UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES
BOOKS BY RUDYARD KIPLING
Actions and Reactions
The Brushwood Boy-
The Day's Work
Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-
The Five Nations
From Sea to Sea
A History of England. (In Collaboration with
C. R. L. Fletcher)
The Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book
Just So Stories
Life's Handicap: Being Stories of Mine Own People
The Light That Failed
Many Inventions ^^^^
The Naulahka: A S^BHBthe West and East
(Written with "^H^mBalestier)
Plain Tales from th^mTO
Puck of Pook's Hill
Rewards and Fairies
The Seven Seas
Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, and
In Black and White
The Song of the English
Songs from Books
Stalky & Co..
Traffics and Discoveries
Under the Deodars, The Phantom 'Rickshaw, and
Wee Willie Winkie
With the Night Mail
"IT WAS THICK WEATHER OUTSIDE, WITH A RISING WIND. .
THE^^OSING BOWS SLAPPED AND SCUFFLED WITH THE SEAS.
A STORY OF THE
21 ^1 H-
THE CENTURY CO.
Copyright, 189/5, 189^,
JAMES CONLAND, M. D.,
I ploughed the land with horses,
But my heart was ill at ease,
For the old sea-faring men
Came to me now and then,
With their sagas of the seas.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
•■* IT WAS THICK WEATHER OUTSIDE, WITH A RISING
WIND. . . . THE NOSING BOWS SLAPPED AND
SCUFFLED WITH THE SEAS." Frontispiece.
" THEN A LOW, GRAY MOTHER-WAVE SWUNG OUT OF
THE FOG, TUCKED HARVEY UNDER ONE ARM, SO
TO SPEAK, AND PULLED HIM OFF AND AWAY TO
" HE MUST NEEDS STAND UP TO IT, SWAYING WITH
THE SWAY OF THE FLAT-BOTTOMED DORY, AND
SEND A GRINDING, THUTTERING SHRIEK THROUGH
THE FOG." 15
" ' EXCUSE ! ' CRIED HARVEY. ' d' YOU SUPPOSE I 'd
FALL OVERBOARD INTO YOUR DIRTY LITTLE BOAT
FOR FUN?'" 21
THE " WE 're HERE." 37
■'' ' I 'lL LAY MY WAGE AN' SHARE HE 'S OVER A
HUNDRED.' " 73
" A FEW SECONDS LATER A HISSING WAVE-TOP . . .
SMOTE UNCLE SALTERS BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS,
AND DRENCHED HIM FROM HEAD TO FOOT." . . 85
"FOR AN HOUR LONG JACK WALKED HIS PREY UP
AND DOWN, TEACHING, AS HE SAID, 'THINGS IVRY
MAN MUST KNOW, BLIND, DHRUNK, OR ASLEEP.' " QI
viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"*'t is a concert,' said long jack, beaming
THROUGH THE SMOKE. 'A REG'LAR BOSTON
CONCERT.' " HI
" THEY RAN DOWN TO WHERE ABISHAl'S CRAFT HAD
vanished; FOUND TWO OR THREE TRAWL-TUBS,
a gin-bottle, and a stove-in dory, but no-
thing more." 129
" a whiteness moved in the whiteness of the
fog. . . it was his first introduction to
the dread summer berg of the bank." . . i43
" there were days of light airs, when harvey
was taught how to steer the schooner
from one berth to another," 151
"'hi! say! arr^tez vous! attendee! nous
SOMMES VENANT POUR TABAC' ' AH, TABAC,
•' it was wonderful fishing. harvey could see
the glimmering cod below, . . . biting as
steadily as they swam. . . . but so close
lay the boats that even single hooks
DRESSING DOWN ON THE " WE 'RE HERE." .... 225
"DORIES CAME ALONGSIDE WITH LETTERS FOR
THE " CONSTANCE." 247
MRS. CHEYNE INTRODUCES THE CREW OF THE
"WE 're here" to THE "CONSTANCE." . . . 273
" HIS FATHER TURNED WHERE HE SAT AND THRUST
OUT A LONG HAND. ' YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I
DO THAT I can't MAKE ANYTHING OF YOU IF YOU
don't act STRAIGHT BY ME.' " 289
BIDDING FAREWELL TO THE " WE 'rE HERE." . . 319
A STORY OF THE GRAND BANKS
a 7 V/^
THE weather door of the smoking-room
had been left open to the North Atlantic
fog, as the big liner rolled and lifted, whistling
to warn the fishing- fleet.
"That Cheyne boy 's the biggest nuisance
aboard," said a man in a frieze overcoat, shut-
ting the door with a bang. "He is n't
wanted here. He 's too fresh."
A white-haired German reached for a sand-
wich, and grunted between bites : " I know
der breed. Ameriga is full of dot kind. I
dell you you should imbort ropes' ends free
under your dariff."
** Pshaw ! There is n't any real harm to
him. He 's more to be pitied than anything,"
a man from New York drawled, as he lay at
2 . "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
full length along the cushions under the wet
skylight. " They 've dragged him around
from hotel to hotel ever since he was a kid.
I was talking to his mother this morning.
She 's a lovely lady, but she don't pretend to
manage him. He 's going to Europe to fin-
ish his education."
" Education is n't begun yet." This was a
Philadelphian, curled up in a corner. "That
boy gets two hundred a month pocket-money,
he told me. He is n't sixteen either."
"Railroads, his father, aind't it?" said the
" Yep. That and mines and lumber and
shipping. Built one place at San Diego, the
old man has ; another at Los Angeles ; owns
half a dozen railroads, half the lumber on the
Pacific slope, and lets his wife spend the
money," the Philadelphian went on lazily.
" The West don't suit her, she says. She
just tracks around with the boy and hei
nerves, trying to find out what '11 amuse hiniy
I guess. Florida, Adirondacks, Lakewood,
Hot Springs, New York, and round again.
He is n't much more than a second-hand ho-
tel clerk now. When he 's finished in Europe
he '11 be a holy terror."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 3
"What 's the matter with the old man at-
tending to him personally ? " said a voice from
the frieze ulster.
"Old man 's piling up the rocks. 'Don't
want to be disturbed, I guess. He '11 find out
his error a few years from now. 'Pity, be-
cause there 's a heap of good in the boy if
you could get at it."
" Mit a rope's end; mit a rope's end!"
growled the German.
Once more the door banged, and a slight,
slim-built boy perhaps fifteen years old, a
half-smoked cigarette hanging from one cor-
ner of his mouth, leaned in over the high
footway. His pasty yellow complexion did
not show well on a person of his years, and
his look was a mixture of irresolution, bra-
vado, and very cheap smartness. He was
dressed in a cherry-colored blazer, knicker-
bockers, red stockings, and bicycle shoes,
with a red flannel cap at the back of the head.
After whistling between his teeth, as he eyed
the company, he said in a loud, high voice:
" Say, it 's thick outside. You can hear the
fish-boats squawking all around us. Say,
would n't it be great if we ran down one ? "
"Shut the door, Harvey," said the New
4 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Yorker. " Shut the door and stay outside.
You 're not wanted here."
" Who '11 stop me ? " he answered deliber-
ately. *' Did you pay for my passage, Mister
Martin ? 'Guess I 've as good right here as
the next man."
He picked up some dice from a checker-
board and began throwing, right hand
*' Say, gen'elmen, this is deader 'n mud.
Can't we make a game of poker between
There was no answer, and he puffed his
cigarette, swung his legs, and drummed on
the table with rather dirty fingers. Then he
pulled out a roll of bills as if to count them.
"How 's your mama this afternoon?" a
man said. " I did n't see her at lunch."
" In her state-room, I guess. She 's 'most
always sick on the ocean. I 'm going to
give the stewardess fifteen dollars for looking
after her. I don't go down more 'n I can
avoid. It makes me feel mysterious to pass
that butler's-pantry place. Say, this is the
first time I 've been on the ocean."
" Oh, don't apologize, Harvey."
"Who 's apologizing? This is the first
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 7
time I 've crossed the ocean, gen'elmen, and,
except the first day, I have n't been sick one
little bit. No, sir ! " He brought down his
fist with a triumphant bang, wetted his finger,
and went on counting the bills.
" Oh, you 're a high-grade machine, with
the writing in plain sight," the Philadelphian
yawned. " You '11 blossom into a credit to
your country if you don't take care."
"I know it. I 'm an American — first,
last, and all the time. I '11 show 'em that
when I strike Europe. Pff ! My cig 's out, I
can't smoke the truck the steward sells. Any
gen'elman got a real Turkish cig on him ? "
The chief engineer entered for a moment,
red, smiling, and wet. "Say, Mac," cried
Harvey cheerfully, "how are we hitting it?"
" Vara much in the ordinary way," was the
grave reply. "The young are as polite as
ever to their elders, an' their elders are e'en
tryin' to appreciate it."
A low chuckle came from a corner. The
German opened his cigar-case and handed
a skinny black cigar to Harvey.
" Dot is der broper apparatus to smoke,
my young friendt," he said. "You vill dry
it? Yes? Den you vill be efer so happy."
8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Harvey lit the unlovely thing with a flour-
ish : he felt that he was getting on in grown-
" It would take more 'n this to keel me
over," he said, ignorant that he was lighting
that terrible article, a Wheeling " stogie."
" Dot we shall bresently see," said the
German. " Where are we now, Mr. Mac-
tonal' ? "
*'Just there or thereabouts, Mr. Schaefer,"
said the engineer. "We'll be on the Grand
Bank to-night; but in a general way o' speak-
in', we 're all among the fishing-fleet now.
We 've shaved three dories an' near skelped
the boom off a Frenchman since noon, an'
that 's close sailin', ye may say."
" You like my cigar, eh ? " the German
asked, for Harvey's eyes were full of tears.
" Fine, full flavor," he answered through
shut teeth. "Guess we 've slowed down a lit-
tle, have n't we? I '11 skip out and see what
the log says,"
" I might if I vhas you," said the German.
Harvey staggered over the wet decks to the
nearest rail. He was very unhappy; but he
saw the deck-steward lashinof chairs tog-ether,
and, since he had boasted before the man that
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 9
he was never seasick, his pride made him go
aft to the second-saloon deck at the stern,
which was finished in a turtle-back. The
deck was deserted, and he crawled to the ex-
treme end of it, near the flag-pole. There he
doubled up in limp agony, for the Wheeling
" stogie " joined with the surge and jar of the
screw to sieve out his soul. His head swelled ;
sparks of fire danced before his eyes ; his body
seemed to lose weight, while his heels wa-
vered in the breeze. He was fainting from
seasickness, and a roll of the ship tilted him
over the rail on to the smooth lip of the tur-
tle-back. Then a low, gray mother-wave
swung out of the fog, tucked Harvey under
one arm, so to speak, and pulled him off and
away to leeward ; the great green closed over
him, and he went quietly to sleep.
He was roused by the sound of a dinner-
horn such as they used to blow at a summer-
school he had once attended in the Adiron-
dacks. Slowly he remembered that he was
Harvey Cheyne, drowned and dead in mid-
ocean, but was too weak to fit things together.
A new smell filled his nostrils ; wet and clammy
chills ran down his back, and he was help-
lessly full of salt water. When he opened his
lo "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
eyes, he perceived that he was still on the top
of the sea, for it was running round him in
silver-colored hills, and he was lying on a pile
of half-dead fish, looking at a broad human
back clothed in a blue jersey.
" It 's no good," thought the boy. *' I 'm
dead, sure enough, and this thing is in charge."
He groaned, and the figure turned its head,
showing a pair of little gold rings half hidden
in curly black hair.
" Aha ! You feel some pretty well now ? " it
said. " Lie still so : we trim better."
With a swift jerk he sculled the flickering
boat-head on to a foamless sea that lifted her
twenty full feet, only to slide her into a glassy
pit beyond. But this mountain-climbing did
not interrupt blue-jersey's talk. " Fine good
job, / say, that I catch you. Eh, wha-at?
Better good job, / say, your boat not catch
me. How you come to fall out?"
"I was sick," said Harvey; "sick, and
could n't help it."
"Just in time I blow my horn, and your
boat she yaw a little. Then I see you come
all down. Eh, wha-at? I think you are cut
into baits by the screw, but you dreeft — dreeft
to me, and I make a big fish of you. So you
shall not die this time."
"THEN A LOW, GRAY MOTHER-WAVE SWUNG OUT OF THE FOG,
TUCKED HARVEY UNDER ONE ARM, SO TO SPEAK, AND
PULLED HIM OFF AND AWAY TO LEEWARD."
'^CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 13
" Where am I ? " said Harvey, who could
not see that Hfe was particularly safe where
"You are with me in the dory — Manuel
my name, and I come from schooner We 're
Here of Gloucester. I live to Gloucester.
By-and-by we get supper. Eh, wha-at ? "
He seemed to have two pairs of hands and
a head of cast-iron, for, not content with blow-
ing through a big conch-shell, he must needs
stand up to it, swaying with the sway of the
flat-bottomed dory, and send a grinding,
thuttering shriek through the fog. How long
this entertainment lasted, Harvey could not
remember, for he lay back terrified at the
sight of the smoking swells. He fancied he
heard a gun and a horn and shouting. Some-
thing bigger than the dory, but quite as lively,
loomed alongside. Several voices talked at
once ; he was dropped into a dark, heaving
hole, where men in oilskins gave him a hot
drink and took off his clothes, and he fell
When he waked he listened for the first
breakfast-bell on the steamer, wondering why
his state-room had grown so small. Turning,
he looked into a narrow, triangular cave, lit
14 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
by a lamp hung against a huge square 'beam.
A three-cornered table within arm's reach ran
from the angle of the bows to the foremast.
At the after end, behind a well-used Plymouth
stove, sat a boy about his own age, with a
flat red face and a pair of twinkling gray
eyes. He was dressed in a blue jersey and
high rubber boots. Several pairs of the same
sort of foot-wear, an old cap, and some worn-
out woolen socks lay on the floor, and black
and yellow oilskins swayed to and fro beside
the bunks. The place was packed as full of
smells as a bale is of cotton. The oilskins had
a peculiarly thick flavor of their own which
made a sort of background to the smells of
fried fish, burnt grease, paint, pepper, and
stale tobacco ; but these, again, were all
hooped together by one encircling smell of
ship and salt water. Harvey saw with dis-
gust that there were no sheets on his bed-place.
He was lying on a piece of dingy ticking full
of lumps and nubbles. Then, too, the boat's
motion was not that of a steamer. She was
neither sliding nor rolling, but rather wrig-
gling herself about in a silly, aimless way,
like a colt at the end of a halter. Water-
noises ran by close to his ear, and beams
'he must needs stand up to it, swaying with the sway
OF THE flat-bottomed DORY, AND SEND A GRINDING^
THUTTERING shriek through THE FOG."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 17
creaked and whined about him. All these
things made him grunt despairingly and
think of his mother.
" Feelin' better? " said the boy, with a grin.
" Hev some coffee ? " He brought a tin cup
full and sweetened it with molasses.
"Is n't there milk?" said Harvey, look-
ing round the dark double tier of bunks as if
he expected to find a cow there.
** Well, no," said the boy. " Ner there ain't
likely to be till 'baout mid-September. 'T ain't
bad coffee. " I made it."
Harvey drank in silence, and the boy handed
him a plate full of pieces of crisp fried pork,
which he ate ravenously.
" I 've dried your clothes. Guess they 've
shrunk some," said the boy. " They ain't our
style much — none of 'em. Twist round an'
see ef you 're hurt any."
Harvey stretched himself in every direction,
but could not report any injuries.
" That 's good," the boy said heartily. " Fix
yerself an' go on deck. Dad wants to see you.
I'm his son, — Dan, they call me, — an' I 'm
cook's helper an' everything else aboard that 's
too dirty for the men. There ain't no boy here
'cep' me sence Otto went overboard — an' he
i8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
was only a Dutchy, an' twenty year old at
that. How d' you come to fall off in a dead
flat ca'am ? "
" 'T was n't a calm," said Harvey, sulkily.
" It was a gale, and I was seasick. Guess I
must have rolled over the rail."
" There was a little common swell yes'day
an' last night," said the boy. " But ef thet's
your notion of a gale — " He whistled. "You'll
know more 'fore you 're through. Hurry !
Dad 's waitin'."
Like many other unfortunate yOung people,
Harvey had never in all his life received a di-
rect order — never, at least, without long, and
sometimes tearful, explanations of the advan-
tages of obedience and the reasons for the re-
quest. Mrs. Cheyne lived in fear of breaking
his spirit, which, perhaps, was the reason that
she herself walked on the edge of nervous
prostration. He could not see why he should
be expected to hurry for any man's pleasure,
and said so. " Your dad can come down here
if he 's so anxious to talk to me. I want him
to take me to New York right away. It *11
Dan opened his eyes, as the size and
beauty of this joke dawned on him. "Say,
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 19
dad ! " he shouted up the focsle hatch, " he
says you kin slip down an' see him ef you 're
anxious that way. 'Hear, dad ? "
The answer came back in the deepest voice
Harvey had ever heard from a human chest :
" Quit foohn', Dan, and send him to me."
Dan sniggered, and threw Harvey his
warped bicycle shoes. There was something
in the tones on the deck that made the boy
dissemble his extreme rage and console him-
self with the thought of gradually unfolding
the tale of his own and his father's wealth on
the voyage home. This rescue would cer-
tainly make him a, hero among his friends for
life. He hoisted himself on deck up a per-
pendicular ladder, and stumbled aft, over a
score of obstructions, to where a small, thick-
set, clean-shaven man with gray eyebrows
sat on a step that led up to the quarter-deck.
The swell had passed in the night, leaving a
long, oily sea, dotted round the horizon with
the sails of a dozen fishing-boats. Between
them lay little black specks, showing where
the dories were out fishing. The schooner,
with a triangular riding-sail on the mainmast,
played easily at anchor, and except for the
man by the cabin-roof — "house" they call it
— she was deserted.
20 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
** Mornin' — Good afternoon, I should say.
You Ve nigh slep' the clock around, young
feller," was the greeting.
" Mornin'," said Harvey. He did not like
being called "young feller"; and, as one
rescued from drowning, expected sympathy.
His mother suffered agonies whenever he got
his feet wet ; but this mariner did not seem
" Naow let 's hear all abaout it. It *s
quite providential, first an' last, fer all con-
cerned. What might be your name ? Where
from (we mistrust it 's Noo York), an' where
baound (we mistrust it 's Europe) ? "
Harvey gave his name, the name of the
steamer, and a short history of the accident,
winding up with a demand to be taken back
immediately to New York, where his father
would pay anything any one chose to name.
" H'm," said the shaven man, quite un-
moved by the end of Harvey's speech. "I
can't say we think special of any man, or boy
even, that falls overboard from that kind o'
packet in a flat ca'am. Least of all when his
excuse is thet he 's seasick."
" Excuse ! " cried Harvey. " D' you sup-
pose I 'd fall overboard into your dirty little
boat for fun ? "
"excuse!' cried HARVEY. ' D' YOU SUPPOSE I 'D FALL
OVERBOARD INTO YOUR DIRTY LITTLE BOAT FOR FUN ? ' "
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 23
'* Not knowin* what your notions o' fun
may be, I can't rightly say, young feller. But
if I was yoUy I would n't call the boat which,
under Providence, was the means o' savin' ye,
names. In the first place, it 's blame irreli-
gious. In the second, it 's annoyin' to my
feelin's — an* I 'm Disko Troop o' the We 're
Here o* Gloucester, which you don't seem
rightly to know."
*' I don*t know and I don't care," said Har-
vey. ** I 'm grateful enough for being saved
and all that, of course ; but I want you to un-
derstand that the sooner you take me back to
New York the better it '11 pay you."
" Meanin' — haow ? " Trooo raised one
shaggy eyebrow over a suspiciously mild
" Dollars and cents," said Harvey, de-
lighted to think that he was making an
impression. '* Cold dollars and cents." He
thrust a hand into a pocket, and threw out
his stomach a little, which was his way of
being grand. ** You Ve done the best day's
work you ever did In your life when you
pulled me in. I 'm all the son Harvey Cheyne
" He *s bin favored," said Disko, dryly.
24 • "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" And if you don't know who Harvey
Cheyne is, you don't know much — that *s
all. Now turn her around and let *s hurry."
Harvey had a notion that the greater part
of America was filled with people discussing
and envying his father's dollars.
" Mebbe I do, an* mebbe I don't. Take a
reef in your stummick, young feller. It 's full
o' my vittles."
Harvey heard a chuckle from Dan, who
was pretending to be busy by the stump-fore-
mast, and the blood rushed to his face. " We '11
pay for that too," he said. "When do you
suppose we shall get to New York ? "
" I don't use Noo York any. Ner Boston.
We may see Eastern Point abaout Septem-
ber; an' your pa — I *m real sorry I hain't
heerd tell of him — may give me ten dollars
efter all your talk. Then o' course he may n't."
"Ten dollars! Why, see here, I — " Har-
vey dived into his pocket for the wad of bills.
All he brought up was a soggy packet of cig-
" Not lawful currency, an' bad for the lungs.
Heave *em overboard, young feller, and try
" It *s been stolen ! " cried Harvey, hotly.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" Vl*| 25
"You '11 hev to wait till you see your pa
to reward me, then ? "
"A hundred and thirty-four dollars — all
stolen," said Harvey, hunting wildly through
his pockets. ** Give them back."
A curious change flitted across old Troop's
hard face. *'What might you have been
doin' at your time o* life with one hundred an'
thirty-four dollars, young feller ? "
"It was part of my pocket-money — for
a month." This Harvey thought would be a
knock-down blow, and it was — indirectly.
" Oh ! One hundred and thirty-four dol-
lars is only part of his pocket-money — for
one month only ! You don't remember hittin'
anything when you fell over, do you ? Crack
agin a stanchion, le' 's say. Old man Hasken
o* the East Wind'' — Troop seemed to be
talking to himself — " he tripped on a hatch
an' butted the mainmast with his head —
hardish. 'Baout three weeks afterwards, old
man Hasken he would hev it that the East
Wind was a commerce-destroyin' man-o'-
war, an' so he declared war on Sable Island
because it was Bridish, an' the shoals run
aout too far. They sewed him up in a bed-
bag, his head an' feet appearin', fer the rest
26 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
o' the trip, an' now he 's to home in Essex
playin' with Httle rag dolls.'*
Harvey choked with rage, but Troop went
on consolingly : " We 're sorry fer you.
We 're very sorry fer you — an' so young.
We won't say no more abaout the money, I
" 'Course you won't. You stole it.'*
" Suit yourself. We stole it ef it *s any
comfort to you. Naow, abaout goin' back.
Allowin' we could do it, which we can't, you
ain't in no fit state to go back to your
home, an' we 've jest come on to the Banks,
workin' fer our bread. We don't see the
ha'af of a hundred dollars a month, let alone
pocket-money ; an' with good luck we '11 be
ashore again somewheres abaout the first
weeks o' September."
** But — but it 's May now, and I can't stay
here doln' nothing just because you want to
fish. I cant, I tell you ! "
•' Right an' jest ; jest an right. No one
asks you to do nothin'. There *s a heap as
you can do, for Otto he went overboard on Le
Have. I mistrust he lost his grip in a gale
we fund there. Anyways, he never come
back to deny it. You 've turned up, plain,
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 27
plumb providential for all concerned. I mis-
trust, though, there *s ruther few things you
kin do. Ain't thet so ? "
'* I can make it lively for you and your
crowd when we get ashore," said Harvey, with
a vicious nod, murmuring vague threats about
"piracy," at which Troop almost — not quite
" Excep' talk. I 'd forgot that. You ain't
asked to talk more *n you 've a mind to aboard
the We 're Here. Keep your eyes open, an'
help Dan to do ez he's bid, an' sechlike, an'
I '11 give you — you ain't wuth it, but I '11 give
— ten an' a ha'af a month; say thirty-five at
the end o' the trip. A little work will ease
up your head, an' you kin tell us all abaout
your dad an' your ma an' your money efter-
** She 's on the steamer," said Harvey, his
eyes filling with tears. "Take me to New
York at once."
" Poor woman — poor woman ! When she
has you back she '11 forgit it all, though.
There 's eight of us on the We We Here, an' ef
we went back naow — it's more 'n a thousand
mile — we 'd lose the season. The men they
would n't hev it, allowin' I was agreeable."
28 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" But my father would make it all right."
" He 'd try. I don't doubt he *d try," said
Troop; "but a whole season's catch is eight
men's bread ; an' you '11 be better in your
health when you see him in the fall. Go for-
ward an' help Dan. It 's ten an' a ha'af a
month, ez I said, an', o' course, all fund, same
ez the rest o' us."
" Do you mean I'm to clean pots and pans
and things?" said Harvey.
" An' other things. You 've no call to shout,
" I won't ! My father will give you enough
to buy this dirty little fish-kettle " — Harvey
stamped on the deck — " ten times over, if you
take me to New York safe; and — and — you 're
in a hundred and thirty by me, anyway."
" Ha-ow ? " said Troop, the iron face dark-
" How ? You know how, well enough. On
top of all that, you want me to do menial
work " — Harvey was very proud of that adjec-
tive — "till the Fall. I tell you I will not. You
Troop regarded the top of the mainmast
with deep interest for a while, as Harvey ha-
rangued fiercely all around him.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 29
"Hsh!" he said at last. "I 'm figurin'
out my responsibilities in my own mind. It 's
a matter o' jedgment."
Dan stole up and plucked Harvey by the
elbow. " Don't go to tamperin' with dad any
more," he pleaded. ** You 've called him a
thief two or three times over, an' he don't take
that from any livin' bein'."
" I won't ! " Harvey almost shrieked, disre-
garding the advice, and still Troop meditated.
** Seems kinder unneighborly," he said at
last, his eye traveling down to Harvey. ** I
don't blame you, not a mite, young feller, nor
you won't blame '}ne when the bile *s out o*
your systim. 'Be sure you sense what I
say ? Ten an' a ha'af fer second boy on the
schooner — an' all fund — fer to teach you
an fer the sake o' your health. Yes or no ? "
" No ! " said Harvey. '* Take me back to
New York or I '11 see you — "
He did not exactly remember what follovv^ed.
He was lying in the scuppers, holding on to a
nose that bled, while Troop looked down on
'* Dan," he said to his son, " I was sot agin
this young feller when I first saw him, on ac-
count o' hasty jedgments. Never you be led
so "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
astray by hasty jedgments, Dan. Naow I 'm
sorry for him, because he 's clear distracted in
his upper works. He ain't responsible fer the
names he 's give me, nor fer his other state-
ments — nor fer jumpin' overboard, which I 'm
abaout ha'af convinced he did. You be gen-
tle with him, Dan, 'r I '11 give you twice what
I Ve give him. Them hemmeridges clears
the head. Let him sluice it off! "
Troop went down solemnly into the cabin,
where he and the older men bunked, leav-
ing Dan to comfort the luckless heir to thirty
I WARN ED ye," said Dan, as the drops
fell thick and fast on the dark, oiled
planking. " Dad ain't noways hasty, but
you fair earned it. Pshaw ! there 's no sense
takin' on so." Harvey's shoulders were rising
and falling in spasms of dry sobbing. " I know
the feelin'. First time dad laid me out was
the last — and that was my first trip. Makes
ye feel sickish an' lonesome. / know."
" It does," moaned Harvey. "That man 's
either crazy or drunk, and — and I can't do
" Don't say that to dad," whispered Dan.
" He 's set agin all liquor, an' — well, he told
me you was the madman. What in creation
made you call him a thief? He's my dad."
Harvey sat up, mopped his nose, and told
the story of the missing wad of bills. " I 'm
not crazy," he wound up. "Only — your fa-
ther has never seen more than a five-dollar
32 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS »»
bill at a time, and my father could buy up this
boat once a week and never miss it."
" You don't know what the We We Here 's
worth. Your dad must hev a pile o' money.
How did he git it? Dad sez loonies can't
shake out a straight yarn. Go ahead."
" In gold mines and things, West."
*• I 've read o' that kind o' business. Out
West, too ? Does he go around with a pistol
on a trick-pony, same ez the circus. They
call that the Wild West, and I 've heard that
their spurs an' bridles was solid silver."
" You are a chump ! " said Harvey, amused
in spite of himself. " My father has n't any
use for ponies. When he wants to ride he
takes his car."
" Haow ? Lobster-car ? "
** No. His own private car, of course.
You Ve seen a private car some time in
your life ? "
" Slatin Beeman he hez one," said Dan, cau-
tiously. '* I saw her at the Union Depot in
Boston, with three niggers hoggin' her run."
(Dan meant cleaning the windows.) '* But
Slatin Beeman he owns 'baout every railroad
on Long Island, they say ; an' they say he 's
bought 'baout ha'af Noo Hampshire an' run a
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 33
line-fence around her, an* filled her up with
lions an* tigers an' bears an' buffalo an* croc-
odiles an' such all. Slatin Beeman he *s a
millionaire. I *ve seen his car. Yes?"
" Well, my father 's what they call a multi-
millionaire; and he has two private cars.
One *s named for me, the * Harvey,* and one
for my mother, the * Constance.' **
" Hold on," said Dan. " Dad don't ever
let me swear, but I guess jj/^/^ can. 'Fore we
go ahead, I want you to say hope you may
die if you 're lying."
"Of course," said Harvey.
'* Thet ain't 'nuff. Say, *Hope I may die If
I ain't speakin' truth.' "
*' Hope I may die right here," said Harvey,
" if every word I 've spoken is n't the cold
"Hundred an* thirty-four dollars an* all?"
said Dan. ** I heard ye talkin' to dad, an' I
ha'af looked you 'd be swallered up, same 's
Harvey protested himself red in the face.
Dan was a shrewd young person along his
own lines, and ten minutes' questioning con-
vinced him that Harvey was not lying — much.
Besides, he had bound himself by the most
.34 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
terrible oath known to boyhood, and yet he
sat, ahve, with a red- ended nose, in the scup-
pers, recounting marvels upon marvels.
'* Gosh ! " said Dan at last from the very
bottom of his soul when Harvey had completed
an inventory of the car named in his honor.
Then a grin of mischievous delight overspread
his broad face. " I believe you, Harvey.
Dad 's made a mistake fer once in his life."
"He has, sure," said Harvey, who was
meditating an early revenge.
" He '11 be mad clear through. Dad jest
hates to be mistook in his jedgments." Dan
lay back and slapped his thigh. *' Oh, Har-
vey, don't you spile the catch by lettin* on."
•* I don't want to be knocked down again.
I '11 get even with him, though."
** Never heard any man ever got even with
dad. But he 'd knock ye down again sure.
The more he was mistook the more he 'd do
it. But gold mines and pistols — "
** I never said a word about pistols," Harvey
cut in, for he was on his oath.
"Thet's so; no more you did. Two pri-
vate cars, then, one named fer you an' one fer
her ; an' two hundred dollars a month pocket-
money, all knocked into the scuppers fer not
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 35
workin' fer ten an' a ha'af a month ! It 's the
top haul o' the season." He exploded with
"Then I was right?** said Harvey, who
thought he had found a sympathizer.
"You was wrong; the wrongest kind o*
wrong ! You take right hold an' pitch in
'longside o' me, or you '11 catch it, an' I '11
catch it fer backin* you up. Dad always gives
me double helps 'cause I 'm his son, an' he
hates favorin' folk. Guess you 're kinder mad
at dad. I 've been that way time an' again.
But dad 's a mighty jest man ; all the Fleet
"Looks like justice, this, don*t it?" Har-
vey pointed to his outraged nose.
•' Thet 's nothin'. Lets the shore blood
outer you. Dad did it for yer health. Say,
though, I can't have dealin's with a man that
thinks me or dad or any one on the We 're
Here *s a thief. We ain't any common
wharf-end crowd by any manner o' means.
We 're fishermen, an' we 've shipped to-
gether for six years an' more. Don't you
make any mistake on that! I told ye dad
don't let me swear. He calls 'em vain oaths,
and pounds me; but ef"I could say what you
36 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
said 'baout your pap an' his fixin's, I *d say
that 'baout your dollars. I dunno what was
in your pockets when I dried your kit, fer I
did n't look to see; but I *d say, using the
very same words ez you used jest now, nei-
ther me nor dad — an' we was the only two
that teched you after you was brought aboard
— knows any thin* 'baout the money. Thet 's
my say. Naow? "
The blood-letting had certainly cleared
Harvey's brain, and maybe the loneliness
of the sea had something to do with it.
** That 's all right," he said. Then he looked
down confusedly. "'Seems to me, that for a
fellow just saved from drowning I have n't
been over and above grateful, Dan."
•' Well, you was shook up and silly," said
Dan. ** Anyway, there was only dad an* me
aboard to see it. The cook he don't count."
" I might have thought about losing the
bills that way," Harvey said, half to himself,
"instead of calling everybody in sight a thief.
Where 's your father ? "
" In the cabin. What d' you want o* him
again ? "
" You *11 see," said Harvey, and he stepped,
rather groggily, for his head was still singing,
*« CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 39
to the cabin steps, where the little ship's clock
hung- in plain sight of the wheel. Troop, in
the chocolate-and-yellow painted cabin, was
busy with a note-book and an enormous black
pencil, which he sucked hard from time to
" I have n't acted quite right," said Har-
vey, surprised at his own meekness.
"What 's wrong naow?" said the skipper.
"Walked into Dan, hev ye?"
" No ; it 's about you."
" I 'm here to listen."
" Well, I — I 'm here to take things back,"
said Harvey, very quickly. "When a man 's
saved from drowning — -" he gulped.
" Ey ? You '11 make a man yet ef you go
on this way."
" He ought n't begin by calling people
"Jest an' right — right an' jest," said Troop,
with the ghost of a dry smile.
" So I 'm here to say I 'm sorry." Another
Troop heaved himself slowly off the locker
he was sitting on and held out an eleven-inch
hand. " I mistrusted 't would do you sights
o' good ; an' this shows I were n't mistook in
40 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
my jedgments." A smothered chuckle on
deck caught his ear. " I am very seldom
mistook in my jedgments." The eleven-inch
hand closed on Harvey's, numbing it to the
elbow. "We '11 put a little more gristle to
that 'fore we 've done with you, young feller ;
an' I don't think any worse of ye fer anythin'
thet 's gone by. You was n't fairly respon-
sible. Go right abaout your business an' you
won't take no hurt."
" You 're white," said Dan, as Harvey re-
gained the deck, flushed to the tips of his ears.
" I don't feel it," said he.
•' I did n't mean that way. I heard what
dad said. When dad allows he don't think
the worse of any man, dad 's give himself
away. He hates to be mistook in his jedg-
ments too. Ho ! ho ! Onct dad has a jedg-
ment, he 'd sooner dip his colors to the
British than change it. I 'm glad it *s settled
right eend up. Dad 's right when he says he
can't take you back. It 's all the livin* we
make here — fishin*. The men '11 be back like
sharks after a dead whale in ha'af an hour."
"What for?" said Harvey.
" Supper, o' course. Don't your stummick
tell you ? You 've a heap to learn."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS* 41
" Guess I have," said Harvey, dolefully,
looking at the tangle of ropes and blocks
'* She 's a daisy," said Dan, enthusiastically,
misunderstanding the look. "Wait till our
mainsail 's bent, an' she walks home with all "
her salt wet. There *s some work first,
though." He pointed down into the dark-
ness of the open main-hatch between the two
" What 's that for ? It s all empty," said
" You an' me an* a few more hev got to fill
it," said Dan. " That 's where the fish goes."
" Alive ? " said Harvey.
"Well, no. They 're so 's to be ruther
dead — an* flat — an' salt. There 's a hun-
dred hogshead o' salt in the bins ; an* we
hain't more 'n covered our dunnage to now."
" Where are the fish, though ? "
"In the sea they say; in the boats we
pray," said Dan, quoting a fisherman's prov-
erb. " You come in last night with 'baout
forty of *em."
He pointed to a sort of wooden pen just
in front of the quarter-deck.
" You an' me we '11 sluice that out when
p "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
they 're through. 'Send we '11 hev full pens
to-night ! I 've seen her down ha'af a foot
with fish waitin' to clean, an' we stood to the
tables till we was splittin' ourselves instid
o' them, we was so sleepy. Yes, they 're
comin' in naow." Dan looked over the low
bulwarks at half a dozen dories rowing to-
ward them over the shining, silky sea.
" I 've never seen the sea from so low
down," said Harvey. " It 's fine."
The low sun made the water all purple and
pinkish, with golden lights on the barrels
of the long swells, and blue and green
mackerel shades in the hollows. Each
schooner in sight seemed to be pulling her
dories towards her by invisible strings, and
the little black figures in the tiny boats
pulled like clockwork toys.
"They 've struck on good," said Dan, be-
tween his half-shut eyes. " Manuel hain't
room fer another fish. Low ez a lily-pad in
still water, ain't he ? "
"Which is Manuel? I don't see how you
can tell 'em 'way off, as you do."
" Last boat to the south'ard. He fund
you last night," said Dan, pointing. " Man-
uel rows Portugoosey ; ye can't, mistake him.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 43
East o* him — he's a heap better 'n he rows
— is Pennsylvania. Loaded with saleratus,
by the looks of him. East o' him — see how
pretty they string out all along — with the
humpy shoulders, is Long Jack. He 's a
Galway man inhabitin' South Boston, where
they all live mostly, an' mostly them Galway
men are good in a boat. North, away yonder
— you '11 hear him tune up in a minute — is
Tom Piatt. Man-o'-war's man he was on the
old Ohio — first of our navy, he says, to go
araound the Horn. He never talks of much
else, 'cept when he sings, but he has fair
fishin' luck. There ! What did I tell you ? "
A melodious bellow stole across the water
from the northern dory. Harvey heard
something about somebody's hands and feet
being cold, and then :
" Bring forth the chart, the doleful chart,
See where them mountings meet !
The clouds are thick around their heads,
The mists around their feet."
** Full boat," said Dan, with a chuckle.
" If he gives us * O Captain ' it 's toppin'
44 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The bellow continued :
" And naow to thee, O Capting,
Most earnestly I pray,
That they shall never bury me
In church or cloister gray."
" Double game for Tom Piatt. He '11 tell
you all about the old Ohio to-morrow. 'See
that blue dory behind him ? He 's my uncle,
— dad's own brother, — an' ef there 's any bad
luck loose on the Banks she '11 fetch up agin
Uncle Salters, sure. Look how tender he 's
rowin'. I '11 lay my wage and share he 's the
only man stung up to-day — an' he 's stung up
" What '11 sting him ? " said Harvey, getting
** Strawberries, mostly. Punkins, some-
times, an' sometimes lemons an' cucumbers.
Yes, he 's stung up from his elbows down.
That man's luck 's perfectly paralyzin'. Naow
we '11 take a-holt o' the tackles an' hist 'em in.
Is it true what you told me jest now, that you
never done a hand's turn o' work in all your
born life? Must feel kinder awful, don't
" I 'm going to try to work, anyway," Har-
«* CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 45
vey replied stoutly. " Only it 's all dead
" Lay a-holt o' that tackle, then. Behind
ye ! "
Harvey grabbed at a rope and long iron
hook dangling from one of the stays of the
mainmast, while Dan pulled down another
that ran from something he called a " topping-
lift," as Manuel drew alongside in his loaded
dory. The Portuguese smiled a brilliant
smile that Harvey learned to know well later,
and with a short-handled fork began to throw
fish into the pen on deck. "Two hundred
and thirty-one," he shouted.
"Give him the hook," said Dan, and Har-
vey ran it into Manuel's hands. He slipped
it through a loop of rope at the dory's bow,
caught Dan's tackle, hooked it to the stern-
becket, and clambered into the schooner.
" Pull ! " shouted Dan, and Harvey pulled,
astonished to find how easily the dory rose.
" Hold on, she don't nest in the cross-
trees ! " Dan laughed ; and Harvey held on,
for the boat lay in the air above his head.
" Lower away," Dan shouted, and as Har-
vey lowered, Dan swayed the light boat with
one hand till it landed softly just behind
46 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
the mainmast. "They don't weigh nothin'
empty. Thet was right smart fer a passenger.
There 's more trick to it in a sea-way."
"Ah ha!" said Manuel, holding out a
brown hand. " You are some pretty well
now ? This time last night the fish they
fish for you. Now you fish for fish. Eh,
" I 'm — I 'm ever so grateful," Harvey
stammered, and his unfortunate hand stole
to his pocket once more, but he remembered
that he had no money to offer. When he
knew Manuel better the mere thought of the
mistake he might have made would cover
him with hot, uneasy blushes in his bunk.
"There is no to be thankful for to me/"
said Manuel. " How shall I leave you dreeft,
dreeft all around the Banks ? Now you are
a fisherman — eh, wha-at ? Ouh ! Auh ! "
He bent backward and forward stiffly from
the hips to get the kinks out of himself
" I have not cleaned boat to-day. Too
busy. They struck on queek. Danny, my
son, clean for me."
Harvey moved forward at once. Here was
something he could do for the man who had
saved his life.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 47
Dan threw him a swab, and he leaned over
the dory, mopping up the sHme ckimsily, but
with great good- will. " Hike out the foot-
boards ; they slide in them grooves," said
Dan. " Swab 'em an' lay 'em down. Never
let a foot-board jam. Ye may want her bad
some day. Here 's Long Jack."
A stream of glittering fish flew into the
pen from a dory alongside.
" Manuel, you take the tackle. I '11 fix
the tables. Harvey, clear Manuel's boat.
Long Jack 's nestin' on the top of her."
Harvey looked up from his swabbing at
the bottom of another dory just above his
"Jest like the Injian puzzle-boxes, ain't
-they ? " said Dan, as the one boat dropped
into the other.
" Takes to ut like a duck to water," said
Long Jack, a grizzly-chinned, long-lipped
Galway man, bending to and fro exactly as
Manuel had done. Disko in the cabin
growled up the hatchway, and they could
hear him suck his pencil.
"Wan hunder an' forty-nine an' a half —
bad luck to ye, Discobolus ! " said Long Jack.
" I 'm murderin' meself to fill your pockuts.
48 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Slate ut for a bad catch. The Portugee has
Whack came another dory alongside, and
more fish shot into the pen.
"Two hundred and three. Let 's look at the
passenger ! " The speaker was even larger
than the Galway man, and his face was made
curious by a purple cut running slantways
from his left eye to the right corner of his
Not knowing what else to do, Harvey
swabbed each dory as it came down, pulled
out the foot-boards, and laid them in the bot-
tom of the boat.
" He 's caught on good," said the scarred
man, who was Tom Piatt, watching him criti-
cally. " There are two ways o' doin' every-
thing. One's fisher- fashion — any end first
an' a slippery hitch over all — an' the other's — "
"What we did on the old Ohio T' Dan
interrupted, brushing into the knot of men
with a long board on legs. *' Git out o' here,
Tom Piatt, an' leave me fix the tables."
He jammed one end of the board into two
nicks in the bulwarks, kicked out the leg, and
ducked just in time to avoid a swinging blow
from the man-o'-war's man.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 49
"An* they did that on the Ohio, too,
Danny. See ? " said Tom Piatt, laughing.
'* Guess they was swivel-eyed, then, fer it
did n't git home, and I know who *11 find his
boots on the main-truck ef he don't leave us
alone. Haul ahead ! I 'm busy, can't ye
** Danny, ye lie on the cable an' sleep all
day," said Long Jack. " You 're the hoight
av impidence, an' I 'm persuaded ye '11 corrupt
our supercargo in a week."
" His name 's Harvey," said Dan, waving
two strangely shaped knives, " an' he '11 be
worth five of any Sou' Boston clam-digger
'fore long." He laid the knives tastefully on
the table, cocked his head on one side, and
admired the effect.
"/think it 's forty-two," said a small voice
overside, and there was a roar of laughter as
another voice answered, " Then my luck 's
turned fer onct, 'caze I 'm forty-five, though I
be stung outer all shape."
" Forty-two or forty-five. I 've lost count,"
the small voice said.
" It 's Penn an' Uncle Salters caountin'
catch. This beats the circus any day," said
Dan. " Jest look at 'em ! "
JO "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Come in — come in ! " roared Long Jack.
" It *s wet out yondher, children."
" Forty-two, ye said." This was Uncle
" I '11 count again, then," the voice replied
The two dories swung together and bunted
into the schooner's side.
" Patience o' Jerusalem ! " snapped Uncle
Salters, backing water with a splash. *' What
possest a farmer like you to set foot in a boat
beats me. You 've nigh stove me all up."
*' I am sorry, Mr. Salters. I came to sea
on account of nervous dyspepsia. You ad-
vised me, I think."
" You an' your nervis dyspepsy be drowned
in the Whale-hole," roared Uncle Salters, a
fat and tubly little man. " You 're comin'
down on me agin. Did ye say forty-two or
forty-five ? "
'* I 've forgotten, Mr. Salters. Let*s count."
" Don't see as it could be forty-five. / 'm
forty-five," said Uncle Salters. "You count
Disko Troop came out of the cabin. "Sal-
ters, you pitch your fish in naow at once," he
said in the tone of authority.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 51
** Don't spile the catch, dad," Dan mur-
mured. " Them two are on'y jest beginnin'."
" Mother av delight ! He 's forkin' them
wan by wan," howled Long Jack, as Uncle
Salters got to work laboriously ; the little
man in the other dory counting a line of
notches on the gunwale.
** That was last week's catch," he said,
looking up plaintively, his forefinger where
he had left off.
Manuel nudged Dan, who darted to the
after- tackle, and, leaning far overside, slipped
the hook into the stern -rope as Manuel made
her fast forward. The others pulled gallantly
and swung the boat in — man, fish, and all.
"One, two, four — nine," said Tom Piatt,
counting with a practised eye. " Forty-
seven. Penn, you 're it ! " Dan let the after-
tackle run, and slid him out of the stern on to
the deck amid a torrent of his own fish.
" Hold on ! " roared Uncle Salters, bobbing
by the waist. " Hold on, I 'm a bit mixed in
He had no time to protest, but was hove
inboard and treated like " Pennsylvania."
** Forty-one," said Tom Piatt. " Beat by a
farmer, Salters. An' you sech a sailor, too ' "
52 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" 'T were n't fair caount," said he, stumbling
out of the pen; "an' I 'm stung up all to
His thick hands were puffy and mottled
** Some folks will find strawberry-bottom,"
said Dan, addressing the newly risen moon,
" ef they hev to dive fer it, seems to me."
"An' others," said Uncle Salters, "eats the
fat o' the land in sloth, an' mocks their own
" Seat ye ! Seat ye ! " a voice Harvey had
not heard called from the foc'sle. Disko Troop,
Tom Piatt, Long Jack, and Salters went for-
ward on the word. Little Penn bent above
his square deep-sea reel, and the tangled cod-
lines; Manuel lay down full length on the deck,
and Dan dropped into the hold, where Harvey
heard him banging casks with a hammer.
" Salt," he said, returning. " Soon as we 're
through supper we git to dressing-down.
You '11 pitch to dad. Tom Piatt an' dad they
stow together, an' you '11 hear 'em arguin'.
We *re second ha'af, you an' me an' Manuel
an' Penn — the youth an' beauty o' the boat."
"What 's the good of that?" said Harvey.
" I 'm hungry."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 53
" They '11 be through in a minute. Snfif !
She smells good to-night. Dad ships a good
cook ef he do suffer with his brother. It 's a
full catch to-day, ain 't it ? " He pointed at the
pens piled high with cod. "What water did
ye hev, Manuel ? "
** Twenty-fife father," said the Portuguese,
sleepily. " They strike on good an' queek.
Some day I show you, Harvey."
The moon was beginning to walk on the
^till sea before the elder men came aft. The
cook had no need to cry " second half" Dan
and Manuel were down the hatch and at table
ere Tom Piatt, last and most deliberate of the
elders, had finished wiping his mouth with
the back of his hand. Harvey followed Penn,
and sat down before a tin pan of cod's tongues
and sounds, mixed with scraps of pork and
fried potato, a loaf of hot bread, and some
black and powerful coffee. Hungry as they
were, they waited while " Pennsylvania" sol-
emnly asked a blessing. Then they stoked
in silence till Dan drew breath over his tin
cup and demanded of Harvey how he felt.
" 'Most full, but there 's just room for an-
The cook was a huge, jet-black negro, and,
54 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS'*
unlike all the negroes Harvey had met, did
not talk, contenting himself with smiles and
dumb-show invitations to eat more.
" See, Harvey," said Dan, rapping with
his fork on the table, " it 's jest as I said.
The young an' handsome men — like me an'
Pennsy an' you an' Manuel — we 're second
ha'af, an' we eats when the first ha'af are
through. They 're the old fish ; and they 're
mean an' humpy, an' their stummicks has
to be humored ; so they come first, which
they don't deserve. Ain't that so, doctor ? "
The cook nodded.
*' Can't he talk ? " said Harvey in a whisper.
"'Nough to git along. Not much o' any-
thing we know. His natural tongue 's kinder
curious. Comes from the innards of Cape Bre-
ton, he does, where the farmers speak home-
made Scotch. Cape Breton 's full o' niggers
whose folk run in there durin' aour war, an'
they talk like the farmers — all huffy-chuffy."
" That is not Scotch," said " Pennsylvania."
** That is Gaelic. So I read in a book."
" Penn reads a heap. Most of what he
says is so — 'cep' when it comes to a caount
o* fish — eh ? "
" Does your father just let them say how
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 55
many they 've caught without checking them?"
" Why, yes. Where *s the sense of a man
lyin' fer a few old cod ? "
"Was a man once lied for his catch," Man-
uel put in. " Lied every day. Fife, ten,
twenty-fife more fish than come he say there
"Where was that?" said Dan. "None o*
" Frenchman of Anguille."
" Ah ! Them West Shore Frenchmen don't
caount anyway. Stands to reason they can't
caount. Ef you run acrost any of their soft
hooks, Harvey, you '11 know why," said Dan,
with an awful contempt.
" Always more and never less,
Every time we come to dress,'*
Long Jack roared down the hatch, and the
" second ha'af " scrambled up at once.
The shadow of the masts and rigging, with
the never- furled riding-sail, rolled to and fro
on the heaving deck in the moonlight; and
the pile of fish by the stern shone like a dump
of fluid silver. In the hold there w6re tramp-
lings and rumblings where Disko Troop and
S6 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Tom Piatt moved among the salt-bins. Dan
passed Harvey a pitchfork, and led him to
the inboard end of the rough table, where
Uncle Salters was drumming impatiently with
a knife-haft. A tub of salt water lay at his
" You pitch to dad an' Tom Piatt down the
hatch, an' take keer Uncle Salters don't cut
yer eye out," said Dan, swinging himself into
the hold. " I '11 pass salt below."
Penn and Manuel stood knee deep among
cod in the pen, flourishing drawn knives.
Long Jack, a basket at his feet and mittens
on his hands, faced Uncle Salters at the table,
and Harvey stared at the pitchfork and the tub.
"Hi!" shouted Manuel, stooping to the
fish, and bringing one up with a finger under
its gill and a finger in its eye. He laid it on
the edge of the pen ; the knife-blade glim-
mered with a sound of tearing, and the fish,
slit from throat to vent, with a nick on either
side of the neck, dropped at Long Jack's
" Hi ! " said Long Jack, with a scoop of his
mittened hand. The cod's liver dropped in
the basket. Another wrench and scoop sent
the head and offal flying, and the empty fish
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 57
slid across to Uncle Salters, who snorted
fiercely. There was another sound of tear-
ing, the backbone flew over the bulwarks, and
the fish, headless, gutted, and open, splashed
in the tub, sending the salt water into Har-_
vey's astonished mouth. After the first yell,
the men were silent. The cod moved along
as though they were alive, and long ere Har-
vey had ceased wondering at the miraculous
dexterity of it all, his tub was full.
** Pitch ! " grunted Uncle Salters, without
turning his head, and Harvey pitched the fish
by twos and threes down the hatch.
" Hi ! Pitch 'em bunchy," shouted Dan.
** Don't scatter ! Uncle Salters is the best
splitter in the fleet. Watch him mind his
book ! "
Indeed, it looked a little as though the
round uncle were cutting magazine pages
against time. Manuel's body, cramped over
from the hips, stayed like a statue ; but his
long arms grabbed the fish without ceasing.
Little Penn toiled valiantly, but it was easy
to see he was weak. Once or twice Manuel
found time to help him without breaking the
chain of supplies, and once Manuel howled
because he had caught his finger in a French-
58 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
man's hook. These hooks are made of soft
metal, to be rebent after use ; but the cod
very often get away with them and are hooked
again elsewhere ; and that is one of the many
reasons why the Gloucester boats despise the
Down below, the rasping sound of rough
salt rubbed on rough flesh sounded like the
whirring of a grindstone — a steady undertune
to the " click-nick " of the knives in the pen ;
the wrench and schloop of torn heads, dropped
liver, and flying offal ; the " caraaah " of Un-
cle Salters's knife scooping away backbones ;
and the flap of wet, opened bodies falling Into
At the end of an hour Harvey would have
given the world to rest ; for fresh, wet cod
weigh more than you would think, and his
back ached with the steady pitching. But he
felt for the first time In his life that he was
one of a working gang of men, took pride In
^the thought, and held on sullenly.
*' Knife oh 1 " shouted Uncle Salters at last.
Penn doubled up, gasping among the fish,
Manuel bowed back and forth to supple him-
self, and Long Jack leaned over the bulwarks.
The cook appeared, noiseless as a black
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 59
shadow, collected a mass of backbones and
heads, and retreated.
" Blood-ends for breakfast an* head-chow-
der," said Long Jack, smacking his lips.
** Knife oh ! " repeated Uncle Salters, wav-
ing the flat, curved splitter's weapon.
•' Look by your foot, Harve," cried Dan
Harvey saw half a dozen knives stuck in a
cleat in the hatch combing. He dealt these
around, taking over the dulled ones.
" Water ! " said Disko Troop.
" Scuttle-butt 's for'ard an' the dipper 's
alongside. Hurry, Harve," said Dan.
He was back in a minute with a big dipperful
of stale brown water which tasted like nectar,
and loosed the jaws of Disko and Tom Piatt.
"These are cod," said Disko. "They ain't
Damarskus figs, Tom Piatt, nor yet silver
bars. I 've told you that every single time
sence we Ve sailed together."
" A matter o' seven seasons," returned Tom
Piatt coolly. " Good stowin 's good stowin' all
the same, an' there 's a right an' a wrong way
o' stowin' ballast even. If you 'd ever seen
four hundred ton o' iron set into the — "
"Hi ! " With a yell from Manuel the work
So "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
began again, and never stopped till the pen
was empty. The instant the last fish was
down, Disko Troop rolled aft to the cabin
with his brother; Manuel and Long Jack
went forward; Tom Piatt only waited long
enough to slide home the hatch ere he too
disappeared. In half a minute Harvey heard
deep snores in the cabin, and he was staring
blankly at Dan and Penn.
" I did a little better that time, Danny,"
said Penn, whose eyelids were heavy with
sleep. " But I think it is my duty to help
"'Would n't hev your conscience fer a thou-
sand quintal," said Dan. "Turn in, Penn.
You 've no call to do boy's work. Draw a
bucket, Harvey. Oh, Penn, dump these in
the gurry-butt 'fore you sleep. Kin you keep
awake that long ? "
Penn took up the heavy basket offish-livers,
emptied them into a cask with a hinged top
lashed by the foc'sle ; then he too dropped
out of sight in the cabin.
" Boys clean up after dressin' down, an'
first watch in ca'am weather is boy's watch on
the IVe 're //ere." Dan sluiced the pen . i-
ergetically, unshipped the table, set it up
*'CA ^TAINS COURAGEOUS" 6i
dry in the moonlight, ran the red knife-blades
through a wad of oakum, and began to sharpen
them on a tiny grindstone, as Harvey threw
offal and backbones overboard under his di-
At the first splash a silvery-white ghost
rose bolt upright from the oily water and
sighed a weird whistling sigh. Harvey started
back with a shout, but Dan only laughed.
" Grampus," said he. " Beggirt' fer fish-heads.
They up-eend thet way when they 're hun-
gry. Breath on him like the doleful tombs,
hain't he ? " A horrible stench of decayed
fish filled the air as the pillar of white sank,
and the water bubbled oilily. " Hain't ye
never seen a grampus up-eend before ? You '11
see 'em by hundreds 'fore ye 're through. Say,
it 's good to hev a boy aboard again. Otto
was too old, an' a Dutchy at that. Him an'
me we fought consid'ble. 'Would n't ha' keered
fer thet ef he 'd hed a Christian tongue in his
" Dead sleepy," said Harvey, nodding for-
" Must n't sleep on watch. Rouse up an*
se'.? ef our anchor-light *s bright an' shinin'.
"^-"■:i 're on watch now, Harve."
62 "CAPTAINS COURAGECUS"
*• Pshaw ! What *s to hurt us ? 'Bright 's
day. Sn — orrr ! "
'^•' Jest when things happen, dad says. Fine
weather 's good sleepin', an' 'fore you know,
mebbe, you 're cut in two by a Hner, an' sev-
enteen brass-bound officers, ail gen'eimen, liit
their hand to it that your lights was aout an'
there was a thick fog. Harve, I 've kinder
took to you, but ef you nod onct more I '11 lay
into you with a rope's end."
- The moon, who sees many strange things
on the Banks, looked down on a slim youth in
knickerbockers and a red jersey, staggering
around the cluttered decks of a seventy-ton
schooner, while behind him, waving a knotted
rope, walked, after the manner of an execu-
tioner, a boy who yawned and nodded be-
tween the blows he dealt.
The lashed wheel groaned and kicked
softly, the riding-sail slatted a Tittle in the
shifts of the light wind, the windlass creaked,
and the miserable procession continued. Har-
vey expostulated, threatened, whimpered, and
at last wept outright, while Dan, the words
clotting on his tongue, spoke of the beauty
of watchfulness and slashed away with the
rope's end, punishing the dories as often as
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 63
he hit Harvey. At last the clock in the cabin
struck ten, and upon the tenth stroke little
Penn crept on deck. He found two boys in
two tumbled heaps side by side on the main
hatch, so deeply asleep that he actually rolled
them to their berths.
IT was the forty-fathom slumber that clears
the soul and eye and heart, and sends you
to breakfast ravening. They emptied a big
tin dish of juicy fragments of fish — the blood-
ends the cook had collected overnight. They
cleaned up the plates and pans of the elder
mess, who were out fishing, sliced pork for
the midday meal, swabbed down the foc'sle,
filled the lamps, drew coal and water for the
cook, and investigated the fore-hold, where
the boat's stores were stacked. It was an-
other perfect day — soft, mild, and clear ; and
Harvey breathed to the very bottom of his
More schooners had crept up in the night,
and the long blue seas w^re full of sails and
dories. Far away on the horizon, the smoke
of some liner, her hull invisible, smudged
the blue, and to eastward a big ship's top-
gallant sails, just lifting, made a square nick
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 65
in it. Disko Troop was smoking by the roof
of the cabin — one eye on the craft around,
and the other on the httle fly at the main-
" When dad kerflummoxes that way," said
Dan in a whisper, " he 's doin' some high-
hne thinkin' fer all hands. I '11 lay my wage
an' share we '11 make berth soon. Dad he
knows the cod, an' the fleet they know dad
knows. 'See 'em comin' up one by one, look-
in' fer nothin' in particular, o' course, but
scrowgin' on us all the time ^ There 's the
Prince Leboo ; she 's a Chat- ham boat.
She 's crep' up sence last night. An' see
that big one with a patch in her foresail an'
a new jib? She 's the Carrie Pit77ian from
West Chat-ham. She won't keep her can-
vas long onless her luck 's changed since
last season. She don't do much 'cep' drift.
There ain't an anchor made '11 hold her.
. . . When the smoke puffs up in little rings
like that, dad 's studyin' the fish. Ef we
speak to him now, he '11 git mad. Las' tim.e
I did, he jest took an' hove a boot at me."
Disko Troop stared forward, the pipe be-
tween his teeth, with eyes that saw nothing.
As his son said, he was studying the fish —
66 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
pitting his knowledge and experience on the
Banks against the roving cod in his own sea.
He accepted the presence of the inquisitive
schooners on the horizon as a compHment to
his powers. But now that it was paid, he
wished to draw away and make his berth
alone, till it was time to go up to the Virgin
and fish in the streets of that roaring town
upon the waters. So Disko Troop thought
of recent weather, and gales, currents, food-
supplies, and other domestic arrangements,
from the point of view of a twenty-pound cod;
was, in fact, for an hour a cod himself, and
looked remarkably like one. Then he re-
moved the pipe from his teeth.
" Dad," said Dan, " we've done our chores.
Can't we go overside a piece? It 's good
" Not in that cherry-colored rig ner them
ha'af-baked brown shoes. Give him suthin'
fit to wear."
" Dad's pleased — that settles it," said Dan,
delightedly, dragging Harvey into the cabin,
while Troop pitched a key down the steps.
" Dad keeps my spare rig where he kin over-
haul it, 'cause ma sez I 'm keerless." He
rummaged through a locker, and in less than
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 67
three minutes Harvey was adorned with fish-
erman's rubber boots that came half up his
thigh, a heavy bhie jersey well darned at the
elbows, a pair of nippers, and a sou'wester.
" Naow ye look somethin' like," said Dan.
" Hurry ! "
"Keep nigh an' handy," said Troop, "an'
don't go visitin' raound the fleet. Ef any one
asks you what I 'm cal'latin' to do, speak the
truth — fer ye don't know."
A little red dory, labeled Hattie S., lay
astern of the schooner. Dan hauled in the
painter, and dropped lightly on to the bottom
boards, while Harvey tumbled clumsily after.
"That 's no way o' gettin' into a boat,"
said Dan. " Ef there was any sea you 'd go
to the bottom, sure. You got to learn to
Dan fitted the thole-pins, took the forward
thwart, and watched Harvey's work. The
boy had rowed, in a lady-like fashion, on the
Adirondack ponds; but there is a difference
between squeaking pins and well-balanced
rullocks — light sculls and stubby, eight-foot
sea-oars. They stuck in the gentle swell,
and Harvey grunted.
" Short ! Row short ! " said Dan. " Ef you
68 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
cramp your oar in any kind o' sea you 're
liable to turn her over. Ain't she a daisy?
The little dory was specklessly clean. In
her bows lay a tiny anchor, two jugs of water,
and some seventy fathoms of thin, brown
dory-roding. A tin dinner-horn rested in
cleats just under Harvey's right hand, beside
an ugly-looking maul, a short gaff, and a
shorter wooden stick. A couple of lines, with
very heavy leads and double cod-hooks, all
neatly coiled on square reels, were stuck in
their place by the gunwale.
"Where 's the sail and mast?" said Har-
vey, for his hands were beginning to blister.
Dan chuckled. " Ye don't sail fishin'-
dories much. Ye pull ; but ye need n't
pull so hard. Don't you wish you owned
"Well, I guess my father might give me
one or two if I asked 'em," Harvey replied.
He had been too busy to think much of his
family till then.
"That 's so. I forgot your dad 's a mil-
lionaire. You don't act millionary any,
naow. But a dory an' craft an' gear " — Dan
spoke as though she were a whaleboat —
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 69
" costs a heap. Think your dad 'u'd give
you one fer — fer a pet hke ? '*
" Should n't wonder. It would be 'most
the only thing I have n't stuck him for yet."
" 'Must be an expensive kinder kid to home.
Don't slitheroo thet way, Harve. Short 's
the trick, because no sea 's ever dead still,
an' the swells '11 — "
Crack ! The loom of the oar kicked Harvey
under the chin and knocked him backwards.
" That was what I was goin' to say. I hed
to learn too, but / was n't more than eight
years old when I got my schoolin'."
Harvey regained his seat with aching jaws
and a frown.
" No good gettin' mad at things, dad says.
It 's our own fault ef we can't handle 'em, he
says. Le' 's try here. Manuel '11 give us
The "Portugee" was rocking fully a mile
away, but when Dan up-ended an oar he
waved his left arm three times.
" Thirty fathom," said Dan, stringing a
salt clam on to the hook. " Over with the
doughboys. Bait same 's I do, Harve, an'
don't snarl your reel."
Dan's line was out long before Harvey had
70 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
mastered the mystery of baiting and heaving
out the leads. The dory drifted along easily.
It was not worth while to anchor till they
were sure of sjood o-round.
"Here we come!" Dan shouted, and a
shower of spray rattled on Harvey's shoul-
ders as a big cod flapped and kicked along-
side. " Muckle, Harvey, muckle ! Under
your hand ! Quick ! "
Evidently "muckle" could not be the din-
ner-horn, so Harvey passed over the maul,
and Dan scientifically stunned the fish before
he pulled it inboard, and wrenched out the
hook with the short wooden stick he called a
" gob-stick." Then Harvey felt a tug, and
pulled up zealously.
** Why, these are strawberries ! " he shouted.
" Look ! "
The hook had fouled among a bunch of
strawberries, red on one side and white on the
other — perfect reproductions of the land fruit,
except that there were no leaves, and the stem
was all pipy and slimy.
" Don't tech 'em ! Slat *em off. Don't — "
The warning came too late. Harvey had
picked them from the hook, and was admiring
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 71
" Ouch ! " he cried, for his fingers throbbed
as though he had grasped many nettles.
" Naow ye know what strawberry-bottom
means. Nothin' 'cep' fish should be teched
with the naked fingers, dad says. Slat 'em
off agin the gunnel, an' bait up, Harve.
Lookin' won't help any. It 's all in the
Harvey smiled at the thought of his ten
and a half dollars a month, and wondered
what his mother would say if she could see
him hanging over the edge of a fishing-dory
in mid-ocean. She suffered agonies when-
ever he went out on Saranac Lake ; and, by
the way, Harvey remembered distinctly that
he used to laugh at her anxieties. Suddenly
the line flashed through his hand, stinging
even through the " nippers," the woolen circ-
lets supposed to protect it.
" He 's a logy. Give him room accordin'
to his strength," cried Dan. " I '11 help ye."
"No, you won't," Harvey snapped, as he
hung on to the line. "It 's my first fish.
Is — is it a whale? "
** Halibut, mebbe." Dan peered down into
the water alongside, and flourished the big
"muckle," ready for all chances. Some-
72 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
thing white and oval flickered and fluttered
through the green. "I '11 lay my wage an'
share he 's over a hundred. Are you so
everlastin' anxious to land him alone ? "
Harvey's knuckles were raw and bleeding
where they had been banged against the
gunwale ; his face was purple-blue between
excitement and exertion ; he dripped with
sweat, and was half-blinded from staring at
the circling sunlit ripples about the swiftly
moving line. The boys were tired long ere
the halibut, who took charge of them and the
dory for the next twenty minutes. But the
big flat fish was gaffed and hauled in at last.
'* Beginner's luck," said Dan, wiping his
forehead. " He 's all of a hundred."
Harvey looked at the huge gray-and-
mottled creature with unspeakable pride.
He had seen halibut many times on marble
slabs ashore, but it had never occurred to
him to ask how they came inland. Now he
knew ; and every inch of his body ached with
*' Ef dad was along," said Dan, hauling
up, ** he 'd read the signs plain 's print. The
fish are runnin' smaller an' smaller, an* you 've
took 'baout as logy a halibut 's we 're apt to
•I 'll lay my wage an' share he 's over a hundred.'"
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 75
find this trip. Yesterday's catch — did ye
notice it ? — was all big fish an' no halibut.
Dad he 'd read them signs right off. Dad
says everythin' on the Banks is signs, an* can
be read wrong er right. Dad 's deeper 'n
Even as he spoke some one fired a pistol
on the IVe 're Here, and a potato-basket was
run up in the fore-rigging,
'* What did I say, naow ? That 's the caK
fer the whole crowd. Dad 's outer something,
er he 'd never break fishin' this time o' day.
Reel up, Harve, an' we '11 pull back."
They were to windward of the schooner,
just ready to flirt the dory over the still sea,
when sounds of woe half a mile off led them
to Penn, who was careering around a fixed
point, for all the world like a gigantic water-
bug. The little man backed away and came
down again with enormous energy, but at the
end of each manoeuvre his dory swung round
and snubbed herself on her rope.
*' We '11 hev to help him, else he '11 root an'
seed here," said Dan.
"What 's the matter?" said Harvey. This
was a new world, where he could not lay
down the law to his elders, but had to ask
76 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
questions humbly. And the sea was horribly
big and unexcited.
" Anchor 's fouled. Penn 's always losing
*em. Lost two this trip a'ready — on sandy
bottom too — an' dad says next one he loses,
sure 's fishin', he '11 give him the kelleg. That
'u'd break Penn's heart."
"What 's a 'kelleg'?" said Harvey, who
had a vague idea it might be some kind of
marine torture, like keel-hauling in the story-
•' Big stone instid of an anchor. You kin
see a kelleg ridin' in the bows fur *s you can
see a dory, an' all the fleet knows what it
means. They 'd guy him dreadful. Penn
could n't stand that no more 'n a dog with a
dipper to his tail. He 's so everlastin' sensi-
tive. Hello, Penn ! Stuck again ? Don't try
any more o' your patents. Come up on her,
and keep your rodin' straight up an' down."
" It does n't move," said the little man, pant-
ing. •* It does n't move at all, and indeed I
" What 's all this hurrah's-nest for'ard ? "
said Dan, pointing to a wild tangle of spare
oars and dory-roding, all matted together by
the hand of inexperience.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" ^^
" Oh, that," said Penn proudly, " is a Span-
ish windlass. Mr. Salters showed me how to
make it ; but even that does n't move her."
Dan bent low over the gunwale to hide a
smile, twitched once or twice on the roding,
and, behold, the anchor drew at once.
"Haul up, Penn," he said, laughing, "er
she '11 git stuck again."
They left him regarding the weed-hung
flukes of the little anchor with big, pathetic
blue eyes, and thanking them profusely.
'* Oh, say, while I think of it, Harve," said
Dan when they were out of ear-shot, " Penn
ain't quite all caulked. He ain't nowise dan-
gerous, but his mind 's give out. See ? "
" Is that so, or is it one of your father's
judgments? " Harvey asked as he bent to his
oars. He felt he was learning to handle them
" Dad ain't mistook this time. Penn 's a
sure 'nuff loony. No, he ain't thet exactly, so
much ez a harmless ijjit. It was this way
(you 're rowin' quite so, Harve), an' I tell you
'cause it 's right you orter know. He was a
Moravian preacher once. Jacob Boiler wuz
his name, dad told me, an' he lived with his
wife an' four children somewheres out Penn-
78 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
sylvania way. Well, Penn he took his folks
along to a Moravian meetin' — camp-meetin'
most like — an' they stayed over jest one
night in Johnstown. You 've heered talk
o' Johnstown ? "
Harvey considered. ** Yes, I have. But
I don't know why. It sticks in my head
same as Ashtabula."
"Both was big accidents — thet 's why,
Harve. Well, that one single night Penn and
his folks was to the hotel Johnstown was
wiped out. 'Dam bust an' flooded her, an'
the houses struck adrift an' bumped into
each other an' sunk. I 've seen the pictures,
an' they 're dretful. Penn he saw his folk
drowned all 'n a heap 'fore he rightly knew
what was comin'. His mind give out from
that on. He mistrusted somethin' hed hap-
pened up to Johnstown, but for the poor life
of him he could n't remember what, an' he
jest drifted araound smilin' an' wonderin'.
He did n't know what he was, nor yit what
he hed bin, an' thet way he run agin Uncle
Salters, who was visitin' 'n Allegheny City.
Ha'af my mother's folks they live scattered
inside o' Pennsylvania, an' Uncle Salters he
visits araound winters. Uncle Salters he
'* CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 79
kinder adopted Penn, well knowin' what his
trouble wuz ; an' he brought him East, an'
he give him work on his farm."
" Why, I heard him calling Penn a farmer
last night when the boats bumped. Is your
Uncle Salters a farmer ? " <^0 P
" Farmer ! " shouted Dan. " There ain't
water enough 'tween here an' Hatt'rus to
wash the furrer-mold off'n his boots. He 's
jest everlastin' farmer. Why, Harve, I 've
seen thet man hitch up a bucket, long towards
sundown, an' set twiddlin' the spigot to the
scuttle-butt same 's ef 't wuz a cow's bag.
He 's thet much farmer. Well, Penn an' he they
ran the farm — up Exeter way 't wuz. Uncle
Salters he sold it this spring to a jay from
Boston as wanted to build a summer-haouse,
an' he got a heap for it. Well, them two
loonies scratched along till, one day, Penn's
church he 'd belonofed to — the Moravians —
found out where he wuz drifted an' layin',
an' wrote to Uncle Salters. 'Never heerd
what they said exactly ; but Uncle Salters
was mad. He 's a 'piscopalian mostly — but
he jest let 'em hev it both sides o' the bow, 's
if he was a Baptist ; an' sez he war n't goin'
to give up Penn to any blame Moravian con-
8o "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
nection in Pennsylvania or anywheres else.
Then he come to dad, towin' Penn, — thet was
two trips back, — an' sez he an* Penn must fish
a trip fer their health. 'Guess he thought the
Moravians would n't hunt the Banks fer Jacob
Boiler. Dad was agreeable, fer Uncle Salters
he 'd been fishin' off an' on fer thirty years,
when he war n't inventin' patent manures, an'
he took quarter-share in the We 're Here ;
an' the trip done Penn so much good, dad
made a habit o' takin' him. Some day, dad
sez, he '11 remember his wife an' kids afi
Johnstown, an' then, like 's not, he '11 die,
dad sez. Don't ye talk abaout Johnstown ner
such things to Penn, 'r Uncle Salters he '11
heave ye overboard."
" Poor Penn ! " murmured Harvey. ** I
should n't ever have thought Uncle Salters
cared for him by the look of 'em together."
" I like Penn, though ; we all do," said Dan.
"We ought to ha' give him a tow, but I
wanted to tell ye first."
They were close to the schooner now, the
other boats a little behind them.
"You need n't heave in the dories till after
dinner," said Troop from the deck. " We '11
dress-daown right off Fix table, boys ! "
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 8l
"Deeper 'n the Whale- deep," said Dan,
with a wink, as he set the gear for dressing
down. " Look at them boats that hev edged
up sence mornin'. They 're all waitin' on
dad. See 'em, Harve?"
"They are all alike to me." And indeed
to a landsman, the nodding schooners around
seemed run from the same mold.
" They ain't, though. That yaller, dirty
packet with her bowsprit steeved that way,
she 's the Hope of Prague. Nick Brady 's
her skipper, the meanest man on the Banks.
We '11 tell him so when we strike the Main
Ledge. 'Way off yander 's the Days Eye.
The two Jeraulds own her. She 's from Har-
wich ; fastish, too, an' hez good luck ; but dad
he 'd find fish in a graveyard. Them other
three, side along, they 're the Margie Smith,
Rose, and Edith S. Walen, all frum home.
'Guess we '11 see the Abbie M. Deeriiig to-
morrer, dad, won't we ? They 're all slippin*
over from the shoal o' 'Queereau."
"You won't see many boats to-morrow,
Danny." When Troop called his son Danny,
it was a sign that the old man was pleased.
" Boys, we 're too crowded," he went on, ad-
dressing the crew as they clambered inboard.
82 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" We '11 leave 'em to bait big an' catch small.*'
He looked at the catch in the pen, and it was
curious to see how little and level the fish ran.
Save for Harvey's halibut, there was nothing
over fifteen pounds on deck.
" I 'm waitin' on the weather," he added.
" Ye '11 have to make it yourself, Disko, for
there 's no sign / can see," said Long Jack,
sweeping the clear horizon.
And yet, half an hour later, as they were
dressing down, the Bank fog dropped on
them, "between fish and fish," as they say.
It drove steadily and in wreaths, curling and
smoking along the colorless water. The men
stopped,dressing-down without a word. Long
Jack and Uncle Salters slipped the windlass
brakes into their sockets, and began to heave
up the anchor ; the windlass jarring as the wet
hempen cable strained on the barrel. Man-
uel and Tom Piatt gave a hand at the last.
The anchor came up with a sob, and the rid-
ing-sail bellied as Troop steadied her at the
wheel. " Up jib and foresail," said he.
" Slip 'em in the smother," shouted Lc g
Jack, making fast the jib-sheet, while i
others raised the clacking, rattling rings f
the foresail ; and the fore-boom creaked as the
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 83
We 're Here looked up into the wind and
dived off into blank, whirling white.
"There 's wind behind this fog," said
It was all wonderful beyond words to
Harvey ; and the most wonderful part wa^
that he heard no orders except an occasional
grunt from Troop, ending with, " That 's
good, my son ! "
" 'Never seen anchor weighed before ? "
said Tom Piatt, to Harvey gaping at the damp
canvas of the foresail.
" No. Where are we going ? "
" Fish and make berth, as you '11 find out
'fore you 've bin a week aboard. It 's all new
to you, but we never know what may come to
us. Now, take me — Tom Piatt — I 'd never
ha' thought — "
" It 's better than fourteen dollars a month
an* a bullet in your belly," said Troop, from
the wheel. " Ease your jumbo a grind."
" Dollars an' cents better," returned the
man-o'-war's man, doing something to a big
jib'^vith a wooden spar tied to it. "But we
d^ J n't think o' that when we manned the
wLdlass-brakes on the Miss Jim Buck^ omX.-
IThe Gemsbok, U. S. N.?
84 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
side Beaufort Harbor, with Fort Magon
heavin' hot shot at our stern, an' a Uvin' gale
atop of all. 'Where was you then, Disko?"
*' Jest here, or hereabouts," Disko replied,
" earnin* my bread on the deep waters, an'
dodgin' Reb privateers. Sorry I can't accom-
modate you with red-hot shot, Tom Piatt; but
I guess we '11 come aout all right on wind
'fore we see Eastern Point."
There was an incessant slapping and chat-
ter at the bows now, varied by a solid thud
and a little spout of spray that clattered down
on the foc'sle. The rigging dripped clammy
drops, and the men lounged along the lee of
the house — all save Uncle Salters, who sat
stiffly on the main-hatch nursing his stung
"'Guess she 'd carry stays'l," said Disko,
rolling one eye at his brother.
" 'Guess she would n't to any sorter profit.
What 's the sense o' wastin' canvas ? " the
The wheel twitched almost imperceptibly
in Disko's hands. A few seconds later a
hissing wave-top slashed diagonally across
the boat, smote Uncle Salters between the
shoulders, and drenched him from head to
"A FEW SECONDS LATER A HISSING WAVE-TOP . . . SMOTE
UNCLE SALTERS BETWEEN THE SHOULDERS, AND
DRENCHED HIM FROM HEAD TO FOOT."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" Zj
foot. He rose sputtering, ^nd went forward
only to catch another.
" See dad chase him all around the deck,"
said Dan. " Uncle Salters he thinks his quar-
ter share 's our canvas. Dad 's put this duckin'
act up on him two trips runnin*. Hi ! That
found him where he feeds." Uncle Salters
had taken refuge by the foremast, but a wave
slapped him over the knees. Disko's face
was as blank as the circle of the wheel.
" Guess she 'd lie easier under stays'l,
Salters," said Disko, as though he had seen
" Set your old kite, then," roared the vic-
tim through a cloud of spray ; ** only don't
lay it to me if anything happens. Penn, you
go below right off an' git your coffee. You
ought to hev more sense than to bum araound
on deck this weather."
" Now they '11 swill coffee an' play checkers
till the cows come home," said Dan, as Uncle
Salters hustled Penn into the fore-cabin.
" 'Looks to me like 's if we 'd all be doin'
so fer a spell. There 's nothin' in creation
deader-limpsey- idler 'n a Banker when she
ain't on fish."
" I 'm glad ye spoke, Danny," cried Long
88 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Jack, who had been casting round in search
of amusement. " I 'd clean forgot we 'd a
passenger under that T-wharf hat. There 's
no idleness for thim that don't know their
ropes. Pass him along, Tom Piatt, an' we '11
•*'T ain't my trick this time," grinned Dan.
** You 've got to go it alone. Dad learned
me with a rope's end."
For an hour Long Jack walked his prey up
and down, teaching, as he said, "things at the
sea that ivry man must know, blind, dhrunk,
or asleep." There is not much gear to a sev-
enty-ton schooner with a stump-foremast, but
Long Jack had a gift of expression. When
he wished to draw Harvey's attention to the
peak-halyards, he dug his knuckles into the
back of the boy's neck and kept him at gaze
for half a minute. He emphasized the differ-
ence between fore and aft generally by rub-
bing Harvey's nose along a few feet of the
boom, and the lead of each rope was fixed in
Harvey's mind by the end of the rope itself.
The lesson would have been easier had the
deck been at all free ; but there appeared to
be a place on it for everything and anything
except a man. Forward lay the windlass and
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 89
its tackle, with the chain and hemp cables, all
very unpleasant to trip over ; the foc'sle stove-
pipe, and the gurry-butts by the foc'sle hatch
to hold the fish-livers. Aft of these the fore-
boom and booby of the main-hatch took all
the space that was not needed for the pumps
and dressing-pens. Then came the nests of
dories lashed to ring-bolts by the quarter-deck;
the house, with tubs and oddments lashed all
around it; and, last, the sixty-foot main-boom
in its crutch, splitting things lengthwise, to
duck and dodge under every time.
Tom Piatt, of course, could not keep his
oar out of the business, but ranged alongside
with enormous and unnecessary descriptions
of sails and spars on the old Ohio.
** Niver mind fwhat he says ; attind to me,
Innocince. Tom Piatt, this bally-hoo 's not
the Ohio, an' you' re mixing the bhoy bad."
" He '11 be ruined for life, beginnin' on a
fore -an*- after this way," Tom Piatt pleaded.
** Give him a chance to know a few leadin'
principles. Sailin' 's an art, Harvey, as I 'd
show you if I had ye in the fore-top o'
•* I know ut. Ye 'd talk him dead an'
cowld. Silince, Tom Piatt ! Now, after all
90 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
I Ve said, how 'd you reef the foresail, Harve?
Take your time answerin'."
" Haul that in," said Harvey, pointing to
" Fwhat ? The North Adantuc ? "
" No, the boom. Then run that rope you
showed me back there — "
" That 's no way," Tom Piatt burst in.
" Quiet ! He 's larnin', an' has not the
names good yet. Go on, Harve."
" Oh, it 's the reef-pennant. I 'd hook the
tackle on to the reef- pennant, and then let
down — "
" Lower the sail, child ! Lower ! " said
Tom Piatt, in a professional agony.
" Lower the throat and peak halyards,"
Harvey went on. Those names stuck in his
" Lay your hand on thim," said Long Jack.
Harvey obeyed. " Lower till that rope-
loop — on the after-leach — kris — no, it 's
cringle — till the cringle was down on the
boom. Then I 'd tie her up the way you said,
and then I 'd hoist up the peak and throat
" You 've forgot to pass the tack-earing,
but wid time and help ye '11 larn. There 's
"FOR AN HOUR LONG JACK WALKED HIS PREY UP AND DOWN,
TEACHING, AS HE SAID, 'THINGS IVRY MAN MUST
KNOW, BLIND, DHRUNK, OR ASLEEP.'"
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 93
good and just reason for ivry rope aboard, or
else 't would be overboard. D' ye follow me ?
'T is dollars an' cents I 'm puttin' into your
pocket, ye skinny little supercargo, so that
fwhin ye 've filled out ye can ship from Boston
to Cuba an' tell thim Long Jack larned you.
Now I '11 chase ye around a piece, callin' the
ropes, an' you '11 lay your hand on thim as I
He began, and Harvey, who was feeling
rather tired, walked slowly to the rope named.
A rope's end licked round his ribs, and nearly
knocked the breath out of him.
"When you own a boat," said Tom Piatt,
with severe eyes, " you can walk. Till then,
take all orders at the run. Once more — to
make sure ! "
Harvey was in a glow with the exercise,
and this last cut warmed him thoroughly.
Now, he was a singularly smart boy, the son
of a very clever man and a very sensitive wo-
man, with a fine resolute temper that system-
atic spoiling had nearly turned to mulish ob-
stinacy. He looked at the other men, and
saw that even Dan did not smile. It was evi-
dently all in the day's work, though it hurt
abominably ; so he swallowed the hint with
94 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
a gulp and a gasp and a grin. The same
smartness that led him to take such advantage
of his mother made him very sure that no one
on the boat, except, maybe, Penn, would stand
the least nonsense. One learns a great deal
from a mere tone. Long Jack called over
half a dozen more ropes, and Harvey danced
over the deck like an eel at ebb-tide, one eye
on Tom Piatt.
"Ver good. Ver' good done," said Manuel.
** After supper I show you a little schooner I
make, with all her ropes. So we shall learn."
"Fust-class fer — a passenger," said Dan.
" Dad he 's jest allowed you '11 be wuth your
salt maybe 'fore you 're draownded. Thet 's
a heap fer dad. I '11 learn you more our next
** Taller ! " grunted Disko, peering through
the fog" as it smoked over the bows. There
was nothing to be seen ten feet beyond the
surging jib-boom, while alongside rolled the
endless procession of solemn, pale waves
whispering and lipping one to the other.
" Now I '11 learn you something Long Jack
can't," shouted Tom Piatt, as from a locker
by the stern he produced a battered deep-sea
lead hollowed at one end, smeared the hollow
''CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 95
from a saucer full of mutton tallow, and went
forward. " I '11 learn you how to fly the Blue
Pigeon. Shooo ! "
Disko did something to the wheel that
checked the schooner's way, while Manuel,
with Harvey to help (and a proud boy was
Harvey), let down the jib in a lump on the
boom. The lead sung a deep droning song
as Tom Piatt whirled it round and round.
" Go ahead, man," said Long Jack, im-
patiently. " We 're not drawin' twenty-five
fut off Fire Island in a fog. There 's no
trick to ut."
" Don't be jealous, Galway." The released
lead plopped into the sea far ahead as the
schooner surged slowly forward.
" Soundin' is a trick, though," said Dan,
** when your dipsey lead 's all the eye you 're
like to hev for a week. What d' you make
Disko's face relaxed. His skill and honor
were involved in the march he had stolen on
the rest of the fleet, and he had his reputation
as a master artist who knew the Banks blind-
fold. " Sixty, mebbe — ef I 'm any judge," he
replied, with a glance at the tiny compass in
the window of the house.
96 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Sixty," sung out Tom Piatt, hauling in
great wet coils.
The schooner gathered way once more.
"Heave!" said Disko, after a quarter of
'* What d' you make it?" Dan whispered,
and he looked at Harvey proudly. But Har-
vey was too proud of his own performances
to be impressed just then.
** Fifty," said the father. " I mistrust we 're
right over the nick o' Green Bank on old
" Fifty ! " roared Tom Piatt. They could
scarcely see him through the fog. " She 's
bust within a yard — like the shells at Fort
" Bait up, Harve," said Dan, diving for a
line on the reel.
The schooner seemed to be straying pro-
miscuously through the smother, her headsail
banging wildly. The men waited and looked
at the boys who began fishing.
" Heugh ! " Dan's lines twitched on the
scored and scarred rail. " Now haow in
thunder did dad know? Help us here,
Harve. It 's a big un. Poke-hooked, too."
They hauled together, and landed a goggle-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 97
eyed twenty-pound cod. He had taken the
bait right into his stomach.
" Why, he 's all covered with little crabs,"
cried Harvey, turning him over.
" By the great hook-block, they 're lousy
already," said Long Jack. ** Disko, ye kape
your spare eyes under the keel."
Splash went the anchor, and they all heaved
over the lines, each man taking his own place
at the bulwarks.
"Are they good to eat?" Harvey panted,
as he lugged in another crab-covered cod.
" Sure. When they 're lousy it 's a sign
they 've all been herdin* together by the
thousand, and when they take the bait that
way they 're hungry. Never mind how th(
bait sets. They '11 bite on the bare hook."
"Say, this is great!" Harvey cried, as the
fish came in gasping and splashing — nearly
all poke-hooked, as Dan had said. "Why
can't we always fish from the boat instead of
from the dories ? "
" Alius can, till we begin to dress daown.
Efter thet, the heads and offals 'u'd scare
the fish to Fundyf Boat-fishin' ain't reckoned
progressive, though, unless ye know as much
as dad knows. Guess we '11 run aout aour
98 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
trawl to-night Harder on the back, this,
than from the dory, ain't it ? "
It was rather back-breaking work, for in a
dory the weight of a cod is water-borne till
the last minute, and you are, so to speak,
abreast of him ; but the few feet of a schoon-
er's freeboard make so much extra dead-haul-
ing, and stooping over the bulwarks cramps
. the stomach. But it was wild and furious
sport so long as it lasted ; and a big pile lay
aboard when the fish ceased biting.
"Where's Penn and Uncle Salters?" Har-
vey asked, slapping the slime off his oilskins,
and reeling up the line in careful imitation
of the others.
" Git 's coffee and see."
Under the yellow glare of the lamp on the
pawl -post, the foc'sle table down and opened,
utterly unconscious of fish or weather, sat. the
two men, a checker-board between them.
Uncle Salters snarling at Penn's every
" What 's the matter naow ? " said the for-
mer, as Harvey, one hand in the leather loop
at the head of the ladder, hung shouting to
" Bi^ fish and lousy — heaps and heaps."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 99
Harvey replied, quoting Long Jack. " How 's
the orame ? "
Little Penn's jaw dropped. " 'T were n't
none o' his fault," snapped Uncle Salters.
•' Penn 's deef."
" Checkers, were n't it ? " said Dan, as
Harvey staggered aft with the steaming cof-
fee in a tin pail. "That lets us out o' clean-
in' up to-night. Dad 's a jest man. They '11
have to do it."
"An' two young fellers I know '11 bait up
a tub or so o' trawl, while they 're cleanin',"
said Disko, lashing the wheel to his taste.
" Um ! Guess I 'd ruther clean up, Dad."
" Don't doubt it. Ye wun't, though. Dress
daown ! Dress daown ! Penn '11 pitch while
you two bait up."
" Why in thunder did n't them blame boys
tell us you 'd struck on ? " said Uncle Salters,
shuffling to his place at the table. " This
knife 's gum-blunt, Dan."
" Ef stickin' out cable don't wake ye, guess
you 'd better hire a boy o' your own," said
Dan, muddling about in the dusk over the
tubs full of trawl-line lashed to windward of
the house. " Oh, Harve, don't ye want to
slip down an' git 's bait ? "
loo "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Bait ez we are," said Disko. ** I mistrust
shag-fishin' will pay better, ez things go."
That meant the boys would bait with
selected offal of the cod as the fish were
cleaned — an improvement on paddling bare-
handed in the little bait-barrels below. The
tubs were full of neatly coiled line carrying
a big hook each few feet; and the testing
and baiting of every single hook, with the
stowage of the baited line so that it should
run clear when shot from the dory, was a sci-
entific business. Dan managed it in the dark,
without looking, while Harvey caught his
fingers on the barbs and bewailed his fate.
But the hooks flew through Dan's fingers like
tatting on an old maid's lap. " I helped bait
up trawl ashore 'fore I could well walk," he
said. " But it 's a putterin' job all the same.
Oh, dad ! " This shouted towards the hatch,
where Disko and Tom Piatt were salting.
** How many skates you reckon we '11 need ? "
" 'Baout three. Hurry ! "
"There 's three hundred fathom to each
tub," Dan explained ; " more 'n enough to lay
out to-night. Ouch ! 'Slipped up there, I
did," He stuck his finger in his mouth. " I
tell you, Harve, there ain't money in Glouces-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" loi
ter 'u'd hire me to ship on a reg'lar trawler.
It may be progressive, but, barrin' that, it 's
the putterin'est, slimjammest business top of
" I don't know what this is, if 't is n't regu-
lar trawling," said Harvey sulkily. ** My fin-
gers are all cut to frazzles."
" Pshaw ! This is jest one o' dad's blame
experiments. He don't trawl 'less there 's
mighty good reason fer it. Dad knows.
Thet 's why he 's baitin' ez he is. We '11 hev
her saggin' full when we take her up er we
won't see a fin."
Penn and Uncle Salters cleaned up as Disko
had ordained, but the boys profited little. No
sooner were the tubs furnished than Tom
Piatt and Long Jack, who had been exploring
the inside of a dory with a lantern, snatched
them away, loaded up the tubs and some
small, painted trawl-buoys, and hove the boat
overboard into what Harvey regarded as an
exceedingly rough sea. "They '11 be drowned.
Why, the dory *s loaded like a freight-car,"
"We '11 be back," said Long Jack, "an' in
case you '11 not be lookin' for us, we '11 lay
into you both if the trawl *s snarled."
102 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The dory surged up on the crest of a wave,
and just when it seemed impossible that she
could avoid smashing against the schooner's
side, slid over the ridge, and was swallowed
up in the damp dusk,
"Take ahold here, an' keep ringin' steady,"
said Dan, passing Harvey the lanyard of a
bell that hung just behind the windlass.
Harvey rang lustily, for he felt two lives
depended on him. But Disko in the cabin,
scrawling in the log-book, did not look like
a murderer, and when he went to supper he
even smiled dryly at the anxious Harvey.
" This ain't no weather," said Dan. "Why,
you an' me could set thet trawl ! They 've
only gone out jest far 'nough so 's not to
foul our cable. They don't need no bell
" Clang ! cling ! clang ! " Harvey kept It
up, varied with occasional rub-a-dubs, for an-
other half-hour. There was a bellow and a
bump alongside. Manuel and Dan raced to
the hooks of the dory-tackle ; Long Jack and
Tom Piatt arrived on deck together, it seemed,
one half the North Atlantic at their backs, and
the dory followed them in the air, landing with
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 103
" Nary snarl," said Tom Piatt as he dripped.
" Danny, you '11 do yet."
" The pleasure av your comp'ny to the ban-
quit," said Long Jack, squelching the water
from his boots as he capered like an elephant
and stuck an oil-skinned arm into Harvey's
face. "We do be condescending to honor
the second half wid our presence." And off
they all four rolled to supper, where Harvey
stuffed himself to the brim on fish-chowder
and fried pies, and fell fast asleep just as
Manuel produced from a locker a lovely two-
foot model of the Lucy Holmes, his first boat,
and was going to show Harvey the ropes.
Harvey never even twiddled his fingers as
Pehn pushed him into his bunk.
"It must be a sad thing — a very sad
thing," said Penn, watching the boy's face,
" for his mother and his father, who think he
is dead. To lose a child — to lose a man-
child ! "
" Git out o' this, Penn," said Dan. " Go
aft and finish your game with Uncle Salters.
Tell dad I '11 stand Harve's watch ef he don't
keen He 's played aout."
" Ver' good boy," said Manuel, slipping out
of his boots and disappearing into the black
I04 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
shadows of the lower bunk. " Expec' he
make good man, Danny. I no see he is any
so mad as your parpa he says. Eh, wha-at? "
Dan chuckled, but the chuckle ended in a
It was thick weather outside, with a rising
wind, and the elder men stretched their
watches. The hours struck clear in the
cabin ; the nosing bows slapped and scuffled
with the seas ; the foc'sle stove-pipe hissed
and sputtered as the spray caught it ; and the
boys slept on, while Disko, Long Jack, Tom
Piatt, and Uncle Salters, each in turn, stumped
aft to look at the wheel, forward to see that
the anchor held, or to veer out a little more
cable against chafing, with a glance at the
dim anchor-light between each round.
HARVEY waked to find the " first half"
at breakfast, the foc'sle door drawn to a
crack, and every square inch of the^chooner
singing its own tune. The black bulk of the
cook balanced behind the tiny galley over the
glare of the stove, and the pots and pans in
the pierced wooden board before it jarred and
racketed to each plunge. Up and up the
foc'sle climbed, yearning and surging and
quivering, and then, with a clear, sickle-like
swoop, came down into the seas. He could
hear the flaring bows cut and squelch, and
there was a pause ere the divided waters came
down on the deck above, like a volley of
buckshot. Followed the woolly sound of the
cable in the hawse-hole ; a grunt and squeal
of the windlass ; a yaw, a punt, and a kick,
and the We 're Here gathered herself to-
gether to repeat the motions.
" Now, ashore," he heard Long Jack say-
lo6 "CAPTAn«lS COURAGEOUS"
ing, ** ye Ve chores, an' ye must do thim in
any weather. Here we 're well clear of the
fleet, an' we 've no chores — an' that 's a
blessin'. Good night, all." He passed like a
big snake from the table to his bunk, and be-
oan to smoke. Tom Piatt followed his ex-
ample ; Uncle Salters, with Penn, fought his
way up the ladder to stand his watch, and the
cook set for the " second half"
It came out of its bunks as the others had
entered theirs, with a shake and a yawn. It
ate till it could eat no more ; and then Man-
uel filled his pipe with some terrible tobacco,
crotched himself between the pawl-post and a
forward bunk, cocked his feet up on the table,
and smiled tender and indolent smiles at the
smoke. Dan lay at length in his bunk, wres-
tling with a gaudy, gilt-stopped accordion,
whose tunes went up and down with the
pitching of the We 're Here. The cook, his
shoulders against the locker where he kept
the fried pies (Dan was fond of fried pies),
peeled potatoes, with one eye on the stove in
event of too much water finding its way down
the pipe ; and the general smell and_smother
were past all description.
Harvey considered affairs, wondered that
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 107
he was not deathly sick, and crawled into his
bunk again, as the softest and safest place,
while Dan struck up, " I don't want to play in
your yard," as accurately as the wild je-ks
" How long is this for?" Harvey asked of
" Till she get a little quiet, and we can row
to trawl. Perhaps to-night. Perhaps two
days more. You do not like? Eh, wha-at?"
" I should have been crazy sick a week ago,
but it does n't seem to upset me now — much."
" That is because we make you fisherman,
these days. If I was you, when I come to
Gloucester I would give two, three big can-
dles for my good luck."
** Give who ? "
"To be sure — the Virgin of our Church
on the Hill. She is very good to fishermen
all the time. That is why so few of us Portu-
gee men ever are drowned."
" You 're a Roman Catholic, then ? "
" I am a Madeira man. I am not a Porto
Pico boy. Shall I be Baptist, then ? Eh,
wha-at? I always give candles — two, three
more when I come to Gloucester. The good
Virgin she never forgets me, Manuel."
io8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" I don't sense it that way," Tom Piatt
put in from his bunk, his scarred face lit
up by the glare of a match as he sucked
at his pipe. " It stands to reason the
sea 's the sea ; and you '11 git jest about
what 's goin', candles or kerosene, fer that
" 'T is a mighty good thing," said Long
Jack, " to have a frind at coort, though.
I 'm o' Manuel's way o' thinkin'. About
tin years back I was crew to a Sou' Boston
market-boat. We was off Minot's Ledge
wid a northeaster, butt first, atop of us,
thicker 'n burgoo. The ould man was dhrunk,
his chin waggin' on the tiller, an' I sez to
myself, ' If iver I stick my boat-huk into
T-wharf again, I '11 show the saints fwhat
manner o' craft they saved me out av.' Now,
I 'm here, as ye can well see, an' the model of
the dhirty ould Kathleen, that took me a month
to make, I gave ut to the priest, an' he hung
ut up forninst the altar. There 's more sense
in givin' a model that 's by way o' bein'
a work av art than any candle. Ye can
buy. candles at store, but a model shows
the good saints ye 've tuk trouble an' are
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 109
** D* you believe that, Irish?" said Tom
Piatt, turning on his elbow.
"Would I do ut if I did not, Ohio?"
" Wa-al, Enoch Fuller he made a model o'
the old Ohio, and she 's to Salem museum
now. Mighty pretty model, too, but I guess
Enoch he never done it fer no sacrifice ; an'
the way I take it is — "
There were the makino-s of an hour-longf
discussion of the kind that fishermen love,
where the talk runs in shouting circles and
no one proves anything at the end, had not
Dan struck up this cheerful rhyme :
" Up jumped the mackerel with his striped back.
Reef in the mainsail, and haul on the tack ;
For it 's windy weather — "
Here Long Jack joined in :
^^ And it 's blowy weather;
When the winds begin to blow, pipe all hands together ! "
Dan went on, with a cautious look at
Tom Piatt, holding the accordion low in the
" Up jumped the cod with his chuckle-head,
Went to the main-chains to heave at the lead j
For it 's windy weather," etc.
no "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Tom Piatt seemed to be hunting for some-
thing. Dan crouched lower, but sang louder:
" Up jumped the flounder that swims to the ground.
Chuckle-head ! Chuckle-head ! Mind where ye sound ! "
Tom Piatt's huge rubber boot whirled
across the foc'sle and caught Dan's uplifted
arm. There was war between the man and
the boy ever since Dan had discovered that
the mere whistling of that tune would make
him angry as he heaved the lead.
"Thought I 'd fetch yer," said Dan, return-
ing the gift with precision. " Ef you don't
like my music, git out your fiddle. I ain't
goin' to lie here all day an' listen to you an'
Long Jack arguin' 'baout candles. Fiddle,
Tom Piatt; or I '11 learn Harve here the
tune ! "
Tom Piatt leaned down to a locker and
brought up an old white fiddle. Manuel's
eye glistened, and from somewhere behind
the pawl-post he drew out a tiny, guitar-
like thing with wire strings, which he called
" 'T is a concert," said Long Jack, beam-
ing through the smoke. " A reg'lar Boston
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 113
There was a burst of spray as the hatch
opened, and Disko, in yellow oilskins, de-
" Ye 're just in time, Disko. Fwhat 's
she doin' outside ? "
" Jest this ! " He dropped on to the lock-
ers with the push and heave of the We 're
" We 're singin' to kape our breakfasts
down. Ye '11 lead, av course, Disko," said
" Guess there ain't more 'n 'baout two old
songs I know, an' ye 've heerd them both."
His excuses were cut short by Tom Piatt
launching into a most dolorous tune, like
unto the moaning of winds and the creaking
of masts. With his eyes fixed on the beams
above, Disko began this ancient, ancient
ditty, Tom Piatt flourishing all round him to
make the tune and words fit a little :
" There is a crack packet — crack packet o' fame,
She hails from Noo York, an' the Dreadtiought 's her
You may talk o' your fliers — Swallow-tail and Black
But the Dreadnought 's the packet that can beat them
114 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Now the Dreadnought she lies in the River Mersey,
Because of the tug-boat to take her to sea ;
But when she 's off soundings you shortly will know
She 's the Liverpool packet — O Lord, let her go !
" Now the Dreadnought she 's howlin' 'crost the Banks o'
Where the water 's all shallow and the bottom 's all sand.
Sez all the little fishes that swim to an fro :
* She 's the Liverpool packet — O Lord, let her go ! * "
There were scores of verses, for he worked
the Di'eadnoiight every mile of the way
between Liverpool and New York as con-
scientiously as though he were on her deck,
and the accordion pumped and the fiddle
squeaked beside him. Tom Piatt followed
with something about "the rough and tough
McGinn, who would pilot the vessel in."
Then they called on Harvey, who felt very
flattered, to contribute to the entertainment ;
but all that he could remember were some
pieces of " Skipper Ireson's Ride " that he
had been taught at the camp-school in the
Adirondacks. It seemed that they might be
appropriate to the time and place, but he had
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 115
no more than mentioned the title when Disko
brought down one foot with a bang, and cried,
** Don't go on, young feller. That 's a mis-
taken jedgment — one o' the worst kind, too,
becaze it 's catchin' to the ear."
" I orter ha' warned you," said Dan. " Thet
alius fetches dad."
"What's wrong?" said Harvey, surprised
and a little angry.
" All you 're goin' to say," said Disko. "All
dead wrong from start to finish, an' Whittier
he 's to blame. I have no special call to right
any Marblehead man, but 't were n't no fault
o' Ireson's. My father he told me the tale
time an' again, an' this is the way 't wuz."
" For the wan hundredth time," put in Long
Jack under his breath.
" Ben Ireson he was skipper o' the Betty,
young feller, comin' home frum the Banks —
that was before the war of 181 2, but jestice
is jestice at all times. They fund the Active
o' Portland, an' Gibbons o' that town he was
her skipper ; they fund her leakin' off Cape
Cod Light. There was a terr'ble gale on, an'
they was gettin' the Betty home 's fast as they
could craowd her. Well, Ireson he said there
war n't any sense to reskin' a boat in that sea ;
Ii6 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
the men they would n't hev it ; and he laid it
before them to stay by the Active till the sea run
daown a piece. They would n't hev that either,
hangin' araound the Cape in any sech weather,
leak or no leak. They jest up stays'l an'
quit, nat'rally takin' Ireson with 'em. Folks
to Marblehead was mad at him not runnin' the
risk, and becaze nex' day, when the sea was
ca'am (they never stopped to think o' that),
some of the Actives folk was took off by a
Truro man. They come into Marblehead with
their own tale to tell, sayin' how Ireson had
shamed his town, an' so forth an' so on ; an'
Ireson's men they was scared, seein' public
feelin' agin' 'em, an' they went back on Ireson,
an' swore he was respons'ble for the hull act.
'T were n't the women neither that tarred and
feathered him — Marblehead women don't act
that way — 't was a passel o' men an' boys, an'
they carted him araound town in an old dory
till the bottom fell aout, an' Ireson he told 'em
they 'd be sorry for it some day. Well, the facts
come aout later, same 's they usually do, too
late to be any ways useful to an honest man ;
an' Whittier he come along an' picked up the
slack eend of a lyin' tale, an' tarred and fea
thered Ben Ireson all over onct more after he
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 117
was dead. 'T was the only time Whittier ever
slipped up, an' 't were n't fair. I whaled Dan
good when he brought that piece back from
school. You don't know no better, o' course ;
but I 've give you the facts, hereafter an' ever-
more to be remembered. Ben Ireson were n't
no sech kind o' man as Whittier makes aout ;
my father he knew him well, before an' after
that business, an' you beware o' hasty jedg-
ments, young feller. Next ! "
Harvey had never heard Disko talk so long,
and collapsed with burning cheeks ; but, as
Dan said promptly, a boy could only learn
what he was taught at school, and life was too
short to keep track of every lie along the coast.
Then Manuel touched the jangling, jarring
little nackette to a queer tune, and sang some-
thing in Portuguese about ''Nina, innocentef'
ending with a full-handed sweep that brought
the song up with a jerk. Then Disko obliged
with his second song, to an old-fashioned
creaky tune, and all joined in the chorus.
This is one stanza :
*' Now Aprile is over and melted the snow,
And outer Noo Bedford we shortly must towj
Yes, out o' Noo Bedford we shortly must clear,
We 're the whalers that never see wheat in the ear."
ii8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Here the fiddle went very softly for a while
by itself, and then :
" Wheat-in-the-ear, my true-love's posyblowin'j
Wheat-in-the-ear, we 're goin' off to sea ;
Wheat-in-the-ear, I left you fit for sowin' ;
When I come back a loaf o' bread you '11 be I "
That made Harvey almost weep, though he
could not tell why. But it was much worse
when the cook dropped the potatoes and held
out his hands for the fiddle. Still leaning
against the locker door, he struck into a tune
that was like something very bad but sure to
happen whatever you did. After a little he
sang, in an unknown tongue, his big chin
down on the fiddle-tail, his white eyeballs
glaring in the lamp-light. Harvey swung out
of his bunk to hear better ; and amid the
straining of the timbers and the wash of the
waters the tune crooned and moaned on, like
lee surf in a blind fog, till it ended with a
" Jiminy Christmas ! Thet gives me the
blue creevles," said Dan. " What in thunder
"The song of Fin McCoul," said the cook,
" when he wass going to Norway." His Eng-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 119
lish was not thick, but all clear-cut, as though
it came from a phonograph.
" Faith, I 've l^en to Norway, but I did n't
make that unwholesim noise. 'T is like some
of the old songs, though," said Long Jack,
" Don't let 's hev another 'thout somethin'
between," said Dan; and the accordion struck
up a rattling, catchy tune that ended :
" It 's six an' twenty Sundays sence las' we saw the land,
With fifteen hunder quintal,
An' fifteen hunder quintal,
'Teen hunder toppin' quintal,
*Twix' old 'Queereau an' Grand I "
" Hold on ! " roared Tom Piatt. "D' ye
want to nail the trip, Dan ? That 's Jonah
sure, 'less you sing it after all our salt 's wet."
"No, 't ain't. Is it, dad? Not unless you
sing the very las' verse. You can't learn 77ie
anything on Jonahs ! "
"What's that?" said Harvey. "What's
a Jonah ? "
"A Jonah's anything that spoils the luck.
Sometimes it 's a man — sometimes it's a boy —
or a bucket. I 've known a splittin'-knife Jo-
nah two trips till we was on to her," said Tom
I20 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Piatt. " There 's all sorts o' Jonahs. Jim
Bourke was one till he was drowned on
Georges. I 'd never ship with Jim Bourke,
not if I was starvin'. There wuz a green dory
on the Ez7^a Flood. Thet was a Jonah too,
the worst sort o' Jonah. Drowned four men
she did, an' used to shine fiery o' nights in
"And you believe that?" said Harvey, re-
membering what Tom Piatt had said about
candles and models. " Have n't we all got
to take what 's served ? "
A mutter of dissent ran round the bunks.
"Outboard, yes; inboard, things can hap-
pen," said Disko. " Don't you go makin' a
mock of Jonahs, young feller."
" Well, Harve ain't no Jonah. Day after
we catched him," Dan cut in, "we had a
toppin' good catch."
The cook threw up his head and laughed
suddenly — a queer, thin laugh. He was a
most disconcerting nigger.
" Murder ! " said Long Jack. " Don't do
that again, doctor. We ain't used to ut."
"What 's wrongf?" said Dan. "Ain't he
our mascot, and did n't they strike on good
after we 'd struck him ? "
** CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 121
" Oh ! yess," said the cook. " I know that,
but the catch iss not finish yet."
" He ain't goin' to do us any harm," said
Dan, hotly. " Where are ye hintin' an' edgin'
to ? He 's all right."
" No harm. No. But one day he will be
your master, Danny."
"That all?" said Dan, placidly. "He
wun't — not by a jugful."
" Master! " said the cook, pointing to Har-
vey. " Man ! " and he pointed to Dan.
"That 's news. Haow soon?" said Dan,
with a laugh.
" In some years, and I shall see it. Master
and man — man and master."
" How in thunder d' ye work that out ? "
said Tom Piatt.
" In my head, where I can see."
" Haow ? " This from all the others at once.
" I do not know, but so it will be." He
dropped his head, and went on peeling the
potatoes, and not another word could they
get out of him.
"Well," said Dan, "a heap o' things '11 hev
to come abaout 'fore Harve 's any master o'
mine ; but I 'm glad the doctor ain't choosen
to mark him for a Jonah. Now, I mistrust
122 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Uncle Salters fer the Jonerest Jonah in the
fleet regardin' his own special luck. Dunno
ef it 's spreadin' same 's smallpox. He ought
to be on the Carrie Pitman. That boat 's
her own Jonah, sure — crews an' gear make
no differ to her driftin'. Jiminy Christmas!
She '11 etch loose in a flat ca'am."
"We 're well clear o' the fleet, anyway,"
said Disko. " Ca^^rie Pitman an' all." There
was a rapping on the deck.
" Uncle Salters has catched his luck," said
Dan as his father departed.
" It 's blown clear," Disko cried, and all the
foc'sle tumbled up for a bit of fresh air. The
fog had gone, but a sullen sea ran in great
rollers behind it. The We 're Here slid, as it
were, into long, sunk avenues and ditches
which felt quite sheltered and homelike if they
would only stay still ; but they changed with-
out rest or mercy, and flung up the schooner
to crown one peak of a thousand gray hills,
while the wind hooted through her rigging as
she zigzagged down the slopes. Far away a
sea would burst in a sheet of foam, and the
others would follow suit as at a signal, till
Harvey's eyes swam with the vision of inter-
lacing whites and grays. Four or five Mother
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 123
Carey's chickens stormed round in circles,
shrieking as they swept past the bows. A
rain-squall or two strayed aimlessly over the
hopeless waste, ran down wind and back
again, and melted away.
" Seems to me I saw somethin' flicker jest
naow over yonder," said Uncle Salters, point-
ing to the northeast.
" Can't be any of the fleet," said Disko,
peering under his eyebrows, a hand on the
foc'sle gangway as the solid bows hatcheted
into the troughs. " Sea 's oilin' over dretful
fast. Danny, don't you want to skip up a
piece an' see how aour trawl-buoy lays ? "
Danny, in his big boots, trotted rather than
climbed up the main rigging (this consumed
Harvey with envy), hitched himself around
the reeling cross-trees, and let his eye rove
till it caught the tiny black buoy-flag on the
shoulder of a mile-away swell.
"She's all right," he hailed. "Sail O!
Dead to the no'th'ard, comin' down like
smoke ! Schooner she be, too."
They waited yet another half- hour, the sky
clearing in patches, with a flicker of sickly
sun from time to time that made patches of
olive-green water. Then a stump-foremast
124 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
lifted, ducked, and disappeared, to be followed
on the next wave by a high stern with old-
fashioned wooden snail's-horn davits. The
sails were red-tanned.
" Frenchmen ! " shouted Dan. " No, 't ain't,
neither. Da-ad ! "
"That 's no French," said Disko. " Sal-
ters, your blame luck holds tighter 'n a screw
in a keg-head."
" I 've eyes. It 's Uncle Abishai."
" You can't nowise tell fer sure."
"The head-king of all Jonahs," groaned
Tom Piatt. " Oh, Salters, Salters, why was n't
you abed an' asleep ? "
"How could I tell?" said poor Salters, as
the schooner swung up.
She might have been the very Flyi7tg
Dutchman, so foul, draggled, and unkempt
was every rope and stick aboard. Her old-
style quarterdeck was some four or five feet
high, and her rigging flew knotted and tan-
gled like weed at a wharf-end. She was run-
ning before the wind — yawing frightfully —
her staysail let down to act as a sort of extra
foresail, — "scandalized," they call it, — and her
foreboom guyed out over the side. Her
bowsprit cocked up like an old-fashioned
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 125
frigate's ; her jib-boom had been fished and
spliced and nailed and clamped beyond fur-
ther repair ; and as she hove herself forward,
and sat down on her broad tail, she looked
for all the world like a blouzy, frouzy, bad old
woman sneering at a decent girl.
"That 's Abishai," said Salters. "Full o'
gin an' Judique men, an' the judgments o'
Providence layin' fer him an' never takin'
good holt. He 's run in to bait, Miquelon
" He '11 run her under," said Long Jack
"That 's no rig fer this weather."
"Not he, 'r he 'd 'a' done it long ago," Disko
replied. " Looks 's if he cal'lated to run us
under. Ain't she daown by the head more 'n
natural, Tom Piatt ? "
" Ef it 's his style o' loadin' her she ain't
safe," said the sailor slowly. " Ef she 's
spewed her oakum he 'd better git to his
pumps mighty quick."
The creature threshed up, wore round with
a clatter and rattle, and lay head to wind
within ear- shot.
A gray-beard wagged over the bulwark,
and a thick voice yelled something Harvey
could not understand. But Disko's face dark-
126 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
ened. " He 'd resk every stick he hez to
carry bad news. Says we 're in fer a shift o'
wind. He 's in fer worse. Abishai ! Abi-
shai ! " He waved his arm up and down with
the gesture of a man at the pumps, and pointed
forward. The crew mocked him and laughed.
" Jounce ye, an' strip ye, an' trip ye ! "
yelled Uncle Abishai. "Alivin'gale — a livin'
gale. Yah ! Cast up fer your last trip, all
you Gloucester haddocks. You won't see
Gloucester no more, no more ! "
"Crazy full — as usual," said Tom Piatt.
" Wish he had n't spied us, though."
She drifted out of hearing while the gray-
head yelled something about a dance at the
Bay of Bulls and a dead man in the foc'sle
Harvey shuddered. He had seen the sloven
tilled decks and the savage-eyed crew.
"An' that 's a fine little floatin' hell fer her
draught," said Long Jack. " I wondher what
mischief he 's been at ashore."
" He 's a trawler," Dan explained to Har-
vey, " an' he runs in fer bait all along the
coast. Oh, no, not home, he don't go. He
deals along the south an' east shore up yon-
der." He nodded in the direction of the piti-
less Newfoundland beaches. " Dad won't
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 127
never take me ashore there. They 're a mighty
tough crowd — an' Ablshai 's the toughest.
You saw his boat ? Well, she 's nigh seventy
year old, they say ; the last o' the old Marble-
head heel-tappers. They don't make them
quarterdecks any more. Abishai don't use
Marblehead, though. He ain't wanted there.
He jes* drif's araound, in debt, trawlin' an'
cussin' like you 've heard. Bin a Jonah fer
years an' years, he hez. 'Gits liquor frum the
Feecamp boats fer makin' spells an' selling
winds an* such truck. Crazy, I guess."
**'T won't be any use underrunnin' the
trawl to-night," said Tom Piatt, with quiet
despair. ** He come alongside special to
cuss us. I 'd give my wage an' share to see
him at the gangway o' the old Ohio 'fore we
quit floggin'. Jest abaout six dozen, an' Sam
Mocatta layin' 'em on criss-cross ! "
The disheveled "heel-tapper" danced
drunkenly down wind, and all eyes followed
her. Suddenly the cook cried in his phono-
graph voice: "It wass his own death made
him speak so ! He iss fey — fey, I tell you !
Look!" She sailed into a patch of watery
sunshine three or four miles distant. The
patch dulled and faded nnt. and even as the
128 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
light passed so did the schooner. She
dropped into a hollow and — was not.
"Run under, by the Great Hook-Block!"
shouted Disko, jumping aft. " Drunk or
sober, we 've got to help 'em. Heave short
and break her out 1 Smart ! "
Harvey was thrown on the deck by the
shock that followed the setting of the jib and
foresail, for they hove short on the cable, and
to save time, jerked the anchor bodily from
the bottom, heaving in as they moved away.
This is a bit of brute force seldom resorted to
except in matters of life and death, and the
little We 're Here complained like a human.
They ran down to where Abishai's craft had
vanished; found two or three trawl-tubs, a
-gin-bottle, and a stove-in dory, but nothing
more. " Let 'em go," said Disko, though no
one had hinted at picking them up. " I
would n't hev a match that belonged to Abi-
shai aboard. Guess she run clear under.
Must ha' been spewin' her oakum fer a week,
an' they never thought to pump her. That 's
one more boat gone along o' leavin' port all
" Glory be ! " said Long Jack. " We 'd ha
been obliged to help 'em if they was top o*
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 131
"'Thinkin' o' that myself," said Tom Piatt.
"Fey! Fey!" said the cook, rolling his
eyes. " He hass taken his own luck with
"Ver' good thing, I think, to tell the Fleet
when we see. Eh, wha-at ? " said Manuel.
" If you runna that way before the wind, and
she work open her seams — " He threw out
his hands with an indescribable gesture, while
Penn sat down on the house and sobbed at
the sheer horror and pity of it all. Harvey
could not realize that he had seen death on
the open waters, but he felt very sick.
Then Dan went up the cross-trees, and
Disko steered them back to within sight of
their own trawl-buoys just before the fog
blanketed the sea once again.
" We go mighty quick hereabouts when
we do go," was all he said to Harvey. '* You
think on that fer a spell, young feller. That
After dinner it was calm enough to fish
from the decks, — Penn and Uncle Salters were
very zealous this time, — and the catch was
large and large fish.
" Abishai has shorely took his luck with
him." said Salters. " The wind hain't backed
132 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
ner riz ner nothin'. How abaout the trawl ?
I despise superstition, anyway."
Tom Piatt insisted that they had much bet-
ter haul the thing and make a new berth.
But the cook said : " The luck iss in two
pieces. You will find it so when you look.
/ know." This so tickled Long Jack that he
overbore Tom Piatt, and the two went out
Underrunniirg a trawl means pulling it in
on one side of the dory, picking off the fish,
rebaiting the hooks, and passing them back
to the sea again — something like pinning and
unpinning linen on a wash-line. It is a
lengthy business and rather dangerous, for
the long, sagging line may twitch a boat un-
der in a flash. But when they heard, "And
naow to thee, O Capting," booming out of the
fog, the crew of the We're Hei^e. took heart.
The dory swirled alongside well loaded, Tom
Piatt yelling for Manuel to act as relief-boat.
"The luck 's cut square in two pieces," said
Long Jack, forking in the fish, while Harvey
stood open-mouthed at the skill with which
the plunging dory was saved from destruction.
" One half was jest punkins. Tom Piatt
wanted to haul her an' ha' done wid ut ; but I
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 133
said, * I '11 back the doctor that has the second
sight,' an' the other half come up sagging full
o' big uns. Hurry, Man'nie, an' bring 's a
tub o' bait. There 's luck afloat to-night."
The fish bit at the newly baited hooks from
which their brethren had just been taken, and
Tom Piatt and Long Jack moved methodically
up and down the length of the trawl, the boat's
nose surging under the wet line of hooks,
stripping the sea-cucumbers that they called
pumpkins, slatting off the fresh-caught cod
against the gunwale, rebaiting, and loading
Manuel's dory till dusk.
" I '11 take no risks," said Disko then — " not
with him floatin' around so near. Abishai
won't sink fer a week. Heave in the dories,
an' we '11 dress daown after supper."
That was a mighty dressing-down, attended
by three oj four blowing grampuses. It lasted
till nine o'clock, and Disko was thrice heard
to chuckle as Harvey pitched the split fish
into the hold.
" Say, you 're haulin' ahead dretful fast,"
said Dan, when they ground the knives after
the men had turned in. " There 's somethin'
of a sea to-night, an' I hain't heard you make
no remarks on it."
134 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
"Too busy," Harvey replied, testing a
blade's edge. " Come to think of it, she is
The little schooner was gamboling all
around her anchor among the silver-tipped
waves. Backing with a start of affected sur-
prise at the sight of the strained cable, she
pounced on it like a kitten, while the spray
of her descent burst through the hawse-holes
with the report of a gun. Shaking her head,
she would say : " Well, I 'm sorry I can't stay
any longer with you. I 'm going North," and
would sidle off, halting suddenly with a dra-
matic rattle of her rigging, "As I was just
going to observe," she would begin, as gravely
as a drunken man addressing a lamp-post. The
rest of the sentence (she acted her words in
dumb-show, of course) was lost in a fit of the
fidgets, when she behaved like a puppy chew-
ing a string, a clumsy woman in a side-saddle,
a hen with her head cut off, or a cow stung by a
hornet, exactly as the whims of the sea took her.
" See her sayin' her piece. She 's Patrick
Henry naow," said Dan.
She swung sideways on a roller, and ges-
ticulated with her jib-boom from port to star-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 135
«<But — ez — fer — me, give me liberty — er
give me — death ! "
Wop ! She sat down in the moon-path on
the water, courtesying with a flourish of pride
impressive enough had not the wheel-gear
sniggered mockingly in its box.
Harvey laughed aloud. "Why, it 's just as
if she was alive," he said.
" She 's as stiddy as a haouse an' as dry as
a herrin'," said Dan enthusiastically, as he was
slung across the deck in a batter of spray.
*• Fends 'em off an' fends 'em off, an' * Don't
ye come anigh me,' she sez. Look at her —
jest look at her ! Sakes ! You should see
one o' them toothpicks histin' up her anchor
on her spike outer fifteen-fathom water."
" What 's a toothpick, Dan ? "
"Them new haddockers an' herrin'-boats.
Fine 's a yacht forward, with yacht sterns to
'em, an' spike bowsprits, an' a haouse that 'u'd
take our hold. I 've heard that Burgess him-
self he made the models fer three or four of
'em. Dad 's sot agin 'em on account o' their
pitchin' an' joltin', but there 's heaps o' money
in 'em. Dad can find fish, but he ain't no
ways progressive — he don't go with the
march o' the times. They 're chock-full o'
136 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
labor-savin' jigs an' sech all. 'Ever seed the
Elector o' Gloucester ? She 's a daisy, ef she
is a toothpick."
"What do they cost, Dan?"
" Hills o' dollars. Fifteen thousand, p'haps ;
more, mebbe. There 's gold-leaf an' every-
thing you kin think of" Then to himself,
half under his breath, " Guess I 'd call her
Hattie S., too."
THAT was the first of many talks with
Dan, who told Haixey why he would
transfer his dory's name to the imaginary
Burgess-modeled haddocker. Harvey heard a
good deal about the real Hattie at Glouces-
ter; saw a lock of her hair — which Dan,
finding fair words of no avail, had " hooked "
as she sat in front of him at school that win-
ter — and a photograph. Hattie was about
fourteen years old, with an awful contempt
for boys, and had been trampling on Dan's
heart through the winter. All this was re-
vealed under oath of solemn secrecy on moon-
lit decks, in the dead dark, or in choking fog;
the whining wheel behind them, the climb-
ing deck before, and without, the unresting,
clamorous sea. Once, of course, as the boys
came to know each other, there was a fio^ht
which raged from bow to stern till Penn
came up and separated them, but promised
138 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
not to tell Disko, who thought fighting on
watch rather worse than sleeping. Harvey
was no match for Dan physically, but it says
a great deal for his new training that he took
his defeat and did not try to get even with his
conqueror by underhand methods.
That was after he had been cured of a
string of boils between his elbows and wrists,
where the wet jersey and oilskins cut into the
flesh. The salt water stung them unpleas-
antly, but when they were ripe Dan treated
them with Disko's razor, and assured Harvey
that now he was a "blooded Banker"; the
affliction of gurry-sores being the mark of the
caste that claimed him.
Since he was a boy and very busy, he did
not bother his head with too much thinking.
He was exceedingly sorry for his mother, and
often longed to see her and above all to tell
her of this wonderful new life, and how bril-
liantly he was acquitting himself in it. Other-
wise he preferred not to wonder too much
how she was bearing the shock of his sup-
posed death. But one day, as he stood on
the foc'sle ladder, guying the cook, who had
accused him and Dan of hooking fried pies, it
occurred to him that this was a vast improve-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 139
ment on being snubbed by strangers in the
smoking-room of a hired Hner.
He was a recognized part of the scheme
of things on the We 're Here ; had his place
at the table and among the bunks ; and could
hold his own in the long talks on stormy days,
when the others were always ready to listen
to what they called his " fairy-tales " of his
life ashore. It did not take him more than
twa days and a quarter to feel that if he
spoke of his own life — it seemed very far
away — no one except Dan (and even Dan's
belief was sorely tried) credited him. So he
invented a friend, a boy he had heard of, who
drove a miniature four-pony drag in Toledo,
Ohio, and ordered five suits of clothes at a
time, and led things called "germans" at
parties where the oldest girl was not quite
fifteen, but all the presents were solid silver.
Salters protested that this kind of yarn was
desperately wicked, if not indeed positively
blasphemous, but he listened as greedily as
the others ; and their criticisms at the end
gave Harvey entirely new notions on " ger-
mans," clothes, cigarettes with gold-leaf tips,
rings, watches, scent, small dinner-parties,
champagne, card-playing, and hotel accommo-
I40 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
dation. Little by little he changed his tone
when speaking of his "friend," whom Long
Jack had christened "the Crazy Kid," "the
Gilt-edged Baby," "the Suckin' Vanderpoop,"
and other pet names ; and with his sea-booted
feet cocked up on the table would even invent
histories about silk pajamas and specially im-
ported neckwear, to the "friend's" discredit.
Harvey was a very adaptable person, with a keen
eye and ear for every face and tone about him.
Before long he knew where Disko kept
the old green-crusted quadrant that they
called the "hog-yoke" — under the bed-bag
In his bunk. When he took the sun, and
with the help of "The Old Farmer's" alma-
nac found the latitude, Harvey would jump
down into the cabin and scratch the reckon-
Ine and date with a nail on the rust of the
stove-pipe. Now, the chief engineer of the
liner could have done no more, and no engi-
neer of thirty years' service could have as-
sumed one half of the ancient-mariner air
with which Harvey, first careful to spit over
the side, made public the schooner's position
for that day, and then and not till then re-
lieved Disko of the quadrant. There is an
etiquette in all these things.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 141
The said " hog-yoke," an Eldridge chart, the
farming almanac, Blunt's " Coast Pilot," and
Bowditch's "Navigator" were all the weapons
Disko needed to guide him, except the deep-
sea lead that was his spare eye. Harvey nearly
slew Penn with it when Tom Piatt taught
him first how to "fly the blue pigeon"; and,
though his strength was not equal to continu-
ous sounding in any sort of a sea, for calm
weather with a seven-pound lead on shoal
water Disko used him freely. As Dan said :
"'T ain't soundin's dad wants. It 's samples.
Grease her up good, Harve." Harvey would
tallow the cup at the end, and carefully bring
the sand, shell, sludge, or whatever it might
be, to Disko, who fingered and smelt it and
gave judgment. As has been said, when
Disko thought of cod he thought as a cod ;
and by some long-tested mixture of instinct
and experience, moved the We 're Here from
berth to berth, always with the fish, as a
blindfolded chess-player moves on the unseen
But Disko's board was the Grand Bank —
a triangle two hundred and fifty miles on each
side — a waste of wallowing sea, cloaked with
dank fog, vexed with gales, harried with
142 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
drifting ice, scored by the tracks of the reck-
less Hners, and dotted with the sails of the
For days they worked in fog — Harvey at
the bell — till, grown familiar with the thick airs,
he went out with Tom Piatt, his heart rather
in his mouth. But the fog would not lift,
and the fish were biting, and no one can stay
helplessly afraid for six hours at a time. Har-
vey devoted himself to his lines and the gaff
or gob-stick as Tom Piatt called for them ;
and they rowed back to the schooner guided
by the bell and Tom's instinct ; Manuel's
conch sounding thin and faint beside them.
But it was an unearthly experience, and, for
the first time in a month, Harvey dreamed
of the shifting, smoking floors of water round
the dory, the lines that strayed away into
nothing, and the air above that melted on the
sea below ten feet from his straining eyes.
A few days later he was out with Manuel on
what should have been forty-fathom bottom,
but the whole length of the roding ran out,
and still the anchor found nothing, and Har-
vey grew mortally afraid, for that his last
touch with earth was lost. "Whale-hole,"
said Manuel, hauling in. " That is good joke
"A WHITENESS MOVED IN THE WHITEJ^ESS OF THE FOG.
IT WAS HIS FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE DREAD
SUMMER BERG OF THE BANK."
*' CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 145
on Disko. Come ! " and he rowed to the
schooner to find Tom Piatt and the others
jeering at the skipper because, for once, he
had led them to the edge of the barren Whale-
deep, the blank hole of the Grand Bank.
They made another berth through the fog,
and that time the hair of Harvey's head stood
up when he went out in Manuel's dory. A
whiteness moved in the whiteness of the
fog;_ with a breath like the breath of the
grave, and there was a roaring, a plunging,
and spouting. It was his^rst introduction
to the dread summer berg of the Banks, and
he cowered^ia the bottom of the boat while
IVIanuel laughed. There were days, though,
clear and soft and warm, when it seemed a sin
to do anything but loaf over the hand-lines
and spank the drifting "sun-scalds" with an
oar ; and there were days of light airs, when
Harvey was taught how to steer the schooner
from one berth to another.
It thrilled through him when he first felt
the keel answer to his hand on the spokes
and slide over the long hollows as the fore-
sail scythed back and forth against the blue
sky. That was magnificent, in spite of Disko
saying that it would break a snake's back to
146 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
follow his wake. But, as usual, pride ran
before a fall. They were sailing on the wind
with the staysail — an old one, luckily — set,
and Harvey jammed her right into it to show
Dan how completely he had mastered the
art. The foresail went over with a bang, and
the foregaff stabbed and ripped through the
staysail, which was, of course, prevented from
going over by the mainstay. They lowered
the wreck in awful silence, and Harvey spent
his leisure hours for the next few days under
Tom Piatt's lee, learning to use a needle and
palm. Dan hooted with joy, for, as he said,
he had made the very same blunder himself
in his early days.
/^oylike, Harvey imitated all the men by
turns, till he had combined Disko's peculiar
stoop at the wheel. Long Jack's swinging
overhand when the lines were hauled, Man-
uel's round-shouldered but effective stroke in
a dory, and Tom Piatt's generous Ohio stride
along the deck.
" 'T is beautiful to see how he takes to ut,"
said Long Jack, when Harvey was looking
out by the windlass one thick noon. ** I '11
lay my wage an' share 't is more 'n half play-
actin' to him, an' he consates himself he 's a
"CAPTALNS COURAGEOUS" 147
bowld mariner. Watch his Httle bit av a
back now ! "
"That 's the way we all begin," said Tom
Piatt. "The boys they make believe all the
time till they 've cheated 'emselves into bein'
men, an' so till they die — pretendin' an' pre-
tendin'. / done it on the old Ohio, I know.
Stood my first watch — harbor-watch — feelin'
finer 'n Farragut. Dan 's fiill o' the same
kind o' notions. See 'em now, actin' to be
genewine moss-backs — every hair a rope-
yarn an' blood Stockholm tar." He spoke
down the cabin stairs. " Guess you 're mis-
took in your judgments fer once, Disko. What
in Rome made ye tell us all here the kid was
crazy ? "
" He wuz," Disko replied. " Crazy ez a
loon when he come aboard ; but I '11 say he 's
sobered up consid'ble sence. I cured him."
" He yarns good," said Tom Piatt. " T' other
night he told us abaout a kid of his own size
steerin' a cunnin' little rig an' four ponies up
an' down Toledo, Ohio, I think 't was, an'
givin' suppers to a crowd o' sim'lar kids.
Cur'^us kind o' fairy-tale, but blame interestin'.
He knows scores of 'em."
"Guess he strikes 'em outen his own head,"
148 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Disko called from the cabin, where he was
busy with the log-book. " Stands to reason
that sort is all made up. It don't take in no
one but Dan, an' he laughs at it. I 've heard
him, behind my back."
" Y' ever hear what Sim'on Peter Ca'houn
said when they whacked up a match 'twix' his
sister Hitty an Lorin' Jerauld, an' the boys
put up that joke on him daown to Georges ? "
drawled Uncle Salters, who was dripping
peaceably under the lee of the starboard
Tom Piatt puffed at his pipe in scornful
silence : he was a Cape Cod man, and had
not known that tale more than twenty years.
Uncle Salters went on with a rasping chuckle:
" Sim'on Peter Ca'houn he said, an' he was
jest right, abaout Lorin', 'Ha'af on the taown,'
he said, * an' t' other ha'af blame fool; an' they
told me she 's married a 'ich man.' Sim'on
Peter Ca'houn he hed n't no roof to his mouth,
an' talked that way."
" He did n't talk any Pennsylvania Dutch,"
Tom Piatt replied. " You 'd better leave a
Cape man to tell that tale. The Ca'houns
was gypsies frum 'way back."
"Wal, I don't profess to be any elocution-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" .149
ist," Salters said. "I 'm comin' to the moral
o' things. That 's jest abaout what aour
Harve be ! Ha'af on the taown, an' t' other
ha'af blame fool ; an' there 's some '11 believe
he 's a rich man. Yah ! "
" Did ye ever think how sweet 't would be
to sail wid a full crew o' Salterses ? " said
Long Jack. " Ha'af in the furrer an' other
ha'af in the muck-heap, as Ca'houn did not
say, an' makes out he 's a fisherman ! "
A little laugh went round at Salters's ex-
Disko held his tongue, and wrought over
the log-book that he kept in a hatchet-faced,
square hand ; this was the kind of thing that
ran on, page after soiled page :
''July 17. This day thick fog and few
fish. Made berth to northward. So ends this
''July 18. This day comes in with thick
fog. Caught a few fish.
"July 19. This day comes in with light
breeze from N. E. and fine weather. Made
a berth to eastward. Caught plenty fish.
"July 20. This, the Sabbath, conies in
with fog and light winds. So ends this day.
Total fish caught this week, 3,478."
150 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
They never worked on Sundays, but
shaved, and washed themselves if it were
fine, and Pennsylvania sang hymns. Once
or twice he suggested that, if it was not an
impertinence, he thought he could preach a
little. Uncle Salters nearly jumped down his
throat at the mere notion, reminding him that
he was not a preacher and must n't think of
such things. "We 'd hev him rememberin'
Johnstown next," Salters explained, " an'
what would happen then ? " So they com-
promised on his reading aloud from a book
called "Josephus." It was an old leather-
bound volume, smelling of a hundred voyages,
very solid and very like the Bible, but en-
livened with accounts of battles and sieges ;
and they read it nearly from cover to cover.
Otherwise Penn was a silent little body. He
would not utter a word for three days on end
sometimes, though he played checkers, lis-
tened to the songs, and laughed at the stories.
When they tried to stir him up, he would
answer: " I don't wish to seem unneighborly,
but it is because I have nothing to say. My
head feels quite empty. I 've almost for-
gotten my name." He would turn to Uncle
Salters with an expectant smile.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 153
"Why, Pennsylvania Pratty' Salters would
shout. " You '11 fergit me next ! "
"No — never," Penn would say, shutting
his lips firmly. " Pennsylvania Pratt, of
course," he would repeat over and over.
Sometimes it was Uncle Salters who forgot,
and told him he was Haskins or Rich or
McVitty; but Penn was equally content —
till next time.
He was always very tender with Harvey,
whom he pitied both as a lost child and as a
lunatic ; and when Salters saw that Penn liked
the boy, he relaxed, too. Salters was not an
amiable person (he esteemed it his business
to keep the boys in order) ; and the first time
Harvey, in fear and trembling, on a still day,
managed to shin up to the main-truck (Dan
was behind him ready to help), he esteemed
It his duty to hang Salters's big sea-boots up
there — a sight of shame and derision to the
nearest schooner. With Disko, Harvey took
no liberties ; not even when the old man
dropped direct orders, and treated him, like
the rest of the crew, to "Don't you want to do
so and so?" and "Guess you 'd better," and
so forth. There was something about the
clean-shaven lips and the puckered corners
154 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
of the eyes that was mightily sobering to
Disko showed him the meaning of the
thumbed and pricked chart, which, he said,
laid over any government publication whatso-
ever ; led him, pencil in hand, from berth to
berth over the whole string of banks — Le
Have, Western, Banquereau, St. Pierre, Green,
and Grand — talking "cod " meantime. Taught
him, too, the principle on which the " hog-
yoke " was worked.
In this Harvey excelled Dan, for he had
inherited a head for figures, and the notion of
stealing information from one glimpse of the
sullen Bank sun appealed to all his keen wits.
For other sea-matters his age handicapped
him. As Disko said, he should have begun
when he was ten. Dan could bait up trawl
or lay his hand on any rope in the dark ; and
at a pinch, when Uncle Salters had a gurry-sore
on his palm, could dress down by sense of
touch. He could steer in anything short of
half a gale from the feel of the wind on his
face, humoring the We 're Here just when she
needed it. These thino-s he did as automati-
cally as he skipped about the rigging, or
made his dory a part of his own will and body.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 155
But he could not communicate his knowledge
Still there was a good deal of general in-
formation flying about the schooner on stormy
days, when they lay up in the foc'sle or sat
on the cabin lockers, while spare eye-bolts,
leads, and rings rolled and rattled in the
pauses of the talk. Disk o spoke of whaling
voyages in the Fifties ; of great she-whales
slain beside their young ; of death agonies
on the black, tossing seas, and blood that
spurted forty feet in the air ; of boats smashed
to splinters ; of patent rockets that went off
wrong-end -first and bombarded the trembling
crews; of cutting-in and boiling-down, and that
terrible " nip" of '71, when twelve hundred men
were made homeless on the ice in three days
— wonderful tales, all true. But more won-
derful still were his stories of the cod, and
how they argued and reasoned on their pri-
vate businesses deep down below the keel.
L ong Jack's tastes ran more to the super-
natural. He held them silent with ghastly
stories of the "Yo-hqes" on Monomoy Beach,
that mockand terrify lonely clam-diggers; of
sand-walkers and dune-haunters who were
never properly buried ; of hidden treasure on
156 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Fire Island guarded by the spirits of Kidd's
men; of ships that sailed in the fog straight
over Truro township; of that harbor in Maine
where no one but a stranger will He at an-
chor twice in a certain place because of a
dead crew who row alongside at midnight
with the anchor in the bow of their old-fash-
ioned boat, whistling — not calling, but whist-
ling — for the soul of the man who broke their
Harvey had a notion that the east coast of
his native land, from Mount Desert south,
was populated chiefly by people who took
their horses there in the summer and enter-
tained in country-houses with hardwood floors
and Vantine portieres. He laughed at the
ghost-tales, — not as much as he would have
done a month before, — but ended by .sitting
still and shuddering.
Tom Piatt dealt with his interminable trip
round the Horn on the old Ohio in the flogging
days, with a navy more extinct than the dodo
— the navy that passed away in the great war.
He told them how red-hot shot are dropped
into a cannon, a wad of wet clay between
them and the cartridge; how they sizzle and
reek when they strike wood, and how the little
** CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 157
ship -boys of the Miss Jim Buck hove water
over them and shouted to the fort to try-
again. And he told tales of blockade — long
weeks of swaying at anchor, varied only by
the departure and return of steamers that
had used up their coal (there was no change
for the sailing-ships); of gales and cold —
cold that kept two hundred men, night and
day, pounding and chopping at the ice on
cable, blocks, and rigging, when the galley
was as red-hot as the fort's shot, and men
drank cocoa by the bucket. Tom Piatt had
no use for steam. His service closed when
that thing was comparatively new. He ad-
mitted that it was a specious invention in
time of peace, but looked hopefully for the
day when sails should come back again on
ten-thousand-ton frigates with hundred-and-
Manuel's talk was slow and gentle — all
about pretty girls in Madeira washing clothes
in the dry beds of streams, by moonlight,
under waving bananas ; legends of saints,
and tales of queer dances or fights away in
the cold Newfoundland baiting-ports. Sal-
ters was mainly agricultural ; for, though he
read ** Josephus " and expounded it, his mis-
158 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
sion in life was to prove the value of green
manures, and specially of clover, against
every form of phosphate whatsoever. He
grew libellous about phosphates ; he dragged
greasy *' Orange Judd " books from his bunk
and intoned them, wagging his finger at Har-
vey, to whom it was all Greek. Little Penn
was so genuinely pained when Harvey made
fun of Salters's lectures that the boy gave it
up, and suffered in polite silence. That was
very good for Harvey.
The^ook naturally did not join in these
conversations. As a rule, he spoke only
when it was absolutely necessary ; but at
times a queer gift of speech descended on
him, and he held forth, half in Gaelic, half
in broken English, an hour at a time. He
was specially communicative with the boys,
and he never withdrew his prophecy that one
day Harvey would he Dan's master, and that
he would see it. He told them of mail-
carrying in the winter up Cape Breton way,
of the dog-train that goes to Coudray, and
of the ram-steamer Arctic, that breaks the
ice between the mainland and Prince Edward
Island. Then he told them stories that his
mother had told him, of life far to the south-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 159
ward, where water never froze ; and he said
that when he died his soul would go to lie
down on a warm white beach of sand with
palm-trees waving above. That seemed to
the boys a very odd idea for a man who had
never seen a palm in his life. Then, too,
regularly at each meal, he would ask Harvey,
and Harvey alone, whether the cooking was
to his taste ; and this always made the " sec-
ond half" laugh. Yet they had a great respect
for the cook's judgment, and in their hearts
considered Harvey something of a mascot by
And while Harvey was taking in know-
ledge of new things at each pore and hard
health with every gulp of the good air, the
We 're Here went her ways and did her
business on the Bank, and the silvery-gray
kenches of well-pressed fish mounted higher
and higher in the hold. No one day's work
was out of the common, but the average days
were many and close together.
Naturally, a man of Disko's reputation was
closely watched — '* scrowged upon," Dan
called it — by his neighbors, but he had a
very pretty knack of giving them the slip
through the curdling, glidy fog-banks. Disko
l6o "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
avoided company for two reasons. He wished
to make his own experiments, in the first
place ; and in the second, he objected to the
mixed gatherings of a fleet of all nations.
The bulk of them were mainly Gloucester
boats, with a scattering from Provincetown,
Harwich, Chatham, and some of the Maine
ports, but the crews drew from goodness
knows where. Risk breeds recklessness, and
when greed is added there are fine chances
for every kind of accident in the crowded
fleet, which, like a mob of sheep, is huddled
round some unrecognized leader. " Let the
two Jeraulds lead 'em," said Disko. "We're
baound to lay among 'em fer a spell on the
Eastern Shoals ; though ef luck holds, we won't
hev to lay long. Where we are naow, Harve,
ain't considered noways good graound."
" Ain't it ? " said Harvey, who was drawing
water (he had learned just how to wiggle the
bucket), after an unusually long dressing-
down. " Should n't mind striking some poor
ground for a change, then."
"All the graound I want to see — don't
want to strike her — is Eastern Point," said
Dan. " Say, dad, it looks 's if we would n't
hev to lay more *n two weeks on the Shoals.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" i6i
You *11 meet all the comp'ny you want then,
Harve. That 's the time we begin to work.
No reg'lar meals fer no one then. 'Mug-up
when ye 're hungry, an' sleep when ye can't
keep awake. Good job you was n't picked up
a month later than you was, or we 'd never ha'
had you dressed in shape fer the Old Virgin."
Harvey understood from the Eldridge chart
that the Old Virgin and a nest of curiously
named shoals were the turning-point of the
cruise, and that with good luck they would
wet the balance of their salt there. But see-
ing the size of the Virgin (it was one tiny
dot), he wondered how even Disko with the
hog-yoke and the lead could find her. He
learned later that Disko was entirely equal to
that and any other business, and could even
help others. A big four-by-five blackboard
hung in the cabin, and Harvey never under-
stood the need of it till, after some blindine
thick days, they heard the unmelodious toot-
ing of a foot-power fog-horn — a machine
whose note is as that of a consumptive ele-
They were making a short berth, towing
the anchor under their foot to save trouble.
"Square-rigger bellowin' fer his latitude," said
162 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Long Jack. The dripping red headsails of a
bark glided out of the fog, and the We 're
Here rang her bell thrice, using sea short-
The larger boat backed her topsail with
shrieks and shoutings.
" Frenchman," said Uncle Salters, scorn-
fully. " Miquelon boat from St. Malo." The
farmer had a weatherly sea-eye. "I 'm most
outer 'baccy, too, Disko."
"Same here," said Tom Piatt. "Hi! Backez
votis — backez vons! Standez awayez, you
butt-ended mucho-bono! Where you from —
St. Malo, eh ? "
"Ah, ha! Mucho bono/ Out! ouif Clos
Poulet — St. Malof St. Pierre et Miquelon"
cried the other crowd, waving woolen caps
and laughing. Then ail together, ''Bord!
" Bring up the board, Danny. Beats me
how them Frenchmen fetch anywheres, ex-
ceptin' America's fairish broadly. Forty-six
forty-nine 's good enough fer them ; an' I
guess it 's abaout right, too."
Dan chalked the figures on the board, and
they hung it in the main-rigging to a chorus
of mercis from the bark.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 165
" Seems kinder unneighborly to let 'em
swedge off like this," Salters suggested, feel-
ing in his pockets.
" Hev ye learned French then sence last
trip?" said Disko. "/ don't want no more
stone-ballast hove at us 'long o' your callin'
Miquelon boats ' footy cochins,' same 's you
did off Le Have."
" Harmon Rush he said that was the way
to rise 'em. Plain United States is good
enough fer me. We 're all dretful short on
terbakker. Young feller, don't you speak
French ? "
*' Oh, yes," said Harvey valiantly ; and he
bawled: "Hi! Say! Arretez voiis ! Atten-
dez ! Nous sommes venant pour tabac''
"Ah, tabac, tabac!'' they cried, and laughed
" That hit 'em. Let 's heave a dory over,
anyway," said Tom Piatt. " I don't exactly
hold no certificates on French, but I know
another lingo that goes, I guess. Come on,
Harve, an' interpret."
The raffle and confusion when he and Har-
vey were hauled up the bark's black side was
indescribable. Her cabin was all stuck round
with glaring colored prints of the Virgin —
i66 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
the Virgin of Newfoundland, they called her.
Harvey found his French of no recognized
Bank brand, and his conversation was limited
to nods and grins. But Tom Piatt waved his
arms and got along swimmingly. The cap-
tain gave him a drink of unspeakable gin,
and the opera-comique crew, with their hairy
throats, red caps, and long knives, greeted
him as a brother. Then the trade began.
They had tobacco, plenty of it — American,
that had never paid duty to France. They
wanted chocolate and crackers^ Harvey
rowed back to arrange with the cook and
Disko, who owned the stores, and on his
return the cocoa-tins and cracker-bags were
counted out by the Frenchman's wheel. It
looked like a piratical division of loot ; but
Tom Piatt came out of it roped with black
pigtail and stuffed with cakes of chewing and
smoking tobacco. Then those jovial mariners
swung off into the mist, and the last Harvey
heard was a gay chorus :
" Par derriere chez ma tante,
II y a un bois joli,
Et le rossignol y chante
Et le jour et la nuit . . .
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 167
Que donneriez vous, belle,
Qui I'amenerait ici ?
Je donnerai Quebec,
Sorel et Saint Denis."
** How was it my French did n't go, and
your sign-talk did ? " Harvey demanded when
the barter had been distributed among the
We 're Heres.
" Sign-talk ! " Piatt guffawed. " Well, yes,
't was sign-talk, but a heap older 'n your
French, Harve. Them French boats are
chock-full o' Freemasons, an' that 's why."
"Are you a Freemason, then?"
" Looks that way, don't it? " said the man-
o'-war's man, stuffing his pipe ; and Harvey
had another mystery of the deep sea to brood
THE thing that struck him most was the
exceedingly casual way in which some
craft loafed about the broad Atlantic. Fish-
ing-boats, as Dan said, were naturally depen-
dent on the courtesy and wisdom of their
neighbors ; but one expected better things of
steamers. That was after another interesting
interview, when they had been chased for
three miles by a big lumbering old cattle-
boat, all boarded over on the upper deck, that
smelt like a thousand cattle-pens. A very
excited officer yelled at them through a
speaking-trumpet, and she lay and lollopped
helplessly on the water while Disko ran, the
We 're Here under her lee and gave the skip-
per a piece of his mind. "Where might ye
be — eh? Ye don't deserve to be anywheres.
You barn-yard tramps go hoggin' the road
on the high seas with no blame consideration
fer your neighbors, an' your eyes in your cof-
fee-cups instid o' in your silly heads."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 169
At this the skipper danced on the bridge
and said something about Disko's own eyes.
"We have n't had an observation for three
days. D' you suppose we can run her bhnd ? "
" Wa-al, / can," Disko retorted. " What 's
come to your lead? Et it? Can't ye smell
bottom, or are them cattle too rank ? "
"What d' ye feed 'em?" said Uncle Sal-
ters with intense seriousness, for the smell of
the pens woke all the farmer in him. " They
say they fall off dretful on a v'yage. Dunno as
it 's any o' my business, but I 've a kind o' no-
tion that oil-cake broke small an' sprinkled — "
"Thunder ! " said a cattle-man in a red jer-
sey as he looked over the side. " What asy-
lum did they let His Whiskers out of? "
"Young feller," Salters began, standing up
in the fore-rigging, " let me tell yeou 'fore we
go any further that I 've — "
The officer on the bridge took off his cap
with immense politeness. " Excuse me," he
said, "but J 've asked for my reckoning. If
the agricultural person with the hair will
kindly shut his head, the sea-green barnacle
with the wall-eye may per-haps condescend
to enlighten us."
I70 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Naow you 've made a show o' me, Salt-
ers," said Disko, angrily. He could not stand
up to that particular sort of talk, and snapped
out the latitude and longitude without more
" Well, that 's a boat-load of lunatics, sure,"
said the skipper, as he rang up the engine-
room and tossed a bundle of newspapers into
"Of «// the blamed fools, next to you, Salt-
ers, him an' his crowd are abaout the likeliest
I 've ever seen," said Disko as the We 're
Here slid away. " I was jest givin' him my
jedgment on lullsikin' round these waters like
a lost child, an' you must cut in with your fool
farmin'. Can't ye never keep things sep'rate?"
Harvey, Dan, and the others stood back,
winking one to the other and full of joy ; but
Disko and Salters wrangled seriously till
evening, Salters arguing that a cattle-boat
was practically a barn on blue water, and
Disko insisting that, even if this were the
case, decency and fisher-pride demanded that
he should have kept " things sep'rate." Long
Jack stood it in silence for a time, — an angry
skipper makes an unhappy crew, — and then
he spoke across the table after supper:
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 171
" Fwhat 's the good o* bodderin' fwhat
they '11 say ? " said he.
" They '11 tell that tale agin us fer years —
that 's all," said Disko. " Oil-cake sprin-
kled ! "
" With salt, o' course," said Salters, impeni-
tent, reading the farming reports from a
week-old New York paper.
" It 's plumb mortifyin' to all my feelin's,"
the skipper went on.
" Can't see ut that way," said Long Jack,
the peacemaker. " Look at here, Disko ! Is
there another packet afloat this day in this
weather cud ha' met a tramp an', over an'
above givin' her her reckonin', — over an'
above that, I say, — cud ha' discoorsed wid
her quite intelligent on the management av
steers an' such at sea ? Forgit ut ! Av coorse
they will not. 'T was the most compenjus
conversation that iver accrued. Double game
an' twice runnin' — all to us." Dan kicked
Harvey under the table, and Harvey choked
in his cup.
** Well," said Salters, who felt that his honor
had been somewhat plastered, " I said I did n't
know as *t wuz any business o' mine, 'fore I
172 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
"An' right there," said Tom Piatt, experi-
enced in discipline and etiquette — "right
there, I take it, Disko, you should ha' asked
him to stop ef the conversation wuz likely,
in your jedgment, to be anyways — what it
" 'Dunno but that 's so," said Disko, who
saw his way to an honorable retreat from a
fit of the dignities.
"Why, o' course it was so," said Salters,
" you bein' skipper here ; an' I 'd cheerful
hev stopped on a hint — not from any lead-
in' or conviction, but fer the sake o' bearin'
an example to these two blame boys of
"Did n't I tell you, Harve, 't would come
araound to us 'fore we 'd done? Always
those blame boys. But I would n't have
missed the show fer a half-share in a halibut-
ter," Dan whispered."
" Still, things should ha' been kep' sep'-
rate," said Disko, and the light of new argu-
ment lit in Salters's eye as he crumbled cut
plug into his pipe.
" There 's a power av vartue in keepin'
things sep'rate," said Long Jack, intent on
stilling the storm. "That 's fwhat Steyning
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 173
of Steyning and Hare's fund when he sent
Counahan fer skipper on the Marilla D.
Kuhn, instid o' Cap. Newton that was took
with inflam'try rheumatism an' could n't go.
Counahan the Navigator we called him."
"Nick Counahan he never went aboard fer
a night 'thout a pond o' rum somewheres in
the manifest," said Tom Piatt, playing up to
the lead. " He used to bum araound the
c'mission houses to Boston lookin' fer the
Lord to make him captain of a tow-boat on
his merits. Sam Coy, up to Atlantic Avenoo,
give him his board free fer a year or more on
account of his stories. Counahan the Navi-
gator ! Tck ! Tck ! Dead these fifteen year,
ain't he ? "
" Seventeen, I guess. He died the year
the Caspar Mc Veagh was built ; but he could
niver keep things sep'rate. Steyning tuk him
fer the reason the thief tuk the hot stove —
bekaze there was nothin' else that season.
The men was all to the Banks, and Counahan
he whacked up an iverlastin' hard crowd fer
crew. Rum ! Ye cud ha' floated the Marilla,
insurance an' all, in fwhat they stowed aboard
her. They lef Boston Harbor for the great
Grand Bank wid a roarin' nor' wester behind
174 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
'em an' all hands full to the bung. An' the
hivens looked after thim, for divil a watch did
they set, an' divil a rope did they lay hand to,
till they 'd seen the bottom av a fifteen-gallon
cask o' bug-juice. That was about wan week,
so far as Counahan remembered. (If I cud
only tell the tale as he told ut !) All that
whoile the wind blew like ould glory, an' the
Marilla — 't was summer, and they 'd give her
a foretopmast — struck her gait and kept
ut. Then Counahan tuk the hog-yoke an'
thrembled over it for a whoile, an' made out,
betwix' that an' the chart an' the singin' in
his head, that they was to the south'ard
o' Sable Island, gettin' along glorious, but
speakin' nothin'. Then they broached an-
other keg, an' quit speculatin' about anythin'
fer another spell. The Marilla she lay down
whin she dropped Boston Light, and she
never lufted her lee-rail up to that time —
hustlin' on one an' the same slant. But they
saw no weed, nor gulls, nor schooners ; an'
prisintly they obsarved they 'd bin out a mat-
ter o* fourteen days, and they mistrusted the
Bank had suspinded payment. So they
sounded, an' got sixty fathom. 'That 's me,'
sez Counahan. ' That 's me iv'ry time ! I 've
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 175
run her slat on the Bank fer you, an' when we
get thirty fathom we '11 turn in like little men.
Counahan is the b'y,' sez he. * Counahan the
navi orator ! '
" Nex' cast they got ninety. Sez Couna-
han : ' Either the lead-line 's tuk to stretchin'
or else the Bank 's sunk.'
''They hauled ut up, bein' just about in
that state when ut seemed right an' reason-
able, and sat down on the deck countin' the
knots, an' gettin' her snarled up hijjus. The
Marilla she 'd struck her gait, an' she hild
ut, an' prisintly along come a tramp, an' Cou-
nahan spoke her.
" ' Hev ye seen any fishin'-boats now? ' sez
he, quite casual.
" * There 's lashin's av them off the Irish
coast,' sez the tramp.
"'Aah! go shake yerself,' sez Counahan.
* Fwhat have I to do wid the Irish coast?'
" 'Then fwhat are ye doin' here?' sez the
" * Sufferin' Christianity!' sez Counahan (he
always said that whin his pumps sucked an' he
was not feelin' good) — 'Sufferin' Christian-
ity ! ' he sez, ' where am I at ? '
"'Thirty-five mile west-sou' west o' Cape
176 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Clear,' sez the tramp, ' if that 's any consola-
tion to you.'
" Counahan fetched wan jump, four feet
sivin inches, measured by the cook.
" * Consolation ! * sez he, bould as brass.
* D' ye take me fer a dialect ? Thirty-five
mile from Cape Clear, an' fourteen days from
Boston Light. Sufferin' Christianity, 't is a
record, an' by the same token I 've a mother
to Skibbereen 1 ' Think av ut ! The gall av
um ! But ye see he could niver keep things
"The crew was mostly Cork an' Kerry
men, barrin' one Marylander that wanted to
go back, but they called him a mutineer, an'
they ran the ould Marilla into Skibbereen,
an' they had an illigant time visitin' around
with frinds on the ould sod fer a week.
Thin they wint back, an' it cost 'em two an'
thirty days to beat to the Banks again. 'T was
gettin' on towards fall, and grub was low, so
Counahan ran her back to Boston, wid no
more bones to ut."
"And what did the firm say?" Harvey
" Fwhat could they ? The fish was on the
Banks, an' Counahan was at T-wharf talkin'
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 177
av his record trip east ! They tuk their sat-
isfaction out av that, an' ut all came av not
keepin' the crew and the rum sep'rate in
the first place ; an' confusin' Skibbereen wid
'Queereau, in the second. Counahan the Navi-
gator, rest his sowl ! He was an imprompju
citizen ! "
" Once I was in the Lucy Holmes,'^ said
Manuel, in his gentle voice. "They not
want any of her feesh in Gloucester. Eh,
wha-at? Give us no price. So we go across
the water, and think to sell to some Fayal
man. Then it blow fresh, and we cannot see
well. Eh, wha-at ? Then it blow some more
fresh, and we go down below and drive very
fast — no one know where. By and by we see
a land, and it get some hot. Then come
two, three nigger in a brick. Eh, wha-at?
We ask where we are, and they say — now,
what you all think ? "
" Grand Canary," said Disko, after a mo-
ment. Manuel shook his head, smiling.
" Blanco," said Tom Piatt.
" No. Worse than that. We was below
Bezagos, and the brick she was from Liberia !
So we sell our feesh there! Not bad, so?
178 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
** Can a schooner like this go right across to
Africa? " said Harvey.
I " Go araound the Horn ef there *s anythin'
/ worth goin' fer, and the grub holds aout," said
\ Disko. " My father he run his packet, an'
she was a kind o' pinkey, abaout fifty ton, I
guess, — iki^Rupert, — he runheroverto Green-
land's icy mountains the year ha'af our fleet
was tryin' after cod there. An' what 's more,
he took my mother along with him, — to show
her haow the money was earned, I presoom, —
an' they was all iced up, an' I was born at
Disko. Don't remember nothin' abaout it, o'
course. We come back when the ice eased
in the spring, but they named me fer the
place. Kinder mean trick to put up on a
baby, but we 're all baound to make mistakes
in aour lives."
"Sure! Sure!" said Salters, wagging his
head. " All baound to make mistakes, an' I
tell you two boys here thet after you 've made
a mistake — ye don't make fewer 'n a hundred
a day — the next best thing 's to own up to it
Long Jack winked one tremendous wink
that embraced all hands except Disko and
Salters, and the incident was closed.
" CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 179
Then they made berth after berth to the
northward, the dories out ahnost every day,
running along the east edge of the Grand
Bank in thirty- to forty -fathom water, and
It was here Harvey first met the squid, who
is one of the best cod-baits, but uncertain in
his moods. They were waked out of their
bunks one black night by yells of " Squid
O ! " from Salters, and for an hour and a half
every soul aboard hung over his squid-jig —
a piece of lead painted red and armed at the
lower end with a circle of pins bent backward
like half-opened umbrella ribs. The squid —
for some unknown reason — likes, and wraps
himself round, this thing, and is hauled up ere
he can escape from the pins. But as he leaves
his home he squirts first water and next ink
into his captor's face ; and it was curious to
see the men weaving their heads from side to
side to dodge the shot. They were as black
as sweeps when the flurry ended ; but a pile
of fresh squid lay on the deck, and the large
cod thinks very well of a little shiny piece of
squid-tentacle at the tip of a clam-baited hook.
Next day they caught many fish, and met the
Carrie Pitman, to whom they shouted their
l8o "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
luck, and she wanted to trade — seven cod for
one fair-sized squid; but Disko would not
agree at the price, and the Carrie dropped
sullenly to leeward and anchored half a mile
away, in the hope of striking on to some for
Disko said nothing till after supper, when
he sent Dan and Manuel out to buoy the
We 're Heres cable and announced his inten-
tion of turning in with the broad-axe. Dan
naturally repeated these remarks to a dory
from the Carrie, who wanted to know why
they were buoying their cable, since they were
not on rocky bottom.
" Dad sez he would n't trust a ferryboat
within five mile o' you," Dan howled cheer-
" Why don't he git out, then ? Who 's hin-
derin' ? " said the other.
"'Cause you 've jest the same ez lee-bowed
him, an' he don't take that from any boat,
not to speak o' sech a driftin' gurry-butt as
" She ain't driftin' any this trip," said the
man angrily, for the Carrie Pitman had an
unsavory reputation for breaking her ground-
*' CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" l8i
** Then haow d' you make berths ? " said
Dan. " It 's her best p'int o' sailin'. An' ef
she 's quit driftin', what in thunder are you
doin' with a new jib-boom ? " That shot went
" Hey, you Portugoosy organ-grinder, take
your monkey back to Gloucester. Go back
to school, Dan Troop," was the answer.
" O-ver-alls ! O-ver-alls ! " yelled Dan, who
knew that one of the Carrie s crew had worked
in an overall factory the winter before.
" Shrimp ! Gloucester shrimp ! Git aout,
you Novy ! "
To call a Gloucester man a Nova Scotian
is not well received. Dan answered in kind.
" Novy yourself, ye Scrabble-towners ! ye
Chatham wreckers ! Git aout with your brick
in your stockin' ! " And the forces separated,
but Chatham had the worst of it.
"I knew haow 't would be," said Disko.
" She 's drawed the wind raound already.
Some one oughter put a dee'^X'sX on thet
packet. She 'II snore till midnight, an' jest
when we 're gittin' our sleep she 'II strike
adrift. Good job we ain't crowded with craft
hereaways. But I ain't goin' to up anchor fer
Chatham. She may hold."
i82 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The wind, which had hauled round, rose at
sundown and blew steadily. There was not
enough sea, though, to disturb even a dory's
tackle, but the Carrie Pitman was a law unto
herself. At the end of the boys' watch they
heard the crack-crack-crack of a huge muzzle-
loading revolver aboard her.
" Glory, glory, hallelujah ! " sung Dan.
" Here she comes, dad ; butt-end first, walkin'
in her sleep same 's she done on ' Queereau."
Had she been any other boat Disko would
have taken his chances, but now he cut the
cable as the Carrie Pitman, with all the North
Atlantic to play in, lurched down directly
upon them. The We 're Here, under jib and
riding-sail, gave her no more room than was
absolutely necessary, — Disko did not wish
to spend a week hunting for his cable, —
but scuttled up into the wind as the Carrie
passed within easy hail, a silent and angry
boat, at the mercy of a raking broadside of
Bank chaff. •
" Good evenin*," said Disko, raising his
head-gear, ** an' haow does your garden
grow ? "
" Go to Ohio an' hire a mule," said Uncle
Salters. *' We don't want no farmers here."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 183
'*Will I lend you my dory-anchor? " cried
" Unship your rudder an' stick it in the
mud," said Tom Piatt.
" Say ! " Dan's voice rose shrill and high,
as he stood on the wheel-box. " Sa-ay ! Is
there a strike in the o-ver-all factory ; or
hev they hired girls, ye Shackamaxons ? "
"Veer out the tiller-lines," cried Harvey,
"and nail 'em to the bottom." . That was a
salt-flavored jest he had been put up to by
Tom Piatt. Manuel leaned over the stern
and yelled : " Johnna Morgan play the or-
gan ! Ahaaaa ! " He flourished his broad
thumb with a gesture of unspeakable con-
tempt and derision, while little Penn covered
himself with glory by piping up : " Gee a
little ! Hssh ! Come here. Haw ! "
They rode on their chain for the rest of
the night, a short, snappy, uneasy motion, as
Harvey found, and wasted half the forenoon
recovering the cable. But the boys agreed
the trouble was cheap at the price of triumph
and glory, and they thought with grief over
all the beautiful things that they might have
said to the discomfited Carrie.
NEXT day they fell in with more sails,
all circling slowly from the east north-
erly towards the west. But just when they
expected to make the shoals by the Virgin
the fog shut down, and they anchored, sur-
rounded by the tinklings of invisible bells.
There was not much fishing, but occasionally
dory met dory in the fog and exchanged
That night, a little before dawn, Dan and
Harvey, who had been sleeping most of the
day, tumbled out to " hook " fried pies. There
was no reason why they should not have
taken them openly ; but they tasted better
so, and it made the cook angry. The heat
and smell belov/ drove them on deck with
their plunder, and they found Disko at the
bell, which he handed over to Harvey.
"Keep her goin'," said he. "I mistrust I
hear somethin'. Ef it 's anything, I 'm best
where I am so 's to get at things."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 185
It was a forlorn little jingle ; the thick
air seemed to pinch it off; and in the pauses
Harvey heard the muffled shriek of a liner's
siren, and he knew enough of the Banks to
know what that meant. It came to him,
with horrible distinctness, how a boy in a
cherry-colored jersey — he despised fancy
blazers now with all a fisherman's contempt
— how an ignorant, rowdy boy had once
said it would be "great" if a steamer ran
down a fishing-boat. That boy had a state-
room with a hot and cold bath, and spent
ten minutes each morning picking over a
gilt-edged bill of fare. And that same boy
— no, his very much older brother — was up
at four of the dim dawn in streaming, crack-
ling oilskins, hammering, literally for the dear
life, on a bell smaller than the steward's
breakfast-bell, while somewhere close at
hand a thirty-foot steel stem was storming
along at twenty miles an hour! The bitter-
est thought of all was that there were folks
asleep in dry, upholstered cabins who would
never learn that they had massacred a boat
before breakfast. So Harvey rang the bell.
" Yes, they slow daown one turn o' their
blame propeller," said Dan, applying himself
i86 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
to Manuel's conch, " fer to keep inside the law,
an' that 's consolin' when we *re all at the
bottom. Hark to her ! She 's a huniper ! "
''Aoooo — whoooo — whiippf went the
siren. " Wingle — tingle — link,'' went the
bell. " Graaa — oiich / " went the conch, while
sea and sky were all milled up in milky fog.
Then Harvey felt that he was near a moving
body, and found himself looking up and up at
the wet edge of a cliff-like bow, leaping, it
seemed, directly over the schooner. A jaunty
little feather of water curled in front of it, and
as it lifted it showed a long ladder of Roman
numerals — XV., XVI., XVII. , XVIII., and so
forth — on a salmon-colored, gleaming side.
It tilted forward and downward with a heart-
stilling " Ssssooo "; the ladder disappeared ;
a line of brass-rimmed port-holes flashed
past; a jet of steam puffed in Harvey's help-
lessly uplifted hands ; a spout of hot water
roared along the rail of the We 're Here,
and the little schooner staggered and shook
in a rush of screw-torn water, as a liner's
stern vanished in the fog. Harvey got ready
to faint or be sick, or both, when he heard
a crack like a trunk thrown on a sidewalk,
and, all small in his ear, a far-away telephone
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 187
voice drawling: "Heave to! You 've sunk
" Is it us ? " he g-asped.
** No ! Boat out yonder. Ring ! We 're
goin* to look," said Dan, running out a dory.
In half a minute all except Harvey, Penn,
and the cook were overside and away. Pres-
ently a schooner's stump-foremast, snapped
clean across, drifted past the bows. Then
an empty green dory came by, knocking on
the We We Heres side, as though she wished
to be taken in. Then followed something,
face down, in a blue jersey, but — it was not
the whole of a man. Penn changed color
and caught his breath with a click. Harvey
pounded despairingly at the bell, for he feared
they might be sunk at any minute, and he
jumped at Dan's hail as the crew came back.
"The Jennie Cushman''' said Dan, hysteri-
cally, " cut clean in half — graound up an'
trompled on at that ! Not a quarter of a
mile away. Dad 's got the old man. There
ain't anyone else, and — there was his son
too. Oh, Harve, Harve, I can't stand it !
I 've seen — " He dropped his head on his
arms and sobbed while the others dragged
a gray-headed man aboard.
i88 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
"What did you pick me up for?" the
stranger groaned. " Disko, what did you
pick me up for ? "
Disko dropped a heavy hand on his
shoulder, for the man's eyes were wild and
his lips trembled as he stared at the silent
crew. Then up and spoke Pennsylvania
Pratt, who was also Haskins or Rich or
McVitty when Uncle Salters forgot ; and his
face was changed on him from the face of a
fool to the countenance of an old, wise man,
and he said in a strong- voice: "The Lord
gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed
be the name of the Lord! I was — I am a
minister of the Gospel. Leave him to me."
" Oh, you be, be you ? " said the man.
" Then pray my son back to me ! Pray back
a nine-thousancl-dollar boat an' a thousand
quintal of fish. If you 'd left me alone my
widow could ha' gone on to the Provident
an' worked fer her board, an' never known
— an' never known. Now I '11 hev to tell
"There ain't nothin' to say," said Disko.
" Better lie down a piecejasgn 011ey._ll_
When a man has lost his only son, his
summer's work, and his means of livelihood,
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 189
in thirty counted seconds, it is hard to give
"All Gloucester men, was n't they," said
Tom Piatt, fiddling helplessly with a dory-
" Oh, that don't make no odds," said
Jason, wringing the wet from his beard.
" I '11 be rowin' summer boarders araound
East Gloucester this fall." He rolled heavily
to the rail, singing :
" Happy birds that sing and fly-
Round thine altars, O Most High ! "
" Come with me. Come below ! " said Penn,
as though he had a right to give orders.
Their eyes met and fought for a quarter of
" I dunno who you be, but I '11 come," said
Jason, submissively. " Mebbe I '11 get back
some o' the — some o' the — nine thousand
dollars." Penn led him into the cabin and
slid the door behind.
"That ain't Penn," cried Uncle Salters.
" It 's Jacob Boiler, an' — he 's remembered
Johnstown ! I never seed such eyes in any
livin' man's head. What 's to do naow ?
What '11 I do naow ? "
IQO "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
They could hear Penn's voice and Jason's
together. Then Penn's went on alone, and
Salters slipped off his hat, for Penn was pray-
ing. Presently the little man came up the
steps, huge drops of sweat on his face, and
looked at the crew. Dan was still sobbing by
" He don't know us," Salters groaned.
" It 's all to do over again, checkers and
everything — an' what '11 he say to me?'''
Penn spoke ; they could hear that it was
to strangers. " I have prayed," said he.
" Our people believe in prayer. I have
prayed for the life of this man's son. Mine
were drowned before my eyes — she and my
eldest and — the others. Shall a man be
more wise than his Maker ? I prayed never
for their lives, but I have prayed for this
man's son, and he will surely be sent him."
Salters looked pleadingly at Penn to see
if he remembered.
"How long have I been mad?" Penn asked
suddenly. His mouth was twitching.
" Pshaw, Penn ! You were n't never mad,"
Salters began. " Only a little distracted
" I saw the houses strike the bridge before
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 191
the fires broke out. I do not remember any
more. How long ago is that ? "
"I can't stand it! I can't stand it!" cried
Dan, and Harvey whimpered in sympathy.
" Abaout five year," said Disko, in a shak-
"Then I have been a charge on some one
for every day of that time. Who was the
Disko pointed to Salters.
" Ye hain't — ye hain't ! " cried the sea-far-
mer, twisting his hands together. " Ye 've
more 'n earned your keep twice-told ; an'
there 's money owin' you, Penn, besides ha'af
o' my quarter-share in the boat, which is yours
fer value received."
" You are good men. I can see that in
your faces. But — "
*' Mother av Mercy," whispered Long Jack,
" an' he 's been wid us all these trips ! He 's
A schooner's bell struck up alongside, and
a voice hailed through the fog: "O Disko I
'Heard abaout the Jennie Ciishmanf
"They have found his son," cried Penn.
" Stand you still and see the salvation of the
Lord ! "
192 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Got Jason aboard here," Disko answered,
but his voice quavered. " There — war n't any
one else ? "
"We 've fund one, though. 'Run acrost
him snarled up in a mess o' lumber thet
might ha' bin a foc'sle. His head 's cut
"Who is he?"
The We 're Hercs heart-beats answered
" Guess it 's young Olley," the voice
Penn raised his hands and said something
in German. Harvey could have sworn that a
bright sun was shining upon his lifted face ;
but the drawl went on : " Sa-ay ! You fellers
guyed us consid'rable t' other night."
"We don't feel like guyin' any now," s&id
" I know it; but to tell the honest truth we
was kinder — kinder driftin' when we run agin
It was the irrepressible Carrie Pitman, and
a roar of unsteady laughter went up from the
deck of the We 're Here.
" Hed n't you 'baout 's well send the old
man aboard? We 're runnin' in fer more
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 193
bait an' graound-tackle. Guess you won't
want him, anyway, an' this blame windlass
work makes us short-handed. We '11 take
care of him. He married my woman's aunt."
" I '11 give you anything in the boat," said
" Don't want nothin', 'less, mebbe, an anchor
that '11 hold. Say! Young Olley 's gittin'
kinder baulky an' excited. Send the old man
Penn waked him from his stupor of despair,
and Tom Piatt rowed him over. He went
away without a word of thanks, not knowing
what was to come ; and the fog closed over all.
"And now," said Penn, drawing a deep
breath as though about to preach. " And
now " — the erect body sank like a sword
driven home into the scabbard ; the light
faded from the overbright eyes ; the voice
returned to its usual pitiful little titter — "and
now," said Pennsylvania Pratt, "do you think
it 's too early for a little game of checkers,
"The very thing — the very thing I was
goin' to say myself," cried Salters promptly.
" It beats all, Penn, how ye git on to what 's
in a man's mind."
194 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The little fellow blushed and meekly fol-
lowed Salters forward.
" Up anchor ! Hurry ! Let 's quit these
crazy waters," shouted Disko, and never was
he more swiftly obeyed.
" Now wh^t in creation d' ye suppose is the
meanin' o' that all ? " said Long Jack, when
they were working through the fog once
more, damp, dripping, and bewildered.
"The way I sense it," said Disko, at the
wheel, " is this: The Jennie Cushman business
comin' on an' empty stummick "
" He — we saw one of them go by," sobbed
** An' that, o course, kinder hove him outer
water, julluk runnin' a craft ashore ; hove him
right aout, I take it, to rememberin' Johns-
town an' Jacob Boiler an' such-like reminis-
cences. Well, consolin' Jason there held him
up a piece, same 's shorin' up a boat. Then,
bein' weak, them props slipped an' slipped, an'
he slided down the ways, an' naow he 's water-
borne agin. That *s haow / sense it."
They decided that Disko was entirely cor-
"'T would ha' bruk Salters all up," said
Long Jack, " if Penn had stayed Jacob Bol-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS^' 195
lerin'. Did ye see his face when Penn asked
who he 'd been charged on all these years ?
How is ut, Salters ? "
" Asleep — dead asleep. Turned in like a
child," Salters replied, tiptoeing aft. " There
won't be no grub till he wakes, natural. Did
ye ever see sech a gift in prayer ? He ever-
lastin'ly hiked young Olley outer the ocean.
Thet 's my belief. Jason was tur'ble praoud
of his boy, an' I mistrusted all along 't was a
jedgment on worshipin' vain idols."
" There 's others jest as sot," said Disko.
"That 's dif'runt," Salters retorted quickly.
" Penn 's not all caulked, an' I ain't only but
doin' my duty by him."
They waited, those hungry men, three hours,
till Penn reappeared with a smooth face and a
blank mind. He said he believed that he had
been dreaming. Then he wanted to know
why they were so silent, and they could not
Disko worked all hands mercilessly for the
next three or four days ; and when they could
not go out, turned them into the hold to stack
the ship's stores into smaller compass, to make
more room for the fish. The packed mass
ran from the cabin partition to the sliding
196 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
door behind the foc'sle stove ; and Disko
showed how there is great art in stowing
caro^o so as to brino- a schooner to her best
draft. The crew were thus kept hvely till
they recovered their spirits ; and Harvey was
tickled with a rope's end by Long Jack for
being, as the Galway man said, ** sorrowful
as a sick cat over fwhat could n't be helped."
He did a great deal of thinking in those
dreary days ; and told Dan what he thought,
and Dan agreed with him — even to the ex-
tent of asking for fried pies instead of hook-
But a week later the two nearly upset the
Hattie S. in a wild attempt to stab a shark
with an old bayonet tied to a stick. The grim
brute rubbed alongside the dory begging for
small fish, and between the three of them it
was a mercy they all got off alive.
At last, after playing blindman's-buff In
the fog, there came a morning when Disko
shouted down the foc'sle: "Hurry, boys!
We 're in taown ! "
TO the end of his days, Harvey will never
forget that sight. The sun was just clear
of the horizon they had not seen for nearly a
week, and his low red light struck into the
ridinof-sails of three fleets of anchored schoon-
ers — one to the north, one to the westward,
and one to the south. There must have been
nearly a hundred of them, of every possible
make and build, with, far away, a square-
rigged Frenchman, all bowing and courtesy-
ing one to the other. From every boat dories
were dropping away like bees from a crowded
hive ; and the clamor of voices, the rattling
of ropes and blocks, and the splash of the oars
carried for miles across the heaving water.
The sails turned all colors, black, pearly-
gray, and white, as the sun mounted ; and
more boats swung up through the mists to
The dories gathered in clusters, separated,
198 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
reformed, and broke again, all heading one
way ; while men hailed and whistled and cat-
called and sang, and the water was speckled
with rubbish thrown overboard.
"It 's a town," said Harvey. "Disko was
right. It is 3. town ! "
" I 've seen smaller," said Disko. " There 's
about a thousand men here ; an' yonder 's the
Virgin." He pointed to a vacant space of
greenish sea, where there were no dories.
The We 're Here skirted round the north-
ern squadron, Disko waving his hand to friend
after friend, and anchored as neatly as a rac-
ing yacht at the end of the season. The Bank
fleet pass good seamanship in silence ; but a
bungler is jeered all along the line.
"Jest in time fer the caplin," cried the
" 'Salt 'most wet? " asked the King Philip.
" Hey, Tom Piatt ! Come t' supper to-
night ? " said the Henry Clay ; and so ques-
tions and answers flew back and forth. Men
had met one another before, dory- fishing in the
fog, and there is no place for gossip like the
Bank fleet. They all seemed to know about
Harvey's rescue, and asked if he were worth his
salt yet. The young bloods jested with Dan,
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 199
who had a lively tongue of his own, and
inquired after their health by the town-nick-
names they least liked. Manuel's country-
men jabbered at him in their own language ;
and even the silent cook was seen riding the
jib-boom and shouting Gaelic to a friend as
black as himself After they had buoyed
the cable — all around the Virgin is rocky
bottom, and carelessness means chafed
ground-tackle and danger from drifting —
after they had buoyed the cable, their dories
went forth to join the mob of boats anchored
about a mile away. The schooners rocked
and dipped at a safe distance, like mother
ducks watching their brood, while the dories
behaved like mannerless ducklings.
As they drove into the confusion, boat
banging boat, Harvey's ears tingled at the
comments on his rowing. Every dialect from
Labrador to Long Island, with Portuguese,
Neapolitan, Lingua Franca, French, and
Gaelic, with songs and shoutings and new
oaths, rattled round him, and he seemed to
be the butt of it all. For the first time
in his life he felt shy — perhaps that came
from living so long with only the We 're
Heres — among the scores of wild faces
200 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
that rose and fell with the reeling small
craft. A gentle, breathing swell, three fur-
longs from trough to barrel, would quietly
shoulder up a string of variously painted
dories. They hung for an instant, a won-
derful frieze against the sky-line, and their
men pointed and hailed. Next moment the
open mouths, waving arms, and bare chests
disappeared, while on another swell came up
an entirely new line of characters like paper
figures in a toy theatre. So Harvey stared.
" Watch out ! " said Dan, flourishing a dip-
net. "When I tell you dip, you dip. The
caplin '11 school any time from naow on.
Where '11 we lay, Tom Piatt?"
Pushing, shoving, and hauling, greeting old
friends here and warning old enemies there,
Commodore Tom Piatt led his little fleet
well to leeward of the general crowd, and
immediately three or four men began to
haul on their anchors with intent to lee-bow
the We 're Heres. But a yell of laughter
went up as a dory shot from her station
with exceeding speed, its occupant pulling
madly on the roding,
" Give her slack ! " roared twenty voices.
"Let him shake it out."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 201
*' What *s the matter ? " said Harvey, as
the boat flashed away to the southward.
** He 's anchored, is n't he ? "
** Anchored, sure enough, but his graound-
tackle 's kinder shifty," said Dan, laughing.
" Whale 's fouled it. . . . Dip, Harve !
Here they come ! "
The sea round them clouded and dark-
ened, and then frizzed up in showers of tiny
silver fish, and over a space of five or six
acres the cod began to leap like trout in
May ; while behind the cod three or four
broad gray-black backs broke the water
Then everybody shouted and tried to haul
up his anchor to get among the school, and
fouled his neighbor's line and said what was
in his heart, and dipped furiously with his
dip-net, and shrieked cautions and advice to
his companions, while the deep fizzed like
freshly opened soda-water, and cod, men,
and whales together flung in upon the luck-
less bait. Harvey was nearly knocked over-
board by the handle of Dan's net. But in all
the wild tumult he noticed, and never forgot,
the wicked, set little eye — something like a
circus elephant's eye — of a whale that drove
202 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
along almost level with the water, and, so he
said, winked at him. Three boats found their
rodings fouled by these reckless mid-sea
hunters, and were towed half a mile ere their
horses shook the line free.
Then the caplin moved off, and five min-
utes later there was no sound except the
splash of the sinkers overside, the flapping
of the cod, and the whack of the muckles
as the men stunned them. It was wonderful
fishing. Harvey could see the glimmering
cod below, swimming slowly in droves, biting
as steadily as they swam. Bank law strictly
forbids more than one hook on one line when
the dories are on the Virgin or the Eastern
Shoals; but so close lay the boats that even
single hooks snarled, and Harvey found him-
self in hot argument with a gentle, hairy
Newfoundlander on one side and a howling
Portuguese on the other.
Worse than any tangle of fishing-lines was
the confusion of the dory-rodings below water.
Each man had anchored where it seemed good
to him, drifting and rowing round his fixed
point. As the fish struck on less quickly,
each man wanted to haul up and get to better
ground; but every third man found himself
IT WAS WONDERFUL FISHING. HARVEY COULD SEE THE GLIM-
MERING COD BELOW, . . . BITING AS STEADILY AS THEY
SWAM. . . . BUT SO CLOSE LAY THE BOATS
THAT EVEN SINGLE HOOKS SNARLED."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 205
intimately connected with some four or five
neighbors. To cut another's roding is crime
unspeakable on the Banks ; yet it was done,
and done without detection, three or four
times that day. Tom Piatt caught a Maine
man in the black act and knocked him over
the gunwale with an oar, and Manuel served
a fellow-countryman in the same way. But
Harvey's anchor-line was cut, and so was
Penn's, and they were turned into relief-boats
to carry fish to the We 're Here as the dories
filled. The caplin schooled once more at
twilight, when the mad clamor was repeated ;
and at dusk they rowed back to dress down
by the light of kerosene-lamps on the edge
of the pen.
It was a huge pile, and they went to sleep
while they were dressing. Next day several
boats fished right above the cap of the Vir-
gin ; and Harvey, with them, looked down on
the very weed of that lonely rock, which rises
to within twenty feet of the surface. The cod
were there in legions, marching solemnly over
the leathery kelp. When they bit, they bit
all together; and so when they stopped.
There was a slack time at noon, and the do-
ries began to search for amusement. It was
2o6 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Dan who sighted the Hope of Prague just
coming up, and as her boats joined the
company they were greeted with the ques-
tion : " Who 's the meanest man in the
Three hundred voices answered cheerily :
" Nick Bra-ady." It sounded like an organ
"Who stole the lamp-wicks?" That was
" Nick Bra-ady," sang the boats.
" Who biled the salt bait fer soup ? " This
was an unknown backbiter a quarter of a
Again the joyful chorus. Now, Brady
was not especially mean, but he had that
reputation, and the Fleet made the most of
it. Then they discovered a man from a
Truro boat who, six years before, had been
convicted of using a tackle with five or six
hooks — a " scrowger," they call it-— on the
Shoals. Naturally, he had been christened
'* Scrowger Jim"; and though he had hidden
himself on the Georges ever since, he found
his honors waiting for him full blown. They
took it up in a sort of fire-cracker chorus:
"Jim! O Jim ! Jim: 6^ Jim! Sssscrowgei'
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 207
Jim!" That pleased everybody. And when
a poetical Beverly man — he had been mak-
ing it up all day, and talked about it for
weeks — sang, "The Carrie Pitman s anchor
does n't hold her for a (ient ! '•' the dories felt
that they were indeed fortunate. Then they
had to ask that Beverly man how he was
off for beans, because even poets must not
have things all their own way. Every
schooner and nearly every man got it in
turn. Was there a careless or dirty cook
anywhere ? The dories sang about him and
his food. Was a schooner badly found?
The Fleet was told at full length. Had a
man hooked tobacco from a messmate ? He
was named in meeting ; the name tossed
from roller to roller. Disko's infallible judg-
ments, Long Jack's market-boat that he had
sold years ago, Dan's sweetheart (oh, but
Dan was an angry boy !), Penn's bad luck
with dory-anchors, Salters's views on manure,
Manuel's little slips from virtue ashore, and
Harvey's ladylike handling of the oar — all
were laid before the public ; and as the fog
fell around them in silvery sheets beneath
the sun, the voices sounded like a bench of
invisible judges pronouncing sentence.
2o8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The dories roved and fished and squab-
bled till a swell underran the sea. Then
they drew more apart to save their sides,
and some one called that if the swell con-
tinued the Virgin would break. A reckless
Galway man with his nephew denied this,
hauled up anchor, and rowed over the very
rock itself. Many voices called them to come
away, while others dared them to hold on.
As the smooth-backed rollers passed to the
southward, they hove the dory high and high
into the mist, and dropped her in ugly, suck-
ing, dimpled water, where she spun round
her anchor, within a foot or two of the hidden
rock. It was playing with death for mere
bravado ; and the boats looked on in uneasy
silence till Long Jack rowed up behind his
countrymen and quietly cut their roding.
" Can't ye hear ut knockin' ? " he cried.
" Pull for your miserable lives ! Pull ! "
The men swore and tried to argue as the
boat drifted ; but the next swell checked a
little, like a man tripping on a carpet. There
was a deep sob and a gathering roar, and
the Virgin flung up a couple of acres of foam-
ing water, white, furious, and ghastly over
the shoal sea. Then all the boats greatly ap-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 209
plauded Long Jack, and the Galway men
held their tongue.
"Ain't it elegant?" said Dan, bobbing like
a young seal at home. " She '11 break about
once every ha'af hour now, 'less the swell
piles up good. What 's her reg'lar time when
she 's at work, Tom Piatt ? "
" Once ivry fifteen minutes, to the tick.
Harve, you 've seen the greatest thing on the
Banks ; an' but for Long Jack you 'd seen
some dead men too."
There came a sound of merriment where
the fog lay thicker and the schooners were
rinofine their bells. A bior bark nosed cau-
tiously out of the mist, and was received with
shouts and cries of, " Come along, darlin',"
from the Irishry.
"Another Frenchman?" said Harvey.
"Hain't you eyes? She 's a Baltimore
boat; goin' in fear an' tremblin'," said Dan.
*' We '11 guy the very sticks out of her. Guess
it 's the fust time her skipper ever met up
with the Fleet this way."
She was a black, buxom, eight-hundred-
ton craft. Her mainsail was looped up, and
her topsail flapped undecidedly in what little
wind was moving. Now a bark is feminine
2IO "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
beyond all other daughters of the sea, and
this tall, hesitating creature, with her white
and gilt figurehead, looked just like a bewil-
dered woman half lifting her skirts to cross a
muddy street under the jeers of bad little
boys. That was very much her situation.
She knew she was somewhere in the neigh-
borhood of the Virgin, had caught the roar of
it, and was, therefore, asking her way. This
is a small part of what she heard from the
dancing dories :
** The Virgin ? Fwhat are you talkin' of?
This is Le Have on a Sunday mornin*. Go
home an' sober up."
" Go home, ye tarrapin ! Go home an' tell
'em we 're comin'."
Half a dozen voices together, in a most
tuneful chorus, as her stern went down with
a roll and a bubble into the troughs: " Thay-
aah — she — strikes ! "
" Hard up ! Hard up fer your life ! You're
on top of her now."
" Daown ! Hard daown ! Let go every-
thing ! "
** All hands to the pumps ! "
" Daown jib an' pole her ! "
Here the skipper lost his temper and said
-'CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 211
things. Instantly fishing was suspended to
answer h'lm, and he heard many curious facts
about his boat and her next port of call. They
asked him if he were insured ; and whence he
had stolen his anchor, because, they said, it
belonged to the Carrie Pitman; they called
his boat a mud-scow, and accused him of
dumping garbage to frighten the fish ; they
offered to tow him and charge it to his wife ;
and one audacious youth slipped almost under
the counter, smacked it with his open palm,
and yelled : " Gid up, Buck ! "
The cook emptied a pan of ashes on him,
and he replied with cod-heads. The bark's
crew fired small coal from the galley, and the
dories threatened to come aboard and "razee"'
her. They would have warned her at once
had she been in real peril ; but, seeing her
well clear of the Virgin, they made the most
of their chances. The fun was spoilt when
the rock spoke again, a half-mile to windward,
and the tormented bark set everything that
would draw and went her ways ; but the dories
felt that the honors lay with them.
All that night the Virgin roared hoarsely ;
and next morning, over an angry, white-
headed sea, Harvey saw the Fleet with flicker-
212 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
ing masts waiting for a lead. Not a dory was
hove out till ten o'clock, when the two Jeraulds
of the Days Eye, imagining a lull which did
not exist, set the example. In a minute half
the boats were out and bobbing in the cockly
swells, but Troop kept the We 're Heres at
work dressing down. He saw no sense in
** dares " ; and as the storm grew that even-
ing they had the pleasure of receiving wet
strangers only too glad to make any refuge
in the gale. The boys stood by the dory-
tackles with lanterns, the men ready to haul,
one eye cocked for the sweeping wave that
would make them drop everything and hold
on for the dear life. Out of the dark would
come a yell of " Dory, dory ! " They would
hook up and haul in a drenched man and a
half-sunk boat, till their decks were littered
down with nests of dories and the bunks were
full. Five times in their watch did Harvey,
with Dan, jump at the fore-gaff where it lay
lashed on the boom, and cling with arms, legs,
and teeth to rope and spar and sodden canvas
as a big wave filled the decks. One dory was
smashed to pieces, and the sea pitched the
man head first on to the decks, cutting his
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 213
forehead open ; and about dawn, when the
racing seas gHmmered white all along their
cold edges, another man, blue and ghastly,
crawled in with a broken hand, asking news
of his brother. Seven extra mouths sat
down to breakfast : a Swede ; a Chatham
skipper; a boy from Hancock, Maine; one
Duxbury, and three Provincetown men.
There was a general sorting out among
the Fleet next day; and though no one said
anything, all ate with better appetites when
boat after boat reported full crews aboard.
Only a couple of Portuguese and an old man
from Gloucester were drowned, but many
were cut or bruised ; and two schooners had
parted their tackle and been blown to the
southward, three days' sail. A man died on
a Frenchman — it was the same bark that
had traded tobacco with the We 're Heres.
She slipped away quite quietly one wet, white
morning, moved to a patch of deep water,
her sails all hanging anyhow, and Harvey
saw the funeral through Disko's spy-glass.
It was only an oblong bundle slid overside.
They did not seem to have any form of ser-
vice, but in the night, at anchor, Harvey
214 "CAPTALNS COURAGEOUS"
heard them across the star-powdered black
water, singing something that sounded Hke
a hymn. It went to a very slow tune.
Qui va tourner,
Roule et s'incline
Oh, Vierge Marie,
Pour moi priez Dieul
Quebec, adieu !
Tom Piatt visited her, because, he said, the
dead man was his brother as a Freemason.
It came out that a wave had doubled the
poor fellow over the heel of the bowsprit
and broken his back. The news spread
like a flash, for, contrary to general custom,
the Frenchman held an auction of the dead
man's kit, — he had no friends at St. Malo
or Miquelon, — and everything was spread
out on the top of the house, from his red
knitted cap to the leather belt with the
sheath-knife at the back. Dan and Harvey
were out on twenty-fathom water in the
Hattie S., and naturally rowed over to join
the crowd. It was a long pull, and they
stayed some little time while Dan bought
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 215
the knife, which had a curious brass handle.
When they dropped overside and pushed
off into a drizzle of rain and a lop of sea, it
occurred to them that they might get into
trouble for neglecting the lines.
" Guess 't won't hurt us any to be warmed
up," said Dan, shivering under his oilskins,
and they rowed on into the heart of a white
fog, which, as usual, dropped on them with-
" There 's too much blame tide hereabouts
to trust to your instinks," he said. " Heave
over the anchor, Harve, and we '11 fish a piece
till the thing lifts. Bend on your biggest lead.
Three pound ain't any too much in this water.
See how she 's tightened on her rodin' already."
There was quite a little bubble at the bows,
where some irresponsible Bank current held
the dory full stretch on her rope ; but they
could not see a boat's length in any direction.
Harvey turned up his collar and bunched
himself over his reel with the air of a wearied
navigator. Fog had no special terrors for
him now. They fished awhile in silence, and
found the cod struck on well. Then Dan
drew the sheath-knife and tested the edge of
it on the gunwale.
2i6 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" That *s a daisy," said Harvey. ** How
did you get it so cheap ? "
" On account o' their blame Cath'Hc super-
stitions," said Dan, jabbing with the bright
blade. "They don't fancy takin' iron frum
off of a dead man, so to speak. 'See them
Arichat Frenchmen step back when I bid ? "
" But an auction ain't taking anything off a
dead man. It 's business."
" We know it ain't, but there 's no goin' in
the teeth o' superstition. That 's one o' the
advantages o' livin' in a progressive country."
And Dan began whistling :
" Oh, Double Thatcher, how are you ?
Now Eastern Point comes inter view.
The girls an' boys we soon shall see,
At anchor off Cape Ann ! "
" Why did n't that Eastport man bid, then ?
He bought his boots. Ain't Maine pro-
gressive ? "
"Maine? Pshaw! They don't know
enough, or they hain't got money enough, to
paint their haouses in Maine. I 've seen 'em.
The Eastport man he told me that the knife
had been used — so the French captain told
him — used up on the French coast last year."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 217
"Cut a man? Heave 's the muckle." Har-
vey hauled in his fish, rebaited, and threw
" Killed him ! Course, when I heard that I
was keener 'n ever to get it."
" Christmas ! I did n't know it," said Har-
vey, turning round. '* I '11 give you a dollar
for it when I — get my wages. Say, I '11 give
you two dollars."
"Honest? D' you like it as much as all
that? " said Dan, flushing. "Well, to tell the
truth, I kinder got it for you — to give ; but I
did n't let on till I saw how you 'd take it.
It 's yours and welcome, Harve, because we 're
dory-mates, and so on and so forth, an' so
followin'. Catch a-holt ! "
He held it out, belt and all.
" But look at here. Dan, I don't see — "
"Take it. 'T ain't no use to me. I wish
you to hev it."
The temptation was irresistible. " Dan,
you 're a white man," said Harvey. " I '11
keep it as long as I live."
"That 's good hearin'," said Dan, with a
pleasant laugh ; and then, anxious to change
the subject: " 'Look 's if your line was fast to
2i8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" Fouled, I guess," said Harve, tugging.
Before he pulled up he fastened the belt
round him, and with deep delight heard the
tip of the sheath click on the thwart. " Con-
cern the thing!" he cried. "She acts as
though she were on strawberry-bottom. It 's
all sand here, ain't it ? "
Dan reached over and gave a judgmatic
tweak. " Holibut '11 act that way 'f he 's
sulky. Thet 's no strawberry-bottom. Yank
her once or twice. She gives, sure. Guess
we 'd better haul up an' make certain."
They pulled together, making fast at each
turn on the cleats, and the hidden weight rose
" Prize, oh ! Haul ! " shouted Dan, but the
shout ended in a shrill, double shriek of hor-
ror, for out of the sea came — the body of the
dead Frenchman buried two days before ! The
hook had caught him under the right armpit,
and he swayed, erect and horrible, head and
shoulders above water. His arms were tied
to his side, and — he had no face. The boys
fell over each other in a heap at the bottom of
the dory, and there they lay while the thing
bobbed alongside, held on the shortened line.
"The tide-'— the tide brought him!" said
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 219
Harvey with quivering lips, as he fumbled at
the clasp of the belt.
"Oh, Lord! Oh, Harve!" groaned Dan,
"be quick. He 's come for it. Let him have
it. Take it off"
" I don't want it ! / don't want it ! " cried
Harvey. " I can't find the bu-buckle."
" Quick, Harve ! He 's on your line ! "
Harvey sat up to unfasten the belt, facing
the head that had no face under its streaming
hair. " He 's fast still," he whispered to Dan,
who slipped out his knife and cut the line, as
Harvey flung the belt far overside. The body
shot down with a plop, and Dan cautiously
rose to his knees, whiter than the fog.
"He come for it. He come for it. I 've
seen a stale one hauled up on a trawl and
I did n't much care, but he come to us special."
"I wish — I wish I had n't taken the knife.
Then he 'd have come on yoiu^ line."
" Dunno as thet would ha' made any differ.
We Ve both scared out o' ten years' growth.
Oh, Harve, did ye see his head ? "
" Did I ? I '11 never foro^et it. But look at
here, Dan ; it could n't have been meant. It
was only the tide."
" Tide ! He come for it, Harve. Why,
220 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
they sunk him six mile to south'ard o' the
Fleet, an' we 're two miles from where she 's
lyin' now. They told me he was weighted
with a fathom an' a half o' chain-cable."
"'Wonder what he did with the knife — up
on the French coast ? "
" Something bad. 'Guess he 's bound to
take it with him to the Judgment, an' so —
What are you doin' with the fish ? "
" Heaving 'em overboard," said Harvey.
"What for? We sha'n't eat 'em."
" I don't care. I had to look at his face
while I was takin' the belt off. You can
keep your catch if you like. I 've no use for
Dan said nothing, but threw his fish over
" Guess it 's best to be on the safe side," he
murmured at last. " I 'd give a month's pay
if this fog 'u'd lift. Things go abaout in a fog
that ye don't see in clear weather — yo-hoes
an' hollerers and such like. I 'm sorter re-
lieved he come the way he did instid o' walkin'.
He might ha' walked."
" Do-on't, Dan! We 're right on top of him
now. 'Wish I was safe aboard, bein' pounded
by Uncle Salters."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 221
"They '11 be lookin' fer us in a little. Gimme
the tooter." Dan took the tin dinner-horn,
but paused before he blew.
** Go on," said Harvey. " I don't want to
stay here all night."
" Question is, haow he 'd take it. There
was a man frum down the coast told me once
he was in a schooner where they darse n't ever
blow a horn to the dories, becaze the skipper
— not the man he was with, but a captain
that had run her five years before — he 'd
drownded a boy alongside in a drunk fit ; an'
ever after, that boy he 'd row alongside too
and shout, ' Dory ! dory ! ' with the rest."
" Dory ! dory ! " a muffled voice cried
through the fog. They cowered again, and
the horn^ dropped from Dan's hand.
"Hold on!" cried Harvey; "it 's the cook."
" Dunno what made me think, o' thet fool
tale, either," said Dan. " It 's the doctor,
" Dan ! Danny ! Oooh, Dan ! Harve !
Harvey ! Oooh, Haarveee ! "
" We 're here," sung both boys together.
They heard oars, but could see nothing till
the cook, shining and dripping, rowed into
222 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
"What iss happened?" said he. "You
will be beaten at home."
" Thet 's what we want. Thet 's what
we 're sufferin' for," said Dan. ." Anything
homey 's good enough fer us. We 've had
kinder depressin' company." As the cook
passed them a line, Dan told him the tale.
" Yess ! He come for hiss knife," was all
he said at the end.
Never had the little rocking We 're Here
looked so deliciously home-like as when the
cook, born and bred in fogs, rowed them
back to her. There was a warm glow of
light from the cabin and a satisfying smell
of food forward, and it was heavenly to
hear Disko and the others, all quite alive
and solid, leaning over the rail and promis-
ing them a first-class pounding. But the
cook was a black master of strategy. He
did not get the dories aboard till he had
given the more striking points of the tale,
explaining as he backed and bumped round
the counter how Harvey was the mascot to
destroy any possible bad luck. So the boys
came overside as rather uncanny heroes, and
every one asked them questions instead of
pounding them for making trouble. Little
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 223
Penn delivered quite a speech on the folly
of superstitions ; but public opinion was
against him and in favor of Long Jack,
who told the most excruciating ghost-stories
till nearly midnight. Under that influence
no one except Salters and Penn said any-
thing about "idolatry" when the cook put
a lighted candle, a cake of flour and water,
and a pinch of salt on a shingle, and floated
them out astern to keep the Frenchman
quiet in case he was still restless. Dan lit
the candle because he had bought the belt,
and the cook o^runted and muttered charms
as long as he could see the ducking point
Said Harvey to Dan, as they turned
in after watch : " How about progress and
Catholic superstitions ? "
" Huh ! I or-uess I 'm as enlig^htened and
progressive as the next man, but when it
comes to a dead St. Malo deck-hand scarin' a
couple o' pore boys stiff fer the sake of
a thirty-cent knife, why, then, the cook can
take hold fer all o' me. I mistrust furriners,
livin' or dead."
Next morning all, except the cook, were
rather ashamed of the ceremonies, and went
224 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
to work double tides, speaking gruffly to one
The We 're Here was racing neck and neck
for her last few loads against the Parry Nor-
man ; and so close was the struggle that the
fleet took sides and betted tobacco. All
hands worked at the lines or dressing-down
till they fell asleep where they stood — begin-
ning before dawn and ending when it was too
dark to see. They even used the cook as
pitcher, and turned Harvey into the hold to
pass salt, while Dan helped to dress down.
Luckily a Parry Norman man sprained his
ankle falling down the foc'sle, and the We We
Heres gained. Harvey could not see how
one more fish could be crammed into her, but
Disko and Tom Piatt stowed and stowed, and
planked the mass down with big stones from
the ballast, and there was always "jest an-
other day's work." Disko did not tell them
when all the salt was wetted. He rolled to
the lazarette aft the cabin and began hauling
out the big mainsail. This was at ten in the
morning. The riding-sail was down and the
main- and topsail were up by noon, and dories
came alongside with letters for home, envy-
ing their good fortune. At last she cleared
DRESSING DOWN ON THE "WE 'RE HERE."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 227
decks, hoisted her flag, — as is the right of
the first boat off the Banks, — up-anchored,
and began to move. Disko pretended that
he wished to accommodate folk who had not
sent in their mail, and so worked her grace-
fully in and out among the schooners. In re-
ality, that was his little triumphant procession,
and for the fifth year running it showed what
kind of mariner he was. Dan's accordion
and Tom Piatt's fiddle supplied the music of
the magic verse you must not sing till all the
salt is wet :
" Hih ! Yih ! Yoho ! Send your letters raound !
All our salt is wetted, an' the anchor 's off the graound !
Bend, oh, bend your mains'l, we 're back to Yankee-
With fifteen hunder' quintal,
An' fifteen hunder' quintal,
'Teen hunder' toppin' quintal,
'Twix' old 'Queereau an' Grand."
The last letters pitched on deck wrapped
round pieces of coal, and the Gloucester men
shouted messapfes to their wives and women-
folk and owners, while the We 're Hej'e fin-
ished the musical ride through the Fleet, her
headsails quivering like a man's hand when
he raises it to say good-by.
228 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Harvey very soon discovered that the
We 're Here, with her riding-sail, strolHng
from berth to berth, and the We 're Here
headed west by south under home canvas,
were two very different boats. There was a
bite and kick to the wheel even in " boy's "
weather ; he could feel the dead weight in the
hold flung forward mightily across the surges,
and the streaming line of bubbles overside
made his eyes dizzy.
Disko kept them busy fiddling with the
sails ; and when those were flattened like a
racing yacht's, Dan had to wait on the big
topsail, which was put over by hand every
time she went about. In spare moments they
pumped, for the packed fish dripped brine,
which does not improve a cargo. But since
there was no fishing, Harvey had time to look
at the sea from another point of view. The
low-sided schooner was naturally on most in-
timate terms with her surroundings. They
saw little of the horizon save when she topped
a swell ; and usually she was elbowing, fidget-
ing, and coaxing her steadfast way through
gray, gray-blue, or black hollows laced across
and across with streaks of shivering foam ; or
rubbing herself caressingly along the flank of
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 229
some bigger water-hill. It was as if she said:
"You would n't hurt me, surely? I 'm only
the little We 're Here'' Then she would slide
away chuckling softly to herself till she was
brought up by some fresh obstacle. The
dullest of folk cannot see this kind of thingr
hour after hour through long days without
noticing it ; and Harvey, being anything but
dull, began to comprehend and enjoy the dry
chorus of wave-tops turning over with a sound
of incessant tearing ; the hurry of the winds
working across open spaces and herding the
purple-blue cloud-shadows ; the splendid up-
heaval of the red sunrise ; the folding and
packing away of the morning mists, wall after
wall withdrawn across the white floors ; the
salty glare and blaze of noon ; the kiss of
rain falling over thousands of dead, flat square
miles ; the chilly blacke^iing of everything at
the day's end ; and the million wrinkles of the
sea under the moonlight, when the jib-boom
solemnly poked at the low stars, and Harvey
went down to get a doughnut from the cook.
But the best fun was when the boys were
put on the wheel together, Tom Piatt within
hail, and she cuddled her lee-rail down to the
crashing blue, and kept a little home-made
230 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
rainbow arching unbroken over" her wind-
lass. Then the jaws of the booms whined
against the masts, and the sheets creaked,
and the sails filled with roaring ; and when
she slid into a hollow she trampled like a wo-
man tripped in her own silk dress, and came
out, her jib wet half-way up, yearning and
peering for the tall twin-lights of Thatcher's
They left the cold gray of the Bank sea,
saw the lumber-ships making for Quebec by
the Straits of St. Lawrence, with the Jersey
salt-brigs from Spain and Sicily ; found a
friendly northeaster off Artimon Bank that
drove them within view of the East light of
Sable Island, — a sight Disko did not linger
over, — and stayed with them past Western
and Le Have, to the northern fringe of
George's. From there they picked up the
deeper water, and let her go merrily.
" Hattie 's pulling on the string," Dan con-
fided to Harvey. " Hattie an' ma. Next
Sunday you '11 be hirin' a boy to throw water
on the windows to make ye go to sleep.
'Guess you '11 keep with us till your folks
come. Do you know the best of gettin*
ashore again ? "
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 231
"Hot bath?" said Harvey. His eyebrows
were all white with dried spray.
"That's good, but a night-shirt's better.
I 've been dreamin' o' night-shirts ever since
we bent our mainsail. Ye can wiggle your
toes then. Ma '11 hev a new one fer me, all
washed soft. It 's home, Harve. It 's home !
Ye can sense it in the air. We 're runnin'
into the aidge of a hot wave naow, an' I can
smell the bayberries. Wonder if we '11 get
in fer supper. Port a trifle."
The hesitating sails flapped and lurched in
the close air as the deep smoothed out, blue
and oily, round them. When they whistled
for a wind only the rain came in spiky rods,
bubbling and drumming, and behind the rain
the thunder and the lightning of mid-August.
They lay on the deck with bare feet and arms,
telling one another what they would order at
their first meal ashore ; for now the land was
in plain sight. A Gloucester swordfish-boat
drifted alongside, a man in the little pulpit on
the bowsprit flourishing his harpoon, his bare
head plastered down with the wet. "And all 's
well ! " he sang cheerily, as though he were
watch on a bio- liner. " Wouverman 's waitino;
fer you, Disko. What 's the news o' the Fleet?"
232 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS '»
Disko shouted it and passed on, while the
wild summer storm pounded overhead and
the lightning flickered along the capes from
four different quarters at once. It gave the
low circle of hills round Gloucester Harbor,
Ten Pound Island, the fish-sheds, with the
broken line of house-roofs, and each spar and
buoy on the water, in blinding photographs
that came and went a ^ozen times to the
minute as the We 're Here crawled in on half-
flood, and the whistling-buoy moaned and
mourned behind her. Then the storm died
out in long, separated, vicious dags of blue-
white flame, followed by a single roar like
the roar of a mortar-battery, and the shaken
air tingled under the stars as it got back to
"The flag, the flag!" said Disko, suddenly,
" What is ut ? " said Long Jack.
"Otto ! Ha'af mast. They can see us
frum shore now."
** I 'd clean forgot. He *s no folk to Glou-
cester, has he ? "
** Girl he was goin' to be married to this
"Mary pity her!" said Long Jack, and
"DORIES CAME ALONGSIDE WITH LETTERS FOR HOME.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 235
lowered the little flag half-mast for the sake
of Otto, swept overboard in a gale off Le
Have three months before.
Disko wiped the wet from his eyes and led
the We *re Here to Wouverman's wharf, giv-
ing his orders in whispers, while she swung
round moored tugs and night-watchmen
hailed her from the ends of inky-black piers.
Over and above the darkness and the mys-
tery of the procession, Harvey could feel the
land close round him once more, with all its
thousands of people asleep, and the smell of
earth after rain, and the familiar noise of
a switching-engine coughing to herself in a
freight-yard ; and all those things made his
heart beat and his throat dry up as he stood
by the foresheet. They heard the anchor-
watch snoring on a lighthouse-tug, nosed
into a pocket of darkness where a lantern
glimmered on either side ; somebody waked
with a grunt, threw them a rope, and they
made fast to a silent wharf flanked with great
iron-roofed sheds full of warm emptiness, and
lay there without a sound.
Then Harvey sat down by the wheel, and
sobbed and sobbed as though his heart would
break, and a tall woman who had been sit-
236 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
ting on a weigh-scale dropped down into
the schooner and kissed Dan once on the
cheek ; for she was his mother, and she had
seen the We 're Here by the lightning flashes.
She took no notice of Harvey till he had re-
covered himself a little and Disko had told
her his story. Then they went to Disko's
house together as the dawn was breaking ;
and until the telegraph office was open and
he could wire to his folk, Harvey Cheyne was
perhaps the loneliest boy in all America. But
the curious thing was that Disko and Dan
seemed to think none the worse of him for
Wouverman was not ready for Disko's
prices till Disko, sure that the We We Here
was at least a week ahead of any other Glou-
cester boat, had given him a few days to
swallow them ; so all hands played about the
streets, and Long Jack stopped the Rocky
Neck trolley, on principle, as he said, till the
conductor let him ride free. But Dan went
about with his freckled nose in the air, bung-
full of mystery and most haughty to his
" Dan, I '11 hev to lay inter you ef you act
this way," said Troop, pensively. " Sence
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 237
we 've come ashore this time you Ve bin a
heap too fresh."
" I 'd lay into him naow ef he was mine,"
said Uncle Salters, sourly. He and Penn
boarded with the Troops.
" Oho ! " said Dan, shuffling with the accor-
dion round the back-yard, ready to leap the
fence if the enemy advanced. " Dad, you 're
welcome to your own jedgment, but remem-
ber I 've warned ye. Your own flesh an'
blood ha' warned ye! 'T ain't any o' viy
fault ef you 're mistook, but I '11 be on deck
to watch ye. An' ez fer yeou, Uncle Salters,
Pharaoh's chief butler ain't in it 'longside o'
you ! You watch aout an' wait. You '11 be
plowed under like your own blamed clover;
but me — Dan Troop — I '11 flourish like a
green bay-tree because / war n't stuck on my
Disko was smoking in all his shore dig-
nity and a pair of beautiful carpet-slippers.
"You 're gettin' ez crazy as poor Harve.
You two go araound gigglin' an' squinchin'
an' kickin' each other under the table till
there *s no peace in the haouse," said he.
" There 's goin' to be a heap less — fer some
folks," Dan replied. ** You wait an' see."
238 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
He and Harvey went out on the trolley to
East Gloucester, where they tramped through
the bayberry bushes to the lighthouse, and
lay down on the big red boulders and laughed
themselves hungry. Harvey had shown Dan
a telegram, and the two swore to keep silence
till the shell burst.
"Harve's folk?" said Dan, with an unruffled
face after supper. " Well, I guess they don't
amount to much of anything, or we 'd ha'
heard frum 'em by naow. His pop keeps a
kind o' store out West. Maybe he '11 give
you 's much as five dollars, dad."
"What did I tell ye? " said Salters. " Don't
sputter over your vittles, Dan."
WHATEVER his private sorrows maybe,
a multimillionaire, like any other work-
ingman, should keep abreast of his business.
Harvey Cheyne, senior, had gone East late
in June to meet a woman broken down, half
mad, who dreamed day and night of her son
drowning in the gray seas. He had sur-
rounded her with doctors, trained nurses,
massage-women, and even faith-cure com-
panions, but they were useless. Mrs. Cheyne
lay still and moaned, or talked of her boy by
the hour together to any one who would
listen. Hope she had none, and who could
offer it ? All she needed was assurance that
drowning did not hurt ; and her husband
watched to guard lest she should make the
experiment. Of his own sorrow he spoke
little — hardly realized the depth of it till he
caught himself asking the calendar on his
writing-desk, "What 's the use of going on ? "
240 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
There had always lain a pleasant notion at
the back of his head that, some day, when he
had rounded off everything and the boy had
left college, he would take his son to his heart
and lead him, into his possessions. Then that
boy, he argued, as busy fathers do, would in-
stantly become his companion, partner, and
ally, and there would follow splendid years
of great works carried out together — the old
head backing the young fire. Now his boy
was dead — lost at sea, as it might have been
a Swede sailor from one of Cheyne's big tea-
ships ; the wife was dying, or worse ; he him-
self was trodden down by platoons of women
and doctors and maids and attendants ; wor-
ried almost beyond endurance by the shift
and change of her poor restless whimsj hope-
less, with no heart to meet his many enemies.
He had taken the wife to his raw new pal-
ace in San Diego, where she and her people
occupied a wing of great price, and Cheyne,
in a veranda-room, between a secretary and
a typewriter, who was also a telegraphist,
toiled along wearily from day to day. There
was a war of rates among four Western rail-
roads in which he was supposed to be inter-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 241
ested ; a devastating strike had developed in
his lumber-camps in Oregon, and the legisla-
ture of the State of California', which has no
love for its makers, was preparing open war
Ordinarily he would have accepted battle
ere it was offered, and have waged a pleasant
and unscrupulous campaign. But now he sat
limply, his soft black hat pushed forward on
to his nose, his big body shrunk inside his
loose clothes, staring at his boots or the Chi-
nese junks in the bay, and assenting absently
to the secretary's questions as he opened the
Cheyne was wondering how much it would
cost to drop everything and pull out. He
carried huge insurances, could buy himself
royal annuities, and between one of his places
in Colorado and a little society (that would
do the wife good), say in Washington and
the South Carolina islands, a man might for-
get plans that had come to nothing. On the
other hand . . .
The click of the typewriter stopped ; the
girl was looking at the secretary, who had
242 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS »'
He passed Cheyne a telegram repeated
from San Francisco:
Picked tip by fishing schooner We 're He7X
haviitg fallen off boat great times on Banks
fishing all well waiting Gloucester Mass care
Disko Troop for money or orders wire what
shall do and how is mama Harvey N,
The father let it fall, laid his head down on
the roller-top of the shut desk, and breathed
heavily. The secretary ran for Mrs. Cheyne's
doctor, who found Cheyne pacing to and fro.
"What — what d' you think of it? Is it
possible? Is there any meaning to it? I
can't quite make it out," he cried.
" I can," said the doctor. *' I lose seven
thousand a year — that's all," He thought
of the struggling New York practice he had
dropped at Cheyne's imperious bidding, and
returned the teleo^ram with a sio^h.
"You mean you 'd tell her? 'May be a
"What 's the motive?" said the doctor,
coolly, " Detection 's too certain. It 's the
boy sure enough."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 243
Enter a French maid, impudently, as an in-
dispensable one who is kept on only by large
** Mrs. Cheyne she say you must come at
once. She think you are seek."
The master of thirty millions bowed his
head meekly and followed Suzanne ; and a
thin, high voice on the upper landing of the
great white-wood square staircase cried:
♦'What is it? What has happened?"
No doors could keep out the shriek that
rang through the echoing house a moment
later, when her husband blurted out the news.
** And that 's all right," said the doctor, se-
renely, to the typewriter. " About the only
medical statement in novels with any truth to
it is that joy don't kill. Miss Kinzey."
" I know it; but we 've a heap to do first."
Miss Kinzey was from Milwaukee, somewhat
direct of speech ; and as her fancy leaned to-
wards the secretary, she divined there was
work in hand. He was looking earnestly at
the vast roller- map of America on the wall.
*' Milsom, we 're going right across. Pri-
vate car — straight through — Boston. Fix
the connections," shouted Cheyne down the
244 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
•♦ I thought SO."
The secretary turned to the typewriter, and
their eyes met (out of that was born a story
— nothing to do with this story). She looked
inquiringly, doubtful of his resources. He
signed to her to move to the Morse as a gen-
eral brings brigades into action. Then he
swept his hand musician-wise through his
hair, regarded the ceiling, and set to work,
while Miss Kinzey's white fingers called up
the Continent of America.
'' K. H. Wade, Los Angeles — The 'Con-
stance ' is at Los Angeles, is n't she. Miss
Kinzey ? "
"Yep." Miss Kinzey nodded between clicks
as the secretary looked at his watch.
"Ready? Send 'Constance' private car,
here, and arrange for special to leave here
Sunday ijt time to connect with New York
Lhnited at Sixteenth Street, Chicago^ Tues-
Click — click — click ! " Could n't you bet-
ter that ? "
" Not on those grades. That gives 'em
sixty hours from here to Chicago. They
won't gain anything by taking a special east
of that. Ready? Also arrange with Lake
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 245
Shore and Michigan Southern to take ' Con-
stance' on New York Central and Hudson
River Buffalo to Albany, and B. and A. the
same A Ibany to Boston. Indispensable I should
reach Boston Wednesday evening. Be sure
nothing prevents. Have also wired Canniff,
Toucey, and Barnes. — Sign, Cheyne."
Miss Kinzey nodded, and the secretary
" Now then. Canniff, Toucey, and Barnes,
of course. Ready ? Canniff^ Chicago. Please
take my private car ' Constance ' fro7n Sa?ita
Fe at Sixteenth Street next Tuesday p. m. on
N. Y. Limited through to Buffalo and deliver
N. Y. Cfor Albany. — Ever bin to N' York,
Miss Kinzey? We'll go some day. — Ready?
Take car Buffalo to Albany on Limited Tues-
day p. m. That 's for Toucey."
" Have n't bin to Noo York, but I know
that ! " with a toss of the head.
" Beg pardon. Now, Boston and Albany,
Barnes, same instructions from Albany
through to Boston. Leave three-five p. m.
(you need n't wire that) ; arrive nine-five p. m.
Wednesday. That covers everything Wade
will do, but it pays to shake up the man-
246 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" It's great," said Miss Kinzey, with a look
of admiration. This was the kind of man she
understood and appreciated.
" 'T is n't bad," said Milsom, modestly.
** Now, any one but me would have lost thirty
hours and spent a week working out the run,
instead of handing him over to the Sante Fe
straight through to Chicago."
" But see here, about that Noo York Lim-
ited. Chauncey Depew himself could n't
hitch his car to her,'' Miss Kinzey suggested,
" Yes, but this is n't Chauncey. It 's Cheyne
— liofhtnino-. It oroes."
o o o
" Even so. Guess we 'd better wire the
boy. You 've forgotten that, anyhow."
" I '11 ask."
When he returned with the father's mes-
sage bidding Harvey meet them in Boston
at an appointed hour, he found Miss Kin-
zey laughing over the keys. Then Milsom
laughed too, for the frantic clicks from Los
Angeles ran : " We want to know why — why
— why? General uneasiness developed and
Ten minutes later Chicago appealed to
Miss Kinzey in these words: '^I/crmie of cen-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 249
iury is maturing please warn friends in time.
We are all getting to cover here.''
This was capped by a message from To-
peka (and wherein Topeka was concerned
even Milsom could not guess): '^ Don t shoot,
Colonel. We ' II come down.''
Cheyne smiled grimly at the consternation
of his enemies when the telegrams were laid
before him. " They think we 're on the war-
path. Tell 'em we don't feel like fighting just
now, Milsom. Tell 'em what we 're going
for. I guess you and Miss Kinzey had better
come along, though it is n't likely I shall do
any business on the road. Tell 'em the truth
— for once."
So the truth was told. Miss Kinzey clicked
in the sentiment while the secretary added the
memorable quotation, " Let us have peace,"
and in board-rooms two thousand miles away
the representatives of sixty-three million dol-
lars' worth of variously manipulated railroad
interests breathed more freely. Cheyne was
flying to meet the only son, so miraculously
restored to him. The bear was seeking his
cub, not the bulls. Hard men who had their
knives drawn to fight for their financial lives
put away the weapons and wished him God-
250 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
speed, while half a dozen panic-smitten tin-pot
roads perked up their heads and spoke of
the wonderful things they would have done
had not Cheyne buried the hatchet.
It was a busy week-end among the wires ;
for, now that their anxiety was removed, men
and cities hastened to accommodate. Los
Angeles called to San Diego and Barstow
that the Southern California engineers might
know and be ready in their lonely round-
houses ; Barstow passed the word to the
Atlantic and Pacific ; and Albuquerque flung
it the whole length of the Atchison, Topeka,
and Santa Fe management, even into Chicago.
An engine, combination-car with crew, and the
great and gilded "Constance" private car
were to be " expedited " over those two thou-
sand three hundred and fifty miles. The train
would take precedence of one hundred and
seventy-seven others meeting and passing ;
despatchers and crews of every one of those
said trains must be notified. Sixteen loco-
motives, sixteen engineers, and sixteen fire-
men would be needed — each and every one
the best available. Two and one half minutes
would be allowed for changing engines, three
for watering, and two for coaling. " Warn the
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 251
men, and arrange tanks and chutes accord-
ingly ; for Harvey Cheyne is in a hurry, a
hurry — a hurry," sang the wires. "Forty
miles an hour will be expected, and division
superintendents will accompany this special
over their respective divisions. From San
Diego to Sixteenth Street, Chicago, let the
magic carpet be laid down. Hurry ! oh,
hurry ! "
" It will be hot," said Cheyne, as they rolled
out of San Diego in the dawn of Sunday.
" We 're going to hurry, mama, just as fast as
ever we can ; but I really don't think there 's
any good of your putting on your bonnet and
gloves yet. You 'd much better lie down and
take your medicine. I 'd play you a game o'
dominoes, but it 's Sunday."
" I '11 be good. Oh, I will be good. Only
— taking off my bonnet makes me feel as if
we 'd never get there."
*' Try to sleep a little, mama, and we '11 be
in Chicago before you know."
" But it 's Boston, father. Tell them to
The six-foot drivers were hammering their
way to San Bernardino and the Mohave
wastes, but this was no grade for speed.
252 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
That would come later. The heat of the
desert followed the heat of the hills as they
turned east to the Needles and the Colorado
River. The car cracked in the utter drouth
and glare, and they put crushed ice to Mrs.
Cheyne's neck, and toiled up the long, long
grades, past Ash Fork, towards Flagstaff,
where the forests and quarries are, under the
dry, remote skies. The needle of the speed-
indicator flicked and wao-aed to and fro ; the
cinders rattled on the roof, and a whirl of dust
sucked after the whirling wheels. The crew
of the combination sat on their bunks, pant-
ing in their shirt-sleeves, and Cheyne found
himself among them shouting old, old stories
of the railroad that every trainman knows,
above the roar of the car. He told them
about his son, and how the sea had given up
its dead, and they nodded and spat and re-
joiced with him ; asked after " her, back
there," and whether she could stand it if the
engineer " let her out a piece," and Cheyne
thought she could. Accordingly, the great
fire-horse was "let out" from Flaestaff to
Winslow, till a division superintendent pro-
But Mrs. Cheyne, in the boudoir state
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 253
room, where the French maid, sallow-white
with fear, clung to the silver door-handle,
only moaned a little and begged her husband
to bid them " hurry." And so they dropped
the dry sands and moon-struck rocks of Ari-
zona behind them, and grilled on till the crash
of the couplings and the wheeze of the brake-
hose told them they were at Coolidge by the
Three bold and experienced men — cool,
confident, and dry when they began ; white,
quivering, and wet when they finished their
trick at those terrible wheels — swung her
over the great lift from Albuquerque to Glo-
rietta and beyond Springer, up and up to the
Raton Tunnel on the State line, whence they
dropped rocking into La Junta, had sight of
the Arkansaw, and tore down the long slope
to Dodge City, where Cheyne took comfort
once again froin setting his watch an hour
There was very little talk in the car. The
secretary and typewriter sat together on
the stamped Spanish-leather cushions by the
plate-glass observation-window at the rear
end, watching the surge and ripple of the ties
crowded back behind them, and, it is believed,
254 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
making notes of the scenery. Cheyne moved
nervously between his own extravagant gor-
geousness and the naked necessity of the
combination, an unht cigar in his teeth, till
the pitying crews forgot that he was their
tribal enemy, and did their best to enter-
At night the bunched electrics lit up that
distressful palace of all the luxuries, and they
fared sumptuously, swinging on through the
emptiness of abject desolation. Now they
heard the swish of a water-tank, and the gut-
tural voice of a Chinaman, the clink-clink of
hammers that tested the Krupp steel wheels,
and the oath of a tramp chased off the rear-
platform ; now the solid crash of coal shot
into the tender ; and now a beating back
of noises as they flew past a waiting train.
Now they looked out into great abysses, a
trestle purring beneath their tread, or up to
rocks that barred out half the stars. Now
scaur and ravine changed and rolled back to
jagged mountains on the horizon's edge, and
now broke into hills lower and' lower, till at
last came the true plains.
At Dodge City an unknown hand threw in
a copy of a Kansas paper containing some
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 255
sort of an interview with Harvey, who had
evidently fallen in with an enterprising re-
porter, telegraphed on from Boston. The
joyful journalese revealed that it was beyond
question their boy, and it soothed Mrs, Cheyne
for a while. Her one word " hurry " was con-
veyed by the crews to the engineers at Nick-
erson, Topeka, and Marceline, where the
grades are easy, and they brushed the Con-
tinent behind them. Towns and villages
were close together now, and a man could
feel here that he moved among people.
** I can't see the dial, and my eyes ache so.
What are we doing ? "
" The very best we can, mama. There 's
no sense in getting in before the Limited.
We 'd only have to wait."
" I don't care. I want to feel we 're mov-
ing. Sit down and tell me the miles."
Cheyne sat down and read the dial for her
(there were some miles which stand for rec-
ords to this day), but the seventy-foot car
never changed its long steamer-like roll, mov-
ing through the heat with the hum of a giant
bee. Yet the speed was not enough for Mrs.
Cheyne ; and the heat, the remorseless Au-
gust heat, was making her giddy ; the clock-
256 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
hands would not move, and when, oh, when
would they be in Chicago ?
It is not true that, as they changed en-
gines at Fort Madison, Cheyne passed over
to the Amalgamated Brotherhood of Loco-
motive Enorineers an endowment sufficient to
enable them to fight him and his fellows on
equal terms for evermore. He paid his obli-
gations to engineers and firemen as he be-
lieved they deserved, and only his bank
knows what he gave the crews who had sym-
pathized with him. It is on record that the
last crew took entire charge of switching
operations at Sixteenth Street, because "she"
was in a doze at last, and Heaven was to help
any one who bumped her.
Now the highly paid specialist who conveys
the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Lim-
ited from Chicago to Elkhart is something of
an autocrat, and he does not approve of being
told how to back up to a car. None the less
he handled the "Constance" as if she might
have been a load of dynamite, and when the
crew rebuked him, they did it in whispers
and dumb show.
" Pshaw ! " said the Atchison, Topeka, and
Santa Fe men, discussing life later, "we were
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 257
n't runnin' for a record. Harvey Cheyne's
wife, she were sick back, an' we did n't want
to jounce her. 'Come to think of it, our run-
nin' time from San Diecro to Chicago was
57.54. You can tell that to them Eastern
way-trains. When we 're tryin' for a record,
we '11 let you know."
To the Western man (though this would
not please either city) Chicago and Boston
are cheek by jowl, and some railroads en-
courage the delusion. The Limited whirled
the "Constance" into Buffalo and the arms
of the New York Central and Hudson River
(illustrious magnates with white whiskers and
gold charms on their watch-chains boarded
her here to talk a little business to Cheyne),
who slid her gracefully into Albany, where
the Boston and Albany completed the run
from tide-water to tide-water — total time,
eighty-seven hours and thirty-five minutes,
or three days, fifteen hours and one half
Harvey was waiting for them.
After violent emotion most people and all
boys demand food. They feasted the returned
prodigal behind drawn curtains, cut off in
their great happiness, while the trains roared
258 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
in and out around them. Harvey ate, drank, and
enlarged on his adventures all in one breath,
and when he had a hand free his mother
fondled it. His voice was thickened with liv-
ing in the open, salt air; his palms were rough
and hard, his wrists dotted with the marks of
gurry-sores ; and a fine full flavor of cod-fish
hung round rubber boots and blue jersey.
The father, well used to judging men,
looked at him keenly. He did not know
what enduring harm the boy might have
taken. Indeed, he caught himself thinking
that he knew very little whatever of his son ;
but he distinctly remembered an unsatisfied,
dough-faced youth who took delight in "call-
ing down the old man " and reducing his mo-
ther to tears — such a person as adds to the
gaiety of public rooms and hotel piazzas,
where the ingenuous young of the wealthy
play with or revile the bell-boys. But this
well set-up fisher-youth did not wriggle,
looked at him with eyes steady, clear, and
unflinching, and spoke in a tone distinctly,
even startlingly, respectful. There was that
in his voice, too, which seemed to promise that
the change might be permanent, and that the
new Harvey had come to stay.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 259
" Some one *s been coercing him," thought
Cheyne. " Now Constance would never have
allowed that. Don't see as Europe could have
done it any better."
** But why did n't you tell this man, Troop,
who you were ? " the mother repeated, when
Harvey had expanded his story at least twice.
** Disko Troop, dear. The best man that
ever walked a deck. I don't care who the
** Why did n't you tell him to put you
ashore ? You know papa would have made
it up to him ten times over."
*' I know it ; but he thought I was crazy.
I 'm afraid I called him a thief because I
could n't find the bills in my pocket."
** A sailor found them by the flagstaff that
— that night," sobbed Mrs. Cheyne.
"That explains it, then. I don't blame
Troop any. I just said I would n't work —
on a Banker, too — and of course he hit me
on the nose, and oh ! I bled like a stuck hog."
** My poor darling ! They must have
abused you horribly."
" Dunno quite. Well, after that, I saw a
Cheyne slapped his leg and chuckled. This
26o "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
was going to be a boy after his own hungry
heart. He had never seen precisely that twin-
kle in Harvey's eye before.
" And the old man gave me ten and a half
a month ; he 's paid me half now ; and I took
hold with Dan and pitched right in. I can't
do a man's work yet. But I can handle a dory
'most as well as Dan, and I don't get rattled
In a fog — much ; and I can take my trick in
light winds — that 's steering, dear — and I
can 'most bait up a trawl, and I know my
ropes, of course ; and I can pitch fish till the
cows come home, and I 'm great on old
Josephus, and I '11 show you how I can clear
coffee with a piece of fish-skin, and — I think
I '11 have another cup, please. Say, you 've no
notion what a heap of work there is in ten and
a half a month 1 "
" I began with eight and a half, my son,"
"'That so? You never told me, sir."
" You never asked, Harve. I '11 tell you
about it some day, if you care to listen. Try
a stuffed olive."
*' Troop says the most interesting thing in
the world is to find out how the next man
gets his vittles. It 's great to have a trimmed-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 261
up meal again. We were well fed, though.
Best mug on the Banks. Disko fed us first-
class. He 's a great man. And Dan — that's
his son — Dan 's my partner. And there 's
Uncle Salters and his manures, an' he reads
Josephus. He 's sure I 'm crazy yet. And
there 's poor little Penn, and he is crazy. You
must n't talk to him about Johnstown, be-
cause — And, oh, you must know Tom Piatt
and Long Jack and Manuel. Manuel saved
my life. I 'm sorry he 's a Portugee. He
can't talk much, but he 's an everlasting mu-
sician. He found me struck adrift and drift-
ing, and hauled me in."
" I wonder your nervous system is n't com-
pletely wrecked," said Mrs. Cheyne.
"What for, mama? ^I worked like a horse
and^I ate like a hog and I slept like a dead
That was too much for Mrs. Cheyne, who
began to think of her visions of a corpse rock-
ing on the salty seas. She went to her state-
room, and Harvey curled up beside his father,
explaining his indebtedness.
" You can depend upon me to do every-
thing I can for the crowd, Harve. They seem
to be good men on your showing."
262 ** CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS '»
" Best in the fleet, sir. Ask at Gloucester,"
said Harvey. " But Disko believes still he '3
cured me of being crazy. Dan 's the only
one I Ve let on to about you, and our private
cars and all the rest of it, and I 'm not quite
sure Dan believes. I want to paralyze 'em
to-morrow. Say, can't they run the ' Con-
stance' over to Gloucester? Mama don't
look fit to be moved, anyway, and we 're
bound to finish cleaning out by to-morrow.
Wouverman takes our fish. You see, we 're
first off the Banks this season, and it 's four
twenty-five a quintal. We held out till he
paid it. They want it quick."
" You mean you '11 have to work to-mor-
row, then ? "
" I told Troop I would. I 'm on the scales.
've brought the tallies with me." He looked
at the greasy notebook with an air of impor-
\tance that made his father choke. " There
is n't but three — no — two ninety-four or five
quintal more by my reckoning."
" Hire a substitute," suggested Cheyne, to
see what Harvey would say.
"Can't, sir. I 'm tally-man for the schooner.
Troop says I 've a better head for figures than
Dan. Troop 's a mighty just man."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 263
"Well, suppose I don't move the 'Con-
stance' to-night, how '11 you fix it?"
Harvey looked at the clock, which marked
twenty past eleven.
"Then I '11 sleep here till three and catch
the four o'clock freight. They let us men
from the Fleet ride free as a rule."
"That 's a notion. But I think we can
get the ' Constance ' around about as soon
as your men's freight. Better go to bed
Harvey spread himself on the sofa, kicked
off his boots, and was asleep before his father
could shade the electrics. Cheyne sat watch-
ing the young face under the shadow of the
arm thrown over the forehead, and among
many things that occurred to him was the
notion that he might perhaps have been neg-
lectful as a father.
" One never knows when one *s taking
one 's biggest risks," he said. " It might
have been worse than drowning ; but I don't
think it has — I don't think it has. If it
has n't, I have n't enough to pay Troop, that 's
all ; and I don't think it has."
Morning brought a fresh sea breeze through
the windows, the "Constance" was side-tracked
264 *' CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
among freight-cars at Gloucester, and Harvey
had gone to his business.
"Then he '11 fall overboard again and be
drowned," the mother said bitterly.
" We '11 go and look, ready to throw him
a rope in case. You 've never seen him
working for his bread," said the father.
" What nonsense ! As if any one ex-
pected — "
"Well, the man that hired him did. He *s
about right, too."
They went down between the stores full of
fishermen's oilskins to Wouverman's wharf,
where the We 're Here rode high, her Bank
flag still flying, all hands busy as beavers in
the glorious morning light. Disko stood by
the main hatch superintending Manuel, Penn,
and Uncle Salters at the tackle. Dan' was
swinging the loaded baskets inboard as Long
Jack and Tom Piatt filled them, and Harvey,
with a notebook, represented the skipper's
interests before the clerk of the scales on the
"Ready ! " cried the voices below. " Haul ! "
cried Disko. " Hi ! " said Manuel. " Here ! "
said Dan, swinging the basket. Then they
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 2&1,
heard Harvey's voice, clear and fresh, check-
inor the weig-hts.
The last of the fish had been whipped out,
and Harvey leaped from the string-piece six
feet to a ratline, as the shortest way to hand
Disko the tally, shouting, " Two ninety-seven,
and an empty hold ! "
" What 's total, Harve ? " said Disko.
" Eight sixty-five. Three thousand six
hundred and seventy-six dollars and a. quar-
ter. 'Wish 1 'd share as well as wage."
'* W^ell, I won't go so far as to say you
hev n't deserved it, Harve. Don't you want
to slip up to Wouverman's office and take
him our tallies ? "
" Who 's that boy ? " said Cheyne to Dan,
well used to all manner of questions from
those idle imbeciles called summer boarders.
"Well he 's a kind o' supercargo," was
the answer. "We picked him up struck
adrift on the Banks. Fell overboard from a
liner, he sez. He was a passenger. He 's
by way o' bein' a fisherman now."
" Is he worth his keep ? "
" Ye-ep. Dad, this man wants to know
ef Harve 's worth his keep. Say, would you
266 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
like to go aboard ? We '11 fix a ladder for
** I should very much, indeed. 'T won't
hurt you, mama, and you '11 be able to see for
The woman who could not lift her head a
week ago scrambled down the ladder, and
stood aghast amid the mess and tangle aft.
" Be you anyways interested in Harve ? "
" He 's a good boy, an' ketches right hold
jest as he 's bid. You 've heard haow we
found him ? He was sufferin' from nervous
prostration, I guess, 'r else his head had hit
somethin', when we hauled him aboard. He 's
all over that naow. Yes, this is the cabin.
'T ain't anyways in order, but you 're quite
welcome to look around. Those are his
figures on the stove-pipe, where we ke6p the
** Did he sleep here ? " said Mrs. Cheyne,
sitting on a yellow locker and surveying the
"No. He berthed forward, madam, an'
only fer him an' my boy hookin' fried pies an'
muggin' up when they ought to ha' been
«* CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 267
asleep, I dunno as I 've any special fault to
find with him."
" There were n't nothin' wrong with Harve,"
said Uncle Salters, descending the steps. "He
hung my boots on the main-truck, and he ain't
over an' above respectful to such as knows
more 'n he do, specially about farmin' ; but he
were mostly misled by Dan."
Dan in the meantime, profiting by dark
hints from Harvey early that morning, was
executing a war-dance on deck. *'Tom,
Tom ! " he whispered down the hatch. ** His
folks has come, an' dad hain't caught on yet,
an' they 're pow-wowin' in the cabin. She 's
a daisy, an' he 's all Harve claimed he was, by
the looks of him."
"Howly Smoke!" said Long Jack, climbing
out covered with salt and fish-skin. " D' ye
belave his tale av the kid an' the little four-
horse rig was thrue ? "
" I knew it all along," said Dan. " Come
an' see dad mistook in his judgments."
They came delightedly, just in time to hear
Cheyne say: " I 'm glad he has a good char-
acter, because — he 's my son."
Disko's jaw fell, — Long Jack always
vowed that he heard the click of it, — and
268 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
he Stared alternately at the man and the
" I got his telegram in San Diego four days
ago, and we came over."
"In a private car?" said Dan. "He said
"In a private car, of course."
Dan looked at his father with a hurricane
of irreverent winks.
" There was a tale he tould us av drivin'
four little ponies in a rig av his own," said
Long Jack. " Was that thrue now ? "
"Very likely," said Cheyne. "Was it,
" He had a little drag when we were in
Toledo, I think," said the mother.
Long Jack whistled. " Oh, Disko ! " said
he, and that was all.
"I wuz — I am mistook in my jedgments
— worse 'n the men o' Marblehead," said
Disko, as though the words were being wind-
lassed out of him. " I don't mind ownin' to
you, Mister Cheyne, as I mistrusted the boy
to be crazy. He talked kinder odd about
" So he told me."
"Did he tell ye anything else? 'Cause
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 269
I pounded him once." This with a somewhat
anxious glance at Mrs. Cheyne.
•*Oh, yes," Cheyne replied. "I should say
it probably did him more good than anything
else in the world."
" I jedged 't wuz necessary, er I would n't
ha' done it. I don't want you to think we
abuse our boys any on this packet."
" I don't think you do, Mr. Troop."
Mrs. Cheyne had been looking at the faces
— Disko's ivory-yellow, hairless, iron coun-
tenance; Uncle Salters's, with its rim of agri-
cultural hair; Penn's bewildered simplicity;
Manuel's quiet smile ; Long Jack's grin o(
delight, and Tom Piatt's scar. Rough, by
her standards, they certainly were ; but she
had a mother's wits in her eyes, and she rose
with outstretched hands.
" Oh, tell me, which is who ? " said she,
half sobbing. " I want to thank you and bless
you — all of you."
*' Faith, that pays me a hunder time," said
Disko introduced them all in due form.
The captain of an old-time Chinaman could
have done no better, and Mrs. Cheyne bab-
bled incoherently. She nearly threw herself
270 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
into Manuel's arms when she understood that
he had first found Harvey.
" But how shall I leave him dreeft ? " said
poor Manuel. *' What do you yourself if you
find him so ? Eh, wha-at ? We are in one
good boy, and I am ever so pleased he come
to be your son."
" And he told me Dan was his partner ! "
she cried. Dan was already sufficiently pink,
but he turned a rich crimson when Mrs.
Cheyne kissed him on both cheeks before the
assembly. Then they led her forward to show
her the foc'sle, at which she wept again, and
must needs go down to see Harvey's identical
bunk, and there she found the nigger cook
cleaning up the stove, and he nodded as
though she were some one he had expected
to meet for years. They tried, two at a time,
to explain the boat's daily life to her, and she
sat by the pawl-post, her gloved hands on
the greasy table, laughing with trembling lips
and crying with dancing eyes.
** And who 's ever to use the We 're Here
after this ? " said Long Jack to Tom Piatt.
'• I feel it as if she 'd made a cathedral av
" Cathedral ! " sneered Tom Piatt. " Oh,
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 271
ef it had bin even the Fish C'mmission boat
instid o' this bally-hoo o' blazes. Ef we
only hed some decency an' order an' side-
boys when she goes over ! She '11 have to
climb that ladder like a hen, an' we — we
ought to be mannin' the yards ! "
"Then Harvey was 7iot mad," said Penn,
slowly, to Cheyne.
"No, indeed — thank God," the big mil-
lionaire replied, stooping down tenderly.
" It must be terrible to be mad. Except
to lose your child, I do not know anything
more terrible. But your child has come back ?
Let us thank God for that."
" Hello ! " said Harvey, looking down upon
them benignly from the wharf.
" I wuz mistook, Harve. I wuz mistook,"
said Disko, swiftly, holding up a hand. " I
wuz mistook in my jedgments. Ye need n't
rub it in any more."
" Guess I '11 take care o' that," said Dan,
under his breath.
" You '11 be goin' off naow, won't ye ? "
"Well, not without the balance of my
wages, 'less you want to have the We We Here
'• Thet 's so ; I 'd clean forgot " ; and he
272 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
counted out the remaining dollars. " You
done all you contracted to do, Harve; and
you done it 'baout 's well as ef you 'd been
brought up — " Here Disko brought himself
up. He did not quite see where the sentence
was going to end.
" Outside of a private car ? " suggested Dan,
" Come on, and I '11 show her to you," said
Cheyne stayed to talk to Disko, but the
others made a procession to the depot, with
Mrs. Cheyne at the head. The French maid
shrieked at the invasion ; and Harvey laid
the glories of the "Constance" before them
without a word. They took them in in equal
silence — stamped leather, silver door-handles
and rails, cut velvet, plate-glass, nickel, bronze,
hammered iron, and the rare woods of the
" I told you," said Harvey ; " I told you."
This was his crowning revenge, and a most
Mrs. Cheyne decreed a meal ; and that no-
thing might be lacking to the tale Long Jack
told afterwards in his boarding-house, she
waited on them herself. Men who are ac-
MRS. CHEYNE INTRODUCES THE CREW OF THE "WE 'RE HERE"
TO THE "CCJNSTANXE."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 275
customed to eat at tiny tables in howling
gales have curiously neat and finished table-
manners ; but Mrs. Cheyne, who did not
know this, was surprised. She longed to
have Manuel for a butler; so silently and
easily did he comport himself among the frail
glassware and dainty silver. Tom Piatt re-
membered great days on the Ohio and the
manners of foreign potentates who dined with
the officers ; and Long Jack, being Irish,
supplied the small talk till all were at their
In the We 're Heres cabin the fathers took
stock of each other behind their cigars.
Cheyne knew well enough when he dealt
with a man to whom he could not offer
money ; equally well he knew that no money
could pay for what Disko had done. He
kept his own counsel and waited for an open-
*' I hev n't done anything to your boy or
fer your boy excep' make him work a piece
an' learn him how to handle the hog-yoke,"
said Disko. *' He has twice my boy's head
" By the way," Cheyne answered casually.
" what d' you calculate to make of your boy?"
276 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Disko removed his cigar and waved it com-
prehensively round the cabin. *' Dan 's jest
plain boy, an' he don't allow me to do any
of his thinkin'. He '11 hev this able little
packet when I 'm laid by. He ain't no-
ways anxious to quit the business. I know
" Mmm ! 'Ever been West,' Mr. Troop ? "
"'Bin 's fer ez Noo York once in a boat.
I 've no use for railroads. No more hez Dan.
Salt water 's good enough fer the Troops.
I 've been 'most everywhere — in the nat'ral
way, o' course."
" I can give him all the salt water he 's
likely to need — till he 's a skipper."
" Haow 's that? I thought you wuz a
kinder railroad king. Harve told me so when
— I was mistook in my jedgments."
" We 're all apt to be mistaken. I fancied
perhaps you might know I own a line of tea-
clippers — San Francisco to Yokohama — six
of 'em — -iron-built, about seventeen hundred
and eighty tons apiece."
" Blame that boy ! He never told. I 'd
ha' listened to that, instid o' his truck abaout
railroads an' pony-carriages."
** He did n't know."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 277
" 'Little thing like that slipped his mind, 1
"No, I only capt — took hold of the 'Blue
M.' freighters — Morgan and McQuade's old
line — this summer."
Disko collapsed where he sat, beside the
" Great Caesar Almighty ! I mistrust I Ve
bin fooled from one end to the other. Why,
Phil Airheart he went from this very town
six year back — no, seven — an' he 's mate
on the San Jose now — twenty-six days was
her time out. His sister she 's livin' here
yet, an' she reads his letters to my woman.
An' you own the ' Blue M.' freighters? "
" If I 'd known that I 'd ha' jerked the
We 're Here back to port all standin', on the
" Perhaps that would n't have been so good
" Ef I 'd only known ! Ef he 'd only said
about the cussed Line, I 'd ha' understood !
I '11 never stand on my own jedgments again
— never. They 're well-found packets. Phil
Airheart he says so."
" I 'm glad to have a recommend from that
278 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
quarter. Airheart 's skipper of the San Jose
now. What I was getting at is to know
whether you 'd lend me Dan for a year or
two, and we '11 see if we can't make a mate
of him. Would you trust him to Airheart ? "
" It 's a resk taking a raw boy — "
" I know a man who did more for me."
"That 's diff'runt. Look at here naow, I
ain't recommendin' Dan special because he 's
my own flesh an' blood. / know Bank ways
ain't clipper ways, but he hain't much to learn.
Steer he can — no boy better, ef / say it —
an' the rest 's in our blood an' get ; but I
could wish he war n't so cussed weak on
"Airheart will attend to that. He '11 ship
as a boy for a voyage or two, and then we
can put him in the way of doing better.
Suppose you take him in hand this winter,
and I '11 send for him early in the spring. I
know the Pacific 's a long ways off — "
" Pshaw ! We Troops, livin' an' dead, are
all around the earth an' the seas thereof."
"But I want you to understand — and I
mean this — any time you think you 'd like
to see him, tell me, and I '11 attend to the
transportation. 'T won't cost you a cent."
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 279
" Ef you '11 walk a piece with me, we '11
go to my house an' talk this to my woman.
I Ve bin so crazy mistook in all my jedg-
ments, it don't seem to me this was like to
They went over to Troop's eighteen-hun-
dred-dollar, blue-trimmed white house, with a
retired dory full of nasturtiums in the front
yard and a shuttered parlor which was a mu-
seum of oversea plunder. There sat a large
woman, silent and grave, with the dim eyes
of those who look long to sea for the return
of their beloved. Cheyne addressed himself
to her, and she gave consent wearily.
*' We lose one hundred a year from Glou-
cester only, Mr. Cheyne," she said — "one
hundred boys an' men ; and I 've come so 's
to hate the sea as if 't wuz alive an' listenin'.
God never made it fer humans to anchor on.
These packets o' yours they go straight out,
I take it, and straight home again ? "
"As straight as the winds let 'em, and I
give a bonus for record passages. Tea don't
improve by being at sea."
"When he wuz little he used to play at
keeping store, an' I had hopes he might fol-
low that up. But soon 's he could paddle a
28o "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
dory I knew that were goin' to be denied
"They 're square-riggers, mother; iron-
built an' well found. Remember what Phil's
sister reads you when she gits his letters."
'• I Ve never known as Phil told lies, but
he 's too venturesome (like most of 'em that
use the sea). Ef Dan sees fit, Mr. Cheyne,
he can go — fer all o' me."
" She jest despises the ocean," Disko ex-
plained, " an' I — I dunno haow to act polite,
I guess, er I 'd thank you better."
" My father — my own eldest brother — two
nephews — an' my second sister's man," she
said, dropping her head on her hand. "Would
you care fer any one that took all those ? "
Cheyne was relieved when Dan turned up
and accepted with more delight than he was
able to put into words. Indeed, the offer
meant a plain and sure road to all desirable
things ; but Dan thought most of command-
ing watch on broad decks, and looking into
Mrs. Cheyne had spoken privately to the
unaccountable Manuel in the matter of Har-
vey's rescue. He seemed to have no desire for
money. Pressed hard, he said that he would
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 281
take five dollars, because he wanted to buy
something for a girl. Otherwise — "How
shall I take money when I make so easy my
eats and smokes ? You will giva some if
I like or no ? Eh, wha-at ? Then you shall
giva me money, but not that way. You shall
giva all you can think." He introduced her to
a snuffy Portuguese priest with a list of semi-
destitute widows as long as his cassock. As
a strict Unitarian, Mrs. Cheyne could not
sympathize with the creed, but she ended by
respecting the brown, voluble little man.
Manuel, faithful son of the Church, appro-
priated all the blessings showered on her for
her charity. "That letta me out," said he.
'* I have now ver' good absolutions for six
months" ; and he strolled forth to get a hand-
kerchief for the girl of the hour and to break
the hearts of all the others.
Salters went West for a season with Penn,
and left no address behind. He had a dread
that these millionary people, with wasteful
private cars, might take undue interest in his
companion. It was better to visit inland rel-
atives till the coast was clear. " Never you
be adopted by rich folk, Penn," he said in the
cars, " or I '11 take 'n' break this checker-board
282 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
over your head. Ef you forgit your name
agin — which is Pratt — you remember you
belong with Salters Troop, an' set down right
where you are till I come fer you. Don't go
taggin* araound after them whose eyes bung
out with fatness, accordin' to Scripcher."
BUT it was otherwise with the We 're
Heres silent cook, for he came up, his
kit in a handkerchief, and boarded the *' Con-
stance." Pay was no particular object, and
he did not in the least care where he slept.
His business, as revealed to him in dreams,
was to follow Harvey for the rest of his days.
They tried argument and, at last, persuasion ;
but there is a difference between one Cape
Breton and two Alabama negroes, and the
matter was referred to Cheyne by the cook
and porter. The millionaire only laughed.
He presumed Harvey might need a body-
servant some day or other, and was sure that
one volunteer was worth five hirelings. Let
the man stay, therefore ; even though he called
himself MacDonald and swore in Gaelic.
The car could go back to Boston, where, if
he were still of the same mind, they would
take him West. '^
284 '^CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
With the " Constance," which in his heart
of hearts he loathed, departed the last rem-
nant of Cheyne's millionaircdom, and he gave
himself up to an energetic idleness. This
Gloucester was a new town in a new land,
and he purposed to "take it in," as of old he
had taken in all the cities from Snohomish to
San Dieofo of that world whence he hailed.
They made money along the crooked street
which was half wharf and half ship's store:
as a leading professional he wished to learn
how the noble game was played. Men said
that four out of every five fish-balls served at
New England's Sunday breakfast came from
Gloucester, and overwhelmed him with figures
in proof — statistics of boats, gear, wharf-
frontage, capital invested, salting, packing,
factories, insurance, wages, repairs, and prof-
its. He talked with the owners of the large
fleets whose skippers were little more than
hired men, and whose crews were almost all
Swedes or Portuguese. Then he conferred
with Disko, one of the few who owned their
craft, and compared notes in his vast head.
He coiled himself away on chain-cables in
marine junk-shops, asking questions with
cheerful, unslaked Western curiosity, till all
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 285
the water-front wanted to know "what in
thunder that man was after, anyhow." He
prowled into the Mutual Insurance rooms,
and demanded explanations of the mysterious
remarks chalked up on the blackboard day by
day ; and that brought down upon him secre-
taries of every Fisherman's Widow and Or-
phan Aid Society within the city limits. They
begged shamelessly, each man anxious to beat
the other institution's record, and Cheyne
tugged at his beard and handed them all over
to Mrs. Cheyne.
She was resting in a boarding-house near
Eastern Point — a strange establishment,
managed, apparently, by the boarders, where
the table-cloths were red-and-white-check-
ered, and the population, who seemed to
have known one another intimately for years,
rose up at midnight to make Welsh rarebits
if it felt hungry. On the second morning of
her stay Mrs. Cheyne put away her diamond
solitaires before she came down to breakfast.
"They 're most delightful people," she con-
fided to her husband ; " so friendly and sim-
ple, too, though they are all Boston, nearly."
"That is n't simpleness, mama," he said,
looking across the boulders behind the apple-
286 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
trees where the hammocks were slung". " It 's
the other thing, that we — that I have n't got."
" It can't be," said Mrs. Cheyne, quietly.
"There is n't a woman here owns a dress
that cost a hundred dollars. Why, we — "
"I know it, dear. We have — of course
we have. I guess it 's only the style they
wear East. Are you having a good time ? "
" I don't see very much of Harvey ; he 's
always with you ; but I ain't near as nervous
as I was."
"/ have n't had such a good time since
Willie died. I never rightly understood that
I had a son before this. Harve 's got to be a
great boy. 'Anything I can fetch you, dear ?
'Cushion under your head ? Well, we '11
go down to the wharf again and look
Harvey was his father's shadow in those
days, and the two strolled along side by .side,
Cheyne using the grades as an excuse for
laying his hand on the boy's square shoulder.
It was then that Harvey noticed and admired
what had never struck him before — his father's
curious power of getting at the heart of new
matters as learned from men in the street.
" How d' you make 'em tell you everything
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 287
without Opening your head ? " demanded the
son, as they came out of a rigger's loft.
" I 've dealt with quite a few men in my
time, Harve, and one sizes 'em up somehow,
I guess. I know something about myself, too."
Then, after a pause, as they sat down on a
wharf-edge : " Men can 'most always tell
when a man has handled things for himself,
and then they treat him as one of themselves."
" Same as they treat me down at Wouver-
man's wharf I 'm one of the crowd now.
Disko has told every one I 've earned my
pay." Harvey spread out his hands and
rubbed the palms together. " They 're all
soft again," he said dolefully.
" Keep 'em that way for the next few
years, while you 're getting your education.
You can harden 'em up after."
" Ye-es, I suppose so," was the reply, in no
" It rests with you, Harve. You can take
cover behind your mama, of course, and put
her on to fussing about your nerves and your
high-strungness and all that kind of poppy-
"Have I ever done that?" said Harvey,
288 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
His father turned where he sat and thrust
out a long hand. " Yoti know as well as 1
do that I can't make anything of you if you
don't act straight by me. I can handle you
alone if you '11 stay alone, but I don't pre-
tend to manage both you and mama. Life 's
too short, anyway."
** Don't make me out much of a fellow,
does it ? "
" I guess it was my fault a good deal ; but
if you want the truth, you have n't been much
of anything up to date. Now, have you ? "
** Umm ! Disko thinks . . . Say, what
d' you reckon it 's cost you to raise me from
the start — first last and all over ? "
Cheyne smiled. " I 've never kept track,
but I should estimate, in dollars and cents,
nearer fifty than forty thousand ; maybe sixty.
The young generation comes high. It has
to have things, and it tires of 'em, and — the
old man foots the bill."
Harvey whistled, but at heart he was rather
pleased to think that his upbringing had cost
so much. ** And all that 's sunk capital,
is n't it?"
" Invested, Harve. Invested, I hope."
*' Making it only thirty thousand, the thirty
" HIS FATHER TURNED WHERE HE SAT AND THRUST OUT A
LONG HAND. * YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO THAT I
can't MAKE ANYTHING OF YOU 'F YOU
don't ACT STRAIGHT BY ME. '
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 291
I 've earned is about ten cents on the hun-
dred. That 's a mighty poor catch." Harvey
wagged his head solemnly.
Cheyne laughed till he nearly fell off the
pile into the water.
" Disko has got a heap more than that out
of Dan since he was ten ; and Dan 's at school
half the year, too."
*' Oh, that 's what you 're after, is it ?"
" No. I 'm not after anything. I 'm not
stuck on myself any just now — that 's
all. ... I ought to be kicked."
" I can't do it, old man ; or I would, I pre-
sume, if I 'd been made that way."
. " Then I 'd have remembered it to the last
day I lived — and 7ie'uer forgiven you," said
Harvey, his chin on his doubled fists.
"Exactly. That's about what I'd do.
" I see. The fault 's with me and no one
else. All the samey, something's got to be
done about it."
Cheyne drew a cigar from his vest-pocket,
bit off the end, and fell to smoking. Father
and son were very much alike ; for the beard
hid Cheyne's mouth, and Harvey had his
father's slightly aquiline nose, close-set black
292 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
eyes, and narrow, high cheek-bones. With
a touch of brown paint he would have made
up very picturesquely as a Red Indian of the
" Now you can go on from here," said
Cheyne, slowly, "costing me between six or
eight thousand a year till you 're a voter.
Well, we '11 call you a man then. You can
go right on from that, living on me to the
tune of forty or fifty thousand, besides what
your mother will give you, with a valet and a
yacht or a fancy-ranch where you can pre-
tend to raise trotting-stock and play cards
with your own crowd."
"Like Lorry Tuck?" Harvey put in.
"Yep; or the two De Vitre boys or old man
McQuade's son. California's full of 'em, and
here 's an Eastern sample while we 're talking."
A shiny black steam-yacht, with mahog-
any deck-house, nickel-plated binnacles, and
pink-and-white-striped awnings, puffed up the
harbor, flying the burgee of some New York
club. Two young men in what they con-
ceived to be sea costumes were playing cards
by the saloon skylight; and a couple of women
with red and blue parasols looked on and
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 293
"Should n't care to be caught out in her
in any sort of a breeze. No beam," said Har-
vey, critically, as the yacht slowed to pick up
" They 're having what stands them for a
good time. I can give you that, and twice as
much as that, Harve. How 'd you like it?"
" Caesar ! That 's no way to get a dinghy
overside," said Harvey, still intent on the
yacht. " If I could n't slip a tackle better
than that I 'd stay ashore. . . . What if I
*' Sta)/- ashore — or what ? "
"Yacht and ranch and live on 'the old
man,' and — get behind mama when there 's
trouble," said Harvey, with a twinkle in his
" Why, in that case, you come right in with
me, my son."
** Ten dollars a month ? " Another twinkle.
" Not a cent more until you 're worth it,
and you won't begin to touch that for a few
*' I 'd sooner begin sweeping out the office
— is n't that how the big bugs start? — and
touch something now than — "
"I know it; we all feel that way. But I
294 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
guess we can hire any sweeping we need. I
made the same mistake myself of starting in
"Thirty million dollars' worth o' mistake,
was n't it ? I 'd risk it for that."
'* I lost some ; and I gained some. I '11
Cheyne pulled his beard and smiled as he
looked over the still water, and spoke away
from Harvey, who presently began to be
aware that his father was telling the story of
his life. He talked in a low, even voice,
without gesture and without expression ; and
it was a history for which a dozen leading
journals would cheerfully have paid many
dollars — the story of forty years that was
at the same time the story of the New West,
whose story is yet to be written.
It began with a kinless boy turned loose in
Texas, and went on fantastically through a
hundred changes and chops of life, the scenes
shifting from State after Western State, from
cities that sprang up in a month and in a
season utterly withered away, to wild ven-
tures in wilder camps that are now laborious,
paved municipalities. It covered the building
of three railroads and the deliberate wreck of
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 295
a fourth. It told of steamers, townships, for-
ests, and mines, and the men of every nation
under heaven, manning, creating, hewing, and
digging these. It touched on chances of gi-
gantic wealth flung before eyes that could
not see, or missed by the merest accident of
time and travel ; and through the mad shift
of things, sometimes on horseback, more of-
ten afoot, now rich, now poor, in and out,
and back and forth, deck-hand, train-hand,
contractor, boarding-house keeper, journalist,
engineer, drummer, real-estate agent, politi-
cian, dead-beat, rum-seller, mine-owner, spec-
ulator, cattle-man, or tramp, moved Harvey
Cheyne, alert and quiet, seeking his own
ends, and, so he said, the glory and advance-
ment of his country.
He told of the faith that never deserted
him even when he hung on the ragged edge
of despair — the faith that comes of knowing
men and things. He enlarged, as though he
were talking to himself, on his very great
courage and resource at all times. The
thing was so evident in the man's mind that
he never even changed his tone. He de-
scribed how he had bested his enemies, or
forgiven them, exactly as they had bested or
296 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
forgiven him in those careless days ; how he
had entreated, cajoled, and bullied towns,
companies, and syndicates, all for their endur-
ing good; crawled round, through, or under
mountains and ravines, dragging a string and
hoop-iron railroad after him, and in the end,
how he had sat still while promiscuous com-
munities tore the last fragments of his char-
acter to shreds.
The tale held Harvey almost breathless,
his head a little cocked to one side, his eyes
fixed on his father's face, as the twilight
deepened and the red cigar-end lit up the
furrowed cheeks and heavy eyebrows. It
seemed to him like watching a locomotive
storming across country in the dark — a mile
between each glare of the opened fire-door :
but this locomotive could talk, and the words
shook and stirred the boy to the core of his
soul. At last Cheyne pitched away the cigar-
butt, and the two sat in the dark over the
" I Ve never told that to any one before,"
said the father.
Harvey gasped. ** It 's just the greatest
thing that ever was ! " said he.
•* That 's what I got. Now I 'm coming to
" CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS " 297
what I did n't get. It won't sound much of
anything to you, but I don't wish you to be
as old as I am before you find out. I can
handle men, of course, and I 'm no fool along
my own lines, but — but — I can't compete
with the man who has been taught! I 've
picked up as I went along, and I guess it
sticks out all over me."
"I 've never seen it," said the son, indig-
"You will, though, Harve. You will — just
as soon as you 're through college. Don't I
know it? Don't I know the look on men's
faces when they think me a — a 'mucker,' as
they call it out here ? I can break them to
little pieces — yes — but I can't get back at
'em to hurt 'em where they live. I don't say
they 're 'way 'way up, but I feel I 'm 'way,
'way, 'way off, somehow. Now yoit 've got
your chance. You 've got to soak up all the
learning that 's around, and you '11 live with
a crowd that are doing the same thing.
They '11 be doing it for a few thousand dol-
lars a year at most ; but remember you 'II
be doing it for millions. You '11 learn law
enough to look after your own property
when I 'm out o' the light, and you '11 have
298 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
to be solid with the best men in the market
(they are useful later) ; and above all, you '11
have to stow away the plain, common, sit-
learning. Nothing pays like that, Harve,
and it *s bound to pay more and more each
year in our country — in business and in pol-
itics. You '11 see."
" There *s no sugar my end of the deal,"
said Harvey. " Four years at college 1 'Wish
I 'd chosen the valet and the yacht ! "
" Never mind, my son," Cheyne insisted.
"You *re investing your capital where it '11
bring in the best returns; and I guess you
won't find our property shrunk any when
you *re ready to take hold. Think it over,
and let me know in the morning. Hurry!
We *11 be late for supper ! "
As this was a business talk, there was no
need for Harvey to tell his mother about it;
and Cheyne naturally took the same point of
view. But Mrs. Cheyne saw and feared, and
was a little jealous. Her boy, who rode
rough -shod over her, was gone, and in his
stead reigned a keen-faced youth, abnormally
silent, who addressed most of his conversa-
tion to his father. She understood it was
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 299
business, and therefore a matter beyond her
premises. If she had any doubts, they were
resolved when Cheyne went to Boston and
brought back a new diamond marquise-ring.
** What have you two men been doing
now ? " she said, with a weak little smile, as
she turned it in the light.
"Talking — just talking, mama; there *s
nothing mean about Harvey."
There was not. The boy had made a treaty
on his own account. Railroads, he explained
gravely, interested him as little as lumber,
real estate, or mining. What his soul yearned
after was control of his father's newly pur-
chased sailing-ships. If that could be prom-
ised him within what he conceived to be a
reasonable time, he, for his part, guaranteed
diligence and sobriety at college for four or
five years. In vacation he was to be allowed
full access to all details connected with the
line — he had asked not more than two thou-
sand questions about it, — from his father's
most private papers in the safe to the tug in
San Francisco harbor.
** It 's a deal," said Cheyne at the last.
"You '11 alter your mind twenty times before
you leave college, o* course; but if you take
300 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
hold of it in proper shape, and if you don't
tie it up before you 're twenty-three, I '11
make the thing over to you. How 's that,
"Nope; never pays to split up a going
concern. There 's too much competition in
the world anyway, and Disko says ' blood-kin
hev to stick together.' His crowd never go
back on him. That 's one reason, he says,
why they make such big fares. Say, the
We 'r^ Here goes off to the Georges on Mon-
day. They don't stay long ashore, do they?"
*' Well, we ought to be going, too, I guess.
I 've left my business hung up at loose ends
between two oceans, and It 's time to connect
again. I just hate to do it, though ; have n't
had a holiday like this for twenty years."
*' We cant go without seeing Disko off,"
said Harvey ; " and Monday 's Memorial Day.
Let 's stay over that, anyway."
"What is this memorial business? They
were talking about it at the boarding-house,"
said Cheyne, weakly. He, too, was not anx-
ious to spoil the golden days.
** Well, as far as I can make out, this busi-
ness is a sort of song-and-dance act, whacked
up for the summer boarders. Disko don't
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 301
think much of it, he says, because they take
up a collection for the widows and orphans.
Disko 's independent. Have n't you noticed
"Well — yes. A little. In spots. Is it a
town show, then ? "
"The summer convention is. They read
out the names of the fellows drowned or gone
astray since last time, and they make speeches,
and recite, and all. Then, Disko says, the sec-
retaries of the Aid Societies go into the back-
yard and fight over the catch. The real show,
he says, is in the spring. The ministers all
take a hand then, and there are n't any sum-
mer boarders around."
" I see," said Cheyne, with the brilliant
and perfect comprehension of one born into
and bred up to city pride. ** We '11 stay
over for Memorial Day, and get off in the
" Guess I '11 go down to Disko's and make
him bring his crowd up before they sail. I '11
have to stand with them, of course."
** Oh, that 's it, is it," said Cheyne. " I 'm
only a poor summer boarder, and you 're — "
'*A Banker — full-blooded Banker," Har-
vey called back as he boarded a trolley, and
302 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
Cheyne went on with his bhssful dreams for
Disko had no use for public functions where
appeals were made for charity, but Harvey
pleaded that the glory of the day would be
lost, so far as he was concerned, if the We 're
Hercs absented themselves. Then Disko
made conditions. He had heard — it was
astonishing how all the world knew all the
world's business along the water-front — he
had heard that a " Philadelphia actress-
woman " was going to take part in the ex-
ercises ; and he mistrusted that she would
deliver "Skipper Ireson's Ride." Person-
ally, he had as little use for actresses as for
summer boarders ; but justice was justice, and
though he himself (here Dan giggled) had
once slipped up on a matter of judgment,
this thing must not be So Harvey came
back to East Gloucester, and spent half a
day explaining to an amused actress with a
royal reputation on two seaboards the inward-
ness of the mistake she contemplated ; and
she admitted that it was justice, even as Disko
Cheyne knew by old experience what would
happen ; but anything of the nature of a pub-
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 303
lie palaver was meat and drink to the man's
soul. He saw the trolleys hurrying west, in
the hot, hazy morning, full of women in light
summer dresses, and white-faced straw-hatted
men fresh from Boston desks ; the stack of
bicycles outside the post-office ; the come-
and-go of busy officials, greeting one another ;
the slow flick and swash of bunting in the
heavy air; and the important man with a hose
sluicing the brick sidewalk.
"Mother," he said suddenly, "don't you
remember — after Seattle was burned out —
and they got her going again ? "
Mrs. Cheyne nodded, and looked critically
down the crooked street. Like her husband,
she understood these gatherings, all the West
over, and compared them one against another.
The fishermen began to mingle with the
crowd about the town-hall doors — blue-
jowled Portuguese, their women bare-headed
or shawled for the most part ; clear-eyed Nova
Scotians, and men of the Maritime Provinces;
French, Italians, Swedes, and Danes, with
outside crews of coasting schooners ; and
everywhere women in black, who saluted one
another with a gloomy pride, for this was
their day of great days. And there were
304 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
ministers of many creeds, — pastors of great,
gilt-edged congregations, at the seaside for
a rest, with shepherds of the regular work, —
from the priests of the Church on the Hill to
bush-bearded ex-sailor Lutherans, hail-fellow
with the men of a score of boats. There were
owners of lines of schooners, large contribu-
tors to the societies, and small men, their few
craft pawned to the mastheads, with bankers
and marine-insurance agents, captains of tugs
and water-bbats, riggers, fitters, lumpers, salt-
ers, boat-builders, and coopers, and all the
mixed population of the water-front.
They drifted along the line of seats made
gay with the dresses of the summer boarders,
and one of the town officials patrolled and
perspired till he shone all over with pure civic
pride. Cheyne had met him for five minutes
a few days before, and between the two there
was entire understandino:.
" Well, Mr. Cheyne, and what d' you think
of our city? — Yes, madam, you can sit any-
where you please. — You have this kind of
thing out West, I presume ? "
" Yes, but we are n't as old as you."
"That *s so, of course. You ought to have
been at the exercises when we celebrated our
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 305
two hundred and fiftieth birthday. I tell you,
Mr. Cheyne, the old city did herself credit."
" So I heard. It pays, too. What 's the
matter with the town that it don't have a first-
class hotel, though ? "
'•—Right over there to the left, Pedro.
Heaps o' room for you and your crowd. —
Why, that 's what / tell 'em all the time, Mr.
Cheyne. There 's big money in it, but I pre-
sume that don't affect you any. What we
want is — *'
A heavy hand fell on his broadcloth shoul-
der, and the flushed skipper of a Portland
coal-and-ice coaster spun him half round.
•' What in thunder do you fellows mean by
clappin' the law on the town when all decent
men are at sea this way? Heh? Town 's
dry 's a bone, an' smells a sight worse sence
I quit. 'Might ha' left us one saloon for soft
*' 'Don't seem to have hindered your nour-
ishment this morning, Carsen. I '11 go into
the politics of it later. Sit down by the door
and think over your arguments till I come
" What good 's arguments to me ? In Mi-
quelon champagne 's eighteen dollars a case,
3o6 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
and — " The skipper lurched into his seat as
an organ-prelude silenced him.
"Our new organ," said the official proudly
to Cheyne. " 'Cost us four thousand dollars,
too. We '11 have to get back to high-license
next year to pay for it. I was n't going to
let the ministers have all the religion at their
convention. Those are some of our orphans
standing up to sing. My wife taught 'em.
See you again later, Mr. Cheyne. I 'm
wanted on the platform."
High, clear, and true, children's voices bore
down the last noise of those settling into their
** O all ye Works of the Loj^d^ bless ye the
Lord: praise hiiiiy and magnify him for ever/'*
The women throughout the hall leaned for-
ward to look as the reiterated cadences filled
the air. Mrs. Cheyne, with some others, be-
gan to breathe short; she had hardly ima-
gined there were so many widows in the
world; and instinctively searched for Harvey.
He had found the We 'r^ Heres at the back
of the audience, and was standing, as by right,
between Dan and Disko. Uncle Salters,
returned the night before with Penn, from
Pamlico Sound, received him suspiciously.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 307
** Hain't your folk gone yet?" he grunted.
" What are you doin' here, young feller?"
*' O ye Seas and Floods^ bless ye the Lord:
praise him^ and magnify him for ever! "
" Hain't he good right ? " said Dan. " He *s
bin there, same as the rest of us."
•* Not in them clothes," Salters snarled.
"Shut your head, Salters," said Disko.
" Your bile 's gone back on you. Stay right
where ye are, Harve."
Then up and spoke the orator of the occa-
sion, another pillar of the municipality, bid-
ding the world welcome to Gloucester, and
incidentally pointing out wherein Gloucester
excelled the rest of the world. Then he turned
to the sea-wealth of the city, and spoke of the
price that must be paid for the yearly harvest.
They would hear later the names of their lost
dead — one hundred and seventeen of them.
(The widows stared a little, and looked at
one another here.) Gloucester could not boast
any overwhelming mills or factories. Her
sons worked for such wage as the sea gave ;
and they all knew that neither Georges nor
the Banks were cow-pastures. The utmost
that folk ashore could accomplish was to help
the widows and the orphans ; and after a few
3o8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
general remarks he took this opportunity of
thanking-, in the name of the city, those who
had so public-spiritedly consented to partici-
pate in the exercises of the occasion.
" I jest despise the beggin' pieces in it,"
growled Disko. " It don't give folk a fair
notion of us.'*
'• Ef folk won't be fore-handed an* put by
when they *ve the chance," returned Salters,
** it stands in the nature o' things they hev
to be 'shamed. You take warnin* by that,
young feller. Riches endureth but for a
season, ef you scatter them araound on
lugsuries — *'
"But to lose everything — everything,"
said Penn. "What can you do then? Once
I " — the watery blue eyes stared up and down,
as looking for something to steady them —
" once I read — in a book, I think — of a boat
where every one was run down — except some
one — and he said to me — "
" Shucks ! " said Salters, cutting in. " You
read a little less an' take more int'rust in your
vittles, and you '11 come nearer earnin' your
Harvey, jammed among the fishermen, felt
a creepy, crawly, tingling thrill that began in
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 309
the back of his neck and ended at his boots.
He was cold, too, though it was a stifling day.
"'That the actress from Philadelphia?"
said Disko Troop, scowling at the platform.
*' You *ve fixed it about old man Ireson, hain't
ye, Harve? Ye know why naow."
It was not " Ireson's Ride " that the woman
delivered, but some sort of poem about a fish-
ing-port called Brixham and a fleet of trawl-
ers beating in against storm by night, while
the women made a guiding fire at the head
of the quay with everything they could lay
" They took the grandam's blanket,
Who shivered and bade them go ;
They took the baby's cradle,
Who could not say them no."
"Whew!" said Dan, peering over Long
Jack's shoulder. " That 's great ! Must ha'
bin expensive, though."
" Ground-hog case," said the Galway man.
" Badly lighted port, Danny."
" And knew not all the while
If they were lighting a bonfire
Or only a funeral pile."
3IO "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
The wonderful voice took hold of people
by their heartstrings ; and when she told how
the drenched crews were flung" ashore, living
and dead, and they carried the bodies to
the glare of the fires, asking : " Child, is
this your father?" or "Wife, is this your
man ? " you could hear hard breathing all
over the benches.
" And when the boats of Brixham
Go out to face the gales,
Think of the love that travels
Like light upon their sails ! "
There was very little applause when she
finished. The women were looking for their
handkerchiefs, and many of the men stared at
the ceiling with shiny eyes.
" H'm," said Salters ; "that 'u'd cost ye a
dollar to hear at any theater — maybe two.
Some folk, I presoom, can afford it. 'Seems
downright waste to me. . . . Naow, how in
Jerusalem did Cap Bart Edwardes strike
adrift here ? "
** No keepin' him under," said an Eastport
man behind. " He 's a poet, an' he 's baound
to say his piece. 'Comes from daown aour
• "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 311
He did not say that Captain B. Edwardes
had striven for five consecutive years to be
allowed to recite a piece of his own com-
position on Gloucester Memorial Day. An
amused and exhausted committee had at last
given him his desire. The simplicity and ut-
ter happiness of the old man, as he stood up
in his very best Sunday clothes, won the au-
dience ere he opened his mouth. They sat un-
murmuring through seven-and-thirty hatchet-
made verses describing at fullest length the
loss of the schooner Joari Hasken off the
Georges in the gale of 1867, and when he
came to an end they shouted with one kindly
A far-sighted Boston reporter slid away
for a full copy of the epic and an interview
with the author; so that earth had noth-
ing more to offer Captain Bart Edwardes,
ex-whaler, shipwright, master-fisherman, and
poet, in the seventy-third year of his age.
" Naow, I call that sensible," said the East-
port man. **I 've bin over that graound with
his writin', jest as he read it, in my two hands,
and I can testify that he 's got it all in."
*' If Dan here could n't do better 'n that
with one hand before breakfast, he ought to be
312 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
switched," said Salters, upholding the honor
of Massachusetts on general principles, " Not
but what I 'm free to own he 's considerable
littery — fer Maine. Still — "
'* Guess Uncle Salters goin' to die this trip.
Fust compliment he 's ever paid me," Dan
sniggered, " What 's wrong with you, Harve?
You act all quiet and you look greenish.
Feelin' sick ? "
" Don't know what 's the matter with me,"
Harvey replied. " 'Seems if my insides were
too big for my outsides, I 'm all crowded up
"Dispepsy? Pshaw — too bad. We '11
wait for the readin', an' then we '11 quit, an'
catch the tide,"
The widows — they were nearly all of
that season's making — braced themselves
rigidly like people going to be shot in cold
blood, for they knew what was coming. The
summer-boarder girls in pink and blue shirt-
waists stopped tittering over Captain Ed-
wardes's wonderful poem, and looked back to
see why all was silent. The fishermen pressed
forward as that town official who had talked
with Cheyne bobbed up on the platform and
began to read the year's list of losses, dividing
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 313
them into months. Last September's casual-
ties were mostly single men and strangers,
but his voice rang very loud in the stillness
of the hall.
•* September 9th. — Schooner Florrie Anderson lost, with
all aboard, off the Georges.
" Reuben Pitman, master, 50, single. Main Street, City.
"Emil Olsen, 19, single, 329 Hammond Street, City-
"Oscar Stanberg, single, 25, Sweden.
" Carl Stanberg, single, 28, Main Street, City.
" Pedro, supposed Madeira, single, Keene's boarding-
"Joseph Welsh, alias Joseph Wright, 30, St. John's,
" No — Augusty, Maine," a voice cried from
the body of the hall.
" He shipped from St. John's," said the
reader, looking to see.
" I know it. He belongs in Augusty.
The reader made a penciled correction on
the margin of the list, and resumed :
"Same schooner, Charlie Ritchie, Liverpool, Nova
Scotia, 33, single.
"Albert May, 267 Rogers Street, City, 27, single.
314 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
"September 27th. — Orvin DoUard, 30, married, drowned
in dory off Eastern Point."
That shot went home, for one of the widows
flinched where she sat, clasping and unclasp-
ing her hands. Mrs. Cheyne, who had been
listening with wide-opened eyes, threw up her
head and choked. Dan's mother, a few seats
to the right, saw and heard and quickly moved
to her side. The reading went on. By the
time they reached the January and February
wrecks the shots were falling thick and fast,
and the widows drew breath between their
" February 14th. — Schooner Harry Randolph dismasted
on the way home from Newfoundland ; Asa Musie, mar-
ried, 32, Main Street, City, lost overboard.
"February 23d. — Schooner Gilbert Hope ; went astray
in dory, Robert Beavon, 29, married, native of Pubnico,
But his wife was in the hall. They heard
a low cry, as though a little animal had been
hit. It was stifled at once, and a girl stag-
gered out of the hall. She had been hoping
against hope for months, because some who
have gone adrift in dories have been miracu-
lously picked up by deep-sea sailing-ships.
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 315
Now she had her certainty, and Harvey could
see the policeman on the sidewalk hailing a
hack for her. " It 's fifty cents to the depot" —
the driver began, but the policeman held
up his hand — " but I 'm goin' there anyway.
Jump right in. Look at here, Alf ; you don't
pull me next time my lamps ain't lit. See ? "
The side-door closed on the patch of bright
sunshine, and Harvey's eyes turned again to
the reader and his endless list.
"April 19th. — Schooner Mamie Douglas lost on the
Banks with all hands.
" Edward Canton, 43, master, married, City.
" D. Hawkins, alias Williams, 34, married, Shelbourne,
" G. W. Clay, colored, 28, married. City."
And SO on, and so on. Great lumps were
rising in Harvey's throat, and his stomach
reminded him of the day when he fell from
" May loth. — Schooner We V<f Here [the blood tingled
all over him]. Otto Svendson, 20, single, City, lost over-
Once more a low, tearing cry from some-
where at the back of the hall.
3ib "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
" She should n't ha' come. She should n't
ha' come," said Long Jack, with a cluck of
** Don't scrowge, Harve," grunted Dan.
Harvey heard that much, but the rest was
all darkness spotted with fiery wheels. Disko
leaned forward and spoke to his wife, where
she sat with one arm round Mrs. Cheyne, and
the other holding down the snatching, catch-
ing, ringed hands.
*' Lean your head daown — right daown ! "
she whispered. " It '11 go off in a minute."
"I ca-an't! I do-don't! Oh, let me — "
Mrs. Cheyne did not at all know what she
" You must," Mrs. Troop repeated. "Your
boy 's jest fainted dead away. They do that
some when they 're gettin' their growth. 'Wish
to tend to him? We can git aout this side.
Quite quiet. You come right along with me.
Psha*, my dear, we 're both women, I guess.
We must tend to aour men-folk. Come ! "
The We We Heres promptly went through
the crowd as a body-guard, and it was a very
white and shaken Harvey that they propped
up on a bench in an anteroom.
" Favors his ma," was Mrs. Troop's only
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 317
comment, as the mother bent over her
" How d' you suppose he could ever stand
it? " she cried indignantly to Cheyne, who had
said nothing at all. " It was horrible — hor-
rible ! We should n't have come. It 's wrong
and wicked! It — it is n't right! Why —
why could n't they put these things in the
papers, where they belong ? Are you better,
That made Harvey very properly ashamed.
" Oh, I 'm all right, I guess," he said, strug-
gling to his feet, with a broken giggle. " Must
ha' been something I ate for breakfast."
" Coffee, perhaps," said Cheyne, whose face
was all in hard lines, as though it had been
cut out of bronze. " We won't go back again.'*
** Guess 't would be 'baout 's well to git
daown to the wharf," said Disko. " It 's close
in along with them Dagoes, an' the fresh air
will fresh Mrs. Cheyne up."
Harvey announced that he never felt better
in his life ; but it was not till he saw the
We 're Here, fresh from the lumper's hands,
at Wouverman's wharf, that he lost his all-
overish feelings in a queer mixture of pride
and sorrowfulness. Other people — summer
3i8 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS"
boarders and such-like — played about in cat-
boats or looked at the sea from pier-heads ;
but he understood things from the inside —
more things than he could begin to think
about. None the less, he could have sat
down and howled because the little schooner
was going off. Mrs. Cheyne simply cried and
cried every step of the way, and said most
extraordinary things to Mrs. Troop, who
"babied" her till Dan, who had not been
" babied " since he was six, whistled aloud.
And so the old crowd — Harvey felt like the
most ancient of mariners — dropped into the
old schooner among the battered dories, while
Harvey slipped the stern-fast from the pier-
head, and they slid her along the wharf-side
with their hands. Every one wanted to say so
much that no one said anything in particular.
Harvey bade Dan take care of Uncle Salters's
sea-boots and Penn's dory-anchor, and Long
Jack entreated Harvey to remember his les-
sons in seamanship ; but the jokes fell flat in
the presence of the two women, and it is hard
to be funny with green harbor-water widening
between good friends.
" Up jib and fores'l ! " shouted Disko, get-
ting to the wheel, as the wind took her. " 'See
BIDDING FAREWELL TO THE "WE 'RE HERE.'
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS'- 321
you later, Harve. Dunno but I come near
thinkin* a heap o' you an' your folks."
Then she glided beyond ear-shot, and they
sat down to watch her up the harbor. And
still Mrs. Cheyne wept.
** Psha*, my dear," said Mrs. Troop ; ** we 're
both women, I guess. Like 's not it '11 ease
your heart to hev your cry aout. God He
knows it never done me a mite o' good ; but
then He knows I Ve had something to cry
Now it was a few years later, and upon the
other edge of America, that a young man
came through the clammy sea-fog up a windy
street which is flanked with most expensive
houses built of wood to imitate stone. To
him, as he was standing by a hammered iron
gate, entered on horseback — and the horse
would have been cheap at a thousand dollars
— another young man. And this is what
they said :
" What 's the best with you ? "
*' Well, I 'm so 's to be that kind o* animal
called second mate this trip. Ain't you most
322 "CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS**
through with that triple-invoiced college o*
" Getting that way. I tell you, the Leland
Stanford Junior, is n't a circumstance to the
old tVe We Here ; but I 'm coming into the
business for keeps next fall."
" Meanin' aour packets?"
•' Nothing else. You just wait till I get my
knife into you, Dan. I 'm going to make the
old line lie down and cry when I take hold."
** I '11 resk it," said Dan, with a brotherly
grin, as Harvey dismounted and asked whether
he were coming in.
" That 's what I took the cable fer ; but, say,
is the doctor anywheres araound ? I '11 draown
that crazy nigger some day, his one cussed joke
There was a low, triumphant chuckle, as the
ex-cook of the We 're Here came out of the
fog to take the horse's bridle. He allowed
no one but himself to attend to any of Harvey's
"Thick as the Banks, ain't it, doctor? "said
But the coal-black Celt with the second-
sight did not see fit to reply till he had tapped
Dan on the shoulder, and for the twentieth
"CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS" 323
time croaked the old, old prophecy in his
"Master — man. Man — master," said he.
" You remember, Dan Troop, what I said ?
On the We're Here?''
" Well, I won't go so far as to deny that it
do look like it as things stand at present," said
Dan. " She was an able packet, and one way
an' another I owe her a heap — her and dad."
•■* Me too," quoth Harvey Cheyne
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