Frank W. Wadsworth
VOYAGE OF THE FLEETWING
NARRATIVE OF LOVE, WRECK, AND
C. M. NEWELL
AUTHOR OF " KALANI OF OAHU, ;! " KAMEHAMEHA THE
DE WOLFE, FISKE & CO.
::ir, WASHINGTON STIIKKT.
BY C. M. NKWI LL.
All Rights Reserved,
C. J. PETERS AND SON, BOSTON.
INSCRIBED TO MY FRIEND
WITH EVER WILLING REMEMBRANCE OF THE LONG-GONE
DAYS WHEN WE " GAMMED" IN THE SOUTHERN
OCEAN, AMIDST THE ADVENTUROUS
SCENES OF WHICH I WRITE.
I. RAYMOND'S LAST NIGHT WITH MARY i
II. THE SURLY OLD BOATMAN 15
III. WHARF SCENES ON SAILING DAY 20
IV. THE FLEETWING AND HER CREW 31
V. WEIGHING ANCHOR AND LEAVING PORT .... 46
VI. THE YOUNG MATE AND THE OLD MARTINET ... 60
VII. UNCLE JOE DISCLOSING THE MYSTERIES .... 67
VIII. NIGHT SCENE IN THE CABIN 79
IX. TOM THRASHING THE PORTUGUESE 8?
X. THE SHIP CAUGHT IN A GALE 95
XI. THE TERRIFIED AND SEA-SICK LADIES 105
XII. PERSONALITY OF THE LADY PASSENGER 114
XIII. CAPTURING THE FIRST SPERM WHALES 121
XIV. CUTTING AND BOILING THE W T HALES ....... 143
XV. MAKING A PORT AT THE AZORES . . 157
XVI. AMONG A SCHOOL OF Cows AND CALVES .... 173
XVII. THE PERFIDIOUS ALBION 190
XVIII. THE FIGHT WITH A DEMON WHALE 194
XIX. THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF "TIMOR TOM" .... 214
XX. DISCLOSING SOME SECRETS OF THE SEA 230
XXI. WHALING ON THE "STEEN GROUND" 240
XXII. STRIKING A SPERM WHALE HEAD-ON 259
XXIII. THE HURRICANE 277
XXIV. THE WRECKED SHIP 292
XXV. A NIGHT ON THE WRECK 513
XXVI. THE DIPLOMACY OF LOVE "530
XXVII. THE PARTING AT PERNAMBUCO 348
XXVIII. BOUND FOR THE ABROLHOS 367
XXIX. THE Two JILTED MATES 378
XXX. THE PHANTOM KISSES 387
XXXI. THE BATTLE OF THE GIANTS 397
XXXII. DOUBLING CAPE HORN 418
XXXIII. BOUND FOR THE LAST PORT 434
VOYAGE OF THE FLEETWING.
RAYMOND'S LAST NIGHT WITH MARY.
TT was approaching the midnight hour of a beautiful
* September night. The broad harvest moon was riding
high in the zenith of an almost cloudless sky. Large and
full, as in fact only a full-orbed moon could be seen on
the meridian at such an hour. The few fleecy clouds seen
occasionally drifting past the moon, lingered briefly in the
enticing luna-light, until each, in turn, became glorified
with a halo of purple and gold. This was the Night-
queen's insignia, bestowed upon every luminous mist which
timidly came to pay homage at her throne.
At the open window of a lofty cupola, which adorned
one of the pretty dwellings on the hillside of Purchase
Street, New Bedford, there sat two youthful lovers gazing
out over the housetops, and far down upon the bay, which
shone like silver in the mellow sheen of the splendid
Hand in hand sat these two inamorati, silent as statues,
watching the moonbeams flood the whole wide landscape
with radiance, until every rugged outline softened into
beauty. Watching the yellow rays brooding over the
2 The I'lcctwing.
hushed town, ]ike the fostering wing of some hallowed
spirit inviting all to slumber.
At times their gaze extended to the opposite town of
Fairhaven ; but mostly their eyes dwelt upon some object
of unusual interest far out in mid-river, some centre of
sadness, half akin to sorrow^ to judge from their sober
looks and the deep sighs which winged out over the night
from the cupola window.
Anchored here and there about the harbor lay the out
bound ships, with their white wings folded, peacefully
slumbering in the weird and misty light. Yet these sea
going vessels would sunder many loving hearts at the turn
of the morning tide. One vessel, more attractive than all
others, lay like a spirit-ship in the shimmering beam,
showing more artful taper to her graceful masts, a greater
mystery of shrouds and stays, and a yet more delicate
tracery aloft among the mazy network of ropes and rig
ging. Just where she was anchored the moon-touched
waters gleamed like a mirror, every ripple on the surface
glittering like starlight in the swift running tide.
As the solemn chimes of the midnight clocks ushered
in the new day, it startled the lovers from their long rev-
ery of mingled emotions, for it admonished them that the
hour of separation drew near. The youth rose and looked
out over the bland night, questioning with .searching eyes
for some forecast of wind for the coining day.
The breeze was just enough to frolic playfully with the
ringlets of the young girl in the cupola.
She was a gentle dark-eyed creature of eighteen sum
mers, with a full, voluptuous figure. Her face was beauti
ful as the night she looked upon. Her clear olive com-
TJic YontJifiil Lovers. 3
plexion was made doubly fair by the yellow moonlight,
stirred as she now was at the thought of parting, and by
the open admiration and outspoken affection of her com
There was a sad, solemn tenderness in the young girl's
eyes as she gazed skyward, seeking sympathy in the cold
calm orb above, while her lips quivered with emotion as
she murmured a half-audible prayer. With her face thus
turned to the sky, the affluent curls of her blue-black hair
hung gracefully about her white shoulders and bare arms ;
elements of beauty to which a sailor strikes his colors
quicker than to any other charm in his ideal woman.
Yet it was a weak, irresolute face which the ardent lover
looked upon so doatingly. Its want of character was fully
confirmed by the full red lips of her small sweet mouth,
together with the languid, indolent expression of her large
soft eyes. Yet the girl's eyes could beam with love most
eloquently, and her lips ternpt to kisses like the cleft
crimson of an over-ripe pomegranate.
It was not so much the girl's callow youth, her eighteen
gentle summers, that made her puerile and passive, as it
was her unbalanced character, which left her too thought
less and frivolous to value the virile qualities of the youth
who now proffered his love.
The companion of this fair night-elve was a youth of
twenty-two years, a manly, noble-looking sailor, having
the easy, commanding air of an officer. His blue frock
and navy suit, together with the broad white collar turned
over his coat, would further indicate that he was. a son of
Neptune, even if his bold, frank sailor air was not suffi
cient to dispel all doubt.
4 The Flcctiving.
He was the chief mate of the clipper ship Fleetwing,
which had so greatly elated the town just then. The
mate seemed too young to fill such a responsible berth in
the pet ship of a great whaling mart, judging by the small
mustache, his only semblance of a beard. Yet there was
a sterling something about the appearance of Charles
Raymond which stamped him as a well rounded, cultured
man. True, his assured manners and look of superior
intelligence were no evidence of his having had sufficient
whaling experience for his office.
Until this late hour of his last night's wooing, Raymond
had not fully determined whether Mar)- Tudor really loved
him or not. The girl had evidently been subjected to
some powerful restraint, perhaps some strong maternal
command not to commit her young heart too deeply to
this as yet untried youth. A New Bedford method of
experimental billing and cooing, all too prevalent in other
great seaport towns. A sad, cruel ordeal for a tender
hearted girl to be subjected to, taught to secure dual
strings to her flimsy bow.
Mary Tudor had known her lover only a short time.
Three months previous, Charles Raymond's ship came
sailing into port full as she could stagger, having a rich
cargo of sperm and whale oil. For weeks after her ar
rival the town was alive with gossip about the young
second mate, to whose skilful lance the rich voyage was
It was truly said of him that once Raymond's boat got
fast to a whale of any kind, it was sure to be captured.
He would stick closer, hang on longer, and take more
risk of losing his head, than most men cared to do.
Mrs. Tudor 's Advice. 5
Throughout the voyage, no other officer ever succeeded in
killing a whale that Charlie Raymond was fast to.
In a special whaling port, an officer thus endowed
easily becomes the lion of the hour. His fame interests
every marriageable maiden in the place. Conniving
mammas deem such a person a "good catch," a "rising
man," stuff from which "lucky captains" are made.
Mary Tudor was thought to be greatly favored in secur
ing the first opportunity to flaunt her colors before the
young officer. Delighted and amazed at her beauty, Ray
mond had backed his topsail on the instant. The young
sailor was too fresh from the briny deep not to consort
with the first fair face and bright eyes that signalled him
in the offing.
It was then that the girl's mother came forward, and
weighed the youth in her matrimonial balance, and finally
peddled him out one of her least nubile daughters. Hav
ing four others on the docket, Mrs. Tudor gave Mary
" Mamie, the young chap is a trump card, though too
fond of peril for a ' wait-over.' Bait with a gay hook, and
you'll catch him. Fish for a ' catch-penny ' wedding be
fore he sails, or throw him over to the next one. Keep
your heart out of the matter, my daughter, and remember,
don't engage yourself to wait over a voyage ; for the fel
low is sure to lose his head before he is a skipper. Now
mind, Mamie, for you're good property to keep over for a
Love at sight is an honest trick of sailors. So long are
they debarred the sight of lovely woman that when they
do get ashore, and clap eyes on a lovely face, they down
6 Tlic Flcctwing.
helm at once, let fly sheets and tacks in the wind, and
come to anchor in a jiffy.
It is a charming sight to view Jack's rising emotions
when he first sights a pretty girl in the offing. The jolly
fellow laughs all over his face, as, with arms akimbo, he
deliberately notes the cut of her jib, the swell of her bows,
and the graceful motion of the dainty craft as she careens
to the wind, and lifts to the sea.
Jack sails wholly by dead-reckoning while on shore.
His land atmosphere is then so greatly befogged that he
cannot obtain real latitude by the sun. Thus he hastily
moors ship alongside of the first dear creature he meets,
hoping to secure his " lay of the land," and anchor for
This sort of love-making is very contagious with the
fair sex. Jack's saline magnetism has an overpowering
quality. Going to work as he does with his heart in his
hand, and his soul in his eyes, he easily overcomes the
feeble broadside of a shore girl's conventionalities.
The fault of a girl's thus yielding to such tidal waves of
marine love is that it makes a too willing prisoner of the
maiden, so bewildered by Jack's novel sea-fog, without
fairly captivating her heart. Thus, when the conquer
ing hero makes sail on his next cruise, the girl's delusive
love takes wing, and, alas, she finds herself yielding the
helm to the next noble sea-lion who sails athwart her
At the end of his three months' wooing, Raymond still
found himself " all at sea " in the matter of love-making.
He was not yet quite certain but Mary's previous listless
response to his own strong affection was the most he ought
' Tis Our Last Hour. J
to expect from an immature girl. He could not doubt
but the girl loved him after the fashion of such coy
maidens, for she never tired of receiving his kisses, fondly
holding his hand, and laying her downy cheek to his, so
browned by the sea and the sun. The entrancing creat
ure had learned to sigh lustily at every mention of parting,
and her eloquent eyes were ever ready to read him a
sweet homily of love. But all these passive methods of
love-making were as^the light of a farthing candle to Ray
mond's passionate yearnings for her, and she failed to fill
the aching void in his heart.
But now when Mary was reminded that the parting
hour had come, the nerveless girl woke as from a trance.
The impulsive outlet given to her pent-up feelings amazed
her lover, who was in no wise versed in the conflicting
mazes of a maiden's heart.
Raymond broke the long silence by abruptly addressing
the girl as he rose to leave her and go aboard his ship,
which was to sail in the morning.
" Mary, my darling, you don't seem to realize that this
is my last hour on shore."
A frenzied look came into the face and eyes of the girl,
that was sad to behold. Her lips quivered with emotion
as they moved with a voiceless sorrow she could not dis
close. She clung to her lover's hand with an impetuous
grasp, as if to detain him. With an answering look of
sadness, he continued to address her:
" I must leave you, dear girl ; duty calls me to the ship.
The storms and sunshine of many a clime must be en
countered before I meet you again. I leave you, to be
forgotten, or perhaps remembered only for a day." These
8 The Fleetwing.
words imparted power of speech to the grieved maiden :
" Oh, no, no ! Please don't say that. It's so cruel for
you to think that of me, Charles Raymond." And Mary
burst into tears, adding, between her sobs : " I don't forget
my friends so easily."
" Friends ! " vehemently echoed the fiery youth. " If
friendship is the strongest sentiment you have for me, I
reject it. You know I love you. May I not hope for a
dearer title to my Mary ? Tell me, darling girl, in one
word, if I am loved or not."
Mary buried her face in her hands, and sobbed aloud
with bitter anguish. The influence of the hallowed night
had filled her young heart with love, unspoken and almost
unutterable. Now the sentiment of parting had broken
down the flimsy barrier erected to shield her heart at the
senseless parental command. The crisis of the parting
hour had unmasked poor Mary's ambushed love, disclos
ing it to herself as well as her lover, though her mother's
cruel injunction still rung in her ears.
Raymond drew the sorrowing girl tenderly to him.
Parting the dark hair from her brow, he pressed a fervent
kiss upon her forehead. The inexperienced youth was
still in grave doubt as to the cause of Mary's sorrow.
But catching something hopeful from her tender, tearful
condition, the warm-hearted sailor drew her tightly to his
breast as he whispered :
" Mary, Mar)*, my precious girl ! Tell me if I read
your tears aright. Tell me in one little sentence if I am
loved. Then absence and distance, storm or sunshine,
shall become as nought to me. For I will take with me
such an image of your grace and beauty that it will reflect
Loved, or Unloved? 9
like starlight in every billow which rocks me in the cra
With dilated nostrils and wide appealing eyes, Mary
raised her tear-wet face to Raymond's, that with his own
eyes her lover might interpret her grief aright. In answer
to his words, she threw her white arms around his neck
while an exquisite glow of affection illuminated her face,
though as yet she was unable to master her sobs suffi
ciently to speak.
Raymond turned her face to the westing moon, and let
the yellow beam stream over it at will. Betwixt hopes and
fears he searched for some stronger confirmation of her
love than smiles and sobs. His enamoured eyes revelled
in the girlish charms before him, until his ardent gaze
brought back the native crimson to her cheeks.
" Do you really love me, Mary ? " persistently asked her
lover, in a half doubting tone. The girl was startled with
a look of surprise and pain at the question. Her dark
eyes broadened and brightened as she scanned Ray.
mond's face to catch the source of his doubts.
" Oh Charles, how can you doubt it ? Should I will
ingly lie here in your arms if I did not love you dearly ?
How have you failed to discover my affection for you,
long ago? You can't expect girls to be as outspoken
about their love as men, especially sailor-men, who are
always ready to eat a girl up as if she were confectionery."
" Perhaps you are right, dear Mary. I wish I could
believe you love me half as much as you think you do. I
don't seem to discover quite enough of it to outlast a
three years' voyage. You know New Bedford is a sad
place for shipwrecked lovers. A true-hearted girl should
io The Wcctwing.
be moored by her best bower, if she wishes to hold fast to
her anchorage through a long whale-voyage."
" Then why not give up this hateful voyage ? " she re
plied, petulantly. " How dreadful ! to think you have won
me but to leave me ; just as mother said you would. You
have taught me the rapture of a bewildering love only to
plunge me into the depths of sorrow by desertion. Is
there not room on the land for you to make a home for
me ? " And Mary further pleaded her case with appeal
Raymond could not gainsay the truth of much she said,
but he smothered her unjust demands with kisses ; until
they clung to each other with mutual affection. The girl's
grief at length gave way, taking wing she knew not how.
" Mary, you speak truly. I have won you but to leave
you. But your own sober sense would not have me give
up the sea. It is my vocation ; I love it, and it has fos
tered me with a kindly hand. Do not distress our last
moments by such a thought."
" But if you should be wrecked and lost to me, now that
I have centred my affection upon you, what would be
come of me ? "
" Fear not, little darling ; the Heavenly Father protects
us as readily on the sea as on the land. As for storms,
my pet, we love them as you love the sunshine, if but the
wind blow us fair. All sun and no cloud is the whine of
a land-lubber, not the plea of a sailor. God made the sea
for none such as they. Let such spoonies be content to
dig the earth, sow the land, and get kicked to death by a
The dreadful night clocks now struck three with a
Choosing a Star. 1 1
heartless clang that took the lovers by surprise. Poor
Marv's face blanched to the pallor of death as she realized
that their separation could no longer be delayed.
" So late ! " exclaimed Raymond, as he sprung up from
his seat. " I must be gone. The mate of the Fleetwing
should be at his post. It bids fair for a breeze, and we
shall sail at the first run of the ebb. Besides, I should not
have kept you up so late."
" So soon ! " pleaded the love-lorn girl, clinging to her
lover as he rose to go. " Oh, how an you leave me
yet ? Promise me that you will write often, by every
ship homeward bound. And for my sake hasten your
" Yes, dear Mary. But remember many months elapse
between our ports. Write me by every ship sailing for
Honolulu our mail port for the voyage. And" now one
more token from my darling."
" What shall it be, dear Charles ? You already have
" Yes, and a dear sweet prize it is. I must have a tiny
bit of yourself. The veriest little crinkle from your dainti
est curl. Only such a treasure can conjure you to my side
when yon moon keeps watch with me on the sea."
" Take it. Take all you wish, my own dear sailor-boy."
" This will do. Now for a little star through which to
commune in the night watches, when the lonely heart
yearns wildly for another, and we lean a listening ear
out against the silence of the night, hearkening for the
heart beat of one we love."
" Why not choose Venus ? the lover's own peculiar
star ? "
1 2 The Flectwing.
" Not that, for the very reason you say. It is too com
mon. We want a little twinkle of our own, one that every
brawling tar shall not pollute when he toasts his wanton."
" Then, dear, you must make choice of one. Why not
one of your bright lunar stars ? "
( 'ould you find Aldebaran ? "
" Oh, yes. Tis the brightest of the virtuous Hyades,
directly overhead, in the figure V, on the angry head of
Taurus. Nightly the fierce bull dares Orion to combat."
" Then Aldebaran shall be our own star. 'Tis red as
Mars to-night, and always easily found among the broken
" And it's so near the pretty ' Virgins of Spring,' sweet
daughters of Atlas. For thy dear sake, Charles, I will
emulate their virtue."
And she smiled sweetly on her admirer, and put up her
small red lips for guerdon. How sweet a thing to learn
is love ! Where has the coyness of this timid maiden
" Bless you, sweet love ! for your promise and your
kiss. You shall yet become the sweetest Merope among
the stars. Nor shall your brightness wane, as did hers of
old, for condescending to a mortal love. When the fierce
Hull is again in the zenith at midnight, remember to
yearly pluck a blossom of its ripening and send me, and I
will do the same wherever I am."
" When will that time be ? " *.
" If you nightly confess to our little red twinkle, you
will not fail to know. The constellation of Taurus di
vided the sidereal year for the ancients. Its rising at sun
set on November 20 marked the beginning of their winter.
The Betrothal. 13
Its rising just before sunrise, the 2oth of May, denoted
the beginning of summer, as there were but two seasons,
of six months each, in those days.
" Thus, Mamie, remember the Arabic origin and sig
nification of Aldebaran. As it once ' led the way for the
whole starry hosts,' so may it now become the arbiter of
our fate, and lead my way to fortune and to happiness in
" Dear love ! I doat upon our little star already, and I
will nightly search the sky for it when I invoke the di
vine blessing upon my noble sailor."
" Bless you, dear, dear Mary. The dawn approaches,
and we must part. One last kiss and I'll go."
" Not yet. You have not given me a lock of your
With a touch of impatience Raymond clipped one of
his own brown locks and gave her. Tears gathered in
her eyes as she received the token. Hastily she bound
the tress with a tiny ribbon of blue a sailor's color
pressed her lips to it, and dropped the little treasure into
" One word more, dear girl. The disclosure of your
love has come so suddenly that I have doubts of its last
ing quality. Let us make oath to remain true till we
meet again. Here in the hallowed presence of our
Maker, I swear to love you and you only until my
return, if you keep tryst with me. Will you respond, little
" Yes, oh yes, by any oath you please," and with almost
hysterical sobs and tears Mary Tudor betrothed herself
by a yet more solemn pledge than Raymond's.
14 The Fleetwing.
" I have asked this, dearest, because New Bedford is
famous for its heartless women. Their deceit has crushed
more brave hearts and true than all the world beside."
" I am glad to strengthen our troth-plight, I do love
" In the morning, Mary, when the sails are all set on
the Fleetwing, let me see you here in this trysting-place.
Wave your last good-by with this scarf, and watch for my
return signal as I stand on the bow taking the anchor."
Snatching a last hasty kiss from the weeping girl, Ray
mond gently tore her tightly clasped arms from his neck,
breathed a heart-felt prayer for his new-found treasure,
and tenderly seated her by the cupola window, sobbing as
if her heart would break.
Quickly descending to the street, the young officer has
tened to the wharf, where he had ordered a shore boat
man to meet him an hour before. Little did either of
the sad lovers then deem that any mortal could ever sun
der their strongly plighted loves.
THE SURLY OLD BOATMAN.
TRILLED with mingled emotions, Raymond hastened to
the wharf, where he had ordered a harbor boatman to
meet him at three o'clock, though it was now nearly four.
As he was a man to require promptness in every one, and
had so impressed this upon the old boatman, the late hour
was a source of mortification to the young officer, for the
boatman was already growling lustily as he brought his
boat into the wharf. Hence the unseemly haste in part
ing from his lady love.
How terrible the separation had been to him none but
a young lover thus sundered for years can know. Yet it
was a glad sustaining thought to remember that he took
with him the plighted love of a beautiful girl. Every
thought of his Mary filled him with ecstasy as he remem
bered her fond arms about him, and it required a strong
effort of will to restrain him from returning for yet one
more interview with his darling.
While the boatman was hauling in to the steps, the
mate turned to seek the moon, now low down in the west,
to note the passing clouds for indications of wind on the
coming day, half wishing that a head-wind might delay
their sailing, so thoroughly bewitching is the thraldom of