the ladder. Yes, they was a scared lot, small blame to
'em, / say ! The next after Trent, come him as was
" Goddedaal ! " I exclaimed.
" And a good name for him, too," chuckled the man-o'-
war's man, who probably confounded the word with a
familiar oath. "A good name, too; only it weren't
his. He was a gen'lem'n born, sir, as had gone maske
werading. One of our officers knowed him at 'ome,
reckonises him, steps up, 'olds out his 'and right off,
and says he : * 'Ullo, Norrie, old chappie ! ' he says.
The other was coming up, as bold as look at it ; didn't
seem put out that's where blood tells, sir ! Well, no
sooner does he 'ear his born name given him, than he
turns as white as the Day of Judgment, stares at Mr.
Sebright like he was looking at a ghost, and then (I
give you my word of honour) turned to, and doubled up
in a dead faint. ' Take him down to my berth,' says
Mr. Sebright. ' 'Tis poor old Norrie Carthew,' he says."
" And what what sort of a gentleman was this Mr.
Carthew ? " I gasped.
344 THE WKECKER.
" The ward-room steward told me lie was come of the
best blood in England," was my friend's reply : " Eton
and 'Arrow bred ; and might have been a bar'net ! "
" No, but to look at ? " I corrected him.
"The same as you or me," was the uncompromising
answer : " not much to look at. / didn't know he was
a gen'lem'n ; but then, I never see him cleaned up."
" How was that ? " I cried. " 0, yes, I remember :
he was sick all the way to 'Frisco, was he not ? "
" Sick, or sorry, or something," returned my informant.
"My belief, he didn't hanker after showing up. He
kep' close ; the ward-room steward, what took his meals
in, told me he ate nex' to nothing ; and he was fetched
ashore at 'Frisco on the quiet. Here was how it was.
It seems his brother had took and died, him as had the
estate. This one had gone in for his beer, by what I
could make out ; the old folks at 'ome had turned rusty ;
no one knew where he had gone to. Here he was,
slaving in a merchant brig, shipwrecked on Midway,
and packing up his duds for a long voyage in a open
boat. He comes on board our ship, and by God, here
he is a landed proprietor, and may be in Parliament
to-morrow ! It's no less than natural he should keep
dark : so would you and me, in the same box."
"I daresay," said I. "But you saw more of the
others ? "
" To be sure," says he : " no 'arm in them from what
I see. There was one 'Ardy there : colonial bora he
UGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAR. 345
was, and had been through a power of money. There
was no nonsense about 'Ardy; he had been up, and he
had come down, and took it so. His 'eart was in the
right place ; and he was well informed, and knew French ;
and Latin, I believe, like a native ! I liked that 'Ardy ;
he was a good-looking boy, too."
" Did they say much about the wreck ? " I asked.
" There wasn't much to say, I reckon," replied the
man-o'-war's man. "It was all in the papers. 'Ardy
used to yarn most about the coins he had gone through ;
he had lived with book-makers, and jockeys, and pugs,
and actors, and all that : a precious low lot ! " added
this judicious person. "But it's about here my 'orse
is moored, and by your leave I'll be getting ahead."
" One moment," said I. " Is Mr. Sebright on board ? "
" No, sir, he's ashore to-day," said the sailor. " I took
up a bag for him to the 'otel."
With that we parted. Presently after my friend over-
took and passed me on a hired steed which seemed to
scorn its cavalier; and I was left in the dust of his
passage, a prey to whirling thoughts. For I now stood,
or seemed to stand, on the immediate threshold of these
mysteries. I knew the name of the man Dickson his
name was Carthew ; I knew where the money came from
that opposed us at the sale it was part of Carthew's
inheritance; and in my gallery of illustrations to the
history of the wreck, one more picture hung ; perhaps
the most dramatic of the series. It showed me the deck
346 THE WRECKER.
of a warship in that distant part of the great ecean, the
officers and seamen looking curiously on ; and a man of
birth and education, who had been sailing under an alias
on a trading brig, and was now rescued from desperate
peril, felled like an ox by the bare sound of his own
name. I could not fail to be reminded of my own expe-
rience at the Occidental telephone. The hero of three
styles, Dickson, Goddedaal, or Carthew, must be the
owner of a lively or a loaded conscience, and the
reflection recalled to me the photograph found on board
the Flying Scud; just such a man, I reasoned, would be
capable of just such starts and crises ; and I inclined to
think that Goddedaal (or Carthew) was the mainspring
of the mystery.
One thing was plain : as long as the Tempest was in
reach, I must make the acquaintance of both Sebright
and the doctor. To this end, I excused myself with Mr.
Fowler, returned to Honolulu, and passed the remainder
of the day hanging vainly round the cool verandahs of the
hotel. It was near nine o'clock at night before I was
"That is the gentleman you were asking for," said
I beheld a man in tweeds, of an incomparable languor
of demeanour, and carrying a cane with genteel effort.
Prom the name, I had looked to find a sort of Viking
and young ruler of the battle and the tempest ; and I was
the more disappointed, and not a little alarmed, to come
face to face with this impracticable type.
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAB. 347
" I believe I have the pleasure of addressing Lieuten*
ant Sebright," said I, stepping forward.
" Aw, yes," replied the hero ; " but, aw ! I dawn't knaw
you, do I ? " (He spoke for all the world like Lord
Foppington in the old play a proof of the perennial
nature of man's affectations. But his limping dialect, I
scorn to continue to reproduce.)
" It was with the intention of making myself known,
that I have taken this step," said I, entirely unabashed
(for impudence begets in me its like perhaps my only
martial attribute). "We have a common subject of
interest, to me very lively ; and I believe I may be in a
position to be of some service to a friend of yours to
give him, at least, some very welcome information."
The last clause was a sop to my conscience : I could
not pretend, even to myself, either the power or the will
to serve Mr. Carthew ; but I felt sure he would like to
hear the Flying Scud was burned.
" I don't know I I don't understand you," stam-
mered my victim. " I don't have any friends in Hono-
lulu, don't you know ? "
" The friend to whom I refer is English," I replied.
" It is Mr. Carthew, whom you picked up at Midway.
My firm has bought the wreck ; I am just returned from
breaking her up ; and to make my business quite clear
to you I have a communication it is necessary I
should make ; and have to trouble you for Mr. Carthew's
348 THE WRECKER.
It will be seen how rapidly I had dropped all hope of
interesting the frigid British bear. He, on his side, was
plainly on thorns at my insistence; I judged he was
suffering torments of alarm lest I should prove an unde-
sirable acquaintance ; diagnosed him for a shy, dull, vain,
unamiable animal, without adequate defence a sort of
dishoused snail ; and concluded, rightly enough, that he
would consent to anything to bring our interview to a
conclusion. A moment later, he had fled, leaving with
me a sheet of paper, thus inscribed :
I might have cried victory, the field of battle and
some of the enemy's baggage remaining in my occupa-
tion. As a matter of fact, my moral sufferings during
the engagment had rivalled those of Mr. Sebright ; I
was left incapable of fresh hostilities ; I owned that the
navy of old England was (for me) invincible as of yore ;
and giving up all thought of the doctor, inclined to sa-
lute her veteran flag, in the future, from a prudent dis-
tance. Such was my inclination, when I retired to rest ;
and my first experience the next morning strengthened
it to certainty. For I had the pleasure of encounter-
ing my fair antagonist on his way on board; and he
honoured me with a recognition so disgustingly dry, that
LIGHT FBOM THE MAN OF WAS.. 349
my impatience overflowed, and (recalling the tactics of
Nelson) I neglected to perceive or to return it.
Judge of my astonishment, some half-hour later, to
receive a note of invitation from the Tempest.
"Dear Sir," it began, "we are all naturally very
much interested in the wreck of the Flying Scud, and as
soon as I mentioned that I had the pleasure of making
your acquaintance, a very general wish was expressed
that you would come and dine on board. It will give
us all the greatest pleasure to see you to-night, or in
case you should be otherwise engaged, to luncheon
either to-morrow or to-day." A note of the hours fol-
lowed, and the document wound up with the name of
" J. Lascelles Sebright," under an undeniable statement
that he was sincerely mine.
"No, Mr. Lascelles Sebright," I reflected, "you are
not, but I begin to suspect that (like the lady in the
song) you are another's. You have mentioned your
adventure, my friend; you have been blown up ; you
have got your orders ; this note has been dictated ; and
I am asked on board (in spite of your melancholy pro-
tests) not to meet the men, and not to talk about the
Flying Scud, but to undergo the scrutiny of some one
interested in Carthew : the doctor, for a wager. And for
a second wager, all this springs from your facility in
giving the address." I lost no time in answering the
billet, electing for the earliest occasion ; and at the
appointed hour, a somewhat blackguard-looking boat's
350 THE WRECKER.
crew from the Nordh Creina conveyed me under the
guns of the Tempest.
The ward-room appeared pleased to see me ; Sebright's
brother officers, in contrast to himself, took a boyish
interest in my cruise; and much was talked of the
Flying Scud; of how she had been lost, of how I had
found her, and of the weather, the anchorage, and the
currents about Midway Island. Carthew was referred
to more than once without embarrassment ; the parallel
case of a late Earl of Aberdeen, who died mate on board
a Yankee schooner, was adduced. If they told me little
of the man, it was because they had not much to tell,
and only felt an interest in his recognition and pity for
his prolonged ill-health. I could never think the subject
was avoided ; and it was clear that the officers, far from
practising concealment, had nothing to conceal.
So far, then, all seemed natural, and yet the doctor
troubled me. This was a tall, rugged, plain man, on the
wrong side of fifty, already gray, and with a restless
mouth and bushy eyebrows : he spoke seldom, but then
with gaiety ; and his great, quaking, silent laughter was
infectious. I could make out that he was at once the
quiz of the ward-room and perfectly respected; and I
made sure that he observed me covertly. It is certain
I returned the compliment. If Carthew had feigned
sickness and all seemed to point in that direction
here was the man who knew all or certainly knew
much. His strong, sterling face progressively and si-
LIGHT FROM THE MAN OF WAR. 351
lently persuaded of his full knowledge. That was not
the mouth, these were not the eyes of one who would
act in ignorance, or could be led at random. Nor again
was it the face of a man squeamish in the case of
malefactors ; there was even a touch of Brutus there,
and something of the hanging judge. In short, he
seemed the last character for the part assigned him in
my theories; and wonder and curiosity contended in
Lunckeon was over, and an adjournment to the smok-
ing-room proposed, when (upon a sudden impulse) 1
burned my ships, and pleading indisposition, requested
to consult the doctor.
" There is nothing the matter with my body, Dr.
Urquart," said I, as soon as we were alone.
He hummed, his mouth worked, he regarded me stead-
ily with his gray eyes, but resolutely held his peace.
" I want to talk to you about the Flying Scud and Mr.
Carthew," I resumed. " Come : you must have expected
this. I am sure you know all ; you are shrewd, and
must have a guess that I know much. How are we to
stand to one another ? and how am I to stand to Mr.
Carthew ? "
" I do not fully understand you," he replied, after a
pause ; and then, after another : " It is the spirit I refei
to, Mr. Dodd."
" The spirit of my inquiries ? " I asked.
352 THE WRECKER.
"I think we are at cross-purposes," said I. "The
spirit is precisely what I came in quest of. I bought the
Flying Scud at a ruinous figure, run up by Mr. Carthew
through an agent ; and I am, in consequence, a bankrupt.
But if I have found no fortune in the wreck, I have
found unmistakable evidences of foul play. Conceive
my position: I am ruined through this man, whom I
never saw ; I might very well desire revenge or compen-
sation ; and I think you will admit I have the means to
He made no sign in answer to this challenge.
" Can you not understand, then," I resumed, " the
spirit in which I come to one who is surely in the secret,
and ask him, honestly and plainly : How do I stand to
Mr. Carthew ? "
" I must ask you to be more explicit," said he.
" You do not help me much," I retorted. " But see
if you can understand : my conscience is not very fine-
spun ; still, I have one. Now, there are degrees of foul
play, to some of which I have no particular objection.
I am sure with Mr. Carthew, I am not at all the person
to forego an advantage; and I have much curiosity.
But on the other hand, I have no taste for persecution;
and I ask you to believe that I am not the man to make
bad worse, or heap trouble on the unfortunate."
"Yes; I think I understand," said he. "Suppose I
pass you my word that, whatever may have occurred,
there were excuses great excuses I may say, very
great ? "
LIGHT FKOM THE MAN OF WAB. 353
" It would have weight with me, doctor," I replied.
"I may go further," he pursued. "Suppose I had
been there or you had been there : after a certain event
had taken place, it's a grave question what we might
have done it's even a question what we could have
done ourselves. Or take me. I will be plain with
you, and own that I am in possession of the facts.
You have a shrewd guess how I have acted in that
knowledge. May I ask you to judge from the character
of my action, something of the nature of that knowl-
edge, which I have no call, nor yet no title, to share
I cannot convey a sense of the rugged conviction and
judicial emphasis of Dr. Urquart's speech: to those
who did not hear him, it may appear as if he fed me on
enigmas ; to myself, who heard, I seemed to have re-
ceived a lesson and a compliment.
" I thank you," I said. " I feel you have said as uch
as possible, and more than I had any right to ask. I take
that as a mark of confidence, which I will try to deserve.
I hope, sir, you will let me regard you as a friend."
He evaded my proffered friendship with a blunt pro-
posal to rejoin the mess ; and yet a moment later, con-
trived to alleviate the snub. For, as we entered the
smoking-room, he laid his hand on my shoulder with a
"I have just prescribed for Mr. Dodd," says he, "a
glass of our Madeira."
354 THE WKECKER.
I have never again met Dr. Urquart: but he wrote
himself so clear upon my memory that I think I see him
stilL And indeed I had cause to remember the man for
the sake of his communication. It was hard enough to
make a theory fit the circumstances of the Flying Scud;
but one in which the chief actor should stand the least
excused, and might retain the esteem or at least the pity
of a man like Dr. Urquart, failed me utterly. Here at
least was the end of my discoveries ; I learned no more,
till I learned all ; and my reader has the evidence com-
plete. Is he more astute than I was ? or, like me, does
he give it up ?
CROSS-QUESTIONS AND CBOOKED ANSWERS.
I have said hard words of San Francisco ; they must
scarce be literally understood (one cannot suppose the
Israelites did justice to the land of Pharaoh) ; and the
city took a fine revenge of me on my return. She had
never worn a more becoming guise ; the sun shone, the
air was lively, the people had flowers in their button-
holes and smiles upon their faces ; and as I made my
way toward Jim's place of employment, with some very
black anxieties at heart, I seemed to myself a blot on
the surrounding gaiety.
CBOSS-QUESTIONS AND CROOKED ANSWERS. 355
My destination was in a by-street, in a mean, rickety
building; "The Franklin H. Dodge Steam Printing Com-
pany" appeared upon its front, and in characters of
greater freshness, so as to suggest recent conversion,
the watch-cry, " White Labor Only." In the office, in a
dusty pen, Jim sat alone before a table. A wretched
change had overtaken him in clothes, body, and bearing ;
he looked sick and shabby ; he who had once rejoiced in
his day's employment, like a horse among pastures, now
sat staring on a column of accounts, idly chewing a pen,
at times heavily sighing, the picture of inefficiency and
inattention. He was sunk deep in a painful reverie ; he
neither saw nor heard me ; and I stood and watched him
unobserved. I had a sudden vain relenting. Kepent-
ance bludgeoned me. As I had predicted to Nares, I
stood and kicked myself. Here was I come home again,
my honour saved ; there was my friend in want of rest,
nursing, and a generous diet; and I asked myself with
Falstaff, " What is in that word honour ? what is that
honour ? " and, like Falstaff, I told myself that it was air.
"Jim!" said I.
"Loudon!" he gasped, and jumped from his chair
and stood shaking.
The next moment I was over the barrier, and we were
hand in hand.
" My poor old man ! " I cried.
"Thank God you're home at last!" he gulped, and
kept patting my shoulder with his hand.
356 THE WRECKER.
" I've no good news for you, Jim ! " said I.
"You've come that's the good news that I want,"
he replied. " 0, how I've longed for you, Loudon ! "
" I couldn't do what you wrote me," I said, lowering
my voice. " The creditors have it all. I couldn't do it."
" Ssh ! " returned Jim. " I was crazy when I wrote.
I could never have looked Mamie in the face if we'd
have done it. 0, Loudon, what a gift that woman is!
You think you know something of life : you just don't
know anything. It's the goodness of the woman, it's
a revelation ! "
"That's all right," said I. "That's how I hoped to
hear you, Jim."
" And so the Flying Scud was a fraud," he resumed.
"I didn't quite understand your letter, but I made out
" Fraud is a mild term for it," said I. " The creditors
will never believe what fools we were. And that re-
minds me," I continued, rejoicing in the transition, "how
about the bankruptcy ? "
"You were lucky to be out of that," answered Jim,
shaking his head; "you were lucky not to see the
papers. The Occidental called me a fifth-rate Kerbstone
broker with water on the brain ; another said I was a
tree-frog that had got into the same meadow with Long-
hurst, and had blown myself out till I went pop. It
was rough on a man in his honeymoon; so was what
they said about my looks, and what I had on, and the
CROSS-QUESTIONS AND CROOKED ANSWERS. 357
way I perspired. But I braced myself up with the
Flying Scud. How did it exactly figure out anyway?
I don't seem to catch on to that story, Loudon."
" The devil you don't ! " thinks I to myself ; and then
aloud: "You see we had neither one of us good luck.
I didn't do much more than cover current expenses ; and
you got floored immediately. How did we come to go
"Well, we'll have to have a talk over all this," said
Jim with a sudden start. "I should be getting to my
books ; and I guess you had better go up right away to
Mamie. She's at Speedy's. She expects you with
impatience. She regards you in the light of a favourite
Any scheme was welcome which allowed me to post-
pone the hour of explanation, and avoid (were it only
for a breathing space) the topic of the Flying Scud. I
hastened accordingly to Bush Street. Mrs. Speedy,
already rejoicing in the return of a spouse, hailed me
with acclamation. "And it's beautiful you're looking,
Mr. Dodd, my dear," she was kind enough to say. "And
a miracle they naygur waheenies let ye lave the oilands.
I have my suspicions of Shpeedy," she added, roguishly.
" Did ye see him after the naygresses now ? "
I gave Speedy an unblemished character.
"The one of ye will niver bethray the other," said
the playful dame, and ushered me into a bare room,
where Mamie sat working a type-writer-
358 THE WKECKER.
I was touched by the cordiality of her greeting. With
the prettiest gesture in the world she gave me both
her hands; wheeled forth a chair; and produced, from
a cupboard, a tin of my favourite tobacco and a book of
my exclusive cigarette papers.
" There ! " she cried, " you see, Mr. Loudon, we were
all prepared for you; the things were bought the
very day you sailed."
I imagine she had always intended me a pleasant
welcome ; but the certain fervour of sincerity, which I
could not help remarking, flowed from an unexpected
source. Captain Nares, with a kindness for which I
can never be sufficiently grateful, had stolen a moment
from his occupations, driven to call on Mamie, and
drawn her a generous picture of my prowess at the
wreck. She was careful not to breathe a word of this
interview, till she had led me on to tell my adventures
" Ah ! Captain Nares was better," she cried, when
I had done. " From your account, I have only learned
one new thing, that you are modest as well as brave."
I cannot tell with what sort of disclamation I sought
"It is of no use," said Mamie. "I know a hero.
And when I heard of you working all day like a com-
mon labourer, with your hands bleeding and your nails
broken and how you told the captain to 'crack on'
(I think he said v ; n the storm, when he was terrified
CROSS-QUESTIONS AND CROOKED ANSWERS. 359
himself and the danger of that horrid mutiny"
(Nares had been obligingly dipping his brush in earth-
quake and eclipse) " and how it was all done, in part
at least, for Jim and me I felt we could never say
how we admired and thanked you."
"Mamie," I cried, "don't talk of thanks; it is not
a word to be used between friends. Jim and I have
been prosperous together; now we shall be poor to-
gether. We've done our best, and that's all that need
be said. The next thing is for me to find a situation,
and send you and Jim up country for a long holiday
in the redwoods for a holiday Jim has got to have."
"Jim can't take your money, Mr. Loudon," said
" Jim ? " cried I. " He's got to. Didn't I take his ? "
Presently after, Jim himself arrived, and before he
had yet done mopping his brow, he was at me with the
accursed subject. "Now, Loudon," said he, "here we
are all together, the day's work done and the evening
before us ; just start in with the whole story."
"One word on business first," said I, speaking from
the lips outward, and meanwhile (in the private apart-
ments of my brain) trying for the thousandth time to
find some plausible arrangement of my story. " I want
to have a notion how we stand about the bankruptcy."
"0, that's ancient history," cried Jim. "We paid
seven cents, and a wonder we did as well. The re-
ceiver " (methought a spasm seized him at the name
360 THE WKECKEE.
of this official, and he broke off). "But it's all past
and done with anyway; and what I want to get at is
the facts about the wreck. I don't seem to understand it ;
appears to me like as there was something underneath."
"There was nothing in it anyway," I said, with a
" That's what I want to judge of," returned Jim.
"How the mischief is it I can never keep you to
that bankruptcy ? It looks as if you avoided it," said
I for a man in my situation, with unpardonable folly.
" Don't it \ook a little as if you were trying to avoid
the wreck ? " asked Jim.
It was my own doing; there was no retreat. "My
dear fellow, if you make a point of it, here goes ! "
said I, and launched with spurious gaiety into the cur-
rent of my tale. I told it with point and spirit;
described the island and the wreck, mimicked Ander-
son and the Chinese, maintained the suspense. . . . My
pen has stumbled on the fatal word. I maintained the
suspense so well that it was never relieved ; and when