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All the rest of the fellows had have said, there were few boats could started, and already were hidden go to windward of the Wavc, and perfrom us, as we then stood, round haps none that “went about" more the rocky point. There was no one readily, and with less loss. So we to hail for a dingy, and we were managed to shave past, and came into beholden to a dusky gentleman in a full view of the little squadron. We country boat for a passage along- were signalised at once, not by the side. We had a job to get the ordinary bits of bunting, but by general anchor up; for it had so happened acclamation, and waving of handker

; that when last we came in all the chiefs by our fair friends. On board buoys were occupied, and as I had the largest yacht, a committee of ladies little idea of wanting to use her again, had established themselves, witls I had let go her anchor. When we were plenary powers of command. This fairly under weigh, I began to look a was the Queen Bee, whose motions little into our capabilities. She had the rest were to follow. At the mobeen sold " all standing," so that the ment of our coming in sight she set general complexion of her gear was the example of making sail, and much what it had been under my making the best of our way to our catering. But there were already rendezvous; and forthwith all the some symptoms of a change of mas- rest, who had been lying-to for iis, ters. The sail locker was empty; followed her motions. The idea of and I remembered that her old suit the party was to get, as best we had been exempted from the general could, with the light breeze that then bill of sale, and made over as a legacy served, to the rendezvous. For our to old Pierre. He had walked off return, we were almost sure of the with them; and thus we were left land-breeze, which would help us along with no second suit of sails in case of homeward without any trouble. They accident. Those on deck were all she were all in tip-top spirits,—especially, had to show. However, this defi- I thought, on board the Commodore. ciency was far from causing me any In about half an hour we ranged up alarm ; nothing in the way of sea along-side of her, and there we accident seemed less probable than found collected what might be called that we should carry away any of her the bouquet of the party. Among rags that day. We were going them was Virginie, whom I had half merely for easy locomotion, amidst a hoped to find, but whom I could not fry of small craft, some of whom flatter myself that I really did find, would be sure to lend us whatever by subdued at the parting with so many any accident we might want. My of her friends - more especially at present mate, moreover, had a special parting with myself. She bore the objection to “carrying on.” There air of happiness triumphant. Still I was a convention between us, by vir- could not but fancy, when she waved tue of which it was understood that her pretty hand to me, that it was whenever he came with me, we were with something of empressement. I to slope along on an even keel. His know that I must have been considerapprehension of disaster comprehended ably empressé in my salutation ; for a nothing but fear of a capsize from host of latent associations stirred carrying too much sail. I think he within me, at this, as I deemed it, would have preferred going unpro- farewell meeting. I had no desire to vided as we were, to leaving it in my make myself ridiculous; so I kept power to make sail in case of acci- my own counsel as well as I could. dents. All he realised was, that But I felt seriously unhappy, and rewithout sail a craft would not “turn pented for the moment that I had the turtle;" and as to her fetching obeyed the invitation. I will not port, he had in this particular a blind detail the history of the fête—it confidence in the skill of his skipper passed with every advantage of weafor the time being.

ther and sociability; The poor senThere was scarcely enough wind timentalists, if any there were besides for us to work out of the harbour, as myself, must have felt themselves the set of the sea carried us strongly sadly out of their element. All seemed towards the bluff of rock that stretches as jovial as though no such thing as nearly across the entrance. But as I parting existed as a human necessity.

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Amid all I grew sadder and sadder, dead calm. The breeze that was to and blamed my own folly in coming succeed it was very long in coming, Already I thought that many of the The revellers were so well pleased damsels showed an unaccustomed with their entertainment that no disregard of my presence, as though thought was breathed of getting ready it were no longer worth while to dis- for a start, till the gentle sighing of tinguish with attention a man who the neighbouring sugar canes told us was on the eve of leaving them for that the elements would serve our ever. Virginie was unequivocally an turn. Such a large and straggling exception to this rule. She was, as party was not got together and reshe ever had been, kind; and made embarked without difficulty; aud the many inquiries as to my future moves upshot of all was that, by the time ments, even speculating on our meet- we were under weigh homewards, it ing again. But she seemed thorough- was well on in the evening. This ly content that I should go, and as gave us little uneasiness; the nights though no such dream had ever cn- were clear, the breeze was generally tered her head as that I might, under steady, and as the land lay pretty any circumstances, remain with her. well astern, the only difficulty that Altogether I was so far from entering occurred to me was concerning the into the spirit of the party that I orderly behaviour of some of the men, suffered an access of nuisanthropy. In who had taken too much wine to be my own mind I condemned her as quite manageable. having been utterly spoiled by educa- As it concerns our subsequent tion and early associations. She had adventure, I may as well say that been used to intimacy with so many, none of the uproarious ones were on and such constantly changing friends, board the Wave. They none of them that she was utterly incapable of the would patronise a craft (so they said) stability of friendship. The devotion which was commanded by such a longof love could not, I thought, be found faced skipper. So Hamilton and with her; and without this devotion myself were the complement returnhearts are not given.

ing, as we had been coming. He was On the melancholy pasturage of my as sober as a judge, and just as much own thoughts I became at last so disposed as ever to be “handy Billy," visibly doleful, that I acted quite as a or, in common language, to do a turn wet blanket on the party. Some of of work wherever he might be useful. the giddier among the girls rallied I should think that we must have me, more wittily than compassionately, numbered, in all, at least twenty boats. on my love-tokens; and wished to It did not seem unlikely that some of try me by a sort of jury, to discover them might fall on board of each which of themselves it was that caused other, as they were crowded very my grief. The effect of this badinage thickly, and some of them kept poor on me was to kindle no little exaspe- watch. Some of the steersmen were ration against the principal persecutors, too jolly to be careful, and the girls and to make me pretty considerably did not by any means call them to unamiable to all. I felt that I was order. It is almost a peculiarity of behaving in a way that would be colonial girls to be without fear. Perlikely to leave behind me no good haps it is because they see so much of impression, and yet I could not con- change, that few things strike them strain myself to propriety.

as strange,-and it is strangeness that Thus far my expedition seemed to generally terrifies. As I had sold my have answered ill. I have now to tell yacht, and bargained for her price, I how it anon seemed to threaten worse, felt that I ought to be particularly and then turned out in the happy careful of what had become another issue which I at present enjoy. man's property. I was unwilling to

The time came for us to think of run the risk of injuring even her returning. There was every proba- paint-work, which I supposed to be bility of our finding this an easy task, about the extent of damage threatened as we were able pretty well to cal. by a collision. So I held on till the culate on the rising of the land-breeze. whole set of them were started, and The wind had fallen during the day, then got under weigh, keeping in and for some hours there had been a their wake. There was no great

So we

distance between us, only just suffi- before long we were going through cient to keep us well clear of them. the water at the rate of five knots.

Merry sounds of song and talk We held on thus, till I knew that we resounded from the tiny specks that must be coming close on to the ugly floated on Ocean. Good-humoured reef that lies about three miles S.S.W. hails were sent back to me, and many of Port St Louis. The clouds had an offer made of a tow-rope to help become blacker, and without doubt a me to my station. Some of them squall was þrewing. Judging from had musical instruments with them, experience, I fancied that it would be and gave the harmony of voice and only of rain ; and, at any rate, it string to be blended with the even- seemed not yet to be so near as to ing air. A happier or securer party require us to take in canvass. never enjoyed themselves, nor any, I held on everything, and I ran-forward should say, that fancied for themselves to look out for the reef, and left a more perfect exemption from the Hamilton at the tiller. I at no time possibility of danger.

particularly liked to have him for a Things went thus for about an hour steersman, but now I had no choice, and a half, the gradual change of for he would not by any means have evening into night being scarcely per

done for a look-out man. ceptible in the lengthened twilight. “Now Hamilton," I said, “look The wind, which had been gradually out, keep her as she goes a bit, and falling, seemed then fairly to expire. have one eye to windward, for there is Nothing more was to be done by sail- a regular sneezer brewing, and we shall ing, and the boats remained bobbing have it hot and strong in a jiffey." up and down in the slight swell, with- As I ran forward, I looked at him out the least homeward motion. It to see whether he appeared to be at was plainly a case of “out oars." all in a stew, but was rejoiced to find Sadly against the grain did it go with him cool as a cucumber. He stepped us to pull off our jackets and set to confidently to his post, and looked work; but there remained no choice. out to windward like a regular sea-dog. We could not stay there all night, We had now come to that point of and if we meant to fetch our port we our course where the wind ceased to must pull. Some of them managed be right astern. The head of the very well, as they were helped by the coast makes it necessary to beat up a man-of-war boats that had joined the bit, in order to weather the headland. cruise. They got considerably ahead, We were perfectly able to do this, and thus a division was produced in and to have even a point or two to our little flotilla. The Wave was spare, only we should want a more amongst the sternmost, as for want of skilful helmsman than Hamilton. hands we had been able to do but However, we were just clearing the little ; and besides that, we were in no reef, and in a minute or so more I working humour. One by one they should be able to return to my post. all forged ahead so far as to be out of Meanwhile, I kept her as she was a sight at that time of night ; yet still not bit, till I should be able to put her so far but that we occasionally heard round myself. them hailing, or singing at their oars. I had been for some minutes too

As we had no fancy for a hard spell much occupied with the pilotage to at pulling, we took things coolly as think of the weather, so had implicitly they came. We kept all sail set to trusted the observation of this to my take advantage of any little breeze watch-mate. He ever and anon reportthat might come, and meanwhile ed things looking worse and worse. waited as patiently as

we could.

A fine dust of rain, as it were beatSome three-quarters of an hour pro- ing into my face, made me look up, bably passed in this way, and then and I saw that we were in for it. the face of the night began to undergo

“ Stand by there," I sang out. a change. The clouds showed a dis- " Ay, ay," said Hamilton, and he position to concentrate in a particular did stand by with the air of a regular point over to landward, and light blue jacket. catspaws to play upon the water. This was all the caution for which Soon the breeze steadied a bit, and I had time. The same moment the allowed us to lie on our course; and squall broke heavily upon us, and the



poor little Wave was thrown nearly prolonging agony. But I cannot say right on her beam ends.

that the want of provisions seemed to ** Luff there," I cried, “luff, man, me then to enhance the horrors of our quick." .

condition. Our death by drowning “Ay, ay," was the ready re- seemed so certain, and so immediately joinder, but alas ! just the contrary imminent, that no room remained for

the thing done. Whether remoter apprehensions. Hamilton was flurried, or whether he For one moment, I believe, we both never rightly knew what luffing meant, lost our self-possession. Hamilton he put the helm hard up. In swing- was alarmed at the heeling over, and ing off before the squall, she caught at the noise, but when the boat the full force of the wind, and for one righted, he seemed to think all the moment I thought all was over with danger was over. My blank look, us. She went so far over that it however, somewhat alarmed him, and seemed impossible that she should he did not quite understand why it not capsize. But at the same instant, was that we were sailing off shore at and before one could well think of such a rate. “Halloo,” said he, the predicament, a jerk was felt, an “ what makes you look so grave? A explosion as of a pistol was heard, miss is as good as a mile. We're all and the little craft righted. The right now, a'int we?" I did not answer mainsail had been blown clear away him in words; but leaving him to from the stay-rope, and was flutter- gather intelligence from my looks, I ing about in ribbons.

ran to the tiller to see whether there In a moment I saw the danger of remained any hope of getting her our position. The squall had been sufficiently near to the wind to enable the first burst of a regular built gale, us to fetch any part of the coast. which was now blowing tremendously The attempt was but a forlorn hope. off shore. Had we been all a-taunto I might just as well have tried to sail we might have managed to beat her in the wind's eye. I could not against it, but even then it would “bring her to" in the least, but she have been a tedious business, and went tearing on right before the wind. would have required .careful steering. “ Hamilton," I said, “ we are in a bad At present, with only our jib standing, way. She cannot beat against this it was perfectly impossible to dream gale under her jib, and you know that of such a thing. No earthly power we have not a stitch of spare canvass." could prevent our drifting out to sea. Strange as it may seem, he did not

Does any man who has not been seem at first to catch the idea of the placed in such a position, think that danger we really were in. He had he can realise the feelings of two so accustomed himself to think of one human beings thrown thus, like us, kind of peril only, that he could see waits on the wide ocean. I believe nothing alarming in our state so long that no man can ; but to assist the as we carried on under easy canvass. imagination of such a one, let him “Do you mean to say,” he at last consider one or two things. The asked gravely, “ do you mean to say waters before us came, with scarcely that we are in any danger ?" the break of an island, from the ice- “Danger !" I said, “ do you think fields of the south pole,--and behind there is much safety to be found in a us the waste might almost be called craft like this, out on the Indian boundless. In a few minutes we Ocean, with a gale blowing ?" should, as things went, find ourselves "Out on the ocean !"-here his clear of the lee of the land, and then face fell with the expression of a the Indian coast might be considered dawning apprehension; "what have the nearest breakwater. The billows we to do with the ocean?" that would roll after us would come "How are we to keep out of it ? with all the force collected within such Our last chance was to get her round mighty limits, under the excitement and run her on the reef,-a poor of the gale. Had our bark been of chance, but all that we could dream proportions to combat the elements, of. You saw me try her just now, we could have found no safety in an and saw that it was impossible.” unvictualed refuge. She would at " Then you mean to say nothing most have afforded us the means of can prevent our drifting out to sea?



My silence and dejection gave him

But our distance was each the sorrowful answer.

moment increasing, and the night Poor Hamilton! he was a brave was waxing darker continually. A enough fellow in his way, and willing few more minutes, and the lights were to stand any risk for the good of the hidden from us; and we were left service,-this was all in the way of simply and literally without any business, and he felt it to be right knowledge of our position, on thic enough, -but the idea of being drowned Indian Ocean. The sca had got up on a pic-ni: excursion seemed to prodigiously, the wind blew harder strike him as something altogether ont than ever, and the night was as dark of his way. I will not say that he as pitch. Though she was flying was afraid on the occasion, because I before the wind, we could not keep do not believe he would admit the the sea out of lier,-it washed in influence of fear. But he gave me over her quarter every few minutes, the idea of a man labouring under and it was all that we could do to the strangeness of an inadmissible keep her free by baling. Happily we proposition. It seemed as though a had a couple of buckets with us, that strong sense of injured innocence served the turn well. were mixed with his apprehensions, I shudder when I look back to this as if he felt himself to have been part of that fearful night. Later on done and ill-treated.

in the season of our peril we did not “You don't mean to say that you feel so acutely the horrors of our cannot get her round?" this was said position, because our sensibilities to me in a tone that seemed to imply had been then pretty well exhausted that I conld if I would. “If I could," by the struggle for existence. So little I answered, " I should have run her hope remained at last that our spirits on the reef; she would certainly soon scarcely retained the vitality necessary go to pieces there, but it was our only for suffering. We were as though chance."

already dead, and already taken away “ Nerer mind her going to pieces,” from living pains and feelings. But said he; “I will pay half the damage." with the earlier part of the evening

It annoyed me, even at that terrible are connected associations of far more moment, to hear our condition made active pain—I mean during that part a question of pounds, shillings, and when I had not resigned hope. I pence. I felt angry, too, with him, know that there is a theory current when I reflected that we had been that the living spirit never resigns brought to this predicament simply hope ; that a man sinking alone in by his clumsiness. I so far gave way the midst of the Atlantic, or bowed to anger as to tell him that, if we got down for the stroke of the descending safe to land I never would go sailing guillotine, never believes it to be with him again, nor trust myself on impossible that he shall cscape. salt water with a watch - mate who cannot pledge my own experience to didn't know what “luff" meant, and the truth of this theory. The spirit of who wanted to sail in the wind's eye man is so firmly wedded to hope, that under a jib. Poor Hamilton, who it is in extremity only that this blessnow seemed fully to appreciate our ing can be torn from us. But the peril, contented himself with assuring divorce may be effected at last, even me that I might rest quiet, for I never while the tide of life beats in the veins. should go sailing again with him, or I am quite sure that, during some with anybody else.

hours of this night, we both felt perA growing and abiding sense of the fectly devoid of hope, and that we truth of this probability soon checked could not have felt more certain of the spirit of squabbling within each of death had we actually passed the us. We were every moment drifting gloomy portals. But this was only out farther and farther. So long as latterly, when our physical energies the lights of the island had been had succumbed under protracted visible, they had imparted some exertion, when every expedient we degree of comfort. They at least could devise for prolonging our chance showed whither our course would seemed to have failed. At first I lay, in case matters should so far mend could not make up my mind that our as to enable us to choose our own was hopeless, nor familiarise


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