Louisa C. (Louisa Caroline) Tuthill.

I will be a gentleman : a book for boys online

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off infection, Brandon took large quantities of
rum. Frank warned him seriously of the dan-
ger he incurred of becoming intemperate.

" I thought you had too much taste to be a
tee-totaller," said Joe.

" You did not think I had a taste for rum ? "
replied Frank.

" No ; but I thought, with all your ideas of
refinement, that you would drink wine like a gen-
tleman. I was surprised to see you refuse Cham-
pagne and Burgundy at that famous French
dinner-party."

' l I promised my father, before I left home
the first time, that I would not drink wine nor
ardent spirits, and I have not broken my prom-
ise."

" Well, I can tell you that those stylish
French people looked at you as if they thought
you were terrible green not to take wine ; I dare
say they ought you never saw any thing of the
kind before."

" You are quite mistaken, I told them that I
7






74 A STORM AT SEA.

never drank wine, and they, with true politeness,
did not urge it upon me."

In spite of his precautionary measures, Bran-
don was seized violently with the fever. Two of
the sailors had already died, and were buried in
the depths of the ocean. Poor Joe was terribly
alarmed.

" Frank," said he, " I do not think I shall get
over this, for every body is so selfish that I can
now hardly get a cup of cold water brought to
me. O, if I only had my mother to take care
of me."

" The sailors have all so much to do, poor
fellows ! " replied Frank, kindly, " that they can-
not devote as much time as they would wish to
the sick. I will do all that I can for you, and I
am glad that I went to the hospitals at Marseilles,
for I there learnt many things which may be of
use to us now. I shall sponge you as often as I
can with cold water, and use some other reme-
dies of which I there heard. Keep up good
courage, Joseph, and I think you will do well.
There is one thing I want you to promise me ;
that is, when you recover, that you will drink no
more ardent spirits."

" Never, in all my life ? " inquired Joe.



A STORM AT SEA. 75

" Never. The men on board who drank most
freely are the ones who have died, and not a
temperate sailor has yet had the fever."

" Ah, I think I shall never wish to take
anothei drop, and I solemnly promise you that
I will not, unless it is prescribed by a physician
for a medicine. Give me water, water, now, for
I am mad with thirst."

After giving him the water, Frank was sum-
moned upon deck, and was unable to return for
several hours ; when he did so he found Brandon
raving with the delirium of fever. He called
upon his mother in the most piteous accents,
begging her not to forsake him.

Frank tried to soothe him, used the cold
water frequently, and gave him such medicines
as the ship's medicine-chest afforded. Although
exhausted by fatigue, he sat by him for several
hours.

The Bible, the gift of his mother, he read with
deep interest. He knew not how soon his own
turn might come to be laid low, and he prayed
earnestly for himself and his companion.

Towards morning Joseph slept, and Frank
snatched a short nap. He was aroused from it
to relieve the watch upon deck.



76 A STORM AT SEA.

So sleepy that he could hardly stand, he stag-
gered upon deck, and there met the captain, who
was just able to come out of the cabin.

Seeing Frank thus staggering along, with his
face flushed and his eyes red and swollen, he
laid his hand roughly upon his shoulder, and
said, " What ! drunk at this time of the morning,
boy ! you must have the cat for this."

" Sir, you are mistaken," said Frank, with
great mildness and self-possession, " I am very
weary and sleepy from having taken care of poor
Brandon all night. I was afraid that he might
not live till morning. I never take spirits, Sir."

" Excuse me, my good fellow ; I see I was
entirely mistaken," said the captain. " How
much you gain by never getting into a passion.
There is nothing convinces one so soon as this
mild way of speaking. It makes me think of my
good old mother. I wish I was more like the
old lady. How sorry she would have been to
hear me rip out an oath as I do now and then.
Odd zooks, there is a storm brewing. There,
look over the water, there comes a real hurri-
cane, down with the sails ! "

The few sailors on deck flew into the rigging,
but before they could succeed in taking in the



A STORM AT SEA. 77

sails, the gale came rushing on so furiously that
the vessel reeled, and seemed fighting for exist-
ence, " like a thing of life."

Another blast, still more furious ; she was
thrown completely upon one side, and the tatter-
ed sails floated upon the water.

Two men went overboard and were lost ; the
remainder clung to the sides, spars, and rigging.
Orders were given to cut away the masts. In
consequence of the small number of the crew re-
maining, this was a task of great difficulty ; it was,
however, accomplished, and the vessel righted.
The storm raged fiercely for several hours ; the
straining that the ship had undergone loosened the
timbers, so that there was water in the hold, and
the pumps were occasionally used.

As soon as Frank could make his way to the
place where he had left Joseph, he went to see
what had become of him. To Frank's utter
astonishment, there he still lay in his hammock.

Whether he had clung to it the whole time or
not could not be ascertained; there he was,
deathly pale, and so weak as to be unable to
move.

" Frank," said he, in a feeble voice, " Is it you ?
I believe I am dying. I am not fit to die. What
7*



78 A STORM AT SEA.

a bad son and brother I have been. What shall
T do ? "

"Ask God's forgiveness," said Frank, deeply
moved.

" I have," was the reply.

After a few moments' pause, Joseph inquired,
" How near home are we, Frank ? "

" We are quite distant ; you know we had not
made very rapid progress after we left Gibraltar,
when we carried away our masts "

" Carried away our masts ! " interrupted Jo-
seph. " When ? how ? "

Frank commenced telling the sad tale, but so
extreme was the weakness of Joseph that he fell
asleep during the recital.

He awoke after some hours, refreshed and evi-
dently better; the crisis was past, and recovery
probable. Great was his astonishment on learning
the full extent of the catastrophe ; and it was diffi-
cult to convince him that the ship was not even
then in immediate danger of being engulfed in
the ocean.

The danger, though not immediate, was immi-
nent. There was the ship that came so gallantly
out of port, every sail proudly swelling to the
breeze, bearing high aloft the stars and stripes



A STORM AT SEA. 79

so dear to every American, there she lay,
maimed, deformed, floating at the mercy of every
wave ; her hardy crew lessened by death ; the re-
mainder sick, disheartened, almost in despair ;
their only hope that some vessel might heave in
sight and take them from the wreck.

In consequence of the small number of service-
able hands on board, it was some time before they
succeeded in raising a jury-mast ; when this was
accomplished, they spread their sails and steered
for Fayal, one of the Azore Islands.

Brandon was now rapidly recovering. He had
no friend but Frank ; no one else troubled them-
selves about him, or rendered him the slightest
attention. Gratitude, like one fresh flower in a
desert, sprung up in the heart of Joseph Brandon ;
and its kindred flower, affection, must soon bloom
in its neighbourhood. The selfishness of his na-
ture had yielded, and he allowed himself to be
more influenced by his young friend that he ever
before had been by any human being.

Moreover, that Almighty Being whose wonders
are upon the great deep, was now often present to
his thoughts ; for in his agony, with death staring
him in the face, he had prayed.

During the long and tedious hours of loneli-



80 A STORM AT SEA.

ness that he now suffered, there was abundant
time for reflection. His life passed before him
like a moving panorama. What had he ever
done for the happiness of others ? Nothing.
How had he sought his own ? By trying to ap-
pear what he was not. He wished to appear rich,
he was not so. He wished to appear brave,
at heart he was a coward. He wished to be con-
sidered polite and refined, he was rude and
coarse. In striving after appearances he had to-
tally neglected reality.

His mother, his excellent, loving mother, she
was now revealed to him in her true character.
The large tears rolled over his pale, thin face, as
he thought of her neglected counsels, and all the
trouble he had occasioned her.

Fanny, sweet Fanny, seemed to hover near
him like some mild spirit of love and tenderness.
Susan, too, in spite of her candor and plain-
dealing severity, was a generous sister. How
could he ever repay them all for their self-sacri-
ficing kindness? He thought, again and again,
of that last fortnight hi Boston, when, instead of
earnestly looking for some respectable employ-
ment, he had strutted about the streets as if he
were as rich as Croesus, until his time and money



A STORM AT SEA. 81

were spent, and he was forced, as a last resort, to
go to sea.

That home, which he had once despised, what
spot on earth now seemed so lovely ! " Home,
sweet home." When the sullen waves dashed at
midnight against the shattered vessel, O, what ag-
ony thrilled through his soul as those words
seemed to vibrate there,

" Home ! sweet home ! There 's no place like home ! "



CHAPTER XIII.



ON the fourth morning after the ship had car-
ried away her masts, the joyful sound was heard,
"A sail! a sail!"

Suddenly a fresh breeze came over the water ;
the vessels neared and neared, and the crew of
the dismasted ship became almost frantic with

joy-
it was soon changed to the deepest dejection ;
for the vessel bore off in an easterly direction,
and either saw not their forlorn condition, or
chose to take no notice of their signals of dis-
tress.

To increase their anxiety, the leak was gain-
ing fast upon them, and the labor at the pumps
was incessant. Captain Wye, who had just re-
covered from sickness, which had been succeed-



A SAIL. 83

ed by great debility, -seemed entirely bewildered,
and knew not what directions to give for the safe-
ty and preservation of the crew.

Some of the sailors, hi a state of extreme des-
peration, drank freely of ardent spirits, and be-
came mutinous and disobedient.

It was necessary that all should work, by
turns, at the pumps. Towards the morning of
the fifth day, while the captain, Joseph Brandon,
Frank Wood, and two common sailors, were
sleeping soundly, during the brief space allowed
them for rest, the first mate, with the remain-
der of the crew, had taken the long-boat and es-
caped.

One of the sailors, accustomed to wake, from
habit, at the time appointed, went upon deck
without being called, and found it entirely desert-
ed. He immediately gave the alarm, and all
who remained on board were soon upon deck.

Frank's courage had held out manfully, hith-
erto; but when he saw the terrible condition to
which they were now reduced, he sat down and
wept piteously. " My father, my dear father, I
shall never see you again," said he, with a burst-
ing heart.

Brandon, who was but just able to crawl upon



84 A SAIL.

deck, at the sight of Frank's sorrow was in abso-
lute despair.

The water was gaining rapidly in the hold.
The sailors said the vessel could not remain above
water more than twelve hours longer.

The captain seemed utterly to have lost his
reason. He was calm, but it was not the calm-
ness of a strong mind ; it was the fearful indiffer-
ence of idiotic derangement.

The sailors went to work to construct a raft.
They endeavoured to cheer Frank with the hope
that they might thus be saved, and he aroused
himself to assist them in their labor.

As soon as it was finished, he attempted to go
below to get his chest, or at least some of his
clothing. It was already under water. Joseph
was sorely distressed when he found that his
chest, too, was not to be recovered.

They had hitherto had an abundance of water
and provisions ; but the men in the long-boat had
carried off a quantity, and what remained would
not long hold out.

Far in the distance the anxious eyes of one of
the sailors discovered a mere speck in the hori-
zon. It might be a sail, it might be only a
cloud. It grew larger and larger. It was a sail !



A SAIL. 85

0, how the hearts of the poor fellows throbbed
with anxiety as they watched the increasing mast,
and then the hull of the vessel, as it came up
fully to view. It was steering towards them. It
came nearer and nearer hour after hour. At last
they shouted, and made signals, though still too
distant to be heard. On, on, came the vessel,
bounding over the waves.

" Captain ! " said Frank, " Captain ! we shall
be saved."

" Well, what of that ? " said the poor captain,
without the slightest expression of joy.

" Could I not possibly get at my chest ? " said
Brandon. " What will people think of me in
these old clothes ? "

" It would not be safe to make the attempt,"
was the reply of one of the sailors, an experi-
enced tar.

" Never mind your clothes, Joe, if your life is
saved. There comes a boat, hurrah!" cried
Frank.

It was an English brig, bound for Fayal. The
boat was soon alongside.

" Halloo ! shipmates ! " said a bluff English
sailor ; " you do n't spread much canvass. I 'm
afraid you 're bound for Davy's locker." And
8



86 A SAIL.

he jumped upon the deck, now almost level with
the ocean, followed by his companions.

The story of their misfortunes was soon told.

" Hurry ! hurry ! " said the first speaker ; " we
have n't a second to lose. What ails your cap-
tain ? He seems in a brown study."

" He has been very ill, and since his misfor-
tunes seems to have lost his reason. We must
help him on board," said Frank, taking him
kindly by the hand. " We must leave the poor
Sally Ann."

"That was my wife's name," said the captain.
" Must we go ? Well, just as you say " ; and he
stepped into the boat. Brandon, Frank, and the
sailors followed.

A few casks of biscuit, and some other things
of little value, were all that could be saved from
the wreck.

They rowed for the brig; and, after having
been cordially welcomed by the English captain
and crew, they turned to see, once more, the
wreck of the Sally Ann.

"The shattered thing
Had passed away and left no mark."



CHAPTER XIV.



WITH a fair wind the brig went on towards
Fayal. There seemed but little change in the
captain from day to day, and yet he was declin-
ing. Frank attended upon him with as much de-
votedness as if he had been his father.

The cry of " Land, land," the third day after
they left the wreck, started the captain from a
long sleep. Frank was sitting by him. He knew
him, and calling him by name, said, " Was not
that the cry of land ? "

" It was," said Frank, pleased to see that the
captain had once more his reason. " Here is
Captain Brown who will tell you what it is."

" How are you, Captain ? Better, I hope. We
shall soon be in port. The land is a high moun-
tain in one of the Azores, called the Peak," said
the English captain.



" I have a dim recollection of escape from a
wreck. The poor Sally Ann, did she go down,
Frank ? " asked Captain Wye, in a mournful
voice.

" She did, Sir, but all were saved," replied
Frank.

" You are a good lad, Frank, God bless you,"
said the poor captain ; then, lowering his voice
almost to a whisper, he said, " You pray some-
times, Frank, do n't you ? Well, pray for me,
for I am going to my long account. Bury me in
the ocean, Captain, I shall rest better there."

For a few moments he was silent ; he thought
of his far-distant home. He then called Frank
again, and said, " Here, my brave boy, take my
watch, it is all I have to give you, it keeps true
time ; and when you get home, go to New Bed-
ford and tell my wife all about my misfortunes.
Call the other boys."

The sailors were called.

" Well, my lads, your captain 's just going,"
said he. " Keep steady, boys, and then, you
know, all 's well. There 's nothing more com-
fortable than a clean conscience when one is
about to die. Brandon, I thought you would
have gone before me, but it seems you stay a



FAYAL. 89

while longer. Be kind to Frank, whatever hap-
pens ; he has been kind enough to you. God
bless you, Captain Brown. Take good care of
these poor fellows."

And here the captain's mind wandered again ;
he muttered indistinctly for a while, and then was
for ever silent. In a few hours he had breath-
ed his last.

" They saw the pomp of day depart,

The cloud resign its golden crown,
When to the ocean's beating heart

The sailor's wasted corse went down.
Peace be to those whose graves are made
Beneath the bright and silver wave."

The town of Villa de Horta, in Fayal, is in-
habited principally by the Portuguese. At the
time of the arrival of Captain Brown with the
wrecked seamen from the Sally Ann, it happened
there was no American consul there, and only
one American resident in the place. Vessels
from the United States, however, frequently visit-
ed the island ; and the captain, after giving each
of the sailors a full suit of coarse clothes, left
them to find what opportunity they could to re-
turn to their own country.

The very next day, the two sailors shipped on
8*



90 FAYAL.

board a returning East-Indiaman, in want of
hands, leaving Joseph and Frank to take care of
each other.

They walked about for some tune, inquiring if
there were any residents from the United States.
The Portuguese, whom they met, did not under-
stand them ; but at length an Englishman direct-
ed them to a well-built house hi one of the prin-
cipal streets, saying it was the dwelling of an
American merchant.

Frank and Joe, with beating hearts, stood at the
door of their fellow-countryman. A Portuguese
servant appeared, who was, after much difficulty,
made to comprehend that they wished to speak
with his master.

A tall, spare man, with a hooked nose and
small grey eyes, soon appeared.

Joe made his best dancing-school bow, and, as
he was the oldest, chose to be spokesman.

" Sir," said he, " you see before you two un-
fortunate young gentlemen from the United States,
who have had the misfortune to be shipwrecked
and lose all their clothes. We take the liberty to
present our deplorable case for your consideration.
We are not sailors hi the common acceptation of
the term."



FATAL. 91

Here was a little of the old desire to be a gen-
tleman. It takes a long time to overcome early
habits.

" I see plainly you are a couple of English
runaway sailor-boys, and I will have nothing to
do with you," said the stranger, preparing to shut
the door hi their faces.

" Stay, stay, I entreat you," said Frank. " We
are indeed your countrymen ; sailors from the
Sally Ann, of Boston."

" Yes," added Joe, " and we both belong to
very respectable families at home."

" I am not anxious to make the acquaintance
of such highly respectable individuals," said the
man, shutting the door, and bolting it.

Brandon, who had so recently recovered from
severe illness, was pale and weak. He sat down
upon the door-step, exclaiming, " I can go on
further. I should just like to tell that fellow that
he is no gentleman."

" And yet, Joe, he was a remarkably well-
dressed man," replied Frank, with a meaning
smile. " At least you can rest here a while, till
I look about and see what can be done."

Frank walked off briskly, and Joe laid down a
small budget, done up in a silk handkerchief,



92 FAYAL.

his whole worldly possessions ; and, leaning his
head upon his hands, fell into sad meditations.

While he was thus musing, the door of the
house again opened, and the Portuguese servant
appeared and began scolding him in a violent
manner. The words he did not understand, but
the tones and gestures plainly intimated that it
was the man's intention to drive him away.

As Joe had agreed to wait there for Frank, he
did not move, but said, in a loud tone, " Tell
your master that I say he is no gentleman, and
when I get home I will report him as a mean
fellow."

The servant did not understand this, but the
master, who was at an open window above, did,
and coming down to the door, he gave the little
budget a kick into the street, and said, " Be-
gone, you rascal, and if I catch you here again
I will give you a good cowhiding."

" But," said Joe, in an expostulatory manner,
" I am to wait here for my friend ; and Mr.
Whats-your-name "

" My name is George Washington Mudge,
' well known upon ' change,' as the saying is.
You report me at home ! A man worth forty
thousand dollars reported as a mean fellow by






a dirty, low-lived sailor-boy, not worth a brass
farthing ? Who would believe you ? Come !
be going, as fast as your feet will carry you."

" I wished only to wait here till Frank Wood
returned, but I can go to the next door-step,"
said Joe, picking up his little bundle and mut-
tering, " What a horrid disgrace to the name
of Washington ! What a disgrace to his country !
A man worth forty thousand dollars too ! "

Disheartened, and actually hungry, he sat down
upon the next door-step, and there he waited for
Frank's return till the sun was sinking below the
horizon.

Meantime Frank passed through one street, and
another, and another, not meeting with any per-
son whom he could venture to address. At length
he bethought himself of the captain's watch ; and
it occurred to him, if he could dispose of that
he could procure lodgings for himself and Jo-
seph.

Seeing a large goldsmith's shop, he went into
it, and found it was kept by a Frenchman. He
handed him the watch, and asked how much he
would give for it. The goldsmith looked at the
watch, a fine gold repeater, and then at Frank,
shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and said,






94 FAYAL.

" Where you get him watch, you English boy ; I
mend him vonce for von Capitaine Vy."

" Captain Wye ! Did you know him ? He
was my captain on board the Sally Ann, and he
gave me that watch when he was dying. I would
not part with it, but I have nothing else to supply
my necessities and those of a friend."

" Ah, I 'fraid you no come honestly by him,
but I give you twenty dollars for him."

At this moment a gentleman, who had been
standing in another part of the shop, came up,
and said, " Monsieur Fourcher, why do you not
speak French with the boy ? I wish to hear what
he has to say."

" The very reason why I did not speak to him
in French is, because I wish to make a bargain
with the young rascal who has stolen this
watch."

" Stolen it ! " exclaimed Frank, indignantly ;
" I told you, Sir, it was the gift of my poor cap-
tain, his parting gift ; and cruel necessity alone
obliges me to dispose of it."

" Have the goodness to relate the particulars,"
said the gentleman, who seemed much interested.
" Let me, meantime, examine the watch."

The goldsmith seemed reluctant to let it go out
of his hands, but durst not refuse.



FAYAL. 95

Frank then gave a brief but clear account of
their voyage from Boston to Gibraltar, Mar-
seilles, and Smyrna, and from thence homeward,
the gale, the loss of the vessel, the death of
Captain Wye, and his being left with Brandon at
Fayal without any means of returning home. As
Frank concluded his story, he said, " I must
hasten to my friend, for he will be alarmed at my
long absence."

" And I will go with you," said the stranger.
" Monsieur Fourcher, you must wait a while be-
fore you can buy this watch for twenty dollars,
which must have cost two hundred."

" And so the captain left you unprovided for ?
That was just like John Bull," continued he, as
they walked along.

" Excuse me, Sir, you are mistaken. He was
kind to us. He gave me the clothes I have on,
and a suit to each of my companions hi misfor-
tune."

" And left you to find a passage home as you
could. And where are you going to stay in the
mean time ? "

" I do not know, Sir, but I have already met
with so much kindness that I trust Providence
will open the way for our speedy return home.



96 FATAL.

I am sorry to say that we met with rudeness and
unkindness from the only one from whom we
could reasonably have expected different treat-
ment, our own countryman who resides here."

" One Mr. Mudge ? "

" I do not know his name."

" As mean a scoundrel as ever disgraced any
country is that same Mudge, for I have no doubt
he was the man. He set up a little huckster's
shop here some years since, and has scraped to-
gether a few thousands by all manner of cheat-


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Online LibraryLouisa C. (Louisa Caroline) TuthillI will be a gentleman : a book for boys → online text (page 4 of 7)