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his mouth, and in a voice that rose above
the tempest, he thundered forth his orders.
Each command was given distinctly, and
with a precision that showed him to be
master of his profession. The helm was
kept fast, the head yards swung up
heavily against the wind, and the vessel
was soon whirling round on her heel, with
a retrograde movement.



96 THE PILOT.

Griffith was too much of a seaman not
to perceive that the pilot had seized, with
a perception almost intuitive, the only me
thod that promised to extricate the vessel
from her situation. He was young, impe
tuous, and proud but he was also gene
rous. Forgetting his resentment and his
mortification, he rushed forward among
the men, and, by his presence and example,
added certainty to the experiment. The
ship fell off slowly before the gale, and
bowed her yards nearly to the water, as
she felt the blast pouring its fury on her
broadside, while the surly waves beat vio
lently against her stern, as if in reproach
at departing from her usual manner of
moving.

The voice of the pilot, however, was
still heard, steady and calm, and yet so
clear and high, as to reach every ear ; and
the obedient seamen whirled the yards at
his bidding, in despite of the tempest, as if
they handled the toys of their childhood.
When the ship had fallen off dead before
the wind, her head sails were shaken, her
after-yards trimmed, and her helm shifted,



THE PILOT. 97

before she had time to run upon the danger
that had threatened, as well to leeward as
to windward. The beautiful fabric, obedi
ent to her government, threw her bows up
gracefully towards the wind again, and as
her sails were trimmed, moved out from
amongst the dangerous shoals, in which
she had been embayed, as steadily and
swiftly as she had approached them.

A moment of breathless astonishment
succeeded the accomplishment of this nice
manoeuvre, but there was no time for the
usual expressions of surprise. The stranger
still held the trumpet, and continued to
lift his voice amid the howlings of the
blast, whenever prudence or skill directed
any change in the management of the
ship. For an hour longer there was a
fearful struggle for their preservation, the
channel becoming, at each step, more com
plicated, and the shoals thickening around
the mariners on every side. The lead was
cast rapidly, arid the quick eye of the pilot
seemed to pierce the darkness, with a keen
ness of vision that exceeded human power.
It was apparent to all in the vessel, that

VOL. I. F



98 THE PILOT.

they were under the guidance of one who
understood the navigation thoroughly, and
their exertions kept pace with their re
viving confidence. Again and again the
frigate appeared to be rushing blindly on
shoals, where the sea was covered with
foam, and where destruction would have
been as sudden as it was certain, when the
clear voice of the stranger was heard
warning them of their danger, and inciting
them to their duty. The vessel was im
plicitly yielded to his government, and
during those anxious moments when she
was dashing the waters aside, throwing the
spray over her enormous yards, each ear
would listen eagerly for those sounds that
had obtained a command over the crew,
that can only be acquired, under such cir
cumstances, by great steadiness and con
summate skill. The ship was recovering
from the inaction of changing her course,
in one of those critical tacks that she had
made so often, when the pilot, for the first
time, addressed the commander of the fri
gate, who still continued to superintend
the all-important duty of the leadsman.



THE PILOT. 99

" Now is the pinch/' he said, " and if
the ship behaves well, we are safe ; but if
otherwise, all we have yet done will be
useless."

The veteran seaman whom he addressed
left the chains, at this portentous notice,
and calling to his first lieutenant, required
of the stranger an explanation of his
warning.

" See you yon light on the southern
headland ? " returned the pilot ; "you may
know it from the star near it by its sink
ing, at times, in the ocean. Now observe
the hommoc, a little north of it, looking
like a shadow in the horizon 'tis a hill far
inland. If we keep that light open from
the hill, we shall do well but if not, we
surely go to pieces."

" Let us tack again ! " exclaimed the
lieutenant.

The pilot shook his head, as he re
plied

" There is no more tacking or box-
hauling to be done to-night. We have
barely room to pass out of the shoals on
this course, and if we can weather the
F 2






100 THE PILOT.

c Devil's-Grip,' we clear their outermost
point but if not, as I said before, there is
but one alternative."

u If we had beaten out the way we en
tered ! " exclaimed Griffith, u we should
have done well."

" Say, also, if the tide would have let us
do so/' returned the pilot, calmly. " Gen
tlemen, we must be prompt ; we have but
a mile to go, and the ship appears to fly.
That topsail is not enough to keep her up
to the wind ; we want both jib and main
sail.' 5

" Tis a perilous thing to loosen canvas
in such a tempest," observed the doubt
ful captain.

66 It must be done/' returned the col
lected stranger ; " we perish without it
see ! the light already touches the edge
of the hommoc ; the sea casts us to lee
ward ! "

" It shall be done ! " cried Griffith,
seizing the trumpet from the hand of the
pilot.

The orders of the lieutenant were exe
cuted almost as soon as issued, and every



THE PILOT, 101

thing* being ready, the enormous folds of
the mainsail were trusted, loose, to the
blast. There was an instant when the re
sult was doubtful ; the tremendous thresh
ing of the heuvy sails, seeming to bid de
fiance to all restraint, shaking the ship to
her centre ; but art and strength prevailed,
and gradually the canvas was distended,
and bellying as it filled, was drawn down
to its usual place by the power of a hundred
men. The vessel yielded to this immense
addition of force, and bowed before it like
a reed bending to a breeze. But the suc
cess of the measure was announced by a
joyful cry from the stranger, that seemed
to burst from his inmost soul.

" She feels it ! she springs her luff! ob
serve," he said,, " the light opens from the
hommoc already ; if she will only bear
her canvas, we shall go clear ! "

A report, like that of a cannon, inter
rupted his exclamation, and something re
sembling a white cloud was seen drifting
before the wind from the head of the ship,
till it was driven into the gloom far to
leeward.



102 THE PILOT.

" 'Tis the jib, blown from the bolt-
ropes," said the commander of the frigate.
" This is no time to spread light duck
but the mainsail may stand it yet."

" The sail would laugh at a tornado,'*
returned the lieutenant ; " but that mast
springs like a piece of steel."

Silence all ! " cried the pilot. " Now,
gentlemen, we shall soon know our fate.
Let her luff luff you can ! "

This warning effectually closed all dis
course, and the hardy mariners, knowing
that they had already done all in the
power of man to ensure their safety, stood
in breathless anxiety, awaiting the result.
At a short distance ahead of them, the
whole ocean was white with foam, and the
waves, instead of rolling on in regular suc
cession, appeared to be tossing about in
mad gambols. A single streak of dark
billows, not half a cable's length in width,
could be discerned running into this chaos
of water ; but it was soon lost to the^
eye, amid the confusion of the disturbed
element. Along this narrow path the
vessel moved more heavily than before,



THE PILOT. 103

being brought so near the wind as to keep
her sails touching. The pilot, silently, pro
ceeded to the wheel, and, with his own
hands, he undertook the steerage of the
ship. No noise proceeded from the frigate
to interrupt the horrid tumult of the ocean,
and she entered the channel among the
breakers, with the silence of a desperate
calmness. Twenty times, as the foam
rolled away to leeward, the crew were on
the eve of uttering their joy, as they sup
posed the vessel past the danger ; but
breaker after breaker would still rise be
fore them, following each other into the
general mass, to check their exultation.
Occasionally, the fluttering of the sails
would be heard ; and when the looks of
the startled seamen were turned to the
wheel, they beheld the stranger grasping
its spokes, with his quick eye glancing
from the water to the canvas. At length
the ship reached a point, where she ap
peared to be rushing directly into the jaws
of destruction, when, suddenly, her course
was changed, and her head receded ra
pidly from the wind. At the same in-



104



THE PILOT.



stant, the voice of the pilot was heard,
shouting

" Square away the yarcis ! in main
sail!"

A general burst from the crew echoed,
" square away the yards ! " and, quick as
thought, the frigate was seen gliding along
the channel before the wind. The eye had
hardly time to dwell on the foam, which
seemed like clouds driving in the heavens,
and directly the gallant vessel issued from
her perils, and rose and fell on the heavy
waves of the open sea.

The seamen were yet drawing long
breaths, and gazing about them like men
recovered from a trance, when Griffith
approached the man who had so success
fully conducted them through their perils.
The young lieutenant grasped the hand of
the other, as he said

" You have this night proved yourself
a faithful pilot, and such a seaman as the
world cannot equal."

The pressure of the hand was warmly
returned by the unknown mariner, who
replied



THE PILOT. 105

" I am no stranger to the seas, and I
may yet find my grave in them. But you,
too, have deceived me; you have acted
nobly, young man, and Congress "

" What of Congress ?" asked Griffith,
observing him to pause.

" Why, Congress is fortunate, if it has
many such ships as this," said the stranger,
coldly, and walking towards the com
mander.

Griffith gazed after him a moment in sur
prize ; but as his duty required his atten
tion, other thoughts soon engaged his
mind.

The vessel was pronounced to be in
safety. The gale was heavy and increas
ing, but there was a clear sea before them,
and, as she slowly stretched out into the
bosom of the ocean, preparations were
made for her security during its continu
ance. Before midnight, every thing was
in order. A gun from the Ariel had an
nounced the safety of the schooner also,
which had gone out by another and an
easier channel, that the frigate had not
dared to attempt ; and the commander
F 3



10$ TflE PILOT,



directed the usual watch to be set, and the
remainder of the crew to seek their neces
sary repose.

The captain withdrew with the mysteri
ous pilot to his own cabin. Griffith gave
his last order, and renewing his charge to
the officer entrusted with the care of the
vessel, he wished him a pleasant watch and
sought the refreshment of his own cot.
For an hour the young lieutenant lay
musing on the events of the day. The re
mark of Barnstable would occur to him, in
connexion with the singular comment of
the boy ; and then his thoughts would
recur to the pilot, who, taken from the
hostile shores of Britain, and with her
accent on his tongue, had served them so
faithfully and so welL He remembered
the anxiety of Captain Munson to procure
this stranger, at the very hazard from
which they had just been relieved, and
puzzled himself with conjecturing why a
pilot was to be sought at such a risk. His
more private feelings would then resume
their sway, and the recollection of Ame
rica, his mistress and his home, mingled
with the confused images of the drowsy



*

THE PILOT. 107

youth. The dashing of the billows against
the side of the ship, the creaking of guns
and bulk heads, with the roaring of the
tempest, however, became gradually less
and less distinct, until nature yielded to ne
cessity, and the young man forgot even the
romantic images of his love, in the deep
sleep of a seaman.



CHAPTER VI.



" The letter ! ay, the letter !
"Tis there a woman loves to speak her wishes j
It spares the blushes of the love-sick maiden,
And every word's a smile, each line a tongue."

Duo.



THE slumbers of Griffith continued
till late on the following morning-, when
he was awakened by the report of a can
non, issuing from the deck above him.
He threw himself listlessly from his cot,
and perceiving the officer of marines near
him, as his servant opened the door of his
state-room, he inquired, with some little
interest in his manner, if " the ship was in
chase of any thing, that a gun was fired ?"

The soldier replied

" 'Tis no more than a hint to the Ariel,
that there is bunting abroad for them to
read. It seems as if all hands were asleep
on board her, for we have shown her signal
these ten minutes, and she takes us for a



THE PILOT. 109

collier, I believe, by the respect she pays
it."

" Say, rather, that she takes us for an
enemy, and is wary," returned Griffith.
" Brown Dick has played the -English so
many tricks himself, that he is tender of
his faith/'

" Why, they have shown him a yellow
flag over a blue one, with a cornet, and
that spells Ariel, in every signal book we
have ; surely he can't suspect the English
of knowing how to read Yankee."

" I have known Yankees read more
difficult English," said Griffith, smiling;
" but, in truth, I suppose that Barnstablehas
been, like myself, keeping a dead reckon
ing of his time, and his men have profited
by the occasion. She is lying too, I
trust."

" Ay ! like a cork in a mill-pond, and I
dare say you are right. Give Barnstable
plenty of sea-room, a heavy wind, and but
little sail, and he will send his men below,
put that fellow he calls long Tom at the
tiller, and follow himself, and sleep as
quietly as I ever could at church."



110 THE PILOT.

" Ah ! yours is a somniferous orthodoxy,
Captain Manual/' said the young sailor,
laughing, while he slipped his arms into
the sleeves of a morning round-about, co
vered with the gilded trappings of his pro
fession ; " sleep appears to come most
naturally to all you idlers. But give me a
passage, and I will go up and call the
schooner down to us, in the turning of an
hour-glass/'

The indolent soldier raised himself from
the leaning posture he had taken against
the door of the state-room, and Griffith
proceeded through the dark ward-room,
up the narrow stairs, that led him to the
principal battery of the ship, and thence,
by another and broader flight of steps to
the open deck.

The gale still blew strong, but steadily ;
the blue water of the ocean was rising in
mimic mountains, that were crowned with
white foam, which the wind, at times,
lifted from its kindred element, to propel
in mist, through the air from summit to
summit. But the ship rode on these agi
tated billows, with an easy and regular



THE PILOT, 111

movement, that denoted the skill with
which her mechanical powers were di
rected. The day was bright and clear, and
the lazy sun, which seemed unwilling to
meet the toil of ascending to the meridian,
was crossing the heavens with a southern
inclination, that hardly allowed him to
temper the moist air of the ocean with
his genial heat. At the distance of a mile,
directly in the wind's eye, the Ariel was
seen obeying the signal, which had caused
the dialogue we have related. Her low
black hull was barely discernible, at mo
ments, when she rose to the crest of a
larger wave than common ; but the spot
of canvas that she exposed to the wind
was to be seen, seeming to touch the water
on either hand, as the little vessel rolled
amid the seas. At times she was entirely
hid from view, when the faint lines of her
raking masts would be again discovered,
issuing as it were from the ocean, and con
tinuing to ascend, until the hull itself
would appear, thrusting its bows into the
air, surrounded by foam, and apparently



112 THE PILOT.

ready to take its flight into another ele
ment.

After dwelling a moment on the beauti
ful sight we have attempted to describe,
Griffith cast his eyes upward, to examine,
with the keenness of a seaman, the dispo
sition of things aloft, and then turned his
attention to those who were on the deck
of the frigate.

His commander stood, in his composed
manner, patiently awaiting the execution
of his order by the Ariel, and at his side
was placed the stranger, who had acted so
recently such a conspicuous part in the
management of the ship. Griffith availed
himself of daylight and 'his situation, to
examine the appearance of this singular
being more closely than the darkness and
confusion of the preceding night had al
lowed. He was rather below the middle
size in stature, but his form was muscular
and athletic, exhibiting the finest propor
tions of manly beauty. His face appeared
rather characterized by melancholy arid
thought, than by that determined decision



THE PILOT. 113

which he had so powerfully displayed in
the moments of their most extreme dan
ger ; but Griffith well knew, that it could
also exhibit looks of the fiercest impatience.
At present, it appeared, to the curious
youth, when compared to the glimpses he
had caught by the lights of their lanterns,
like the ocean at rest, contrasted with the
waters around him. The eyes of the pilot
rested on the deck, or when they did wan
der, it was with uneasy and rapid glances.
The large pea-jacket, that concealed most
of his other attire, was as roughly made,
and of materials as coarse, as that worn by
the meanest seaman in the vessel ; and yet,
it did not escape the inquisitive gaze of
the young lieutenant, that it was worn
with an air of neatness and care, that was
altogether unusual in men of his profes
sion. The examination of Griffith ended
here, for the near approach of the Ariel
attracted the attention of all on the deck
of the frigate, to the conversation that was
about to pass between their respective
commanders.

As the little schooner rolled along un-



114 THE PILOT.

der their stern, Captain Munson directed
his subordinate to leave his vessel, and re
pair on board the ship. As soon as the
order was received, the Ariel rounded-to,
and drawing ahead into the smooth water
occasioned by the huge fabric that pro
tected her from the gale, the whale-boat
was again launched from her decks, and
manned by the same crew that had landed
on those shores, which were now faintly
discerned far to leeward, looking like blue
clouds en the skirts of the ocean.

When Barnstable had entered his boat,
a few strokes of the oars sent it, dancing
over the waves, to the side of the ship.
The little vessel was then veered off, to a
distance, where it rode in safety, under the
care of a boat-keeper, and the officer and
his men ascended the side of the lofty fri
gate.

The usual ceremonials of a reception
were rigidly observed by Griffith and his
juniors, when Barnstable touched the deck ;
and though every hand was ready to be
extended towards the reckless seaman,
none presumed to exceed the salutations



THE PILOT. 115

of official decorum, until a short and pri
vate dialogue had taken place between
him and their captain.

In the meantime, the crew of the whale-
boat passed forward, and mingled with the
seamen of the frigate, with the exception
of the cockswain, who established himself
in one of the gangways, where he stood in
the utmost composure, fixing his eyes aloft,
and shaking his head, in evident dissatis
faction, as he studied the complicated mass
of rigging above him. This spectacle soon
attracted to his side some half-dozen youths,
with Mr. Merry at their head, who en
deavoured to entertain their guest in a
manner that should most conduce to the
indulgence of their own waggish propen
sities.

The conversation between Barnstable
and his superior soon ended ; when the
former, beckoning to Griffith, passed the
wondering group who had collected around
the capstern, awaiting his leisure to greet
him more cordially, and led the way to
the ward-room, with the freedom of one
who felt himself no stranger. As this un-



116 THE PILOT.

social manner formed no part of the natu
ral temper or ordinary deportment of the
man, the remainder of the officers suffered
their first lieutenant to follow him alone,
believing that duty required that their in
terview should be private. Barnstable
was determined that it should be so, at all
events ; for he seized the lamp from the
mess-table, and entered the state-room of
his friend, closing the door behind them,
and turning the key. When they were
both within its narrow limits pointing to
the only chair the little apartment con
tained, with a sort of instinctive deference
to his companion's rank the commander
of the schooner threw himself carelessly
on a sea-chest, and, placing the lamp on
the table, he opened the discourse as fol
lows.

" What a night we had of it ! twenty
times I thought I could see the sea break
ing over you, and I had given you over
as drowned men, or, what is worse, as men
driven ashore, to be led to the prison-ships
of these islanders, when I saw your lights
in answer to my gun. Had you hoisted



THE PILOT. 117

the conscience out of a murderer, you
wouldn't have relieved him more than you
did me, by showing that bit of tallow and
cotton, tip'd with flint and steel. But,
Griffith, I have a tale to tell of a different
kind"

" Of how you slept, when you found
yourself in deep water, and how your c^ew
strove to outdo their commander, and how
all succeeded so well, that there was a
gray-head on board here, that began to
shake with displeasure/ 5 interrupted Grif
fith ; " truly, Dick, you will get into lub
berly habits on board that bubble in which
you float about, where all hands go to
sleep as regularly as the inhabitants of a
poultry yard go to roost."

" Not so bad, not half so bad, Ned,"
returned the other, laughing 5 " I keep as
sharp a discipline as if we wore a flag.
To be sure, forty men can't make as much
parade as three or four hundred ; but as
for making or taking in sail, I am your
better, any day."

" Ay, because a pocket handkerchief is



118 THE PILOT.

sooner opened and shut than a table-cloth.
But I hold it to be unseamanlike, to leave
any vessel without human eyes, and those
open, to watch whether she goes east or
west, north or south."

" And who is guilty of such a dead-man's
watch ?"

" Why, they say on board here, that
when it blows hard, you seat the man you
call long Tom by the side of the tiller, tell
him to keep her head to-sea, and then pipe
all hands to their night-caps, where you
all remain, comfortably stowed in your
hammocks, until you are awakened by the
snoring of your helmsman."

" 'Tis a damned scandalous insinuation,"
cried Barnstable, with an indignation that
he in vain attempted to conceal. " Who
gives currency to such a libel, Mr. Grif
fith ?"

" I had it of the marine," said his friend,
losing the archness that had instigated
him to worry his companion, in the vacant
air of one who was careless of every thing ;
" but I don't believe half of it myself



THE PILOT. 119

1 have no doubt you all had your eyes
open, last night, whatever you might have
been about this morning."

u Ah ! this morning ! there was an over
sight, indeed ! But I was studying a new
signal-book, Griffith ; that has a thousand
times more interest for me, than all the
bunting you can show, from the head to
the heel of your masts."

" What ! have you found out the Eng
lishman's private talk ?"

" No, no," said the other, stretching
forth his hand, and grasping the arm of
his friend. " I met, last night, one, on
those cliffs, who has proved herself what
I always believed her to be and loved
her for, a girl of quick thought and bold
spirit,"

u Of whom do you speak ?"

" Of Katherine "

Griffith started from his chair involun
tarily, at the sound of this name, and the
blood passed quickly through the shades
of his countenance, leaving it now pale as
death, and then burning as if oppressed by



120 THE PILOT.

a torrent from his heart. Struggling to
overcome an emotion, which he appeared
ashamed to betray even to the friend he
most loved, the young man soon recovered
himself so far as to resume his seat, when
he asked, gloomily

" Was she alone ?"

" She was ; but she left with me this pa
per, and this invaluable book, which is
worth a library of all other works."

The eye of Griffith rested vacantly on
the treasure that the other valued so high
ly, but his hand seized, eagerly, the open


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