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the captain give a flesh wound with his hanger
to a sluggish sailor, and two of the men were
pistolled by the first mate for disobedience,
but the wounds were slight, and the shots
had been designedly aimed at the calf of the
leg. But I could have no doubt that on
very slender provocation the shooting and
hacking would have been resorted to freely.
Yet many of the men were content and cheerful.
The provisions were excellent, and liberally
furnished; check shirts and sea frocks were
supplied freely against wages; and the grog was
good. It was only when fresh from punishment
that the more thoughtless were out of spirits.

But there were those to whom the discipline
was unbearable, and the captain as much an
object of dread as if he had been really a
demon. The mates were harsh enough, but
the captain was a worse tyrant still. He
bore heavily on the weak, and most of all on
the poor young Swiss, the kidnapped house-
painter. He was a well disposed fellow,
rather puny and timid, and never quite free
from the qualms of sea-sickness. He had been
an excellent workman ashore, but never would
have made a sailor. I protected him from the
forecastle bullies, and spoke in his favour to
Dan Coffin, but Nathan and the captain were
very severe with him. Poor wretch! what he
went through, will hardly bear detailingthe
oppression, the injustice, the sickening brutality.
I shall never forget how he crept to my side
one night as we kept watch on deck, and
whispered to me that he had seen his wife and child
in a dream, nights before, dead of want, and
that in another dream he had seen them free
from pain and trouble, happy in Heaven, beckoning
and smiling to him to join them. "I shall
be with them soon," he said, wildly; "I can no
longer bear the life on board this ship, this hell
upon the waters." I looked down at his white
face in the moonlight, scarred with ill usage as
it was, and saw a new resolve there. I tried to
comfort him, to put hope into him, and enable
him to struggle on. He pressed my hand and
thanked me, and glided off like a ghost. That
night he drowned himself, springing over the
side during the bustle of relieving the watch.
"The thief! He has cheated me, has he?" was
all the captain said about it.

We were in the tropics then, and the winds
were light, and the clipper went like a wraith
over the waters. She was a wonderful sailer.
The men were now less maltreated than in rough
weather. Nevertheless, seven had died before
we crossed the line.

We were not much south of the line when an
accident occurred. The great iron tank, a
patent one, proved defective, and the water ran
out, floating the cargo, and mixing itself with
the bilge-water of the hold. Only the casks
remained. We sailors were restricted to a quart
a day, then to a pint, and that in the tropics.
But the torture of thirst conquered even fear;
we spoke out loudly, in spite of steel and pistols,
and we got our way. The captain was obliged
to put into the harbour of Rio Janeiro to obtain
a fresh supply. He was very unwilling. He
would let no one go ashore, except the American
seamen whom he trusted, lest he should lose his
white slaves. Those Americans I speak of, were
not ill treated; they were on a different footing
from that of the crimped men.

With great trouble I succeeded in writing a
letter, and bribing, with the few dollars I had
about me, a black canoe-man who sold fruit and
yams, to carry it secretly ashore. This letter I
addressed to the British Consul, my schoolfellow
in former days, and on whom I felt I could
depend. Nor was I disappointed. Before the
water was all shipped, the Bird of Freedom was
boarded by the gentleman in question, who had
wisely procured the attendance of a lieutenant
and boat's crew from the United States frigate
in harbour. The consul civilly but firmly claimed
me as a British subject, under illegal restraint,
and the American officer backed the claim.

I never shall forget the face of our "old
man," as the sailors called Captain Hodgson, as
he stood biting his lips and looking from the
consul to me. The whole thing had been
managed so suddenly that he was for once, out-
witted. "Take your Britisher!" he said at last;
and as I passed over the side to the consul's boat
he eyed me with the malignity of a fiend. But
over me, at least, his power no longer extended,
though my heart ached for the poor fellows I
had left, as I next day saw the Bird of Freedom
unfold her white wings and glide away out of the
port, and out of my life, over the blue sea.


MOUNT PLEASANT'S wide-spread terraces were
radiant in the sun,
The flowers their dewdrop coronets were wearing,
every one,
Uncrowned, yet with a royal train, did Lady Mabel
The gentle morning sunshine shone softly on her

Fair and stately rose Mount Pleasant (by a Tudor
king 'twas reared),
There the Dacres once held revel, each one loved and
each one feared,
O'er the woods, by Autumn gilded, gazed the royal
turrets down,
To the friendly with a greeting, to the foeman with
a frown.

There were gables rose-encumbered, cross-paned
windows ribbed with stone,
Scutcheoned doors, embrasured niches, chimneys
to the swallows known,
Gilded weathercocks that circled restlessly to every
Fickle as a lady's favour, changeful as a woman's

The sunny porch bore "1500," carved in letters long
and quaint,
The chapel had its western windows guarded by
many a saint,