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than two years ago, the smell of tar would almost make
him swound away." The latter assertion was one of Bob's



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 27

embellishments, for Mark was never either lackadaisical
or very delicate. The young man cordially returned Bob'a
regard, and the two were sincere friends without any
phrases on the subject.

Bob Betts was the only male witness of the marriage
between Mark Woolston and Bridget Yardley, with the
exception of the officiating clergyman ; as Mary Bromley
was the only female. Duplicate certificates, however, were
given to the young couple, Mark placing his in his writ
ing-desk, and Bridget hers in the bosom of her dress.
Five minutes after the ceremony was ended, the whole
party separated, the girls returning to their respective re
sidences, and the clergyman going his way, leaving the
mate and the ship-keeper together on the vessel's deck.
The latter did not speak, so long as he saw the bride
groom's eyes fastened on the light form of the bride, as the
latter went swiftly up the retired wharf where the ship was
lying, on her way to Front street, accompanied by her
young friend. But, no sooner had Bridget turned a cor
ner, and Bob saw that the attraction was no longer in view,
than he thought it becoming to put in a word.

"A trim-built and light-sailing craft, Mr. Woolston,"
he said, turning over the quid in his mouth ; " one of these
days she '11 make a noble vessel to command."

" She is my captain, and ever will be, Bob," returned
Mark. " But you '11 be silent concerning what has
passed."

" Ay, ay, sir. It is not my business to keep a log for
all the women in the country to chatter about, like so many
monkeys that have found a bag of nuts. But what was
the meaning of the parson's saying, ' with all my worldly
goods I thee endow' does that make you any richer, or
any poorer, sir?"

"Neither," answered Mark, smiling. "It leaves me
just where I'was, Bob, and where I am likely to be for
some time to come, I fear."

"And has the young woman nothing herself, sir? Some
times a body picks up a comfortable chest-full with these
ort. of things, as they tell me, sir."

" I believe Bridget is as poor as I am myself, Bob, and
that is saying all that can be said on such a point. How-



28 THE CRATER;

ever, 1 've secured her now, and two years hence I '11 claim
her, if she has not a second gown to wear. I dare say the
old man will be for turning her adrift with as little as pos
sible."

All this was a proof of Mark's entire disinterestedness.
He did not know that his young bride had quite thirty
thousand dollars in reversion, or in one sense in possession,
although she could derive no benefit from it until she was
of age, or married, and past her eighteenth year. This
fact her husband did not learn for several days after his
marriage, when his bride communicated it to him, with a
proposal that he should quit the sea and remain with her
for life. Mark was very much in love, but this scheme
scarce afforded him the satisfaction that one might have
expected. He was attached to his profession, and scarce
relished the thought of being dependent altogether on his
wife for the means of subsistence. The struggle between
love and pride was great, but Mark, at length, yielded to
Bridget's blandishments, tenderness and tears. They could
only meet at the house of Mary Bromley, the bride's-maid,
but then the interviews between them were as frequent as
Mark's duty would allow. The result was that Bridget
prevailed, and the young husband went up to Bristol and
candidly related all that had passed, thus revealing, in less
than a week, a secret which it was intended should remain
hid for at least two years.

Doctor Woolston was sorely displeased, at first ; but the
event had that about it which would be apt to console a
parent. Bridget was not only young, and affectionate, and
beautiful, and truthful ; but, according to the standard of
Bristol, she was rich. There was consolation in all this,
notwithstanding professional rivalry and personal dislikes.
We are not quite certain that he did not feel a slight gra
tification at the thought of his son's enjoying the fortune
which his rival had received from his wife, and which, but
for the will of the grandfather, would have been enjoyed
by that rival himself. Nevertheless, the good Doctor did
his duty in the premises. He communicated the news of
the marriage to Doctor Yardley in a very civilly-worded
note, which left a fair opening for a settlement of all diffi
culties, had the latter been sc pleased. The latter did not



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 29

so please, however, but exploded in a terrible burst of pas
sion, which almost carried him off in a fit of apoplexy.

Escaping all physical dangers, in the end, Doctor Yard-
ley went immediately to Philadelphia, and brought his
daughter home. Both Mark and Bridget now felt that
they had offended against one of the simplest commands
of God. They had not honoured their father and their
mother, and even thus early came the consciousness of
their offence. It was in Mark's power, however, to go and
claim his wife, and remove her to his father's house, not
withstanding his minority and that of Bridget. In this last
respect, the law offered no obstacle; but the discretion of
Doctor Woolston did. This gentleman, through the agency
of a common friend, had an interview with his competitor,
and they talked the matter over in a tolerably composed
and reasonable temper. Both the parents, as medical men,
agreed that it would be better that the young couple should
not live together for two or three years, the very tender
age of Bridget, in particular, rendering this humane, as
well as discreet. Nothing was said of the fortune, which
mollified Doctor Yardley a good deal, since he would be
left to manage it, or at least to receive the income so long
as no legal claimant interfered with his control. Elderly
gentlemen submit very easily to this sort of influence.
Then, Doctor Woolston was exceedingly polite, and spoke
to his rival of a difficult case in his own practice, as if in
directly to ask an opinion of his competitor. All this con
tributed to render the interview more amicable than had
been hoped, and the parties separated, if not friends, at
least with an understanding on the subject of future pro
ceedings.

It was decided that Mark should continue in the Ran-
cocus for another voyage. It was known the ship was to
proceed to some of the islands of the Pacific, in quest of
a cargo of sandal-wood and beche-le-mar, for the Chinese
market, and that her next absence from home would be
longer, even, than her last. By the time the vessel re
turned, Mark would be of age, and fit to command a ship
himself, should it be thought expedient for him to continue
in his profession. During the period the vessel still re
mained in port, Mark was to pay occasional visits to his
3*



30 THE CRATER; ,fr

wife, though not to live with her; but the young couple
might correspond by letter, as often as they pleased. Such
was an outline of the treaty made between the high con
tracting parties.

In making these arrangements, Doctor Yardley was
partly influenced by a real paternal interest in the welfare
of his daughter, who he thought altogether too young to
enter on the duties and cares of the married life. Below
the surface, however, existed an indefinite hope that some
thing might yet occur to prevent the consummation of this
most unfortunate union, as he deemed the marriage to be,
and thus enable him to get rid of the hateful connection
altogether. How this was to happen, the worthy doctor
certainly did not know. This was because he lived in
1796, instead of in 1847. Now-a-days, nothing is easier
than to separate a man from his wife, unless it be to obtain
civic honours for a murderer. Doctor Yardley, at the
present moment, would have coolly gone to work to get
up a lamentable tale about his daughter's fortune, and
youth, and her not knowing her own mind when she mar
ried, and a ship's cabin, and a few other embellishments
of that sort, when the worthy and benevolent statesmen
who compose the different legislatures of this vast Union
would have been ready to break their necks, in order to
pass a bill of divorce. Had there been a child or two, it
would have made no great difference, for means would
have been devised to give the custody of them to the mo
ther. This would have been done, quite likely, for the
first five years of the lives of the dear little things, because
the children would naturally require a mother's care; and
afterwards, because the precocious darlings, at the mature
age of seven, would declare, in open court, that they really
loved ' ma' more than they did ' pa !' To write a little
plainly on a very important subject, we are of opinion that
a new name ought to be adopted for the form of govern
ment which is so fast creeping into this country. New
things require new names; and, were Solomon now living,
we will venture to predict two things of him, viz. he would
change his mind on the subject of novelties, and he would
never go to congress. As for the new name, we would
respectfully suggest that of Gossipian, in lieu of that of



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 31

Republican, gossip fast becoming the lever that moves
everything in the land. The newspapers, true to their
instincts of consulting the ruling tastes, deal much more
in gossip than they deal in reason ; the courts admit it as
evidence; the juries receive it as fact, as well as the law;
and as for the legislatures, let a piteous tale but circulate
freely in the lobbies, and bearded men, like Juliet when a
child, as described by her nurse, will " stint and cry, ay!"
In a word, principles and proof are in much less esteem
than assertions and numbers, backed with enough of which,
anything may be made to appear as legal, or even consti
tutional.

But neither of our doctors entered into all these matters.
It was enough for them that the affair of the marriage was
disposed of, for a time at least, and things were permitted
to drop into their ancient channels. The intercourse be
tween Bridget and Anne was renewed, just as if nothing
had happened, and Mark's letters to his virgin bride were
numerous, and filled with passion. The ship was ' taking
in,' and he could only leave her late on Saturday afternoons,
but each Sunday he contrived to pass in Bristol. On such
occasions he saw his charming wife at church, and he
walked with her in the fields, along with Anne and a fa
voured admirer of hers, of an afternoon, returning to town
in season to be at his post on the opening of the hatches,
of a Monday morning.

In less than a month after the premature marriage be
tween Mark Woolston and Bridget Yardley, the Rancocus
cleared for the Pacific and Canton. The bridegroom
found one day to pass in Bristol, and Doctor Yardley so
far pitied his daughter's distress, as to consent that the
two girls should go to town, under his own care, and see
the young man off. This concession was received with
the deepest gratitude, and made the young people moment
arily very happy. The doctor even consented to visit the
ship, which Captain Crutchely, laughing, called St. Mark's
chapel, in consequence of the religious rite which had
been performed on board her. Mrs. Crutchely was there,
on the occasion of this visit, attending to her husband's
comforts, by fitting curtains to his berth, and looking after
matters in general in the cabin; and divers jokes were



32 THE CRATER;

ventured by the honest ship-master, in making his com
ments on, and in giving his opinion of the handy-work of
his own consort. He made Bridget blush more than once,
though her enduring tenderness in behalf of Mark induced
her to sit out all the captain's wit, rather than shorten a
visit so precious, one moment.

The final parting was an hour of bitter sorrow. Even
Mark's young heart, manly, and much disposed to do his
duty as he was, was near breaking: while Bridget almost
dissolved in tears. They could not but think how long
that separation was to last, though they did not anticipate
by what great and mysterious events it was to be prolonged.
It was enough for them that they were to live asunder two
whole years; and two whole years appear like an age. to
those who have not yet lived their four lustrums. But the
final moment must and did arrive, and the young people
were compelled to tear themselves asunder, though the
parting was like that of soul and body. The bride hung
on the bridegroom's neck, as the tendril clings to its sup
port, until removed by gentle violence.

Bridget did not give up her hold upon Mark so long as
even his vessel remained in sight. She went with Anne,
in a carriage, as low as the Point, and saw the Rancocus
pass swiftly down the river, on this its fourth voyage, bear
ing those in her who as little dreamed of their fate, as the
unconscious woods and metals, themselves, of which the
ship was constructed. Mark felt his heart beat, when he
saw a woman's handkerchief waving to him from the shore,
and a fresh burst of tenderness nearly unmanned him,
when, by the aid of the glass, he recognised the sweet
countenance and fairy figure of Bridget. Ten minutes
later, distance and interposing objects separated that young
couple for many a weary day !

A few days at sea restored the equanimity of Mark's
feelings, while the poignant grief of Bridget did not fail to
receive the solace which time brings to sorrows of every
degree and nature. They thought of each other often, and
tenderly; but, the pain of parting over, they both began
to look forward to the joys of meeting, with the buoyancy
and illusions that hope is so apt to impart to the bosoms
of the young and inexperienced. Little did either dream



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 33

of what was to occur before their eyes were to be again
gladdened with the sight of their respective forms.

Mark found in his state-room for, in the Rancocus,
the cabin was fitted with four neat little state-rooms, one
for the captain, and two for the mates, with a fourth for
the supercargo many proofs of Bridget's love and care.
Mrs. Crutchely, herself, though so much longer experienced,
had scarcely looked after the captain's comfort with more
judgment, and certainly not with greater solicitude, than
this youthful bride had expended on her bridegroom's
room. In that day, artists were not very numerous in
America, nor is it very probable that Doctor Yardley would
have permitted his daughter to take so decided a step as
to sit for her miniature for Mark's possession ; but she had
managed to get her profile cut, and to have it framed, and
the mate discovered it placed carefully among his effects.,
when only a week out. From this profile Mark derived
the greatest consolation. It was a good one, and Bridget
happened to have a face that would Ull in that sort of
thing, so that the husband had no difficulty in recognising
the wife, in this little image. There it was, with the very
pretty slight turn of the head to one aide, that in Bridget
was both natural and graceful. Mark *>pent hours in gazing
at and in admiring this inanimate hhadovv of his bride,
which never filled to recall to him all her grace, and na
ture, and tenderness and love, though it could not convey
any direct expression of her animation and spirit.

It is said ships have no Sundays. The meaning of thi?
is merely that a vessel must perform her work, week-day?
and sabbaths, day and night, in fair or foul. The Ranco
cus formed no exception to the rule, and on she travelled,
having a road before her that it would require months ere
the end of it could be found. It is not our intention to
dwell on the details of this long voyage, for two reasons.
One is the fact that most voyages to the southern extremity
of the American continent are marked by the same inci
dents ; and the other is, that we have much other matter
to relate, that must be given with great attention to mi
nutiae, and which we think will have much more interest
with the reader.

Captain Crutchely touched at Rio for supplies, aa is



34 THE CRATER;

customary; and, after passing a week in that most delight
ful of all havens, went his way. The passage round the
Horn was remarkable neither way. It could not be called
a very boisterous one, neither was the weather unusually
mild. Ships do double this cape, occasionally, under their
top-gallant-sails, and we have heard of one vessel that did
not furl her royals for several days, while off that formida
ble head-land ; but these cases form the exception and not
the rule. The Rancocus was under close-reefed topsails
for the better part of a fortnight, in beating to the south
ward and westward, it blowing very fresh the whole time ;
and she might have been twice as long struggling with the
south-westerly gales, but for the fortunate circumstance of
the winds veering so far to the southward as to permit her
to lay her course, when she made a great run to the west
ward. When the wind again hauled, as haul it was almost
certain to do, Captain Crutchely believed himself in a me
ridian that would admit of his running with an easy bow
line, on the larboard tack. No one but a sailor can un
derstand the effect of checking the weather-braces, if it be
only for a few feet, and of getting a weather-leach to stand
without ' swigging out' on its bowline. It has much the
same influence on the progress of a ship, that an eloquent
speech has on the practice of an advocate, a great cure or
a skilful operation on that of a medical man, or a lucky
hit in trade on the fortunes of the young merchant. Away
all go alike, if not absolutely with flowing sheets, easily,
swiftly, and with less of labour than was their wont. Thus
did it now prove with the good ship Rancocus. Instead
of struggling hard with the seas to get three knots ahead,
she now made her six, and kept all, or nearly all, she
made. When she saw the land again, it was found there
was very little to spare, but that little sufficed. The vessel
passed to windward of everything, and went on her way
rejoicing, like any other that had been successful in a hard
and severe struggle. A fortnight later, the ship touched
at Valparaiso.

The voyage of the Rancocus may now be said to have
commenced in earnest. Hitherto she had done little but
make her way across the endless waste of waters; but
now she had the real business before her to execute. A
considerable amount of freight, which had been brought



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 35

on account of the Spanish government, was discharged,
ind the vessel filled up her water. Certain supplies of food
hat was deemed useful in cases of scurvy, were obtained,
and after a delay of less than a fortnight, the ship once
more put to sea.

In the year 1796 the Pacific Ocean was by no means as
familiar to navigators as it is to-day. Cooke had made his
celebrated voyages less than twenty years before, and the
accounts of them were then before the world ; but even
Cooke left a great deal to be ascertained, more especially
in the way of details. The first inventor, or discoverer of
anything, usually gains a great name, though it is those
who come after him that turn his labours to account. Did
we know no more of America to-day than was known to
Columbus, our knowledge would be very limited, and the
benefits of his vast enterprise still in their infancy.

Compared with its extent, perhaps, and keeping in view
its ordinary weather, the Pacific can hardly be considered
a dangerous sea; but he who will cast his eyes over its
chart, will at once ascertain how much more numerous are
its groups, islands, rocks, shoals and reefs, than those of
the Atlantic. Still, the mariners unhesitatingly steered out
into its vast waters, and none with less reluctance and
fewer doubts than those of America.

For nearly two months did Captain Crutchely, after
quitting Valparaiso, hold his way into the depths of that
mighty sea, in search of the islands he had been directed
to find. Sandal-wood was his aim, a branch of commerce,
by the way, which ought never to be pursued by any Chris
tian man, or Christian nation, if what we hear of its uses
in China be true. There, it is said to be burned as incense
before idols, and no higher offence can be committed by
any human being than to be principal, or accessary, in any
manner or way, to the substitution of any created thing for
the ever-living God. In after-life Mark Woolston often
thought of this, when reflection succeeded to action, and
when he came to muse on the causes which may have led
to his being the subject of the wonderful events that oc
curred in connection with his own fortunes. We have
now reached a part of our narrative, however, when it be
comes necessary to go into details, which we shall defer to
tlifi commencement of a new chapter.



36 THE CRATER;



CHAPTER III.

"God of the dark and heavy deep!

The waves lie sleeping on the sands,
Till the fierce trumpet of the storm

Hath summon'd up their thundering bandf ;
Then the white sails are dashed like foam,

Or hurry trembling o'er the seas,
Till calmed by thee, the sinking gale
Serenely breathes, Depart in peace."

PEABODT.

THE day that preceded the night of which we are about
to speak, was misty, with the wind fresh at east-south
east. The Rancocus was running off, south-west, and con
sequently was going with the wind free. Captain Crutch-
ely had one failing, and it was a very bad one for a ship
master ; he would'clrink rather too much grog, at his dinner.
At all other times he might have been called a sober man ;
ut, at dinner, he would gulp down three or four glasses
f rum and water. In that day rum was much used in
America, far more than brandy ; and every dinner-table,
that had the smallest pretension to be above that of the
mere labouring man, had at least a bottle of one of these
liquors on it. Wine was not commonly seen at the cabin-
table ; or, if seen, it was in those vessels that had recently
been in the vine-growing countries, and on special occa
sions. Captain Crutchely was fond of the pleasures of the
table in another sense. His eating was on a level with his
drinking; and for pigs, and poultry, and vegetables that
would keep at sea, his ship was always a little remark
able.

On the day in question, it happened to be the birthday
of Mrs. Crutchely, and the captain had drunk even a little
more than common. Now, when a man is in the habit of
drinking rather more than is good for him, an addition of
little more than common is very apt to upset him. Such,
. *ober truth, was the case with the commander of the



OR, VtJLCAN's PEAK. 37

Rancocus, when he left the dinner-table, at the time to
which there is particular allusion. Mark, himself, was
perfectly sober. The taste of rum was unpleasant to him,
nor did his young blood and buoyant spirits crave its effects.
If he touched it at all, it was in very small quantities, and
greatly diluted with water. He saw the present condition
of his superior, therefore, with regret ; and this so much
the more, from the circumstance that an unpleasant report
was prevailing in the ship, that white water had been seen
ahead, during a clear moment, by a man who had just
come from aloft. This report the mate repeated to the
captain, accompanying it with a suggestion that it might
be well to shorten sail, round-to, and sound. But Captain
Crutchely treated the report with no respect, swearmg
that the men were always fancying they were going ashore
on coral, and that the voyage would last for ever, did he
comply with all their conceits of this nature. Unfortu
nately, the second-mate was an old sea-dog, who owed his
present inferior condition to his being a great deal addicted
to the practice in which his captain indulged only a little,
and he had been sharing largely in the hospitality of the
cabin that afternoon, it being his watch below. This man
supported the captain in his contempt for the rumours and
notions of the crew, and between them Mark found him
self silenced.

Our young officer felt very uneasy at the account of the
sailor who had reported white water ahead, for he was one
of the best men in the ship, and altogether unlikely to say
that which was not true. It being now six o'clock in the
evening, and the second-mate having taken charge of the
watch, Mark went up into the fore-top-gallant cross-trees
himself, in order to get the best look ahead that he could
before the night set in. It wanted but half an hour, or so,
of sunset, when the young man took his station in the
cross-trees, the royal not being set. At first, he could



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