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well, and full of hope for our luck. What schooner is that,
pray ?"

" The Sea Lion, of Hum'ses Hull ; bound to the south
ward, after seals, as you probably knew by our outfit. Who
commands that schooner?"

" Captain Roswell Gar'ner who commands aboard you,
pray ?"

" Captain Jason Daggett," showing himself more plainly,
by moving out of the line of the main-rigging. " I had
the pleasure of seeing you when I was on the P'int, look
ing after my uncle's dunnage, you may remember, Captain
Gar'ner. 'T was but the other day, and you are not likely
to have forgotten my visit."

" Not at all, not at all, Captain Daggett ; though I had
no idea, then, that you intended to make a voyage to the
southward so soon. When did you leave the Hole, sir V



114 THE SEA LIONS.

" Day before yesterday, a' ternoon. Wo came out of the
Hull about five o'clock."

" How had you the wind, sir ?"

" Sou'-west, and sou'-west and by south. There has
been but little change in that, these three days."

Roswell Gardiner muttered something to himself; but
he did not deem it prudent to utter the thoughts, that were
just then passing through his mind, aloud.

" Ay, ay," he answered, after a moment's pause, " the
wind has stood there the whole week ; but I think we shall
shortly get a change. There is an easterly feeling in the
air."

" Waal, let it come. With this offing, we could clear
Hatteras with anything that wasn't worse than a south
easter. There 's a southerly set, in here, down the coast,
for two or three hundred miles."

"A heavy south-easter would jam us in, here, between
the shoals, in a way I shouldn't greatly relish, sir. I like
always to get to the eastward of the Stream, as soon as I
can, in running off the land."

" Very true, Captain Gar'ner very true, sir. It is best
to get outside the Stream, if a body con. Once there, 1
call a craft at sea. Eight-and-forty hours more of this wind
would just about carry us there. Waal, sir, as we 're bound
on the same sort of v'y'ge, I 'm happy to have fallen in with
you ; and I see no reason why we should not be neigh
bourly, and ' gam' it a little, when we ' ve nothing better to
do. I like that schooner of yours so well, that I've made
my own to look as nearly resembling her as I could. You
see our paint is exactly the same."

" I have observed that, Captain Daggett ; and you might
say the same of the figure-heads."

" Ay, ay ; when I was over on the P'int, they told me
the name of the carver, in Boston, who cut your seal, and
I sent to him to cut me a twin. " If they lay in a ship
yard, side by side, I don't think you could tell one from
the other."

" So it seems, sir. Pray haven't you a man aboard there
of the name of Watson ?"

"Ay, ay he's my second-mate. I know what you
mean, Captain Gar'ner you 're right enough, 'tis the same



THE SEA LIONS. 115

hand who was aboard you ; but wanting a second officer,
I offered him the berth, and he thought that better than
taking a foremast lay in your craft."

This explanation probably satisfied all who heard it,
though the truth was not more than half told. In point of
fact, Watson was engaged as Daggett's second mate before
he had ever laid eyes on Roswell Gardiner, and had been
sent to watch the progress of the work on Oyster Pond, as
has been previously stated. It was so much in the natural
order of events for a man to accept preferment when of
fered, however, that even Gardiner himself blamed the de
linquent for the desertion far less than he had previously
done. In the mean time the conversation proceeded.

" You told us nothing of your having that schooner fit
ting, when you were on the Point," observed Roswell Gar
diner, whose thoughts just then happened to advert to thia
particular fact.

" My mind was pretty much taken up with the affairs
of my poor uncle, I suppose, Captain Gar'ner. Death must
visit each of us, once ; nevertheless, it makes us all melan
choly when he comes among friends."

Now, Roswell Gardiner was not in the least sentimental,
nor had he the smallest turn towards indulging in moral
inferences, from ordinary events; but, this answer seemed
so proper, that it found no objection in his mind. Still,
the young man had his suspicions on the subject of the
equipment of the other schooner, and suspicions that were
now active and keen, and which led him directly to fancy
that Daggett had also some clue to the very objects he was
after himself. Singular as it may seem at first, Deacon
Pratt's interests were favourably affected by this unexpected
meeting with the Sea Lion of Holmes' Hole. From the
first, Roswell Gardiner had been indisposed to give full
credit to the statements of the deceased mariner, ascribing
no small part of his account to artifice, stimulated by a
desire to render himself important. But, now that he found
one of this man's family embarked in an enterprise similar
to his own, his views of its expediency were sensibly
changed. Perfectly familiar with the wary economy with
which every interest was regulated in that part of the world,
he did not believe a company of Martha's -Vineyard men



116 THE SEA LIONS.

would risk their money in an enterprise that they had not
good reasons for believing would succeed. Although it
exceeded his means to appreciate fully the information pos
sessed by the Vineyard folk, and covetousness did not
quicken his faculties on this subject, as they had quickened
those of the deacon, he could see enough to satisfy his
mind that either the sealing-islands, or the booty of the pi
rates, or both, had a reality, in the judgments of others,
which had induced them also to risk their money in turn
ing their knowledge to account. The effect of this convic
tion was very natural. It induced Roswell to regard the
charts, and his instructions, and all connected with his
voyage, as much more serious matters than he had origi
nally been inclined to do. Until now, he had thought it
well enough to let the deacon have his fancies, relying on
his own ability to obtain a cargo for the schooner, by visit
ing sealing stations where he had been before ; but, now,
he determined to steer at once for Daggett's Islands, as he
and his owner named the land revealed to them, and ascer
tain what could be done there. He thought it probable
the other Sea Lion might wish to keep him company ; but
the distance was so great, that a hundred occasions must
occur when it would be in his power to shake off such a
consort, should he deem it necessary.

For several hours the two schooners stood on in com
pany, keeping just without hailing distance apart, and
sailing so nearly alike as to render it hard to say which
craft had the best of it. There was nothing remarkable in
the fact that two vessels, built for the same trade, should
have a close general resemblance to each other ; but it was
not common to find them so moulded, stowed, sparred and
handled, that their rate of sailing should be nearly identical.
If there was any difference, it was slightly in favour of the
Sea Lion of the Vineyard, which rather drew ahead of her
consort, if consort the other Sea Lion could be termed, in
the course of the afternoon.

It is scarcely necessary to say that many were the specu
lations that were made on board these rival vessels com
petitors now for the commonest glories of their pursuits, as
well as in the ultimate objects of their respective voyages.
On the part of Roswell Gardiner and his two mates, they



THE SEA LIONS. 117

did not fail, in particular, to comment on the singularity
of the circumstance that the Sea Lion, of the Vineyard,
should be so far out of her direct line of sailing.

"Although we have had the wind at sow-west" (sow-
west always, as pronounced by every seaman, from the
Lord High Admiral of England, when there happens to be
such a functionary, down to the greenest hand on board
the greenest sealer) " for these last few days," said Hazard,
" anybody can see we shall soon have easterly weather.
There *s an easterly feel in the air, and all last night the
water had an easterly glimmer about it. Now, why a man
who came out of the Vineyard Sound, and who had no
thing to do but just to clear the west eend of his own
island, and then lay his course off yonder to the southward
and eastward, should bear up cluss (Anglice, close) under
Blok, and stretch out to sea, for all the world as if he was
a Stunnin'tun chap, or a New Lunnoner, that had fallen a
little to leeward, is more than I can understand, Captain
Gar'ner ! Depend on it, sir, there's a reason for't. Men
don't put schooners into the water, now-a-days, and give
them costly outfits, with three whale-boats, and seal in' gear
in abundance, just for the fun of making fancy traverses,
on or off a coast, like your yacht gentry, who never know
what they would be at, and who never make a v'y'ge worth
speaking on."

" I have been turning all this over in my mind, Mr.
Hazard," answered the young master, who was amusing
himself at the moment with strapping a small block, while
he threw many a glance at the vessel that was just as close
under his lee as comported with her sailing. " There is a
reason for it, as you say; but, I can find no other than the
fact that she has come so much out of her way, in order
to fall in with MS; knowing that we were to come round
Montauk at a particular time."

" Well, sir, that may have been her play! Men bound
the same way often wish to fall into good company, to make
the journey seem the shorter, by making it so much the
pleasanter."

" Those fellows can never suppose the two schooners
will keep in sight of each other from forty-one degrees
north all the way to seventy south, or perhaps further



118 THE SEA LIONS.

south still ! If we remain near each other a week, 't will
be quite out of the common way."

" I don't know that, sir. I was once in a sealer that, do
all she could, couldn't get shut of a curious neighbour.
When seals are scarce, and the master don't know where
to look for 'em, he is usually glad to drop into some vessel's
wake, if it be only to pick up her leavin's."

" Outfits are not made on such chances as that. These
Vineyard people know where they are going as well as we
know ourselves ; perhaps better."

" There is great confidence aboard here, in the master,
Captain Gar'ner. I overheard the watch talking the matter
over early this morning ; and there was but one opinion
among them, I can tell you, sir."

" Which opinion was, Mr. Hazard "

" That a lay aboard this craft would be worth a lay and
a half aboard any other schooner out of all America!
Sailors go partly on skill and partly on luck. I've known
hands that wouldn't ship with the best masters that ever
sailed a vessel, if they didn't think they was lucky as well
as skilful."

"Ay, ay, it's all luck! Little do these fellows think of
Providence or of deserving, or undeserving. Well, 1
hope the schooner will not disappoint them or her maste-
either. But, whaling and sealing, and trusting to the
chances of the ocean, and our most flattering hopes, may
mislead us after all."

"Ay, ay, sir; nevertheless, Captain Gar'ner has a name,
and men will trust to it !"

Our young master could not but be flattered at this,
which came at a favourable moment to sustain the resolu
tions awakened by the competition with the rival schooner.
Although so obviously competitors, and that in a matter of
trade, the interest which above all others is apt to make
men narrow-minded and hostile to each other, though the
axiom would throw this particular reproach on doctors,
there were no visible signs that the two vessels did not
maintain the most amicable relations. As the day advanced
the wind fell, and after many passages of nautical compli
ments, by means of signals and the trumpet, Roswel
Gardiner fairly lowered a boat into the water, and



THE SEA LIONS. 119

went a " gamming," as it is termed, on board the other
schooner.

Each of these little vessels was well provided with boats,
and those of the description in common use among whalers.
A whale-boat differs from the ordinary jolly-boat, launch,
or yawl gigs, barges, dinguis, &,c. &-c., being exclusively
for the service of vessels of war in the following particu
lars: viz. It is sharp at both ends, in order that it may
' back off,' as well as pull on ;' it steers with an oar, in
stead of with a rudder, in order that the bows may be
thrown round to avoid danger when not in motion ; it is
buoyant, and made to withstand the shock of waves at
both ends; and it is light and shallow, though strong, that
it may be pulled with facility. When it is remembered that
one of these little egg-shells little as vessels, though of
good size as boats is often dragged through troubled
waters at the rate of ten or twelve knots, and frequently at
even a swifter movement, one can easily understand how
much depends on its form, buoyancy and strength. Among
seamen, it is commonlw thought that a whale-boat is the
safest craft of the sort in which men can trust themselves
in rough water.

Captain Daggett received his guest with marked civility,
though in a quiet, eastern way. The rum and water were
produced, and a friendly glass was taken by one after the
other. The two masters drank to each other's success, and
many a conventional remark was made between them on
the subject of sea-lions, sea-elephants, and the modes of
capturing such animals. Even Watson, semi-deserter as
he was, was shaken cordially by the hand, and his ques
tionable conduct overlooked. The ocean has many of the
aspects of eternity, and often disposes mariners to regard
their fellow-creatures with an expansiveness of feeling suit
ed to their common situations. Its vastness reminds them
of the time that has neither beginning nor end ; its cease
less movement, of the never-tiring impulses of human pas
sions ; and its accidents and dangers, of the Providence
which protects all alike, and which alone prevents our be
ing abandoned to the dominion of chance. '. '* ;

Roswell Gardiner was a kind-hearted man, moreover,
and was inclined to judge his fellows leniently. Thus it
11



120 THE SEA LIONS.

was that his " good evening" at parting, to Watson, was
just as frank and sincere as that he bestowed on Captain
Daggett himself



CHAPTER IX.

" Roll on, tho deep and dark blue ocean roll !
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin his control
Stops with the shore ; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deeds, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,

Without a grave, unknell'd, uncoffin'd, and unknown."

BTHOK.

THAT evening the sun set in clouds, though the eastern
horizon was comparatively clear. There was, however, an
unnatural outline to objects, by which their dimensions
were increased, and in some degree rendered indefinite.
We do not know the reason why the wind at east should
produce these phenomena, nor do we remember ever to
have met with any attempt at a solution ; but of the fact,
we are certain, by years of observation. In what is called
' easterly weather,' objects are seen through the medium of
a refraction that is entirely unknown in a clear north
wester; the crests of the seas emit a luminous light that is
far more apparent than at other times ; and the face of the
ocean, at midnight, often wears the aspect of a clouded
day. The nerves, too, answer to this power of the eastern
winds. We have a barometer within that can tell when
the wind is east without looking abroad, and one that never
errs. It is true that allusions are often made to these pecu
liarities, but where are we to look for the explanation 1 On
the coast of America the sea-breeze comes from the rising
sun, while on that of Europe it blows from the land ; bui
no difference in these signs of its influence could we ever
discover on account of this marked distinction.



THE SEA LIONS. 121

Roswell Gardiner found the scene greatly changed when
he came on deck next morning. The storm, which had
been brewing so long, had come at last, and the wind was
clowing a little gale from south-east. The quarter from
which the air came had compelled the officer of the watch
to haul up on the larboard tackj or with the schooner's
head to the southward and westward ; a course that might
do for a few days, provided it did not blow too heavily.
The other tack would not have cleared the shoals, which
stretched away to a considerable distance to the eastward.
Hazard had got in his flying-jib, and had taken the bonnets
off his foresail and jib, to prevent the craft burying. He
had also single-reefed his mainsail and foretopsail. The
Sea Lion, of the Vineyard, imitated each movement, and
was brought down precisely to the same canvass as her
consort, and on the same tack. At that moment the two
vessels were not a cable's length asunder, the Oyster
Ponders being slightly to leeward. Their schooner, how
ever, had a trifling advantage in sailing when it blew fresh
and the water was rough ; which advantage was now
making itself apparent, as the two craft struggled ahead
through the troubled element.

"I wish we were two hundred miles to the eastward,"
observed the young master to his first officer, as soon as
his eye had taken in the whole view. " I am afraid we
shall get jammed in on Cape Hatteras. That place is
always in the way with the wind at south-east and a vessel
going to the southward. We are likely to have a dirty time
of it, Mr. Hazard."

"Ay, ay, sir, dirty enough," was the careless answer.
" I 've known them that would go back and anchor in Fort
Pond Bay, or even in Gardiner's, until this south-easter
had blown itself out."

"I couldn't think of that! We are a hundred miles
south-east of Montauk, and if I run the craft into any
place, it shall be into Charleston, or some of the islands
along that coast. Besides, we can always ware off the
land, and place ourselves a day's run further to the south
ward, and we can then give the shoals a wide berth on the
other tack. If we were in the bight of the coast between
Long Island and Jersey, 't would be another matter ; but,



122 THE SEA LIONS.

out here, where we are, I should be ashamed to look the
deacon in the face if I didn't hold on."

" I only made the remark, Captain Gar'ner, by way of
saying something. As for getting to the southward, close
in with our own coast, I don't know that it will be of much
use to a craft that wishe* to stand so far to the eastward,
since the trades must be met well to windward, or they had
better not be met at all. For my part, I would as soon
take my chance of making a passage to the Cape de Verds
or their neighbourhood, by lifting my anchor from Gardi-
diner's Bay, three days hence, as by meeting the next shift
of wind down south, off Charleston or Tybee."

" We should be only five hundred miles to windward, in
the latter case, did the wind come from the south-west,
again, as at this season of the year it is very likely to do.
But, it is of no consequence ; men bound where we have
got to go, ought not to run into port every time the wind
comes out foul. You know as well as I do, Mr. Hazard,
that away down south, yonder, a fellow thinks a gale of
wind is a relief, provided it brings clear water with it. 1
would rather run a week among islands, than a single day
among icebergs. One knows where to find land, for that
never moves ; but your mountains that float about, are here
to-day, and there to-morrow."

" Quite true, sir," returned Hazard, " and men that take
their lays in sealers, are not to expect anything but squalls.
I 'm ready to hold on as long as our neighbour yonder ; he
seems to be trimming down to it, as if in raal earnest to
get ahead."

This was true enough. The Sea Lion of the Vineyard
was doing her best, all this time ; and though unable to
keep her station on her consort's weather bow, where she
had been most of the morning, she was dropped so very
slowly as to render the change nearly imperceptible. Now,
it was, that the officers and crews of these two craft watched
their " behaviour," as it is technically termed, with the
closest vigilance and deepest interest. Those in the Oyster
Pond vessel regarded the movements of their consort, much
as a belle in a ball-room observes the effect produced by
the sister belles around her ; or a rival physician notes the
progress of an operation, that is to add new laurels, or to



THE SEA LIONS. 122

cause old ones to wither. Now, the lurch was commented
on; then, the pitch was thought to be too heavy; and
Green was soon of opinion that their competitor was not
as easy on her spars as their own schooner. In short,
every comparison that experience, jealousy or skill could
suggest, was freely made; and somewhat as a matter of
course, in favour of their own vessel. That which was
done on board the Sea Lion of Oyster Pond, was very freely
emulated by those on board her namesake of the Vineyard.
They made their comparisons, and formed their conclu
sions, with the same deference to self-esteem, and the same
submission to hope, as had been apparent among their
competitors. It would seem to be a law of nature that
men should thus flatter themselves, and perceive the mote
in the eye of their neighbour, while the beam in their own
escapes.

Had there been an impartial judge present, he might
have differed from both sets of critics. Such a person
would have seen that one of these schooners excelled in
this quality, while the other had an equal advantage in an
other. In this way, by running through the list of proper
ties that are desirable in a ship, he would, most probably,
have come to the conclusion that there was not much to
choose between the two vessels ; but, that each had been
constructed with an intelligent regard to the particular
service in which she was about to be employed, and both
were handled by men who knew perfectly well how to take
care of craft of that description.

The wind gradually increased in strength, and sail was
shortened in the schooners, until each was finally brought
down to a close-reefed foresail. This would have been
heaving the vessels to, had they not been kept a little off,
in order to force them through the water. To lie-to, in
perfection, some after-sail might have been required ; but
neither master saw a necessity, as yet, of remaining sta
tionary. It was thought better to wade along some two
knots, than to be pitching and lurching with nothing but a
drift, or leeward set. In this, both masters were probably
right, and found their vessels farther to windward in the
end, than if they had endeavoured to hold their own, by
lying-to. The great difficulty they had to contend with
11 *



124 THE SEA LIONS.

in keeping a little off, was the danger of seas coming on
board ; but, as yet, the ocean was not sufficiently aroused
to make this very hazardous, and both schooners, having
no real cargoes, were light and buoyant, and floated dry.
Had they encountered the sea there was, with full freights
in their holds, it might have been imprudent to expose
them even to this remote chance of having their decks
swept. Water comes aboard of small vessels, almost with
out an exception, in head winds and seas ; though the con
trivances of modern naval architecture have provided de
fences that make merchant vessels, now, infinitely more
comfortable, in this respect, than they were at the period
of which we are writing.

At the end of three days, Roswell Gardiner supposed
himself to be about the latitude of Cape Henry, and some
thirty or forty leagues from the land. It was much easier
to compute the last, than the first of these material facts.
Of course, he had no observations. The sun had not been
visible since the storm commenced, and nearly half the
time, during the last day, the two vessels were shut in from
one another, by mists and a small rain. It blew more in
squalls than it had done, and the relative positions of the
schooners were more or less affected by the circumstance.
Sometimes, one would be to windward, and ahead ; then,
the other would obtain a similar advantage. Once or twice
they seemed about to separate, the distance between them
getting to be so considerable, as, apparently, to render it
impossible to keep in company ; then the craft would
change places, by a slow process, passing quite near to
each other again. No one could tell, at the moment, pre
cisely why these variations occurred ; though the reasons,
generally, were well understood by all on board them.
Squalls, careless steering, currents, eddies, and all the ac



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