all legitimate business ! Not even your shrinking sen-
sitiveness could find fault with the first look of one of
them, if they had panned out right. And you know,
the Flying Scud was the biggest gamble of the crowd,
and that was your own idea. Mamie says she never
could bear to look you in the face, if that idea had been
mine ; she is so conscientious !
" Your broken-hearted
The last began without formality :
." This is the end of me commercially. I give up ; my
nerve is gone. I suppose I ought to be glad ; for we're
through the court. I don't know as ever I knew how,
and I'm sure I don't remember. If it pans out the
wreck, I mean we'll go to Europe, and live on
the interest of our money. No more work for me. I
shake when people speak to me. I have gone on, hoping
and hoping, and working and working, and the lead
has pinched right out. I want to lie on my back in a
garden, and read Shakespeare and E. P. Koe. Don't
suppose it's cowardice, London. I'm a sick man. Best
is what I must have. I've worked hard all my life ; I
never spared myself; every dollar I ever made, I've
coined my brains for it. I've never done a mean thing ;
I've lived respectable, and given to the poor. Who has
a better right to a holiday than I have ? And I mean
to have a year of it straight out ;. and if I don't, I shall
I TUKN SMUGGLER, THE CAPTAIN CASUIST. 327
lie right down here in my tracks, and die of worry and
brain trouble. Don't mistake. That's so. If there are
any pickings at all, trust Speedy; don't let the creditors
get wind of what there is. I helped you when you
were down; help me now. Don't deceive yourself;
you've got to help me right now, or never. I am
clerking, and not Jit to cypher. Mamie 's type-writing
at the Phoenix Guano Exchange, down town. The light
is right out of my life. I know you'll not like to do
what I propose. Think only of this ; that it's life or
death for "Jin PINKERTON.
"P.S. Our figure was seven per cent. 0, what a
fall was there ! Well, well, it's past mending ; I don't
want to whine. But, Loudon, I do want to live. No
more ambition; all I ask is life. I have so much to
make it sweet to me ! I am clerking, and unless at
that. I know I would have fired such a clerk inside
of forty minutes, in my time. But my time's over. I
can only cling on to you. Don't fail
There was yet one more postscript, yet one more
outburst of self-pity and pathetic adjuration; and a
doctor's opinion, unpromising enough, was besides en-
closed. I pass them both in silence. I think shame to
have shown, at so great length, the half-baked virtues
of my friend dissolving in the crucible of sickness and
distress ; and the effect upon my spirits can be judged
328 THE WKECKEK.
already. I got to my feet, when I had done, drew a
deep breath, and stared hard at Honolulu. One moment
the world seemed at an end ; the next, I was conscious
of a rush of independent energy. On Jim I could rely
no longer; I must now take hold myself. I must decide
and act on my own better thoughts.
The word was easy to say; the thing, at the first
blush, was undiscoverable. I was overwhelmed with
miserable, womanish pity for my broken friend; his
outcries grieved my spirit ; I saw him then and now
then, so invincible; now, brought so low and knew
neither how to refuse, nor how to consent to his pro-
posal. The remembrance of my father, who had fallen
in the same field unstained, the image of his monument
incongruously rising, a fear of the law, a chill air that
seemed to blow upon my fancy from the doors of
prisons, and the imaginary clank of fetters, recalled me
to a different resolve. And then again, the wails of
my sick partner intervened. So I stood hesitating, and
yet with a strong sense of capacity behind: sure, if I
could but choose my path, that I should walk in it with
Then I remembered that I had a friend on board, and
stepped to the companion.
" Gentlemen," said I, " only a few moments more : but
these, I regret to say, I must make more tedious still by
removing your companion. It is indispensable that I
should have a word or two with Captain Nares."
I TURN SMUGGLER, THE CAPTAIN CASUIST. 329
Both the smugglers were afoot at once, protesting.
The business, they declared, must be despatched at once ;
they had run risk enough, with a conscience ; and they
must either finish now, or go.
" The choice is yours, gentlemen," said I, " and, I be-
lieve, the eagerness. I am not yet sure that I have any-
thing in your way ; even if I have, there are a hundred
things to be considered ; and I assure you it is not at all
my habit to do business with a pistol to my head."
" That is all very proper, Mr. Dodd ; there is no wish
to coerce you, believe me," said Fowler ; " only, please
consider our position. It is really dangerous ; we were
not the only people to see your schooner off Waimanolo."
" Mr. Fowler," I replied, " I was not born yesterday.
Will you allow me to express an opinion, in which I may
be quite wrong, but to which I am entirely wedded ? If
the custom-house officers had been coming, they would
have been here now. In other words, somebody is work-
ing the oracle, and (for a good guess) his name is
Both men laughed loud and long ; and being supplied
with another bottle of Longhurst's champagne, suffered
the captain and myself to leave them without further
I gave Nares the correspondence, and he skimmed it
" Now, captain," said I, " I want a fresh mind on this,
What does it mean ? "
330 THE WRECKER.
" It's large enough text," replied tlie captain. " It
means you're to stake your pile on Speedy, hand him
over all you can, and hold your tongue. I almost wish
you hadn't shown it me," he added, wearily. "What
with the specie from the wreck and the opium money, it
comes to a biggish deal."
" That's supposing that I do it ? " said I.
" Exactly," said he, " supposing you do it."
" And there are pros and cons to that," I observed.
"There's San Quentin, to start in with," said the
captain ; " and suppose you clear the penitentiary, there's
the nasty taste in the mouth. The figure's big enough
to make bad trouble, but it's not big enough to be
picturesque ; and I should guess a man always feels
kind of small who has sold himself under six cyphers.
That would be my way, at least ; there's an excitement
about a million that might carry me on ; but the other
way, I should feel kind of lonely when I woke in bed.
Then there's Speedy. Do you know him well ? "
"No, I do not," said I.
"Well, of course he can vamoose with the entire
speculation, if he chooses," pursued the captain, "and
if he don't I can't see but what you've got to support
and bed and board with him to the end of time. I
guess it would weary me. Then there's Mr. Pinkerton,
of course. He's been a good friend to you, hasn't he ?
Stood by you, and all that ? and pulled you through
for all he was worth ? "
I TUKN SMUGGLER, THE CAPTAIN CASUIST. 331
" That lie has," I cried ; " I could never begin telling
you my debt to him ! "
"Well, and that's a consideration," said the captain.
"As a matter of principle, I wouldn't look at this
business at the money. 'Not good enough,' would be
my word. But even principle goes under when it cornea
to friends the right sort, I mean. This Pinkerton is
frightened, and he seems sick ; the medico don't seem
to care a cent about his state of health; and you've
got to figure how you would like it, if he came to die.
Eemember, the risk of this little swindle is all yours ;
it's no sort of risk to Mr. Pinkerton. Well, you've
got to put it that way plainly, and see how you like
the sound of it: my friend Pinkerton is in danger of
the New Jerusalem, I am in danger of San Quentin;
which risk do I propose to run ? "
"That's an ugly way to put it," I objected, "and
perhaps hardly fair. There's right and wrong to be
"Don't know the parties," replied Nares; "and I'm
coming to them, anyway. For it strikes me, when it
came to smuggling opium, you walked right up ? "
" So I did," I said ; " sick I am to have to say it ! "
"All the same," continued Nares, "you went into the
opium-smuggling with your head down ; and a good
deal of fussing I've listened to, that you hadn't more
of it to smuggle. Now, maybe your partner's not quite
fixed the same as you are ; maybe he sees precious little
difference between the one thing and the other."
332 THE WRECKEK.
" You could not say truer : lie sees none, I do believe,"
cried I ; " and though I see one, I could never tell you
" We never can," said the oracular Nares ; " taste is
all a matter of opinion. But the point is, how will your
friend take it ? You refuse a favour, and you take the
high horse at the same time ; you disappoint him, and
you rap him over the knuckles. It won't do, Mr. Dodd ;
no friendship can stand that. You must be as good
as your friend, or as bad as your friend, or start on a
fresh deal without him."
" I don't see it ! " said I. " You don't know Jim ! "
" Well, you will see," said Nares. " And now, here's
another point. This bit of money looks mighty big to
Mr. Pinkerton ; it may spell life or health to him ; but
among all your creditors, I don't see that it amounts to a
hill of beans I don't believe it'll pay their car-fares all
round. And don't you think you'll ever get thanked.
You were known to pay a long price for the chance of
rummaging that wreck; you do the rummaging, you
come home, and you hand over ten thousand or twenty,
if you like a part of which you'll have to own up you
made by smuggling ; and, mind ! you'll never get Billy
Fowler to stick his name to a receipt. Now, just glance
at the transaction from the outside, and see what a clear
case it makes. Your ten thousand is a sop ; and people
will only wonder you were so damned impudent as to
offer such a small one ! Whichever way you take it,
I TUBN SMUGGLER, THE CAPTAIN CASUIST. 333
Mr. Dodd, the bottom's out of your character ; so there's
one thing less to be considered."
" I daresay you'll scarce believe me," said I, " but I
feel that a positive relief."
"You must be made some way different from me,
then," returned Nares. "And, talking about me, I might
just mention how I stand. You'll have no trouble from
me you've trouble enough of your own ; and I'm friend
enough, when a friend's in need, to shut my eyes and
go right where he tells me. All the same, I'm rather
queerly fixed. My owners'll have to rank with the rest
on their charter-party. Here am I, their representative !
and I have to look over the ship's side while the bank-
rupt walks his assets ashore in Mr. Speedy's hat-box.
It's a thing I wouldn't do for James G. Elaine ; but
I'll do it for you, Mr. Dodd, and only sorry I can't do
" Thank you, captain ; my mind is made up," said I.
" I'll go straight, mat ccelum I I never understood that
old tag before to-night."
" I hope it isn't my business that decides you ? " asked
" I'll never deny it was an element," said I. " I hope,
I hope I'm not cowardly ; I hope I could steal for Jim
myself ; but when it comes to dragging in you and
Speedy, and this one and the other, why, Jim has got
to die, and there's an end. I'll try and work for him
when I get to 'Frisco, I suppose ; and I suppose I'll
334 THE WRECKER.
fail, and look on at his death, and kick myself : it can't
be helped I'll fight it on this line."
"I don't say as you're wrong," replied Nares, "and
I'll be hanged if I know if you're right. It suits me
anyway. And look here hadn't you better just show
our friends over the side ? " he added ; " no good of being
at the risk and worry of smuggling for the benefit of
"I don't think of the creditors," said I. "But I've
kept this pair so long, I haven't got the brass to fire
Indeed, I believe that was my only reason for enter-
ing upon a transaction which was now outside my inter-
est, but which (as it chanced) repaid me fifty-fold in
entertainment. Fowler and Sharpe were both preter-
naturally sharp ; they did me the honour in the begin-
ning to attribute to myself their proper vices ; and
before we were done had grown to regard me with an
esteem akin to worship. This proud position I attained
by no more recondite arts, than telling the mere truth
and unaffectedly displaying my indifference to the
result. I have doubtless stated the essentials of all
good diplomacy, which may be rather regarded, there-
fore, as a grace of state, than the effect of management.
For to tell the truth is not in itself diplomatic, and to
have no care for the result a thing involuntary. When
I mentioned, for instance, that I had but two hundred
and forty pound of drug, my smugglers exchanged mean-
I THEN SMUGGLER, THE CAPTAIN CASUIST. 335
ing glances, as who should say, "Here is a foeman
worthy of our steel ! " But when I carelessly proposed
thirty-five dollars a pound, as an amendment to their
offered twenty, and wound up with the remark: "The
whole thing is a matter of moonshine to me, gentlemen.
Take it or want it, and fill your glasses " I had the
indescribable gratification to see Sharpe nudge Fowler
warningly, and Fowler choke down the jovial acceptance
that stood ready on his lips, and lamely substitute a
".No no more wine, please, Mr. Dodd !" Nor was this
all: for when the affair was settled at fifty dollars a
pound a shrewd stroke of business for my creditors
and our friends had got on board their whaleboat and
shoved off, it appeared they were imperfectly acquainted
with the conveyance of sound upon still water, and I
had the joy to overhear the following testimonial.
"Deep man, that Dodd," said Sharpe.
And the bass-toned Fowler echoed, "Damned if I
understand his game."
Thus we were left once more alone upon the Norak
Creina; and the news of the night, and the lamen-
tations of Pinkerton, and the thought of my own
harsh decision, returned and besieged me in the dark.
According to all the rubbish I had read, I should
have been sustained by the warm consciousness of
virtue. Alas, I had but the one feeling : that I had sac-
rificed my sick friend to the fear of prison-cells and
336 THE WRECKER.
stupid starers. And no moralist has yet advanced so
far as to number cowardice amongst the things that
are their own reward.
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAR.
In the early sunlight of the next day, we tossed close
off the buoy and saw the city sparkle in its groves about
the foot of the Punch-bowl, and the masts clustering
thick in the small harbour. A good breeze, which had
risen with the sea, carried us triumphantly through the
intricacies of the passage ; and we had soon brought up
not far from the landing-stairs. I remember to have
remarked an ugly horned reptile of a modern warship
in the usual moorings across the port, but my mind was
so profoundly plunged in melancholy that I paid no heed.
Indeed, I had little time at my disposal. Messieurs
Sharpe and Fowler had left the night before in the per-
suasion that I was a liar of the first magnitude; the
genial belief brought them aboard again with the earliest
opportunity, proffering help tc one who had proved how
little he required it, and hospitality to so respectable a
character. I had business to mind, I had some need
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAK. 337
both of assistance and dirersion ; I liked Fowler I
don't know why ; and in short, I let them do with me as
they desired. No creditor intervening, I spent the first
half of the day inquiring into the conditions of the tea
and silk market under the auspices of Sharpe ; lunched
with him in a private apartment at the Hawaiian Hotel
for Sharpe was a teetotaler in public ; and about four
in the afternoon was delivered into the hands of Fowler.
This gentleman owned a bungalow on the Waikiki beach;
and there in company with certain young bloods of Hono-
lulu, I was entertained to a sea-bathe, indiscriminate
cocktails, a dinner, a hula-hula, and (to round off the
night), poker and assorted liquors. To lose money in
the small hours to pale, intoxicated youth, has always
appeared to me a pleasure overrated. In my then frame
of mind, I confess I found it even delightful ; put up my
money (or rather my creditors'), and put down Fowler's
champagne with equal avidity and success ; and awoke
the next morning to a mild headache and the rather
agreeable lees of the last night's excitement. The young
bloods, many of whom were still far from sober, had
taken the kitchen into their own hands, vice the China-
man deposed ; and since each was engaged upon a dish
of his own, and none had the least scruple in demolish-
ing his neighbour's handiwork, I became early convinced
that many eggs would be broken and few omelets made.
The discovery of a jug of milk and a crust of bread
enabled me to stay my appetite ; and since it was Sun-
338 THE WRECKER.
day, when no business could be done, and the festivities
were to be renewed that night in the abode of Fowler, it
occurred to me to slip silently away and enjoy some air
I turned seaward under the dead crater known as
Diamond Head. My way was for some time under the
shade of certain thickets of green, thorny trees, dotted
with houses. Here I enjoyed some pictures of the
native life: wide-eyed, naked children, mingled with
pigs; a youth asleep under a tree; an old gentleman
spelling through glasses his Hawaiian Bible ; the some
what embarrassing spectacle of a lady at her bath in a
spring ; and the glimpse of gaudy-coloured gowns in the
deep shade of the houses. Thence I found a road along
the beach itself, wading in sand, opposed and buffeted
by the whole weight of the Trade : on one hand, the
glittering and sounding surf, and the bay lively with
many sails; on the other, precipitous, arid gullies and
sheer cliffs, mounting towards the crater and the blue
sky. For all the companionship of skimming vessels,
the place struck me with a sense of solitude. There
came in my head what I had been told the day before
at dinner, of a cavern above in the bowels of the volcano,
a place only to be visited with the light of torches, a
treasure-house of the bones of priests and warriors, and
clamorous with the voice of an unseen river pouring
seaward through the crannies of the mountain. At the
thought, it was revealed to me suddenly, how the bun-
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAR. 339
galows, and the Fowlers, and the bright, busy town and
crowding ships, were all children of yesterday ; and for
centuries before, the obscure life of the natives, with
its glories and ambitions, its joys and crimes and agonies,
had rolled unseen, like the mountain river, in that sea-
girt place. Not Chaldea appeared more ancient, nor the
Pyramids of Egypt more abstruse; and I heard time
ineasured by "the drums and tramplings/' of immemo-
rial conquests, and saw myself the creature of an hour.
Over the bankruptcy of Pinkerton and Dodd of Montana
Block, S. F., and the conscientious troubles of the junior
partner, the spirit of eternity was seen to smile.
To this mood of philosophic sadness, my excesses of
the night before no doubt contributed ; for more things
than virtue are at times their own reward: but I was
greatly healed at least of my distresses. And while I
was yet enjoying my abstracted humour, a turn of the
beach brought me in view of the signal-station, with its
watch-house and flag-staff, perched on the immediate
margin of a cliff. The house was new and clean and
bald, and stood naked to the Trades. The wind beat
about it in loud squalls ; the seaward windows rattled
without mercy ; the breach of the surf below contributed
its increment of noise ; and the fall of my foot in the
narrow verandah passed unheard by those within.
They were two on whom I thus entered unexpectedly :
the look-out man, with grizzled beard, keen seaman's
*yes, and that brand on his countenance that comes of
340 THE WRECKER.
solitary living ; and a visitor, an oldish oratorical fellow,
in the smart tropical array of the British man-o'-war's
man, perched on a table, and smoking a cigar. I was
made pleasantly welcome, and was soon listening with
amusement to the sea-lawyer.
"No, if I hadn't have been born an Englishman," was
one of his sentiments, " damn me ! I'd rather 'a been
born a Frenchy ! I'd like to see another nation fit to
black their boots." Presently after, he developed his
views on home politics with similar trenchancy. "I'd
rather be a brute beast than what I'd be a liberal," he
said. "Carrying banners and that! a pig's got more
sense. Why, look at our chief engineer they do say
he carried a banner with his own 'ands : ' Hooroar for
Gladstone !' I suppose, or 'Down with the Aristocracy!'
What 'arm does the aristocracy do ? Show me a country
any good without one ! Not the States ; why, it's the
'ome of corruption! I knew a man he was a good
man, 'ome born who was signal quartermaster in the
Wyandotte. He told me he could never have got there,
if he hadn't have ' run with the boys ' told it me as
I'm telling you. Now we're all British subjects here "
he was going on.
" I am afraid I am an American," I said apologetically.
He seemed the least bit taken aback, but recovered
nimself ; and with the ready tact of his betters, paid me
the usual British compliment on the riposte. "You
dom't say so!" he exclaimed. "Well, I give you my
LIGHT FEOM THE MAN OF WAR. 341
word of honour, Fd never hare guessed it Nobody
could tell it on you," said he, as though it were some
form of liquor.
I thanked him, as I always do, at this particular stage,
with his compatriots: not so much perhaps for the
compliment to myself and my poor country, as for the
revelation (which is ever fresh to me) of Britannic self-
sufficiency and taste. And he was so far softened by
my gratitude, as to add a word of praise on the American
method of lacing sails. u You're ah^ad of us in
sails," he said. "You can say that with a clear con-
"Thank you," I replied, "I shall certainty do so."
At this rate, we got along swimmingly; and when I
rose to retrace my steps to the Fowlery, he at ones
started to his feet and offered me the welcome solace of
his company for the return. I believe I discovered much
alacrity at the idea; for the creature (who seemed to be
unique, or to represent a type like that of the dodo)
entertained me hugely. But when he had produced
his hat, I found I was in the way of more than enter-
tainment; for on the ribbon I could read the legend:
"H. M. S. Tempest"
"I say," I began, when our adieus were paid, and we
were scrambling down the path from the look-out, "it
was your ship that picked up the men on board the
Fly**g Scud, wasn't it ? "
"You may say so," said he. 'And a blessed good job
342 THE WRECKER.
for the Flying-Scuds. It's a God-forsaken spot, that
"I've just come from there," said I. "It was I who
bought the wreck."
" Beg your pardon, sir," cried the sailor : " gen'lem'n
in the white schooner ? "
" The same," said I.
My friend saluted, as though we were now, for the
first time, formally introduced.
" Of course," I continued, " I am rather taken up with
the whole story; and I wish you would tell me what
you can of how the men were saved."
" It was like this," said he. " We had orders to call
at Midway after castaways, and had our distance pretty
nigh run down the day before. We steamed half-speed
all night, looking to make it about noon ; for old Tootles
beg your pardon, sir the captain was precious
scared of the place at night. Well, there's nasty, filthy
currents round that Midway ; you know, as has been there ;
and one on 'em must have set us down. Leastways,
about six bells, when we had ought to been miles away,
some one sees a sail, and lo and be'old, there was the
spars of a full-rigged brig ! We raised her pretty fast,
and the island after her; and made out she was hard
aground, canted on her bilge, and had her ens'n flying,
union down. It was breaking 'igh on the reef, and we
laid well out, and sent a couple of boats. I didn't go in
neither ; only stood and looked on ; but it seems they
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAR. 343
was all badly scared and muddled, and didn't know
which end was uppermost. One on 'em kep' snivelling
and wringing of his 'ands; he come on board all of a
sop like a monthly nurse. That Trent, he come first,
with his 'and in a bloody rag. I was near 'em as I am
to you ; and I could make out he was all to bits 'eard
his breath rattle in his blooming lungs as he come down