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ing hooker up for Lunnon town in a twenty-four hours' ratch, we'd sooner see her chiveying her hell-born skipper and mate that way," pointing down with a wild romantic gesture, " than handle a brace for her salvation." He took a steadier grip of the deck with his feet, so to speak, and looked at me as much as to say, "Hold to your first kind of questions."

"Then," said I, "I am expected to do nothing but navigate the brig?"

"To Cuba! Yes, sir; that, if you please, along with looking after her in dirty weather, for we know from Mr. Gordon that you're sailor enough for most things that can happen at sea."

It would have been idle to dispute this high opinion ; the result no doubt of poor Gordon's hope that I might take the mate's place, and of his wish to confirm, by bis ardent representations of me as a seaman, such satisfaction as the men might feel had I consented to Broadwater's appointment of me. "The crew will find me as dutiful to their desires, Mr. Mole," said I, "as they are faithful to the promises they made me."

"Mr. Musgrave," he exclaimed, "I'll be plain with ye. There'll be no call for you to take any notice of what goes on. The ship's stores aren't over good, and there's no reason why the cook should not tarn to and sarve up a forecastle-mess from time to time out of the cabin's provisions. That there live stock," he continued, pointing to a hencoop, "belongs to you and the lady, I believe, sir?" I said "Yes." "Well, it won't be touched; but all the rest we shall take the liberty of claiming for ourselves."

"Of course," I said, "youwill do as you please. But what about the liquor %"

"Ye needn't feel consarned about that," he exclaimed, understanding me; "every man's allowance'll be increased, and why not 1 But there'll be no drinking. If ever you should observe one of the men half so slewed as Broadwater used to be day arter day

and night arter night, the crew'll give ye full consent to have him seized up, and their own hands'll do the rest. No, no, there'll be no drinking. The look-out ain't cheerful enough for the likes o' that sort of jollification. There's one thing, perhaps," he continued, changing his tone from the high, almost angry, energy in which he had been addressing me, "that is proper I should tell 'ee sir. The crew don't want to have nothen to say to any ships that may chance to pass. They desire to keep themselves to themselves."

A thought coming into my head on his saying this, I looked from Miss Grant to him and said: "If a chance offered for this lady and me to transship ourselves, you would not object 1"

He answered quickly and sternly, "Mr. Musgrave, there must be no meddling with other vessels. Please to understand tfuit, sir."

I gave a little involuntary stamp of impatience, but said nothing. Miss Grant's hand stole to my arm with a gentle rebuking pressure of the fingers. The man added, softening his manner, "If you left us, who's to navigate the brig?"

"The ship that received us would lend you a mate."

"Oh, but you don't understand," he exclaimed, with a sour lowering of his face. "Well, sir, 'tis settled, of course —there is to be no conversing with anything that may heave in sight."

"I have told you I will do what you ask."

Just then the cook came up to us, to ask if we were ready for breakfast; and simple as the thing was, yet on the top of the shining morning and the quietude of the men, the touch of homeliness in the question put a sort of ease into my mind that was as useful to me just then as a small stroke of good fortune. It half rose to my lips to gratify Mole by inviting him to use the cabin for his meals, and had I been alone in the brig I should have done so; but the thought of him as society for Miss Grant checked my inisland of Cuba bore above two thousand miles distant from us. How many days' sailing that might signify no man would have cared to conjecture. We might indeed look for the trades anon, and blow along briskly to the quartering gale, without need for days at a stretch perhaps to check a brace or stand by a halliard. But the sun eats out the heart of the steady blowing as the Antilles are approached, and the sweeping wind that has been whitening the curl of the dark blue chasing billows dies out into parched catspaws, brief bursts of fiery squall, and long intervals of glassy, rotting calm, with nothing to tarnish the surface of the blinding mirror but the jump of the skipjack, or the thin blue line that denotes the wake of the wet black fin of the shark.

But at sea what happens for the day must suffice for it, and the breeze had now settled into so fixed and pleasant a humming, that I was scarce surprised when returning on deck after breakfast, to find a hint in the blue shadowiness in the north-east, with here and there a head of cloud lifting out of it, of the presence or the approach of the regular trade-wind. All hands were on deck forward saving Mole, who was aft, and Charles at the wheel. They were lying sprawling, sitting about, smoking to a man, yarning, with often a loud laugh breaking from one or another of them. Indeed, it was more like a dog-watch scene on a fine summer's night thau such a picture as one would look for in the work-up, hard-going hours of the forenoon watch. Over the side the sens ran short, and broke friskily. Again ami again, from either bow, a score of thing Bah would dart from the arch of wave there as though some young sea-god was showering mother-of-pearl up into

It was my war oh on i on my arrival m

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"Not going to such lengths," he answered, "as taking the height of the sun and discovering our situation by celestial observations. But I don't doubt, if I was put to it, that I should be able to find my way about with the log-line, supposing my departure's correct."

"Then," said I, "I may judge, even from what you say, that you are able to follow my navigation, and to form an opinion of its correctness by looking at the course I mark down on the chart?"

"Yes, sir, I should be able to do that."

"I am glad to hear it. I desire that my goodwill should be appreciated. The men would not doubt my sincerity or my capacity with you at hand to tell them that you have checked my reckonings, and that I am heading true to their wishes."

"We're all quite satisfied, sir," he responded, with a falcon glance at me under the careless droop of his lids. "We have no fear of your deceiving of us ; " and with a half-flourish of his hand to his head he went towards the forecastle, leaving me under the impression that I had said too much, and that it would be as well for me in future to rehearse whatever I might wish to say to the men with Miss Grant before expressing myself.

As 1 walked the deck alone, I would catch now and again an odd, inquiring sort of look from Charles, who grasped the wheel. It was almost wistful in its way, and with the idea of giving him a chance to interpret it, I came presently to a stand at the quarter, sending a light glance astern, and then made a stride to the binnacle, which I peered to the canvas as though to remark with what the craft swung through 10 ih a<l weather drag of the ding sail. My aversion to ^^^^^^^^jthout a weak I seemed to ough, as I ■A my sight ie kind of a sight of the figure of Mole standing in an unmistakably listening posture, though you would have said his attention was fixed by something that was happening forward. "No further need to detain you, cook," I exclaimed, loudly and cheerfully; "if you can persuade the crew—for your influence, you know, as 'doctor' ought to be considerable—to let me navigate the brig to any point nearer to Rio than Cuba, you will be doing not me but this lady a prodigious service."

The figure at the skylight moved away. He probably guessed by the change of my voice that I knew he was listening. The cook exclaimed: "The destination of this here wessel is a matter as consarns all hands. It's not for any one man more'n another to interfere. Cuba's been settled upon, and I allow that the arrangement had best be left alone." With that he went on deck.

"I think you are a little indiscreet," said Miss Grant, softly.

"Perhaps so," I replied, "but the fellow with his pale face and projecting eyes had, I thought, an honest look, and I seemed to find a suggestion of garrulity lying behind his loitering here. But I am mistaken. I .must be cautious, as you say; still it is distracting not to be able to make even a guess at the intentions of the fellows."

"You must expect to be watched," she continued. "We shall have to be exceedingly cautious in conversing, and, Mr. Musgrave, it will not do for you to question any of the men. You must be reserved as they are, attend to the navigation of the ship according to their requirements, satisfy them with your honesty as a navigator by such proofs as their ignorance will suffer them to understand, and leave the rest to time and to chance. It must be so!" she cried, still softly, yet with impetuosity in the drawing of her breath. "It is for time and chance to decide all things. Let one's condition be that of a princess, or as dark and as full of care as ours now, it is the same."

"You shall control me as you desire," said I gently; "you have more wit than I, more patience, more courage, and will preserve me from doing anything that I may repent for your sake. I feel myself to a certain extent responsible for the dreadful position in which we are placed." She motioned dissent with her hand.

"Well," I continued, "first of all, I ought to have known human nature too well to have been duped by a man like Broadwater."

"Oh, Mr. Musgrave, we do not know human nature even when we are whitehaired," she cried, "and you are so young yet!"

"That is so," said I, stealing a look at her to see if there was any correspondence between her eyes and her words. "But I am not so young as not to have known better than to suffer ourselves to proceed on this voyage, when perhaps, by insisting upon it, I could have got Broadwater to set us ashore in the English Channel. One hope I have however," with a further lowering of my voice; "it may not have occurred to the men. We have ships of war in the West Indian waters, and it is impossible to conjecture what might come of some smart sloop heaving us into view, and desiring a closer acquaintance from symptoms which the astute naval eye can often discern in what to another is mere timber, canvas, and an ugly head or two peeping over the rail."

But the idea of a cruiser overhauling us was a vague hope at best. I might think to lighten Miss Grant's anxiety, as well as steal a little ease for myself out of the fancies that came into my head by talking of such things. But as the nations were then at peace, as piracy was pretty nearly extinct, and as there was nothing to suggest the slaver in the aspect of the Iron Crown, what excuse should a naval officer find in the mere cut of canvas, and trim of yards, and run of rail, whether ornamented or not with an ugly head or two, to send a boat aboard for a look at the brig's papers 1 The island of Cuba bore above two thousand miles distant from us. How many days' sailing that might signify no man would have cared to conjecture. We might indeed look for the trades anon, and blow along briskly to the quartering gale, without need for days at a stretch perhaps to check a brace or stand by a halliard. But the sun eats out the heart of the steady blowing as the Antilles are approached, and the sweeping wind that has been whitening the curl of the dark blue chasing billows dies out into parched catspaws, brief bursts of fiery squall, and long intervals of glassy, rotting calm, with nothing to tarnish the surface of the blinding mirror but the jump of the skipjack, or the thin blue line that denotes the wake of the wet black fin of the shark.

But at sea what happens for the day must suffice for it, and the breeze had now settled into so fixed and pleasant a humming, that I was scarce surprised when returning on deck after breakfast, to find a hint in the blue shadowiness in the north-east, with here and there a head of cloud lifting out of it, of the presence or the approach of the regular trade-wind. All hands were on deck forward saving Mole, who was aft, and Charles at the wheel. They were lying sprawling, sitting about, smoking to a man, yarning, with often a loud laugh breaking from one or another of them. Indeed, it was more like a dog-watch scene on a fine summer's night than such a picture as one would look for in the work-up, hard-going hours of the forenoon watch. Over the side the seas ran short, and broke friskily. Again and again, from either bow, a score of flying fish would dart from the arch of wave there as though some young sea-god was showering barbs of mother-of-pearl up into the sunny air.

It was my watch on deck, and Mole on my arrival was going forward, when I stopped him.

"Is there a man aboard this vessel," said I, "who has any knowledge of navigation t"

"Not going to such lengths," he answered, "as taking the height of the sun and discovering our situation by celestial observations. But I don't doubt, if I was put to it, that I should be able to find my way about with the log-line, supposing my departure's correct."

"Then," said I, "I may judge, even from what you say, that you are able to follow my navigation, and to form an opinion of its correctness by looking at the course I mark down on the chart?"

"Yes, sir, I should be able to do that."

"I am glad to hear it. I desire that my goodwill should be appreciated. The men would not doubt my sincerity or my capacity with you at hand to tell them that you have checked my reckonings, and that I am heading true to their wishes."

"We're all quite satisfied, sir," he responded, with a falcon glance at me under the careless droop of his lids. "We have no fear of your deceiving of us ; " and with a half-flourish of his hand to his head he went towards the forecastle, leaving me under the impression that I had said too much, and that it would be as well for me in future to rehearse whatever I might wish to say to the men with Miss Grant before expressing myself.

As I walked the deck alone, I would catch now and again an odd, inquiring sort of look from Charles, who grasped the wheel. It was almost wistful in its way, and with the idea of giving him a chance to interpret it, I came presently to a stand at the quarter, sending a light glance astern, and then made a stride to the binnacle, from which I peered to the canvas aloft, as though to remark with what steadiness the craft swung through it under the dead weather drag of the great studding-sail. My aversion to the fellow was not without a weak element of pity for him. I seemed to remember now, oddly enough, as I held him within the sphere of my sight without regarding him, the kind of light that had come into his face like a smile when, as he tugged at his oar in the boat that carried us aboard in the Downs, he had let his eyes rest on Miss Grant, before sending them on to old Broadwater who sat abaft her.

"Sir," he suddenly exclaimed. I turned with an air of surprise at being accosted by him. "It's known to you and the lady, sir, that I killed the mate. He drove me wild in the dark, as I stood here, with more outrageous language than the captain himself could use. He rose the devil in me, and I drew my knife—though the moment after I could have stabbed myself for doing of it." He dragged over a spoke with a mechanical twist; his olive-coloured complexion had perished into a sickly, sallow green, which his dark eyes, gleaming with the contending passions in him, so accentuated that the memory of his visage was for long one of the ugliest phantoms that troubled my slumbers. I drew a pace away when he spoke of killing the mate; he continued talking hurriedly, as though he feared I should leave him before he had had his say. "You and the lady, sir, thinks of me as a bloody murderer, and so I am—so I am! But it begun and ended in what you know and saw. So help me all the good angels I was taught to pray to when I was a child, and so help me the blessed Virgin herself "—he let go the wheel with one of his little bands to make the sign of the cross upon his breast—" whatsoever may have been the cause of the capt'n's disappearance, I am innocent of it. Do you believe me, sir]"

I looked at him a moment and said, "I do. But do you mean to suggest that he met his end by foul play?"

He made a passionate gesture and cried: "I know nothing about it, sir. I want you to believe that, and I want the lady to believe it more'n you. She had pity for me when I—when I—" He paused with a gasp and a swift pointing towards the foremast with a trembling hand.

She came on deck at that moment.

"I am glad to learn what you have told me," said I; and I added coldly, for aversion was strong in me again, and besides, his very words were as good as owning that the captain had been murdered, though not by him, "No doubt the unhappy man fell crazy with drink and temper, and through the loss of the boat, along with his conscience over the drowning of the cabin-boy, and quietly sneaked overboard ;" and so saying I walked over to Miss Grant.

I called to some men to spread the little scrap of awning the brig carried, and three or four of them came instantly tumbling aft as willingly as one could wish. I then placed a chair for Miss Grant to windward, where I could sometimes halt in my walk to have a chat with her, for now that I had charge of the deck, her accompanying me in my pacings would scarcely look ship-shape in the eyes of the seamen. But I made no reference to my conversation with the half-blood, beyond merely telling her in a whisper that the fellow had, in an odd way, protested himself as innocent of whatever the cause might have been of Broadwater's disappearance ; whence I thought it was certainly to be gathered that the old man had been made away with. However, it was not a little comforting, I can tell you, to feel that this Charles, whom I held in secret dread, was equal to feeling grateful to Miss Grant for the concern and indignation his punishment at the foremast had excited in her. It was gratifying to me moreover to know that he had conscience enough left in him to shrink from suspicion of another dark deed. Indeed my talk with the fellow, followed on by the lively willingness of the men who responded to my order to lay aft and spread the awning, would have put, I believe, something of lightness iuto my tread of the quarter-deck, specially with the radiant scene of heaven and ocean to turn from to Miss Aurelia's dark eyes, which often fol lowed me as I walked, but for the dull

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