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Here the frigate in the offing “ What signal now, Mr Marline ?" slowly and majestically shoved her “ The signal to weigh and stand long jib-boom past the mangroves out, sir." on the westernmost bank, and gra- “Why we can't; it is impossible; dually the whole beautiful machine although the wind is fair, the swell hove in sight, rising and falling on on the bar puts it out of our power." the long swell.
" Very true," said old Pumpbolt, As she came round the point, “and you had better say so, Brail. she took in topgallant sails, and I, for one, won't undertake to carry hauled down the foretopmast staysail; you over until there is less broken and whenever she had fairly opened water at the river's mouth, I know.” the river, and come nearly abreast I telegraphed to this effect; the friof us, she laid her maintopsail to gate acknowledged it, and answered, the mast, with her fore and main- that she would remain in the offing sails hanging in graceful festoons in all night, in expectation of our getthe brails, and hove to under her tbree ting over at high water, during it, topsails, jib, and spanker. She slid when possibly there would be less silently and majestically along, the sea on the bar. bright green wave curling outwards Having made this signal, she run from her beautifully moulded bows, her jib up set topgallant-sails, like the shell-shaped canopy of and let fall the foresail : the pondeDaddy Neptune's car, as the cut- rous mainyard slowly swung round, water slid gently through the calm and as the noble frigate fetched way heaving of the blue swell, gradually again, she gradually fell off before subsiding, as the glorious old hooker the wind, her long low hull forelost her way and became stationary, shortened into a mere tub of a vessel until she floated, like a swan a. to look at, and finally presenting her sleep on the dark waters, the stern to us, she lay over, and inclinbright sun shining cheerily on hered herself gracefully to the breeze, white sails and hammocks, and clear as if she was bidding us farewell, and white streak, and sparkling on her glided cheerily away, indicating by glittering sides, as they rose and the increasing whiteness of her wake, fell fresh and wet from the em- the accelerated speed with which braces of old Ocean; and as the she clove the heaving billows. land-breeze laid ber over, her gold “ There goes the dear old beaubright copper blazed like one vast ty,” said Davie; " there's a retiring polished mirror, wherein the burn. curtsy for you ; that beats the stateing sun was reflected in dazzling liest of my lady patronesses at Alglances. And bright blinding rays macks." flashed out starlike, from the win Having gained an offing of about dow in the quarter gallery, and three miles, she agaiu shortened sail, the glass in the scuttles of the offi- and hove to in her station to await cer's cabins, and from every bur- our joining, when the bar became nished piece of metal throughout the passable in the night. whole length of the gallantcraft, con- « Weary work, master Benjie, verting her black hull into a brilliant weary work,” said Davie Doubleconstellation, while ber heavy lower pipe; “so here we must lie, roasting masts, with their strong shrouds and another whole day, while there is stays, and the swelling sails, and the plenty of water on the bar, if that tall and taper spars aloft, were seen confounded swell would ouly fall." clear and distinct against the deep. By this it was drawing near the cold blue of the seaward horizon. men's dinner-time; and while the
A string of small round bundles, lieutenant and I were pacing the apparently each about the size of a deck, rather disconsolately, trying man's head, now twisted and strug- to steer clear of the smoke of the gled, and stopped, and finally slid galley, that streamed aft as we rode up to the main royal-mast-head. head to wind, we noticed that our The instant the uppermost reached sable visitor, Sergeant Quacco, had, the truck, as if it had touched a with the true spirit of resignation, spring-bang-a gun was fired, and declined into cook’s mate, (indeed at the same moment, the round balls if there be a Negro on board when blew out steadily in so many flags. this birth becomes vacant, he inva. riably slides into it, as naturally as a pressed his hands on the pit of snail into his shell,) and was busy his stomach, and began to make in assisting the maimed seaman who a variety of rather odd grimaces. was watching the coppers. The fire Dogvane looked in his face, and inseemed to burn very indifferently stantly seemed to catch the infec. from the greenness of the wood, tion; so he next began to screw himwhich gave out more smoke than self up into a variety of indescribaflame.
ble contortions. Sergeant Quacco “ Drainings, my man," said I to looked first at one, and then at ancookey, “don't choke us if you other, as tbeygroaned in any thing but please. Do get some dry chips from a melodious concert, until he too, Shavings, will you ?”
through sympathy, or in reality from “ Ay, ay, sir,” said the man.. pain, began also to twist himself
“ Here, Quacco, mind the fire, till about, and to make such hideous I get some splinters from forward faces, that to have trusted him near there.—Stay-Lennox, my dear boy, a respectable pig in the family way, do get me a handful of dry chips would have been as much as the from old Shavings, will ye?"
nine farrow were worth. The Scotch corporal civilly com At length the contagion became plied; and after a little, we saw him general apparently, and Corporal split up a block of wood where the Lennox began to groan, and wincé, as carpenter had been at work in the he ejaculated—“Oh dear, what can bows of the felucca, and presently this be ? what an awful pain in my he returned with a bundle of them, stomach! Why, Mr Drainings, what which Sergeant Quacco busily em. have you clapt into that peas-soup? ployed himself in poking into the fire, Something bye common you must blowing lustily with his blubber lips have put into it, for we are all dying all the wbile. When Lennox turned here with ”– away, I could not help noticing, that “My eye!” said old Drainings, be stuck his tongue in his cheek, speaking slowly and deliberately, as and winked to one of the crew as he if the paroxysm had subsided, and went below.
some strange light had flashed on Presently I desired the boatswain him, “ you are quite right, Lennox. to pipe to dinner. In place of That same peas soup is none of the bundling down below, according to right sort-ihat is clear now. I have the etiquette of the service in larger just been telling Mr Wadding that vessels, I winked at the poor fellows a wery-most - remarkable circumbreaking away forward into messes, stance took place in the boiling which they contrived to screen from on't.' the view of the quarterdeck, by Here the old fellow, who had just slewing the long yard nearly athwart finished his pease-soup, very solemn. ships, and loosing the sail as if to ly looked upwards, and wiped his dry.
muzzle with what hovered between Notwithstanding all this, we a pocket-handkerchief and a dishcould easily see what was going on clout, of any colour but that of unforward. Close too, sat the old cook sunned snow. himself, with Shavings the carpenter, “Why," continued the cook, “just and Wadding the gunner, warrant when it began to simmer about the officers in a small way, with a little edges of the boiler- Ah-ah-oh snipe of a boy waiting on them. —there it is again—there it is again,"
About a fathom from them, was -and once more he began to tumble another group squatted on the deck, about on the deck, giving friend consisting of Corporal Lennox, Old Quacco several miscellaneous kicks Clinker the master at arms, Dog- and punches during his make-believe vane the quartermaster, and no involuntary convulsions. This fit smaller a personage than Sergeant seemed also to pass over. Quacco.
“Why,' said he, "just when the The food was peas-soup, and soup began to simmer about the salt junk and biscuit. The hands, edges of the copper, and thin streaks as we turned and returned, seem- of white froth began to shoot in. ed exceedingly comfortable and hap. wards towards the middle, where py; when all at once, the old cook the hot soup was whirling round in ings
a bubbling eddy, and poppling up between every word, " at the wery for all the world like the sea on the instant of time, by the glass, that bar there, I saw-I saw"
Sergeant Quacco there mended the Here he looked unutterable things fire." with his one eye, turning it up like “Oh-oh-oh!"—Here all hands a duck in thunder.
of the rogues who were in the secret, “ What did you see?” said old began again to roll about, and gri. Clinker, staring in his face with mace, as if a travelling menagerie of sham earnestness.
baboons had suddenly burst, and “I saw-80 sure as I see Mr capsized its inmates all about. Weevil the purser's d-d ugly mug Quacco all this while was twisting aft on the quarterdeck there-a small and turning himself, and, although devil rise out of the boiling peas. evidently in a deuced quandary, trysoup in the very middle of the cop- ing to laugh the affair off as a joke. per, and fly up and away over the “Well," at length said he, “I don't mast-head like a shot, - whipping believe in Fetish-now dat I is among the vane at the mast-head off its whiteman Christian. So I will tank spindle with the bight of his tail." you, Massa Draining, to hand me
“ No; did you though ?" said se- over my chocolate." veral voices.
But I noticed that the devil a drop “ To be sure I did," rejoined would he take into his mouth, alDrainings, “as distinct as I now see though he made believe to drink it. my thumb-none of the cleanest, The jest went on-at length there by the way.”
was a calm, when who should again " The devil ?” said Lennox, start- break ground but Sergeant Quacco ing up; “ what was it like, Mr Drain, who made a last attempt to laugh
off the whole affair. * Why, as like the little heathen “But where de debil can he be ?" god brought on board by Quacco said he, almost involuntarily—"gone, there, as you can fancy any thing." sure enough.”.
“Oh-oh-oh”—again resounded “Oh-oh-oh-" sung out all from all hands.
hands once more, with their fists “But it could not be he," at length stuck into their midriffs. struck in the black sergeant. It “ Ob, that vile Fetish,” screamed could not be he, seeing he is safe Lennox;" we must all be bewitched stow below de heel of de bowsprit -Quacco, we are all bewitched.” dere."
"Bewitch!” responded the black “ Heaven grant it may be so," sergeant, jumping off the deck, and whined Dogvane.
now at his wit's end; "and I believe “If it really be as Quacco says," it is so. I hab pain in my tomack said Wadding, in a sympathizing too-just dis moment-oh, wery tone“ why, then, I will believe it sharp!” is all fancy-all a bam.”
“Confound your Fetish,” groaned Here the black sergeant, in great the old cook; “it was just as you tribulation, rose to go forward, evi- stuck those chips of cedarwood into dently with a desire to reconnoitre the fire-precisely at the wery mowhether the graven image was really ment I snuffed the delicious smell there in the body or no. After a of them, that I saw the devil himself long search, he came back and sat first put his ugly fiz up in the middle down, blank and stupified, on the of the peas-soup, and gibber, and spot where he had risen from. twinkle his eyes, and say”
" And pray, Mr Drainings, when “ Say !” shouted Lennox-"why did you see this curious appear. did he really and truly speak, Mr ance?” persisted Lennox
Drainings ?” “At the wery instant of time," “ Speak!” responded he of the drawled Cookey, with his arms slush bucket—" speak ! ay, as plain crossed, and stuck into the open bo. as I do." som of his greasy shirt, that had once “ And what said he?" quoth Dogbeen red flannel, and with a short vane. black stump of a pipe in his mouth, “Why, just as he shook off the from which he puffed out a cloud chocolate spray from the barb at the
end of his tail, says he,— Damme, were seen cruising hither and thiI'm off,' says he."
ther all around it. “Oh, oh, oh! I am pinned through Sprawl had also noticed this.-my ground-tier with a harpoon,” “ Why, Brail, those gentry seem groaned Drainings.
mustering in some strength. There “Where, in the devil's name, since cannot be many fewer than a hunwe have seen him, got you those dred canoes paddling about there. cedar chips, Quacco ?” yelled old What say you?” Clinker.
It was now near three P.m., and we A light seemed to break in on the were bethinking ourselves of going poor sergeant's bewildered mind.- to dinner, when a perfect cloud
Chip, chip! — where I get dem of the dark specks, fifty at the least, chip ? Here the poor fellow gave began to drop down with the ebb in a an idiotic laugh, as if he had been all solid phalanx, three deep, looking in abroad. “I get dem from Corporal the distance like a compact black Lennox, to be sure,"—and he turned raft of wood. Presently they sheered his eyes with the most intense ear, off right and left; and although the nestness towards the marine, who craft from which we had seen the was rolling about the deck over and smoke arise, still remained at anchor
in the stream, the attendant canoes " Where got I the chips, did soon vanished, one and all, amongst you ask, Quacco ? Oh, oh, oh ! the mangroves, on each bank. “ Poo Why, Heaven forgive me ; but I am -nonsense!” said I. “Come along, punished for it now-they are the Sprawl-come along. Why, man, very splinters of your Fetish, that we shall get as thin as whippingyou brought on board!”
posts, if we allow these barbarian Up started the black resetter, as demonstrations to interfere with our if bit by a rattle-snake, dancing comforts." and jumping. “Oh, my tomack, oh, “ You may be right, Brail-you my tomack ! -de Fetish have get into may be right," said old Davie; but my tomack-de leetle debil in a my he appeared to have some strange tomack. Oh, doctor, doctor !-one misgivings. evil spirit in me-oh, doctor, some. However, we went to dinner; the ting to make him fly-someting to reefers were all with us, little Joe get him out! Doctor, de debil in a Peake among the rest, who was now my belly-physic-physic, doctor; quite recovered from the thump he de strongerer de more betterer. Oh had got on shore, and old PumpLord!” And away he tumbled down bolt; and we were in the very midthe fore.hatchway, roaring for Escu. dle of it, when down came Wadding, lapius like a perfect bull of Bashan. the gunner.
While we were laughing at this to “ Beg pardon, sir," said the old our heart's content, Mr Marline seaman, sidling in, and trying to apcame aft to us.
pear at his ease, although he was “ There are a good many dark very far from that same. “Beg pare specks passing and repassing above don--but them chaps are coming us in the furthermost reach of the more nearer, sir, than seems quite river, yonder, sir-as far as you can convenient, sir--they are fast dropsee there, sir. Will you please to ping down with the afternoon's ebb, look at them, Mr Sprawl?"
sir. Sprawl took a long squint first, “Indeed !” said old Spraw). “We and then handed the glass to me. I must keep a bright look out here, peered, and peered. The glorious Brail, at any rate.” stream was rolling down like a shi. We went on deck, and the rening flow of quicksilver ; but al- port was literally true ; but although all continued quiet in our though the mass above us continued vicinity, yet, where it narrowed nearto increase until the whole surface ly to a bright point in the distance of the river in the distance seemed above, I could perceive a tiny dark swarming, as one has seen a pool, object slowly descend the river, and with those blue-water insects, which, send up a thick cloud of smoke, I believe, as boys, we used to call after which it remained stationary, sailors, still there was no warlike dewhile a number of small black spots monstration made, beyond the occasional descent of a fast-pulling overhead, until the dark massesglowcanoe now and then, a mile or so ed like crimson. below the main body. But they were This soon faded the canopy always very easily satisfied in their of clouds gradually sinking in the reconnoitring, so far as we could west, until, as if their scope had been judge, for the whole of them kept a expanded, they lifted from the eastwary distance.
ern horizon majestically slow-as if We returned to the cabin for half it had been a magnificent curtain an hour, and having finished off with drawn up in order to disclose the a caulker of good cogniac, all hands glorious moon, which now, preceded of us once more came on deck. by her gemlike forerunner the even.
It was by this time half past four, ing star, that sparkled bright and and low water as near as could be. clear on the fringe of the rising The bar astern of us-by this time, cloud, like a diamond on the skirt of the breeze having taken off, we were a sable velvet mantle, rose above the riding to the ebb—was one roaring low swampy banks. ledge of white breakers; but it was Her disk, when she first appeared, smooth water where we lay, the fall was red and dim, until she attained of the tide having completely bro, a considerable altitude, when, having ken the heave of the heavy swell struggled through the pestilential that rolled in from the offing on the effluvia that hovered on the bank of bar. The clouds had risen over the the river, she began to sail through land, some large drops of rain fell, her liquid track, in all her splendour and altogether we had strong prog- -pale, but oh, how crystal clear!nostications of a wet, if not a teme driving, like a queen, the dark bank pestuous evening.
of clouds before her. The declining sun, however, was As the night wore on, the congreyet shining brightly; and although, gation of canoes became thicker, calculating on the average at tbis and presently something like a raft season hereabouts, one might have floated down to within three quarmade himself sure of a fine evening, ters of a mile of us, accompanied by yet the present was an exception, five large boats, full of people. and we had every appearance of a It was clearly distinguishable, from thunder-storm.
a bright halo of luminous smoke that All nature seemed hushed; the hovered over it, proceeding from a thick clouds that arose in the east, fire that every now and then blazed sailed along on the usual current up on board. By the time the raft of the trade-wind with their edge was anchored, the evening breeze as well defined as if it had been a came strong down the river, wafting dark screen gradually shoving up towards us the sounds of African and across the arch of the blue drums, blending with dismal yells, as empyrean; and as they crept down of captives, and loud fierce shouts. the western horizon, every thing I directed my glass towards the assumed a deep dusky purple hue. flame, that was flashing fitfully, as if
In the sudden darkness, the fires tar or rosin, or some other equally glanced bright and red on board of inflammable substance, had been sudthree war-canoes that had now been denly cast into it. suddenly advanced down the river “ What can that be?” said I, to in the shape of a triangle, the head. young De Walden, who was also most being within a mile of us. Pre- spying away at the same object, close sently, the sable curtain descended to where I stood. within a very few degrees of the “Really, sir,” said the very handwestern horizon, until there was some boy, “I cannot well tell, but I only a small streak of bright golden will call Sergeant Quacco, sir. He sky between it and the line of the knows all the practices of the savaland, in the centre of which the glo ges hereabouts." rious sun, now near his setting, shot " No, no," rejoined I; “ never his level beams of blood-red light mind-never mind; but what can over the river and its banks, gilding they be doing there on the raft? I the dark sides of the canoes, and of see two uprights about five feet the trees; and as he sank, his last asunder, and judging from the dusky rays flashed up into the black arch figures that are cruising about them,