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and half that distance from the other boats, neither of which
had as yet fastened to a fish. This latter circumstance was
imputed to the difficulty the different officers had in making
their selections, cows, of the spermaceti breed, when they
give suck, being commonly light, and yielding, compara
tively, very small quantities of head-matter and oil. In se
lecting the bull, Roswell had shown his judgment, the male



158 THE SEA LIONS.

animal commonly returning to its conquerors twice the
profit that is derived from the female.

The whale to which Roswell was fast continued sculling
away to windward for quite two hours, causing the men to
entirely lose sight of the other boats, and bringing the top
sails of the schooners themselves down to the water's edge.
Fortunately, it was not yet noon, and there were no imme
diate apprehensions from the darkness ; nor did the bull
appear to be much alarmed, though the boat was towing so
close in his rear. At first, or before the irons were thrown,
the utmost care had been taken not to make a noise ; but
the instant the crew were ' fast/ whispers were changed
into loud calls, and orders were passed in shouts, rather
than in verbal commands. The wildest excitement pre
vailed among the men, strangely blended with a cool dex
terity ; but it was very apparent that a high sporting fever
was raging among them. Gardiner himself was much the
coolest man in his own boat, as became his station and
very responsible duties.

Stimson, the oldest and the best seaman in the schooner,
he who had admonished his young commander on the sub
ject of the gratitude due to the Deity, acted as the master's
boat-steerer, having first performed the duty of harpooner.
It was to him that Gardiner now addressed the remarks he
made, after having been fastened to his whale fully two
hours.

" This fellow is likely to give us a long drag," said the
master, as he stood balancing himself on the clumsy cleets
in the bows of the boat, using his lance as an adept in
saltation poises his pole on the wire, the water curling
fairly above the gunwale forward, with the rapid movement
of the boat; "I would haul up alongside, and give him
the lance, did I not distrust them flukes. I believe he
knows we are here."

"That he does that does he, Captain Gar'ner. It's
always best to be moderate and wait your time, sir. There 'a
a jerk about that chap's flukes that I don't like myself, and
it's best to see what he would be at, before we haul up any
nearer. Don't you see, sir, that every minute or two he
strikes down, instead of sculling off handsomely and with a
wide sweep, as becomes a whale?"



THE SEA LIONS. 159

" That is just the motion I distrust, Stephen, and I shall
wait a bit to see what he would be at. I hope those ship-
keepers will be busy, and work the schooners well up to
windward before it gets to be dark. Our man is asleep
half his time, and is apt to let the vessel fall off a point or
two."

" Mr. Hazard gave him caution to keep a bright look
out, sir, and I think he '11 be apt to look out, sir ! Look
out!"

This warning was well-timed ; for, just at that instant
the whale ceased sculling, and lifting its enormous tail high
in the air, it struck five or six blows on the surface of the
water, that made a noise which might have been heard half
a league, besides filling the atmosphere immediately around
him with spray. As the tail first appeared in the air, line
was permitted to run out of the boat, increasing the dis
tance between its bows and the flukes to quite a hundred
feet. Nothing could better show the hardy characters of
the whalers than the picture then presented by Rosvvell
Gardiner and his companions. In the midst of the Atlantic,
leagues from their vessel, and no other boat in sight, there
they sat patiently waiting the moment when the giant of
the deep should abate in his speed, or in his antics, to en
able them to approach and complete their capture. Most
of the men sat with their arms crossed, and bodies half-
turned, regarding the scene, while the two officers, the
master and boat-steerer, if the latter could properly be thus
designated, watched each evolution with a keenness of
vigilance that let nothing like a sign or a symptom escape
them.

Such was the state of things, the whale still threshing
the sea with his flukes, when a cry among his men induced
Roswell for a moment to look aside. There came Daggett
fast to a small bull, which was running directly in the
wind's eye with great speed, dragging the boat after him,
which was towing astern at a distance of something like
two hundred fathoms. At first, Roswell thought he should
be compelled to cut from his whale, so directly towards his
own boat did the other animal direct his course. But, in
timidated, most probably, by the tremendous blows with
which the larger bull continued to belabour the ocean, the
14*



160 THE SEA LIONS.

smaller animal sheered away in time to avoid a collision,
though he now began to circle the spot where his dreaded
monarch lay. This change of course gave rise to a new
source of apprehension. If the smaller bull should con
tinue to encircle the larger, there was great reason to be
lieve that the line of Daggett might get entangled with the
boat of Gardiner, and produce a collision that might prove
fatal to all there. In order to be ready to meet this danger,
Roswell ordered his crew to be on the look-out, and to
have their knives in a state for immediate use. It was not
known what might have been the consequence of this cir
cular movement as respects the two boats; for, before they
could come together, Daggett's line actually passed into
the mouth of Gardiner's whale, and drawing up tight into
the angle of his jaws, set the monster in motion with a
momentum and power that caused the iron to draw from
the smaller whale, which by this time had more than half
encircled the animal. So rapid was the rate of running
now, that Roswell was obliged to let out line, his whale
sounding to a prodigious depth. Daggett did the same
unwilling to cut as long as he could hold on to his line.

At the expiration of five minutes the large bull came up
again for breath, with both lines still fast to him ; the one
in the regular way, or attached to the harpoon, and the
other jammed in the jaws of the animal by means of the
harpoon and staff, which formed a sort of toggle at the
angle of his enormous mouth. In consequence of feeling
this unusual tenant, the fish compressed its jaws together,
thus rendering the fastening so much the more secure. As
both boats had let run line freely while the whale was
sounding, they now found themselves near a quarter of a
mile astern of him, towing along, side by side, and not fifty
feet asunder. If the spirit of rivalry had been aroused
among the crew of these two boats before, it was now ex
cited to a degree that menaced acts of hostility.

" You know, of course, Captain Daggett, that this is my
whale," said Gardiner. " I was fast to him regularly, and
was only waiting for him to become a little quiet to lance
him, when your whale crossed his. course, fouled your line,
and has got you fast in an unaccountable way, but not ac
cording to whaling law."



THE SEA LIONS. 161

"I don't know that. I fastened to a whale, Captain
tGar'ner, and am fast to a whale now. It must be proved
that I have no right to the crittur' before I give him up."

Gardiner understood the sort of man with whom he had
to deal too well to waste words in idle remonstrances. Re
solved to maintain his just rights at every hazard, he ordered
his men to haul in upon the line, the movement of the whale
becoming so slow as to admit of this measure. Daggett's
crew did the same, and a warm contest existed between
the two boats, as to which should now first close with the
Ish and kill it. This was not a moment for prudence and
caution. It was " haul in haul in, boys," in both boats,
without any regard to the danger of approaching the whale.
A very few minutes sufficed to bring the parties quite in a
line with the flukes, Gardiner's boat coming up on the lar
board or left-hand side of the animal, where its iron was
fast, and Daggett's on the opposite, its line leading out of
the jaws of the fish in that direction. The two masters
stood erect on their respective clumsy elects, each poising
his lance, waiting only to get near enough to strike. The
men were now at the oars, and without pausing for any
thing, both crews sprung to their ashen instruments, and
drove the boats headlong upon the fish. Daggett, perhaps,
wa? the coolest and most calculating at that moment, but
Roswell was the most nervous, and the boldest. The boat
of the last actually hit the side of the whale, as its young
commander drove his lance through the blubber, into the
vitals of the fish. At the same instant Daggett threw his
lance with consummate skill, and went to the quick. It
was now " stern all !" for life, each boat backing off from
the danger as fast as hands could urge. The sea was in a
foam, the fish going into his " flurry" almost as soon as
struck, and both crews were delighted to see the red of the
blood mingling its deep hues with the white of the troubled
water. Once or twice the animal spouted, but it was a fluid
dyed in his gore. In ten minutes it turned UD and wns



162 THE SEA LIONS



CHAPTER XII.

" God save you, sir !"

"And you, sir! you are welcome."

"Travel you far on, or are you at the furthest?"

"Sir, at the furthest for a week or two."

SHAKSPBABZ.

GARDINER and Daggett met, face to face, on the carcase
of the whale. Each struck his lance into the blubber, stea
dying himself by its handle; and each eyed the other in a
way that betokened feelings awakened to a keen desire to
defend his rights. It is a fault of American character, a
fruit of the institutions, beyond a doubt, that renders men
unusually indisposed to give up. This stubbornness of
temperament, that so many mistake for a love of liberty
and independence, is productive of much good, when the
parties happen to be right, and of quite as much evil, when
they happen to be wrong. It is ever the wisest, as, indeed,
it is the noblest course, to defer to that which is just, with
a perfect reliance on its being the course pointed out by
the finger of infallible wisdom and truth. He who does
this, need feel no concern for his dignity, or for his suc
cess ; being certain that it is intended that right shall pre
vail in the end, as prevail it will and does. But both our
shipmasters were too much excited to feel the force of these
truths; and there they stood, sternly regarding each other,
as if it were their purpose to commence a new struggle for
the possession of the leviathan of the deep.

" Captain Daggett," said Roswell, sharply, " you are too
old a whaler not to know whaling law. My irons were first
in this fish ; I never have been loose from it, since it was
first struck, and my lance killed it. Under such circum
stances, sir, I am surprised that any man, who knows the
usages among whalers, should have stuck by the creature
as you have done."

" It's in my natur', Gar'ner," was the answer. " I stuck



THE SEA LIONS. 163

by you when you was dismasted under Hatteras, and I stick
by everything that I undertake. This is what I call Vine
yard natur' ; and 1 'in not about to discredit my native
country."

" This is idle talk," returned Roswell, casting a severe
glance at the men in the Vineyard boat, among whom a
common smile arose, as if they highly approved of the reply
of their own officer. " You very well know that Vineyard
law cannot settle such a question, but American law.
Were you man enough to take this whale from me, as I
trust you are not, on our return home you could be and
would be made to pay smartly for the act. Uncle Sam has
a long arm, with which he sometimes reaches round the
whole earth. Before you proceed any further in this mat
ter, it may be well to remember that."

Daggett reflected ; and it is probable that, as he cooled
off from the excitement created by his late exertions, he
fully recognised the justice of the other's remarks, and the
injustice of his own claims. Still, it seemed to him un-
American, un- Vineyard, if the reader please, to "give up;"
and he clung to his error with as much pertinacity as if he
had been right.

" If you are fast, I am fast, top. I 'm not so certain of
your law. When a man puts an iron into a whale, com
monly it is his fish, if he can get him, and kill him. But
there is a law above all whalers' law, and that is the law
of Divine Providence. Providence has fastened us to this
crittur', as if on purpose to give us a right in it; and I'm
by no means so sure States' law won't uphold that doctrine.
Then, I lost my own whale by means of this, and am enti
tled to some compensation for such a loss."

" You lost your own whale because he led round the
head of mine, and not only drew his own iron, but came
nigh causing me to cut. If any one is entitled to damage
for such an act, it is I, who have been put to extra trouble
in getting my fish."

"I do believe it was my lance that did the job for the
fellow ! I darted, and you struck ; in that way I got the
start of you, and may claim to have made the crittur' spout
the first blood. But, hearkee, Gar'ner there 's my hand
we 've been friends so far, and I want to hold out friends.



164 THE SEA LIONS.

I will make you a proposal, therefore. Join stocks from
this moment, ana whale, and seal, and do all things else in
common. When we make a final stowage for the return
passage, we can make a final division, and each man take
his share of the common adventure."

To do Roswell justice, he saw through the artifice of this
proposition, the instant it was uttered. It had the effect,
notwithstanding, a good deal to mollify his feelings, since
it induced him to believe that Daggett was manoeuvring to
get at his great secret, rather than to assail his rights.

" You are part owner of your schooner, Captain Dag
gett," our hero answered, " while I have no other interest
in mine than my lay, as her master. You may have au
thority to make such a bargain, but I have none. It is my
duty to fill the craft as fast and as full as I can, and carry
her back safely to Deacon Pratt; but, I dare say, your
Vineyard people will let you cruise about the earth at your
pleasure, trusting to Providence for a profit. I cannot
accept your offer."

"This is answering like a man, Gar'ner, and I like you
all the better for it. Forty or fifty barrels of ile shan't
break friendship between us. I helped you into port at
Beaufort, and gave up the salvage; and now I'll help tow
your whale alongside, and see you fairly through this busi
ness, too. Perhaps I shall have all the better luck for
being a little generous."

There was prudence, as well as art, in this decision of
Daggett's. Notwithstanding his ingenious pretensions to
a claim in the whale, he knew perfectly well that no law
would sustain it, and that, in addition to the chances of
being beaten on the spot, which were at least equal, he
would certainly be beaten in the courts at home, should he
really attempt to carry out his declared design. Then, he
really deferred to the expectation that his future good for
tune might be influenced by his present forbearance. Su
perstition forms a material part of a sailor's nature, if, in
deed, it do not that of every man engaged in hazardous and
uncertain adventures. How far his hopes were justified in
this last respect, will appear in the contents of a communi
cation that Deacon Pratt received from the master of his



THE SEA LIONS. 165

schooner, and to which we will now refer, as the clearest
and briefest mode of continuing the narrative.

The Sea Lion left Oyster Pond late in September. It
was the third day of March, in the succeeding year, that
Mary was standing at a window, ga/ing with melancholy
interest at that point in the adjacent waters where last she
had seen, nearly six months before, the vessel of Roswell
disappear behind the woods of the island that bears his
family name. There had been a long easterly gale, but the
weather had changed ; the south wind blew softly, and al'
the indications of an early spring were visible. For the
first time in three months, she had raised the sash of that
window ; and the air that entered was bland, and savoured
of the approaching season.

" I dare say, uncle" the deacon was writing near a very
low wood-fire, which was scarcely more than embers "1
dare say, uncle," said the sweet voice of Mary, which was a
little tremulous with feeling, " that the ocean is calm enough
to-day. It is very silly in us to tremble, when there is a
storm, for those who must now be so many, many thousand
miles away. What is the distance between the Antarctic
Seas and Oyster Pond, I wonder?"

" You ought to be able to calculate that yourself, gal, or
what is the use to pay for your schooling?"

" I should not know how to set about it, uncle," returned
the gentle Mary, " though I should be very glad to know. '

" How many miles are there in. a degree of latitude
child ? You know that, I believe."

" More than sixty-nine, sir."

" Well, in what latitude is Oyster Pond?"

" I have heard Roswell say that we were a little higher,
as he calls it, than forty-one."

" Well, 41 times 69" figuring as he spoke " make
2829 ; say we are 3000 miles from the equator, the nearest
way we can get there. Then, the antarctic circle com
mences in 23 30' south, which, deducted from 90 degrees,
leave just 66 30' between the equator and the nearest spot
within the sea you have mentioned. Now, 66 30' give
about 4589 statute miles more, in a straight line, allowing
only 69 to a degree. The two sums, added together, make
7589 miles, or rather more. But the road is not straight,



166 THE SEA LIONS.

by any means, as shipmasters tell me ; and 1 suppose Gai
ner must have gone, at the very least, 8000 miles to reach
his latitude, to say nothing of a considerable distance of
longitude to travel over, to the southward of Cape Horn."

" It is a terrible distance to have a friend from us !"
ejaculated Mary, though in a low, dejected tone

" It is a terrible distance for a man to trust his property
away from him, gal ; and I do not sleep a-nights for think*
ing of it, when I remember where my own schooner may
be all this time !"

" Ah, here is Baiting Joe, and with a letter in his hand,
uncle, I do declare !"

It might be a secret hope that impelled Mary, for away
she bounded, like a young fawn, running to meet the old
fisherman at the door. No sooner did her eyes fall on the
superscription, than the large package was pressed to her
heart, and she seemed, for an instant, lost in thanksgiving.
That no one might unnecessarily be a witness of what
passed between her uncle and herself, Joe was directed to
the kitchen, where a good meal, a glass of rum and water,
and the quarter of a dollar that Mary gave him as she
showed the way, satisfied him with the results of his trouble.

"Here it is, uncle," cried the nearly breathless girl, re-
entering the ' keeping-room,' and unconsciously holding the
letter still pressed to her heart, "A letter a letter from
Roswell, in his own precious hand."

A flood of tears gave some relief to feelings that had so
long been pent, and eased a heart that had been compressed
nearly to breaking. At any other time, and at this unequi
vocal evidence of the hold the young man had on the affec
tions of his niece, Deacon Pratt would have remonstrated
with her on the folly of refusing to become " Roswell Gar'-
ner's" wife ; but the sight of the letter drove all other
thoughts from his head, concentrating his whole being in
the fate of the schooner.

" Look, and see if it has the Antarctic post-mark on it,
Mary," said the deacon, in a tremulous voice.

This request was not made so much in ignorance as in
trepidation. The deacon very well knew that the islands
the Sea Lion was to visit were uninhabited, and were des-



THE SEA LIONS. 167

titute of post-offices; but his ideas were confused, and ap
prehension rendered him silly.

" Uncle!'* exclaimed the niece, wiping the tears from a
face that was now rosy with blushes at her own weakness,
" surely, Roswell can find no post-office where he is !"

But the letter must have some post-mark, child. Baiting
Joe has not brought it himself into the country."

" It is post-marked ' New York,' sir, and nothing else
Yes, here is ' Forwarded by Cane, Spriggs, and Button,
Rio de Janeiro.' It must have been put into a post-office
there."

" Rio! Here is more salvage, gal more salvage com
ing to afflict me!"

" But you had no salvage to pay, uncle, on the other oc
casion ; perhaps there will be none to pay on this. Had I
not better open the letter at once, and see what has hap
pened ?"

" Yes, open it, child," answered the deacon, in a voice
40 feeble as to be scarcely audible " open it at once, as
foa say, and let me know my fate. Anything is better than
ihis torment !"

Mary did not wait for a second permission, but instantly
broke the seal. It might have been the result of education,
or there may be such a thing as female instinct in these
matters ; but, certain it is, that the girl turned towards the
window, as she tore the paper asunder, and slipped the
tetter that bore her own name into a fold of her dress, so
dexterously, that one far more keen-sighted than her uncle
would not have detected the act. No sooner was her own
letter thus secured, than the niece offered the principal
epistle to her uncle.

" Read it yourself, Mary," said the last, in his querulous
tones. " My eyes are so dim, that I could not see to read it."

" Rio di Janeiro, Province of Brazil, South America,
Nov. 14th, 1819," commenced the niece.

"Rio di Janeiro!" interrupted the uncle. " Why that
is round Cape Horn, isn't it, Mary?"

" Certainly not, sir. Brazil is on the east side of the
Andes, and Rio di Janeiro is its capital. The king of Por
tugal lives there now and has lived there as long as I can
remember."

15



168 THE SEA LIONS,

" Yes, yes ; I had forgotten. The Brazil Banks, where
our whalers go, are in the Atlantic. But what can have
taken Gar'ner into Rio, unless it be to spend more money !'

" By reading the letter, sir, we shall soon know. I see
there is something about spermaceti oil here."

"lie? And spalm ile, do you say!" exclaimed the dea
con, brightening up at once " Read on, Mary, my good
gal read the letter as fast as you can read it at a trot."

"Deacon Israel Pratt Dear sir," continued Mary, in
obedience to this command, " the two schooners sailed from
Beaufort, North Carolina, as stated already per mail, in a
letter written at that port, and which has doubtless come
to hand. We had fine weather and a tolerable run of it,
until we reached the calm latitudes, where we were de
tained by the usual changes for about a week. On the
18th Oct. the pleasant cry of ' there she spouts' was heard
aboard here, and we found ourselves in the neighbourhood
of whales. Both schooners lowered their boats, and I was
soon fast to a fine bull, who gave us a long tow before the
lance was put into him, and he was made to spout blood.
Captain Daggett set up some claims to this fish, in conse
quence of his line's getting foul of the creature's jaws, but
he changed his mind in good season, and clapped on to
help tow the whale down to the vessel. His irons drew from
a young bull, and a good deal of dissatisfaction existed
among the other crew, until, fortunately, the school of
young bulls came round quite near us, when Captain Dag
gett and his people succeeded in securing no less than
three of the fish, and Mr. Hazard got a very fine one
for us.

" I am happy to say that we had very pleasant weather
to cut in, and secured every gallon of the oil of both our
whales, as did Captain Daggett all of his. Our largest bull
made one hundred and nineteen barrels, of which forty-
three barrels was head-matter. I never saw better case
and junk in a whale in my life. The smallest bull turned
out well too, making fifty-eight barrels, of which twenty-
one was head. Daggett got one hundred and thirty-three
barrels from his three fish, a very fair proportion of head,
though not as large as our own. Having this oil on board,
we came in here after a pleasant run ; and I have shipped,



THE SEA LIONS. 169

as per invoice enclosed, one hundred and seventy-seven bar
rels of spermaceti oil, viz., sixty-four barrels of head, and rest
in body-oil, to your order, care of Fish &, Grinnell, New
York, by the brig Jason, Captain Williams, who will sail



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