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weather ; but a captious man might find fault with it, and only a thoroughly cheerful one could enlarge upon its merits. Plainly enough these might be found by anybody, having any core of rest inside him, or any gift of turning over upon a rigidly neutral side, and considerably outgazing the colour of his eyes.

Commander Nettlebones was not of poetic, philosophic, or vague mind. What a d-d fog!'he exclaimed in the morning; and he used the same words in the afternoon, through a speaking trumpet, as the two other cutters ranged up within hail. This they did very carefully, at the appointed rendezvous, towards the fall of the afternoon, and hauled their wind under easy sail, shivering in the southwestern breeze.

*Not half so bad as it was,' returned Bowler, being of a cheerful mind. It is lifting every minute, sir. Have you had sight of anything?'

• Not a blessed stick, except a fishing-boat. What makes you ask, lieutenant ?'

Why, sir, as we rounded in, it lifted for a moment, and I saw a craft some two leagues out, standing straight in for us.'

• The devil, you did! What was she like, and where away, lieutenant ?'

• A heavy lugger, under all sail, about E.N.E. as near as may be. She is standing for Robin Hood's Bay, I believe. In an hour's time she will be upon us if the weather keeps so thick.'

. "She may have seen you and sheered off. Stand straight for her, as nigh as you can guess. The fog is lifting as you say. If you sight her, signal instantly. Lieutenant Donovan, have you heard Bowler's news?'

'Sure an’ if it wasn't for the fog, I would. Every word of it come to me, as clear as seeing.'

Very well. Carry on a little to the south, half a league or so, and then stand out; but keep within sound of signal. I shall bear up presently. It is clearing every minute, and we must nab them.'

The fog began to rise in loops and alleys, with the upward pressure of the evening breeze, which freshened from the land in lines and patches, according to the run of cliff. Here the water darkened with the ruffle of the wind, and there it lay quiet, with a glassy shine or gentle shadows of variety. Soon the three cruisers saw one another clearly; and then they all sighted an approaching sail.

This was a full-bowed vessel, of quaint rig, heavy sheer, and extraordinary build—a foreigner clearly, and an ancient one. She differed from a lugger as widely as a lugger differs from a schooner, and her broad spread of canvas combined the features of square and of fore-and-aft tackle. But whatever her build or rig might be, she was going through the water at a strapping pace, heavily laden as she was, with her long yards creaking, and her broad frame croaking, and her deep bows driving up the fountains of the sea. Her enormous

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two-was hung obliquely, yet not as a lugger's slung at one-third of its length, but bent to a long yard hanging fore and aft, with a long foreend sloping down to midship. This great sail gave her vast power, when closed hauled ; and she carried a square sail on the foremast, and a square sail on either topmast.

* Lord, have mercy! She could run us all down if she tried!' exclaimed Commander Nettlebones; and what are my pop-guns against such beam ?'

For a while the bilander seemed to mean to try it; for she carried on towards the central cruiser, as if she had not seen one of them. Then beautifully handled she brought to, and was scudding before the wind in another minute, leading them a brave stern-chase out to sea.

It must be that dare-devil Lyth himself,' Nettlebones said, as the “Swordfish' strained, with all canvas set, but no gain made; no other fellow in all the world would dare to beard us in this style. I'd lay ten guineas that Donovan's new gun won't go off, if he tries it. Ah, I thought so-a fizz and a stink—trust an Irishman.'

For this gallant lieutenant, slanting towards the bows of the flying bilander, which he bad no hope of fore-reaching, trained his newly fitted howitzer upon her and let go, or rather tried to let go at her. But his powder was wet, or else there was some stoppage; for the only result was a spurt of smoke inward, and a powdery eruption on his own red cheeks.

I wish I could have heard him swear,' grumbled Nettlebones; that would have been worth something. But Bowler is further out. Bowler will cross her bows, and he is not a fool. Don't be in a hurry, my fine Bob Lyth. You are not clear yet, though you crack on like a trooper. Well done, Bowler, you have headed him ! By Jove, I don't understand these tactics. Stand by there! She is running back again.'

To the great amazement of all on board the cruisers, except perhaps one or two, the great Dutch vessel, wbich might haply have escaped by standing on her present course, spun round like a top, and bore in again among her three pursuers. She had the heels of all of them before the wind, and might have run down any interceptor; but seemed not to know it, or to lose all nerve. Thank the Lord in heaven, all rogues are fools! She may double as she will, but she is ours now. Signal “ Albatross” and “ Kestrel " to stand in.'

In a few minutes, all four were standing for the bay; the Dutch Vessel leading with all sail set, the cruisers following warily, and spreading, to bead her from the north or south. It was plain that they had her well in the toils ; she must either surrender, or run ashore; close-hauled as she was, she could not run them down, even if she would dream of such an outrage.

So far from showing any sign of rudeness was the smuggling vessel, that she would not even plead want of light as excuse for weather ; but a captious man might find fault with it, and only a thoroughly cheerful one could enlarge upon its merits. Plainly enough these might be found by anybody, having any core of rest inside him, or any gift of turning over upon a rigidly neutral side, and considerably outgazing the colour of his eyes.

Commander Nettlebones was not of poetic, philosophic, or vague mind. What a d-d fog!' he exclaimed in the morning; and he used the same words in the afternoon, through a speaking trumpet, as the two other cutters ranged up within hail. This they did very carefully, at the appointed rendezvous, towards the fall of the after. noon, and hauled their wind under easy sail, shivering in the southwestern breeze.

*Not half so bad as it was,' returned Bowler, being of a cheerful mind. It is lifting every minute, sir. Have you had sight of anything?'

· Not a blessed stick, except a fishing-boat. What makes you ask, lieutenant ?'

• Why, sir, as we rounded in, it lifted for a moment, and I saw a craft some two leagues out, standing straight in for us.'

The devil, you did! What was she like, and where away, lieutenant ?

A heavy lugger, under all sail, about E.N.E. as near as may be. She is standing for Robin Hood's Bay, I believe. In an hour's time she will be upon us if the weather keeps so thick.'

She may have seen you and sheered off. Stand straight for her, , as nigh as you can guess. The fog is lifting as you say. If you sight her, signal instantly. Lieutenant Donovan, have you heard Bowler's news?'

Sure an' if it wasn't for the fog, I would. Every word of it come to me, as clear as seeing.'

* Very well. Carry on a little to the south, half a league or so, and then stand out; but keep within sound of signal. I shall bear up presently. It is clearing every minute, and we must nab them.'

The fog began to rise in loops and alleys, with the upward pressure of the evening breeze, which freshened from the land in lines and patches, according to the run of cliff. Here the water darkened with the ruffle of the wind, and there it lay quiet, with a glassy shine or gentle shadows of variety. Soon the three cruisers saw one another clearly; and then they all sighted an approaching sail.

This was a full-bowed vessel, of quaint rig, heavy sheer, and extraordinary build-a foreigner clearly, and an ancient one.

She differed from a lugger as widely as a lugger differs from a schooner, and her broad spread of canvas combined the features of square and of fore-and-aft tackle. But whatever her build or rig might be, she was going through the water at a strapping pace, heavily laden as she was, with her long yards creaking, and her broad frame croaking, and her deep bows driving up the fountains of the sea. Her enormous

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two-was hung obliquely, yet not as a lugger's slung at one-third of its length, but bent to a long yard hanging fore and aft, with a long foreend sloping down to midship. This great sail gave her vast power, when closed hauled ; and she carried a square sail on the foremast, and a square sail on either topmast.

'Lord, have mercy! She could run us all down if she tried!' exclaimed Commander Nettlebones; and what are my pop-guns against such beam ?'

For a while the bilander seemed to mean to try it; for she carried on towards the central cruiser, as if she had not seen one of them. Then beautifully handled she brought to, and was scudding before the wind in another minute, leading them a brave stern-chase out to sea.

• It must be that dare-devil Lyth himself, Nettlebones said, as the “Swordfish' strained, with all canvas set, but no gain made; no other fellow in all the world would dare to beard us in this style. I'd ten guineas that Donovan's new gun won't go off, if he tries it. Ab, I thought so--a fizz and a stink_trust an Irishman.'

For this gallant lieutenant, slanting towards the bows of the flying bilander, which he bad no hope of fore-reaching, trained his newly fitted howitzer upon her and let go, or rather tried to let go at her. But his powder was wet, or else there was some stoppage; for the only result was a spurt of smoke inward, and a powdery eruption on his own red cheeks.

'I wish I could have heard him swear, grumbled Nettlebones; that would have been worth something. But Bowler is further out. Bowler will cross her bows, and he is not a fool. Don't be in a hurry, my fine Bob Lyth. You are not clear yet, though you crack on like a trooper. Well done, Bowler, you have headed him! By Jove, I don't understand these tactics. Stand by there! She is running back again.'

To the great amazement of all on board the cruisers, except perhaps one or two, the great Dutch vessel, which might haply have escaped by standing on her present course, spun round like a top, and bore in again among her three pursuers. She had the heels of all of them before the wind, and might have run down any interceptor; but seemed not to know it, or to lose all nerve. Thank the Lord in heaven, all rogues are fools! She may double as she will, but she is ours now. Signal “ Albatross ” and “ Kestrel ” to stand in.'

In a few minutes, all four were standing for the bay; the Dutch vessel leading with all sail set, the cruisers following warily, and spreading, to head her from the north or south. It was plain that they had her well in the toils ; she must either surrender, or run ashore ; close-hauled as she was, she could not run them down, even if she would dream of such an outrage.

So far from showing any sign of rudeness was the smuggling vessel, that she would not even plead want of light as excuse for

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longer to come about, she saluted each of them with deep respect for the swallow-tail of his Majesty. And then she bore on, like the Admiral's ship, with signal for all to follow her.

Such cursed impudence never did I see,' cried every one of the revenue skippers, as they all were compelled to obey her; “surrender she must, or else run upon the rocks. Does the fool know what he is driving at?'

The fool, who was Master William Brown of Grimsby, knew very well what he was about. Every shoal, and sounding, and rocky gut, was thoroughly familiar to him, and the spread of faint light on the waves, and alongshore, told him all his bearings. The loud cackle of laughter, which Grimsby men at the cost of the rest of the world) enjoy, was carried by the wind to the ears of Nettlebones.

The latter set fast his teeth, and ground them; for now in the rising of the large full moon he perceived that the beach of the cove was black with figures gathering rapidly. “I see the villain's game; it is all clear now,' he shouted, as he slammed his spy-glass. He means to run in, where we dare not follow: and he knows that Carroway is out of hail. The hull may go smash for the sake of the cargo; and his flat-bottomed tub can run where we cannot. I dare not carry after him-court-martial, if I do; that is where those fellows beat us always. But by the Lord Harry, he shall not prevail. Guns are no good—the rogue knows that. We will land round the point, and nab him.'

By this time the moon was beginning to open the clouds, and strew the waves with light; and the vapours, which had lain across the day, defying all power of sun-ray, were gracefully yielding, and departing softly, at the insinuating whisper of the gliding night. Between the busy rolling of the distant waves, and the shining prominence of forward cliffs, a quiet space was left for ships to sail in, and for men to show activity in shooting one another. And some of these were hurrying to do so, if they could.

• There is little chance of hitting them in this bad light; but let them have it, Jakins; and a guinea for you, if you can only bring the big mainsail down.'

The gunner was yearning for this, and the bellow of his piece responded to the captain's words. But the shot only threw up a long path of fountains, and the bilander ploughed on as merrily as before. • Hard aport! By the Lord, I felt her touch. Go about! So, so, easy! Now lie to, for “ Kestrel ” and “ Albatross ” to join. My certy, but that was a narrow shave. How the beggar would have laughed if we had grounded! Give them another shot. It will do the gun good; she wants a little exercise.'

Nothing loth was master gunner, as the other bow-gun came into bearing, to make a little more noise in the world, and possibly produce a greater effect. And therein he must have had a grand success, and established a noble reputation, by carrying off a great

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