Page images
PDF
EPUB

here take anoder drop'-and, lord, shåll soon have enough.'' Wid dat we have de oder pull at de case him strike one light, den light some bottle. Him puff one long puff after chip, and presently him tro someting him drink.-' I see you suspicious on de flame, dat make it blaze up wid me,' him say, 'but only come into one large blue flame dat make de length of de old hut in de cashaw everyting look wery disagreab—-oh, bush dere, and you shall see I is mosh wery. Jack sit down-he take true man.'-Here I stand back leetle piece roast pork, some yam, and piece to remember myself_but he some salt fis out of de crown of him would give me no time to tink none shako--we eat_de rum bottle soon at all. You coward fellow, come not heavy too much in de hand along,' say Jack- here go me'- and I forget, binner dat I is, dat I wid dat him let himself down by sould hab been in my bed in de barde rope.- Coward ! nay, me is no rick in de fort 0 Jack, after poke coward-so here go me, Quacco'— de fire again, say, 'Quacco, broder and down I slid after him. We reach Quacco, as I say before, we is coun. de bottom. Now follow me,' say trymen_bote Eboe is we ?'Yes,' Jack. Presently we come to de hut say I, we is Eboe, but we were wery in de wood, but many & time I different peoples in de Eboe counlook back to see de glance of de try. You know, Jack, dat I was poor sentry musket before him fire; but debil whose fader and moder was no one so much as hail we—so we kill and carry away by dese dam walk, or rader run, along de small Felatahs and”” path, troo de cashaw bushes dat Here friend Sprawl interrupted lead to de hut-de moonshine flick- the thread of our friend Quacco's er, flicker on de white sandy path, tale. “I say, sergeant, you are troo de small leaf of de cashaw, no speaking of Felatahs—we have heard bigger as, and wery like, de leaf much of them on the coast who and of de sensitive plant.-Ah, Massa what are they, my man ?” Brail,” - I was smiling here -“I “ I shall tell massa,” said Sergeant know him name-I know de sensi. Quacco. “ Dam troublesome fellow tive plant—often get tenpence from dem Felatah-never stay at home young buccra bofficer to hunt him always going about fighting hereout for him, and, indeed, I know stealing dere. You go to bed-hear where whole acres of him grow in de pig in de oder end of your hut Jamaica. But you put me out, grunt quite comfortable-you wake Massa Brail-where I was ?-oh- him gone_'ab, Felatah must have de moonshine shine bright and clear, been dere.' You hab only two wife, and de lizard whistle wheetle, wheetle, 80 you go into market-bazar, de and de tree-toad snore, and de wood. Moorish people call him-you buy cricket chirp, and de beetle moan anoder leetle wife, because maybe past we, and de bat whir, and de one of de two grow old, and de creech howl squake-So tink I, I oder grow stupid maybe; well, you wish I was once more in de barrick bringde leetle wife home_nice -but no help for it. Presently we leetle person-you tell him de story were in front of de hut. Small how Felatah come, while you sleep, black ogly hut him was-no light and tief pig-ha, ha—you laugh, and could be seen in him--at least none he laugh, and you drink small piece shine below de door-and dere was of tody, after nyam supper, and go never no window in him none at all. werry merry to bed-ho-you wake Jack stop, and put him hand to de next niorning-debil_him gone too latch. I lay hold of him arm. I say, well as de pig-de leetle wife gone • Massa Jack, is dis de hut you -oh, lord_sure as can be, Felatah speak of, and dis de pleasant peoples must be dere.' And your bag of I was to see, and de nice black girls, cowrie never safe_every ting dat eh ?'- Stop,' say he, 'don't judge cursed Felatah can lay him fist on, until you see-but come in, man, him grab_de Livapool ship people come in.'-I go in, but Jack was call him Scotchman.” close de door instantly behind him. “Don't tell that part of your story * Hilo, what you mean by dat?' say in the hearing of Corporal Lennox, I, 'you go leave me here widout friend Quacco," said I, laughing. fire ? - Poo,' say he, 'fire? you He grinned, and proceeded. “I say to Jack,‘I was catch when I was termined to grapple wid Jack. I leetle naked fellow by de Felatahs, tumble all about de hut, but no Jack wid my fader and moder, and carry dere; I try de door-all fast. What off to dem country, and afterward sball I do 2-he vanish-he must be sell for slave; but you was great man debil-and once more I retreat de always-big Fetish priest you was best way I could, groping along de many Fetish you make in your time; wall, until I once more get into de you kill goatand pig before de Fetish.' corner dat I was leave. Ob, my - Ay, said Jack, • and maybe, God !' say me Quacco, 'here I sall Quacco, I kill oder ting you no dream be murder-or if I be not murder, of before de Fetish, beside dem who den I sall be flog for being out of hab cloven hoof and four leg and barrick widout leave-Oh, poor me one tail--and he rose up--on which Quacco, poor me Corporal Quaccome Quacco jump on my feet too. oh, to be flog at de triangles would Master Ogly Jack, I onderstand be one comfort, compare wid walk you, you willain ; you is one mus to de bell place in dis fashion! tiny, bir, and I arrest you, sir, in • Quacco,' say one voice, it was not de name of de Kin. All dis Jack voice, Quacco.'-. Hillo,' say time I was press de tumb of my I, who de debil is you, eh?' No left hand against de pipe of my hanswer-den I begin to ruminate bayonet to see dat him was loose again. Quacco,' again de voice in de sheath. Jack again throw say.-Hillo,' again say I, frighten someting into de fire, dat dis time till de sweat hop, hop over my foreflare up wid red flame, not wid blue head, and den from my chin and de one, as before, when everyting-de point of my nose,"-(" Where may roof, de leetle wildcane bed, de that be?” whispered little Binnacle) rafter, and whole inside of de hut, “when it drop down on de floor like de calabash hang against de wall, all small bullets. Quacco.'_' Oh, oh, look red, red and glowing hot, as if oh!'groan I; for dis time it sound as we had plump into de bad place all if one dead somebody was speak out at once--even Jack, and me Quacco, of one hollow coffin, lying at de botseem two big lobster. I was wery tom of one new open grave, “put terrible frighten, and drew back to you hand at you feet, and see what de corner as far as I could get. Jack you catch dere, and eat what you did not follow me, but continued catch dere. I did 80-I find one standing in de same spot where he calabash, wid boil nyam, and piece bad risen up, wid both band stretch salt pork dere; I take him up--taste out towards me. I try for speak, him--wery good-eat him all-why but my troat stop up, as if you was not ? Quacco,' again say de voice, plug him wid piece of plantain. grope for de calabash dat hang

Quacco,' at length say Jack wery against de wall.' I do so — quite slow, like one parson, 'Quacco, you heavy-let me see. •Drink what in have say I was Fetishi man, and hab him,' again say de debil.—' To be kill goat and pig--and I say I was sure, Massa Debil,' say I, why not.' so, and dat I have in my time make I taste bim-good rum-ah, ah, ahFetish of oder ting dat have no cleft wery good rum, when flash de fire in him hoof, and hab not four leg, again blaze up right cheery, but I nor one tail. Listen to me, Quacco, see no one; so I begin to look about, you is not goat?'- No,' say me and de first ting I do was to put Quacco, 'certainly I is not goat.'- down my hand where I had replaced You is not pig?' continue Jack.- de calabash at my feet. Mercy Hea

No, no-Oh! oh! oh!' groan me ven! what I lift? One skull, fresh and Quacco again.—You hab not cloven bloody, of one dead shild, wid some foot ?' him go on to say.-'No,' roar dirt at de bottom, and some fedders, 1.-- Nor four leg?'-'No,' again me and de shell of one egg. Oh, oh, oh! roar, shaking out my two foot for obeah, obeah !' shout I. And de calamake him see.- Nor one tail ?'- bash, what him contain? I pour out Here I get mad wid fear, and jump some on de fire-blaze, whatever it forward wid my drawn bayonet right was-blaze up in my face and singe upon Jack-but, fiz, as if water had my hair, oh, wery mosh-make my been thrown on it, out goes de fire. head smell like de sheep head de I nearly stifle wid de smoke, but de Scotch agitant saryant boil for him

inassa dinner on Sunday, when him sound till near daybreak, when I too sick to dine at de mess. 'Dis turn myself, and say, 'Hab I Quacwill never do,' say I Quacco; let me co been dronk last night ?' ì vnk so ; see what stuff dis can be I was drink;' 'Or has all dis been one drtum?' and I pour some on de white bench Maybe. Den I put up my hand to my beside de fire. Oh, mammy Juba- head, but I never get soch bumps 0_0_0_it was blood! And what and tumps in one dream before. is dat small black box I see below Dere was only tree oder of our men de bench? Icapsize him. “Debil,' say sleep in dat end of de barrick where I Quacco, 'what him is?' Massa, it was I was, de rest being two rooms off, one leetle coffin tree feet long, wid dose between us being in repair; de grave-clothes in him, but green one on dem was Ogly Jack, and de and festering as if de rotting dead oder two was de wery dentical picaninny had been new remove. rascail I have mention before, Mun.

Quacco,' again say dat terrible dingo Tom and Yellow-skin Paul voice, what you eat for yam was -Dem all treë eider were sound dirt from your fadder's grave, Quac. asleep, or in dem hammocks, or preco-look at him.'-'Oh, oh,' again tended dey were so-for when I roar I; 'but, good Massa Debil, who feel de cool damp morning breeze go to Africa for him, eh?' _ Hold come troo de open window at one your peace and be dam,' say de side of de barrick-room, and blow voice; you mosh swear to keep Jack clean out atde oder,and see de mornsecret, and to help him, and to do ing startwinkle bright and clear in de whatever bim tell you, even if it red east on one side, and de paleshould be to shoot'-Here I go mad face buccra moon, just sinking bealtogeder-I dance about de fire- hind de brushwood on Hellshire whip, in one second it go out entire. Point, troo de window on de oder ly-I jump up and down-de voice hand, I turn myself again in my still continue to sing out-oder two hammock, and listen to de roar of voice sing out along wid him. “Where de surf in de distance, and rub my dem evil spirit can be conceal ?' say eyes again, and say it not morning I_ some one must be on de rafter of yet.'- But presently de truth push de roof above my head calabash, for himself into my eye, and I say It is I can't find no devil on de floor of daybroke, and sore or sound, up de hut, none at all,' say I ; so I jump must I Quacco get.' Just under de up again, when my head knock window, by dis time, I was hear against someting. “Oh,' say some- some low grumbling voices, and body. 'Ah,' say me, Quacco. I coughs, and loud yawns; den I hear leap once more, and pike up my hollow tumbling sounds like when naked bayonet before me-It tick drum is place on de ground, den in someting-what it was I can't tell; more grumbles, and coughs, and it feel as if I had dig him into one yawns, den de squeeking of de round of beef-large yell instantly drum braces, as de leetle drummer shake de entire hut-I jump again- pull dem tight, and de tootletoo of heavy ting fall down on me-I de tifer, as dem get all ready. At scramble to get away, but one of de length old Spearpoint, de drum-madebils scramble to hold me down-I jor, sing out wery gruff, ‘fall in, muturn to de left-I lay hold of de hand sic,' and next minute roll went de of anoder on dem-no doubt one drum, squeak went de fife, roll who was speak. Ho, ho,' say I went de drum, squea-eak went de Quacco; so I make clever slide from fife very sbrill, roll went de drum between dem. De two debil grapple de tird time, and squea-ea-eak went one anoder-gurgle, gurgle—squeak, de fife, very too dam shril dis last squeak-one on dem was strangling time, and away dem stamp rum dum de oder. I almost laugh, when some dum round de barraik-yard wid dere one hit me a heavy blow behind de reveillie. We all tumble out, and ear; I faint away-dead-and-and fall in on parado-still dark-we I remember noting none at all, until I stand to our arms, de moon go down, find myself, when still it was dark but de morning star glance cold and night, all beat and bruise, but wid clear on de bayonet and bright barswimming head, in my hammock in rels of de guns—de great Duke no de barrick at Fort Augusta. I sleep was brown de barrel den, God bless him. Search arms, de sergeant into open column of companies, right say. We do 80-half pace to de in front-on you left backwards right--so in dat position I see well wheel-halt, dress.' De hofficer was what Ogly Jack, who was my rear now all on parade, and stood in a rank man, was do. De sergeant ap- group in front-de agitant mount proach me, I send down my steel him horse-Major D- appear at ramrod wid one bang-he jump up de door of him house-one order. with a loud ring one foot out of my ly hold him horse—him mount, and musket-it really surprise me how ride up to de hofficer. "Gentlefar de ramrod jump, as I send him men, fall in form subdivisionshome wid scarcely no strength none quick march' - rum, dum, dum, at all. ' Ha, someting past com- dum, again, and away we march out mon here,' say I to myshef-de next to de glacis of de Fort-den we form, man to me in de front rank was Yel. and much maneuvre we was perlow-skin Paul, and de next man to form-oh wery brilliant, 'wid carOgly Jack was Mundingo Tom. tridge, prime, and load.' 'De reAs me Quacco was de right hand giment will fire by companies from man of de front rank of de grenadiers, right to left'-short tap on de drum 80 Jack was de right hand man of de hofficer commanding compade rear rank-well, Yellow-skin Paul nies fall back two pace-ready, premake believe dat him send him sent, fire-blaze go de grenadier-I ramrod home, but I notice he catch prick my ear, and cock my eye. him between his finger and tumb, Ogly Jack, my covering file, was 80 as he never reach de bottom. not fire-I know, because de mo'Ho, ho,' tink I to myself,' who shall ment I pull de trigger, I clap my say dat gun no load! I keep quite right cheek down on de barrel of he still-de sergeant by and by come musket as he was level-all cold iron to Jack-he catch de ramrod same -Ha, ha,' say I to myself, and while way, and de sergeant being half loading, I glance my eye at Yellowasleep, eider did not notice dis, or skin Paul's firelock, who was next him tought nothing about it. Pre- me, and also at Mundingo Tom's, sently he desire Mundingo Tom to who was next Jack, bote on dem search arms-he bang his ramrod were half cock. So “Ha, ha,' say down I saw, wid design to catch me Quacco again, but before I him like de oders, but in his hurry could determine in my own mind it slipt troo his fingers, and go home wbat I should do, de word was thud. Ho, ho,' say I again to my- given_' De regiment will fire one self, dis piece is also load'-What volley direct to de front,'— Ready was to be do-de sergeant notice - present - fire,' - roar went de dis one-dat firelock is load, you musketry -- all smoke for small scoundril.'--'No,' say Mundingo space_we remain at de presentTom, 'but I leave some tow in him, wait long time for de major give de beg pardon, massa sergeant:'--You word ‘Come to de recover,'-no one dem rascail,' say de sergeant, 'you speak-all of we remain wid our never is better, you lazy dog-fall piece level-oh! one attitude wery out sir, and draw de LAtten- tiresome. Still no one speak. At tion,' call out agitant de left length I hear our captain, one wery wheel into line --- marsh' - tramp, nice nian, grumble to himself, tramp, tramp, whir-de line is form. “Why, what can be amiss wid de 'Stand at ease'--' A sergeant from old major?'-dat moment de smoke, each company for blank cartridges.' by de setting in of de sea-breeze, So away step de sergeant, who had was blow off. What shall we see? given Mundingo Tom a rating, and Why, Major D- was lying on I take de opportunity of whisper him horse's neck, widin ten yard of Jack_' I say, Jack, what is in de de grenadier company. "Ah!' say wind ? I have great mind to peach for we captain-_' he must be in one my sospicion.' He say nosing ; and fit-when down de major drop- and den I say, 'Poo, all my fear must be away scamper de horse-de captain nonsense--all must be a dream-de run up, and turn de old man on him sergeant return-serve out eight back, and take off him stock, and round of blank cartridge- atten- open him jacket. 'Ah!' cry hetion' again. • De line will wheel • mutiny, gentlemen, mutiny ; de major is shot dead. Secure de ma- be hang immediately ' Dem would gazine; call out de artillery.' Den not speak one word-den I tell all I one loud buz buz pass along de line hear--and so dem try, find guilty, -de hofficer voice was heard-Men, and were hang-and I as one reward if you move one step I will cut you got my discharge." (Here our friend down by G-d.' Anoder say_Stand made a long pause—at length he conto your arms, men; if one of you tinued.) “Why I take him-I can't stir, I will run him troo' "Who is tell-and still more, why I leave dear de willain ?-who is de willain ?' Jamaica, where de Governor hoffer shout some one else. Someting me ground to grow nyam in, and come over me,I rush out five pace house--and as for wife, I hab several. -order my fusee, and touch my What de debil was possess me to cap-wery graceful - 80 - (suiting leave my pig, and wives, and allowthe action to the word – Captain, ance-pension you call him, and take and gentlemen-dere are de muti- into my head for come here again ? neers. “Where?' Dere. 'Name -Heaven know-I Quacco do not. dem,' say one. "I will,' say me -Here-where one can scarcely Quacco - Ogly Jack, Mundingo breathe for stinking mud, and every Tom, and Yellow-skin Paul.' Dey night brings dangers wid it, and you were all immediately secure and never can tell whidder de next marshed to de front;-dem say no- morning will not see you carried ting—not one word. I look at dem away into slavery, or may be sacri-all tree cool and collected. May ficed before one Fetish, or who know be,' tink I, . dere will have be some dat he shall not, some fine forenoon, mistake; if so, all people will tink be roast or grill, and eaten like one I mosh have been de mutineer, mur- monkey. Oh, I wish I was back serer you call, and dat to shave my- again." self I was peach on dem. My heart “But,” said Spraw), “ you seem sink wben de agitant seize me to bave left off as corporal by de shoulder. My fine fellow, when became you sergeant?" you make mosh noise-we shall see Quacco laughed, “ by brevet, my what you are make of very shortgood sir-by bre"ly yourself.'-'Here, secure Cor- “ A gun—Sir Oliver speaking to poral Quacco. By dis time we us in the offing." were again marching into de fort- “Hurrah for Old Gazelle once de gate was shut-four field piece more !” shouted Sprawl, in a voice nine pounder, manned by white ar- like thunder. tillerymen, was pointed so as to en. “Out of my way, friend Quacco," filade us as we were formed in cried I. close column-and my tree friend, “ Room if you please, old Daddy and myself were instantly brought Longyarn," quoth master Marline. to one drum-head court.martial. And to the great dismay of poor Some young hofficer say, 'Oh, hang Quacco, who little expected to have him all-hang him all.' Please not, been so suddenly and unceremoni. young gentleman, if de same ting to ously swept aside, we all tumbled on you,' say I.- No hurry,' say 1.- deck as fast as our legs could carry 'I am willing to be hang if dese tree us. The first man I encountered willains are not de men. Secure was Clinker, the master at arms. dem handa'-dis was done. “Now,' “Who has seen the frigate?” said I. Bay I, 'we were all sarve wid eight “ Why, there she is, sir," replied blank cartridge-look at dem mus- the man. “ There, you see her topkets-plain dey all have been fire'- gallant sails over the green bushes • What has all dis to do wid it?' say there, sir. Now, you see the heads of de agitant.--'Mosh,' say I, 'mosh her fore and maintopsails." now see how many cartridge each “I see, I see. What signal is that on dem hab.' Ha, ha,' say my Cap- flying at the fore, Mr Marline ?” tain, 'Quacco is right-dem all tree said I to the midshipman who was have each de eight cartridge un- looking out. touch, yet it quite evident dey all “ The signal to close, sir." have fired. What say you, ye “ Close, croaked old Sprawl scoundrels,' again say de Captain- “ close-easier said than done, Sir . what say you why you should not Oliver.”

« PreviousContinue »