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low, and in a quiet way do for our dim, grey speck on the horizon. passengers, than stand the chance The captain muttered an infernal of a mutiny among the crew." oath, and called aloud to his sailors, Here my very blood curdled in my “Seamen--ahoy-ahoy! Make ali veins. “ Dat is goot, and like mine the sail ye can. Veer out the mainbrave capitain," said the French- sheet ---top-sails unreefed - royals man; “ and yet Monsieur Jean say and sky-sails up" [ &c. &c.]. well mosh danger kill at present ; Stretch every stitch of canvass. but why not have de crew above Keep her to the wind-keep her to deck vidout making no attention to the wind !” I was surprised to de 'voyagers. Dey take not no no- find that our course was suddenly tice. Miladi tink but of moon, and changed, as the vessel, which had stars, and book ; and for de sleeping previously driven before the breeze, Lyon dere, it were almost pity to was now evidently sailing with a cut his troat in any case. He ver side-wind. coot faillow ; like we chosen spee The noise of rattling cables, the rit. Sacre-bleu! I knew him a trampling of sailors' feet on deck, boy.”—[I had never seen the fel- and the increased blustering of the low until I was on the wrong side wind in the crowded sails, now overof my thirtieth birth-day.]—“Al- came every other sound. The Devays for de mischief,-stealing ap- mon Ship was, of course, made for ples, beating his schoolfellows, and fast sailing, and she now drove onoder little speerited tricks. At last ward at a rate that was almost inhe was expell de school. I say not credible. She literally flew like a dis praise from no love to him ; for falcon over the waves. Once more he beat me one, two time, when I I turned to the horizon. God of secretaire to his uncle ; and den mercy ! the frigate again began to run off vid my soodheart—so I ver sink upon the waters. well pleased make him bad turn." And now shall I waste words in _“Well, then, suppose the men telling what were my feelings during come on deck, half at a time,” said the hour of horror I have described the captain ; " and we'll keep the I felt as one who had dreamed himprisoners—Heaven help us ! the self in security, and awoke in the passengers—till the sea be clear, infernal regions. I felt that in a may be till sunset.”—“Look, look!" few hours I might not only be said Jack, “the frigate gains on us; butchered in cold blood myself, but I partly see her hull, and the wind might see Margaret-that was the slackens." I now put my own thought that unmanned me. I tried glass, which was a remarkably good to think if any remedy yet remained, one, through my little window, and if aught lay in our power to avert could distinctly see the sails and our coming fate. Nothing offered rigging and part of the hull of our itself. I felt that we were entirely late convoy. I could perceive that in the power of the Demon buccamany of her crew were aloft ; but neers. I saw that all that Girod the motion of our own vessel was so could do was to gain a few hours' great that the frigate was sometimes delay. Oh ! when we stand sudon and sometimes off the glass ; and denly, but assuredly, on the verge I was therefore unable to discover of disembodied existence, who can whether she were hoisting or taking paint that strange revulsion of feelin sail. It was a comfortable sight, ing which takes place in the human however, to see a friendly power bosom! I had never been one apparently so near ; and there was who held it a duty to conceal from a feeling of hopeless desolation any human being that approaching when, on removing the glass, the crisis of his destiny which will usher yessel, whose men I could almost him before the tribunal of his Mahave counted before, shrank to a ker; and my earnest desire now
was to inform Margaret as quickly less, and respiration seemed almost as possible of her coming fate. But lost in terror and overpowering agafter Girod's parting injunction, I tonishment. She soon, however, feared to precipitate the last fatal gained comparative self-possession. measures by any step that might I must be alone for å few moseem taken with reference to them. ments," she said. “ Perhaps you I therefore lay still until morning will join me below in a brief hour.” was further advanced. I then arose She enveloped her face in her and left my cabin. It was yet shawl to hide its agitation from the scarcely broad day, but many a crew, and hastily descended to her face I had not before seen met my cabin. When I joined her at the eye,-many a countenance, whose time she had appointed, a heavenly untameable expression of ferocity calm had stolen over her countehad doubtless been deemed, even nance. She held out one hand to by the ruffian commander himself, me, and pointing upwards with the good reason for hitherto keeping other, said, “I have not implored them from observation. All on the in vain. Come and sit by me, my quarter-deck was quiet. The sky- friend ; our moments seem numlight of the cabin was closed, and it bered on earth, but, oh! what an seemed that the countess and her interminable existence stretches female attendants were still enjoying beyond it. In such a moment as a calm and secure repose. . I long- this, how do we feel the necessity ed to descend and arouse them of some better stay than aught our from a sleep which was so soon to own unprofitable lives can yield.” be followed by a deeper slumber; Margaret's Bible lay before her. but the step would have been ha- It was open at the history of His zardous, and I therefore walked up sufferings on whom her soul relied. and down the quarter-deck, some. She summoned her maidens, and times anxiously watching for the we all read and prayed together. removal of the sky-light, sometimes Her attendants were two sisters, of straining my vision on the horizon, less exalted mind than their misand sometimes casting a furtive tress, but whose piety, trembling glance towards the evidently in- and lowly, was equally genuine. creasing crew on deck, whilst ever They sate locked in one another's and anon my soul rose on prayer to arms, pale and weeping. its God, and spread its fearful cause It was a difficult day to pass, before him.
urged by prudence, and the slender I had now an opportunity of dis- remain of hope, to appear with our covering the real nature of my sen- wonted bearing before the crew. timents towards Margaret. They We felt, too, that there was a somestood the test which overthrows thing suspicious in our remaining many a summer-day attachment. so long together, but we found it I felt that, standing as my soul now almost impossible to loose our grąsp was on the verge of its everlasting on each other's hands and separate. fate, it lost not one of its feelings of Too plain indications that our sens tenderness. They had assumed, tence was at length gone forth indeed, a more sacred character, soon began to show themselves. but they were not diminished. The Our scanty breakfast had been sun arose, and the countess ap- served early in the morning, with a peared on deck. I drew her to the savage carelessness of manner that stern of the vessel, so that her back ominously contrasted with the overwas to the crew, and there divulg- done attentions we had before reed the fearful secret which so aw. ceived ; and the non-appearance of fully concerned her. At first the any subsequent meal, though day woman only appeared in Margaret ; waned apace, fearfully proved to us her cheek was pale, her lips blood- that the Demon captain now held
further ceremony with his doomed ing husband and wife, bade solema passengers useless. Margaret held farewell to each other. We all me to her with a gentle and trem- then remained silent, our quick bling tenacity that rendered it diffi- beating hearts raised in prayer, and cult for me to leave her even for a our ear open to every sound that moment; but I felt the duty of as- seemed to approach the cabin. Percertaining whether any aid yet haps the uncertain nature of the appeared in view, or whether Girod death we were awaiting rendered could effect aught for us. I walked its approach more fearful. The towards evening round the quarter- ocean must undoubtedly be our deck-not a sail was to be seen on grave ; but whether the wave, the the horizon. I endeavored to speak chord, the pistol, or the dagger, to Girod, but he seemed studiously would be the instrument of our and fearfully to avoid me. The destruction, we knew not; whether captain was above, and the deck something like mercy would be was thronged. I believe this des- shown by our butchers in the perate crew was composed of “all promptness of our execution, or people, nations, and languages.” whether they might take a ruffian Once only I met Girod's eye as he pleasure in inflicting a lingering passed me quickly in assisting to pain. Had Margaret or I been hoist a sail. He looked me fixedly alone in these awful circumstances, and significantly in the face. It I believe this thought would not was enough : that expressive re- have occupied us a moment ; but gard said, “ Your sentence has to be doomed to be spectators of gone forth !” I instantly descend- the butchery of those we love, ed to the cabin, and my fellow-vic- makes the heart recoil in horror tims read in my countenance the from the last crisis, even when it extinction of hope. We now fas- believes that the sword of the tened the door, I primed my pistols, assassin will prove the key to the and placed them in my bosom, and gate of heaven. clinging to one another we waited The sun sank in the waters, and our fate. It was evident that the the last tinge of crimson faded on ship had been put about, and that the waves, that now rolled towards we were sailing in a different direc- the stern windows in dun, and distion ; for the sun, which had before mal billows. The wind, as is often set over the bows of the vessel, the case at sunset, died on the now sent his parting rays into the ocean. At this moment I heard stern windows. Margaret put her the voice of the captain — Up to hand in mine with a gentle confi- the top of the mainmast, Jack, and dence, which our circumstances see if there be any sail on the horithen warranted, and I held her zon.” The group of victims in the close to me.
She stretched out her cabin scarcely drew breath while other hand to her female attendants, waiting a reply which would decide who, clinging close together, each their fate. We distinguished the held a hand of their mistress. sound of feet running up the “Dear Edward !” said Margaret, shrouds. A few moments elapsed grasping my arm. It was about ere the answer was received. At twelve years since I had heard these length we heard a "Well, Jack, words from her lips; but it now well?”_which was followed by the seemed as if there were between us springing of a man on deck, and a mutual, though tacit, understand- the words, “Not a sail within fifty ing of our feelings for each other. miles, I'll be sworn.”-“Well
, Unrestrained, at such a moment, then, do the work below!” was the by the presence of the domestics, reply. “But (with an oath) don't Margaret and I used the most en- let's have any squealing or squalldearing expressions, and, like a dy. ing. Finish them quietly. . And
take all the trumpery out of the had a private quarrel against that cabin, for we shall hold revel there eaptain down at the bottom of the to-night.” A step now came softly sea, there, so he asks our comdown the cabin stair, and a hand mander not to let anybody lay tried the door, but found it fastened. hands on him but himself. A very I quitted Margaret, and placed my- natural thing to ask. There—close self at the entrance of the cabin. that locker, heave out the long“Whoever,” said I, “ attempts to table, there'll be old revel here tocome into this place, does it at the night."-At this moment Girod peril of his life. I fire the instant the again descended. “ All hands alost, latch is raised.”—A voice said, ma lads,” he cried, “make no at" Laissez moi entrer donc." I he- tention to de carpet dere-matters sitated for a moment, and then un- not, for I must fairst descend, and fastened the door. Girod entered, give out de farine for pasty. We and locked it after him. He drag- have no more cursed voyagers, so ged in with him four strings, with may make revel here to naight heavy stones appended to them, vidout no incommode.” He soon and the same number of sacks. descended with a light into The females sank on the floor. In wooden dungeon. the twinkling of an eye Girod rolled Her own unexpected rescue, the up
the carpet of the cabin, and took fate of her domestics, and the sudup the trap-door, which every tra- den obscurity in which we were veller knows is to be found in the involved, had almost overpowered cabins of merchantmen. “In-in,”
,” Margaret's senses, but they rehe said in French to the countess turned with the light.
“ Poor Kaand myself. I immediately de- tie, poor Mary. Alas ! for their scended, received Margaret into my aged mother !" she said, in the arms, and was holding them out low and subdued tone of one who for the other females, when the seems half dreaming a melancholy trap-door was instantly closed and and frightful dream, and looking bolted, the carpet laid down, the with horror at Girod.—“I would cabin door unlocked, and Girod have saved you all, had it been poscalled out, “Here, you, Harry, sible,” said Jacqueminot, in French. Jack, how call you yourselves, I've “ But how were all to be hid, and done for two of dem. I can't ma- kept in this place ? What I have nage no more. Dat tamned Cap- done is at the risk of my life. But tain Lyon, when I stuff him in de there is not a moment to be lost. sack, he almost brake de arm.” I have the keeping of the sternHeavy feet trampling over the ca- hold. Look you-here be two rows bin floor, with a sound of scufiling of meal-sacks fore and aft. If you, and struggling, were now heard miladi, can hide behind one, and over our head. A stified shriek, you, colonel, behind the other, ye which died into a deep groan, suc- may have, in some sort, two little ceeded—then two heavy plashes chambers to yourselves, after Enginto the water, with the bubbling lish fashion. Or if you prefer the noise of something sinking beneath same hiding-place, take it, in heathe waves, and the fate of the ven's name, but lose not a moment." tvo innocent sisters was decided. _ And what will be the end of all "Where's Monsieur Girod ?" at this?" asked I, after some hurried length said a rough voice.—“Oh, expressions of gratitude.--"God he's
gone above,” was the reply ; knoweth,” he replied. “I will from " thinks himself too good to kill time to time, when I descend to any but quality.”—“No, no,” an- give out meal, and clean the place, swered the other, “I'm Girod's, bring you provisions. How long through to the back-bone-the fun- this can last--where we are going niest fellow of the crew, But he and whether in the end I can res
cue you, time must be the shower. or consolation to each other-dared If we should put into some port of scarcely breathe, or stir even a the Levant, perhaps I may be able hand from the comfortless attitude to pass you on shore in one of these in which we were placed. We sacks ; but we are still on the Gib- could hear them speak occasionally raltar side of Malta, and shall not of our murder, in a careless and see land for a month-only, for incidental manner.
The captain God's sake, keep quiet. I'd leave expressed his regret that we had you a light, but it would be danger- not, as matters turned out, been ous. I doubt you'll be stifled carlier disposed of, and made a sort alive. Yet there's no help for it. of rough apology to his shipmates Hide, hide_I dare stay not one for the inconvenience our prolonged moment longer.” He rolled down existence must have occasioned a heap of biscuits, placed a pitcher them. of water by them, and departed. At length the revellers broke up.
Never will our first fearful night I listened attentively until I became in that strange concealment be for- convinced that no one occupied the gotten. The Demon crew held cabin that night. I then ventured wild revelry over our head. Their gently to push up the trap-door a fierce and iniquitous speech, their little, in order to give air to my exlawless songs, their awful and demo- hausted companion. But the fumes niac oaths, their wild intoxication, that entered were anything but remade Margaret thrill with a horror viving. All was dark and quiet as that half excited the wish to escape death, and I could hear the rain dein death from the polluting vicinity scending violently on the cabin of such infernal abominations. The skylight. The wind was high, and hold was so shallow that we ap- the ship rolled tremendously. We peared çiose to the revellers. Their heard the roar of the waters against voices sounded so near that we the side of our prison, and the heavy seemed almost among them, and dashing on deck of huge billows, our concealment a miracle ; while which even made their way down the heat became so stifling and un- the cabin stairs. bearable, that we could scarcely Towards morning, as I supposed, gasp, and I began to fear that Mar- for with us it was all one long night, garet would expire in my arms. I again distinguished voices in the
It was a strange rešection that cabin. “ It blows a stiff gale," was we might, almost without the warn- the observation of Jack.—“So ing of an instant, be in the hands of much the better,” replied the hardy our brutal and unconscious gaolers; and ferocious voice of the captain ; for our concealment afforded not “the more way we make, the fareven the slender defence of an in- ther we get from all those cursed side lock or bolt, and the carpet, government vessels. I think we which seemed to present a slight might now venture to fall on any barrier between us and the Demon merchantman that comes in our way. hoard, had been rolled up, as no We must soon do something, for we longer necessary to give our late have as yet made but a sorry profit accommodations the peaceful ap- out of our present voyage. Let's pearance of a cabin fitted up for see-four thousand sterling pounds passengers. The light streamed that belonged to the captain therehere and there through the crevice rather to us-seeing we had taken in the trap-door, and I involuntarily them on board.”_" Yes, yes, we trembled when I saw it fall on the have sacked the captain,” observed white garment of Margaret, as if, Jack, facetiously. His companion even in that concealment, it might went on—"His watch, rings, and betray her. We dared scarcely clothes ; and two thousand dollars whisper a word of encouragement of the countess's, and her jewels,