Now, do come and eat a bit,”
urged the woman.

“T dow’t want anything to eat,” said Dred, irritably.
“YT wish you ’d let me alone.” He opened his eyes for
a brief moment and then closed them again.

_ “Well,” said Betty, “you need n’t snap a body’s head
221
222, JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

off. I only ask you to eat for your own good —if you
don’t choose to eat, why, don’t eat. Youll be as testy
as Hands by and by—and to be sure, I never saw
anybody like he is with his sore leg. You’d think he
was the only man in the world who had ever been shot,
the way he do go on.”

‘OT was a pretty bad hurt,” said Jack, with his mouth
full, ‘and that’s the truth. ’T is a wonder to me how
he did not lose his leg. ’T is an awful-looking place.”
Dred listened with his eyes closed.

Just then the door opened and the captain came in,
and then they ceased speaking. He looked very glum
and preoccupied. Dred opened his eyes where he lay
and looked heavily at him. The captain did not notice
any of the three, but went to the row of pegs against the
wall and hung up his hat, and then picked up a chair
and brought it over to the table. “ Have you had your
breakfast yet, Ned?” his wife asked.

“No,” he said, briefly. He sat quite impassively as
she bustlingly fetched him a plate and a knife and fork.
““Where’s the case bottle?” he asked, without look-
ing up.

“T 11 fetch it to you,” she said, and she hurried to the
closet and brought out the squat bottle and set it beside
him. He poured out a large dram for himself and then
turned suddenly to Dred.

“Chris,” he said, “I got some news from Charleston
last night. Jim Johnson’s come on, and he says that a
packet to Boston in Massachusetts was about starting
three or four days after he left. There’s a big prize in
it, I do believe, and I’ve sent word down to the meet
that we are to be off as soon as may be. I ’m going
to run down to-night.”

Jack sat listening intently. He did not quite under-
stand what was meant, and he was very much interested
to comprehend. He could gather that the pirate was
AN EXPEDITION 223

going away, seemingly on an expedition of some sort,
and he began wondering if he was to be taken along.
Again Dred had opened his eyes and was lying looking
at the pirate captain, who, upon his part, regarded the
sick man for a steadfast moment or two without
speaking. “D’ ye think ye can go along?” said Black-
beard presently.

“Why, no,” said Dred weakly, “you may see for
yourself that I can’t go along. How could I go along?
Why, I be a bedrid man.”

The captain stared almost angrily at him. “TI believe
you could go along,” said he, “if you’d have the spirit
to try. Ye lie here all day till you get that full of the
vapors that I don’t believe you ’ll ever be fit to get up
at all. Don’t you think you could try?” Dred shook
his head. ‘“D’ ye mean to say that you won’t even
make a try to go along? D’ ye mean that because you’re
a little bit sick you choose to give up your share in
the venture that’ 11 maybe make the fortune of us all ?”

“T can’t help it,” said Dred, and then he groaned.
“You may see for yourself that I’m not fit for any-
thing. I would n’t do any good, and ’t would only
cripple you to have a sick man aboard.”

“But how am I to get along without you?” said
Blackbeard, savagely, “that ’s what I want to know.
There ’s Hands in bed with his broken knee, and you
down with the fever, and only Morton and me to run
everything aboard the two sloops. For they do say
that the packet ’s armed and we ‘ll have to take both
sloops.”

Jack had listened with a keener and keener interest.
He felt that he must know just what all the talk meant.
“ Where are you going, captain?” he said. ‘ What are
you going to do?”

The pirate turned a lowering look upon him. “You
mind your own business and don’t you concern your-
=

294 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

self with what don’t concern you,” he said. Then he
added, “Wherever we ’re going, youre not going along,
and you may rest certain of that. You ’ve got to stay
at home here with Betty, for she can’t get along with
the girl and two sick men to look after.”

“We means he’s going on a cruise, Jack,” said Dred
from the bench. “ They ’re going to cruise outside to
stop the Charleston packet.”

“T don’t see,” said Jack to the pirate captain, “ that
I’m any better off here than I was up in Virginia. I
had to serve Mr. Parker there and J have to slave for
you here without getting anything for it.”

Blackbeard glowered heavily at him for a few moments
without speaking. “If ye like,” he said, “Ill send ye
back to Virginia to your master. J dare say he ’d be
glad enough to get you back again.” And then Jack
did not venture to say anything more. “Somebody ’ll
have to stay to look after all these sick people,” Black-
beard continued, “and why not you as well as another?”

The pirate’s wife had left the table and was busy
getting some food together on a pewter platter. “You
take this up-stairs to the young lady, Jack,” she said,
“while I get something for Hands to eat. I never see
such trouble in all my life as the three of ’em make
together — the young lady, and Hands, and Chris Dred
here.”

“When d’ ye sail?” Dred asked of the pirate cap-
tain, and Jack lingered, with the plate in his hand, to
hear the answer.

“Why, just as soon as we can get the men together.
The longer we leave it the less chance we’ll have of
coming across the packet.” Jack waited a little while
longer, but Blackbeard had fallen to at his breakfast,
and he saw that no more was to be said just then, so
he went up-stairs with the food, his feet clattering
noisily as he ascended the dark, narrow stairway.
AN EXPEDITION 225

The young lady was sitting by the window, leaning
her elbow upon the sill. Jack set the platter of food
~ upon the table and laid the iron knife and two-pronged
fork beside it. She had by this time become well ac-
quainted with him and the other members of the
pirate’s household. She would often come down-stairs
when Blackbeard was away from home, and would sit
in the kitchen talking with them, sometimes even laugh-
ing at what was said, and, for the time, appearing al-
most cheerful in spite of her captivity. Several times
Jack and Betty Teach had taken her for a walk of an
evening down the shore and even around the point in
the direction of Trivett’s plantation house. She looked
toward him now as he entered and then turned listlessly
to the window again. She was very thin and white,
and she wore an air of dejection that was now become
habitual with her. “Do you know whether they have
heard anything from Virginia to-day ?” she asked.

“T don’t believe they have,” said Jack. ‘“ At least I
did n’t hear Captain Teach say anything of the sort.
Maybe by the time he comes back there ’Il be a letter.”

“Comes back? Is he, then, going away?”

“Ay,” said Jack. “He ’s going off on an expedition
that ’ll maybe take him two or three weeks.”

“ An expedition?” she said. She looked at Jack as
though wondering what he meant, but she did not in-
quire any further. “A matter of two or three weeks,”
she repeated, almost despairingly. “I suppose, then, if
a letter should come I would have to wait all that time
until Captain Teach comes back again?”

“ And cannot you, then, have patience to wait for a
week or so, who have been here now a month?” said
Jack.

Just then came the sound of the pirate captain’s
heavy tread ascending the stairs.

“There he is, now,” said Jack, “and I ’ve got to go.”

15
226 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Wont you ask him if he ’s heard anything from
Virginia yet?”

“Why, mistress, it won’t be of any use for me to ask
him; he won’t give me any satisfaction,” said Jack;
and then he added,—“ but I will if you want me to.”

Blackbeard went along the low, dark passageway
and into the room where Hands lay, and Jack followed
him. “Phew!” said the pirate captain, and he went
across the room and opened the window. Hands, un-
conscious of the heavy, fetid smell of the sick-room,
was sitting propped up in bed with a pillow, smoking a
pipe of tobacco. He was very restless and uneasy, and
had evidently heard some words of the pirate’s talk
with Dred down-stairs. ‘Well, what ’s ado now ?” he
asked.

“Why,” said Blackbeard, “we ’re off on a cruise.”

“Off on a cruise?” said Hands.

“Ves,” said Blackbeard, as he sat himself down on
the edge of the bed, “I was up in town last night when
Jim Johnson came up. He ’d just come back from
Charleston and brought news of the Boston packet sail-
ing. He says it was the talk there that there was a
chist o’ money aboard.”

Hands laid aside his pipe of tobacco and began swear-
ing with all his might. ‘“ What did ye mean, anyway,”
he said, “to shoot me wantonly through the knee?”
He tried to move himself in the bed. “M-m-m!” he
grunted, groaning. He clenched the. fist upon which
he rested, making a wry face as he shifted himself a
little on the bed.

The pirate captain watched him curiously as he
labored to move himself. ‘“ How do you feel to-day?”
he asked.

“Oh! I feel pretty well,” said Hands, groaning, “ only
when I try to move a bit. I reckon I 'll never be able
to use my leg agin to speak on.”
AN EXPEDITION 227

Betty Teach came in with a platter of food. “ What
ha’ ye got there?” asked the sick man, craning his neck.

“A bit of pork and some potatoes,” she said.

“Potatoes and pork,” he growled. “’I is always
potatoes and pork, and nothing else.” She made no
reply, but set the platter down upon the bed and stood
watching him. “ When do you sail?” asked Hands.

“ As soon as we can,” said Blackbeard, briefly.

“The young lady wants to know if you ’ve heard
anything yet from Virginia,” said Jack.

The pirate looked scowlingly at him. “Ill tell her
when I hear anything,” he said shortly.

Blackbeard ate his dinner ashore, and it was some
time afternoon before the sloop was ready to sail. Some
half-dozen men had come up, during the morning, in a
rowboat from somewhere down the sound. They had
hoisted sail aboard the sloop, and now all was ready
for departure. The clouds had blown away, and the au-
tumn sun shone warm and strong. Dred had come down
from the house to see the departure, and by and by
Blackbeard appeared, carrying the guitar, which he .
handed very carefully into the boat before he himself
stepped down into it. Dred and Jack stood on the edge
of the landing, watching the rowboat as it pulled away
from the wharf toward the sloop, the captain sitting in
the stern. Two or three men were already hoisting the
anchor, the click-clicking of the capstan sounding
sharply across the water. The long gun in the bows
pointed out ahead silently and grimly. Presently the
small boat was alongside the sloop, and the captain
scrambled over the rail, the others following. Still
Jack and Dred stood on the end of the wharf, watching
the sloop as the bow came slowly around. Then, the
sail filling with the wind, it heeled heavily over, and
with gathering speed swept sluggishly away from its
moorings, leaving behind it a swelling wake, in which
228 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

towed the yawl boat that had brought the captain
aboard. They watched it as it ran further and further
out into the river, growing smaller and smaller in the
distance, and then, when a great way off, coming about
again. They watched it until, with the wind now astern,
it slipped swiftly in behind the jutting point of swamp
and was cut off by the intervening trees. The two stood
inertly for a while in the strange silence that seemed to
fall upon everything after all the bustle of the departure.
The water lapped and splashed and gurgled against the
wharf, and a flock of blue jays from the wet swamp on
the other side of the creek begun suddenly scream-
ing out their noisy, strident clamor. Presently Dred
groaned. “I ’m going back to the house,” he said.
“T ain’t fit to be out, and that’s a fact. I never had
a fever to lay me out like this. I’m going up to the
house, and I ain’t going to come out ag’in till I’m fit
to be out.”
CHAPTER XXX
THE ATTEMPT

T was a chill and drizzly morning, five or six weeks
after the pirates had gone off on their cruise; Jack
had been out-of-doors to fetch in some firewood, and he
now sat near the chimney-place, drying his coat before
the crackling fire, holding out the shaggy garment, and
watching it steam and smoke in the heat. Dred was
lying stretched out on the bench with his eyes closed,
though whether or not he was asleep Jack could not tell.
His fever had left him, and he was now growing stronger
every day. During his sickness he had grown into a
habit of indolence, and he spenta great deal of his time
lounging inertly thus upon the bench in the kitchen.
The young lady had not been down that morning.
Betty Teach was moving about up-stairs, and presently
Jack, as he sat thus drying his coat, heard her tap on
the door of Miss Eleanor Parker’s room; then, after
an interval of waiting, tap again; then, after another
interval, open the door and go into the room.
Suddenly there came the sound of her feet running
—then of a window flung up. Then she called out,
“Dred! Dred!” Her voice was shrill with a sudden
keen alarm, and Jack started up from where he sat, still
holding his coat in his hand. His first thought was that
something had happened to the young lady, and then,
with a thrill, a second thought came to him, he knew
not why, that maybe she was dead.

229
230 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Dred raised himself upon his elbow as Betty Teach
came running down-stairs. The next moment she burst
into the kitchen. ‘“O Dred!” she cried, her voice still
high and keen with excitement, “she’s gone!”

“Gone!” said Dred, “who’s gone?” He asked the
question, though he knew instantly whom she meant.

“The young lady!” cried Betty Teach, wringing her
hands. “She’s run away. I went to her room just
now, to see if she was up. I knocked, but she would n’t
answer. Then I went in and I found she’d gone—there
was her bed, as empty as could be.”

“Why,” said Jack, “I remember, now, I saw this
morning that the door was unbolted, but I did n’t think
anything of it then. She must just have opened it for
herself and walked out.”

Neither Dred nor Betty Teach paid any attention to
what he said. “O Dred!” cried Betty, “ won’t you try
to do something? Won’t you come up-stairs, and see for
yourself?” She had begun to weep, now, and was wiping
the tears from her face with her apron. “Oh,” she wept,
“what will Ned say? He ll killme if he finds this out.”

“Well, well,” said Dred, “’t isno use making such a
hubbub about it. That won't do any good. Let’s go
up and take a look at her room. She can’t be far away.”
He arose heavily and laboriously from the bench as he
spoke, and led the way up-stairs to the young lady’s
room. He went to the bed and laid his hand upon it.
“Ay,” he said, “she’s gone sure enough, and what’s
more, she’s been gone some time, for the bed ’s dead
cold” He looked about the room as he spoke. “ Why,
look yonder!” he cried out; “the pore young thing
ain’t even took her shoes with her. I dare say she was
afeard of making a noise, and so she’s gone off without
’em— gone in her stocking-feet, and on this cold, wet
day, too. Have you told Hands yet?” he asked, turn-
ing to the pirate’s wife.
THE ATTEMPT 231

“No, I have n’t,” she said.

“Then come along and let’s tell him, and see what
he has to say about it.”

As they went along the passageway Betty Teach
continued wringing her hands: “Oh, lacky, lacky me!”
she wailed. ‘ What ’ll Ned say when he finds this out?
He’s like enough to be back at any time, now, and
he ‘ll kill me, he will, if he finds out we ’ve let her get
away.”

“Well, he don’t know anything about it as yet,”
said Dred, roughly, “and till he does, ’t is no use cry-
ing for it.”

Hands was still bedridden with his broken knee. As
Dred, followed by Jack and Betty Teach, entered the
room, they found him lying propped with his elbow on
the pillow, and his head on his hand, smoking the pipe
that now seemed never to leave his lips. He had heard
the stir and the sound of voices below, and almost as
soon as Dred opened the door he asked what was the
ado. Dred told him, and he listened, sucking every
now and then at his pipe, nodding his head at intervals,
as though he had already surmised what had occurred.
“Tn her stocking-feet!” he repeated, as Dred concluded.
“Well, well! to be sure! In her stocking-feet! Why,
then, she can’t go far.”

“Tn course not,” said Dred.

“T don’t know why she ran away,” cried Betty Teach.
“She did n’t make no sign of running away last night.
I took her supper up to her, and she talked for a long
while with me. She asked me then if there’d been any
news from Virginia, and then she wondered whether Ned
could n’t take her back without waiting to hear news,
but she didn’t seem to think anything of running
away.”

They listened to tien with a sort of helpless silence as
she spoke.
232 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Well,” repeated Hands, after a while, “she can’t
have gone far in her stocking-feet. I tell you what ’t is,
Dred, I believe she be gone up toward the town. ’T is
most likely she ’d think first of going there. If she
did n’t go there she ’d go down to Jack Trivett’s or Jim
Dobbs’s, they being the nighest houses t’ other way. And
- then, if she goes that way, why they knows all about
her, and they ’ll send her back or send word back. If
she goes up toward the town she can’t go no furder
than the little swamp. If I was you, 1’d go up that
there way on the chance of finding her.”

Dred sat for a while on the edge of the bed in thought-
ful silence. “Well,” he said, “I reckon you be about
right, and I’d better go and look for her.” Then he
groaned. “This be ill weather for a fever-struck man
to be out in,” he said, “but summat’s got to be done.
If for no other reason, we can’t let the pore young lady
stay out to be soaked in the rain. Youll have to go
with me, Jack.”

The misty drizzle had changed to a fine, thin rain
when Jack and Dred started out upon their quest. They
walked along together, side by side, Dred lagging some-
what with the dregs of his weakness. ‘ Well strike
along the shore,” he said, panting a little as he walked,
“and then, from the mouth of the branch, we ’Il beat up
along the edge of the swamp. If we don’t find her ag’in’
we get up as far as the cross branch, we ’ll skirt back
into the country and see if she ’s at Dobbs’s or Trivett’s
plantation-houses. As for going to the town, why, what
Hands says is true enough; she could n’t cross the
swamp with her shoes on, let alone in her stocking-
feet.”

Jack’s every faculty was intent upon the search, but,
by a sort of external consciousness, he sensed and per-
ceived his surroundings with a singular clearness. The
bank dipped down rather sharply toward a narrow strip
THE ATTEMPT 233

of swamp, threaded midway by a little sluggish, lake-
like stream of water. Oaks and cypress-trees grew up
from the soft, spongy soil. The boles of the trees were
green with moss, and here and there long streamers of
gray moss hung from the branches. Fallen trees, partly
covered with moss, partly buried in the swampy soil,
stretched out gaunt, lichen-covered branches like with-
ered arms, also draped with gray hanging filaments.
Here or there little pools of transparent, coffee-colored
water caught in reflection a fragment of the gray sky
through the leaves overhead, and gleamed each like a
spot of silver in the setting of dusky browns of the
surrounding swamp.

Dred walked upon the border of the drier land, Jack
closer down, along the edge of the swamp. His feet
sucked and sopped in the soft, wet earth, and now and
then he leaped from a mossy root to a hummock of
earth, from a hummock of earth to a mossy root. The
wet wind rushed and soughed overhead through the
leaves, and then a fine, showery spray would fall from
above, powdering his rough coat with particles of mois-
ture. The air was full of a rank, damp, earthy smell.

“T)’ ye keep a sharp lookout,” called Dred to him.

“ Ay, ay,” answered Jack.

They again went on for a little distance without
speaking. “I’m a-going to stop awhile, till I light
my pipe,” Dred called out presently ; “the damp seems
to get into my nose; ’t is like a lump of ice.” He had
filled his pipe with tobacco, and now he squatted down
and began striking his flint and steel while Jack went
on forward through the swamp.

He had gone, perhaps, thirty or forty paces when
he suddenly caught sight of a little heap of wet and
sodden clothes that lay upon the ground, partly hidden
by the great ribbed roots of a cypress-tree. It looked
like some cast-off clothing that had been thrown away
234 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

in the swamp. He wondered dully for a moment how
it came there, and then, with a sudden start—almost a
shock—realized what it must be. He hurried forward,
the branches and roots hidden by the mossy earth
erackling beneath his feet. “ Dred!” he called out,
‘“‘Dred—come here, Dred!” -

- “Where away?” called Dred, his voice sounding res-
onantly through the hollow woods.

“Here!” answered Jack, “come along!”

The next moment he came around the foot of a
cypress-tree, and found himself looking down at the
fugitive—almost with a second shock at finding what
he had expected.

She did not move. Her face was very white, and she
looked up at him with her large, dark eyes as he stood
looking down at her. A shudder. passed over her, and
then presently another. She said nothing, nor did he say
anything to her. Her skirts were soaked and muddy
with the swamp water through which she must have
tried to drag herself. She sat with her feet doubled
under her, crouched together. Her hair was dishev-
eled, one dark, cloudy lock falling down across her
forehead. Somehow Jack could not bear to look at
her any longer; then he walked slowly away toward
Dred, who now came hurrying up to where he was.
“Where is she?” said Dred to Jack when the two met.

“Over yonder,” said Jack, pointing toward the tree.
He was profoundly stirred by what he had seen. She
had not looked like herself. She had looked like some
forlorn, hunted animal. When Jack came back with
Dred they found her still sitting in the same place, just
as he had left her. Dred stood looking down at her
for a moment or two. Perhaps he also felt something
of that which had so moved Jack. Then he stooped
and laid his hand upon her shoulder. “You must come
back with us, mistress,” he said. “ You should n’t ha’
FOUND HER STILL SITTING IN THE SAME PLAC


THE ATTEMPT 235

tried to run away; indeed, you should n’t. HOw long
have you been out here?”

Her lips moved, but she could not speak at first.. “I
don’t know,” said she presently, in a low, dull voice.
“A long time, I think. I wanted to get away, but I
could n’t get through the swamp; then I was afraid
to go back again.” She put her hand up to her eyes
nervously, and pressed it there, and her lips began
to quiver and writhe. And again she shuddered, as
though with the cold.

“Tn course you could n’t,” said Dred, soothingly,
“and indeed you should n’t ha’ tried, mistress. ’T is
enough to kill the likes of you to be out in this sort of
weather, and in your stocking-feet. There, don’t you
take on so, mistress. Come, come, don’t ery no more.
~You come back to the house with us, and get some
dry clothes on you, and you ll feel all well again.
Why, she ’s cold to the marrow,” he said, as he helped
her to rise. ‘Lend her your coat, Jack.”

Jack instantly began stripping off his coat, eager to
do something to show his sympathy. She minds no re-
sistance, but stood with her hands pressed to her eyes
as Jack put the coat over her shoulders and buttoned
it under her chin.

Betty Teach opened the door and stood waiting as
they came up the pathway to the house. “You ’ve
found her, have you?” she said, and she trembled visi-
bly with joy. “Oh! what would Ned say if he was to
find all this here out?”

“Why, he need n’t know anything about it,” said
Dred, roughly, as he and Jack assisted the young lady
into the house. “Just you say nothing about it to the
captain, you too—d’ ye hear, Jack? I ’ll see Hands
myself and ask him that he don’t say anything.”

Jack. had walked all the way back from the swamp
236 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

in his shirt-sleeves. He was damp and chilled with the
fine rain, and he sat himself close to the fire, and began
warming his hands, hardly knowing that he was doing
so. He had been most profoundly moved by what he
had seen, and his mind was full of thinking about it.
He was glad that he was wet with the rain for her
sake. Presently Betty Teach returned from taking the
young lady to her room, and he roused himself from
his thoughts to hear the pirate’s wife tell Dred that she
had put her to bed. “You ’d better take something
warm. up to her,” Dred said, and Betty Teach replied :
“Yes, Twill. D’ ye think she’d drink a tumbler of grog
if [mixedit?” “Ay, she’ll have to,” said Dred. “’T was
enough to kill the likes of her to be setting out in the
wet swamp like that.” Jack listened for the moment, and
then his thoughts went back to her again. He recalled
how she had pressed her hands over her eyes, and how
her lips had quivered and writhed as he buttoned the
coat at her throat. His hand had touched her cold
wet chin, and there was a strong pleasure in the recol-
lection. Then he again aroused from his thoughts to
hear Dred saying, “Take care what you ’re about!
You ’re making it too strong,” and then he saw that
Betty Teach was busy mixing a hot drink for the
young lady, pouring rum from the pirate’s case-bottle
into the hot water, and stiring it round and round.
CHAPTER XXXI
THE RETURN

T was at the dead of the same night when Jack began

to be disturbed in his sleep by iterated poundings
upon the floor overhead. He heard the noise, and for
some time it mingled in his dreams before he began
recognizing it with his waking thoughts. He raised
himself upon his elbow where he lay upon the floor.
Dred, too, was sitting up, and there was the sound of
stirring overhead. They could hear the patter of bare
feet, and presently Betty Teach came running down-
stairs. The next moment she burst into the room, clad
in a blanket which she had wrapped around her. “The
sloop ’s come back!” she cried. “Hands heard ’em,
and he’s been pounding on the floor with his shoe for
a deal of a while, but ye slept like ye were dead.”

Even before she had ended speaking, Jack was pull-
ing on his shoes. He tied the thongs hurriedly and then
slipped on his coat and hat. He looked up at the clock
as he ran off out of the house, leaving Dred dressing
more slowly and deliberately, and he saw that it was
half-past twelve.

The rain was still driving in fine sheets, and there was
the constant sound of running water, and every now and
then the dropping and pattering of many drops from the
trees as they bowed gustily before the wind. There were
lights moving about down at the landing-place, and

there were two other lights twinkling out over the har-
237
238 , JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

bor, where the sloop evidently lay, the bright sparks
reflected in long, restless trickles of light across the
broken face of the water. Jack could see that there
were figures moving about the landing wharf, and he
started to go thither.

He was still dazed and bewildered with the sudden
waking, and everything seemed to him to be singularly
strange and unreal; what he saw took on the aspect of
night-time, but things that had happened the day be-
fore mingling oddly with those of the present—the spit-
ting of the fine, chill rain blending with a recollection
of Miss Eleanor Parker as she crouched at the foot of
the eypress-tree. A cock crew in the rainy night, and
the sound was singularly pregnant of the wet darkness
of the unborn day.

He had gone only a little distance when he suddenly
met two dark figures walking up toward the house
through the long, wet, rain-sodden grass. One was
Captain Teach, the other was Morton, the gunner. They
stopped abruptly as they met him, and the pirate cap-
tain asked him where he was going. Jack could tell by
the sound of his voice that he was in one of his most
savagely lowering humors. “I’m going down to the
landing,” Jack answered.

“You ’re going to do nothing of the sort,” said the
pirate captain’s hoarse husky voice from out of the dark-
ness. “You’re going straight back to the house again.”
And then, as Jack hesitated a moment, “D’ ye hear
me?” he cried out, with a sudden savage truculence,
“vou go back to the house again,” and Jack did not
dare to disobey.

Betty Teach met them at the door, and they all went
directly into the kitchen, where a freshly-laid bunch of
faggots crackled upon the fire, dispelling the chill damp-
ness of the night. The pirate captain, without offering
any word of greeting to Dred, turned to his wife and
THE RETURN ; 239

asked Mee if she had heard anything fr om Virginia con-
cerning the young lady.

“No,” she said, “not a word.”

- What ue bred out the pirate, “are you sure? Noth-
ing yet? Why, to be sure there must be something.
It has been nigh six weeks since I left.”

“There ’s nothing come yet,” said his wife.

Blackbeard’s face lowered at her as though he thought
it was somehow her fault that no letter had come, but
he said nothing. All this while Dred was standing be-
fore the fire as though waiting, and Jack knew it must
be that he could hardly contain his desire to learn
something about the fortune of the expedition. But
however great was his desire to know, he asked no
immediate question.

“How be you, Dred?” said Morton at last.

“Tm better now,” said Dred, “and able to be about
a bit.” He opened his mouth as though to eS when
the pirate captain cut in:

“How ’s Hands getting on?”

“Fe ’s still abed,” said Dred, “but he’s a deal bet-
ter than he was. He stood on his leg yesterday for
nigh an hour.” Then at last he asked, “ What luck did
you have?” The question was directed at Blackbeard,
and Jack and Betty Teach stood waiting breathlessly
for the reply, but, in his sullen, evil humor, the pirate
captain did not choose to answer. He turned away, flung
his hat down upon the bench, and began slowly peeling
off his rough coat, wet and heavy with the fine rain.
Dred eyed him for a second or two, and then he turned
to Morton. “What luck did ye have, Morton?” he asked.

Morton was a slow, heavy, taciturn man, very unready
of speech. The reply came almost as though reluc-
tantly from him, but he could not hide the triumphant
exultation that swelled his heart. “’I were good
‘enough luck, Chris Dred”— a pause—“ ay, ’t were good
240 . JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

luck. You lost the chance of your life for a big prize
this time, when you stayed ashore —that’s what you
did, Chris Dred.”

“Did you, then, come across the packet?” asked
Dred, impatiently; and again Jack and Betty waited
breathlessly for the reply. Morton was filling his pipe.
“oT were better thant hat,” he said, slowly. “’I were
better than any packet betwixt here and Halifax. "T
were a French bark loaded full of sugar and rum from
Martinique; that’s what it were, Chris Dred.”

Then, with many pauses in his slow narrative, and
every now and then a few quick, strong puffs at his
pipe, he told how the two pirate sloops—the sloop
from Bath Town and the other from Ocracock — had
captured the French bark with its—at that time—
precious cargo of sugar and rum; that prize that after-
ward became so famous in the annals of the American
pirates; that prize so valuable that it was impossible
that Blackbeard should be allowed to keep it for his
own without having to fight the law for it.

The pirate captain, in his sworn statement made be-
fore Governor Hden a few weeks later, said that the two
sloops had found the bark adrift in the western ocean;
and Governor Eden had then condemned it, as being
without an owner and belonging to those who had
brought it in.

It was a very different story that Jack listened to
that night as Morton told it in his slow sentences, sit-
ting in the red light of the crackling faggot fire. Morton
gaid that the Frenchman had fought for over half an
hour before he had surrendered. Two of the pirates
had been killed and four wounded, and the Frenchman
had lost thirteen in killed and wounded. He said that
there were a number of Englishmen aboard — cast-
aways, whom the Frenchmen had picked up off a water-
logged bark that had been driven out of its course to
THE RETURN 241

the southward in a storm off the Bermudas. The French-
men, he said, would have surrendered a deal sooner
than they did, only that the Englishmen had lent a hand
in the fighting. He said that the English captain and a
passenger from the English bark were the only men
on deck when they came aboard, and it was the English
captain who had informed them of the precious nature
of the Frenchman’s cargo. Dred asked incidentally
what had been done with the prisoners, and Morton
said that Blackbeard had, at first, been all for throwing
the Englishmen overboard, because they had fought
against their own blood, but that he (Morton) and the
boatswain of the other sloop had dissuaded him from
his first intention, and that finally the crew and passen-
gers of the prize had all been set adrift in three of the
Frenchman’s boats, though without compass and with
only provisions and water for three days. This was the
story that Morton told, and it was very different from
- Blackbeard’s statement made before Governor Eden.
Jack listened most intently. It all sounded very
strange and remote—that savage piracy upon a poor
merchantman,—and yet it was all singularly real as
Morton told it. He wished very strongly that he had
been along. What a thing it would have been to re-
member in after years! What a thing to have talked.
about if he should ever get back again to Southampton !
Dred asked who of their own men had been hurt.
“Swigget was killed nigh the first fire the parleyvoos
gave us,” Morton answered, “and Robinson was shot
a while later and died whiles they were carrying him
below. 'T’ others ll all get well like enough, unless it
be black Tom, who was shot in the neck.”
Jack did not know Robinson, but he recollected Swig-
get very distinctly as being one of the crew that had
made the descent upon Marlborough. He had not seen

him since those days, but it seemed very strange, al-
16
242 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

most shocking, to think that he who had been so strong
and well at that time, who had snapped his finger in
time to the captain’s guitar music and who had been so
exultant when he had won at cards, that he should now
be suddenly dead!

“oT were a hot fight while it lasted,” Morton was say-
ing. “But, oh, Chris, you should just ha’ seen that
there bark— full, chock up to the hatches, with sugar,
and twenty hogsheads of rum in the forehold besides.
"T’ was the chance of your life you missed, Chris Dred.”

There was a long pause, and then Dred asked, ““ Where
is she now?”

“ She’s lying down below Stage’s Island,” said Morton.

What, during that little pause, was the intangible
cause that should have so suddenly have recalled to
Jack’s memory the scene of yesterday — the swamp, and
the poor fugitive girl crouching at the foot of thecypress-
tree? Some expression of Dred’s face, perhaps; some
indefinable motion of his hand. His mind rushed back
to that other event, and a recollection of the young
lady’s white, woeful face—a remembrance of the touch
of her cold chin upon his hand, stood out very strongly
upon his memory.

All the while Morton had been talking, Blackbeard
had sat at the table in sullen silence, taking no part in,
and not even seeming to hear, what was said. Morton
still smoked his pipe, and now the kitchen was pun-
gent with rank tobacco smoke. Meantime Betty Teach
had been bustling about, and had brought out a bottle
of rum and some glasses, half a ham, and a lot of corn
bread. Then she set a couple of pewter plates with
knives and forks upon the table. Blackbeard cut him-
self a slice of ham and helped himself to a piece of
bread, and by and by Morton took his place at the table
also, drawing up his chair with a noisy scrape upon
the floor.
CHAPTER XXXII
A SCENE

eS news that the pirates had brought in a rich
prize of rum and sugar flew very quickly up into
the town, for the very next morning Mr. Knight came
down to see the pirate captain, bringing with him a
man who was a stranger to Jack. He afterward found
that the stranger was a Captain Hotchkiss, master of a
schooner bound for the port of Philadelphia. Captain
Hotchkiss was an honest merchantman as the times
went, but he was quite willing to undertake to dispose
of the captured rum in the port for which he was bound.

The rain had cleared away, and soon after breakfast
Jack had gone down to the wharf. One of the pirates
named Bolles—a young fellow not much older than
himself — had come up from Ocracock aboard the sloop.
He had been wounded in the fight, and he carried his
arm inasling. He had not come up from the landing
for his breakfast, and Betty Teach had sent something
down to him by Jack—a big, cold roast yam, some corn
bread, and a thick slice of bacon. The young pirate had
spread his meal out on top of one of the piles, and was
making shift to eat it with his left hand. Jack stood
leaning against the other side of the pile, watching his
thick-featured, heavy face as he ate.

“Ye ought to ha? been along,” said the young pirate,
munching away with his mouth full.

“Why, so I should have liked to have been,” said
Jack.

243
244 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“oT were a mightly hot fight, though, while it lasted,”
said the young pirate with pride. “Like enough you
might n’t ha? liked that so much if you ’d been there.
"T was a main villainous chance that I should ha’ been
hit the very first time I ever was really in a fight.”

“Did it hurt you when you were shot?” Jack asked,
curiously.

“Hurt!” said the pirate, “I don’t know—no, not
much at first. "[ was as if somebody had struck me in
the shoulder with a club It just knocked me around
as if I’d been hit with a club. I did n’t know what
4 was at first, nor till I felt the blood a-running down
my hand, all hot like. Arter that it hurt bad enough.
’"T were a grape-shot,” he said, with some pride, “and it
looked as though you’d’a’ scooped a bit of the meat out.
with a spoon, only deeper like. "I was a nigh chance,
and if it had ’a’ been a little higher, ’t would ’a’ been all
up with Ned Bolles.”

“Td have liked well to have been along,” said Jack
again. a:

“Well,” said the young pirate, “’t was summat to stir
the blood, I can tell ye. Then we lay for maybe twenty
minutes or more afore ? other sloop could come up
with us, and all the time that bloody French bark
a-banging away at us, the bullets a-going ping! ping!
and chug! chug! and every now and then boom! goes”
a gun—boom! boom!—and maybe a bucketful of
splinters goes flying. And then, by and.by, I see ’em
carrying poor Tom Swiggett down below, and a nasty
sight he were, with his eyes rolled up and his face like
dough. And just then, bump! and around I goes, shot
in the shoulder. ‘“’T were n’t no skylarking now, I tell
ye.”

It was just then that Mr. Knights boat pulled up to
the wharf beyond, and Jack went out to the end of the
landing to meet it. The men who were rowing were
A SCENE 245

strangers to Jack. They lay waiting on their oars,
looking up at him. “Tell me, young man!” called Mr.
Knight. “Is Captain Teach at home?”

“Yes, he is,” said Jack, “but he ’s not about yet.”
~ Then Mr. Knight, followed by Captain Hotchkiss,
came climbing up the ladder, slippery with green slime,
to the wharf above. The colonial secretary led the way
directly up to the house, and Jack followed the two
visitors, leaving the young pirate munching away
stolidly at his food.

They all went into the kitchen together. The pirate
captain had gone to bed, but Dred and Morton still
lingered in front of the fire, and Betty Teach was busy
putting away the remains of the breakfast that had
been standing on the table since midnight.

“Tf you 711 come in t? other room,” said Jack, “you ‘Il
likely find it in better trim than this one, Mr. Knight.”

“Never mind,” said the secretary, “we ’d just as lief
stay here. What time did the sloop get in?” he asked
of Morton.

“‘T don’t know exactly,” said Morton, without taking
his pipe out of his mouth. “’I was some time arter
midnight.”

“Ts the captain asleep yet?”

“Treckon he be,” said Dred. “I hain’t seen him
_ since he went to bed early this morning.”

“Well, he ‘Il have to be awakened then,” said Mr.
Knight, “for I ’ve just fetched Captain Hotchkiss,
here, down from the town to see him, and he has to
be going again as soon as may be.”

“You ’d better go and wake him then, mistress,” said
Dred; and Betty went, though with great reluctance, to
arouse her husband. Presently they could hear her
overhead talking to the pirate, who answered her evi-
dently from his bed; then they could hear him telling
her that he would be down in a little while, and pres-
246 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ently she returned down-stairs again, leaving Black-
beard stamping his feet into his shoes and swearing to
himself.

Then, after a while, they heard the door of the room
open and the pirate captain go stumping along the
passage. He did not come directly down-stairs, how-
ever, but went on into the room where Hands lay.

“Where ’s he gone now?” said Mr. Knight. ‘“ Why
don’t he come?”

“He ’g stopped in to see Hands first,” said Betty
Teach.

“Well, then, why should he do that?” said Mr.

Knight, crossly. “Hands can wait and we can’t.”
_ Betty made no reply, but went on with her inter-
rupted work. In the pause of silence that followed,
those in the kitchen could hear the grumbling sound
of the men’s voices talking up-stairs. Captain Hotch-
kiss fidgeted restlessly. ‘‘ When did the fever take
you?” he asked Dred.

“Why, I don’t know,” said Dred. “It appeared like
I fetched it down from Virginny with me.”

Hands was talking now, and they could hear the
growling of his voice—it continued for some time in a
monotone, and then suddenly the captain’s voice burst
out with a loud, angry excitement. There was instant
silence in the kitchen: every one sat listening intently to
hear what was said in the room above. “ Run away!”
they heard Blackbeard’s voice exclaim. “Run away!”
and then came the noise of his chair grating against
the bare floor. Jack and Betty Teach and Dred ex-
changed looks. They knew that Hands had told of the
young lady’s attempted escape.

“He ’s gone and told, arter all,” said Dred.

“Told what?” asked Mr. Knight, but the others were
listening again, and did not reply. Again Hands was
talking, but it was impossible to distinguish what he
A SCENE : 247

was saying. Suddenly the chair grated again, and
the next moment came the sound of Blackbeard’s feet
striding across the room, and then along the passage.
Then he came clattering down the stairs; then the
kitchen door was flung open and he burst into the room.
“What ’s this here Hands tells me about the young .
lady trying to run away yesterday?” he cried out, in
a fierce, loud voice.

Captain Hotchkiss was listening with silent intent-
ness. Mr. Knight instantly understood everything, and
he shot a side look at Captain Hotchkiss’s attentive face.
“Take care, captain,” he said to Blackbeard, “take care
what you say. You forget there ’s a stranger here.”

Blackbeard glared at him, but vouchsafed no reply.
“Did n’t I tell you,” he said, turning upon his wife,
“that you was to keep a sharp lookout upon the hussy
while I was away? I was afeared of something of
this sort, and I told you to keep a sharp lookout on
her. Suppose she ’d ’a? got up into the town! maybe
she ’d have had the whole province talking. ’I' is bad
enough as ’t is with everybody hereabouts blabbing
about her, but if she ’d got up into the town maybe
she’d found somebody to look after her and take up
her case, and then we ’d have never got her back again.
There ’s Parson Odell, if she ’d gone to him, he ’d have
had to take up her case, and then we ’d’a? had the whole
Parker crew down upon us from Virginny, like enough.”

“Well,” said Betty Teach, “’t was nobody’s fault she
gotaway. To be sure, I did all I could to look after
her, morning and night. I allus went to her door
early, and I allus kept the doors of the house tight
locked of a night. I don’t know how she contrived to
get out, but she did get out, and that ’s all there be
about it. But now ’t is over and done, and she’s safe
back home again and no harm done, so what ’s the use
of blustering about it for everybody to hear?”
248 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Mr. Knight came up to Blackbeard and plucked him
by the sleeve. “You forget,” he whispered, “ that
Hotchkiss is here. You don’t want everybody to know
about this business, do you?”

Blackbeard shook off his touch. He would listen
to nothing. “And as for you, Chris Dred,” he said,
turning to the sick man, “what be ye fit for, any-
how?” Dred shrugged his shoulders without reply-
ing. “What! won’t you answer me, then? By blood!
you shall answer me!”

‘om ig no use to answer you,” said Dred, “you ’ve got
in one of your humors, and there ’s naught that I can
say that you ’ll listen to.” ;

Blackbeard glared balefully at him for a while, per-
haps not knowing just what to say. Then suddenly
he turned on his heel and fiung open the door, and
went noisily up-stairs again.

“Where are you going, Ned?” his wife called after
him, but he did not reply.

“T do believe he ’s going up to the young lady’s
room,” said Dred, rising from his bench. “ Youd bet-
ter go up and stop him, mistress, or he ’Il frighten her
to death.”

They listened, and, sure eee the pirate went
straight to the girl’s room and flung open the door vio-
lently. “You’d better go up arter him,” said Dred;
“he’s in one of his fits, and there ’s no knowing what
he ‘ll say or do to her.”

“Why,” said Betty Teach, “to be sure I don’t like
to cross him now.”

Dred shrugged his shoulders and sat down again.
They could hear the loud, violent voice of the pirate
storming from the room above. “ Ye’d run away, would
ye? Ye’drun away, would ye? By the eternal! I ‘ll
cure ye of that, my mistress! Ye don’t know me, to
try your tricks with me. What d’ ye suppose I keep
A SCENE 249

ye here for— because I love ye? NotI! ’T is for what
I can make out of ye!” — and so on, and so on. Betty
Teach stood listening at the half-open door. ‘“ Well,”
she said at last, “I do suppose Ill have to go up to
him. "Tis as you say; he'll frighten her to death, the
way he’s talking to her.” Then again she listened for
a moment or two, and they could all hear the sound of
some one crying. “ Well, Ill go,” she said; and she
went, closing the door after her.

“Who is it he’s got up there, anyhow?” asked Cap-
tain Hotchkiss. He looked around at the others, but
no one replied to him. He was devoured by curiosity.

“He should n’t have gone up-stairs in the humor
he’s in,” said the secretary. “He was n’t fit to talk
with her now.”

“But who is it?” said Captain Hotchkiss, again.

“Never you mind that, captain,” said Mr. Knight,
sharply.. “I is a matter that don’t concern you at all,
and you’d better mind your own affairs.”

Betty Teach was talking, and they could hear the
sound of her voice, trying to quiet her husband — then
the sound of Blackbeard’s, more violent than ever. The
doors were closed, so that it was impossible to distin-
guish what was said. Suddenly there came a cry,— then
a fall,—then silence. “By heavens!” said Mr. Knight,
“he has n’t done anything to her, has he?”

“No,” said Dred, “he would n’t do nothing to her o’
that kind. He would n’t touch hand to her, if you mean
that.”

The silence continued for a while; then the door
opened, and Betty Teach’s voice called down the stairs:
“Jack! Jack! Come here a minute!”
_ Jack hurried out of the room, and up-stairs. The

door of the young lady’s room was standing open, and
before he entered he could see Miss Eleanor Parker
lying upon the floor and the pirate’s wife bending over
250 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

her, rubbing and slapping her hands. Blackbeard him-
self sat upon the edge of the table, swinging one leg,
his arms folded, lowering down at the unconscious fig-
ure. “Here, Jack,” said the pirate’s wife, looking up,
“help me lift her to the bed.”

Then Jack, who stood looking, aroused himself, and
came into the room. He stooped, and slipped his hands
and arms under the girl’s shoulders. Her head fell back
upon his arm as he raised her, and her hair flowed over
it in a dark, glossy cloud. He looked down at the white
face, the blue veins marking faint lines upon her fore-
head. Then he and the woman laid her upon the bed.
“Go and fetch some water,” said Betty Teach, “ and be
quick about it.”

The pail was empty, and Jack ran down-stairs to fill
it. “What’s the matter?” asked Mr. Knight, as he
hurried through the kitchen.

“Nothing,” said Jack, “only she’s fainted away.”

When he returned to the room again he saw that the
pirate’s wife had loosened the young lady’s stays, and
that she had now‘returned, or was returning, to con-
sciousness. “ Well, then,” Betty Teach was saying, ‘I
do suppose you’re satisfied, now that you’ve nigh
frightened her to death. Are ye satisfied, now?”

As Jack set the pail of water upon the floor, he saw
a shuddering tremor shake the half-conscious girl, and
then, by and by, another. Blackbeard still sat upon
the edge of the table, swinging one leg, his arms folded,
and his face lowering. ‘“ Well, I’ll frighten her worse
than that,” he said, at last. “IIL frighten her worse
than she was ever frightened before in all of her life if
she goes trying any of her tricks of running away
again!” He stopped, and glared toward the two women.
' Then he ground his white teeth together in a sudden
spasm of rage. “I ll frighten her so she ’Il wish she
was dead!”
A SCENE 251

Whether the girl heard or not, she shuddered, as
though at the words. ‘“ Well, you’d better go down-
stairs now,” said Betty Teach. “You ’ve frightened
her enough for once, and you ’ve said things before
Jack Hotchkiss that maybe you ’ll be sorry you said,
by and by.”

“Tl go down-stairs,” growled the pirate, “when it
suits me to, and not before.” He sat for a little while
longer, as though to assert himself, and then presently
got up and slouched out of the room, without closing
the door behind him.

Jack lingered for a while, and at first the captain’s
wife, busied about her patient, did not see him. Pres-
ently the young lady began to cry weakly, and then
Betty Teach looked up. “You go down-stairs, too,”
she said.

“Can’t I do something to help you?” said Jack, gulp-
ing at the sympathetic lump that rose in his throat.

“No, you can’t,” she said, sharply, “except to do as I
bid you.” And then Jack followed the captain down
into the kitchen.

“They do say,” Mr. Knight was saying, “that there
was twenty casks of rum aboard. Well, if that be true,
methinks I can help you to rid yourself of some of them
at a fair price. Hotchkiss, here, is on his way to Phil-
adelphia, and will take six of them to Mr. West, who ’Il
handle them as my agent, if you choose to have it so.
I dare say he ‘ll get the best there is out of them for
you.”

“The purchase is n’t condemned yet,” said Black-
beard, sullenly.

“Oh, well, ’t will make no difference just to take a
little rum,” said Mr. Knight. “T’ll make that all right
with his Excellency.”

Blackbeard sat gloomily without speaking. “ Where
is the rum?” gaid Captain Hotchkiss.
252 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Tt ’s aboard the bark,” said Blackbeard, shortly.
“T ve got a keg of it aboard the sloop, if you choose to
come and sample it.” His lowering mood still brooded
heavily upon him, but he arose, took down his hat
gloomily, and without saying anything further, stalked
out of the house, leaving his two visitors to follow him
as they chose.

“Tove a great mind,” said Jack to himself, “to ask
Captain Hotchkiss if he won't take me away to Phil-
adelphia with him.” But he did not do so.
CHAPTER XXXIIT
HOW JACK RESOLVED

ACK, missing a full night of young, wholesome sleep,
dozed a great deal of the afternoon, lying stretched
out uncomfortably upon a bench in the kitchen. Dred
and Morton talked imtermittently, and the occasional
growling tenor of their voices mingled ever with his
half dreams; an occasional expression striking out now
and then from the monotone of words, and rousing
him to a fleeting consciousness. Then there would be
long pauses of silent tobacco-smoking, in which he
would fall to dreaming again.

Ever since the day before, his bosom had been grow-
ing more and more full of the thought of the young
lady. Now his thoughts recurred to her again and
again in his half-waking dozings, remembering always
how he had found her in the swamp and how he had
covered her cold shoulders with his own coat, how he
had lifted her soft swooning body from the floor, how
her black hair fell in a cloud over his arm. He seemed
to sense again the singular fragrance of her presence,
and at times of his half sleeping he would almost feel
the touch of her damp chin upon his hand as he but-
toned the coat at her throat. There was a strange, keen
pleasure in thus dreaming about her, and he yielded
himself entirely to it.

Equally present in this half-waking sleep was the
fact of the return of the pirates. Once he fancied very

258
254 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

vividly that he was on board of the French bark, and
that he was trying to escape in her with Miss Eleanor
Parker, and that the forecastle was smeared all over
with blood. He saw the scene very vividly — almost
as though it stood actually before his eyes. Two
voices were speaking somewhere, and then he awoke
to hear Dred and Morton talking together again.

That evening after supper he rowed Morton up to
the town. He himself had made many acquaintances
at Bath Town during the two months or more of his
life at the pirate’s house. Everybody grew to know him
very well—his history, of his family, of his prospects.
They used to call him “Gentleman Jack,” and showed
him a sort of consideration they would not have done
had he not had such advantages of birth and breeding.
He used often to go up in the skiff of an evening, to sit
and talk at some gathering-place of the planters and
the town’s people, returning perhaps late at night
through the hollow solitude of the watery silence.

This evening he went with Morton from place to
place, watching him as he drank rum, listening to his
talk, and sometimes joining in what was said. The
town, as has been said, was full of the news of the
pirates’ return and of the rich prize they had made,
and Morton was welcomed everywhere. He was drink-
ing very freely, and, as he went from house to house,
he talked ever more and more openly about the cir-
cumstances of the capture of the prize. It almost
seemed to Jack as though he himself had part and
parcel in it all by virtue of being a member of the
pirate’s household. Ordinarily he would have taken
great delight in listening to what was said and in say-
ing his say concerning it, but now a strong desire for
her presence hung continually over him, urging him
almost uncomfortably to get back home again.

So it was that he did not stay very long up in the
HOW JACK RESOLVED 255

town, but returned before the night had altogether
fallen, and while a pallid light still lingered in the
western sky, making it faintly luminous. As he rowed
slowly down the smooth stretch of water, solitary and
alone, the joy of that strong yearning to be near her
again seemed to fill everything, and, as he listened
absently to the rhythmic chugging jerk of the oars in
the rowlocks, and as he looked out astern at the long,
trailing, oily wake that the boat left behind it along
the glassy smoothness of the water, he thought of her,
bearing strongly upon the thought, and holding it close
to him.

He built up incoherent plans for comforting her, for
helping her. He had thought a score of times that day
about the possibility of helping her to escape, and now
in the dusk and the solitude the disjointed thoughts be-
gan to assume almost the vividness of reality, and once
or twice he thrilled with a quick, keen, nervous pang as
though he were upon the eve of actually fulfilling some
such determination. These vague plans did not take
any definite shape excepting that he said to himself
that he might carry her back home as she had been
brought thither, and maybe that he might take the big
yawl-boat that the pirates had brought back with them
in the tow of the sloop, and which now again lay drawn
up on the beach near to the landing wharf. Beyond
this he had not thought of any plan for taking her
away, but only dwelt upon the delight of being with
her for such a long time and of taking care of her.

His mind was full of such thoughts as he ran the
skiff upon the half sandy, half muddy strip of beach
beside the landing wharf, driving the bow of the boat
far up on the shore with two or three quick pulls of the
oar, and the desire for her presence was so strong upon
him that when he reached the house he leaned the oars
against the side of the wooden wall, and went around
256 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

to the further end of the building, where the window
of her room opened out to the westward.

Excepting for this window, that side of the House
was not inhabited, the lower windows of the bleak and
naked parlor ewe nearly always closed. He had
been there before, and as he went thither now, he re-_
membered, with a kind of sudden joy, how he had
brought to her one evening two or three peaches that
che had gathered at Trivett’s plantation, and how he
had thrown them up to her as she leaned out of the
window to catch them, and of how he had lingered a
little while to talk with her.

The window of her room was open, but there was no
light within, and all was very silent. After a moment’s
hesitation he called softly, in a tone that was rather a
loud whisper than a voice, “Young lady! Mistress!
Miss Eleanor!” and then presently again, “Young lady,
are you there? °T is I, Jack—Jack Ballister.” He
waited, looking up, but still there was no reply. By
and by he was about to go away, but at the moment he
thought he saw a movement at the window. Then her
face appeared, shadow-like, above the ledge. ‘‘ Who is
it?” she whispered. “Is that Jack Ballister?”

“Ves,” said Jack, “t? is I. Tell me, mistress, how
do you do by now? Do you feel better?”

“ Ay,” she answered. “I’m better now than I was.
“T ve been ill all afternoon, but I ’m feeling better
now. But why did youcallme?” — .

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Jack. “‘I ’ve been up to
the town, and I was thinking about you. I ’ve been
thinking about you all day. I felt mightily sorry for
you, and I was wondering how you did. I ’m glad
you ’re better now than you were.”

She did not speak immediately; then she said: “ Yes,
I’m better now than I was.”

There was something in the undertone of her voice
HOW JACK RESOLVED 257

that seemed to him to bespeak that she had been cry-
ing, and was near crying again. The thought that she
had been crying struck him very sharply. He stood
silent for a moment or two, and then, as though for
confirmation, he asked: ‘ What is it, mistress? Has
anything — have they been troubling you again? Tell
me, have you been erying?” She did not reply. “I
know something hath happened,” he whispered. “ Tell
me what it is,” and then he knew that she was crying
now.

“oT igs not much,” she said after a while, during which
he stood there not knowing just what to say or do.
“oT is only a little thing. They have taken my clothes
away from me, and locked the door so that I sha’ n’t run
away again. That is all,” and as she spoke he could
see, but darkly, the flicker of her handkerchief ag she
wiped her eyes.

“Taken your clothes!” cried Jack. “Who has taken
your clothes?”

“Mistress Teach has just been in and taken them
away. Captain Teach went to bed a long while ago,
and he sent her to take them away. There, go away,
please; you make me cry again, and I am a fool to ery so
and for such a little thing.” And then, breaking down,
she burst out, almost passionately, “I don’t know why
they treat me so!”

Jack stood silent in the presence of her sudden emo-
tion, but still he did not know how to go away and leave
her. “There, there, mistress!” he said, awkwardly,
“don’t you take it so bitterly; it will all come right
in the end, I know that, so don’t ery any more.” Then,
feeling the barren inconsequence of his words, he con-
tinued, “ Do you know what I was thinking as I rowed
down from the town just now? I was thinking that I
would try to help you to get away from here and back

home again, so don’t cry any more.” Then he added,
17
258 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Tf you ‘ll bid me, I ’d take you away to-night—TI
would, and carry you back to Virginia again.”

““No,” she said, in a voice stifled with the restraint
she was putting upon herself. “’T is no use to try to
escape. I tried, and I could n't get away. I know Ill
never be able to. get away from here. I feel that I
never shall.” Then she suddenly gave way, and her
crying became so vehement that Jack began to be
afraid that some one would hear it. “Hush!” he
whispered sibilantly, “they ‘ll hear you.”

“T can’t help it,” she gasped. “Go away, please.”

At that moment some one opened the door at the
further end of the house, and a light shone out from the
kitchen. Jack instantly slipped away into the dark-
ness around the corner of the building. He waited for
a time, but no one came. After a while he peeped
around the further corner, but whoever it was that
had opened the door had gone back into the house.
Then he went around and into the kitchen without
trying again to speak to the young lady; but his heart
was full of and heavy with pity for her.

Betty Teach and Dred were both in the kitchen when
Jack came in — Dred smoking his pipe, the pirate’s wife
busied about her work. There was a bundle of clothes
lying upon the table, and Jack, as he stood with his
back to the fire-place, knew that it belonged to the
young lady.

“Did Morton come back with you?” asked Dred.

“No,” said Jack, shortly; and then he added, “ He
said he ’d stay up there all night to-night and be back
to-morrow.”

Betty Teach picked up the bundle of clothes and,
lifting the lid of the hutch, flung it in, banged down
the lid and turned the key, all in the same moment.
“Tm going to bed,” she said. “T’ ve been up and on my
feet ever since midnight, and I’m tired to the marrow.”
HOW JACK RESOLVED 259

A sudden anger flamed up within Jack. “’T is a
bleeding shame,” he cried out, “for you to treat the
young lady so and take her clothes from her that way,
and to lock her in her room besides.”

Betty Teach turned quickly on him. ‘“ Who told
you I ’d took her clothes away from her and locked her
in her room ?” she asked, sharply.

Jack hesitated for a moment. ‘“Can’t I see for my-
self?” he said. ‘ Ain’t those her clothes you ’ve locked
up in the chest?”

“But who told you I’d locked her in her room?”
Betty Teach insisted. ‘Come, tell me, who told you?”

Then Jack answered, almost sullenly, “ Well, if you
must know, I stopped on my way up from the boat to
ask the young lady how she did, and she told me
you ’d locked her up and taken her clothes away from
her.”

“ And so you ’ve been around back of the house
speaking to her, have you? I thought I heard some
one talking outside. And so ’t was you, was it?”

“Well,” said Jack, “and whatif it was? What harm
was there in my talking to her?”

“Harm!” said Betty Teach. “ Youll see what harm
there ’s in it if Ned catches you at it, after what hap-
pened yesterday. Hell harm you, I promise you that.
"T is good for you he ’s so dead asleep as not to hear
you. He ’d harm you with a bullet in your head if he
eaught you or anybody else hanging around her window
out there at night after her trying to run away.”

“No he would n’t, neither,” said Jack, stoutly.

“Would n’t he?” said Betty. “ Well, you just try it
again some fine day when he’s about, and you ’ll see
quicker than you like,” and then she went out of the
room and up-stairs to bed.

Jack still stood, and Dred still smoked his pipe in
silence for a long while after the pirate’s wife had gone.
260 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

At last Dred spoke. “It be true enough what she
said, lad,” he said. “If you go meddling in this mat-
ter you ll be getting yourself into sore trouble, as sure
as you’re born. ’T is none of your business to be med-
dling in it.”

“Who said I was meddling?” said Jack. ‘‘ What
have I been doing to meddle?”

Dred shrugged his shoulders and then smoked on for
a long time in silence, during which Jack still stood
sullenly in front of the fire-place. “ Not that I blame
you,” Dred suddenly said, as though following out some
train of his own thoughts. “If I was a young lad like
you be, I would n’t sit still to see a pretty young creature
like this here young lady put upon as she’s put upon,
neither. It be n’t my business no more than it’s yours ,
—except I went up to Marlborough to help fetch her
away. But sometimes I can’t abide it to see her sit
there moping for day after day, getting sicker and sicker
all the while, until some fine day she ’Il just fall away
and die under our very noses.”

“Die!” cried out Jack with a start, and then, after a
moment’s pause, “ What do you mean by that, Dred?”

“You ’d better not talk so loud,” said Dred, “ unless
you want ’em to hear you up-stairs.”

“But what did you mean by saying she was going to
die?” said Jack, in a lowered voice.

“T did n’t say she was going to die,” said Dred. “TI
said she was getting sicker all the time, and anybody as
is that way stands a chance to die unless they gets better.
And how’s she to get any better if she ’s kept penned
up here, moping for her own home? That ’s what I
meant when I said I did n’t blame you for making it
your business.” Then, after a long while of silence, in
which he puffed at his pipe, he continued, abruptly,
“ Ay, she ’s growin’ more and more peaked all the
time. She lies abed half the day, nowadays, and afore
HOW JACK RESOLVED 261

long, ’t is my belief, she ‘ll lie in bed all the time and
never get up out of it again.”

Jack stood perfectly still, his hands thrust deep into
his breeches pockets. He could not trust himself to
speak. He did not know how long he stood there, but
it must have been for a great while. Then Dred began
again: “To my mind, ’t was an ill day when the cap-
tain undertook this business of kidnapping. Here he is
now, with this young gell on his hands. He’s afraid to
let her go, and if he keeps her cooped up she’s as like
as not to die on his hands. He don’t know-how to treat
her, and he can’t contain hisself when she crosses him.
Look at the way he talked to her to-day. A few more
talks o? that kind, and, he ‘Il kill her for sartin’, By
blood! I wish I was well out of it all—Ido. If she dies
on our hands down here ’t will be the worst day’s hap-
pening that ever fell on Bath Town. I’ve been think-
ing a deal about it lately, and sometimes ’t would n’t
take much to make me cut it all and get away from
here.” And then presently he added, “I don’t see as
there’s over much profit in staying, as tis.” Again he
smoked away at his pipe, puffing quickly to get it alight
once more. Then by and by he began once more: “’T igs
my belief the captain feels he ’s being tricked by Mr.
Parker, and that for some reason or other our gentle-
man hath no notion of ever having her fetched back
again. Well, if he thinks that, ’t is my belief, too.
Hotchkiss was saying this morning that there be news
about that Colonel Parker ’s fallen sick and ’ll maybe
die. And if he dies, and this young lady dies, your Mr.
Parker ’Il be a mightily rich man. Now you put two and
two together, and how many does it make? If she dies,
and her father dies, Mr. Parker ‘ll deny all blame in
this matter, and more ’n likely ’ll come down and roast
out the whole lot on us, just to show that he had naught
to do in the business. Well, well, ’t is none of my
262 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

business, but I only hope and pray that we sha’ n’t all
hang for doing what ’ll profit him everything and won’t
profit us anything. The captain might ha’ knowed
he ’d get naught out o’ this business to play ag’in such
a sharp blade as Mr. Parker.”

All this time Jack had been standing dumbly, with
his hands thrust deep into his pockets. Every word
that Dred said impelled him more and more strongly to
say what was in his mind, and every moment he was re-
solving more and more nearly to a culmination to say
his say and to take Dred into his confidence. At last
he did speak —it seemed to him almost before he had
finally decided to do so. “Dred,” he said, and then, be-
ginning again, “ Dred, you told me a while ago that you
did n’t blame me for making this my business. Well,
I ’m going to tell you something, Dred. I ’ve been
thinking that maybe I’d undertake to help the young
lady to get away home again to Virginia.” He waited
an instant, and then added, “ When I spoke with her
just now, outside yonder, I told her that if she called on
me to do it, I’d help her to go away, even if it was this
very night.”

Dred sat for a while in perfectly dead silence, looking
at Jack through his half-shut eyes, and Jack, his heart
beating quickly at having spoken, wondered what he
would say. “ Well,” he said, at last, “ you be a mighty
bold fool, to be sure, to talk that way to me. You ’ve
got a great heart in you, for sartin. But now you tell
me; how would you set about to do such a thing as that?
You don’t know what you talk about doing. How d’ ye
suppose a boy like you could get her away from such
a man as the captain, and safe up to Virginny? Aman .
like me might maybe do such a thing as that, but how
would you set about it?”

“Thad n’t any real plan,” Jack acknowledged, “ but
I thought I might maybe get her away in the yawl—
HOW JACK RESOLVED 263

some time, perhaps, when the captain was away from
home. Why not?”

Dred shook his head. “No, no, my hearty,” he said,
“vou ’d never be able to do it. You ’d be overhauled
afore you got half way to Ocracock—and what @ ye
suppose would happen then?”

““T suppose Id be fetched back again,” said Jack.

“Do you?” said Dred, grimly. “ Well, then, I don’t
suppose you ’d be fetched back again, unless you was
fetched back feet foremost.”

“Do you mean they ’d harm me?” said Jack.

“That ’s just what I do mean,” said Dred. “If the
captain caught you trying to get this young lady away,
he ’d put a bullet into your head as quick as wink, and
as sure as you ’re a born Christian. You don’t know
the captain like I do.”

Jack stood thinking, and Dred sat still, watching him
keenly. Presently he heaved a profound breath that
was almost more than a sigh. “Well, Dred,” he said,
“if she wanted me to do it, I believe I would do it.”

Dred continued to regard him for a while, then his
thin lips widened into a grin. ‘“ You’ve gota big heart
in you, Jack Ballister,” he said, “ and there ’s no doubt
about that.” Then suddenly he knocked the ashes out
of his pipe and arose from where he sat. He came up
to Jack and thrust his face close into Jack’s face.
“Well, my lad,” he said, “you ’ve said your say to me,
and now [ ’m a-going to say my say to you.” Jack drew
back involuntarily, wondering with some apprehension
what was coming next. ‘“ Well, then, this is my say:
How ’d you like me to go along with you?”

For the moment Jack did not understand. “ What
did you say ?” he said.

“T said, how would you like me to go along with you,
that ’s what I said—to go along and help take the young
lady back to Virginny again?” Then Dred reached out
264 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

suddenly and caught Jack by the collar, giving him a
shake. “Why, ye young fool,” he said, “d’ ye think I’d
let ye go on such a venture as that all alone, and have the
head blowed off of ye for your pains? NotI! I knowed
what ye was at, the very first word ye said, and if I’d
chose to do so I ’d ’a’ stopped your talk quick enough.”

Even yet Jack did not know whether he really under-
stood aright. ‘ Dred,” he said, whispering intensely,
“what do you mean? Do you mean that you’re willing
to help the young lady to get away?” Then, as it came
upon him to know that that was what Dred did mean
and that he was earnest In meaning it, he reached out,
hardly knowing what he did, and caught at the other as
though to hug him. “O Dred!” he cried.

“Get away!” whispered Dred, pushing him off with
his elbow. “ What d’ ye mean, ye young fool — hugging
at me that way?” Then he began laughing. “ D’ ye
think I’m your sweetheart to try to hug me like that?
"T is my belief the young lady up-stairs is your sweet-
heart, else you would n’t be so anxious to have your
head blowed off for her sake.”

Jack knew that he was blushing fiery red. He struck
at Dred, and burst out laughing. ‘“ You ’re a fool,
Chris Dred, to talk that way. Why, I hav’ n’t spoken
fifty words to her this week.”

Dred struck back at Jack and laughed. “ All the
same, ’t is my belief she ’s your sweetheart,” he said.
“Well, let ’s go and have a look at the yawl, and then
we ‘ll ax her if she ’s willing to trust us to help her
away from here?”

“What!” cried Jack, “ you don’t mean to go to-night,
do you?”

“Why not?” said Dred. “If we makes up our mind
to go at all, tis no use to put it off. “To-night ’s as
good a night as we ’re like to have, and the longer we
leave it to think about, the harder ’t will be to do.”
CHAPTER XXXIV
THE ESCAPE

ACK did not—he could not —immediately realize
that he was now actually, so suddenly, and so un-
expectedly, to undertake that which he had dreamed
of and vaguely planned that day. It was not until he
saw Dred in the act of lacing his shoes, not until he saw
him in the act of putting on his coat and taking his hat
down from the peg behind the door, that it really came
upon him to thrill with that keen pang that sometimes
heralds the immediate performance of some pregnant
act of life. Then he did thrill, stretching himself with
that sudden nervous tension that perhaps all of us have
sometimes felt. There was something about the fact
of Dred lacing his shoes, and putting on his coat and
hat, that made the certainty of what he was embarked
upon very present and very real. In one little hour,
now, he might be upon his way back to Virginia again,
and once more he thrilled keenly and poignantly at
the thought.

Dred opened the stair door and stood listening for a
while, but all was perfectly still and hushed above.
The pirate’s wife had evidently gone to sleep with the
instant sleep of a tired woman. Then Dred closed the
door again, and, nodding to Jack, led the way out into
the darkness of the night. Here again they stood for a
while, the night air breathing chilly about them, while

Dred listened. But there was not a breath of sound,
265
266 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

not a glimmer of light. Then together they walked
around to the end of the house where Jack had before
stopped to speak to the young lady that evening. Jack
went over beneath the open window, and called to her
in the same whispering voice he had used before, Dred
waiting the while at the corner of the house, keeping a
shirp lookout. Jack had to call again and again; for,
whether she failed to hear him, or whether she did not
choose to immediately reply, it was some time before
the young lady showed her face. When she did appear
at the window, she stood for a while as though dazed,
and listened to what he had to tell her as though not
understanding what he said. He had to repeat to’her
that he and Dred had come to do what he had promised
to do that evening —to take her away back home again
to Virginia if she were willing to go with them. “To
take me away?” she said, vaguely; and then, as the
meaning of it all broke upon her, she cried out, “Oh,
do! Oh, do take me away! For heaven’s sake, take
me away from here!”

“We will, we will! That is what we have come for,”
said Jack. But she did not seem to hear him, but cried
out again and vehemently, “If you only will take me
away, [ll do anything in the world for you; and my
father will do anything for you. Oh, please, kind,
good men, do take me away!”

She was perhaps hysterical from the drondtal fright
she must have suffered in the morning, and, as the un-
derstanding of a possible escape came upon her, she
appeared to forget all caution. Jack was so struck by
her sudden passion that he did not know what to say to
check her; but Dred came hurrying up, and warned her
in a whisper to be still: “We mean to help you to get
away, mistress,” he said, in a breathing whisper; “but if
ye takes on so as to disturb everybody in the house and
wake ’em up, why, we can’t do anything to help you.”
THE ESCAPE 267

They could see that she put a great restraint upon
herself, trying to stifle her crying, clinging to the frame
of the lifted window-sash. Then she seemed to sud-
denly remember that her clothes had been taken away,
and that the pirate’s wife had locked the door upon her.
“But my clothes!” she cried. “TI had forgot them, and
then the door is locked, too. I can’t get away, after all.
Oh, I know I never shall get away from here!”

“Yes, you will, mistress,” said Dred; “don’t you
fret about that, now. Jack, here, shall fetch you your
clothes, for they ’re only just inside, and Ill go bring
the ladder from the shed over yonder, and so you can
get down as quick as a wink. Don’t you fret and ery
any more; you get yourself dressed as quick as you .
ean after Jack fetches your clothes, and we two ’ll go
down and get the boat ready. Then well come back
for you. Just you get ready, and we’ll be ready for
you.”

Jack hurried off, glad to do something for her that
might soothe her. He entered the house very quietly,
and had no difficulty in finding the clothes that Betty
had thrown into the hutch. When he returned with
them he found that Dred had already brought the
ladder, and set it up against the side of the house. He
climbed part way up the ladder, and reached the bundle
silently up to her as she reached down for it.

His heart was very full of her as he and Dred walked
down to the boat together. ‘Pore young thing!” said
Dred. “’T was as if the thought of going had nigh
broke her heart,” and Jack nodded his head without
speaking.

As they approached the waterside the broad mouth
of the creek stretched out dim and misty before them
intothe night. The trees of the further shore stood out
obseurely in the darkness, and the pallid, rippling sur-
face of the water seemed to stretch away to dim, infi-
268 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

nite distance. The little waves beat with a recurrent
and pulsing plash and slide upon the beach, and the
chill air was full of the smell of brackish water and of
marshy ooze.

The yawl, a big, clumsy, broad-beamed, enon boat,
lay drawn up on the beach near to the ane: The
mast, with the sails furled close and snug, the gaff, and
the long oars lay along the thwarts. Jack helped Dred
step the mast, and together they partly loosened the
reef-points so that the sail hung limp and ready to be
spread at a moment’s notice. There was a small bar-
raca nearly half-full of water in the bow of the boat.
Dred lifted it out, drew the plug, smelled briefly at
the water, and then turned it out upon the sand. Then
he sat down upon the rail for a talk, while the water
glugged and gurgled out of the keg upon the beach.
“Ty ye see,” he began, “TI look at this here affair this
way. "I is not as though I was playing the captain
false, ? ye see? for I was dead set against this here
venture from the very first, and he went into it in spite
of me. I did n’t want the girl fetched here, and I
told him he would be getting hisself into bitter trouble
if he did fetch her. Well, he would do it, and now ’t is
just as I said. Now, d’ ye see, ’t is either to take this
young lady away, or else to sit by and see her die, as
she ’s bound to do if she lives here much longer; and
*% is as bad for the captain one way as ’t is another.
Tf she dies on his hands he ’Il be hung for sure, and if
she gets away, the whole province of Virginny ‘ll be
down here to roast him out; and either way ’t is as
bad as can be, and nothing gained if she dies. Well,
then, I don’t choose to sit by, and let her die, and no
good come of it. My neck ’s mightily precious to me,
for ’t is all I’ve got; and if I can save it from being
stretched by taking her back home again, why not do
it — can ye tell me that?”
THE ESCAPE 269

“What you say ’s true enough, Dred,” said Jack.

But Dred appeared to be speaking more for himself
than for Jack, and he sat for a while in silence. The
water had all run out from the keg, but still he did not
move. Then he suddenly began speaking again.
“There ’s summat as I don’t know as I ever told ye
about, lad. D’ ye remember my telling you once how
I shot a young gentleman aboard an English bark the
captain took some two years or more ago?”

“Ves, I do,” said Jack. And then an instant light
flashed upon him. Dennis had several times told how
young Mr. Edward Parker had been killed by the pirates,
but the coincidence had never before struck him. It
had never before occurred to him to parallel the trag-
edy of young Mr. Parker with the story Dred had told
him about shooting a young gentleman aboard the
Duchess Mary; nor is it likely that he would have
thought of it now, only for the very meaning tone in
which Dred spoke. “Why, then, was it you shot Mr.
Edward Parker?” he cried out, and he could see in the
gloom that Dred nodded his head. It was only after
quite a while that Dred said, “Ay, ’t was I shot him,
and now you knows it.” Jack sat looking intently at
him through the glimmering darkness. “Now, what
I mean to say is this,” he continued; “when we gets
back to Virginny, don’t you go telling to anybody that
I was ever mixed up in that there business, for ’t would
mean hanging for me if you did. What ’s done can’t be
cured, and ’t would only get me into a peck of trouble
if you was to talk about it. D’ ye see, if I’m going to
take the trouble and risk of carrying this young lady
back to her father, why, I ought to get paid for it, and
not get hung at the end of all my trouble.”

“T ll not say anything about it,” said Jack. “I
never thought of it being you who shot the young gen-
tleman. So far as I’m concerned, I sha’ n’t say a word
270 , JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

about it; but how about the captain ? Won’t he be likely
to tell about it for the sake of getting even with you?”

“That for the captain!” said Dred, with a gesture.
“Who ‘ll mind what he says? If Colonel Parker:’s
going to give me anything for bringing his gell back
he ’ll give it, and then away I goes out of harm’s way.
_ By the time the captain’s had time to talk, why, I may

be as far away as Indjy or Cochin Chiny.”

Then he arose and picked up the empty barraca and
led the way up to the house.

It was maybe half an hour before everything was
ready for the departure. Beside a barraca of fresh
water, they brought down and stowed away in the boat
a ham, a flitch of bacon, a bag and a half of biscuit, and
a lemon net full of yams. Everything was done so
silently that the pirate captain and his wife and the
wounded Hands slept on undisturbed by their prepa-
rations. Then, all being ready, they shoved the yawl
off from the shore, and drew it around to the end of the
wharf, where they lashed it with stern-lines and bow-
lines to the piles. “ Now, lad,” said Dred, “ we ’re ready
to start; and if youll go up and fetch the young lady,
Ill go up to the house and bring down the two storm-
coats. Like enough we ’ll need ’em afore we gets to
the end of our cruise.”

Jack found Miss Eleanor Parker ready, and waiting
for him. He climbed the ladder to the window, and she
handed him out her traveling-bag. Then he noiselessly
assisted her to the ladder, and thence to the ground.
He did not say anything to her nor she to him, as they
walked rapidly away together in the silence down to-
ward the boat. Before they had gone very far they
- caught up with Dred, carrying the two storm-coats. He
opened one of the pockets, and showed Jack that he had
brought Captain Teach’s case-bottle, which had been
newly filled with rum, and he burst out into a soundless
THE ESCAPE Q71

laugh as he dropped the bottle back into the pocket
again. “A cruise with a girl and a boy,” he said, “and
a yawl-boat for to cruise in! What d’ ye think of that
for a bloody salt like I be?” and he fetched Jack a slap
on the back. Jack could smell the fumes of rum upon
his breath, and he knew that Dred must have been
taking a drink before he left the house. He did not
reply, and after that they walked on in silence down to
the little wharf and out to where the yawl lay at the -
end of the landing.

“T tell ye what ’t is, mistress,” said Dred; “if your
father don’t stand to me for this here, there ’s no such
thing as thankfulness in the world. I tell you, he
ought to pay me well for doing this, and trying to get
you back home again.”

“Indeed —indeed, my father ‘ll never forget what
you ’re doing for me!” she cried. “Nor shall I ever
forget it either, but will be grateful to you both for as
long as ever I live” Then Jack and Dred helped her
down into the boat. As Dred stepped forward to
spread the sail, Jack pushed the yawl off with one of
the oars, and it drifted slowly away from the end of
the little wharf into the broad, dim, night-lit waters
of the creek. Then he turned to help Dred loose the
sail, the boat drifting slowly further and further away
into the pallid night, and the young lady sitting silent
and motionless in the stern thwarts.
CHAPTER XXXV
THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE

AN first the three fugitives — the young lady and Jack
and Dred — sailed away in silence. The wind blew
swiftly, and the dark, silent shores seemed to slide
away strangely and mysteriously behind them. As they
ran out into the broad, misty waters of the greater river,
the distorted half-moon was just rising from a bank of
clouds in the east, and a sort. of obscure light lit up
everything indistinctly. The wind was blowing fresh
and cool, and as the boat came further and further
out into the wider waters it began to pitch and dance.
“ About!” called Dred, and, as he put down the tiller
and drew in the sheet, hand over hand, the sail flap-
ping and fluttering, Jack and the young lady crouched,
and the boom came swinging over. The boat heeled
over upon the other course, and then drove forward
swiftly with a white splash of loud water at the bow,
and a long misty wake trailing behind, flashing every
now and then with a sudden dull sparkle of pallid phos-
phorescence. ,

Neither Jack nor Dred had spoken anything to the
young lady since they had left the wharf behind, and
she sat silent and motionless in the stern where they
had placed her. Jack had gone forward to raise the
peak a little higher. As he came back, stepping over
the thwarts, he looked at her; her face shone faint and
pallid in the moonlight, and he saw her shudder. “Why,

mistress,” he said, “you are shivering — are you cold?”
272
























JACK AND DRED RESCUE ELEANOR—THE START,
THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE 273

“No, I’m not cold,” said she, in a hoarse, dry voice.
And then, for the first time, Jack noticed the sparkle of
tears upon her cheeks. Dred was looking at her, and
perhaps saw the tears at the same time.

“Here,”. said he, suddenly, “put on this overcoat;
* will make you more comfortable.” She protested
feebly, but Dred and Jack persisted, and Jack held the
coat for her as she slipped her arms into it.

“There ’s a scarf in the traveling-bag yonder,” she
said. “If you ll let me have it I ll put it on.”

Jack reached the bag to her, and she placed it upon
the seat beside her and opened it, turning over the
clothes until she found what she wanted. Then she
wrapped the scarf around her head, tying it in beneath
her chin. She felt in her pocket for her handkerchief
and wiped her eyes. “ How long will it take us to get
back to Virginia?” she asked.

Jack looked at Dred. “Why, I don’t know,” said
Dred. “Maybe not more ’n a week.”

“A week!” she repeated.

“Why, yes. Perhaps not that long, though,” he
added, “if the weather holds good, and we ’re not
stopped any place.” No one said anything for a while,
and the boat plunged swiftly on, the waves, every now
and then clapping against the bow, sending a dash of
spray astern, and the water gurgling away noisily be-
hind. Suddenly Dred turned toward the young lady
again. ‘You must be tired,” he said. “I know very

‘well you must be tired.”

“No, I’m not very tired,” said she, faintly.

“Why, mistress, I know you must be tired from the
sound of your voice. Here, lad”—to Jack—“you take
the tiller while I see if I can make her comfortable.
Now, then,” he said, as he turned to her, “‘ you lie down
there with your head on this here bundle, and I ‘ll

cover you over.”
18
274 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

She obeyed him silently, and he covered her over with
the second overcoat, tucking it in under her feet. “TI Il
never forget what you are doing for me, as long as I
live,” she said. “I — her lips moved, but she could
not say anything more.

“That ’s all very well, mistress,” said Dred, gruffly.
“Never you mind that, just now.”

Jack looked long and fixedly at the young lady’s face,
pallid in the growing moonlight which sparkled in her
dark eyes; she looked singularly beautiful in the white
light. “Where be ye going?” called out Dred, sud-
denly. ‘Keep to your course!” And then he came
back to himself and the things about him with a start,
to find the yaw] falling off to the wind. Then once more
Dred settled himself in his place, relieving Jack of the
tiller. Presently he took out his tobacco-pipe and filled
it. He struck the fire with the flint and steel, holding
the tiller under his arm as he did so. Then he lit his
pipe, puffing hard at it for a while. The wind blew
the young lady’s hair across her face and she raised her
hand to put it back. Jack half lay upon the bench op-
posite, resting upon his elbow, his cheek upon his hand.

“TY ye see,” said Dred, beginning abruptly with the
thoughts in his mind, and without any preface, “ accord-
ing to what I calculate they won’t be able to folly us
afore late to-morrow morning. ’T will take ’em some
time to get a crew together to man the sloop, and it
may be ten o’clock afore they gets away. In course,
arter they do have her manned they ’Il overhaul us fast
enough; but if we have so much start as we ’re like to
have, why, ’t is like we ll keep our lead till we get up
into the Sound.” Jack listened, saying nothing. In spite
of himself he was dozing off every now and then, and
awakening with a start. As Dred talked to him, the
words came distantly to his ears. “D’ ye see,” said
Dred, after puffing away at his pipe for a while in si-
THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE 275

lence — and once more Jack aroused from the doze with
a start at the sound of his voice—“ D’ ye see, what
well have to do’ll be to sail up into Albemarle Sound,
past Roanoke Island and so into Currituck Sound. The
waters there be shoal, and even if the sloop should folly
us we can keep out of her way, maybe, over the shal-
lows. Old Currituck Inlet—if ’t is anything like Iused -
to know it three year ago —is so as we can get over it
at high tide in the north channel; that is, we may if the
bar ain’t closed it yet. The sloop can’t folly through
the inlet; she draws too much water for that, and if
we once get there, d’ ye see, we’re safe enough from
all chase. Contrarywise, if they run down to Ocracock,
thinking we took that way—what with running so
far down into the Sound and we having the gain on
’em of so much start, they ’d have as poor chance as
ever you saw in your life to overhaul us afore we gets
inside of Cape Henry. D’ ye understand?”

Again Jack had dropped off into a dim sleep; at the
last question he awoke with a start. “ What did you
say, Dred?” he asked; “I did n’t hear the last part.”

Dred looked keenly at him for a moment or two;
then he took the pipe out of his mouth and puffed out
a cloud of smoke. ‘ Well,” he said, “it don’t matter
no way. You lay down and go to sleep.”

“No, I won't,” said Jack. “Ill just rest this way.”
He was lying upon the thwart, his head propped upon
hisarm. He tried to stay awake, but presently he began
again dozing off, waking every now and then to find
Dred steadily at the helm, and the young lady lying
motionlessly opposite to him. At last he fell fairly
asleep and began dreaming.

‘When he awoke again he found the day had broken,
although the sun had not yet risen. They were running
down about a quarter of a mile from the shore. A dark,
dense fringe of pine forest grew close to the water’s
276 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

edge. The breeze was falling away with the coming of
the day, and the boat was sailing slowly, hardly careen-
ing at all to the wind.

Jack sat up, looking about him, and then at the young
lady, and there his gaze rested. She looked very white .
and wan, but she was sleeping deeply and peacefully,
her eyelids closed, and the long, dark lashes resting
softly on her cheek. Dred followed Jack’s look, and
there his eyes rested also. As Jack moved, stretching
his stiffened arms, Dred put his finger to his lips and
Jack nodded. ;

About a half a league over the bow of the boat Jack
could see the wide mouth of a tributary inlet to the
Sound. He slid along the seat toward Dred. ‘ What
water is that over there?” he whispered.

“That ’s the mouth of the Pungo,” said Dred.
“Tm a-going to run ashore at the p’int, and I hope the
wind ‘ll hold to reach it. There ’s a lookout tree there,
and I want to take a sight to see if there ’s any sign
of a chase. I don’t know as we ’ll get there without
oars, though,” he said, “for the wind ’s dying down.
I tell you what ’t is, lad, you’d better whistle your
best for a breeze; for just now ’t is worth gold and
silver to us, for the furder we reaches now, the safer
we ll be. By and by, about this time, they ’Il be stir-
ring at home to find we ’ve gone. If we’d have to lay
at the pint yonder all day, ’t will give ’em a chance
to man the sloop and be down on us. As like as not
they ‘ll be getting a slant o’ wind afore we do, if it
comes out from the west, as ’t is like to do.”

Jack looked over the edge of the boat and down
into the brackish water, clear but brown with juniper
stain. It seemed to him that the yawl barely crept
along. “ At this rate,” said Dred, “we ’re not making
two knot an hour.”

The sun rose round and red over the tops of the
THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE 277

trees of the distant further shore, and the breeze grew
lighter and lighter. Every now and then the sail,
which lay almost flat, began to flutter. Presently the
boom swayed inward a little, and asit did so a level shaft
of light fell across the young lady’s face. She moved
her hand feebly over her face; then she opened her
eyes. Jack and Dred were gazing at her as she did
so. First there was a blank look of newly awakened
life in her face, then bewilderment, then a light of
dawning consciousness. Then she sat up. suddenly.
“Where am I?” she said, looking about her, dazed
and bewildered.

“You ’re safe enough so far, Mistress,” said Dred;
“and I’m glad you ’re awake, for ’t is high time we
was taking to the oars. An ash breeze is all we ’ll
_ be like to have for a while now.” He gave the tiller
a quick jerk or two. “Come, Jack,” said he; “TI ‘Ul
make out well enough to do the sailing, but ’t is you ’Il
have to take to the oars.”

“Very well,” said Jack; “that suits me well enough.”

He drew out the oars, clattering, and dropped them
into the rowlocks. Then he shot a quick glance over
the bow, spat on his hands, and gripped the oars. As
he began rowing, the sail swung in over the boat, and
Dred steadied it with one hand, holding the tiller with
the other. He laid the bow of the boat for a little
cypress-tree that stood out beyond the tip of the point
in the-water. Jack rowed and rowed, and the shore
drew foot by foot nearer and nearer; and presently
they went slowly around the point into a little inlet
or bay sheltered by the woods that stretched out like
arms on either side. Then the bow of the boat grated
upon the sand, and Dred arose from where he sat.
‘“‘Here we be,” he said, stretching himself.

Fronting upon the beach was a little sandy bluff
three or four feet high, and beyond that stretched
278 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

away the pine forest, the trees—their giant trunks
silver-gray with resin — opening long, level vistas into
the woods carpeted with a soft mat of brown needles.
“Well go ashore here a bit,” said Dred; “you come
along o’ me, Jack, and we ‘Il go down to the p’int to
the lookout tree. Don’t you be afraid if we leave you
a little while, mistress; we ’ll be back afore long.”

“T would like to get out of the boat for a little
while too,” she said, “for I’m mightily tired.”

“To be sure you be,” said Dred. “Come, Jack, lend
a hand to help her young ladyship ashore.”

They spread out one of the overcoats upon the sand,
and made her as comfortable as they could. The sun,
which had now risen above the tops of the trees,
shone warm and strong across the broad, level stretch
of smooth water. The young lady sat gazing away
into the distance. “Well be back again soon,” said
Dred. “Come along, Jack.” She looked toward them
and smiled, but made no other reply. ;

“Methinks she appears better already,” said Jack, as
he and Dred walked away together.

“ Ay,” said Dred, briefly.

They walked down along the sandy shore for some
little distance, and then cut across a little narrow neck
of land to the river shore upon the other side. A
great, single pine-tree stood towering above the lower
growth, and there were cleats nailed to the trunk, lead-
ing from the earth to the high branches above. “Here
we be,” said Dred; “and now for a sight astern.” He
laid aside his coat, and then began ascending the tree
by means of the cleats. Jack watched him as he climbed
higher and higher until he reached the roof-like spread
of branches far overhead. There he flung one leg over
the topmost cleat, and, holding fast to the limb, sat
looking steadily out toward the westward, his shirt
gleaming white among the branches against the sky
THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE- 279

of the zenith. He remained there for a long time,
and then Jack saw him climbing down again. He
brushed his hands smartly together as he leaped to
the ground, and then put on his coat.

“Well,” said Jack, “did you see anything?”

“No,” said Dred, “I did n’t. "Tis a trifle thick and
hazy-like—d’ ye see? But so far as I could make out,
there ain’t no chase in sight yet awhile.”

The young girl, when they returned, was walking up
and down the beach. She hesitated when she saw
them, then came a lingering step or two to meet them,
and then stood waiting.

“T see naught so far, mistress,” said Dred, when they
had come up to her; “so far as I see we’re safe from
chase.”

“You are very good to me,” she said. “I was just
thinking how kind you are to me.” She looked from
one to the other as she spoke, and her eyes filled with
tears. Jack looked sheepish at the sight of her emo-
tion, and Dred touched his forehead with his thumb,
with rather an abashed salute. They stood for a mo-
ment as though not knowing what to say.

“Well, lad,” said Dred, in a loud, almost boisterous
voice, making a pretended feint as though to strike at
Jack as he spoke, “’tis time to be off again with an
ash breeze, seeing as no other don’t come up for to
help us. Hvery mile we make now, d’ ye see, is worth
ten furder on. As for a bite to eat, why, we ’Il just
have to take that as we goes along. Come, mistress,
get aboard, and we ’ll push off.” He helped the young
lady into the boat, and then he and Jack pushed it off,
Jack running through the water and jumping aboard
with a soaking splash of his wet feet.
CHAPTER XXXVI
A STOP OVER NIGHT

Aé the day had settled toward sundown the breeze
had sprung up again. There was a growing bank
of haze in the west through which the sun shone
fainter and fainter as it approached the horizon and
then was swallowed up and lost. The wind, blowing
strong and full, drove the water into ridges that caught
up to the yawl as it sailed free before the breeze, ran
past it swiftly, and left it behind. Dred seemed almost
elated. “This be the wind for:luck,” he said. “ Why,
I do suppose that, gin the captain the best he could
have, we ’ve got a fifteen-league start on him, and he ’ll
never overhaul that. ’T will blow up stiff from the
east?rd. to-morrow, like enough, and ’t will be a cross
sea ag’in’ us beating up into the head of the Sound,
but fifteen leagues of start means a deal, I can tell
ye.. And, besides that, the captain ‘Il most likely sail
straight for Ocracock. It be n’t likely, d’ ye see, that
he ’d think of running up into the sounds. He’d think
that we’d trust to our lead of any chase and strike
right for the open water through Ocracock, and he ’ll
not think we ’d try to make through the shoals out
Currituck way.”

Jack had no notion at all of the geography of the
sounds, but he did understand that while they were
going one way, Blackbeard would probably be going

another.
280
A STOP OVER NIGHT 281

Meantime the gray light of the failing day. had soft-
ened the harsh outlines of the pine and cypress woods
into a mysterious gloom of shadows. They were sail-
ing now not over two or three furlongs from the shore
as they ran yawing along before the wind. Upon one
side of them were thick swamp forests, upon the other
the seemingly limitless water of. the sound, reaching
away its restless gray without any sign of a further
shore.

So they sailed for a while in silence, the gray light
growing duller and still more dull. “Do you know,”
said Dred, suddenly speaking, “there ’s a settlement
up beyond that island yonder — or leastwise there was
some houses there three or four year ago. I knowed
the man what lived there then, and I’m going to put
in, d’ ye see, and find out whether he lives there yet
awhile. If he do, I ’ll get him to let us stay over night.
D’ ye see, I can’t stand sailing forever, and the young
lady can’t stand it, neither. So we’ll make a stop here,
if we ’re able. Like enough we ’ll make another in
Shallowbag Bay in Roanoke Island. Arter that we ‘ll
make a straight stretch for Currituck.”

Jack was looking out ahead at the island of which
Dred had spoken. It was separated by a little inlet
from the wooded shores. Dred laid his course toward
a point of land that jutted out into the water, and the
shore slid swiftly away behind them as they rushed
onward before the wind. “ How far is it to the settle-
ment?” asked Jack.

“Just beyond the p’int yonder,” said Dred, briefly.
He was looking steadily out ahead.

As they came nearer to the point, the waters of a
little bay began to open out before them. It spread
wider and wider, and at last they were clear of the jut-
ting point. Then Jack saw the settlement of which
Dred had spoken.
282 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

There was a slight rise of cleared land, at the summit
of which perched a group of four or five huts or cabins.
They were built of logs and unpainted boards beaten
gray with the weather. Two of the houses showed some
signs of being inhabited ; the others were plainly empty
and deserted, and falling to ruin. Near the houses was
a field of Indian corn dried brown with the autumn
season, and there were two or three scrubby patches of
sweet potatoes, but there was no other sign of culti-
vation.

Dred put down the tiller and drew in the sheet, and
the boat, heeling over to the wind that now caught her
abeam, met the waves splashing and dashing as it drove
forward upon its other course. Gradually the trees shut
off the rougher sea, and then the yawl sailed more
smoothly and easily. Presently a dog began barking up
at one of the houses, and then two or three joined in, and
Jack could see the distant hounds dim in the twilight
gray of the falling evening, running down from the
houses toward the landing. At the continued noise of
their barking several figures appeared at the door of the
two cabins — first a man, then two or three half-naked
children, then a woman. Then a young woman came
to the door of the other cabin with a baby in her arms,
and a young man. “Ay,” said Dred, “that be Bill
Gosse, for certain.” Then finally the boat grated upon
the shore, the sail falling off flapping and clattering in
the wind, and the voyage of the day was ended.

The man who had first appeared went into the house,
the next moment coming out with a tattered hat upon his
head. He came down toward the landing, the children
following him scatteringly, and the woman standing in
the doorway, looking down toward them. The young
man was algo coming slouching behind. Dred and Jack
had lowered the peak and had begun to take in the
boom when the man reached the shore. Jack looked at
A STOP OVER NIGHT 283

him with a good deal of curiosity, and the young lady
sat in the stern thwarts also gazing at him. He was
tall and lean and sallow. A straggling beard covered
his thin cheeks and chin, and a.mat.of hair plaited be-
hind hung down in a queue. He was in his shirt-sleeves,
and he wore a pair of baggy breeches tied at the knees.
“Hullo, Bill!” said Dred. “‘ How be ye?”

“ Be that you, Chris Dred?” said the man in a slow,
dull voice. “‘ Who ’ve ye got there with ye?”

“This? This here is a young Virginny lady of qual-
ity,” said Dred. “She ’s been took sick, and we—this
lad and me—is carrying her back home again. Ill tell
ye all about that by and by. What I want to know now
is, will you take us in for the night? The holy truth is,
I’m just getting over the fever, and this here young
lady, as I said, be sick too. Weve been sailing all
day, and so I thought maybe you’d let us make port
here for the night.”

The man stood stolidly watching Dred and Jack furl
and tie up the sail. He did not offer to help them.
“Where did ye come from?” hé asked, at last, in the
same slow, heavy voice.

“Down from the Pungo,” said Dred.

“Well, you ’d better come up to the house and talk
to my woman,” said the man, answering Dred’s initial
question. “I be willing enough for you to stay, so
far as I ’m concerned.”

“Very well,” said Dred, “so I will. You wait here,
Jack, till I come back again.”

He stepped stiffly out of the boat, and then the two
went away together. The young man who had also come
down to the shore remained behind, squatted upon the
ground, staring fixedly at Jack and the young lady, who
-looked back at him with a good deal of interest.

““T do hope the good woman ‘ll let us stay all night,”
said the young lady, suddenly breaking the long silence.
284 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Indeed I feel mightily tired, and if I could only rest for
that long I know it would do me a vast deal of good.”

“She ‘ll let you stay,” said the young man. “ That’
be all right, mistress.” :

Just then Dred reappeared, coming back alone from
the house down through the twilight, and confirmed
what the young man had said. “’T is all right,” he said,
“and they ‘ll give us a berth for the night. Come
along, mistress, I ‘ll help you.”

Miss Eleanor Parker rose, stiffened with the long sit-
ting in the boat, supporting herself with her hand upon
the rail, Dred reached out a hand and helped her out
over the thwarts and to the beach. Then he climbed
into the boat, and taking the case-bottle of rum out of
the locker, slipped it into his pocket.

The woman and the three children stood in the door-
way watching the three as they approached. As Jack
entered he looked back and saw that the young man
was bending over the yawl, examining it curiously.

The house consisted of one large room. There was a
fireplace at one end of it; two benches, and two or three
rickety chairs, a table, and two beds comprised the
furniture. The man was standing by the fireplace
with an empty pipe between his lips. ‘‘ This here is
the young lady,” said Dred to the woman. ‘IT dare say
she ’d like to lie down now a bit while you’re getting
supper ready,” and Miss Eleanor Parker acknowledged
that she was very tired.

“Was n’t that there Captain Teach’s yawl-boat?” the
man asked of Dred.

“ Ay,” said Dred.

“T thought I knowed her,” the man said.

Almost as soon as she had eaten her supper, the young
lady went again and lay down upon the bed. Then Dred
brought out the case-bottle of rum, and he and the two
A STOP OVER NIGHT 285

men began drinking. Jack watched them with growing
apprehension, for they were helping themselves very
freely. He thought every moment Dred would cork the
bottle again, but he did not do so, and gradually the
effect of the drink began to show itself. Jack could see
that Dred was taking more of it than he should. He
began to talk more volubly, and the stolid silence of |
the men began to melt also. The older man became
at times almost quarrelsome. He repeated the same
thing over and over again, and the young man would
laugh foolishly at everything that was said. Jack looked
toward the young lady, wondering whether she was
conscious of what was going on. But she lay perfectly
quiet and motionless, and he thought that maybe she
did not perceive it. ‘ Won’t you come over and join
us?” said Dred, waving the bottle toward Jack, and
then taking a drink himself.

“No,” said Jack, “I won't.”

“Why not?” said the man. “You be n’t too proud
to drink with us, be you?”

“No, I’m not,” said Jack, shortly, “ but I don’t choose
to. I’m tired, and I wish you ’d stop drinking your-
selves.”

“You be too proud by half,” the man said, thickly ;
“that be the trouble with you. You be too proud.”

The young man laughed and wiped his mouth with
his fingers. “ Why, no, Jack hain’t proud,” said Dred;
“ Jack and I’ve been messmates for many a day, hain’t
we, Jack? D’ ye know, he was kidnapped from Eng-
land. His uncle over there is a rich lord or sammat of
the sort. Anyways, he’s got a stack of money. Hain’t
that so, Jack?”

“T don’t care,” said the man, ““who he be. The trouble
with him is he be too proud—that’s what’s the trouble
with him. When aman axes me to come and drink with
him, I don’t care who he be, I goes. I would n’t be too
286 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

proud to drink —no, not if I was a lord instead of a
beggarly runaway.”

“He be n’t no runaway,” said Dred. “He and me
was two of Blackbeard’s men. Now we be our own
men. We be taking that there young lady back to
Virginny.” Then he leaned across the table and whis-
pered hoarsely, ‘‘She ’s a beauty — she is.”

His hoarse whisper sounded very loud through the
cabin. Jack shot a look at the young lady, but she did
not move or seem to notice what was said. “I wish you’d
be still, Dred,” he said; “ you ’re drinking more than.
you ought, and you don’t know what you ’re saying.”

Dred looked gloomily at him for a while. “You mind
your business, lad,” he said, “and I ‘ll mind mine. I
know what I ’m doing and what I ’m saying well
enough.”

Jack made no reply. He curled himself up on the
bench and shut his eyes. Dred sat still, looking mood-
ily at him for a little while. “You think I be drinking
more than I ought, do you?” But still Jack did not
reply nor open his eyes. “I ‘ll drink as much as I
choose, and no man shall stop me.”

“ You ll make yourself sick again, that’s what you ll
do,” Jack said, shortly.

He lay there with his eyes closed, and presently, in
spite of himself, the events of the day before and the
sleepless nights he had passed began to press upon him,
and he drifted off into broken fragments of sleep, through
which he heard the men still talking and laughing. At
last, after a while, he opened his eyes to silence. The
fire had burned low, and the men lay sleeping on the
floor with their feet turned toward the blaze. Jack
arose, took up the bottle upon the table, and shook it
beside his ear. There was still a little liquor in it, and
he corked it and laid it behind him on the bench so as
to make sure it should not be touched again.
CHAPTER XXXVII
THE SECOND DAY

HE woman was stirring early in the morning, and
Jack awoke with a start. Dred was moving un-
easily in his sleep, with signs of near waking as Jack
went to the door and looked out. It was still hardly
more than the dawn of day. It had clouded over during
the night, and had been raining, as Dred had predicted.
The wind was now blowing swiftly from the east,
sending low, drifting clouds hurrying across the sky.
From where he stood he could see, through the twilight
gray, the white caps, churning every now and then to
a sudden flash of foam out across the dim stretch of
the sound, and he thought to himself that their voyage
was likely to prove very rough. Presently Dred stood
beside him. He stood for a while gazing out into the
gray daylight, as Jack had done, looking across the
sound; then he went out into the open air. He stared
up into the wet sky above, and then all around him.
‘OT’ ig likely we ‘ll have a stiffish day of it,” he said,
“but we ’ll have to make the most of it, let us get ever
so wet. "I islucky I thought of fetching the overcoats.”
He said nothing about the night before, and did not
seem to remember that he had been drinking more than
he should have done. The woman of the house emerged
from the outshed, carrying an armful of sticks. “ Hullo,
mistress!” Dred called to her, “I wish you’d wake the

young lady and tell her we ’ve got to be starting again.
287
288 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Why, it must be well on toward six o’clock by now,
allowing for this here thick day.”

The woman was smoking a short, black pipe. She
took it out of her mouth with one hand. ‘“ Won’t you
stay and take a bite to eat first?” said she.

“Why, no, we won't,” said Dred. “ We ’ll eat what we
want aboard the boat. We’ve got a good rest, and we’re
beholden to ye for it.” He opened his hand, and then Jack
saw he had a sixpenny-piece in it. “I want you to take
this here,” he said, “for to pay you for your trouble.”

The woman stretched out her lean, bony hand, took
the coin eagerly enough, and slipped it in her pocket.
“T ll tell her young ladyship that you be waiting,” said
she with a sudden access of deference, and then went
back into the house.

_ “Did you see anything of that there bottle o’ rum?”
said Dred.

“Yes, I did,” said Jack. “I put it away in the over-
coat pocket.”

“That ’s all well, then. I thought maybe Bill or Ned
Gosse had stole it. Was there anything left in it?”

“ A little,” answered Jack.

Beside this Dred made no present reference to the
drinking bout of the night before.

When they went back into the house again the young
lady was sitting on the edge of the bed, smoothing her
hair.. “’T is time we was starting now, mistress,” said
Dred, “and the sooner the better.”

They all went down to the boat together, the two
Gosse men accompanying them. This time they helped
Jack and Dred unfurl the sail, and set the boom and
the gaff, and they pushed the boat off into the water
when all were aboard. “ You ’ll have a windy day out-
side, like enough,” Bill Gosse said, in his slow, dull
voice.

“T reckon we will,” Dred replied briefly.
THE SECOND DAY 289

There was a fine spit of rain-like mist drifting before
the wind, and the water lapped and splashed chilly,
beating in little breakers upon the beach. “ You ’d
better put on this overcoat, mistress,” said Dred, and
he held it for the young lady as he spoke.

She looked steadily at him for a moment, and it
seemed to Jack, with some intuitive knowledge, that
she was thinking of the way Dred had been drinking
with the two men the night before. Jack himself took
the coat from Dred and held it for her while she slipped
her arms into the sleeves. Then he helped her settle her-
self in the stern. “ You’d better put on the other over-
coat, Dred,” he said. “I can do very well without it.”

The boat was already dancing and bobbing with the
short, lumpy swell that came in from the sound around
the point, and gave promise of rough weather outside.
The sail flapped and beat noisily in the wind; Jack
hoisted the peak, and Dred, drawing the sheet with one
hand and holding the tiller with the other, brought her
around to the wind. The people on the shore stood
watching them as the boat heeled over and then, with
gathering headway, swept swiftly away. There were
no farewells spoken. Jack, looking behind, saw the
people still standing upon the shore as it rapidly fell
away astern, dimming in the gray of the misty rain.

“ About!” called Dred, sharply, and then the boat,
sweeping a curve, came around upon the other tack.
Once more they came about, and then presently they
were out in the open sound. There was a heavy,
lumpy sea running, and the boat began to lift and
plunge to the greater swell with every now and then
a loud, thunderous splash of water at the bow, and
a cloud of spray dashed up into the air. A wave sent
a sheet of water into the boat. “I reckon we ‘ll have
to drop the peak a bit, Jack,” Dred said; “she drives
too hard.”

19
290 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

The young lady, in the first roughness of the rolling
sea, was holding tight to the rail. Jack stumbled for-
ward across the thwarts and lowered the peak. The
water was rushing noisily past the boat. “’Tis a head
wind we’ve got for to-day,” said Dred, when he had
come back into the stern again. “I’m glad we ’ve had
a bit of rest afore we started, for we ’ll hardly make
Roanoke afore nine or ten o’clock to-night if the wind
holds as ’t is.”

And it was after nightfall when they ran in back of
Roanoke Island. The wind had ceased blowing from
the east, and was rapidly falling away. Just at sun-
down, the sun had shot a level glory of light under
the gray clouds, bathing all the world with a crimson
glow, and then had set, the clouds overhead shutting
in an early night. The water still heaved, troubled
with the memory of the wind that had been churning
it all day. The young lady had been feeling ill, and she
now lay motionless upon the bench, where Jack had cov-
ered her with everything obtainable, and where she lay
with her head upon her bundle of clothes, her face, rest-
ing upon the palm of her hand, just showing beneath
the wraps that covered her. In the afternoon Dred had.
handed the tiller over to Jack, who still held it. Now,
wrapped in one of the overcoats, he lay upon the other
bench, perhaps sleeping. The night had fallen more
and more, and soon it was really dark. Jack held
steadily to the course that Dred had directed, and by
and by he was more and more certain that he was near
theland. At last, he really did see the dim outline of the
shore, and in the lulls of the breeze he could presently
hear the loud splashing of the water upon the beach.

“Dred,” he called, “you’d better come and take the
helm.” Dred roused himself instantly, shuddering with
the chill of the night air as he did so. He looked about
him, peering into the darkness.
THE SECOND DAY 291

“Ay,” he said, after a while. “’T is Roanoke, and
that must be Duck Island over yonder, t’ other way.
That ’s Broad Creek, yonder,” pointing off through the
night. “We might run into it, and maybe find some
shelter; but what I wants to do, is to make Shallow-
bag Bay. There’s a lookout tree on the sand-hills
there, and I wants to take a sight behind us, to-mor-
row. D’ ye see, ’t is Roanoke Sound we’re running into.
If the sloop follys us at all, ’t will run up the ship-
channel Croatan way.”

Jack did not at all understand what Dred meant, but
he gave up the tiller to him very readily. He went
across to where the young lady lay. “ How d’ ye feel
now, mistress?” he said.

“T feel better than I did,” she said, faintly, opening
her eyes as she spoke.

“Would you like to have a bite to eat now?” She
shook her head, and once more Jack took his place in
the stern.

“There ’s another reason why I wants to make Shal-
lowbag Bay,” said Dred. ‘“ D’ ye see, there ’s a house
there,—or, leastwise, there used to be,—and I thought
if we could get there it might make a shelter for the
young lady, for she’s had a rough day of it to-day, for
sartin.”

“How far is it?” Jack asked.

“Why,” said Dred, “no more ’n a matter of eight
mile, I reckon. Here; you hold the tiller, lad, while I
light my pipe.”

Maybe an hour or more passed, and then Dred began,
every now and then, to take a lookout ahead, standing
up and peering away into the darkness. The clouds
had now entirely blown away, and the great vault of
sky sparkled all over with stars. All around them the
water spread out, dim and restless. They were running
free close to the shore. A point of sand jutted out
292 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pallidly into the water, and through the darkness Jack
could dimly see the recurrent gleam of breaking waves
upon it.. Again Dred was standing up in the boat, look-
ing out ahead. “Were all right, now,” he said, after
a long time of observation, finally taking his seat.
“T’ve got my bearings now, and know where I be.
The only thing now is, that we sha’ n’t run aground, for
here and there there ’s not enough water to float a chip.”
As he ended speaking he put down the tiller, and the
yawl ran in close around the edge of the point. He sailed
for some little distance before he spoke again. “We ‘Il
have to take to the oars for the rest of the way,” he said,
at last; and as he spoke he brought the bow of the
boat up to the wind. ‘“We’re done our sailing for to-
night. The shanty ’s not more ’n a mile furder on from
here across the bay. We’d better put up the sail here,
Ireckon. ’I will be swinging all around in your way
when ye row.”

He arose and went forward, Jack following him, and
together they loosened the boom and began reefing the
sail still wet with the rain and spray of the day’s
storm. The young lady did not move; perhaps she
was asleep. Then Dred returned to the tiller, and
Jack took to the oars.

In somewhat less than half an hour Jack had rowed
the -heavy boat across the open water. As he looked
over his shoulder, he could see a strip of beach just
ahead, drawing nearer and nearer to them through the
night. A minute more, and the bow of the boat ran
grating upon a sandy shoal and there stuck fast. Dred
arose, and he and Jack stepped into the shallow water.
The young lady stirred and roused herself as they did
so. “Sit still, mistress,” said Dred, “and we ’ll drag
the boat up to the beach. It seems like there ’s a bank
made out here since I was here afore.” They drew the
boat across the shoal and up the little strip of beach.
THE SECOND DAY ~ 293

Beyond, a level, sedgy stretch reached away into the
night. “ You wait here,” said Dred, “and I’ll go up and
see if the shanty be there yet. I know ’t was there
three year ago.”

He went away, leaving Jack and the young lady sit-
ting in the boat.

“Do you think he ll take us to such a place as he
did last night?” she presently asked of Jack.

“No, I know he won't,” Jack said. “I is an empty
hut he’s going to take us to this time.”

“Td rather sleep out in the boat,” she said, “than
go to such a house again. "I was dreadful last night
when those three men sat drinking as they did.”

“Well,” said Jack, “this is no such a place as that.
*T is an empty hut; and he only comes here to find
shelter for you for the night, and to take an obser-
vation to-morrow.”

She had not said anything before as to what she
had felt during the previous night, and Jack had ~
thought until now that perhaps it had made little or
no impression upon her. “You need n’t be afraid of
Dred, mistress,” he said, presently. “He’s rough, but
he’s not a bad man, and you need n’t be afraid of him.”

She did not reply; and Jack could read in her si-
lence how entirely she had lost confidence in Dred.
Presently he appeared, coming through the darkness.
‘OT ig all right,” he said; “I have found the cabin.
We ll just pull the yawl a trifle furder up on the
beach, and then I ll take ye up to it. Now, mistress,
if you ll step ashore.”

Jack and Dred helped the young lady out of the
boat. She stood upon the damp beach wrapped in
the overcoat she had worn all day as Jack drove the
anchor down into the sandy soil and made fast the
bow-line. Dred opened the locker and brought out
the biscuit and the ham.
294 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

He led the way for some distance through the dark-
ness, his feet rustling harshly through the wiry, sedgy
erags, and by and by Jack made out the dim outline
of the wooden hut looming blackly against the starry
sky. It was quite deserted, and the doorway gaped
darkly. It stood as though toppling to fall; but the
roof was sound, and the floor within was tolerably dry.
At any rate, it was a protection from the night. As
Dred struck the flint and steel, Jack stripped some
planks from the wall, breaking them into shorter pieces
with his heel, and presently a fire blazed and crackled
upon the ground before the open doorway of the hut,
lighting up the sedgy, sandy space of the night for
some distance around.

After they had eaten their rude meal, they made the
young lady as comfortable as possible; then they sat
down side by side to dry their damp clothes by the
fire. It burned down to a heap of hot, glowing coals,
and Jack threw on another armful of sticks; they
blazed up with renewed brightness, lighting up the
interior of the hut with a red glow.

“Tike enough this is the last stop we can make,”
said Dred, “betwixt here and the inlet.”

“How far is the inlet from here, d’ ye suppose?”
Jack asked.

“Perhaps a matter of twenty league or so,” said
Dred. “We can’t expect the wind to favor us as it
has done. We ’ve got along mightily well so far, I
can tell ye. We’ve got a lead far away ahead of any
chase the captain can make arter us. I do believe
we be safe enough now; all the same I’m going over
to the sand-hills to-morrow to take a look astern. Over
in that direction —” and he pointed with his pipe—
“there ’s a lookout tree we used to use three or four
year ago when we was cruising around here in the
sounds.”
THE SECOND DAY 295

“Do you know, Dred,” said Jack, “I believe you ’re
vastly the better in health for coming off with us?
You don’t seem near as sick as you did before we
left Bath Town.”

“Ay,” said Dred ; “thats allus the way with a sick
body. I hain’t time now to think how sick I be.”
CHAPTER XXXVIII
THE THIRD DAY

ACK was awakened the next morning by Dred
stirring about. The sun had not yet arisen, but
the sky, mottled over with drifting clouds, was blue
and mild. “ Well,” said Dred, “I’m going over to the
sand-hills now. You and the young lady can get some
breakfast ready ag’in’ I get back.”

“Don’t you mean to take me along with you, then?”
Jack asked.

“No,” said Dred, “’t would be no use. You can do
more by staying here and getting ready a bite to eat,
for I want to make as early a start as may be.”

Jack watched him as he walked across the little sandy
hummocks covered with the wiry sedge grass that bent
and quivered in the gentle wind. ‘“ How long will you
be gone, Dred?” he called after the departing figure.

The other stopped and turned around. “ About a
half hour,” he called back, and then he turned and went
on again.

Jack got together some wood for the fire, and pres-
ently had a good blaze crackling and snapping. The
young lady was stirring, and in a little while she
came to the door of the hut and stood looking at him.
“Where ’s Mr. Dred?” she asked.

““He’s gone across to an observation tree over yonder,”
Jack said, pointing in the direction with a bit of wood.
“He says he’ ll be back within half an hour, and he

296
THE THIRD DAY 297

wants that we should get breakfast ready against that
time.”

The young lady stood looking about her. “”I will
not storm again to-day, will it?” said she.

“No,” said Jack, “the weather ’s broken now for
good.” He felt a curiously breathless constraint in
being thus alone with her with no one else near them,
but she was clearly altogether unconscious of any such
feeling, and her unconsciousness abashed him all the
more. He busied himself studiously about his work
without speaking, the young lady standing watching
him, and the breakfast was cooked and spread out
upon a board some time before Dred returned. His
impassive face looked more than usually expressionless.
“Did you see anything?” Jack asked.

_ He did not reply to the question. “ We ll not eat
here,” he said; “we ‘ll just take it aboard the boat and
eat it there as we sails along.” And then it flashed upon
Jack that he must have seen something. ‘“ Ye might
ha? roasted two or three o’ them taties we fetched with
us,” Dred continued. “We hain’t touched them yet,
and this is like enough to be the last chance we ’Il get
to do so now, for we be n’t like to go ashore — leastwise
this side of the inlet—and arter that we ’ve got to
make straight to Virginny.” Then he caught Jack’s
eye witha meaning glance, and presently led the way
around to the other side of the hut. There he leaned
with his back against the side of the house, his hands
thrust deeply into his breeches pockets. ‘“ Well,” he
said, in a low voice, “I been and took a look-out astern.”

‘“« Well,” Jack said breathlessly, “what of it?”

“Why,” said Dred, “I see a sail off to the south’rd
a-making up Croatan way.”

Jack felt a sudden, quick, shrinking pang about his
heart. “Well,” he said, “what of it? Was it the
sloop ?”
298 JACK BALLISTER’S: FORTUNES

Dred shook his head. “I don’t know that,” he said,
“and I can’t just say as ’t was the sloop — but I can’t
say as ’t were n’t the sloop, neither. It may have been
a coaster or summat of the sort; there’s no saying, for
was too far away for me to tell just what it was. But
I'll tell you what ’t is, lad, we ’ve just ‘got to get away
as fast as may be, for the craft I see be n’t more than
fourteen or fifteen knot astarn of us, and, give her a
stiff breeze, she may overhaul that betwixt here and the
inlet if we tarries too long.”

Jack was looking very fixedly at Dred. “ Well,
Dred,” he said, “suppose ’*t is the sloop, and it does
overhaul us, what then?”

Dred shrugged his shoulders, and there was some-
thing in the shrug that spoke more voluminously than
words could have done. ‘I is no use axing me what
then,” he said, presently. “We just sha’n’t let her over-
haul us, and that ’s all. We ‘11 not think on anything
else.”

The sense of overshadowing danger in the possibility
of the boat that Dred had seen being the sloop, and
the further possibility of its overhauling them, loomed
larger and larger in Jack’s mind the more his thoughts
dwelt upon it, swelling up almost like a bubble in his
bosom. For a time it seemed as though he could not
bear the bigness of the apprehension growing so within
him. He wondered that Dred could appear so in-
different to it. “Why, Dred,” he cried, “how can a
body help thinking about such a thing?”

Dred looked at him out of his narrow, black, bead-
like eyes, and then shrugged his shoulders again. His
face was as impassive as that of a sphinx.

Jack stood thinking and thinking. The growing
apprehension brought to him for a moment a feeling
almost of physical nausea. He believed that Dred
believed that the sloop was really Blackbeard’s, and
THE THIRD DAY 299

that it was overhauling them. He heaved an op-
pressed and labored sigh. “I wish,” he said, “we ’d only
sailed straight ahead instead of stopping over night —
first, down yonder at Gosse’s in the swamp, and now
here.”

Again Dred shrugged his shoulders. “ Well,” he said,
“vou be hale and strong enough to stand sailing four
or six days on end in an open boat. But you don’t
seem to think as how the young lady can’t stand it —
saying naught of myself. If I had n’t took care of my-
self, and had ’a? been took sick on your hands, you ’d
be a deal worse off than you are now. And, arter all,”
he added, “‘’t is a blind chance of that there craft being
the sloop. She may be a coaster. Well, ’t is no use
stopping here to talk about that there now. The best
thing for us to do is to make sail as quick as may be. I
don’t see how they got track on us anyhow,” he said,
almost to himself, “unless they chanced to get some
news on us at Gosse’s, or unless they ran across Gosse
hisself.” He slapped his thigh suddenly. “’I' is like
enough, now I come to think on it, Gosse went off
som’ers to buy rum with the sixpence I gave his mis-
tress, and so ran across the captain in the sloop, som’ers,
maybe down toward Ocracock way.”

To all this Jack listened with the heavy oppression
of apprehension lying like a leaden weight upon his
soul. “Then you do think the sail you saw was
the sloop?” said he with anxious insistence, and once
more and for the third time Dred shrugged his shoul-
ders, vouchsafing no other reply.

Never for any moment through all that long day did
Jack’s spirit escape from that ever-present, dreadful
anxiety. Always it was with him in everything that he
saw or did or said, sometimes lying dull and inert be-
hind the vivid things of life, sometimes starting out
with a sudden vitality that brought again that sicken-
300 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ing nausea, as a sort of outer physical effect of the inner
distress of spirit.

The breeze had grown lighter and lighter as the day
advanced, but by noon they had run in back of a small
island, and by three or four o’clock were well up into
the shoal water of Currituck Sound. During the time
they were crossing the lower part of Albemarle Sound
Dred would every now and then stand up to look back;
then again he would take his place, gazing out ahead.
Each time he had thus stood up, Jack had looked at
him, but could learn nothing of his thoughts from his
expressionless face.

Suddenly Dred glanced up overhead, the bright sun-
‘light glinting in his narrow black eyes. “The wind be
falling mightily light,” he said, and then again he stood
up and looked out astern, stretching himself as he did
so. This time when he sat down he exchanged one
swift glanee with Jack, and Jack knew that he had
seen something. After that he did not rise again, but
he held the tiller motionlessly, looking steadily out
across the water that grew ever smoother and smoother
as the breeze fell more and more away. By and by he
said suddenly: ‘Ye might as well get out the oars and
row a bit, lad; *t will help us along a trifle.”

The cloud of anxiety was hanging very darkly over
him as Jack went forward and shipped the oars into the
rowlocks. The sun had been warm and strong all day,
and, without speaking, he laid aside his coat before he
began rowing. They were skirting along now well to-
ward the eastern shore of Currituck Sound. There was
a narrow strip of beach, a strip of flat, green marsh,
and then beyond that a white ridge of sand. Flocks
of gulls sat out along the shoals, which, in places, were
just covered with a thin sheet of water. Hvery now
and then they would rise as the boat crept nearer and
nearer to them, and would circle and hover in clamorous
THE THIRD DAY 301

flight. Presently, as Jack sat rowing and looking out
astern, he himself saw the sail. The first sight of it
struck him as with a sudden shock, and he ceased row-
ing and resting on his oars looking steadily at it. He
felt certain that Dred believed it to be the pirate sloop;
he himself felt sure that it must be, for why else would
it be following them up into the shoals of Currituck
Sound? Then he began rowing again. Suddenly, in
the bright, wide silence, the young lady spoke. “Why,
that is another boat I see yonder, is it not?”

“Yes, mistress,” said Dred, briefly. He had not
turned his head or looked at her as he spoke, and Jack
bowed over the oars as he pulled away at them.

After that there was nothing more said for a long
time. The young lady sat with her elbow resting upon
the rail, now looking out at the boat astern, and now
down into the water. She was perfectly unconscious of
any danger. A long flock of black ducks threaded its
flight across the sunny level of the distant marsh, and
there was no cessation to the iterated and ceaseless
clamor of the gulls. Now and then a quavering whistle
from some unseen flock of marsh-birds sounded out
from the measureless blue above. Jack never ceased
in his rowing; he saw and heard all these things as with
the outer part of his consciousness; with the inner part
he was thinking, brooding ceaselessly upon the possi-
bility of capture. He looked at Dred’s impassive face,
and now and then their eyes met. Jack wondered what
he was thinking of; whether he thought they would get -
away, or whether he thought they would not, for the
other gave no sign either of anxiety or of hope.

The sail was hanging almost flat now. Only every now
and then it swelled out sluggishly, and the boat drew
forward a little with a noisier ripple of water under the
bows. Jack pulled steadily away at the oars without
ceasing. It seemed to him that the sail of the boat in
302 : JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

the distance stood higher from the water than it had.
At last he could not forbear to speak. “She ’s coming
nigher, ain’t she, Dred?” he asked.

“T reckon not,” said Dred, without turning his head.
“T reckon ’t is just looming to the south’rd, and that
makes her appear to stand higher. Maybe she may
have a trifle more wind than we, but not much.”

The young lady roused herself, turned, and looked out
astern. ‘“ What boat is that?” she said. “It has been
following us all afternoon.”

Dred leaned over and spat into the water; then he
turned toward her with a swift look. “Why, mistress,”
he said, “I don’t see no use in keeping it from ye; ’t is
like that be Blackbeard’s boat — the sloop.”

The young lady looked steadily at him and then at
Jack. “ Are they going to catch us,” she asked, “and
take us back to Bath Town again?”

“Why, no,” said Dred, “I reckon not; we ’ve got
too much of a start on’em. It be n’t more than thirty
knot to the inlet, and they ’ve got maybe six knot to
overhaul us yet.” He turned his head and looked out
astern. ‘D’ ye see,” said he, “ye can’t tell as to how
far they be away. It be looming up yonder to the
southrd. ’T' is like they be as much as seven knot
away rather than six knot.” Again he stood up and
looked out astern. “They ’ve got a puff of air down
there yet,” he said, “and they have got out the sweeps.”

Jack wondered how he could see so far to know what
they were doing.

The breeze had died away now to cat’s-paws that just
ruffled the smooth, bright surface of the water. Dred,
as he stood up, stretched first one arm and then the
other. He stood for a while, resting his hand upon the
boom, looking out at the other vessel. Then he began
to whistle shrilly a monotonous tune through his teeth.
Jack knew he was whistling for a wind. Presently he
THE THIRD DAY ; 803

took out his clasp-knife and opened it as he stepped
across the thwarts. Jack moved aside to make way for
him. He stuck the knife into the mast and then went
aft again. The young lady watched him curiously.
“What did you do that for?” she asked.

“To fetch up a breeze, mistress,” said Dred, shortly.

All this time Jack was pulling steadily at the oars
without ceasing. The sun sloped lower and lower to-
ward the west. “They ain’t gaining on us now,” said
Dred ; but Jack could see that the sail had grown larger
and higher over the edge of the horizon.

The yellow light of the afternoon changed to orange
and then to red as the sun set in a perfectly cloudless
sky. Suddenly, Jack felt his strength crumbling away
from him like slacked lime. “I can’t row any more, .
Dred,” he said. “I’m dead tired, and my hands are all
flayed with rowing.” He had not noticed his weariness
before; it seemed as though it came suddenly upon him,
its leaden weight seeming to crush out that dreadful
anxiety to a mere dull discomfort of spirit.

The palms of his hands were burning like fire. He
looked at the red, blistered surface; they had not hurt
him so much until he stretched them, trying to open
them. His hands and arms were trembling with
weariness.

“You ’d better take a drink of rum,” said Dred;
“of will freshen you up a bit. You ’d better take a
bite, too.”

“T don’t feel hungry,” he said hoarsely.

“Like enough not,” said Dred. “ But ’t will do you
good to eat a bite, all the same. The biscuits are aft
here. By blood! we did n’t leave much in the bottle
down at Gosse’s, did we?” and he shook the bottle at
his ear. “Here, mistress, eat that,” and he handed a
biscuit to the young lady.

The gail in the distance burned like fire in the setting
304 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

sun. The three looked at it. “ D’ ye say your prayers,
mistress?” said Dred.

She looked at him as though startled at the question.
“Why, yes, I do,” she said. “ What do you mean?”

“Why, if you do say your prayers,” said Dred, “ when
you say ’em to-night just ax for a wind, won’t ye? We
wants to make the inlet to-night, as much as we wants
salwation.”

The sun set; the gray of twilight melted into night;
the ceaseless clamor of the gulls had long since sub-
sided, and the cool, starry sky looked down silently and
breathlessly upon them as they lay drifting upon the
surface of the water. “Il take a try at the oars my-
self,” said Dred, “but I can’t do much. You go to sleep,
lad, I Il wake you arter a while.”

Jack lay down upon the bench opposite the young
lady. He shut his eyes, and almost instantly he seemed
to gee the bright level of the water and the green level
of the marsh, as he had seen them all that afternoon; he
seemed to hear the clamor of the gulls ringing in his
ears, and his tired and tingling body felt almost actu-
ally the motion of rowing. At last his thoughts became
tangled; they blurred and ran together, and before he
knew it he was fast asleep —the dead sleep of weariness
—and all care and fear of danger were forgotten.
CHAPTER XXXIX
THE FOURTH DAY

ACK felt some one shaking him. He tried not to
awaken; he tried to hold fast to his sleep, but he
felt that he was growing wider and wider awake.
Dred was shaking him. Then he sat up, at first dull
and stupefied with sleep. He did not, in the moment
of new awakening, know where he was—his mind did
not fit immediately into the circumstances around him
—the narrow, hard space of the boat, the starry vault
of sky, and the dark water —then instantly and sud-
denly he remembered everything with vivid distinct-
ness. He looked around in the blank darkness almost
as though he expected to see the pursuing boat.

“Come,” said Dred. “I’ve let you have a good long
sleep, but I can’t let you have no more. We ’ve got to
take to the oars again, and that’s all there is about it.
I tried to row, but I could n’t do it. And so ever since
you ’ve been sleeping the boat ’s been drifting. I ‘Il
lend a hand with one of the oars for a while. ’T will
not be so hard on you as if you had to pull both. But
I could n’t row by myself, and that ’s all there is of it.”

“How long have I been asleep?” asked Jack.

“A matter of four or five hours,” said Dred.

“Four or five hours!” exclaimed Jack. It seemed to
him that he had not been asleep an hour. He stood
‘up, and stretched his cramped limbs. There was not a
breath of air stirring. The young lady lay dark and

20 305
306 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

silent in the stern, covered over with the overcoats and
wraps, and evidently asleep. She stirred just a little
at the sound of their talking, but did not arouse herself.

“Have you seen or heard aught of the sloop?” said
Jack.

“No,” said Dred. “Go and take your place, and
we ‘ll pull a bit. I Il take this seat here; you take
the one amidships.”

Jack climbed over the thwarts to his place. He was
still drunk and half inert with the fumes of sleep. He
took up his oar, and settled it quietly into the rowlock
so as not to disturb the young lady. “Do you know
what time ’t is, Dred?” he asked.

“T make it about two o’clock,” said Dred, “judging
by the looks of the stars.” He was leaning over his
oar, opening the bag of biscuit. He handed one back
to Jack. “Well take a bite to eat and a drop to drink
afore we begin rowing,” said he. ‘“ Where ’s the bot-
tle? Oh, yes; here ’t is,” and again the young lady
stirred at the sound of his voice near her.

Jack’s hands were still sore and blistered from the
rowing of the day before. At first the oar hurt him
eruelly, but his hands presently got used to the drag-
ging jerk, and he dipped and pulled in time with the
moving of Dred’s body, which he could dimly see
‘in ‘the darkness. They rowed on in perfect silence.
Now and then Jack’s consciousness blurred, and he
felt himself falling asleep, but he never ceased his row-
ing. Then again he would awaken, looking out, as he
dipped his oar, at the whirling eddy it made in the
water. Every stroke of the oar drew the heavy boat
perhaps a yard and a half onward. “A thousand
strokes,” said Jack to himself, “will make a mile.”
And then he began counting each stroke as he rowed.
Again his mind blurred, and he forgot what he was
counting. “’T was three hundred and twenty I left
THE FOURTH DAY 307

off with,” he thought, as he wakened again. ‘Maybe
there ’s been twenty since then. That would make
three hundred and forty. Three hundred and forty-
one—three hundred and forty-two—three hundred
and forty-three — there was a splash —that was a fish
jumped then—three hundred and forty-four — three
hundred and forty-five.”

Dred stopped rowing. “I’ve got to rest a bit,” he
said, almost with a groan. “Drat that there fever!
I don’t know what a body ’s got to have fever for,
anyway.”

Jack rested upon his oar. It seemed to him that
almost immediately he began drifting off into uncon-
sciousness, to awaken again with a start. Dred was
still resting upon his oar, and the boat was drifting.
They were enveloped and wrapped around by a perfect
silence, through which there seemed to breathe a
liquid murmur.

Still there was no breeze, but there began to be an
indescribable air of freshness breathed out upon the
night. The distant quavering whistle of a flock of
marsh-birds sounded suddenly out of the hollow dark-
ness above. It was the first spark of the newly awak-
ened life. Again the tremulous whistle sounded as if
passing directly above their heads. The young lady still
lay darkly motionless in the stern. All the earth seemed
sleeping excepting themselves and that immaterial
whistle sounding out from that abysmal vault—the
womb of day. Jack fancied that there was a slight shot
of gray in the east. Again the whistle sounded, now
faint in the distance. Then there was another answer-
ing whistle; then another—then another. Presently
it seemed as though the air were alive with the sound.
Suddenly, far away, sounded the sharp clamor of a
sea-gull; a pause; then instantly a confused clamor
308 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

of many gulls. There slowly grew to be a faint, pallid
light along the east as broad as a man’s hand, but still
all around them the water stretched dark andmysterious.

Dred was again resting upon his oar, breathing
heavily. “’T will be broad daylight within an hour,”
he said, “and then we can see where we be.”

His sudden speech struck with a startling jar upon
the solitude of the waking day, and Jack was instantly
wide awake. “How far are we from the inlet now,
do you suppose, Dred?”

A pause. “I don’t just know. ’T is maybe not more
than fifteen mile.”

“Wifteen miles!” repeated Jack. “Have we got to
row fifteen miles yet?”

“Well have to if we don’t get a breeze,” said Dred,
still panting; “and as we did u’t get a breeze to reach
us to the inlet last night, we don’t want it now. ’I will
only serve to fetch them down upon us now if a breeze
do spring up.”

Again, for the third time, the sleeping figure in the
stern stirred a little at the sound of voices. The grow-
ing light in the east waxed broader and broader. In
that direction the distance separated itself from the
sky. Jack could see that they were maybe a mile from ©
the marshy shore, over which had now awakened the
ceaseless clamor of the gulls and the teeming life of
the sedgy solitude. To the west it was still dark and
indistinct, but they could see a further and further
stretch of water. “TI see her,” said Dred. “‘ Well, she
don’t appear to have overhauled us much during the
night, anyways.”

Jack could see nothing for a while, but presently he
did distinguish the pallid flicker of a spot of sail in the
far-away distance. Had it gained upon them? It
seemed to Jack that, in spite of what Dr od had said, it
was nearer to thorn
THE FOURTH DAY - 309

The day grew wider and wider. The sun had not
yet risen, but everything stood out now in the broad,
clear, universal flood of light that lit up the heavens
and the earth. The east grew rosy, and the distance to
the west came out sharply against the dull, gray sky,
in which shone steadily a single brilliant star. The boat
was wet with the dew that had gathered upon it.

The young lady roused herself, and sat up, shudder-
ing, in the chill of the new awakening. She looked °
about her. Then Dred stood up, and looked long and
steadily at the strip of beach to the east. “I don’t know
much about the lay of the coast up this way,” he said;
“there ought to be a signal-mast over toward the ocean
side som’ers about here. But, so far as I can make
out, we be ten mile from the inlet. I thought we ’d
been nigher to it than we are.”

The water was as smooth as glass.

. Suddenly the sun rose, big, flattened, distorted, from
over the sand-hills, shooting its broad, level light across
the water, and presently the sail in the distance started
out like a red flame in the bright, steady, benignant
glow. Again Jack and Dred were rowing, and the boat
was creeping, yard by yard, through the water, and
leaving behind them a restless, broken, dark line upon
the smooth and otherwise unbroken surface.

The sun rose higher and higher, and the day grew
warmer and warmer, and still not a breath of air broke
the level surface of the water. It was, maybe, ten
o’clock, and the point of land they had been abreast of
an hour before, lay well behind. “That ’s the inlet,
where you see them sand-hills ahead yonder,” said Dred.

“How far are they away?” said Jack.

“Not more ’n three mile,” I reckon.

The pirates in the sloop were rowing steadily with
the sweeps. Jack could see, every now and then, the
310 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

glint of the long oars as they were dipped into the
water and came out, wet and flashing, in the sunlight.
“They ’re gaining some on us, Dred,” said he, after a
while.

“That comes from a sick man’s rowing,” said Dred,
grimly. “ Well, they won’t catch us now, if the wind ’ll
only hold off a little longer. But I’m nigh done up, lad,
and that ’s the truth.”

“So am I,” said Jack. Again, as during the night
before, the keen sense of danger that had thrilled him
seemed to be sunk into his utter weariness — dulled
and blunted.

They rowed for a while in silence. The sand-hills
erept nearer. Suddenly Dred stood up in the boat,
holding his oar with one hand. He did not speak for a
moment. “There ’s a breeze coming up down yonder,”
he said. “They ’re cracking on all sail. They ’ll get it,
like enough, afore we do. ”I' is lucky we be so nigh the
inlet.” He took his place again. “ Pull away, lad,” said
he; “I reckon we ’re pretty safe, but we ’ll make it
sure. As soon as we get to the inlet we can take all
day to rest.”

Jack could see that they were raising every stitch of
sail aboard the sloop. Then, presently, as he looked,
he could see the sails fill out, smooth and round.
“They ’ve got it now,” said Dred, “and they ’ll be com-
ing down on us, hand over hand.”

The young lady was looking out astern. Jack man-
aged to catch Dred’s eye as he turned for a moment
and looked out forward. He could not trust himself
to speak. Again that heavy weight of fear and anxiety
was growing bigger and sharper. Suddenly it swelled
almost to despair. He did not say anything, but his
eyes asked, “What are our chances?”

Dred must have read the question, for he said:
“Well, it hain’t likely they Il overhaul us now. If
THE FOURTH DAY 311

we ’d only had wind enough to carry us to the inlet
last night we ’d been safe; but the next best thing is
no wind at all, and that we ’ve had. I reckon we ‘Il
make it if we keep close to the shore where ’t is too
shoal for them to folly. Yonder comes the breeze. By
blood! we ‘ll get it afore I thought we would.” He
drew in his oar, and handed it to Jack. “You take
this,” said he, “and keep on rowing, and I'll trim sail.”
He went forward, and raised the gaff a little higher.
“Pull away, lad—pull away! and don’t sit staring.”

In spite of what Dred had said, Jack could see that
the sloop was rapidly overhauling them. It was now
coming rushing down upon them, looming every mo-
ment bigger and higher. In the distance Jack could
see a black strip lining the smooth surface of the
water. It was the breeze rushing toward them ahead
of the oncoming sail. Suddenly, all around them, the
water was dusked with cat’s-paws. Then came a sud-
den cool puff of air—a faint breath promising the
breeze to come. The sails swelled sluggishly, and
then fell limp again. The line of oncoming breeze
that had been sharp now looked broken and ragged
upon the nearer approach of the wind. “Now she ’s
coming,” said Dred.

He was looking steadily over the stern. The sloop,
every stitch of sail spread, was making toward them.
There was a white snarl of waters under her bows. It
seemed to Jack that in five minutes she must be upon
them. Suddenly there was another cool breath, then
a rush of air. The boom swung out, the sail filled,
and the boat gave a swift lurch forward with the rip-
ple and the gurgle of water about them. Then the
swift wind was all around them, and the boat heeled
over to it, and rushed rapidly away.

Jack was still rowing. The motion had grown habit-
ual with him, and now he hardly noticed it. The sloop
312 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

seemed to be almost upon them; he could even see the
men upon the decks. Dred sat grimly at the tiller,
looking steadily out ahead, never moving a_ hair.
Jack thrilled as with a sudden spasm, and everything
about him seemed to melt into the fear rushing
down upon them—the despair of certain capture.
It seemed to him that he felt his face twitching.
He looked at Dred. There were haggard lines of weak-
ness upon his steadfast face, but no signs of anxiety.
Again Dred must have read his look. “ They can’t
reach in here,” said he; “the water is too shoal.” Sud-
denly, even as he spoke, Jack saw the sloop com-
ing about. He could hear the creak of the block and
tackle as they hauled in the great mainsail, and pres-
ently it was flapping limp and empty of wind. Dred
turned swiftly and looked over his shoulder. ‘“D’ ye
see that?” he said. “They ’ve run up to the shoal now.
They ’ve got to keep out into the channel, and that’s
about as nigh as they can come to us. They ‘ll run
out into the channel again now. What they ‘ll try to
do ’ll be to head us off at the inlet, but they ’ve got to
make a long leg and a short leg to do that. Ay!” he
eried, exultantly, “you ’re too late, my hearty!” And he
shook his fist at the sloop.

The sloop had now fallen off broadside to them. Its
limp sails began to fill again, and it looked ten times as
big as it had done running bow on. Suddenly there
was a round puff of smoke in the sunlight, instantly
breaking and dissolving in the sweeping wind. ‘There
was a splash of water; then another splash, and an-
other, and at the same moment a report of a gun.
Boom! a dull, heavy, thudding sound, upon the beat
of which a hundred little fish skipped out of the water
all about the boat.

At the heavy beat of the report, the young lady
uttered an exclamation like a smothered scream. The
THE FOURTH DAY - 313

cannon-ball went skipping and ricochetting across their
bows and away. “Don’t you be afraid, mistress,” said
Dred; “there be n’t one chance in a thousand of their
hitting us at this distance; and, d’ ye see, they ’re run-
ning away from us now. Hach minute there ’s less
chance of them harming us. Just you bear up a little,
and they ’ll be out of distance.” :

She brushed her hand for a moment across her eyes,
and then seemed to have gained some command over
herself. “Are they going to leave us?” she asked.

“Why, no,” said Dred, “not exactly. They know
now that we ’re making for the inlet. What they ‘ll
do ‘ll be to run out furder into the channel, and then
come back on another tack, and along close in to the
inlet so as to head us off. But, d’ ye see, the water
be too shoal for them, and they ’re likely to run

aground any moment now. As for us, why, we ’ve

got a straight course, d@’ ye see, and our chance is ten
to one of making through the inlet afore they can
stop us.”

Again there was a puff of smoke that swept away,
dissolving down the wind. Again came the skip-
ping shot, and again there was the dull, heavy boom
of the cannon. It seemed to Jack that the shot was
coming straight into the boat. The young lady gripped
the rail with her hand. The cannon-ball went hissing
and screeching past them. “By blood!” said Dred,
“that was a nigh one, for sartin. "[ was Morton his-
self lay that gun, I Il be bound.” Another cloud of
smoke, and another dull report, and another ball came
skipping across the water, this time wide of the mark.
The sloop was now running swiftly away from them,
growing smaller and smaller in the distance, her sails
again smooth and round, tilting to the wind. They did
not fire any more. Jack bent to the rowing, plunging
and splashing the water in the tenseness of his appre-
314 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

hension and fear. He no longer felt the smart of his
hands or the weariness of his muscles; it seemed to him
that he had never felt so strong.

It was not until the guns had been fired that the
young lady appreciated the full danger they were in.
Jack’s own feelings for the immediate time had been
too tense to notice her. Now he saw that she was
wringing her hands and tearlessly sobbing, her face
as white as ashes. “Come, come, mistress!” said Dred,
roughly. ‘“’T won’t do no good for you to take on so.
Be still, will you?”

The brusqueness of his speech silenced her somewhat.
Jack saw her bite at her hand in the tense suppression
she set upon herself.

“How far is it to the inlet?” said Jack, hoarsely.

“Half a mile,” said Dred.

Jack turned his head to look. ‘Mind your oars,”
said Dred, sharply; “’t is no time to look now. I ’ll
mind the inlet. "I won't get us there any quicker for
you to look. By blood!” he added, “she’s coming about
again.”

The sloop was maybe a mile away; again it was
coming about. “Now for it!” said Dred. “’T is they
or us this time.” Jack swung desperately to the oars.
“That's right — pull away! Every inch gained is that
much longer life for all on us.”

The water was now dappled with white caps, and
the swift wind drove the yawl plunging forward. The
sloop was now set upon the same course that they
were, only bearing toward them to head them off. As
for them, their leeway was bringing them nearer and
nearer the shore. Dred put down the helm a little
further so as to keep the boat off the shoals. This
lost them a little headway. Jack’s every faculty was
bent upon rowing. The sea-gulls rose before them
in dissolving flight—the cannon-shots had aroused
THE FOURTH DAY 315

them all along the shore, and Jack heard their clamor
dimly and distantly through the turmoil of his own
excited fears. His throat was dry and hot, and his
mouth parched. He could hear the blood surging and
thumping in his ears. He looked at the young lady
as though in a dream, and saw dully that her face was
very white and that she gripped the rail of the boat.
Her knuckles were white with the strain, and he saw
the shine of the rings upon her fingers. The sloop,
as he looked at it, seemed to grow almost visibly larger
to his eyes; it seemed to tower as it approached. He
could see the figures of the men swarming upon the
decks. He looked over his shoulder —the inlet was
there. ‘‘Unship them oars,” said Dred sharply; “‘’t is
sail or naught now.” Then as Jack, unshipping the
oars, tipped the boat a little, Dred burst out hoarsely,
“Steady, there, you bloody fool! what d’ ye heave
about so for?” Jack drew in the oars and laid them
down across the thwarts, and again Dred burst out
roughly: “Look out what ye ’re doing! You ’re
scattering the water all over me.”

“T did n’t mean it,” said Jack; “I could n’t help it.”

Dred glared at him, but did not reply. Jack looked
over his shoulder; the broad mouth of the inlet was
opening swiftly before them—the inlet and safety.
Suddenly the bottom of the boat grated and hung
upon the sand; and Jack, with a dreadful thrill, real-
ized that they were aground. The young lady clutched
the rail with both hands with a shriek as the boat
careened on the bar, almost capsizing. Dred burst
out with a terrible oath as he sprang up and drew in
the sheets hand over hand. “Push her off!” he roared.
Jack seized one of the oars; but before he could use
it the yawl was free again and afloat, and once more
Dred sat down, quickly running out the sheets.

Jack’s heart was beating and fluttering in his throat
316 JACK BALLISTER’S. FORTUNES

so that he almost choked with it. Dred did not look
at the sloop at all. Some one was calling to them
through a speaking-trumpet, but Jack could not dis-
tinguish the words, and Dred paid no attention to them.
There was another puff of smoke, and this time a loud,
booming report, and the almost instant splash and dash
of the shot across their stern. Jack saw it all, dully
and remotely. Why was Dred sailing across the mouth
of the inlet instead of running into it? ‘ Why don’t
you run into the inlet, Dred?” he eried, shrilly. ‘Why
dow’t you run into the inlet? You’re losing time! They
11 be down upon us in a minute if you don’t run in!”

“You mind your own business,” shouted Dred, “and
Tl mind mine!” Then he added, “I’ve got to run up
past the bar, ha? n’t I? I can’t run across the sand,
ean 1?”

The sea-gulls were whirling and circling all about
them, and the air was full of their screaming clamor.

_ “About!” called Dred, sharply; and he put down
the helm. ;

Jack could see straight out of the inlet to the wide
ocean beyond. It was a quarter of a mile away, and
there there was a white line of breakers. There was a
loud, heavy report — startlingly loud to Jack’s ears —
and a cannon-ball rushed, screeching, past them. He
dueked his head, crouching down, and the young lady
screamed out shrilly. Dred sat at the helm, as grim and
as silent as fate. Again the bottom of the boat grated
upon the sand. “My God!” burst out Jack, “we ’re
aground again!” Dred never stirred. The yawl grated
and ground upon the sandy bar and then, once more,
it was free.

Then Dred looked over his shoulder. He looked back. ©
Then he looked over his shoulder again. ‘‘Get down,
mistress !” he called out, sharply. “ Get down in the bot-
tom of the boat! They ’re going to give us a volley.”




THE PIRATES FIRE UPON THE FUGITIVES.
THER FOURTH DAY : 317

Jack saw the glint of the sunlight upon the musket-

barrels. The young lady looked at Dred with wide eyes.

She seemed bewildered. “Get down!” cried out Dred, —
harshly. “Are you a fool? Get down, I say!” Jack

reached out and caught her violently by the arm and

dragged her down into the bottom of the boat. Even

as he did so he saw a broken, irregular cloud of smoke

shoot out from the side of the sloop. He shut his eyes

spasmodiecally. There was a loud, rattling report. He

~ heard the shrill piping and whistling of the bullets rush-

ing toward them. There was a splashing and clipping.

Would he be hurt? There was the jar of thudding

bullets. There was a shock that seemed to numb his

arm to the shoulder. He was hit. No; the bullet had

struck the rail just beside his hand. He was unhurt.

He opened his eyes. A vast rush of relief seemed to

fill his soul. No one was hurt. The danger was past

and gone. No! some of the pirates were about to fire

again. There was a puff of smoke; then a broken cloud

of smoke, a sharp report, another, and another; then

three or four almost together. The bullets were hum-

ming and singing, clipping along the top of the water.

One — two, struck with a thud against the side of the -
boat. Jack saw, in a blinded sort of way, that the
sloop had come up into the wind; she could follow
them no further. There were half a dozen puffs of
smoke altogether. O God! would the dreadful dan-
ger never be past? Was there no way of escape?

“Ach!” eried out Dred, sharply.

Jack looked up with an agonizing, blinding terror.
Was Dred hurt? No; he could not be. There was no
sign of hurt. Was that a little tear in his shirt? O
God! Was it real? Suddenly there was blood. O, it
could not be. Yes; there was a great, wide stain of
blood shooting out and spreading over his shirt! “O,
Dred!” screamed Jack, shrilly.
318 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Sit down!” roared Dred. He put his hand to his
stomach, at the side, and then there was blood in his
hand. Suddenly there was a broken swirl and toss all
around them. It was the broken ground-swell coming
in past the shoals. The boat pitched and tossed. There
was a thundering splash of breakers. Jack sprang up.
“Steady!” cried out Dred. Jack’s blinded eyes saw
that the pirate sloop was far away in the distance. Were
they still shooting? Hedid not know. He saw every-
thing with dizzy vision. O God! Dred’s shirt was all
soaked with blood. What was it now? There was
something. They were out in the ocean; that was it
—the inlet was passed. “Oh—h!” groaned Dred,
“Tm hurt —I’m hurt!”


CHAPTER XL
FIAT JUSTITIA

S the boat swept into the great lift and fall of the
ocean swell, Dred had leaned forward and rested
his forehead upon the tiller, which he still held. His
body shook and heaved, and Jack sat like one turned to
stone. The thought went through his mind, “He is
dying—will he die as he sits there? Can it really be
that he is dying?” Then Dred looked up, and his face
was as white as ashes. Great beads of sweat stood on
his forehead. ‘‘Some water,” he said, hoarsely; ‘“ give
me some water, lad.”

Miss Eleanor Parker still lay in the bottom of the
boat, whither Jack had dragged her. Jack went for-
ward blindly across the thwarts and brought out a cup
of water. His hand shook and trembled; his eyes saw,
but did not see, what he was doing; his throat was
constricted as though it would choke him. Then he
came back with the cup of water. It slopped and spilled
over his hand. Suddenly, Miss Eleanor Parker shrieked.
She had aroused, and in her first glance had seen the
blood. “Oh, what is it?” she cried. Dred had raised
himself again from the tiller upon which he had been
leaning, and he groaned. Jack pushed past the young
lady without speaking to her or noticing her, and Dred
reached out his hand for the cup of water. It shook, and
part of the water spilled, as he put it to his lips and,
throwing back his haggard face, drank it off. The

319
320 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

young lady was sitting staring at him, white even to
the very lips. “Oh! oh!” she moaned, wringing her
hands, “oh! oh!” Jack panted, his breath coming hot
in his dry mouth. He tried to moisten his lips again
and again, but they remained dry.

The yawl, its course unheeded, had come up into the
wind, rising and falling with the slow heaving of the
ground-swell, the sail fluttering and flapping. Dred
leaned with one elbow upon the seat beside him. “ Ye ’ll
have to go up for’rd, mistress,” he said presently, in
a hoarse voice, “I’ve got to do summat—I ’ve got
to do summat to stop this here place somehow. O
Lord!” he groaned. She got up and went forward to
the bow, where she crouched down, hiding her face in
her hands. “Reach me that there shawl,” said Dred.
We ’ve got to tear it up.”

Jack wrenched open the bundle, and with hands and
teeth tore the shawl into strips. Dred had stripped off
his shirt. Jack looked at him. He saw it, and he thrilled
dreadfully and turned his eyes away. “Come, come,
lad,” said Dred, “this be no time for any such-like fool-
ishness. Well, give me that strip, I ll do it for myself.”

The young lady still sat crouched down in the bow.
It was all perfectly silent as Jack busied himself about
Dred. ‘Are you more comfortable?” he said, at last.

“Ves,” said Dred. ““M-m-m-m,”he groaned. “Let me
lie down.” Jack had helped him on with his coat again,
and had buttoned it under his chin. He had rolled up
the shirt and thrown it overboard. “’T is all right now,
mistress,” he said; “you can come back here again now.”

He supported Dred as the wounded man lay down
upon the stern thwart, then he covered him over with
the overcoats. He did not leave him to help the young
lady as she came aft to sit down upon the bench op-
posite to where Dred lay. Suddenly she burst out
erying.
FIAT JUSTITIA ; 821

Dred lay with his eyes closed. His face was white
and his forehead covered with a dew of sweat. He
opened his eyes for a moment and looked at her, but
said nothing, and closed them again. Jack, his breast
heaving and panting, sat at the tiller. As he did so he
saw that there were stains of blood upon it and upon
the seat. Then he drew in the sheets, and the yawl
once more came up to its course.

The pirates must have landed from the sloop, for they
had come out across the land and down to the beach. ©
They fired a few muskets-shots after the boat, but the
bullets fell short, and Jack held the yawl steadily to her
course, and soon they were dropping the hills of the
inlet far and farther away behind.

After a while Dred began every now and then to sigh
recurrently, and it was very dreadful to listen to him.
All about them was the bright sunlight and the swift
salt wind driving the boat onward with its tragic freight
under the warm, mellow sky, so serenely calm and so
remotely peaceful. Jack, sitting there, heard, as from
a distance, the young lady’s convulsive sobbing. Sud-
denly Dred spoke hoarsely. ‘I want another drink of
water,” he said.

“Will you get the water for him, mistress?” said
Jack. Then he knew that he too was crying, and he
wiped his eyes with the skirt of his jacket.

She instantly arose and went forward to the barraca
in the bows, presently coming back with a brimming
cup of water. Dred raised himself upon his elbow and
drank it off, and again they sailed onward for a long
time of silence.

Suddenly Dred spoke in a low, uncertain voice.
“You ’ve got to run ashore, lad,” he said. “I can’t
stand this any more; I’ve got to get ashore.”

“Do you think I can get the boat through the
breakers?” Jack said, chokingly.

DA
822 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Ye ll have to,” said Dred, groaning as he spoke,
“for I can’t bear it here.” Then Jack drew in the
sheets and brought the boat up with its bow diago-
nally toward the distant beach. The sand-hills of the
inlet were lost in the distance, and all danger of pur-
suit was over. As the yawl drew nearer to the beach,
Jack could see that very little surf was running.
“You ‘ll have to bring her around with her bows to
the sea,” whispered Dred, opening his eyes; “and
then take to the oars—and let the surf drive her in
to the beach. Try to keep her off—lad—keep her
bows steady.” He panted as he spoke.

Jack left the tiller and shipped the oars. They were
now close to the beach, and the ground-swell was
sharpening to the breakers that burst into foam a little
further in. He brought the bows of the boat around to
the sea, and then backed water toward the shore. “Keep
her off,” panted Dred, “she ‘ll go in fast—fast enough
of herself.”

Presently they were among the breakers; they were
not very heavy, but enough to make it needful to be
careful. Suddenly, a coming breaker shot the yawl
toward the beach. As the water ebbed, the boat tilted
upon the sand. Jack dropped his oars and leaped out.
The sweep of the next wave struck against the yawl
and tilted it violently the other way. The barraca and
the oars slid rattling. Dred groaned, and the young
lady grasped convulsively at the rail. ‘‘ Pull her up!”
exclaimed Dred.

“T will,” said Jack, “but I can hardly manage her.”
He held to the bows, and when the next wave came he
pulled the boat around up upon the beach. The wash
of the breaker ebbed, the sand sliding from under his
heels. Then came another wave, and with its wash he
dragged the yawl still further up the beach. Then he
ran up with the bow-line and drove the anchor into
FIAT JUSTITIA 323

the sand. He came back, his shoes and stockings and
loose breeches soaked with the salt water. “You get
out, mistress,” he said, “ then I ‘Il help Dred.” She
obeyed him silently, going a little distance up from
the edge of the shore and there sitting crouched down
upon the sand. “Now, Dred,” said Jack. Dred
groaned as he arose slowly and laboriously. ‘‘Hasy,
easy, lad,” he whispered, as Jack slipped his arm around
him. Then he laid his arm over Jack’s shoulder and
heavily and painfully clambered out of the boat. He
sat for a while upon the rail, the wash of a breaker
sweeping up around his feet and ankles. “ What a lucky
thing ’t was,” he said, looking down at the thin slide
of water, “that we had high tide to carry us through
the inlet, else we ’d ’a’ been lost.” Then Jack burst out
erying. There seemed something very pitiful in Dred’s
thinking about that now. After a while Dred steadied
himself and then arose slowly, leaning heavily upon
Jack, who supported him as he walked up to the little
bank of sand that fronted upon the beach. Here the
wounded man made an effort as though to sit down.

“Can’t you go a little further?” said Jack.

“Not much,” he whispered. .

“O Dred!” said Jack, “I’m afraid you ’re worse, I’m
afraid you’re worse—” Dred didnotreply. His hand
touched Jack’s cheek, and it felt cold and limp.

“What can I do?” said the young lady, rousing her-
self.

“You may fetch up the two overcoats from the boat,”
Jack said, “and be quick about it.”

He had seated Dred upon the sand, where he instantly
sank down and lay at length. Jack supported his head
until the young lady came with the two rough over-
coats. He rolled one of them up into a pillow which he
slid beneath Dred’s head, and then he went down to
the boat and brought up the oars, and with them and
324. JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

the other overcoat, he and the young lady arranged a
shelter over the wounded man’s face.

“Bring me a drink of rum, lad; I feel sort of faint-
like,” Dred whispered, and Jack again ran off down to
the boat, presently returning with the bottle. He poured
out some of the liquor into the cup, and Dred drank it off.
It seemed to revive him. “Come here, lad, there’s sum-
mat— summat I want to say to ye.” Jack came close
to him, and the young lady also approached. “I want
to speak to—Jack hisself, mistress, —if you ’ll leave
us alone a bit,” said Dred; and then she turned and
walked away.

Jack watched her as she sat down upon the sand some
distance away, wiping her eyes with her handkerchief.
The sun stood midway in the heavens and it was very
warm, and he stripped off his coat as he sat down
alongside of Dred. Dred reached out his hand. Jack
hesitated for a moment, then, seeing what he wanted,
took it. Dred pressed Jack’s hand strongly. “TI be-
lieve I’ve got my—dose, this time—lad,” he whispered.

“Don’t say that, Dred,” said Jack; “I—” and then
he broke down, his body shaking convulsively.

“T don’t know,” said Dred, “but I kind o’ think I
— won't get over this. But if I should die, I want to ax
you, lad—don’t you never tell the young mistress ’t was
I —shot her brother.”

“No, I won't,” gasped Jack. “TI won’t tell her, Dred,”
and again Dred pressed the hand he held.

He waited for a long, long while,— his breath every
now and then catching convulsively,— thinking Dred
might have something more to say; but the wounded
man did not speak again, but lay there holding his hand.
“Ts that all, Dred?” he said at last. “ Have you nothing
more on your mind to say?”

Dred did not answer for a while. Then, as though
collecting himself, “ No—that ’s all,” he said; and then
FIAT JUSTITIA 325

again, presently, “I’ve been a bad man, Ihave. Well,
I—ean’t help that now —now—now,” and then he
lapsed away into silence. He loosened his hold upon
Jack’s hand and let his own fall limp.

Then Jack realized with a shock, how very much
worse Dred was than he had been. He had been grow-
ing ever weaker and weaker, but Jack only fully
realized it now. He sat watching; Dred seemed to be
drowsing. “I want another drink of rum,” he whispered
presently. “ Another drink o’ ram — another drink o’
rum — drink o’ rum — drink o’ rum,” and he fell to re-
peating the words with lips that whispered more and
more.

Jack arose instantly. The bottle and cup were ata
little distance. The cup had sand in it, and he wiped
it out. The young lady, who was sitting a little piece
away, arose as she saw him coming. “Is he any better
now ?” she asked.

Jack could not answer; he shook his head. He knew
that Dred was going to die. He was so blinded that he
could hardly see to pour out the liquor. But he did so
and then brought it to Dred. “Here ’t is, Dred,” he
said, but there was no reply. ‘Here ’t is, Dred,” he
said again, but still there was no answer.

Jack thrilled dreadfully. He bent down and set the
cup to the wounded man’s lips, but Dred was uncon-
scious of everything. Then he stood up and tossed out
the liquor upon the sand. ‘‘ Mistress!” he called out in
a keen, startled voice — “mistress, come here quick!
I do believe he ’s passing.”

She came over and stood looking down at Dred. She
was crying violently. Jack sat squatting beside him.
He reached out and felt Dred’s hand, but it was very
cold and inert. The young lady crouched down upon
the other side, and so they sat for a long, long time.
But there did not seem to be any change. The after-
326 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

noon slowly waned toward sundown, and still they sat
there. ‘“You’d better go and rest a bit,” said Jack, at
last, to the young lady. “You ’re worn out with it all.
I ‘ll call you if there ’s any change.”

She shook her head; she would not go.

The sun sank lower and lower and at last set, but
still there was no change. The young lady moved rest-
~ lessly now and then. “You ’d better get up and walk
a bit,” said Jack, as the gray of twilight began to settle
upon them. “ You’re cramped, sitting there so long.”
Then she got up and walked up and down at a little
distance. Jack sat still. By and by he leaned over
Dred. Dred had ceased breathing. A sharp pang shot
through him. Was it over? Then suddenly Dred be-
gan again his convulsive breathing, and Jack drew back
once more. The young lady still walked up and down,
and the twilight settled more and more dim and obscure.
There was a slight movement, and again Jack leaned
over and touched Dred. He began breathing again, and
again Jack sat down. Then there came a longer pause
than usual in the breathing. It is over, thought Jack.
But no; he breathed again, now fainter and shorter. He
ceased. He breathed. He ceased. There was a long,
long pause, then there was a rustling movement, and
then silence. Was it over? Jack sat waiting, trem-
blingly and breathlessly, but there was no further
sound. Then he reached over in the darkness and
touched Dred’s face. He drew back his hand quickly
and sat for a moment stunned and inert. He knew
in an instant what it was. He arose.

The stars had begun to twinkle in the dim sky, but
sky and sea and earth were blurred and lost to his
flooded eyes. He walked over toward the young lady.
She stopped as he approached. “ How is he?” she said.

““He—he ’s dead,” said Jack; and then he put up
his arm across his face and began crying.
CHAPTER XLI
THE BOAT ADRIFT

EARLY two months had passed in Virginia since
Eleanor Parker had been abducted, and nothing
yet had been definitely heard concerning her. There
were many vague rumors from Ocracock, and it was
known that Blackbeard the pirate had been for some
time past up into Virginia waters. He had been seen
at Norfolk two or three times, and it was known that he
had been up into the James River. It was almost more
than suspected that he had been concerned in the out-
rage, but there was as yet nothing definite to confirm
such a suspicion.

Colonel Parker was still too ill to quit his room, though
he had so far improved that he had begun to think of
taking some steps for the recovery of his daughter.

One day Governor Spottiswood went up to Mavrl-
borough to see him. He was almost shocked to find
the great man so weak and broken. “The villains!”
said the sick man, in a weak and querulous voice, so
different from his usual stately tones, “’t was those
men murdered my Ned, and now ee have cae all
that was left me.”

There was something very pathetic i in the helpless-
ness of the proud, great man, and in that weakened,
tremulous voice. The governor did not reply, but he
pressed the hand he held.

Mr. Richard Parker stood by his brother’s chair dur-

ing his Excellency’s visit. The governor looked at him
327
328 ' JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and wondered how he could be so calm and unmoved.
He had never liked Mr. Richard Parker.

“My brother Richard,” said the invalid, putting his
weak hand to his forehead, ‘“‘my brother Richard seems
to think it would be better to wait until we have some
word from the villains who kidnapped Nelly.” He
turned his eyes towards his brother as he spoke. “But
I can’t wait; I must do something to find her, and I
can’t wait. Just as soon as I am well enough I am
going to take steps to find her. They say that villain
Teach hath been seen up in the James River. Maybe
* was he took her away,’ and I am going to fit outa
boat,— or two boats, if need be,—and go down to
North Carolina and try to find her.”

Colonel Parker’s plan appeared singularly weak and
inconsequential to the Governor, but he chose to com-
fort his friend by encouraging any plan that might
bring hope to him.

“The Pearl and the Lyme are lying at Jamestown
now,” he said. “I was talking ? other day about your
dreadful misfortune to some of the officers who had
come over to the palace. Lieutenant Maynard was
there, and I am sure, from what he said, if you will fit
out two such boats and will raise volunteers for such
an expedition, he will take command of it. He is a
brave and experienced officer, and hath had to do with
the pirates before at Madagascar. He would make the
best commander you could have, especially if it came
to fighting with the villains.”

“To my mind,” said Mr. Richard Parker, cutting into
the talk, “ ’t would be a mistake to push against the
villains. To my mind, ’t would be better to rest for
a while until we hear from them. I sha’ n’t need to tell
you that they can have no reason for kidnapping Nelly
except for the ransom they can get for her. If that is
so—and I’m sure it is so—’t will be to their interest
THE BOAT ADRIFT 329

to treat her well, and to look after her with all tender-
ness, and to let us know about her as soon as possible;
but if we should use violence toward them there is no
telling what they might do out of revenge. Maybe, if
we press them too closely, they may carry her else-
whither from place to place, or, if they find themselves
driven into a corner, they may even make away with
her for their own safety or out of revenge.” Colonel
Parker shuddered at the words, but Mr. Richard Parker
continued calmly, as before, “I should advise to wait a
little while longer. We have waited so long as this, and
it can do no harm to wait a while longer with patience.”

At this Colonel Parker cried out in his sick, tremulous
voice, “Patience! patience! ’T is easy enough for you
to talk of patience, brother Richard, but how can I be
patient who have all I hold most precious in the world
taken away from me? O Nelly, Nelly!” he cried,
covering his eyes with his trembling hands, “I would
give all I have in the world to have thee safe back
again! I would! I would!”

The Governor could not bear to look at the sick man
in his grief. He turned away his face and gazed out of
the window. Mr. Richard Parker said nothing, but
shrugged his shoulders.

Before the Governor went, he took Mr. Richard
Parker aside and said to him, “Sir, there may be truth
in what you said just now about the inadvisability of.
driving too hard against the villains, but surely you must
see that ’t will be infinitely better for your poor brother
to have something to think of—to arouse himself. He
sitteth here eating his heart out, and any plan of action
is better for him than none. Were I in your place, I
would encourage him in thinking of such things rather
than discourage him from such hopes.” But Mr. Rich-
ard Parker only shrugged his shoulders as before, with-
out vouchsafing any reply.
330 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Governor Spottiswood had not thought that Colonel

Parker’s rambling plans would result in anything, but
within two weeks two boats were really fitted out —
the schooner that belonged to Marlborough, and a
larger sloop that was purchased for the purpose. It
took a week or more to victual the boats and arm and
man them, and by that time Colonel Parker was able
to be up and about. He would listen to no advice, but
insisted that he himself should have chief command of
the expedition. Mr. Richard Parker advised him ve-
hemently not to go, and Madam Parker besought him
with tears to remain at home, while the doctor assured
him that it was at the danger of his life that he went.
“Sir,” said the great man to the doctor, “I have been
a soldier; shall I, then, stay at home when my own
daughter is in danger, and let others do the fighting
for me? You shall go along, if you please, to look
after my poor body, but go I shall, if God gives me life
to go,” and so he did, in spite of all that his family
could say against it.
_ At Norfolk he had another though slight attack of
his malady, and by order of the doctor, who had sailed
with the expedition, he rested for over a week at the
home of a friend at that place.

It was while he was lying at Mr. Chorley’s house that
he received the first fragment of news concerning the
young lady that was at all definite.

A coasting vessel from South Carolina ran into Nor-
folk on Saturday night, coming direct from Ocracock,
where she had put in during a storm a few days before.
The captain of the coaster said that while they were
lying at the inlet he had heard a good deal of talk
about a strange lady whom it was said Blackbeard had
brought down from Virginia to North Carolina a month
or so before, and whom he had taken somewhere up
into the sounds. It was a general report that she was
THE BOAT ADRIFT 331

extremely beautiful, and a lady of quality, and that she
had been brought to North Carolina against her will.

It was on Sunday morning that somebody told Lieu-
tenant Maynard about the coasting captain and his
news, and he lost no time in coming to speech with the
man. He took him directly to Mr. Chorley’s house,
where Colonel Parker was still staying. Mr. Chorley
and Mr. Chancellor Page and Dr. Young were all pres-
ent when Captain Niles told his story to Colonel Parker.
“Tt must be Nelly!” cried out the poor bereaved father.
“Tt can be no one else than she!”

“T would not build too much upon such a rumor,”
said Mr. Chorley. “Nevertheless, it does seem as
though, at last, you have really news of her. And now
the question is, how do you propose to act? ’T will
never do to be too hasty in such a delicate matter.”

But Colonel Parker was so eager to set sail at once
in quest of his daughter that he would listen to noth-
ing that his friends advised to the contrary. Mr.
Chorley urged again and again that the utmost caution
should be used lest the pirates should carry the young
lady still further away from rescue, or maybe take some
violent action to protect themselves. He suggested
that Governor Eden be written to and requested to take
the matter in hand. “ Write to Governor Eden!” Col-
onel Parker cried out; “why should I write to Eden?
Why suffer so much delay? Have I not boats fitted
out and sufficiently armed and manned with brave fel-
lows to face all the pirates of North Carolina if need
be? Nay; I will go down thither and inquire into
this report myself without losing time, and without
asking Governor Hden to do it for me.”

This, as was said, was on Sunday morning, and
Colonel Parker determined that the expedition should
set sail for North Carolina early upon the morning
of the following day.
332 JACK BALLISEER’S FORTUNES

It was on this same day that the news was first
brought to Virginia of the loss of the French bark.
One of Colonel Parker’s two boats—the sloop, which
was at that time under command of an ex-man-of-war
boatswain, known at Norfolk as “Captain” Blume —
one of Colonel Parker’s two boats had been beating up
and down the.mouth of the bay for several days past,
hailing incoming or outgoing vessels in the hope of
obtaining some news concerning the young lady. It
was about ten o’clock that Sunday morning, when the
lookout in the foretop of the schooner sighted an open
boat under a scrap of sail, beating up into the bay
against the wind. By and by they could make out
with the glass that there were men in the boat waving
their hats and something white, apparently a shirt or
a shift, at the end of an oar. When the sloop ran
down to the boat they found it loaded with twenty
men and two women; one of the women very weak
and exhausted from exposure, all of them haggard and
famished.

The boat was one of those belonging to the French
bark that the pirates had taken, and it had been
adrift, now, for eleven days, having been parted from
the others at sea during a time of heavy and foggy
weather.

One of the women and three of the men were French ;
all the others were English—the remnant of the crew of
the English bark that the Frenchman had rescued
from the water-logged and nearly sinking vessel.

The man in command of the boat had been the mate
of the English bark, and the story he told when he
came aboard the sloop was one of continued mishaps
and misfortunes that had followed them ever since they
had quitted Plymouth in England for Charleston in
South Carolina. Two days out from England, he said,
the smallpox had broken out aboard, and the captain had.
THE BOAT ADRIFT 333

died of a confluent case. Then, while the crew was still
short-handed with the sickness, a storm had struck them
and driven them far out of their course to the south-
ward. Then the vessel had sprung a leak and was
actually sinking under them when the French bark
had picked them up. Then the Frenchman had been
attacked and captured by the pirates, and all hands had
been set adrift in the open boats with only three days’
provisions. That, as was said, had been eleven days
before, and since that they had been trying in vain to
make the Chesapeake capes, having been again and
again driven out of their course by the heavy weather.

It is strange how much misfortune will sometimes
follow an ill-fated vessel, one mishap succeeding an-
other without any apparent cause or sequence. The
mate said with a sort of rueful humor that he would
not trust even yet that his troubles were over, nor un-
til he felt his feet on dry land at Norfolk. He said that
the Englishwomen and six of the Englishmen were
redemption servants who had been shipped from Ply-
mouth for Charleston.

After having heard the castaways’ story, Captain
- Blume thought it best to put back to Norfolk with the
rescued crew. He reached that town late at night and
reported immediately to Lieutenant Maynard, who was
aboard of the schooner at the time, making ready for the
departure on the morrow. The lieutenant, together
with Captain Blume and the shipwrecked mate, went
ashore and to Mr. Chorley’s house, where Colonel Par-
ker still lay.

It was then nearly midnight, and as it was too late to
find the magistrate, Colonel Parker gave orders that the
rescued boat’s crew should be transferred to the schoo-
ner — it being the larger vessel of the two — and so held
until the morning. They could then be turned over to
the proper authorities for an examination under oath,
334 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and the bond-servants deposited in some place of safe-
keeping until they could be duly redeemed.

Lieutenant Maynard himself went aboard the sloop
with Captain Blume to see that the transfer of the
shipwrecked crew was properly made. As he stood by
the rail while the men were being mustered a man
came across the deck and directly up to him. He was
one of the castaways, and when he came near enough
for the light of the lantern to fall upon him, the lieuten-
ant could see that he was a little man with a lean, dark
face, and that he had a stringy, black beard covering
his cheeks. His face was peppered over with the still
purple pits of recent smallpox, and he was clad in a
nondescript costume made up of a medley of borrowed
raiment. Mr. Maynard looked the little man over as

he approached. “Well, my man,” he said, “and what
- can I do for you?”

“Sir,” said the little man, “I ask for nothing but jus-
tice.”

“Vou go forward again, Burton,” said the mate of
the rescued boat; “you ll have plenty of chance to
talk to the magistrate to-morrow.”

“Not till the gentleman hears me!” cried the little -
man.

“What do you want?” said the lieutenant. “ What
is the trouble?”

“Sir, I have been foully dealt with,” said the little
man. “I amalawyer; my name is Roger Burton. I
am aman of repute and was held in respect by all who
knew me in Southampton, whence I came. Sir, I was
struck upon the head at night and nearly killed, and
while I lay unconscious I was kidnapped, and came to
myself only to find myself aboard of a vessel bound for
the Americas.”

“He was one of a lot of redemption servants brought
aboard at Plymouth,” said the mate. ‘“ He appeared to
have been hurt in a drunken brawl.”
THE BOAT ADRIFT 335

“Sir,” the little man protested, vehemently, “I was
never so drunk as that in all my life.”

“Well, I am sorry for you, my man, if what you say
is true,” the lieutenant said, “ but ’t is none of my busi-
ness. Many men are brought hither to America as you
say you have been, and your case is not any worse than
theirs. I am sorry for you, but the affair is not mine to
deal with.”

“What, sir!” cried the little man, “and is that all the
satisfaction Iam to have? Is that all you, one of his
Majesty’s officers, have to say to me who hold the posi-
tion of a gentleman? Sir, in the eyes of the law, I have
a right to sign myself esquire, as you have the right to
sign yourself lieutenant, and to go under a gentleman’s
title. Am I, then, to be put off so when I do but ask
for justice?”

“You may sign yourself what you choose,” said the
lieutenant; “and as for justice, I tell you ’t is none of
my affairs. I am not a magistrate, I am an officer of
the navy. You are a lawyer, you say—well, then, you
ean plead your own case when you get ashore, and if
you have justice on your side, why, I have no doubt
but that you will obtain it.”

“Come, now, Burton, you go forward where you be-
long,” said the mate.

The little man gave one last earnest look at the lieu-
tenant. He must have seen that it was of no use to
plead his case further, for he turned and walked away
with his head hanging down.

“How many of those poor people had you aboard ?”
the lieutenant asked.

“We had fifteen in all. I had seven with me in the
boat; six men and one woman. All the others but two
died of smallpox.”
CHAPTER XLII
THE NEXT DAY

ACK was awakened at the first dawn of day by the
sea-gulls clamoring above him. ‘Their outcries
mingled for a little while with his dreams before he
fairly awoke. He found himself standing up. The sun
was shining. There was the beach and the sandy dis-
tance. Dred came walking toward him up from the
boat, and a great and sudden rush of joy filled his heart.
“Why, Dred,” he cried out, “I thought you were dead!”
Dred burst out laughing. “Iwas only fooling you, lad,”
he said; “I were n’t hurt much after all” Then that
terrible tragedy had not really happened. He must
have dreamed it. Dred had not been shot, and he had
not died. The sea-gulls flew above their heads scream-
ing, and his soul was full of the joy of relief.

Then he opened his eyes. The sun had not yet
arisen, but he was still full of the echo of joy, believing
that Dred was alive, after all. He arose and stood up.
The motionless figure was lying in the distance just as
he had left it the night before.

But, after all, Dred might not be dead, and there might
be some truth in his dream. He might have been mis-
taken last night. Perhaps Dred was alive, after all, and
maybe better this morning. -

He went over to where the silent figure lay, and
looked down into the strange, still face — upon the stiff,

motionless hands. Yes; Dred was dead. As Jack
336
THE NEXT DAY 337

stood looking he choked and choked, and one hot tear
and then another trickled down either cheek. They
tasted very salt.

Then he began to think. What was he to do now?
Something must be done, and he must do it himself,
for he must not ask the young lady to help him. He
went down to the boat. There was nothing there that
he could use, and so he walked off some distance along
the beach. At last he found a barrel, that had perhaps
been cast up by a storm, and which now lay high and
dry upon the warm, powdered sand which had drifted
around it, nearly covering it. He kicked the barrel to
pieces with his heel, and pulled up two of the staves
from the deeper layer of damp sand beneath. He had
walked some distance away, and now he turned and
went back to where the still figure lay motionless in the
distance. The young lady had not yet awakened, and
he was glad of it.

He was trembling when he had ended histask. Sud-
denly, while he was still kneeling, the sun arose, throw-
ing its level beams of light across the stretch of sand,
now broken and trampled, where he had been at work.
He smoothed over the work he hadmade. The damper
particles stuck to his hands and clothes, and he brushed
them off. Then he took down the shelter that he and

the young lady had built up over Dred’s head the day
before, carrying the oars and the young lady’s clothes
down to the boat. Then he came back and carried
down the overcoats. By that time she had arisen.
Jack went straight up to her where she stood looking
around her. “ Where is he?” she said.

Jack did not reply, but he turned his face in the di-
rection. She saw where the smooth surface of the sand
had been broken and disturbed, and she understood.
She hid her face in her hands and stood for a moment,

22,
338 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and Jack stood silently beside her. “Oh,” she said, “I
was dreaming it was not so.”

““So was I,” said Jack, brokenly, and again he felt a
tear start down his cheek.

“Tt did not seem to me as if it could be so,” she said.
“Tt don’t even seem now as though it were so. It was
all so dreadful. It does n’t seem as epouey it could have
happened.”

“Well,” said Jack, heaving a convulsive sigh, “ we ’ll
have to ere something to eat, and then we ’ll start on
again.” The thought of eating in the very shadow of
the tragedy that had happened seemed very grotesque,
and he felt somehow ashamed to speak of it.

“Hat!” she said. ‘Ido not want to eat anything.”

“We ll have to eat something,” said Jack; “ we can’t
do without that.”

The task of pushing the yawl off into the water was
almost more than Jack could accomplish. For a while
he thought they would have to wait there till high tide in
the afternoon. But at last, by digging out the sand from
under the boat, he managed to get it off into the water.
“T ‘ll have to carry you aboard, mistress,” he said.

He stooped and picked her up, and walked with her,
splashing through the shallow sheet of water that ran
up with each spent breaker upon the shining sand. He
placed her in the boat and then pushed it off. The
breakers were not high, but they gave the boat a splash
as Jack pulled it through them.

He rowed out some distance from the shore, and she
sat silently watching him. Then he unshipped the oars
and went forward and raised the sail. By this time the
morning was well advanced. The breeze had not yet
arisen, but cat’s-paws began to ruffle the smooth surface
of the water. Then by and by came a gentle puff of
breeze that filled out the sail, and swung the boom out
THE NEXT DAY 339

over the water. Jack drew in the sheet, and the boat
slid forward with a gurgle of water under the bows.
Then the breeze began blowing very lightly and gently.

This was Sunday morning.

They sailed on for a long, long distance without speak-
ing. Both sat in silence, he sunk in his thoughts, and
she in hers. He was trying to realize all that had hap-
pened the day before, but he could hardly do so. It did
not seem possible that such things could have actually
happened to him. He wondered what she was think-
ing about— Virginia, perhaps. Yes; that must be it.
And he was going back to Virginia, too. How strange
that he should be really going back there —the very
place from which he had escaped two months before!
Was there ever anybody who had had so many ad-
ventures happen to him in six months as he? Then
something caused him suddenly to remember how he
had reached out the evening before, and had touched
Dred’s senseless hand. There seemed to him something
singularly pathetic in the stillness and inertness of that
unfeeling hand. Then came the memory of the silent
face, of those cold lips that one day before had been full
of life, and it was profoundly dreadful. He shuddered
darkly. Was this always the end of everything ?— of
the rushing breeze, the dazzling sunlight, the beautiful
world in which men lived? Death is terrible, terrible
to the eyes of youth.

“Do you know,” said the young lady, suddenly, break-
ing upon the silence, “it does not seem possible that I
am really to see my father again, and maybe so soon.
I’m trying to feel that it is so, but I can’t. I wonder
what they will all say anddo! Oh, it seems as though
I could nt wait! I wonder how much further ’t is to
Virginia?”

“T don’t know,” said Jack; “but it can’t be much
further. I ’ve been thinking that those sand-hills on
340 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ahead must be at Cape Henry. Ionly sawit in the eve-
ning when I was on Blackbeard’s sloop, the time we
were bringing you down to Bath Town; but the hills
look to me like Cape Henry. And, do you see, the
coast runs inward there. I can’t tell, though, whether
’t is only a bend in the shore, or whether ’t is the bay.”

“My father will never forget what you’ve done,” she
said, looking straight at him.

“Will he not?” said Jack.

“He will never forget it.”

Her words brought a quick spasm of pleasure to Jack.
He had not thought before of the reward he should re-
ceive. Of course there would be some reward — some
great reward. It was perhaps then that he first real-
ized what a thing it was he had done—that he had
brought Colonel Parker’s daughter safe away from the
pirates, through the very jaws of death! Yes; it wasa
great thing to have done; and again there came that
spasm of delight. The future had suddenly become
very bright. It seemed now to throw back a different
light upon all those dreadful things that had passed,
and they became transformed into something else.
They were no longer gloomy terrors—they were great
events leading to a great success.

It was late afternoon when they slid before the wind
around the high sand-hills of the cape. As the bay
slowly opened before them they saw that there were
three sails in sight. One of them, far away, apparently
a schooner, was coming down the bay as though to run
out around the cape to the southward.

“See that boat!” cried out the young lady. “’T is
coming this way. Don’t you believe we could stop it,
and get the captain to take us back to Virginia?”

“T don’t know,” said Jack; “’t is like she won’t stop
for me, but Ill try it if you ’d like me to.”
THE NEXT DAY 341

He put down the helm of the yawl so as to run up
across the course upon which the distant vessel seemed
‘to be sailing. They watched her in silence as slowly,
little by little, she came nearer and nearer. “TI ought
to have something to wave,” said Jack, “to make her
see us. I don’t believe she ’ll stop for us unless we
signal her in some such way.”

“Why not my red scarf?” said the young lady.
“Stop, I ll get it for you.”

She handed the bright red scarf to Jack, who tied it
to the end of anoar. Theschooner was now some three
quarters of a mile away. Jack stood up in the boat,
and began waving the scarf at the end of the blade,
hallooing as he did so. As the course of the schooner
was laid, she would run past them about half a mile
distant. “TI don’t believe she’s going to stop for us,
after all,” said Jack. “Bear the tiller a little to the
left. That’s as it should be. Now hold it steady, and
Ill wave again.” Then, even as he spoke, he saw that
those aboard the schooner were hauling in the foresail
and mainsail, and that she was coming about. ‘She
is going to stop for us!” he cried.

The schooner had gone a little past them before
her sails swung over; then, sweeping around in a
great semi-circle, she bore down upon them, bow on.
Jack laid down the oar, and, taking the tiller again,
brought the yawl up into the wind, and so lay wait-
ing for the schooner to reach them. She ran to within
maybe thirty or forty yards of them, and then, com-
ing up into the wind, lay rising and falling, swinging
slowly back and forth with the regular heave of the
ground-swell. She looked very near. There was a
group of faces clustered forward, looking out at them
across the restless water, and another little group of
three men and a woman stood at the open gangway.
A large, rough man, with a red face prickled over with
342 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

a stubby beard, hailed them. He wore baggy breeches
tied at the knees, and a greasy red waistcoat. ‘“ Boat
ahoy!” he called out. “ What boat is that?”

Jack was standing up in the yawl. “ We’ve come
up from North Carolina!” he called back in answer.
“We ’ve just escaped from the pirates.”

“Tg that Miss Eleanor Parker?” the other called out
instantly.

“ Ay!” said Jack.

There was an instant commotion aboard the schooner,
and the captain called out: “Bring your boat over
here!”

Jack seated himself and set the oars into the row-
locks. He pulled the bow of the boat around with a
few quick strokes, and then rowed toward the schooner.
In a minute or so he was close alongside. The men
and the woman were standing on the deck just above,
looking down at him. The six or eight men of the
crew were also standing at the rail, gazing at them.
Jack could see that the schooner carried as a cargo
three or four hogsheads of tobacco and a great load
of lumber.

“Was it you brought the young lady away?” said
the captain to Jack. “You’re a mightily young fellow
to do that, if you did do it.”

“JT did n’t bring her off my own self,” said Jack.
“One of the pirates helped us get away. But Black-
beard came up with us at Currituck Inlet, and before
we could get away the man who helped us was shot.
He died last night.”

“So, then!” said the captain. “Then it was Black-
beard, arter all, who carried off the young lady, was
it?” Then he added, “Colonel Parker ’s at Norfolk
now. Ill run back with you, and tow the yawl into
the bargain, if the young lady ‘ll guarantee me that
her father ‘Il pay me five pounds for doing it.”
THE NEXT DAY ; 343

“Hive pounds!” cried Jack. “Why, that is a deal
of money, master, for such a little thing.”

“Well, tis the best I'll do. It may lose me three
days or more, and I won’t do it for less.”

“Oh, it does not matter,” said the young lady to
Jack, in a low voice. “I ’ll promise him that papa
will pay him five pounds.”

Jack felt that the captain was taking advantage of
her probable eagerness to return, but he also saw that
she would not allow him to bargain at such a time.
“She says her father will pay it, master,” he said;
“but tis a great deal of money to make her promise.”

The captain of the schooner did not reply to this lat-
ter part of Jack’s speech. “Here, Kitchen,” he said
to the mate, ‘help her ladyship aboard. Look alive,
now!”

The mate jumped down into the boat (he was in
his bare feet), and he and Jack helped the young lady
to the deck above. Jack followed immediately after
her, and the mate remained, busying himself in mak-
ing the yawl-boat fast.

“Here, Molly,” said the captain to the woman, who
was his wife, “take her young ladyship into my cabin
and make her comfortable.”

Jack was standing, looking around him like one in
a dream. The crew and the man whom the captain
afterward. called Mr. Jackson (whom Jack took to be a
passenger) stood staring at him. The schooner was a
common coaster. The decks were littered and dirty;
the captain and the crew rough and ordinary.

“This way, master,” said the captain; and then he,
too, went down into the cabin. It was close and hot,
and smelled musty and stuffy. The young lady was
sitting at the table, while the woman, the captain’s
wife, was busy in the inner cabin beyond. She had
left the door open, and Jack, from where he sat, could
344 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

see her making up a tumbled bed in the berth He
could also see a sea-chest, some hanging clothes, a map,
and a clock through the open door. The schooner was
getting under way again, and he could hear the pat
of bare footsteps passing across the deck overhead,
the creaking of the yards, and then the ripple and
gurgle of the water alongside.

“When did you leave Bath Town?” said the
captain.

“On Wednesday morning early,” said Jack. Now
that all was over, he was feeling very dull and
heavily oppressed in the reaction from the excitement
that had kept him keyed up to endure. His hands,
from which the skin had been rubbed by rowing,
had begun again to throb and burn painfully; he had
not noticed before how great was the smart. He looked
at them, picking at the loose skin. Nobody cared how
much his hands hurt him, now that Dred was gone,
and his throat began choking at the foolish thought.

“Wednesday! Why, ’tis only Sunday now. D’ ye
mean to say that ye’ve sailed all the way from Bath
Town in five days in that there yawl-boat?”

“Ts this Sunday?” said Jack. “Why, so ’t is.”

“How long will it take to get to Norfolk?” asked
the young lady.

“Well, we ought to get there by midnight if this
wind holds,” said the captain.

“The berth ’s made up now if your ladyship ’d like
to lie down,” said the captain’s wife, appearing at the
door of the inner cabin.

After the young lady had gone, the captain and tle
man named Jackson plied Jack with questions as to
all that had happened. He answered dully and inertly;
he wished they would let him alone and not tease him
with questions. “I ’m tired,” he said, at last; “I ’d
like to lie down for a while.”
THE NEXT DAY 345

“T suppose you be feeling kind of used up, be n’t
you?” asked the man Jackson.

Jack nodded his head.

“Won't you have a bite to eat first?” asked the
captain.

“T m not hungry,” said Jack; “I want to rest —
that ’s all.”

“Tm going to let you have the mate’s cabin,” said
the captain. ‘“ You said I made the young lady prom-
ise too much for carrying ye back to Norfolk. Well,
I’m doing all I can to make you comfortable. I give
my cabin to her, and I give the mate’s cabin to you;
and if you ‘ll only wait I ll have a good hot supper
cooked.”

“Just where did the bullet hit him?” asked Jackson.

“T don’t know just where,” said Jack. ‘“ Somewhere
about here (indicating the spot with his finger). Can
I go. to the mate’s cabin now?”

“Well, I think ’t was mortal strange,” said Jackson,
“that he did n’t fall down straight away, or at least
drop the tiller, or something of the sort. He just sat
there, did he?”

The mate came in, still in his bare feet. He sat
down without saying anything, and stared at Jack.

“Tm going to let him have your berth for to-night,
Kitchen,” said the captain.
CHAPTER XLII
THE RETURN

HE breeze had fallen during the night so that it

was nearly daylight when the schooner came to
anchor off Norfolk. The captain sent the mate directly
to carry the news of the young lady’s return to Colonel
Parker’s schooner. Colonel Parker himself was not on
board, but the lieutenant came at once out of his cabin, .
half dressed as he was, and the mate told him the
news. Mr. Maynard at once sent word ashore to Col-
onel Parker, and then had himself rowed aboard the
schooner on which the young lady was.

Within an hour Colonel Parker came off from the
town. The first man he met when he stepped aboard
the coaster was Lieutenant Maynard. “Why, Maynard,
is that you?” he said, and Mr. Maynard had never seen
him so overcome. He grasped the lieutenant’s hand
and wrung it and wrung it again. His fine, broad face
twitched with the effort he made to suppress his emo-
tions. “Where is she?” he said, turning around al-
most blindly to Captain Dolls, who, with his mate, had
been standing at a little distance looking on. “This
way, your honor,” said the captain with alacrity.

He led the way across the deck to the great cabin;
Lieutenant Maynard did not accompany them. “She ’s
in my cabin here, your honor,” said the captain. “T let
her have it, for ’t was the best aboard. Her ladyship’s
asleep yet, I do suppose. If your honor ’ll sit down

346
THE RETURN 347

here I ll send my wife into the cabin to wake her and
to help her dress.”

“Never mind,” said the colonel, “ where is she —in
here?” He opened the door and went into the cabin.
She was lying upon the berth sleeping. She had only
loosened her clothes when she lay down the night be-
fore, and she was lying fully dressed. “Nelly!” said
Colonel Parker, leaning over her, “ Nelly!” She did not
stir. He had not entirely closed the door, and it stood
a little ajar. Captain Dolls, in the great cabin beyond,
stood looking in, and for the moment Colonel Parker
did not notice him. “Nelly!” hesaidagain. “Nelly!”
and he laid his hand upon her shoulder.

She stirred; she raised her arm; she drew the back
of her hand across her eyes; she opened her eyes and
they looked directly into his face as he leaned over her.
“ What is it?” she said, vacantly.

Colonel Parker was crying. “’T is I—’t is thy poor
father, Nelly.” The tears were trickling down his
cheeks, but he did not notice them. Suddenly her
vacancy melted and dissolved, and she was wide awake.
“Papa! O papa!” she cried, and instantly her arms
were about his neck and she was in his arms.

She cried and cried. Colonel Parker, still holding
her with one arm, reached in his pocket and drew out
his handkerchief and wiped his eyes and his cheeks.
As he did so he caught sight of Captain Dolls standing
without in the great cabin looking in at them. The
captain moved instantly away, but Colonel Parker
reached out and closed the door.

Presently she looked up into his face, her own face
wet with tears. “Mamma,” she said, —“ how is poor
mamma?”

“She is well —she is very well,” he said. ‘‘My dear!
my dear!”

Once more she flung her arms about his neck. She
348 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pressed her lips to his again and again, weeping tumult-
uously as she did so. “O papa, if you only knew what
I’ve been through!”

“T know —I know,” he said.

“Oh, but you can’t know all that I’ve been through
—all the dreadful, terrible things. They shot poor
Mr. Dred, and he died. I saw them shoot him,—I was
in-the boat,—I saw him die. Oh, papa! I can’t tell
you all. Oh, it was so terrible. He lay on the sand
and died. There was sand on the side of his face, and
the young man, Jack, did not see it to brush it off, and
I could not do it, and there it was.”

“There! there!” said Colonel Parker, soothingly.
“Don’t talk about it, my dear. Tell me about other
things. The sailor who came to bring me off told me
there was a young man —a lad — with you when they
picked you up down at the capes.”

“Yes,” she said, ‘that was late yesterday afternoon.”

“But the young man; is he the young man you call
Jack?”

“Yes, that is he.”

‘“He is aboard here now, is he not? Who is he?”

So they talked together for a long time. She had
lain down again, and she held his hand in hers as he
sat upon the edge of the berth beside her. As they
talked she stroked the back of his hand, and once she
raised it to her lips and kissed it.

A while later Jack was awakened from a sound sleep
by some one shaking him. He opened his eyes and saw
that a rough, red face was bending over just above him.
In the first instant of waking he could not remember
where he was, or what face it was looking down at
him. Then he recognized Captain Dolls. He was, first
of all, conscious of a throbbing, beating pain in the
palms of his hands. It seemed to him that he had been
feeling it all night.
























IS sin ES es

‘““GOLONEL PARKER REACHED AND LAID HIS HAND UPON JACK’S
SHOULDER. ‘AY,’ SAID HE, ‘’f IS A GOOD HONEST FACE,’ ”
THE RETURN 3 349

“What is it?” he said. ‘“ What do you want?”

“Well,” said Captain Dolls, “we ’re at Norfolk, and
have been here for three hours and more.”

“Norfolk!” said Jack, vaguely. “Are we, then, at
Norfolk? How came we there?” His mind was still
clouded with the fumes of sleep.

Captain Dolls burst out laughing. “We got there
by sailing,” he said. “How else? But come! get up!
Colonel Parker ’s aboard, and he wants to see yous
He’s out in the great ao now.”

Then Jack was instantly wide awake. “ Very well,”
he said, “then I ‘ll go to him directly. Have you a
bucket of water here that I may wash myself? I’m
not fit to go as I am.”

He stood lingering for a moment before he entered
the cabin. He could hear Colonel Parker’s voice within,
and he shrank from entering, with a sudden trepidation.

“Go on,” said Captain Dolls, who had followed him.
“What d ye stop for?” Then Jack opened the door
and went in.

Some one rose as he entered; it was Colonel Parker.
In a swift look Jack saw that the young lady had been
sitting beside her father. She had been holding her
father’s hand, and she released it as he arose. Captain
Dolls wife was also in the cabin busily packing the
young lady’s clothes ready for her departure. Jack
knew that Eleanor Parker was looking at him, and he
also saw in the glance that she had been crying. Col-
onel Parker was gazing at him also. “Was it, then, one
so young as you,” he said, ““‘who would dare to bring my
Nelly away from the villains? Come hither,” and as
Jack came lingeringly forward Colonel Parker reached
out and laid a hand upon his shoulder, holding it
firmly. He looked long and steadily at Jack’s face.
“ Ay,” said he, “’t is a good, honest face.”. Jack was
very conscious of the presence of the captain’s wife,
350 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

and it made him feel more embarrassed than he would
otherwise perhaps have been. He could not look up.
“ Ay,” said Colonel Parker again, “’t is a good, honest
face, and the face of an honest young man. I am glad
4 was such a good, honest soul that brought our Nelly
back to us. We shall never, never forget what you
have done—never forget it.”

His mood was still very warm with the emotions that
had melted him. ‘And that other preserver,” he said,
“that other noble preserver who gave his life that he
might save my girl; never can I forget him. But he is
beyond anything that I can do to reward him and to
bless him now. I would that he were here, that I might
show him, as I shall show you, that we shall never forget
what you have done for us—never forget it.” In his
softened mood, still holding Jack by the shoulder, he
drew out his handkerchief and wiped his eyes and his
face. Jack, knowing that there were tears running

down from the great man’s eyes, had not dared to look
- up into his face, but it suddenly came into his mind to
remember how it was Dred who had shot and killed this
man’s only son.

“Well,” said Colonel Parker, “we are just making
ready to leave this and to go aboard of my own vessel,
and so back to Marlborough. If you have anything to
get ready you had better do so, for of course you go
along with us.”

“T have nothing to get ready,” said Jack. “There
were two overcoats we brought with us,—they belong to
Captain Teach,—but I left them in the yaw] last night.”

“What does your ladyship intend doing with this
petticoat?” said the captain’s wife, holding up a mud-
stained skirt. “Shall I bundle this up with the others?”

“No,” said the young lady, “you need not do so, for
I sha’ n’t need that any longer. Do you know, papa,”
she said, “that was a part of the clothes I wore when I
THE RETURN 351

tried to run away by myself down in North Carolina,
and ran into the swamp. ’I' is the mud from the swamp
that stains it so.”

Jack had sat down on the bench opposite to Colo-
nel Parker and the young lady. Every moment he
was growing happier and happier. He had an indefi-
nable feeling that some great good was coming to him.
His hands hurt him very much. He awoke from his
golden thoughts to hear Colonel Parker saying to his
daughter, “ And now, my dear, if you are quite ready,
we will go.”

Lieutenant Maynard stood waiting at the open gang-
way as the three came up out of the cabin. He took off
his hat as the young lady approached.

“This is my daughter, Lieutenant Maynard,” said
Colonel Parker. And the lieutenant bowed low to her
with a fine air, to which she replied with as fine a cour-
tesy. “And this,” said Colonel Parker, “is the young
man who brought her back—a fine, noble fellow, and
a good, honest, comely lad, too.”

“ Why, then,” said the lieutenant, “I shall ask you to
let me take your hand. Give me your hand.” Jack
reached out his throbbing palm to the lieutenant, who
took the hand and shook it firmly. “ By zounds! you
are a hero,” he said. “See, sir,”— to Colonel Parker
—“that is the boat they escaped in—such a little
open boat as that to come all the way from Bath Town
and through a storm, they tell me, in the lower sound.
We are going to tow it over to the schooner.”

He pointed down at the yawl as it lay alongside,
fastened to the other boat by the bow-line. Colonel
Parker looked down into the empty boat. There was
the stain of blood still upon the seat where Dred had
sat when he was shot. The very emptiness of the boat
as it lay there seemed to speak all the more vividly of
the tragedy that had been enacted in it.
352 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

As they left the coaster, Jack sat in the stern of the
boat not far from Colonel Parker and the young lady.
As he looked back he could see the figures of Captain
Dolls and his wife, of the barefoot mate with his knit
cap, and of Mr. Jackson standing at the gangway. The
yawl was towing behind them. His smarting palms
throbbed and burned in pulsations of pain, and he
looked furtively down into one of his hands.

“Why, what is the matter with your hand, my lad?”
Colonel Parker asked, suddenly.

Jack blushed red and shut his fist tight. “I flayed
them rowing, your honor,” he said.

“While you were helping Nelly away?”

“Yes, your honor.” .

“Let me see your hand.”

Jack held it out reluctantly, conscious of the rough
knuckles and nails, and Colonel Parker took it into
his soft, white grasp. ‘“ Why,” he exclaimed, “what a
dreadful, terrible sore hand is this! Let me see t other.
And did you suffer this in helping Nelly get away?
Look, lieutenant, at the poor boy’s hands. They must
be salved and dressed as soon as we get him aboard
the schooner.”

“Let me see, my lad,” said the lieutenant.
CHAPTER XLIV
RISING FORTUNES

ERHAPS there was no period of the attorney Bur-

ton’s misfortunes more bitter to him than when

he stood that morning upon the deck of Colonel Par-

ker’s schooner, and saw the town almost within hand’s

reach, and yet felt himself so helpless, so utterly power-
less to escape.

All hands were talking about Colonel Parker’s daugh-
ter, and how she had been brought back from the pi-
rates, and by and by an interest in what he heard be-
gan to work its way into his consciousness in spite of
the misfortunes that overhung him. So it was that,
when he saw the boat coming toward the schooner, he
went over to the rail and stood with the others gathered
there looking out as it approached. He saw that there
were several people sitting in the stern-sheets,— one of
them the young lady,— and that they were towing an
empty boat behind them. All hands aboard the schooner
were standing at the rail or clinging to the shrouds
watching their approach, and from where the little at-
torney stood he could see that the surgeon and the
sailing-master and the shipwrecked mate were at the
gangway waiting for them.

He at once singled out the pirate who had rescued
the young lady—the young man with the long, shaggy
hair and rough, half-sailor clothes. He seemed to the

attorney Burton to be singularly young for a pirate,
23 353
354. JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

with a round, smooth, boyish face. Presently the boat
was close under the side of the schooner, and the next
moment the crew had unshipped their oars with a loud
and noisy clatter. The lieutenant leaned out astern
and stopped the yawl as it slid past with the impetus
of its motion, and then it also fell around broadside to
the schooner.

Then they began to come aboard, first the lieutenant,
then Colonel Parker, then the young lady. At that
instant the young pirate looked up, and the attorney
looked full into his face. If a thunderbolt had fallen
and burst at the little lawyer’s feet, he could not have
been more amazed than he was to see the face of Jack
Ballister looking toward him.

It is such wonderful chance meetings as this, and as
that other time when Jack met Dred at Bullock’s Land-
ing, that teach us how little is this little world of ours,
and how great is the fatality that drifts men apart and
then drifts them together again.

The next moment Jack also had climbed aboard, and
had gone into the cabin with the others. ‘“ You must
look at the poor lad’s hands before you do anything
else, doctor,” Colonel Parker was saying to the physician
who accompanied them.

Jack was still filled full of warm happiness as he sat
there in the fine cabin, watching Dr. Poor as the sur-
geon dressed his hands, winding the clean white linen
bandage around one of them. The dressing felt very
soothing and cool. Colonel Parker and the young lady
and Lieutenant Maynard sat opposite to him across the
table, Colonel Parker asking him many things about
the circumstances of their escape. Jack had been tell-
ing what he knew concerning the young lady’s abduc-
tion. “And were you with the pirates, then, when
they took Nelly away?” said Colonel Parker.

The surgeon was trimming away the rough edges of
RISING FORTUNES 355

skin from the palm of Jack’s other hand, and Jack
looked down at the skilful touches upon the sore and
tender place. “I did n’t go with them over to the
house, if you mean that, your honor. I stayed aboard
of the boat while they went. There wasa watch of half
a dozen left aboard, and I was with them. The others
went off in three boats; the yawl was one of them. It
was the biggest of the three, and Blackbeard went in it.
I had only just come aboard, and I don’t think they
would have chosen me to go with them upon such an
expedition. I had just run away from Mr. Parker’s
then, and that was my first day with them.”

“Why, then, I am glad of that,” said Colonel Parker.
“T am glad you were not with them in such an unlovely
business as attacking a defenseless houseful of women.
But I don’t see how they could dare to do such a thing.
There must have been some one set the villains on to
do it. Did you hear whether there was any one else
concerned in it — instigating them to the outrage?”

Jack had heard enough talk in Blackbeard’s house to
feel sure that Mr. Richard Parker had been the prime
mover in the outrage, but he did not dare to tell Colonel
Parker aboutit. “ I don’t know,” said he; “but they ’re
very desperate villains, your honor, and that ’s the
truth. You don’t think what desperate villains they
are when you are with them, for they talk and act just
like other men. But I do believe that there ’s nothing
they would stop at. They are very desperate villains.”

Colonel Parker was looking intently at him as he
ee “You speak mightily good language,” he said;

‘are you educated ?”

Jack blushed red. “Yes, your honor,” he said; “my
father taught me. He was a clergyman, and a great
scholar, I ’ve heard say.”

Colonel Parker appeared very much interested. ‘“ In-
deed!” he said, “is that the case? Why, then, I am ~
356 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

very glad to hear it. Your being a gentleman’s son
makes it easier for me to do all that I want to do for
you. But you were kidnapped, you say?”

“Yes, sir,” said Jack.

Suddenly the surgeon clipped the thread of the
second bandage. “There, you are as well as I can
make you now,” he said.

“And indeed they feel mightily comfortable,” said
Jack, opening and shutting his hand; “ and I thank you
kindly for the ease you have given me.”

“Now go and dress yourself, ready for breakfast,”
said Colonel Parker. ‘“‘ My man Robin hath set out some
clothes for you in the lieutenant’s cabin.”

Colonel Parker’s body-servant Robin was just com-
ing out of the lieutenant’s cabin when Jack entered.
“You ll find everything you want in there, I do sup-
pose,” he said. “If you don’t you may call me. I'll
be just outside here.”

He had laid the clothes upon the lieutenant’s berth.
He closed the door as he went away, and Jack stood
looking about him. It was all very clean and neat. It
was the cabin that Miss Eleanor Parker generally used
when she was aboard the schooner. A cool, fresh smell
pervaded it. He laid his clothes aside, and sat down
upon the edge of the berth, and then, presently, lay down
at length upon its clean surface. As he lay there
resting he was very, very happy. He went over in
his mind all that had passed that morning. How
beautiful it all was! How kind was Colonel Parker!
Yes; he was reaping his reward. He lay there for a
long time, yielding himself to his pleasant thoughts.
Everything seemed very bright and hopeful. His
hands felt so comfortable. He lifted them and looked
at the bandages: how white and clean they were, how
neatly they were stitched! He could smell the salve,
and it seemed to have a very pleasant savor in the
RISING FORTUNES 357

odor. He was glad now that Colonel Parker had seen
his hands, and that they had looked so terribly sore.
At last he roused himself, and looked at the clothes
that had been laid out for him, turning them over
and feeling them. They were of fine brown cloth, and
there was a pair of white stockings. “I wish I had
something to rub up my shoes a trifle,” he thought;
“they look mightily rusty and ugly.”

Then he got up and began dressing, only to stop in
the midst of it and to lie down once more to build those
bright castles in the air. How fine it would be to live
at Marlborough, not as a servant, but as one of the
household! And now such good fortune was really his
own. He lay there for a long, long time until, sud-
denly, the door was opened, and Colonel Parker’s serv-
ant looked in. Jack sprang up from where he lay. “Not
dressed yet?” said the man. “Well, then, hurry as quick
as you can. His honor wants you out in his own cabin.
There’s somebody aboard here knows you, and he’s been
in his honor’s cabin now for ten minutes or more.”

“Somebody who knows me?” said Jack. “Why,
who can that be, pray?”

“Tis a lawyer,” said the man—“ a man named Bur-
ton. He says he knew you in Southampton.”

“Master Roger Burton!” cried Jack. “Why, to be
sure I know him. Are you sure that is who ’t is?
Why, how does he come aboard here? When did he
come to America?”

He was getting dressed rapidly as he talked, and the
servant came into the cabin and closed the door after
him. “As to coming to America,” he said, “he came
here naturally enough. He was kidnapped just as you
and me were. I heard him tell his honor the lieutenant
he had been knocked on the head and kidnapped.”

“Knocked on the head and kidnapped!” Jack cried;
“why, that was just what happened to me.”
358 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Here, let me hold your coat for you,” said Robin.
He held it up as Jack slipped his arms into the sleeves.
“There, now then, you come straight along,” he said,
and he led the way across the great cabin to Colonel
Parker’s own private cabin beyond. He tapped on
the door and then opened it.

“Come in,” called out Colonel Parker, and Jack
entered.

He saw the attorney Burton immediately. He would
not have recognized him if he had not known whom

he was to see. The marks of the smallpox, the rough.

clothes he wore, and the thin, stringy beard that cov-
ered his cheeks and chin made him look like altogether
a different man. Only his little stature and his long nose
fitted with the memory of him in Jack’s mind. He stood
for a while gazing at the little man. “ Why, how now,
Master Jack,” said the attorney, “don’t you know me?”

“Yes, I do, now that you speak,” said Jack, “ but to
be sure I would n’t have known you if I had n’t been
told you were here.”

Colonel Parker was lying in his berth, a blanket
spread over his knees and feet. Miss Hleanor Parker
sat on the edge of the berth, holding his hand, and the
lieutenant sat opposite, crowded into the narrow space.
“Come hither,” said Colonel Parker, reacging out his
hand, and as Jack came toward ince he took the lad’s
Banded hand into his own and held it firmly. “ WEY
did you not tell me who you were?” said he.

“T don’t know what you mean, your honor,” said
Jack.

“ Don’t a me ‘your honor,” said Colonel Parker.
“Call me ‘sir, or else ‘Colonel Parker.’”

“Yes, sir,” cad Jack, blushing.

“What I mean,” said Colonel Parker, “is that you
did not tell me that you were Sir Henry Ballister’s
nephew and a young gentleman of such high quality,

1
RISING FORTUNES 359

nor that you were the heir of any such fortune as I
am told hath been left to you. You should have told
me all this at once. I might have gone on for a long
while without knowing, had this good man not told me
what was your family and condition.”

“T don’t know, sir,” said Jack, awkwardly, “why I
did n’t tell you, but I did n’t think to do it.”

Lieutenant Maynard burst out laughing, and even
Colonel Parker smiled. ‘ Well, well,” he said, “family
and fortune are something worth while to talk about,
as the world goes. But Iam glad that I shall know
what to do for you now.”

Jack looked up at Miss Eleanor Parker, and saw that
she was gazing straight at him. She smiled brightly
as their eyes met.

The schooner left Norfolk that morning, but the
breeze was very light, and it was not until the follow-
ing day that they reached Marlborough.

The great house was in clear sight when Jack came
up on deck at sunrise. Colonel Parker and Miss Elea-
nor were standing at the rail gazing out toward the
house, which had been already aroused by the approach
of the schooner. People were hurrying hither and
thither, and then a number came running down to the
landing from the house and the offices and the cabins,
until a crowd had gathered at the end of the wharf. .

“Yonder is thy mother, Nelly,” said Colonel Parker
— “yonder is thy mother, my dear.” He spoke with
trembling lips. The tears were running down the young
lady’s cheeks, but she seemed hardly to notice them,
and she was not crying. She wiped her eyes and her
cheeks with her handkerchief, and then waved it; then
wiped her eyes again, then waved it again. “ Yonder
is your Uncle Richard with her,” said Colonel Parker,
and he also wiped his eyes as he spoke.
360 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Jack could see his former master standing close to
the edge of the wharf. He himself stood a little to
one side with the Attorney Burton, who had also come
up on deck. He had an uncomfortable feeling of not
being exactly one in all the joy of this home-bringing.

A boat was pulling rapidly off from the shore, and
in a moment the anchor fell with a splash. They were
close to the wharf, and almost immediately the boat
from the shore was alongside. Everybody was cheer-
ing, and Jack and the Attorney Burton stood silently in
the midst of it all. Suddenly Colonel Parker turned
to Jack, wiping the tears from his eyes. “Come,” he
said, “you must go along with us. The others may
follow later.”

The young lady did not see him or seem to think
of him. She was weeping and weeping, clinging to the
stays, and now and then wiping her eyes. The crew
helped her down into the boat, where Colonel Parker
was already seated. Jack followed after her, and then
the men pulled away toward the shore; in a moment
they were at the wharf. The people, black and white,
were crowded above them, and Madam Parker had
struggled so close to the edge that her brother-in-law
and Mr. Jones were holding her back. She was crying
convulsively and hysterically, and reaching out her
hands and arms, clutching toward her daughter. Jack
sat, looking up at all the faces staring down at them.
The only unmoved one among them all upon the wharf
was Mr. Richard Parker. He stood, calm and unruffled,
with hardly a change of expression upon his handsome
face. The next moment the mother and daughter were
in one another’s arms, weeping and crying; and then,
a moment more, and Colonel Parker was with them,
his arms around them both. ;

Still Mr. Richard Parker stood calmly by; only now,
when Jack looked, he saw that his eyes were fastened
RISING FORTUNES 361

steadily upon him—but there was neither surprise nor
interest in his face. Then Jack, too, went ashore.
Colonel Parker saw him. “My dear,” he said to his
wife in a shaking voice, “this is our dear Nelly’s pre-
server —the young hero who brought her back to us.
Have you not a welcome for him?”

Madam Parker looked up, her eyes streaming with
tears. She could not have seen Jack through them,
and Jack stood, overcome and abashed. Through it
all he was conscious that Mr. Parker was still looking
steadily at him.

“ Ay, brother Richard,” said Colonel Parker, wiping
his eyes, ‘you know him, do you not? Well, ’t is to
him we owe it that our Nelly hath been brought back
to us again, for ’t was he who brought her.”

Then Jack looked at his former master and won-
dered what he was thinking; he said nothing.
CHAPTER XLV
PREPARATION

E, of these times, protected as we are by the

’ laws and by the number of people about us, can
hardly comprehend such a life as that of the American
colonies in the early part of the last century, when it
was possible for a pirate like Blackbeard to exist, and
for the governor and the secretary of the province in
which he lived perhaps to share his plunder, and to
shelter and to protect him against the law.

At that time the American colonists were in general
a rough, rugged people, knowing nothing of the finer
things of life. They lived mostly in little settlements,
separated by long distances from one another, so that
they could neither make nor enforce laws to protect
themselves. Hach man or little group of men had to
depend upon his or their own strength to keep what be-
longed to them, and to prevent fierce men or groups of.
men from seizing what did not belong to them.

It is the natural disposition of every one to get all
that hecan. Little children, for instance, always try to
take away from others that which they want, and to
keep it for their own. It is only by constant teaching
that they learn that they must not do so; that they
must not take by force what does not belong to them.
So it is only by teaching and training that people
learn to be honest and not to take what is not theirs.

When this teaching is not sufficient to make a man
362
PREPARATION 363

learn to be honest, or when there is something in the
man’s nature that makes him not able to learn, then he
only lacks the opportunity to seize upon the things
he wants, just as he would do if he were a little child.

In the colonies at that time, as was just said, men
were too few and scattered to protect themselves
against those who had made up their minds to take by ©
force that which they wanted, and so it was that men
lived an unrestrained and lawless life, such as we of
these times of better government can hardly com-
prehend.

_ The usual means of commerce between province and

province was by water in coasting vessels. These
coasting vessels were so defenseless, and the different
colonial governments were so ill able to protect them,
that those who chose to rob them could do it almost
without danger to themselves.

So it was that all the western world was, in hae
days, infested with armed bands of cruising freebooters
or pirates, who used to stop merchant vessels and take
from them what they chose.

Each province in those days was ruled over by a royal
governor appointed by the king. Hach governor, at
one time, was free to do almost as he pleased in his own
province. He was accountable only to the king and
his government, and England was so distant that he
was really responsible almost to nobody but himself.

The governors were naturally just as desirous to get
rich quickly, just as desirous of getting all that they
could for themselves, as was anybody else — only they
had been taught and had been able to learn that it was
not right to be an actual pirate or robber. They wanted
to be rich easily and quickly, but the desire was not
strong enough to lead them to dishonor themselves in
their own opinion and in the opinion of others by grati-
fying their selfishness. They would even have stopped
364 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

the pirates from doing what they did if they could, but
their provincial governments were too weak to prevent
the freebooters from robbing merchant vessels, or to
punish them when they came ashore. The provinces
had no navies, and they really had no armies; neither
were there enough people living within the community
to enforce the laws against those stronger and fiercer
men who were not honest.

After the things the pirates seized from merchant
vessels were once stolen they were altogether lost.
Almost never did any owner apply for them, for it
would be useless to do so. The stolen goods and mer-
chandise lay in the storehouses of the pirates, seemingly
without any owner excepting the pirates themselves.

The governors and the secretaries of the colonies
would not dishonor themselves by pirating upon mer-
chant vessels, but it did not seem so wicked after the
goods were stolen—and so altogether lost—to take
a part of that which seemed to have no owner.

A child is taught that it is a very wicked thing to
take, for instance, by force, a lump of sugar from another
child; but when a wicked child has seized the sugar
from another and taken it around the corner, and that
other child from whom he has seized it has gone home
crying, it does not seem so wicked for the third child to
take a bite of the sugar when it is offered to him, even
if he thinks it has been taken from some one else.

It was just so, no doubt, that it did not seem so wicked
to Governor Eden and Seeretene Knight of North Caro-
lina, or to Governor Fletcher of New York, or to other
Eoloniall governors, to take a part of the booty that
the pirates, such as Blackbeard, had stolen. It did not
even seem very wicked to compel such pirates to give
up a part of what was not theirs, and which seemed to
have no owner.

In Governor Eden’s time, however, the colonies had
PREPARATION 365

begun to be more thickly peopled, and the laws had
gradually become stronger and stronger to protect men
in the possession of what was theirs. Governor Eden
was the last of the colonial governors who had dealings
with the pirates, and Blackbeard was almost the last of
the pirates who, with his banded men, was savage and
powerful enough to come and go as. he chose among
the people whom he plundered.

Virginia, at that time, was the greatest and the richest
of all the American colonies, and upon the further side of
North Carolina was the province of South Carolina, also
strong and rich. It was these two colonies that suffered
the most from Blackbeard, and it began to be that the
honest men that lived in them could endure no longer
to be plundered.

The merchants and traders and others who suffered
eried out loudly for protection; so loudly that the gov-
ernors of these provinces could not help hearing them.
_ Governor Eden was petitioned to act against the pi-
rates; but he would do nothing, for he felt very friendly
toward Blackbeard — just as a child who has had a taste
of the stolen sugar feels friendly toward the child who
gives it to him.

At last, when Blackbeard sailed up into the very
heart of Virginia, and seized upon and carried away
the daughter of that colony’s foremost people, the Gov-
ernor of Virginia, finding that the Governor of North
Carolina would do nothing to punish the outrage, took
the matter into his own hands and issued a proclama-
tion offering a reward of one hundred pounds for Black-
beard, alive or dead, and different sums for the other
pirates who were his followers.

Governor Spottiswood had the right to issue the
proclamation, but he had no right to commission Lieu-
‘tenant Maynard, as he did, to take down an armed
force into the neighboring province and to attack the
366 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

pirates in the waters of the North Carolina sounds. It
was all a part of the rude and lawless condition of the
colonies at the time that such a thing could have been
done.

The governor’s proclamation against the pirates was
issued upon the eleventh day of November. It was
read in the churches the Sunday following and was
posted upon the doors of all the government custom
offices in lower Virginia. Lieutenant Maynard, in the
boats that Colonel Parker had already fitted out to go
against the pirates, set sail upon the seventeenth of
the month for Ocracock. Five days later the battle was
fought.

Blackbeard’s sloop was lying inside of Ocracock Inlet
among the shoals and sand-bars, when he first heard of
Governor Spottiswood’s proclamation.

There had been a storm, and a good many vessels had
run into the inlet for shelter. Blackbeard knew nearly
all of the captains of these vessels, and it was from them
that he first heard of the proclamation.

He had gone aboard one of the vessels —a coaster
from Boston. The wind was still blowing pretty hard
from the southeast. There were maybe a dozen vessels
lying within the inlet at that time, and the captain of
one of them was paying the Boston skipper a visit
when Blackbeard came aboard. The two captains had
been talking together. They instantly ceased when the
pirate came down into the cabin, but he had heard
enough of their conversation to catch its drift. “Why
dye stop?” he said. “I heard what you said. Well,
what then? D’ ye think I mind it at all? Spottiswood
is going to send his bullies down here after me. That’s
what you were saying. Well, what then? You don’t
think I’m afraid of his bullies, do you?”

“Why, no, captain, I did n’t say you was afraid,”
said the visiting captain.
PREPARATION 367

“And what right has he got to send down here
against me in North Carolina, I should like to ask
you?”

“He’s got none at all,” said the Boston captain, sooth-_

ingly. “ Won’t you take a taste of Hollands, Captain?”

“ He ’s no more right to come blustering down here
into Governor Eden’s province than I have to come
aboard of your schooner here, Tom Burley, and to
earry off two or three kegs of this prime Hollands for
my own drinking.”

Captain Burley — the Boston man — laughed a loud,
forced laugh. “Why, captain,” he said, “as for two or
three kegs of Hollands, you won’t find that aboard.
But if you’d like to have a keg of it for your own
drinking, I ‘Il send it to you and be glad enough to do
so for old acquaintance’ sake.”

“But I tell you what ’t is, captain,” said the visiting
skipper to Blackbeard, “they ’re determined and set
against you this time. I tell you, captain, Governor
Spottiswood hath issued a hot proclamation against
you, and ’t hath been read out in all the churches. I
myself saw it posted in Yorktown upon the Custom-
House door and read it there myself. The governor
offers one hundred pounds for you, and fifty pounds for
your officers, and twenty pounds each for your men.”

“Well, then,” said Blackbeard, holding up his glass,
“here, I wish ’em good luck, and when they get their
-hundred pounds for me they ‘Il be in a poor way to spend
it. As for the Hollands,” said he, turning to Captain
Burley, “I know what you ’ve got aboard here and what
you have n’t. D’ ye suppose ye can blind me? Very
well, you send over two kegs, and I ll let you go with-
out search.” The two captains were very silent. “As
for that Lieutenant Maynard you’re all talking about,”
said Blackbeard, “ why, I know him very well. He was
the one who was so busy with the pirates down Mada-
gascar way. I believe you ’d all like to see him blow

&
368 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

me out of the water, but he can’t doit. There ’s no-
body in his Majesty’s service I ’d rather meet than
Lieutenant Maynard. I ’d teach him pretty briskly
that North Carolina is n’t Madagascar.”

On the evening of the twenty-second the two vessels
under command of Lieutenant Maynard came into the
mouth of Ocracock Inlet and there dropped anchor.
Meantime the weather had cleared, and all the ves-
sels but one had gone from the inlet. The one ves-
sel that remained was a New Yorker. It had been
there over a night and a day, and the captain and
Blackbeard had become very good friends.

The same night that Maynard came into the inlet, a
wedding was held on the shore. A number of men and
women came up the beach in ox-carts and sledges; others
had come in boats from more distant points and across
the water.

The captain of the New Yorker and Blackbeard went
ashore together a little after dark. The New Yorker
had been aboard of the pirate’s sloop for all the latter
part of the afternoon, and he and Blackbeard had been
drinking together in the cabin. The New York man was
now a little tipsy, and he laughed and talked foolishly
as he and Blackbeard were rowed ashore. The pirate
sat grim and silent.

It was nearly dark when they stepped ashore on the
beach. The New York captain stumbled and fell head-
long, rolling over and over, and the crew of the boat
burst out laughing.

The people had already begun to dance in an open
shed fronting upon the shore. There were fires of pine-
knots in front of the building, lighting up the interior
with a red glare. A negro was playing a fiddle some-
where inside, and it was filled with a crowd of grotesque
dancing figures—men and women. Now and then they
PREPARATION 369

called with loud voices as they danced, and the squeak-
ing of the fiddle sounded incessantly through the noise
of outecries and the stamp and shuffling of feet.

Captain Teach and the New York captain stood look-
ing on. The New York man had tilted himself against
a post and stood there holding one arm around it, sup-
porting himself. He waved the other hand foolishly in
time to the music, now and then snapping his thumb
and finger.

The young woman who had just been married ap-
proached the two. She had been dancing, and she was
warm and red, her hair blowsed about her head. ‘‘ Hi,.
captain, won’t you dance with me?” she said: to Black-
beard.

Blackbeard stared at her. ‘Who be you?” he said.

She burst out laughing. “You look asif you’d eat a
body,” she cried.

Blackbeard’s face gradually relaxed. ‘Why, to be
sure, you ’re a brazen one, for all the world,” he said.
“Well, I ll dance with you, that I will. I Il dance the
heart out of you.”

He pushed forward, thrusting aside with his elbow
the newly-made husband. The man, who saw that
Blackbeard had been drinking, burst out laughing, and
the other men and women who had been standing
around drew away, so that in a little while the floor was
pretty well cleared. One could see the negro now; he
sat on a barrel at the end of the room. He grinned with
his white teeth and, without stopping in his fiddling,
scraped his bow harshly across the strings, and then in-
stantly changed the tune to a lively jig. Blackbeard
jumped up into the air and clapped his heels together,
giving, as he did so, a sharp, short yell. Then he began
instantly dancing grotesquely and violently. The
woman danced opposite to him, this way and that, with
her knuckles on her hips. Everybody burst out laugh-

24
370 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

ing at Blackbeard’s grotesque antics. They laughed
again and again, clapping their hands, and the negro
scraped away on his fiddle like fury. The woman’s
hair came tumbling down her back. She tucked it
back, laughing and panting, and the sweat ran down
her face. She danced and danced. At last she burst
out laughing and stopped, panting. Blackbeard again
jumped up in the air and clapped his heels. Again he
yelled, and as he did so, he struck his heels upon the
floor and spun around. Once more everybody burst
out laughing, clapping their hands, and the negro
stopped fiddling.

Near by was a shanty or cabin where they were sell-
ing spirits, and by and by Blackbeard went there with
the New York captain, and presently they began drink-
ingagain. “ Hi, captain!” called one of the men, “May-
nard ’s out yonder in the inlet. Jack Bishop ’s just
come across from t? other side. He says Mr. Maynard
hailed him and asked for a pilot to fetch him in.”

“Well, here ’s luck to him, and he can’t come in quick
enough for me!” cried out Blackbeard in his hoarse,
husky voice.

“Well, captain,” called a voice, “will ye fight him to-
morrow ?”

“ Ay,” shouted the pirate, “if he can getin to me, Ill
try to give ’em what they seek, and all they want of it
into the bargain. As for a pilot, I tell ye what ’t is.
If any man hereabouts goes out there to pilot that vil-
lain in, ’t will be the worst day’s work he ever did in
all of his life. °’I won’t be fit for him to live in these
parts of America if I am living here at the same time.”
There was a burst of laughter.

“Give us a toast, captain! Give us something to
drink to! Ay, captain, a toast! A toast!” a half
dozen voices were calling out at the same time.

“Well,” cried out the pirate captain, “here’s to a
‘PREPARATION 371

good, hot fight to-morrow, and the best dog on top!
T will be, Bang! bang!—this way!”

He began pulling a pistol out of his pocket, but it
stuck in the lining, and he struggled and tugged at it.
The men ducked and scrambled away from before him,
and then the next moment he had the pistol out of his
pocket. He swung it around and around. There was
perfect silence. Suddenly there was a flash and a stun-
ning report, and instantly a crash and tinkle of broken
glass. One of the men cried out, and began picking
and jerking at the back of his neck. “He’s broken
that bottle all down my neck,” he called out.

“That ’s the way ’t will be,” said Blackbeard.

“Tookee,” said the owner of the place, “I won’t serve
out another drop if ’t is going to be like that. If
there ’s any more trouble I ll blow out the lantern.”

The sound of the squeaking and scraping of the fiddle
and the shouts and the scuffling feet still came from the
shed where the dancing was going on.

“Suppose you get your dose to-morrow, captain,”
some one called out, “what then?”

“Why, if I do,” said Blackbeard, “I get it, and that’s
all there is of it.”

“Vour wife ‘ll be a rich widdy then, won’t she?”
cried one of the men; and there was a burst of laughter.

“Why,” said the New York captain,—“ why, has a—
a bloody p — pirate like you a wife then —a—like any
honest man?”

“She ll be no richer than she is now,” said Black-
beard.

“She knows where you ’ve hid your money, any-
ways; don’t she, captain?” called out a voice.

“The divil knows where I’ve hid my money,” said
Blackbeard, “and I know where I ’ve hid it; and the
longest liver of the twain will get it all. And that’s
all there is of it.”
372 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES -

The gray of early day was beginning to show in the
east when Blackbeard and the New York captain came
down to the landing together. The New York captain
swayed and toppled this way and that as he walked,
now falling against Blackbeard, and now staggering
away from him.
CHAPTER XLVI
THE FIGHT

ARLY in the morning — perhaps eight o’clock —

4 Lieutenant Maynard sent a boat from the schooner
over to the settlement, which lay some four or five
miles distant. A number of men stood lounging on
the landing, watching the approach of the boat. The
men rowed close up to the wharf, and there lay upon
their oars, while the boatswain of the schooner, who was
in command of the boat, stood up and asked if there
was any man there who could pilot them over the
shoals.

Nobody answered, but all stared stupidly at him.
After a while, one of the men at last took his pipe
out of his mouth. “There be n’t any pilot here, mas-
ter,” said he; “we be n’t pilots.”

“Why, what a story you do tell!” roared the boat-
swain. ‘“ D’ ye suppose I ’ve never been down here be-
fore, not to know that every man about here knows
the passes of the shoals?”

The fellow still held his pipe in his hand He looked
at another one of the men. “Do you know the passes
in over the shoals, Jem?” said he.

The man to whom he spoke was a young fellow with
long, shaggy, sunburnt hair hanging over his eyes in
an unkempt mass. He shook his head, grunting. “Na
—I don’t know naught about t’ shoals.”

‘ol is Lieutenant Maynard of his Majesty’s navy in
373
374 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

command of them vessels out there,” said the boat-
swain. ‘Hell give any man five pound to pilot him
in.” The men on the wharf looked at one another,
but still no one spoke, and the boatswain stood looking
at them. He saw that they did not choose to answer
him. ‘ Why,” he said, “I believe you ’ve not got right
wits—that ’s what I believe is the matter with you. Pull
me up to the landing, men, and I ’ll go ashore and see
if I can find anybody that’s willing to make five pound
for such a little bit of piloting as that.”

After the boatswain had gone ashore, the loungers
still stood on the wharf, looking down into the boat,
and began talking to one another for the men below
to hear them. ‘“ They’re coming in,” said one, “to blow
poor Blackbeard out of the water.” “ Ay,” said another
man, “he ’s so peaceable too, he is; he ’Il just lay still
and let ’em blow and blow, he will” “There’s a young
fellow there,” said another of the men; “ he don’t look
fit to die yet, he don’t. Why, I would n’t be in his
place for a thousand pound.” “I do suppose Black-
beard ’s so afraid he don’t know how to see,” said the
first speaker.

At last one of the men in the boat spoke up. “ May-
be he don’t know how to see,” said he, “but maybe
we ll blow some daylight into him afore we get through
with him.”

Some more of the settlers had come out from the
shore to the end of the wharf, and there was now quite
a crowd gathering there, all looking at the men in the
boat. “What do them Virginny ’baccy-eaters do down
here in Caroliny, anyway ?” said one of the new-comers.
“They ’ve got no eall to be down here in North
Carolina waters.”

“Maybe you can keep us away from coming, and
maybe you can’t,” said a voice from the boat.

“Why,” answered the man on the wharf, “we could
THE FIGHT 375

keep you away easy enough, but you be n’t worth the
trouble, and that ’s the truth.”

There was a heavy iron bolt lying near the edge of
the janding.. One of the men upon the wharf slyly
thrust it out with the end of his foot. It hung fora
moment and then fell into the boat below with a crash.
“What d ye mean by that?” roared the man in charge
of the boat. ‘“ What d’ ye mean, ye villains? D’ ye
mean to stave a hole in us?”

“Why,” said the man who had pushed it, “ you saw
+ was n’t done a purpose, did n’t you?”

“Well, you try it again, and somebody ’ll get hurt,”
said the man in the boat, showing the butt-end of his
pistol.

The men on the wharf began laughing. eet then
the boatswain came down from the settlement again,
and out along the landing. The threatened turbulence
quieted as he approached, and the crowd moved sullenly
aside to let him pass. He did not bring any pilot with
him, and he jumped down into the stern of the boat,
saying briefly, “‘ Push off.” The crowd of loungers stood
looking after them as they rowed away, and when the
boat was some distance from the landing they burst
out into a volley of derisive yells. “The villains!”
said the boatswain, “they are all in league together.
They would n’t even let me go up into the settlement
to look for a pilot.”

The lieutenant and his sailing-master stood watch-
ing the boat as it approached. “Could n’t you, then,
get a pilot, Baldwin?” said Mr. Maynard, as the Boat:
swain scrambled aboard.

“No, I could n’t, sir,” said the man. “ Hither they ’re
all banded together, or else they ’re all afraid of the vil-
lains. They would n’t even let me go up into the set-
tlement to find one.”
376 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

“Well, then,” said Mr. Maynard, “we ’Il make shift to
work in as best we may by ourselves. ’T will be high
tide against one o’clock. We’ll run in then with sail as
far as we can, and then we ’Il send you ahead with the
boat to sound for a pass, and we ’ll follow with the
sweeps. You know the waters pretty well, you say.”

“They were saying ashore that the villain hath forty
men aboard,” said the boatswain.*

Lieutenant Maynard’s force consisted of thirty-five
men in the schooner and twenty-five men in the sloop.
He carried neither cannons nor carronades, and neither
of his vessels was very well fitted for the purpose for
which they were designed. The schooner, which he
himself commanded, offered almost no protection to the
erew. The rail was not more than a foot high in the
waist, and the men on the deck were almost entirely
exposed. The rail of the sloop was perhaps a little
higher, but it, too, was hardly better adapted for fight-
ing. Indeed, the lieutenant depended more upon the
moral force of official authority to overawe the pirates
than upon any real force of arms or men. He never be-
lieved, until the very last moment, that the pirates would
show any real fight. It is very possible that they might
not have done so had they not thought that the lieu-
tenant had actually no legal right supporting him in
his attack upon them in North Carolina waters.

It was about noon when anchor was hoisted, and,
with the schooner leading, both vessels ran slowly in
before a light wind that had begun to blow toward mid-
day. In each vessel a man stood in the bows, sound-
ing continually with lead and line. As they slowly
opened up the harbor within the inlet, they could see
the pirate sloop lying about three miles away. There
was a boat just putting off from it to the shore.

* The pirate captain had really only twenty-five men aboard of his sloop
at the time of the battle.
THE FIGHT 377

The lieutenant and his sailing-master stood together
on the roof of the cabin deck-house. The sailing-master
held a glass to his eye. “She carries a long gun, sir,”
he said, “and four carronades. She ’ll be hard to beat,
sir, I do suppose, armed as we are with only light arms
for close fighting.”

The lieutenant laughed. “Why, Brookes,” he said,
“you seem to think forever of these men showing fight.
You don’t know them as I know them. They have a
deal of bluster and make a deal of noise, but when you
seize them and hold them with a strong hand, there ’s
naught of fight left in them. ’T is like enough there ’ll
not be so much as a musket fired to-day. I’ve had to
do with ’em often enough before to know my gentlemen
well by this time.” Nor, as was said, was it until the
very last that the lieutenant could be brought to be-
lieve that the pirates had any stomach for a fight.

The two vessels had reached perhaps within a mile
of the pirate sloop before they found the water too
shoal to venture any further with sail. It was then
that the boat was lowered as the lieutenant had planned,
and the boatswain went ahead to sound, the two vessels,
with their sails still hoisted but empty of wind, pulling
in after with sweeps.

The pirate had also hoisted sail, but lay as though wait-
ing for the approach of the schooner and the sloop.

The boat in which the boatswain was sounding had
run in a considerable distance ahead of the two vessels,
which were gradually creeping up with the sweeps un-
til they had reached to within less than half a mile
of the pirates—the boat with the boatswain maybe
a quarter of a mile closer. Suddenly there was a puff
of smoke from the pirate sloop, and then another and
another, and the next moment there came the three re-
ports of muskets up the wind.

“By zounds!” said the lieutenant. “I do believe
378 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

they ’re firing on the boat!” And then he saw the
boat turn and begin pulling toward them.

The boat with the boatswain aboard came rowing
rapidly. Again there were three or four puffs of smoke
and three or four subsequent reports from the distant
vessel. Then, in a little while, the boat was alongside,
and the boatswain came scrambling aboard. “ Never
mind hoisting the boat,” said the lieutenant; “we ’ll
just take her in tow. Come aboard as quick as you
ean.” Then, turning to the sailing-master, “ Well,
Brookes, you ’ll have to do the best you can to get in
over the shoals under half sail.”

“But, sir,” said the master, “we ll be sure to run
aground.”

“Very well, sir,” said the lieutenant, “you heard my
orders. If we run aground we run aground, and that’s
all there is of it.”

““T sounded as far as maybe a little over a fathom,”
said the mate, “but the villains would let me go no
nearer. I think I was in the channel, though. ’T is
more open inside, as I mind me of it. There’s a kind
of a hole there, and if we get in over the shoals just be-
yond where I was we ll be all right.”

“Very well, then, you take the wheel, Baldwin,” said
the lieutenant, “and do the best you can for us.”

Lieutenant Maynard stood looking out forward at the
pirate vessel, which they were now steadily nearing un-
der half-sail. He could see that there were signs of
bustle aboard and of men running around upon the
deck. Then he walked aft and around the cabin. The
sloop was some distance astern. It appeared to have
run aground, and they were trying to push it off with
the sweeps. The lieutenant looked down into the wa-
ter over the stern, and saw that the schooner was
already raising the mud in her wake. Then he went
forward along the deck. His men were crouching down
along by the low rail, and there was a tense quietness
THE FIGHT 379

of expectation about them. The lieutenant looked them
over as he passed them. “ Johnson,” he said, ‘do you
take the lead and line and go forward and sound a bit.”
Then to the others —“ Now, my men, the moment we
run her aboard, you get aboard of her as quick as you
can, do you understand? Don’t wait for the sloop or
think about her, but just see that the grappling-irons
are fast, and then get aboard. If any man offers to resist
you, shoot him down. Are you ready, Mr. Cringle?”

““ Ay, ay, sir,” said the gunner.

“Very well, then, be ready, men; we ’ll be aboard ’em.
in a minute or two.”

“There ’s less than a fathom of water here, sir,” sang
out Johnson from the bows. As he spoke there was a
sudden soft jar and jerk, then the schooner was still.
They were aground. ‘ Push her off to the lee there!
Let go your sheets!” roared the boatswain from
the wheel. “Push her off to the lee.” He spun the
wheel around as he spoke. A half a dozen men sprang:
up, seized the sweeps, and plunged them into the water.
Others ran to help them, but the sweeps only sunk
into the mud without moving the schooner. The sails
had fallen off and they were flapping and thumping
and clapping in the wind. Others of the crew had
scrambled to their feet and ran to help those at the
sweeps. The lieutenant had walked quickly aft agajn.
They were very close now to the pirate sloop, and sud-
denly some one hailed him from aboard of her. When
he turned he saw that there was a man standing up on
the rail of the pirate sloop, holding by the back-stays.
‘““Who are you?” he called, from the distance, “and
whence come you? What do you seek here? What
d’ ye mean, coming down on us this way?”

The lieutenant heard somebody say: “ That ’s Black-
beard. hisself.” And he looked with great interest at
the distant figure.

The pirate stood out boldly against the cloudy sky.
380 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Somebody seemed to speak to him from behind. He
turned his head and then he turned round again. “‘We’re
only peaceful merchantmen!” he called out. ‘“ What
~ authority have you got to come down upon us this way ?
If you ‘ll come aboard I'll show you my papers and
‘that we ’re only peaceful merchantmen.”

“The villains!” said the lieutenant to the master, who
stood beside him. “They ’re peaceful merchantmen,
are they! They look like peaceful merchantmen, with
three carronades and a long gun aboard!” Then he
called out across the water, “I?ll come aboard with my |
schooner as soon as I can push her off here.”

“Tf you undertake to come aboard of me,” called the
pirate, “Ill shoot into you. You’ve got no authority
to Roard me, and I won’t have you doit. If you un-
dertake it ’t will be at your own risk, for I ’ll neither
ask quarter of you nor give none.”

“Very well,” said the lieutenant, “if you choose to
try that, you may do as you please; for 1’m coming
aboard of you as sure as heaven.”

“Push off the bow there!” called the boatswain at
the wheel. “Look alive! Why don’t you. push off the
bow?”

“ She’s hard aground!” answered the gunner. “We
ean’t budge her an inch.”

“Tf they was to fire into us now,” said the sailing-
master, “they ’d smash us to pieces.”

ee They won't fire into us,” said the lieutenant. “ They
won't dare to.” He jumped down from the cabin deck-
house as he spoke, and went forward to urge the men
in pushing off the boat. It was already beginning to
move.

At that moment the sailing-master suddenly called
out, “Mr. Maynard! Mr. Maynard! they ’re going to
give us a broadside!”

Almost before the words were out of his mouth, be-
THE FIGHT 381

fore Lieutenant Maynard could turn, there came a loud
and deafening crash, and then instantly another, and
a third, and almost as instantly a crackling and rend-
ing of broken wood. There were clean yellow splinters
flying everywhere. A man fell violently against the
lieutenant, nearly overturning him, but he caught at
the stays and so saved himself. For one tense moment
he stood holding his breath. Then all about him arose
a sudden outery of. groans and shouts and oaths. The
man who had fallen against him was lying face down
upon the deck. His thighs were quivering, and a pool
- of blood was spreading and running out from under
him. There were other men down, all about the deck.
Some were rising; some were trying to rise; some only
moved.

There was a distant sound of yelling and cheering
and shouting. It was from the pirate sloop. The pi-
rates were rushing about upon her decks. They had .
pulled the cannon back, and, through the grunting
sound of the groans about him, the lieutenant could
distinctly hear the thud and punch of the rammers,
and he knew they were going to shoot again.

The low rail afforded almost no shelter against such
a broadside, and there was nothing for it but to order
all hands below for the time being.

“Get below!” roared out the lieutenant. “ All hands
get below and lie snug for further orders!” In obe-
dience the men ran scrambling below into the hold, and
in a little while the decks were nearly clear except for
the three dead men and some three or four wounded. .
The boatswain crouching down close to the wheel, and
the lieutenant himself, were the only others upon deck.
Everywhere there were smears and sprinkles of blood.
“Where ’s Brookes?” the lieutenant called out.

“He ’s hurt in the arm, sir, and he’s gone below,” said
the boatswain.
382 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

Thereupon the lieutenant himself walked over to the
forecastle hatch, and, hailing the gunner, ordered him
to get up another ladder, so that the men could be run up
on deck if the pirates should undertake to come aboard.
Atthat moment the boatswain at the wheel called out
that the villains were going to shoot again, and the -
heutenant, turning, saw the gunner aboard of the pirate
sloop in the act of touching the iron to the touch-hole.
He stooped down. There was another loud and deafen-
ing crash of cannon, one, two, three—four,— the last two
almost together,— and almost instantly the boatswain
ealled out: “’T is the sloop, sir! look at the sloop!”

The sloop had got afloat again, and had been coming
up to the aid of the schooner, when the pirates fired
their second broadside, now at her. When the lieu-
tenant looked at her she was still quivering with the
impact of the shot, and the next moment she began
falling off to the wind, and he could see the wounded
men rising and falling and struggling upon her decks.

At the same moment the boatswain called out that
the enemy was coming aboard, and even as he spoke
the pirate sloop came drifting out from the cloud of
smoke that enveloped her, looming up larger and larger
as she came down upon them. The lieutenant still
crouched down under the rail, looking out at them. -
Suddenly, a little distance away, she came about, broad-
side on, and then drifted. She was close aboard now.
Something came flying through the air—another and
another. They were bottles. One of them broke with
a crash upon the deck. The others rolled over to the
further rail. In each of them a quick-match was smok-
‘ing. Almost instantly, there was a flash and a terrific
report, and the air was full of the whizz and singing of
broken particles of glass and iron. There was another
report, and then the whole air seemed full of gunpowder
smoke. “They ’re aboard of us!” shouted the boatswain,
THE FIGHT 383

and even as he spoke, the lieutenant roared out: “ All
hands to repel boarders!” A second later there came the
heavy, thumping bump of the vessels coming together.
Lieutenant Maynard, as he called out the order, ran
forward through the smoke, snatching one of his pistols
out of his pocket and the cutlass out of its sheath as
he did so. Behind him, the men were coming, swarming
up from below. There was a sudden stunning report
of a pistol, and then another and another, almost to-
gether. There was a groan and the fall of a heavy body,
and then a figure came jumping over the rail, with
two or three more directly following. The lieutenant
was in the midst of the gunpowder smoke, when sud-
denly Blackbeard was before him. The pirate captain
had stripped himself naked to the waist. His shaggy
black hair was falling over his eyes, and he looked like
a demon fresh from the pit, with his frantic face. Al-
most with the blindness of instinct, the lieutenant thrust. .
out his pistol, firing it as he did so. The pirate stag-
gered back: He was down —no; he was up again. He
had a pistol in each hand; but there was a stream of
blood running down his naked ribs. Suddenly, the
mouth of.a pistol was pointing straight at the lieuten-
ant’s head. He ducked instinctively, striking upward
with his cutlass as he did so. There was a stunning,
deafening report almost in his ear. He struck again
blindly with his cutlass. He saw the flash of a sword
and flung up his guard almost instinctively, meeting
the crash of the descending blade. Somebody shot
from behind him, and at the same moment he saw
someone else strike the pirate. Blackbeard staggered
again, and this time there was a great gash upon his
neck. Then one of Maynard’s own men tumbled head-
long upon him. He fell with the man, but almost in-
stantly he had scrambled to his feet again, and as he
did so he saw that the pirate sloop had drifted a little
384 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

away from them, and that their grappling-iron had evi-
dently parted. His hand was smarting as though struck
with the lash of a whip. He looked around him; the
pirate captain was nowhere to be seen —yes, there he
was, lying by the rail. He raised himself upon his elbow,
and the lieutenant saw that he was trying to point a
pistol at him, with an arm that wavered and swayed
blindly, the pistol nearly falling from his fingers. Sud-
denly, his other elbow gave way, and he fell down upon
hisface. He tried to raise himself — he fell down again.
There was a report and a cloud of smoke, and when it
cleared away Blackbeard had staggered up again. He
was a terrible figure—his head nodding down upon his
breast. Sombody shot again, and then the swaying
figure toppled and fell. It lay still for a moment—
then rolled over—then lay still again.

There was a loud splash of men jumping overboard,
_ and then, almost instantly, the ery of “ Quarter! quar-
ter!” The lieutenant ran to the edge of the vessel. It
was as he had thought: the grappling-irons of the
pirate sloop had parted, and it had drifted away. The
few pirates who had been left aboard of the schooner
had jumped overboard and were now holding up their
hands. ‘ Quarter!” they cried. “ Don’t shoot !— quar-
ter!” And the fight was over.

The lieutenant looked down at his hand, and then he
saw, for the first time, that there was a great cutlass
gash across the back of it, and that his arm and shirt-
sleeve were wet with blood. He went aft, holding the
wrist of his wounded hand. The boatswain was still at
the wheel. “By zounds!” said the lieutenant, with a
nervous, quavering laugh, “TI did n’t know there was
such fight in the villains.”

His oened and shattered sloop was again coming
up toward him under sail, but the pirates had surren-
dered, and the fight was over.




“THE COMBATANTS CUT AND SLASHED WITH SAVAGE FURY.”
CHAPTER XLVII
IN THE NEW LIFE

T is wonderful how adolescent youth accepts the
changes of its life, and with what fluency it adapts
itself to them.

During the month that the Attorney Burton lingered
at Marlborough before his return to England, it came
to be more like home to Jack than any place in which
he had ever lived. In a wonderfully little while there
grew to be a singularly ripe feeling of familiarity about
the roomy halls and passageways, the books, the pic-
tures, the fine, stiff, solid furniture, the atmosphere of
-wide and affluent ease; a like familiarity in all the out-
side surroundings of unkempt grassy lawn, of garden
and of stable. No doubt the steady, uniform kindness
of those dear people tended more than anything else
to endear everything to him, with that peculiar home-
feeling that always afterward embalmed the memo-
ries of Marlborough in his mind. No one, not even
his unele, Sir Henry, in the few years that followed,
seemed to fill the singular place in his heart occupied
by Colonel Parker with his somewhat grandiose benig-
nity; no one the place of Madam Parker with her fussy,
sometimes tiresome, attentions.

It was a long time before Nelly Parker recovered her
perfect strength. Some days she would appear almost
perfectly herself; then would ensue times of petulant
lassitude that were sometimes very hard to bear. The

25 385
386 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

little doctor came every day to see her, sometimes stay-
ing to supper, and riding home alone through the star-
lit night. He and Jack struck up a great friendship,
and there were many little meaningless fragments of
that pleasant time remaining in Jack’s memory, in
which the little pot-bellied man was the dominant figure.

One such recollection was of finding him waiting for
Miss Nelly Parker when she and Jack returned from
a ride to Bolingwood—Mr. Bamfield Oliver’s place. She
had gone to call on the young ladies, and Jack, at her
bidding, had reluctantly accompanied her. He always
felt his awkwardness and young clumsiness at such
times—the constraint of talking about himself and of
answering those reiterated questions about his adven-
tures. At the sound of their horses’ hoofs the doctor
and Madam Parker had appeared at the door, and as
Jack dismounted and helped Nelly Parker down from
her horse at the horse-block, the doctor had called out,
“Well, my young pirate, and so you are back again,
then? Zooks! We were just debating whether you
had n’t-run away with our young lady again, and for
good and all this time.”

Another such recollection of his presence was of his
coming unexpectedly one time while there was com-
pany out on the lawn, and of feeling her pulse as she
sat in the midst of them all.

Such foolish little memory fragments are very apt to
have some indefinable filaments of association that
cause them to cling with peculiar tenacity to the mem-
ory.

For some such subtle reason all the little cireum-
stances of a certain uneventful Sunday morning be-
came very intimately a part of Jack’s life. That day he
rode to the parish church with the family, in the great
coach. It had been raining the day before, but then the
air was full of warm, mellow autumn sunlight, that fell —
IN THE NEW LIFE 387

widely in through the coach windows and across Colonel
Parker’s knees and his own lap, feeling warm and pleas-
ant to his legs. The road was heavy with sticky mud,
and the four horses strained and labored as they pulled
the huge, yawing coach through the deeper ruts. Nelly
Parker and her mother sat opposite, the young girl,
all unconscious of his steady look, playing with and
smoothing out the ribbons that hung from her prayer-
book —trivial little things, but for some reason knit
so closely into his consciousness, that his memory al-
ways recurred to them with a singular precision of
detail. The church was paved with brick, and he even
remembered how very chill and damp it was that morn-
ing, and how, by and by, when he moved his toes in his
shoes, he found them grown numb and as cold as ice.

When the sermon was over the ladies and gentlemen
gathered for a while, standing in groups here and there
in the churchyard, flooded with the yellow sunlight that
felt very bland and warm after the chill, damp interior
of the building. The greater part of the ladies were
gathered in a single group, chatting together about
this or that of gossip. Three or four gentlemen stood
with them, now and then putting in a word, now and
then laughing. Colonel Parker and Mr. Bamfield Oli-
ver and Mr. Cartwright were standing together, dis-
cussing tobacco; and from where he stood he could
hear Mr. Oliver’s monologue running somewhat thus: —
“T cannot understand it,”— here he offered the other
gentlemen snuff from a fine silver-gilt snuff-box,— “I
cannot understand it; ’t was as good tobacco as any I
ever shipped, and if there was anything the matter with
it, as Sweet complains, why, the hogsheads must have
been broached in the carrying. I ’m sure it could not
have been Jarkins’s fault; for he is the best packer I
have.” And so on and so on.

All this while Jack was lingering near Nelly Parker,
388 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

holding her prayer-book in his hand. He saw that
Harry Oliver and two of his sisters were talking to
Mrs. Cartwright a little distance away. He knew one
of the young ladies; the other, who had been away from
home for some time, was, as yet, a stranger to him.
He felt that she was looking intently at him, and pres-
ently saw her whispering to her brother. He tried
to appear unconscious, but with certain prescience he
knew very well she was speaking to her brother about
him and his adventures. Suddenly Harry Oliver burst
out laughing. “ Why, Master Jack,” he called, “here’s
another young lady hath lost her heart to you, and
thinks you’re a hero. The fame of your pirate ad-
ventures has reached all the way to the Bermuda Hun-
dreds, ’t would seem.”

The young lady’s velvety cheek, dark like her broth-
er’s, colored to a soft crimson, and she turned sharply
away. Jack felt himself blushing in sympathy, and
Nelly Parker, looking at him, burst out with a peal of
laughing.

The afternoon of another Sunday, when the news
of the fight at Ocracock and the death of Blackbeard
was first received at Marlborough, had perhaps more
reason for its insistence upon the plane of his con-
sciousness than this meaningless fragment.

“Nelly Parker had gone to her room after dinner, and
the house seemed singularly empty without her pres-
ence in it. Jack was sitting in the library, reading.
Now and then the words formed themselves into ideas,
but for long lapses he would read without knowing
what he was reading, his mind full of and brimming
over with the thought of her. The sunlight came in
through the wide, open windows, and lay in great
squares across the floor, and the brass of the nails in
the chair and sofa and of the andirons, catching the
light, gleamed like stars, and the room was full of the
IN THE NEW LIFE 389

clear brightness. The blazing fire snapped and crackled
in the great fireplace, and there was a dish of apples
on the table.

While he so sat there he heard the door suddenly
opened, and the rustle of a dress. He knew instantly
and vividly who it was had come in—he felt it in
every fiber, but he would not look up. Then he heard
her moving about the room.

“What are you reading?” she said, at last.

Jack looked at the top of the page. “’T is The
Masque of Comus,” he said.

“The Masque of Comus!” she repeated. “I was
reading that to papa yesterday.”

She came over and stood behind his chair as she
spoke, leaning over him and looking down at the book
in his hand, reading it as he read it. He felt her near-
ness, and every filament of nerve tingled at it. Her
breath fanned his cheek, and a part of her dress touched
his shoulder. His heart thrilled poignantly, and his
breath came thickly and suffocatingly, but still he did
not look up. She stood there close behind him for a
long while. He could almost hear the beat of her young
heart, and it seemed to him that she must be feeling some
soft echo of his own passion. Suddenly she gave his
elbow a push that knocked the book out of his hand,
and then she burst out laughing. As Jack stooped to
pick up the book there was the voice of some one in
the hall without. It was Harry Oliver, and she sprang
away from where she stood, and flew like a flash to a
chair at some distance, where she seated herself, in-
stantly demure.

Then Harry Oliver came into the room; and pres-
ently he and she were talking and laughing together,
and all that agonizing delight of the little while before
melted out of Jack’s heart and dissolved away and was
gone. \
390 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

That passionate, innocent joy of early love! How
does it fill all these little nameless, foolish things full
to overflowing with its tremulous golden happiness —
its ardent pangs of deep delight!

It was a little while after this that Colonel Parker
called Jack into his own cabinet and put a packet of
papers in his hand, saying that they had just been
sent up from Jamestown, and that they were from
Lieutenant Maynard; that there had been a fight with
the pirates at Ocracock, and that Blackbeard was
killed.

“What!” exclaimed Jack. “Blackbeard dead?”
And then again, after a moment—“ Blackbeard dead!”
It seemed incredible to him that such a thing could be;
he could not realize it.

There was a list of killed and wounded accompany-
ing the letter, and Jack read it over, name by name —
he knew nearly all. “Why,” he cried, “Morton ’s
dead, too—and Muiiler, the quartermaster — and Rob-
erts, and Gibbons. Why, that is all of Blackbeard’s
officers, except Hands, who is lame at Bath Town.”

“Maynard says there was a lame man they arrested
down at Bath Town and brought up with them.”

“That, then, must be Hands,” said Jack. “ He was
the fellow whom Blackbeard shot in sport while I was
down there.” And then, suddenly thinking of Nelly
Parker, his heart thrilled agonizingly again.
CHAPTER XLVIII
JACK MEETS SOME OLD FRIENDS

T was late in November when Mr. Burton returned
to England. Jack accompanied him as far as James-
town; and Mr. Simms, who had business at the factory
at Yorktown, also went down in the schooner as far as
that place.

The day was keen and clear, with a soft, cool wind
blowing, before which the schooner sloped swiftly away,
dropping the great brick front of Marlborough rapidly
behind. The wide rush of air and water seemed very
full of life and vigor, and Jack lay up under the weather-
rail in the warm sunlight, wrapped in his overcoat and
given up utterly to the building of day-dreams.

He had just parted from Nelly Parker, and his mind
was very full of thoughts of her. She had been more
than usually teasing that morning. “I believe you
would n’t mind if I were going away from you for-
ever,” Jack had burst out as they stood lingering in
the wide sunlight in front of the great house. “ I some-
times think that you have no heart in you at all.”

Then she looked at him with sudden seriousness.
“Do you, then, really think that of me?” she said.
“Well, then, I may tell you that I have a heart, and
that it would, indeed, grieve me to the heart if you
were going away forever.”

“Would it?” Jack had said.

“Yes. And see—if I have teased you too much,

here is my hand.”
391
392 JACK BALLISTER’S FORTUNES

_ Jack took her soft, white hand in his; it was very
-warm. Then with a sudden impulse he lifted it to his
lips and pressed a long, long kiss upon it. She did
not withdraw it, and when he looked up he saw that
she was still gazing very steadily at him. His heart
was beating with exceeding quickness, but he looked as
steadily back at her, though with swimming sight.
Then she had burst out into a peal of laughter, had
snatched her hand away, and had run away back into
the house, leaving him standing where he was. Then |
he had hurried down toward the wharf, hardly sensing
whither he was walking, and not answering Mr. Simms
when the factor asked him what had kept him so long.
Long after they had dropped Marlborough away be-
hind, he still lay in the sunlight under the rail, wrapped
closely in his overcoat, his heart full of the thought of
her. He was giving himself over luxuriously to that
foolish day-dreaming to which adolescent youth loves
to yield itself, and upon the funny inconsequence of
which the matured man looks back and laughs from
the firmer stand of later years. For one often remem-
bers such dear, foolish day-dreams in after times.
He imagined to himself how he would have to go
away to live in England. He would not come back
again, he thought, until he had made himself famous;
then he would return to her once more. Yes; while he
was away from her he would become very famous.
Maybe he would enter the navy. There would be a
great war, and his ship would be in battle. He pic-
tured to himself a terrible battle in which the senior
officers would all be killed, so that it would depend
upon him, the youngest of all, to save the ship. He
would call upon the men to follow him, and then, in
a last desperate, almost hopeless attack, he would
rush aboard the enemy’s ship, his men close behind him.
They would conquer, but he would-have been shot
JACK MEETS SOME OLD FRIENDS | 393

through the arm, and his arm would have to be cut off,
and he would go with an empty sleeve — it seemed very
pathetic as he thought of it. All the world would talk
of the young hero who had saved the ship, and Nelly
Parker would hear of it and would think, “ He will now
never come back to Virginia again. He is too great
and too famous to remember me now.” Then one day
he would suddenly appear before her. She would say:
“What! have you, then, come back to us? Have you,
then, not forgotten us?” He would smile and would
say: “No, I can never forget you.” He would stand
before her with one empty sleeve pinned to his breast.
There would be an order upon his breast, and he would
say: “I love you and have always loved you, and none
but you.”

-“Tf we make it in time,” said Mr. Simms, suddenly,
speaking to the Attorney Bunion where they stood to-
gether looking out toward the shore, “we'll stop at the
Roost this afternoon. There was a letter for Mr. Parker
sent up to Marlborough by mistake yesterday, and I
may as well leave it on the way down.”

His words broke sharply upon Jack’s thoughts and
shattered the dream to fragments. He lay silent for
a moment or two. ‘Do you think,” he said, suddenly,
“that Mr. Parker is there now?”

“T don’t know,” said Mr. Simms, turning toward him,
“but I hope he is, so that I can leave this letter for him.
Why do you ask?”

“Td like to go ashore," said Jack, “but I don’t care
to meet him.”
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