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the heel of the gale, and run into the land,
always speaking for good water and no
rocks. Mr. Pilot, you will accompany
me, for you carry as true a map of the
bottom of these seas, in your head, as ever
was made of dry ground. I will look out
for good anchorage, or, if the wind should
blow off shore, let the schooner stand off
and on, till we should be ready to take the
broad sea again, I would land, out of my
whale-boat, with long Tom and a boat's
crew, and finding out the place you will
describe, we shall go up, and take the men
you want, and bring them aboard. It's
all plain sailing; though, as it is a well-
peopled country, it may be necessary to
do our shore work in the dark."

" Mr. Griffith, we only wait for your



THE PILOT. 145

sentiments," proceeded the captain, " when,
by comparing opinions, we may decide on
the most prudent course."

The first lieutenant had been much ab
sorbed in thought, during the discussion of
the subject, and might have been, on that
account, better prepared to give his opinion
with effect. Pointing to the man who yet
stood behind him, leaning on a gun, he
commenced by asking

" Is it your intention that man shall ac
company the party?"

a Tf ic- "

It Jfe.

a And from him you expect the neces
sary information, sir, to guide our move
ments?"

" You are altogether right."

" If, sir, he has but a moiety of the skill
on the land that he possesses on the water,
I will answer for his success," returned the
lieutenant, bowing slightly to the stranger,
who received the compliment by a cold
inclination of his head. " I must desire
the indulgence of both Mr. Barnstable and
Captain Manual," he continued, " and

VOL. i. H



146 THE PILOT.

claim 'the command as of right belonging
to my rank/'

" It belongs naturally to the schooner,"
exclaimed the impatient Barnstable.

" There may be enough for us all to
do/' said Griffith, elevating a finger to the
other, in a manner, and with an impressive
look, that was instantly comprehended.
" I neither agree wholly with the one nor
the other of these gentlemen. 'Tis said,
that since our appearance on the coast, the
dwellings of many of the gentry are guard
ed by small detachments of soldiers from
the neighbouring towns."

" Who says it?" asked the pilot, ad
vancing among them, with a suddenness
that caused a general silence.

" I say it, sir," returned the lieutenant,
when the momentary surprise had passed
away.

" Can you vouch for it?"

" I can."

" Name a house, or an individual, that
is thus protected."

Griffith gazed at the man who thus for-



THE PILOT. 147

got himself in the midst of a consultation
like the present, and yielding to his native
pride, hesitated to reply. But mindful of
the declarations of his captain, and the
recent services of the pilot, he at length
said, with a little embarrassment of man
ner

" I know it to be the fact, in the dwell
ing of a Colonel Howard, who resides but
a few leagues to the north of us."

The stranger started at the name, and
then raising his eye keenly to the face of
the young man, appeared to study his
thoughts in his varying countenance. But
the action, and the pause that followed,
were of short continuance. His lip slightly
curled, whether in scorn or with a con
cealed smile, would have been difficult to
say, so closely did it resemble both, and as
he dropped quietly back to his place at the
gun, he said

" 'Tis more than probable you are right,
sir ; and if I might presume to advise Cap
tain Munson, it would be to lay great
weight on your opinion."

Griffith turned, to see if he could eom-
H 2



148 THE PILOT.

prehend more meaning in the manner of
the stranger than his words expressed, but
his face was again shaded by his hand,
and his eyes were once more fixed on the
chart with the same vacant abstraction as
before.

" I have said, sir, that I agree wholly
neither with Mr. Barnstable nor Captain
Manual," continued the lieutenant, after a
short pause. " The command of this party
is mine, as the senior officer, and I must
beg leave to claim it. I certainly do not
think the preparation that Captain Manual
advises necessary ; neither would I under
take the duty with as little caution as Mr.
Barnstable proposes. If there are soldiers
to be encountered, we should have soldiers
to oppose to them ; but as it must be sud
den boat-work, and regular evolutions
must give place to a seaman's bustle, a
sea-officer should command. Is my re
quest granted, Captain Munson?"

The veteran replied, without hesitation
" It is, sir ; it was my intention to offer
you the service, and I rejoice to see you
accept it so cheerfully."



THE PILOT. 149

Griffith with difficulty concealed the
satisfaction with which he listened to his
commander, and a radiant smile illumined
his pale features, when he observed

" With me, then, sir, let the responsibi
lity rest. I request that Captain Manual,
with twenty men, may be put under my
orders, if that gentleman does not dislike
the duty." The marine bowed, and cast
a glance of triumph at Barnstable. " I
will take my own cutter, with her tried
crew, go on board the schooner, and when
the wind lulls, we will run in to the land,
and then be governed by circumstances."

The commander of the schooner threw
back the triumphant look of the marine,
and exclaimed, in his joyous manner

" 'Tis a good plan, and done like a
seaman, Mr. Griffith. Ay, ay, let the
schooner be employed, and if it be neces
sary, you shall see her anchored in one of
their duck-ponds, with her broadside to
bear on the parlour-windows of the best
house in the island ! But twenty marines !
they will cause a jam in my little craft."

" Not a man less than twenty would be



150 THE PILOT.

prudent," returned Griffith. " More ser
vice may offer than that we seek."

Barnstable well understood his allusion,
but still he replied

" Make it seamen, and I will give you
room for thirty. But these soldiers never
know how to stow away their arms and
legs, unless at a drill. One will take the
room of two sailors; they swing their
hammocks athwart-ships, heads to leeward,
and then turn-out wrong end uppermost
at the call. Why, damn it, sir, the chalk
and rotten-stone of twenty soldiers will
choke my hatches !"

" Give me the launch, Captain Munson ! "
exclaimed the indignant marine, " and we
will follow Mr. Griffith in an open boat,
rather than put Captain Barnstable to so
much inconvenience."

u No, no, Manual," cried the other, ex
tending his muscular arm across the table,
with an open palm, to the soldier ; " you
would all become so many Jonahs in uni
form, and I doubt whether the fish could
digest your cartridge-boxes and bayonet-
belts. You shall go with me, and learn,



THE PILOT. 151

with your own eyes, whether we keep the
cat's-watch aboard the Ariel, that you
joke about."

The laugh was general, at the expense
of the soldier, if we except the pilot and
the commander of the frigate. The for
mer was a silent, and apparently an ab
stracted, but in reality a deeply interested
listener to the discourse ; and there were
moments when he bent his looks on the
speakers, as if he sought more in their cha
racters than was exhibited by the gay tri
fling of the moment. Captain Munson
seldom allowed a muscle of his wrinkled
features to disturb their repose : and if he
had not the real dignity to repress the un
timely mirth of his officers, he had too
much good nature to wish to disturb their
harmless enjoyments. He expressed himself
satisfied with the proposed arrangements,
and beckoned to his steward, to place be
fore them the usual beverage, with which
all their consultations concluded.

The sailing-master appeared to think
that the same order was to be observed in
their potations as in council, and helping



152 THE PILOT.

himself to an allowance, which retained its
hue even in its diluted state, he first raised
it to the light, and then observed

" This ship's-water is nearly the colour
of rum of itself; if it only had its flavour,
what a set of hearty dogs we should be.
Mr. Griffith, I find you are willing to
haul your land-tacks aboard. Well, it's
natural for youth to love the earth ; but
there is one man, and he is sailing-master
of this ship, who saw land enough, last
night, to last him a twelvemonth. But if
you will go, here's a good land- fall and a
better offing to you. Captain Munson, my
respects to you. I say, sir, if we should keep
the ship more to the south'ard, it's my opi
nion, and that's but one man's, weshouldfall
in with some of the enemy's homeward-
bound West-Indiamen, and find where
withal to keep the life in us when we see
fit to go ashore ourselves."

As the tough old sailor made frequent
applications of the glass to his mouth,
with one hand, and kept a firm hold of
the decanter with the other, during this
speech, his companions were compelled to



THE PILOT. 153

listen to his eloquence, or depart with
their thirst unassuaged. Barnstable, how
ever, quite coolly dispossessed the tar of
the bottle, and mixing for himself a more
equal potation, observed, in the act

" That is the most remarkable glass of
grog you have, Boltrope, that I ever
sailed with ; it draws as little water as the
Ariel, and is as hard to find the bottom.
If your spirit-room enjoys the same sort
of engine to replenish it, when you pump
out your rum, Congress will sail this fri
gate cheaply."

The other officers helped themselves
with still greater moderation, Griffith
barely moistening his lips, and the pilot
rejecting the oifered glass altogether.
Captain Munson continued standing, and
his officers, perceiving that their pre
sence was no longer necessary, bowed and
took their leave. As Griffith was retiring
last, he felt a hand laid lightly on his
shoulder, and turning, perceived that he
was detained by the pilot.

" Mr. Griffith," he said, when they
were quite alone with the commander of
H 3



154 THE PILOT.

the frigate, " the occurrences of the last
night should teach us confidence in each
other ; without it, we go on a dangerous
and fruitless errand."

" Is the hazard equal ?" returned the
youth. u I am known to all to be the
man I seem am in the service of my
country belong to a family and enjoy a
name, that is a pledge for my loyalty to
the cause of America and yet I trust my
self on hostile ground, in the midst of
enemies, with a weak arm, and under cir
cumstances where treachery would prove
my ruin. Who and what is the man who
thus enjoys your confidence, Captain
Munson ? I ask the question less for
myself than for the gallant men who will
fearlessly follow wherever I lead."

A shade of dark displeasure crossed the
features of the stranger, at one part of this
speech, and at its close he sunk into deep
thought. The commander, however,
replied

" There is a show of reason in your ques
tion, Mr. Griffith and yet you are not
the man to be told that implicit obedi-



THE PILOT. 155

ence is what I have a right to expect. I
have not your pretensions, sir, by birth or
education, and yet Congress have not seen
proper to overlook my years and services.
I command this frigate "

" Say no more/ 1 interrupted the pilot.
" There is reason in his doubts, and they
shall be appeased. I like the proud and
fearless eye of the young man, and while
he fears a gibbet from my hands, I will
show him how to repose a noble confi
dence. Read this, sir, and tell me if you
distrust me now ?"

While the stranger spoke, he thrust his
hand into the bosom of his dress, and drew
forth a parchment, decorated with rib
bands and bearing a massive seal, which he
opened, and laid on the table before the
youth. As he pointed with his finger,
impressively, to different parts of the
writing, his eye kindled with a look of un
usual fire, and there was a faint tinge dis
cernible on his pallid features, when he
spoke.

" See !" he said. " Royalty itself does
not hesitate to bear witness in my favour,



156 THE PILOT.

and that is not a name to occasion dread
to an American."

Griffith gazed with wonder at the fair
signature of the unfortunate Louis, which
graced the bottom of the parchment ; but
when his eye obeyed the signal of the
stranger, and rested on the body of the
instrument, he started back from the table,
and fixing his animated eyes on the pilot,
he cried, while a glow of fiery courage
flittered across his countenance

" Lead on ! I'll follow you to death !"
A smile of gratified exultation struggled
around the lips of the stranger, who took
the arm of the young man, and led him
into a state-room, leaving the commander
of the frigate, standing in his unmoved and
quiet manner, a spectator of, but hardly an
actor in the scene.



CHAPTER VIII.



" Fierce bounding, forward sprung the ship,
Like greyhound starting from the slip,
To seize his flying prey."

Lord of the Isles.



ALTHOUGH the subject of the consultation
remained a secret with those whose opini
ons were required, yet enough of the result
leaked out among' the subordinate officers,
to throw the whole crew into a state of
eager excitement. The rumour spread it
self along the decks of the frigate, with
the rapidity of an alarm, that an expedi
tion was to attempt the shore on some
hidden service, dictated by the Congress
itself; and conjectures were made respect
ing its force and destination, with all that
interest which might be imagined would
exist among the men whose lives or liber-



158 THE PILOT.

ties were to abide the issue. A gallant
and reckless daring, mingled with the
desire of novelty, however, was the pre
vailing sentiment among the crew, who
would have received with cheers the intel
ligence that their vessel was commanded
to force the passage of the united British
fleet. A few of the older and more pru
dent of the sailors were exceptions to this
thoughtless hardihood, and one or two,
among whom the cockswain of the whale-
boat was the most conspicuous, ventured
to speak doubtingly of all sorts of land
service, as being of a nature never to be
attempted by seamen.

Captain Manual had his men paraded in
the weather-gangway, and after a short
address, calculated to inflame their mili
tary ardour and patriotism, acquainted
them, that he required twenty volunteers,
which was in truth half their number, for
a dangerous service. After a short pause,
the company stepped forward, like one
man, and announced themselves as ready
to follow him to the end of the world.
The marine cast a look over his shoulder,



THE PILOT. 159

at this gratifying declaration, in quest of
Barnstable ; but observing that the sailor
was occupied with some papers, on a dis
tant part of the quarter-deck, he proceed
ed to make a most impartial division
among the candidates for glory ; taking
care, at the same time, to cull his company
in such a manner as to give himself the
flower of his men, and, consequently, to
leave the ship the refuse.

While this arrangement was taking
place, and the crew of the frigate was in
this state of excitement, Griffith ascended
to the deck, his countenance flushed with
unusual enthusiasm, and his eyes beaming
with a look of animation and gaiety that
had long been strangers to the face of the
young man. He was giving forth the few
necessary orders to the seamen he was to
take with him from the ship, when Barn-
stable again motioned him to follow, and led
the way once more to the state-room.

" Let the wind blow its pipe out," said
the commander of the Ariel, when they
were seated ; " there will be no landing
on the eastern coast of England, till the



J60 THE PILOT.

sea goes down. But this Kate was made
for a sailor's wife ! see, Griffith, what a set
of signals she has formed, out of her own
cunning head."

" I hope your opinion may prove true,
and that you may be the happy sailor who
is to wed her," returned the other. " The
girl has indeed discovered surprising art in
this business ! where could she have learnt
the method and system so well?"

" Where ! why, where she learnt better
things ; how to prize a whole-hearted sea
man, for instance. Do you think that my
tongue was jammed in my mouth, all the
time we used to sit by the side of the river
in Carolina, and that we found nothing to
talk about !"

u Did you amuse your mistress with
treatises on the art of navigation, and the
science of signals ?" said Griffith smiling.

" I answered her questions, Mr. Griffith,
as any civil man would to a woman he
loved. The girl has as much curiosity as-
one of my own townswomen who has
weathered cape forty without a husband,
and her tongue goes like a dog- vane in a



THE PILOT. 161

calm, first one way and then another. But
here is her dictionary. Now own, Griff.,
in spite of your college learning and senti-
mentals, that a woman of ingenuity and
cleverness is a very good sort of a help
mate."'

" I never doubted the merits of Miss
Plowden," said the other, with a droll
gravity that often mingled with his deeper
feelings, the result of a sailor's habits,
blended with native character. " But
this indeed surpasses all my expectations !
Why she has, in truth, made a most judi
cious selection of phrases. ' No. 168.
* * * * indelible ; ' ' 169. * * * * end only
with life ; J ( 170. * * * * I fear yours mis
leads me ;' < 171.'"

" Pshaw ! " exclaimed Barnstable, snatch
ing the book from before the laughing eyes
of Griffith ; " what folly to throw away
our time now on such nonsense. What
think you of this expedition to the land ? "

" That it may be the means of rescuing
the ladies, though it fail in making the
prisoners we anticipate."

" But this pilot ! you remember that he



162 THE PILOT.

holds us by our necks, and can run us all
up to the yard-arm of some English ship,
whenever he chooses to open his throat, at
their threats or bribes."

" It would have been better that he
should have cast the ship ashore, when he
had her entangled in the shoals ; it would
have been our last thought to suspect him
of treachery then," returned Griffith. " I
follow him with confidence, and must be
lieve that we are safer with him than we
should be without him."

u Let him lead to the dwelling of his
fox-hunting ministers of state," cried Barn-
stable, thrusting his book of signals into
bis bosom ; " but here is a chart that will
show us the way to the port we wish to
find. Let my foot once more touch terra
fir ma, and you may write craven against
my name if that laughing vixen slips her
cable before my eyes, and shoots into the
wind's eye again, like a flying-fish chased
by a dolphin. Mr. Griffith, we must have
the chaplain with us to the shore."

" The madness of love is driving you into
the errors of the soldier. Would you lie



THE PILOT. 163

by to hear sermons, with a flying party
like ours ? "

" Nay, nay, we must lay-to for nothing
that is not unavoidable ; but there are so
many tacks in such a chase, when one has
time to breathe, that we might as well
spend our leisure in getting that fellow to
splice us together. He has a handy way
with a prayer-book, and could do the job
as well as a bishop, and I should like to be
able to say, that this is the last time these
two saucy names, which are written at the
bottom of this letter, should ever be seen
sailing in the company of each other."

" It will not do," said his friend, shaking
his head, and endeavouring to force a smil*
which his feelings suppressed ; " it will not
do, Richard ; we must yield our own in
clinations to the service of our country ;
nor is this pilot a man who will consent to
be led from his purpose/'

" Then let him follow his purpose alone,"
cried Barnstable. " There is no human
power, always saving my superior officer,
that shall keep me from throwing abroad



164 THE PILOT.

these tiny signals, and having a private
talk with my dark-eyed Kate. But for a
paltry pilot! he may luff and bear away as
he pleases, while I shall steer as true as a
magnet for that old ruin, where I can
bring my eyes to bear on that romantic
wing and three smoky vanes. Not that
I'll forget my duty : yes, I'll help you
catch the Englishmen, but when that is
done, hey for Katherine Plowden and
my true love !"

" Hush madcap ! the ward-room holds
long ears, and our bulkheads grow thin by
wear. 1 must keep you and myself to our
duty. This is no children's game that we
|)lay ; it seems the commissioners at Paris
have thought proper to employ a frigate
in the sport."

Barnstable's gaiety was a little repressed
by the grave manner of his companion ;
but after reflecting a moment, he started
on his feet, and made the usual movements
for departure.

" Whither?" asked Griffith, gently de
taining his impatient friend.



THE PILOT. 165

" To old Moderate ; I have a proposal
to make, that may remove every diffi
culty."

" Name it to me, then ; I am in his
council, and may save you the trouble and
mortification of a refusal."

" How many of those gentry does he
wish to line his cabin with ?"

" The pilot has named no less than six,
all men of rank and consideration with the
enemy. Two of them are peers, two more
belong to the commons' house of parlia
ment, one is a general, and the sixth, like
ourselves, is a sailor, and holds the rank of
captain. They muster at a hunting seat,
near the coast, and believe me, the scheme
is not without its plausibility."

" Well, then, there are two a-piece for
us. You follow the pilot, if you will ; but
let me sheer off for this dwelling of Colonel
Howard, with my cockswain and boat's-
crew. I will surprise his house, release
the ladies, and on my way back, lay my
hands on two of the first lords I fall in
with. I suppose, for our business, one is as
good as another."



166 THE PILOT.

Griffith could not repress a faint laugh,
while he replied

" Though they are said to be each
others peers, there is, I believe, some dif
ference even in the quality of lords. Eng
land might thank us for ridding her of
some among them. Neither are they to
be found, like beggars, under every hedge.
No, no, the men we seek must have some
thing better than their nobility to recom
mend them to our favour. But let us ex
amine more closely into this plan and
map of Miss Plowden ; something may
occur, that shall yet bring the place within
our circuit, like a contingent duty of the
cruise."

Barnstable reluctantly relinquished his
own wild plan, to the more sober judg
ment of his friend, and together they passed
an hour, inquiring into the practicability,
and consulting on the means of making
their public duty subserve the purposes of
their private feelings.

The gale continued to blow heavily,
during the whole of that morning; but
towards noon, the usual indications of



THE PILOT. 167

better weather became apparent. During
these few hours of inaction in the frigate,
the marines who were drafted for service
on the land, moved through the vessel
with a busy and stirring air, as if they
were about to participate in the glory and
danger of the campaign their officer had
planned, while the few seamen who were
to accompany the expedition steadily
paced the decks with their hands thrust
into the bosoms of their neat blue jackets,
or, occasionally, stretched towards the
horizon, as their fingers traced, for their
less experienced shipmates, the signs of an
abatement in the gale among the driving
clouds. The last lagger among the soldiers
had appeared with his knapsack on his
back in the lee-gangway, where his com
rades were collected, armed and accoutred
for the strife, when Captain Munson as
cended to the quarter-deck, accompanied
by the stranger and his first lieutenant. A
word was spoken by the latter in a low
voice to a midshipman, who skipped gaily
along the deck, and presently the shrill



168 THE PILOT.

call of the boatswain was heard, preceding
the hoarse cry of

" Away there, you tigers, away !"
A smart roll of the drum followed, and
the marines paraded, while the six seamen
who belonged to the cutter that owned so
fierce a name, made their preparations for
lowering their little bark from the quarter
of the frigate into the troubled sea. Every
thing was conducted in the most exact
order, and with a coolness and skill that
bid defiance to the turbulence of the an
gry elements. The marines were safely
transported from the ship to the schooner
under the favouring shelter of the former,
though the boat appeared, at times, to be
seeking the cavities of the ocean, and again
to be riding in the clouds, as she passed
from one vessel to the other.


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