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nor take the counsel of calm wisdom; and this condition of his mind, as well as the loss of precious time, should have been taken into more consideration by those who condemned him for the things that followed.

Better late than never, as they say,' he cried, when the Kestrel' and the 'Albatross' hove in sight. Tomkins, signal to make sail and close. We seem to be moving more lively at last. I suppose we are out of that infernal undertow.'

Well, sir, she seems like herself a little more. She've had a witch on board of her, that's where it is. When I were a younker, just joined his Majesty's forty-two gun frigate

Stow that, Tomkins. No time now. I remember all about it, and very good it is. Let us have it all again when this job is done with. Bowler and Donovan will pick holes if they can, after waiting for us half-a-day. Not a word about our slow sailing, mind; leave that to me. They are framptious enough. Have everything trim, and all hands ready. When they range within hail, sing out for both to come to me.'

It was pretty to see the three cutters meet, all handled as smartly as possible ; for the Flamborough man had cast off his clog, and the “Swordfish’again was as nimble as need be. Lieutenants Bowler and Donovan were soon in the cabin of their senior officer, and durst not question him very strictly as to his breach of rendezvous, for his manner was short and sharp with them.

“There is plenty of time, if we waste it not in talking,' he said, when they had finished comparing notes. “All these reports we are bound to receive and consider; but I believe none of them. The reason why poor Carroway has made nothing but a mess of it is, that he will listen to the country people's tales. They are all bound together, all tarred with one brush-all stuffed with a heap of lies, to send us wrong; and as for the fishing-boats, and what they see,

I have been here long enough already to be sure that their fishing is a sham nine times in ten, and their real business is to help those rogues. Our plan is to listen, and pretend to be misled.'

• True for you, captain,' cried the ardent Donovan. "You 'bout ship, as soon as you can see them out of sight.'

My own opinion is this,' said Bowler, that we never shall catch any fellow until we have a large sum of money placed at our disposal. The general feeling is in their favour, and against us entirely. Why is it in their favour? Because they are generally supposed to run great risks, and suffer great hardships. And so they do; but not half so much as we do, who keep the sea in all sorts of weather, while they can choose their own. Also because they outrun the law, which nature makes everybody long to do, and admire the lucky ones who can. But most of all, because they are free-handed; and we can be only niggards. They rob the king with impunity, because they pay well for doing it; and he pays badly, or not at all, to defend himself from robbery. If we had a thousand pounds a-piece, with orders to

sense.

us.

sure that in three months we could stop all contraband work upon this coast.'

Upon me sowl, and so we could; and it's meself that would go into the trade, so soon as it was stopped, with the thousand pounds.'

“We have no time for talking nonsense,' answered Nettlebones severely, according to the universal law, that the man who has wasted the time of others, gets into a flurry about his own. Your

suggestion, Bowler, is a very wise one, and as full as possible of common

You also, Donovan, have shown with great sagacity what might come of it thereafter. But, unluckily, we have to get on as we can, without sixpence to spare for anybody. We know that the fishermen and people of the coast, and especially the womankind, are all to a man-as our good friend here would say-banded in league against

Nevertheless, this landing shall not be, at least upon our district. What happens north of Teesmouth is none of our business; and we should have the laugh of the old Scotchman there, if they pay him a visit, as I hope they may; for he cuts many jokes at our expense. But, by the Lord Harry, there shall be no run between the Tees and Yare, this side of Christmas. If there is, we may call ourselves three old women. Shake hands, gentlemen, upon that point; and we will have a glass of grog to it.'

This was friendly, and rejoiced them all; for Nettlebones had been stiff at first. Readily enough they took his orders, which seemed to make it impossible almost for anything large to slip between them, except in case of a heavy fog; and, in that case, they were to land and post their outlooks near the likely places.

We have shed no blood yet, and I hope we never shall,' said the senior officer pleasantly. The smugglers of this coast are too wise and I hope too kind-hearted for that sort of work. They are not like those desperate scoundrels of Sussex. When these men are nabbed, they give up their venture as soon as it goes beyond cudgelplay, and they never · lie in wait for a murderous revenge. In the south I have known a very different race, who would jump on an officer till he died, or lash him to death with their long cart-whips ; such fellows as broke open Poole Custom-house, and murdered poor Galley and Cator, and the rest, in a manner that makes human blood run cold. It was some time back; but their sons are just as bad. Smuggling turns them all to devils.

“My belief is,' said Bowler, who had a gift of looking at things from an outer point of view, that these fellows never propose to themselves to transgress the law, but to carry it out according to their own interpretation. One of them reasoned with me some time ago, and he talked so well about the Constitution that I was at a loss to answer him.'

Me jewel, forbear!' shouted Donovan ; 'a clout on the head is the only answer for them Constitutionals. Niver wilí it go out of my mind about the time I was last in Cark; shure, then, and it was holiday time; and me sister's wife's cousių, young Tim O'BradyTim says to me, “Now, Corkoran, my lad

Donovan,' Nettlebones suddenly broke in, we will have that story, wbich, I can see by the cut of your jib, is too good to be hurried, when first we come together after business done. The sun will be down in less than half an hour, and by that time we all must be well under way. We are watched from the land, as I need not tell you ; and we must not let them spy for nothing. They shall see us all stand out to sea to catch them in the open, as I said in the town-ball of Scarborough yesterday, on purpose. Everybody laughed; but I stuck to it, knowing how far the tale would go. They take it for a crotchet of mine, and will expect it, especially after they have seen us standing out; and their plans will be laid accordingly.'

The head-piece ye bave is beyont me inthirely. And if ye stand out, how will ye lay close inshore ?

By returning, my good friend, before the morning breaks ; each man to his station, lying as close as 'can be by day, with proper outlooks hidden at the points, but standing along the coast every night, and communicating with sentries. Have nothing to say to any fishing-boats; they are nearly all spies, and that puzzles them. This Robin Hocd's Bay is our centre for the present, unless there comes change of weather. Donovan's beat is from Whitby to Teesmouth, mine from Whitby to Scarborough, and Bowler's thence to Flamborough. Carroway goes where he likes, of course; as the manner of the

man is. He is a little in the doldrums now, and likely enough to come meddling. From Flamborough to Hornsea is left to him, and quite as much as he can manage. Further south there is no fear; our Yarmouth men will see to that. Now, I think you quite understand. Good-bye; we shall nab some of them to a certainty this time; they are trying it on too large a scale.'

• If they run any goods through me, then just ye may reckon the legs of me four times over.'

* And if they slip in past me,' said Bowler, without a thick fog, or a storm that drives me off, I will believe more than all the wonders told of Robin Lyth.'

• Oh! concerning that fellow, by the by'—Commander Nettlebones stopped his brother officers as they were making off--you know wbat a point poor Carroway has made, even before I was sent down here, of catching the celebrated Robin for himself. He has even let his fellows fire at him once or twice when he was quietly departing; although we are not allowed to shoot except upon strenuous resistance. Cannon we may fire, but no muskets, according to wise ordinance. Luckily, he has not hit him yet; and, upon

the wholé we should be glad of it; for the young fellow is a prime sailor, as you know, and would make fine stuff for Nelson. Therefore, we must do one thing of two—let Carroway catch him, and get the money to pay for all the breeches and the petticoats we saw; or if we catch him ourselves, say nothing, but draft him right off to the

Harpy.” You understand me. It is below us to get blood-money

A Yorkshire Tale.

1880]

165

The Irishman agreed to this at once ; but Bowler was not well pleased with it. Our duty is to give him up,' he said.

• Your duty is to take my orders,' answered Nettlebones severely. • If there is a row about it, lay the blame on me. I know what I am about in what I say. Gentlemen, good-bye, and good luck to you.

After long shivers in teeth of the wind and pendulous labour of rolling, the three cutters joyfully took the word to go. With a creak, and a cant, and a swish of canvas, upon their light heels they flew round, and trembled with the eagerness of leaping on their way. The taper boom dipped towards the running hills of sea, and the jibforeleech drew a white arc against the darkness of the sky to the bowsprit's plunge. Then, as each clean cut-water clove with the pressure of the wind upon the beam, and the glistening bends lay over, green hurry of surges streaked with grey began the quick dance along them. Away they went merrily, scattering the brine, and leaving broad tracks upon the closing sea.

Away also went, at a rapid scamper, three men who had watched them from the breastwork of the cliffs--one went northward, another to the south, and the third rode a pony up an inland lane. Swiftly as the cutters flew over the sea the tidings of their flight took wing ashore, and before the night swallowed up their distant sails, everybody on the land whom it concerned to know, knew as well as their steersman what course they had laid.

CHAPTER XXX.

INLAND OPINION.

WHATEVER may be said, it does seem hard, from a wholly disinterested point of view, that so many mighty men, with swift ships, armed with villanous saltpetre and sharp steel, should have set their keen faces all together and at once, to nip, defeat, and destroy as with a blow, liberal and well conceived proceedings, which they had long regarded with a larger mind. Everyone who had been led to embark soundly and kindly in this branch of trade, felt it as an outrage and a special instance of his own peculiar bad luck, that suddenly those officers should become so active. For long success had encouraged enterprise ; men who had made a noble profit nobly yearned to treble it, and commerce having shaken off her shackles, flapped her wings, and began to crow; so at least she had been declared to do, at a public banquet given by the Mayor of Malton, and attended by a large grain-factor, who was known as a wholesale purveyor of illicit goods.

This man, Thomas Rideout, long bad been the head-master of the smuggling school. The poor seafaring men could not find

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· Donovan, Nettlebones suddenly broke in, we will have that story, which, I can see by the cut of your jib, is too good to be hurried, when first we come together after business done. The sun will be down in less than half an hour, and by that time we all must be well under way. We are watched from the land, as I need not tell you ; and we must not let them spy for nothing. They shall see us all stand out to sea to catch them in the open, as I said in the town-hall of Scarborough yesterday, on purpose. Everybody laughed ; but I stuck to it, knowing how far the tale would go. They take it for a crotchet of mine, and will expect it, especially after they have seen us standing out; and their plans will be laid accordingly.'

“ The head-piece ye have is beyont me inthirely. And if ye stand out, how will ye lay close inshore?'

By returning, my good friend, before the morning breaks ; each man to his station, lying as close as 'can be by day, with proper outlooks hidden at the points, but standing along the coast every night, and communicating with sentries. Have nothing to say to any fishing-boats; they are nearly all spies, and that puzzles them. This Robin Hood's Bay is our centre for the present, unless there comes change of weather. Donovan's beat is from Whitby to Teesmouth, mine from Whitby to Scarborough, and Bowler's thence to Flamborough. Carroway goes where he likes, of course, as the manner of the

man is. He is a little in the doldrums now, and likely enough to come meddling. From Flamborough to Hornsea is left to him, and quite as much as he can manage.

Further south there is no fear; our Yarmouth men will see to that. Now, I think you quite understand. Good-bye; we shall nab some of them to a certainty this time; they are trying it on too large a scale.'

• If they run any goods through me, then just ye may reckon the legs of me four times over.'

“And if they slip in past me,' said Bowler, without a thick fog, or a storm that drives me off, I will believe more than all the wonders told of Robin Lyth.'

• Oh! concerning that fellow, by the by '-Commander Nettlebones stopped his brother officers as they were making off— you know what a point poor Carroway has made, even before I was sent down here, of catching the celebrated Robin for himself. He has even let bis fellows fire at him once or twice when he was quietly departing ; although we are not allowed to shoot except upon strenuous resistance. Cannon we may fire, but no muskets, according to wise ordinance. Luckily, he has not hit him yet; and, upon the wholé we should be glad of it; for the young fellow is a prime sailor, as you know, and would make fine stuff for Nelson. Therefore, we must do one thing of two-let Carroway catch him, and get the money

for all the breeches and the petticoats we saw; or if we catch him ourselves, say nothing, but draft him right off to the “Harpy." You understand me. It is below us to get blood-money

to pay

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