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my steward. My name's Jorgan, and I'm a
shipowner, and I sail my own and my partners'
ships, and have done so this five-and-twenty
year. According to custom I am called Captain
Jordan, but I am no more a captain, bless
your heart! than you are."

"Perhaps you'll come into my parlour, sir,
and take a chair?" said Mrs. Raybrock.

"Ex-actly what I was going to propose
myself, ma'am. After you."

Thus replying, and enjoining Tom to give an
eye to the shop, Captain Jorgan followed Mrs.
Raybrock into the little low back-room
decorated with divers plants in pots, tea-trays, old
china teapots, and punch-bowls which was at
once the private sitting-room of the Raybrock
family, and the inner cabinet of the post-office
of the village of Steepways.

"Now, ma'am," said the captain, "it don't
signify a cent to you where I was born,
except.—— " But, here the shadow of some one
entering, fell upon the captain's figure, and he
broke off to double himself up, slap both his
legs, and ejaculate, "Never knew such a thing
in all my life! Here he is again! How are

These words referred to the young fellow who
had so taken Captain Jorgan's fancy down at
the pier. To make it all quite complete he
came in accompanied by the sweetheart whom
the captain had detected looking over the wall.
A prettier sweetheart the sun could not have
shone upon, that shining day. As she stood
before the captain, with her rosy lips just parted
in surprise, her brown eyes a little wider open
than was usual from the same cause, and her
breathing a little quickened by the ascent (and
possibly by some mysterious hurry and flurry at
the parlour door, in which the captain had
observed her face to be for a moment totally
eclipsed by the Sou'-Wester hat), she looked so
charming, that the captain felt himself under a
moral obligation to slap both his legs again.
She was very simply dressed, with no other
ornament than an autumnal flower in her bosom.
She wore neither hat nor bonnet, but merely a
scarf or kerchief, folded squarely back over the
head, to keep the sun offaccording to a fashion
that may be sometimes seen in the more genial
parts of England as well as of Italy, and which is
probably the first fashion of head-dress that came
into the world when grasses and leaves went out.

"ln my country," said the captain, rising to
give her his chair, and dexterously sliding it
close to another chair on which the young fisherman
must necessarily establish himself "in my
country we should call Devonshire beauty, first-

Whenever a frank manner is offensive, it is
because it is strained or feigned; for, there may
be quite as much intolerable affectation in plainness,
as in mincing nicety. All that the captain
said and did, was honestly according to his
nature, and his nature was open nature and good
nature; therefore, when he paid this little
compliment, and expressed with a sparkle or two of
his knowing eye, "I see how it is, and nothing
could be better," he had established a delicate
confidence on that subject with the family.

"I was saying to your worthy mother," said
the captain to the young man, after again
introducing himself by name and occupation: "I
was saying to your mother (and you're very like
her) that it didn't signify where I was born
except that I was raised on question-asking ground,
where the babies as soon as ever they come into
the world, inquire of their mothers 'Neow,
how old may you be, and wa'at air you a goin' to
name me?'— which is a fact." Here he slapped
his leg. "Such being the case, I may be
excused for asking you if your name's Alfred?"

"Yes, sir, my name is Alfred," returned the
young man.

"I am not a conjuror," pursued the captain,
"and don't think me so, or I shall right soon
undeceive you. Likewise don't think, if you
please, though I do come from that country of
the babies, that I am asking questions for
question-asking's sake, for I am not. Somebody
belonging to you, went to sea?"

"My elder brother Hugh," returned the
young man. He said it in an altered and lower
voice, and glanced at his mother: who raised her
hands hurriedly, and put them together across
her black gown, and looked eagerly at the

"No! For God's sake, don't think that!"
said the captain, in a solemn way; "I bring no
good tidings of him."

There was a silence, and the mother turned
her face to the fire and put her hand between it
and her eyes. The young fisherman slightly
motioned towards the window, and the captain,
looking in that direction, saw a young widow
sitting at a neighbouring window across a little
garden, engaged in needlework, with a young
child sleeping on her bosom. The silence
continued until the captain asked of Alfred:

"How long is it since it happened?"

"He shipped for his last voyage, better than
three years ago."

"Ship struck upon some reef or rock, as I
take it," said the captain, "and all hands lost?"


"Wa'al!" said the captain, after a shorter
silence. "Here I sit who may come to the
same end, like enough. He holds the seas in
the hollow of His hand. We must all strike
somewhere and go down. Our comfort, then,
for ourselves and one another, is, to have done
our duty. I'll wager your brother did his!"

"He did!" answered the young fisherman.

"If ever man strove faithfully on all occasions
to do his duty, my brother did. My brother
was not a quick man (anything but that), but he
was a faithful, true, and just man. We were
the sons of only a small tradesman in this
county, sir; yet our father was as watchful of
his good name as if he had been a king."

"A precious sight more so, I hope-bearing in
mind the general run of that class of crittur,"
said the captain. " But I interrupt."

"My brother considered that our father left
the good name to us, to keep clear and true."