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for home about the 20th proximo, and to whom I trust this
letter"

41 Stop, Mary, my dear this news is overpowering it is
almost too good to be true," interrupted the deacon, nearly
as much unmanned by this intelligence of his good fortune
as he had previously been by his apprehensions. " Yes, it
does seem too good to be true ; read it again, child ; yes,
read every syllable of it again !"

Mary complied, delighted enough to hear all she could
of Roswell's success.

" Why, uncle," said the deeply-interested girl, " all this
oil is spermaceti ! It is worth a great deal more than so
much of that which comes of the right whale."

" More ! Ay, nearly as three for one. Hunt me up the
last Spectator, girl hunt me up the last Spectator, and
let me see at once at what they quote spalm."

Mary soon found the journal, and handed it to her
uncle.

" Yes, here it is, and quoted $1.12 per gallon, as I live !
That 's nine shillings a gallon, Mary just calculate on that
bit of paper thirty times one hundred and seventy-seven,
Mary; how much is that, child!"

" I make it 5310, uncle yes, that is right. But what
are the 30 times for, sir ?"

" Gallons, gal, gallons. Each barrel has 30 gallons in it,
if not more. There ought to be 32 by rights, but this is a
cheating age. Now, multiply 5310 by 9, and see what that
comes to."

" Just 47,790, sir, as near as I can get it."

" Yes, that's the shillings. Now, divide 47,790 by 8, my
dear. Be actyve, Mary, be actyve."

" It leaves 5973, with a remainder of 6, sir. I believe
I'm right."

" I dare say you are, child ; yes, I dare say you are. This
is the dollars. A body may call them $6000, as the barrels
will a little overt un the 30 gallons. My share of this will

(Ui> i . '



170 THE SEA LIONS.

be two-thirds, and that will nett the handsome sum of, say



The deacon rubbed his hands with delight, and having
found his voice again, his niece was astonished at hearing
him utter what he had to say, with a sort of glee that
sounded in her ears as very unnatural, coming from him.
So it was, however, and she dutifully endeavoured not to
think of it.

" Four thousand dollars, Mary, will quite cover the first
cost of the schooner ; that is without including outfit and
spare-rigging, of which her master took about twice as much
as was necessary. He's a capital fellow, is that young
Gar'ner, and will make an excellent husband, as I 've always
told you, child. A little wasteful, perhaps, but an excellent
youth at the bottom. I dare say he lost his spars off Cape
Hatteras in trying to outsail that Daggett ; but I overlook
all that now. He 's a capital youth to work upon a whale
or a sea-elephant ! There isn't his equal, as I Ml engage,
in all Ameriky, if you '11 only let him know where to find
he creatur's. I knew his character before I engaged him ;
for no man but a real skinner shall ever command a craft
of mine."

" Roswell is a good fellow," answered Mary, with em
phasis, the tears filling her eyes as she listened to these
eulogiums of her uncle on the youth she loved with all of a
woman's tenderness, at the very moment she scrupled to
place her happiness on one whose ' God was not her God. 1
" No one knows him better than I, uncle, and no one re
spects him more. But, had I not better read the rest of his
letter ? there is a good deal more of it."

" Go on, child, go on but, read the part over again
where he speaks of the quantity of the ile he has shipped
to Fish & Grinnell."

Mary did as requested, when she proceeded to read aloud
the rest of the communication.

" I have been much at a loss how to act in regard to
Captain Daggett," said Roswell, in his letter. " He stood
by me so manfully and generously off Cape Hatteras, that I
did not like to part company in the night, or in a squall,
which would have seemed ungrateful, as well as wearing a
sort of runaway look. I am afraid he has some knowledge



THE SEA LIONS. 171

of the existence of our islands, though I doubt whether he
has their latitude and longitude exactly. Something there
is of this nature on board the other schooner, her people
often dropping hints to my officers and men, when they
have been gamming. I have sometimes fancied Daggett
sticks so close to us, that he may get the advantage of our
reckoning to help him to what he wants to find. He is no
great navigator anywhere, running more by signs and cur
rents, in my judgment, than by the use of his instruments.
Still, he could find his way to any part of the world."

" Stop there, Mary ; stop a little, and let me have time
to consider. Isn't it awful, child?"

The niece changed colour, and seemed really frightened,
so catching was the deacon's distress, though she scarce
knew what was the maf^er.

"What is awful, uncle?" at length she asked, anxious
to know the worst, f fe

11 This covetousness in them Vineyarders ! I consider
it both awful and wicked. I must get the Rev. Mr. Whittle
to preach against the sin of covetousness ; it does gain so
much ground in Ameriky ! The whole church should lift
its voice against it, or it will shortly lift its voice against
the church. To think of them Daggetts' fitting out a
schooner to follow my craft about the 'arth in this un
heard-of manner ; just as if she was a pilot-boat, and young
Gar'ner a pilot ! I do hope the fellows will make a wrack
of it, among the ice of the antarctic seas! That would be
a fit punishment for their impudence and covetousness."

" I suppose, sir, they think that they have the same right
to sail on the ocean that others have. Seals and whales are
the gifts of God, and one person has no more right to them
than another."

" You forget, Mary, that one man may have a secret that
another doesn't know. In that case he ought not to go
prying about like an old woman in a village neighbour
hood. Read on, child, read on, and let me know the worst
at once."

" I shall sail to-morrow, having finished all my business

here, and hope to be off Cape Horn in twenty days, if not

sooner. In what manner I am to get rid of Daggett, I do

not yet know. He outsails me a little on all tacks, unless

15*



THE SEA LIONS.

it be in very heavy weather, when I have a trifling advan
tage over him. It will be in my power to quit him any
dark night; but if I let him go ahead, and he should really
have any right notions about the position of the islands, he
might get there first, and make havoc among the seals."

"Awful, awful !" interrupted the deacon, again ; " that
would be the worst of all ! I won't allow it ; I forbid it
it shall not be."

"Alas ! uncle, poor Roswell is too far from us, now, to
hear these words. No doubt the matter is long since de
cided, and he has acted according to the best of his judg
ment."

" It is terrible to have one's property so far away ! Go
vernment ought to have steam-boats, or packets of some
sort, running between New York and Cape Horn, to carry
orders back and forth. But we shall never have things
right, Mary, so long as the democrats are uppermost."

By this remark, which savours very strongly of a species
of censure that is much in fashion in the coteries of that
Great Emporium, which it is the taste and pleasure of its
people to term a commercial emporium, especially among
elderly ladies, the reader will at "once perceive that the
deacon was a federalist, which was somewhat of a novelty
in Suffolk, thirty years since. Had he lived down to our
own times, the old man would probably have made all the
gyrations in politics that have distinguished the school to
which he would have belonged, and, without his own know
ledge, most probably, would have been as near an example
of perpetual motion as the world will ever see, through his
devotion to what are now called " Whig Principles." We
are no great politician, but time has given us the means of
comparing ; and we often smile when we hear the disciples
of Hamilton, and of Adams, and of all that high-toned
school, declaiming against the use of the veto, and talking
of the " one man power," and of Congress' leading the go
vernment ! The deacon was very apt to throw the oppro
brium of even a bad season on the administration, and the
reader has seen what he thought of the subject of running
packets between New York and Cape Horn.

"There ought to be a large navy, Mary, a monstrous
navy, so that the vessels might be kept carrying letters



THE SEA LIONS. 173

about, and serving the public. But we shall never hav
things right, until Rufus King, or some man like him, gets
in. If Gar'ner lets that Daggett get the start of him, he
never need come home again. The islands are as much
mine as if I had bought them ; and I 'm not sure an action
wouldn't lie for seals taken on them without my consent.
Yes, yes; we want a monstrous navy, to convoy sealers,
and carry letters about, and keep some folks at home, while
it lets other folks go about their lawful business."

"Of what islands are you speaking, uncle? Surely the
sealing islands, where Roswell has gone, are public and
uninhabited, and no one has a better right there than an
other !"

The deacon perceived that he had gone too far, in his
tribulation, and began to have a faint notion that he was
making a. fool of himself. He asked his niece, in a very
faint voice, therefore, to hand him the letter, the remainder
of which he would endeavour to read himself. Although
every word that Roswell Gardiner wrote was very precious
to Mary, the gentle girl had a still unopened epistle to her
self to peruse, and glad enough was she to make the ex
change. Handing the deacon his letter, therefore, she
withdrew at once to her private room, in order to read her
own.

' Dearest Mary," said Roswell Gardiner, in this epistle,
" your uncle will tell you what has brought us into this
port, and all things connected with the schooner. I have
sent home more than $4000 worth of oil, and I hope my
owner will forgive the accident off Currituck, on account
of this run of good luck. In my opinion, we shall yet
make a voyage, and that part of my fortune will be secure.
Would that I could feel as sure of finding you more dis
posed to be kind to me, on my return! I read in your
Bible every day, Mary, and I often pray to God to enlighten
my mind, if my views have been wrong. As yet, I cannot
flatter myself with any change, for my old opinions appear
rather to be more firmly rooted than they were before I
sailed." Here poor Mary heaved a heavy sigh, and wiped
the tears from her eyes. She was pained to a degree she
eould hardly believe possible, though she did full credit to
KoswelPs frankness. Like all devout persons, her faith in



174 THE SEA LIONS.

the efficacy of sacred writ was strong : and she so much
the more lamented her suitor's continued blindness, because
it remained after light had shone upon it. " Still, Mary,"
the letter added, " as I have every human inducement to
endeavour to be right, I shall not throw aside the book, by
any means. In that I fully believe; our difference being
in what the volume teaches. Pray for me, sweetest girl
but I know you do, and will continue to do, as long as I
am absent."

" Yes, indeed, Roswell," murmured Mary " as long as
you and I live!"

" Next to this one great concern of my life, comes that
which this man Daggett gives me," the letter went on to
say. " I hardly know what to do under all the circum
stances. Keep in his company much longer I cannot,
without violating my duty to the deacon. Yet, it is not
easy, in any sense, to get rid of him. He has stood by me
so manfully on all occasions, and seems so much disposed
to make good-fellowship of the voyage, that, did it depend
on myself only, I should at once make a bargain with him
to seal in company, and to divide the spoils. But this is
now impossible, and I must quit him in some way or other.
He outsails me in most weathers, and it is a thing easier
said than done. What will make it more difficult is the
growing shortness of the nights. The days lengthen fast
now, and as we go south they will become so much longer,
that, by the time when it will be indispensable to separate,
it will be nearly all day. The thing must be done, how
ever, and I trust to luck to be able to do it as it ought to
be effected.

"And now, dearest, dearest Mary " But why should

we lift the veil from the feelings of this young man, who
concluded his letter by pouring out his whole heart in a
few sincere and manly sentences. Mary wept over them
most of that day, perusing and reperusing them, until her
eyes would scarce perform their proper office.

A few days later the deacon was made a very happy man
by the receipt of a letter from Fish &- Grinnell, notifying
him of the arrival of his oil, accompanied by a most grati
fying account of the state of the market, and asking for
instructions. The oil was disposed of, and the deacon



THE SEA LIONS. 176

pocketed his portion of the proceeds as soon as possible;
eagerly looking for a new and profitable investment for the
avails. Great was the reputation Roswell Gardiner made
by this capture of the two spermaceti whales, and by send
ing the proceeds to so good a market. In commerce, as in
war, success is all in all, though in both success is nearly
as often the result of unforeseen circumstances as of calcu
lations and wisdom. It is true there are a sort of trade,
and a sort of war, in which prudence and care may effect
3. great deal, yet are both often outstripped by the random
exertions and adventures of those who calculate almost as
wildly as they act. Audacity, as the French term it, is a
great quality in war, and often achieves more than the most
calculated wisdom nay, it becomes wisdom in that sort
of struggle ; and we are far from being sure that audacity
is not sometimes as potent in trade. At all events, it was
esteemed a bold, as well as a prosperous exploit, for a little
schooner like the Sea Lion of Oyster Pond, to take a hun
dred-barrel whale, and to send home its " He," as the dea
con always pronounced the word, in common with most
others in old Suffolk.

Long and anxious months, with one exception, succeeded
this bright spot of sunshine in Mary Pratt's solicitude in
behalf of the absent Roswell. She knew there was but
little chance of hearing from him again until he returned
north. The exception was a short letter that the deacon
received, dated two weeks later than that written from Rio,
in latitude forty-one, or just as far south of the equator as
Oyster Pond was north of it, and nearly fourteen hundred
miles to the southward of Rio. This letter was written in
great haste, to send home by a Pacific trader who was ac
cidentally met nearer the coast than was usual for such
vessels to be. It stated that all was well ; that the schooner
of Daggett was still in company; and that Gardiner in
tended to get " shut" of her, as the deacon expressed it, on
the very first occasion.

After the receipt of this letter, the third written by Ros
well Gardiner since he left home, a long and blank interval
of silence succeeded. Then it was that months passed
away in an anxious and dark uncertainty. Spring followed
winter, summer succeeded to spring, and autumn came to



J 76 THESEALIONS.

reap the fruits of all the previous seasons, without bringing
any further tidings from the adventurers. Then winter
made its second appearance since the Sea Lion had sailed,
filling the minds of the mariners' friends with sad fore
bodings as they listened to the meanings of the gales that
accompanied that bleak and stormy quarter of the year.
Deep and painful were the anticipations of the deacon, in
whom failing health, and a near approach to the " last of
earth," came to increase the gloom. As for Mary, youth
and health sustained her; but her very soul was heavy, as
she pondered on so long and uncertain an absence.



CHAPTER XIII.

" Safely in harbour

Is the king's ship ; in the deep nook, where once
Thou calledst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still vex'd Bermoothes, there she 's hid."

Tempest.

THE letter of Roswell Gardiner last received, bore the
date of December 10th, 1819, or just a fortnight after he
had sailed from Rio de Janeiro. We shall next present the
schooner of Deacon Pratt to the reader on the 18th of that
month, or three weeks and one day after she had sailed
from the capital of Brazil. Early in the morning of the
day last mentioned, the Sea Lion of Oyster Pond was visi
ble, standing to the northward, with the wind light but
freshening from the westward, and in smooth water. Land
was not only in sight, but was quite near, less than a league
distant. Towards this land the head of the schooner had
been laid, and she was approaching it at the rate of some
four or five knots. The land was broken, high, of a most
sterile aspect where it was actually to be seen, and nearly
all covered with a light but melting snow, though the sea
son was advanced to the middle of the first month in sum
mer. The weather was not very cold, however, and there



THE SEA LIONS 177

w-as a feeling about it that promised it would become still
milder. The aspect of the neighbouring land, so barren,
rugged and inhospitable, chilled the feelings, and gave to
the scene a sombre hue which the weather itself might not
have imparted. Directly ahead of the schooner rose a sort
of pyramid of broken rocks, which, occupying a small
island, stood isolated in a measure, and some distance in
advance of other and equally ragged ranges of mounta..is,
which belonged also to islands detached from the main
land thousands of years before, under some violent convul
sions of nature.

It was quite apparent that all on board the schooner re
garded that ragged pyramid with lively interest. Most of
the crew was collected on the forecastle, including the
officers, and all eyes were fastened on the ragged pyramid
which they were diagonally approaching. The principal
spokesman was Stimson, the oldest mariner on board, and
one who had oftener visited those seas than any other of
the crew.

" You know the spot, do you, Stephen ?" demanded
Roswell Gardiner, with interest

" Yes, sir, there 's no mistake. That 's the Horn. Eleven
times have I doubled it, and this is the third time that I ' ve
been so close in as to get a fair sight of it. Once I went
inside, as I've told you, sir."

" I have doubled it six times myself," said Gardiner,
" but never saw it before. Most navigators give it a wide
berth. 'Tis said to be the stormiest spot on the known
earth !"

" That 's a mistake, you may depend on 't, sir. The
sow-westers blow great guns here-abouts, it is true enough ;
and when they do, sich a sea comes tumbling in on that
rock as man never seed anywhere else, perhaps; but, on
the whull, I 'd rather be close in here, than two hundred
miles further to the southward. With the wind at sow-
west, and heavy, a better slant might be made from the
southern position; but here I know where I am, and I'd
go in and anchor, and wait for the gale to blow itself
out."

"Talking of seas, Captain Gar'ner," observed Hazard,
"don't you think, sir, we begin to feel the swell of Uw



178 THE SEA LIONS.

Pacific. Smooth as the surface of the waver is, here ia a
ground-swell rolling in that must be twelve or fifteen feet
in height."

" There '3 no doubt of that. We have felt the swell of the
Pacific these two hours ; no man can mistake that. The
Atlantic has no such waves. This is an ocean in reality,
and this is its stormiest part. The wind freshens and hauls,
and I 'm afraid we are about to be ^caught close in here,
with a regular sow-west gale."

" Let it come, sir, let it come," put in Stimson, again ;
" if it does, we 've only to run in and anchor. I can stand
pilot, and I promise to carry the schooner where twenty
sow-westers will do her no harm. What I 've seen done
once, I know can be done again. The time will come when
the Horn will be a reg'lar harbour."

Roswell left the forecastle, and walked aft, pondering on
what had just been said. His situation was delicate, and
demanded decision, as well as prudence. The manner in
which Daggett had stuck by him, ever since the two vessels
took their departure from Block Island, is known to the
reader. The Sea Lions had sailed from Rio in company,
and they had actually made Staten Land together, the day
preceding that on which we now bring the Oyster Pond
craft once more upon the scene, and had closed so near as
to admit of a conversation between the two masters. If
would seem that Daggett was exceedingly averse to passing
through the Straits of le Maire. An uncle of his had been
wrecked there, and had reported the passage as the most
dangerous one he had ever encountered. It has its diffi
culties, no doubt, in certain states of the wind and tide ,
but Roswell had received good accounts of the place from
Stimson, who had been through several times. The wind
was rather scant to go through, and the weather threatened
to be thick. As Daggett urged his reasons for keeping off
and passing outside of Staten Land, a circuit of considera
ble extent, besides bringing a vessel far to leeward with the
prevalent winds of that region, which usually blow from
northwest round to southwest, Roswell was reflecting on
the opportunity the circumstances afforded of giving hi?
consort the slip. After discussing the matter for some
lime, he desired Daggett to lead on, and he would follow.



THE SEA LIONS. 179

This was done, though neither schooner was kept off until
Roswell got a good view of Cape St. Diego, on Tierra del
Fuego, thereby enabling him to judge of the positions of
..he principal land-marks. Without committing himself
by any promise, therefore, he told Daggett to lead on, and
for some time he followed, the course being one that did
not take him much out of the way. The weather was
misty, and at times the wind blew in squalls. The last
increased as the schooners drew nearer to Staten Land.
Daggett, being about half a mile ahead, felt the full power
of one particular squall that came out of the ravines with
greater force than common, and he kept away to increase
his distance from the land. At the same time, the mist
shut in the vessels from each other. It was also past sun
set, and a dark and dreary night was approaching. This
latter fact had been one of Daggett's arguments for going
outside. Profiting by all these circumstances, Roswell
tacked, and stood over towards Tierra del Fuego. He
knew from the smoothness of the water that an ebb-tide
was running, and trusted to its force to carry him through
the Straits. He saw no more of the Sea Lion of the Vine
yard. She continued shut in by the mist until night closed
around both vessels. When he got about mid-channel,
Roswell tacked again. By this time the current had sucked
him fairly into the passage, and no sooner did he go about
than his movement to the southward was very rapid. The
squalls gave some trouble, but, on the whole, he did very
-well. Next morning he was off Cape Horn, as described.
By this expression, it is generally understood that a vessel is
somewhere near the longitude of that world-renowned cape,
but not necessarily in sight of it. Few navigators actually
see the extremity of the American continent, though they
double the cape, it being usually deemed the safest to pass
well to the southward. Such was Daggett's position ; who,
in consequence of having gone outside of Staten Land, was
now necessarily a long distance to leeward, and who could
not hope to beat up abreast of the Hermits, even did the
wind and sea favour him, in less than twenty-four hours.
A great advantage was obtained by coming through the
Straits of Le Maire, and Roswell felt very certain that he
should not see his late consort again that day, even did he
16



180 THE SEA LIONS,

heave-to for him. But our hero had no idea of doing any
thing of the sort. Having shaken off his leech, he had no
wish to suffer it to fasten to him again. It was solely with
the intention of making sure of this object that he thought
of making a harbour.

In order that the reader may better understand those in
cidents of our narrative which we are about to relate, it
may be well to say a word of the geographical features of
the region to which he has been transported, in fiction, if
not in fact. At the southern extremity of the American con
tinent is a cluster of islands, which are dark, sterile, rocky,
and most of the year covered with snow. Evergreens re
lieve the aspect of sterility, in places that are a little shel
tered, and there is a meagre vegetation in spots that serve
to sustain animal life. The first strait which separates



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