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Daggett, springing on board the schooner, and running aft
to the binnacle, Roswell keeping close at his side. " By
George! it is as you say; the bearings of that island are
altered at least two points !"

" In which case our drift has exceeded a league Ha !
what noise is that? Can it be an eruption of the volcano?"

Daggett, at first, was inclined to believe it was a sound
produced by some of the internal convulsions of the earth,
which within, as if in mockery of the chill scene that pre
vailed without, was a raging volcano, the fierce heats of
which found vent at the natural chimneys produced by ita



THE SEA LIONS. 225

<ywn efforts. This opinion, however, did not last long, and
he gave expression to his new thoughts in his answer.

" 'T is the ice," he said. " I do believe the pressure has
caused the fields to part on the rocks of that island. If so,
our leeward floe may float away, as fast as the weather field
approaches."

"Hardly," said Koswell, gazing intently towards the
nearest island ; " hardly ; for the most weatherly of the two
will necessarily get the force of the wind and the impetus
of those bergs first, and make the fastest drift. It may
lessen the violence of the nip, but I do not think it will
avert it altogether."

This opinion of Gardiner's fully described all that sub
sequently occurred. The outer floe continued its inroads
on the inner, breaking up the margins of both, until the
channel was so nearly closed as to bring the field from
which the danger was most apprehended in absolute con
tact with the side of the schooner. When the margin of
the outer floe first touched the bilge of the schooner, it was
at the precise spot where the vessel had just been fortified
within. Fenders had also been provided without, and there
was just a quarter of a minute, during which the two cap
tains hoped that these united means of defence might ena
ble the craft to withstand the pressure. This delusion
lasted but a moment, however, the cracking of timbers let
ting it be plainly seen that the force was too great to be
resisted. For another quarter of a minute, the two masters
held their breath, expecting to see the deck rise beneath
their feet, as the ice rose along the points of contact be
tween the floes. Such, in all probability, would have been
the result, had not the pressure brought about another
change, that was quite as much within the influence of the
laws of mechanical forces, though not so much expected.
Owing to the wedge-like form of the vessel's bottom, as
well as to the circumstance that the ice of the outer floe
had a similar shape, projecting beneath the schooner's keel,
the craft was lifted bodily, with an upward jerk, as if she
were suddenly released from some imprisoning power.
Released she was, indeed, and that most opportunely, for
another half-minute would have seen her ribs broken in,
and the schooner a mangled wreck. As she now rose,



226 THE SEA LIOHS.

Koswell gave vent to his delight in a loud cry, and al!
hands felt that the occurrence might possibly save them.
The surge upward was fearful, and several of the men were
thrown off their feet ; but it effectually released the schoo
ner from the nip, laying her gradually up in the sort of
dock that her people had been so many hours preparing for
her reception. There she lay, inclining a little, partly on
her bilge, or sewed, as seamen term it, when a vessel geta
a list from touching the ground and being left by the tide,
neither quite upright, nor absolutely on her beam-ends.

No sooner was the vessel thus docked, than all apprehen
sion of receiving further injury from the outer floe ceased.
It might force the schooner altogether on the inner field,
driving the vessel before it, as an avalanche of mud in the
Alps is known to force cottages and hamlets in its front :
but it could no longer ' nip' it. It did not appear probable
to the two masters, however, that the vessel would be forced
from its present berth, the rending and cracking of the ice
sensibly diminishing, as the two floes came closer and closer
together. Nor was this all : it was soon very obvious that
the inner field was drifting, with an increased motion, into
the bay, while the larger, or outer floe, seemed to hang,
from some cause or other. Of the fact there was soon no
doubt, the fissure beginning to open, as slowly and steadily
as it had closed, but noiselessly, and without any rending
of the ice.

" We shall get you clear, Daggett I we shall get you
clear !" cried Roswell, with hearty good-will, forgetting, in
that moment of generous effort, all feelings of competition
and rivalry. " I know what you are after, my good fellow
have understood it from the first. Yonder high land is
the spot you seek ; and along the north shore of that island
are elephants, lions, dogs, bears, and other animals, to fill
up all the craft that ever came out of the Vineyard !"

" This is hearty, Gar'ner," returned the other, giving
his brother master a most cordial shake of the hand, " and
it's just what I like. Sealing is a sociable business, and a
craft should never come alone into these high latitudes.
Accidents will happen to the most prudent man living, as
you see by what has just befallen me ; for, to own the trutli,
we've had a narrow chance of it!"



THE SEV LIOWS. 227

The reader will remember that all which Daggett now
Baid, was uttered by a man who saw his vessel lying on the
ice, with a list that rendered it somewhat difficult to move
about on her deck, and still in circumstances that would
have caused half the navigators of this world to despair.
Such was not the fact with Daggett, however. Seven
thousand miles from home, alone, in an unknown sea, and
uncertain of ever finding the place he sought, this man had
picked his way among mountains and fields of ice, with
perhaps less hesitation and reluctance than a dandy would
encounter the perils of a crossing, when the streets were
little moistened by rain. Even then, with his vessel lite
rally shelfed on the ice, certain that she had been violently
nipped, he was congratulating himself on reaching a seal
ing ground, from which he could never return without en
countering all the same dangers over again. As for Ros-
well, he laughed a little at the other's opinion of the sealing
business, for he was morally certain the Vineyard-man
would have kept the secret, had it been in his possession
alone.

"Well, well, we'll forget the past," he said, "all but
what we've done to help one another. You stood by me
off Hatteras, and I 've been of some service to you here.
You know how it is in our calling, Daggett ; first come,
first served. I got here first, and have had the cream of
the business for this season ; though I do not by any means
wish to be understood as saying that you are too late."

" I hope not, Gar'ner. 'T would be vexatious to have
all this risk and trouble for nothing. How much ile have
you stowed ?"

"All my ground-tier, and a few riders. It is with the
skins that we are doing the best business."

Daggett's eyes fairly snapped at this announcement,
which aroused all his professional ambition, to say nothing
of that propensity to the " root of all evil," which had be
come pretty thoroughly incorporated with his moral being,
by dint of example, theory, and association. We have fre
quently had occasion to remark how much more ' enjoyable,'
for the intellectual and independent, is a country on the
decline, than a country on the advance. The one is accu
mulating that wealth which the other has already possessed
20



228 THE SEA LIONS.

and improved ; and men cease to dwell so much on riches
in their inmost souls, when the means of obtaining them
would seem to have got beyond their reach. This is one
of the secrets of the universal popularity of Italy with the
idle and educated ; though the climate, and the monuments,
and the recollections, out of doubt, contribute largely to its
charms. Nevertheless, man, as a rule, is far more removed
from the money-getting mania in Italy, than in almost any
other portion of the Christian world ; and this merely be
cause the time of her wealth and power has gone by, leav
ing in its train a thousand fruits, that would seem to be the
most savoury, as the stem on which they grew would appear
to be approaching its decay. On Martha's Vineyard, how
ever, and in no part of the Great Republic, indeed, has this
waning season yet commenced, and the heart of man is still
engrossed-with those desires that are to produce the means
which are to lay the foundations for the enjoyment of ge
nerations to come.

" That 's luck, indeed, for a craft so early in the season,"
returned Daggett, when his eyes had done snapping. "Are
ihe critturs getting to be wild and skeary?"

" Not more so than the day we began upon them. 1
have taken the greatest care to send none but my most ex
perienced hands out to kill and skin, and their orders have
been rigid to give as little alarm as possible. If you wish
to fill up, I would advise you to take the same precautions,
for the heel of the season is beginning to show itself."

'* I will winter here, but I get a full craft," said Daggett,
with a resolute manner, if not absolutely serious in what
he said. " Trouble enough have I had to find the group,
and we Vineyard-men don't relish the idee of being out
done."

<4 You would be done up, my fine fellow," answered
Roswell, laughing, " did you attempt to pass a winter here.
The Sea Lion of Humse's Hull would not herself keep you
in fuel, and you would have to raft it off next summer oil
your casks, or remain here for ever."

" I suppose a body might expect to see you back again^
another season," observed Daggett, glancing meaningly to
wards his companion, as if he had seriously revolved BO
desperate a plan in his mind. " 'Tisn't often that a sealer



THE SEA LIONS. 220

lets a station like that you 've described drop out of his re
collection in a single v'y'ge."

" I may be back or I may not" said Roswell, just then
remembering Mary, and wondering if she would continue
to keep him any longer in suspense, should he return suc
cessful from his present adventure" That will depend on
others more than on myself. I wish, however, now we are
both here, and there can no longer be any ' hide and go
seek' between us, that you would tell me how you came to
know anything about this cluster of islands, or of the seals
then and there to be found?"

" You forget my uncle, who died on Oyster Pond, and
whose effects I crossed over to claim?"

" I remember him very well saw him often while living,
and helped to bury him when dead."

" Well, our information came from him. He threw out
several hints consarning sealing-grounds aboard the brig
in which he came home ; and you needn't be told, Gar'ner,
that a hint of that kind is sartain to find its way through
all the ports down east. But hearing that there was new
sealing-ground wasn't knowing where to find it. I should
have been at a loss, wasn't it for the spot on my uncle's
chart that had been rubbed over lately, as I concluded, to
get rid of some of his notes. You know, as well as I do,
that the spot was in this very latitude and longitude, and
so I came here to look for the much-desired land."

"And you have undertaken such an outfit, and come this
long distance into an icy sea, on information as slight as
this!" exclaimed Roswell, astonished at this proof of saga
city and enterprise, even in men who are renowned for
scenting dollars from pole to pole.

" On this, with a few hints picked up, here and there,
among some of the old gentleman's papers. He was fond
of scribbling, and I have got a sort of a chart that he
scratched on a leaf of his bible, that was made to represent
this very group, as I can now see."

" Then you could have had no occasion for the printed
shart, with the mark of obliteration on it, and did not come
here on that authority after all."

" There you 're wrong, Captain Gar'ner. The chart of
the group had no latitude or longitude, but just placed each



230 THE SEA LIONS.

island with its bearings and distances from the other inlands.
It was no help in finding the place, which might be in one
hemisphere as well as in the other."

" It was, then, the mark of the obliteration "

"Marks, if you please, Captain Gar'ner," interrupted
the other, significantly. " My uncle talked a good deal
aboard of that brig about other matters besides sealing.
We think several matters have been obliterated from the
old chart, and we intend to look 'em all up. It 's our right,
you know, seeing that the old man was Vineyard-born, and
we are his nearest of kin."

"Certainly" rejoined Roswell, laughing again, but
somewhat more faintly than before. " Every man for him
self in this world is a good maxim ; it being pretty certain
if we do not take care of ourselves, no one will take care
of us."

" Yes, sir," said Stimson, who was standing near ; " there
is one to care for every hair of our heads, however forgetful
and careless we may be ourselves. Wasn't it for this, Cap
tain Gar'ner, there 's many a craft that comes into these
seas that would never find its way out of 'em ; and many a
bold sailor, with a heart boiling over with fun and frolic,
that would be frozen to an ice-cicle every year !"

Gardiner felt the justice of this remark, and easily par
doned its familiarity for its truth. In these sealers the dis
cipline is by no means of that distant and military or naval
character that is found in even an ordinary merchantman.
As every seaman has an interest in the result of the voyage,
some excuse was made for this departure from the more
general usage ; and this familiarity itself never exceeded
the bounds that were necessary to the observance of duty.

"Ay, ay," returned Roswell, smiling " in one sense you
are right enough ; but Captain Daggett and myself were
speaking of human affairs, as human affairs are carried on.
Is not this inner field drifting fast away from the outer,
Daggett? If so, we shall go directly into the bay!"

It was as Gardiner thought. By some means that were
not apparent, the floes were now actually separating, and at
a rate of movement which much exceeded that of their
junction. All idea of further danger from the outer field
disappeared, as a matter of course.



THE SEA LIONS. 23)

" It's so, Captain Gar'ner," said Stimson, respectfully,
but with point; " and who and what brought it about for
our safety and the preservation of this craft? I just ventur'
to ask that question, sir."

" It may be the hand of Providence, my good fellow ; for
I very frankly own I can see no direct physical cause.
Nevertheless, I fancy it would be found that the tides or
currents have something to do with it, if the truth could be
come at."

" Well, sir, and who causes the tides and currents to
run, this-a-way and that-a-way ?"

" There you have me, Stephen ; for I never could get
hold of the clew to their movements at all," answered Ros-
well, laughing. "There is a reason for it all, I dare say, if
one could only find it out. Captain Daggett, it is high time
to look after the safety of your schooner. She ought to be
in the cove before night sets in, since the ice has found its
way into the bay."

This appeal produced a general movement. By this time
the two fields were a hundred fathoms asunder ; the smaller,
or that on which the vessel lay, drifting quite fast into the
bay, under the joint influences of wind and current ; while
the larger floe had clearly been arrested by the islands.
This smaller field was much lessened in surface, in conse
quence of having been broken at the rocks, though the
fragment that was thus cut off was of more than a league
in diameter, and of a thickness that exceeded many
yards.

As for the Sea Lion of the Vineyard, she was literally
shelled, as has been said. So irresistible had been the
momentum of the great floe, that it lifted her out of the
water as two or three hands would run up a bark canoe on
a gravelly beach. This lifting process had, very fortunately
for the craft, been effected by an application of force from
below, in a wedge-like manner, and by bringing the strongest
defences of the vessel to meet the power. Consequently, no
essential injury had been done the vessel in thus laying her
on her screw-dock.

" If a body could get the craft off as easily as she was
got OTJ," observed Daggett, as he and Roswell Gardiner
stood looking at the schooner's situation, " it would be but
20*



232 THE SEA LIONS

a light job. But, as it is, she lies on ice at least twenty feet
thick, and ice that seems as solid as flint!"

" We know it is not quite as hard as that, Daggett," was
Roswell's reply ; " for our saws and axes make great havoc
in it, when we can fairly get at it."

" If one could get fairly at it ! But here you see, Gar'-
ner, everything is under water, and an axe is next to use
less. Nor can the saws be used with much advantage on
ice so thick."

" There is no help for it but hard work and great perse
verance. I would advise that a saw be set at work at each
end of the schooner, allowing a little room in case of acci
dents, and that we weaken the foundation by two deep cuts.
The weight of the vessel will help us, and in time she will
settle back into her ' native element,' as the newspapers
have it."

There was, indeed, no other process that promised suc
cess, and the advice of Gardiner was followed. In the
course of the next two hours deep cuts were made with the
saws, which were pushed so low as to reach quite to the
bottom of the cake. This could be done only by what the
sailors called "jury-handles," or spars secured to the plates.
The water offered the principal obstacle, for that lay on the
shelf at least five feet deep. Perseverance and ingenuity,
however, finally achieved their aim. A cracking was heard,
the schooner slowly righted, and settled off into the sea
again, as easily and harmlessly as if scientifically launched.
The fenders protected her sides and copper, though the
movement was little more than slowly sinking on the frag
ment of the cake, which, by means of the cuts, had been
gradually so much reduced as to be unable to uphold so
great a weight. It was merely reversing the process of
breaking the camel's back, by laying the last feather on
his load.

This happy conclusion to several hours of severe toil,
occurred just as the field had drifted abreast of the cove,
and was about the centre of the bay. Hazard came up also
at that point, on his return from the volcano, altering his
course a little to speak the strangers. The report of the
mate concerning his discoveries was simple and brief.
There was a volcano, and one in activity ; but it had no-



THE SEA LIONS.



233



thing remarkable about it. No seal were seen, and there
was little to reward one for crossing the bay. Sterility, and
a chill grandeur, were the characteristics of all that region ;
and these were not wanting to any part of the group. Just
as the sun was setting, Gardiner piloted his companion into
the cove ; and the two Sea Lions were moored amicably
side by side, and that too at a spot where thousands of the
veal animals were to be found within a league.



CHAPTEE XVIL

" The morning air blows fresh on him ;

The waves dance gladly in his sight;
The sea-birds call, and wheel, and skim
O, blessed morning light!"

DAHA.

THE very day succeeding the arrival of the Sea Lion of
the Vineyard, even while his mate was clearing the vessel,
Daggett had a gang on the north shore, killing and skin
ning. As Roswell's rules were rigidly observed, no other
change was produced by this accession to the force of the
sealers, than additional slaughter. Many more seals were
killed, certainly, but all was done so quietly that no great
alarm was awakened among the doomed animals them
selves. One great advantage was obtained by the arrival
of the new party that occasioned a good deal of mirth at
first, but which, in the end, was found to be of great im
portance to the progress of the work. Daggett had taken
to pieces and brought with him the running part of a com
mon country wagon, which was soon found of vast service
in transporting the skins and blubber ac'oss the rocks.
The wheels were separated, leaving them in pairs, and
each axle was loaded with a freight that a dozen men
would hardly have carried, when two or three hands would
drag in the load, with an occasional lift from other gangs,
to get them up a height, or over a cleft. This portion of
the operation was found to work admirably, owing, in a



234 THE SEA LIONS.

great measure, to the smooth surfaces of the rocks ; and
unquestionably these wheels advanced the business of the
season at least a fortnight; Gardiner thought a month.
It rendered the crews better natured, too, much diminish-
ing their toil, and sending them to their bunks at night in
a far better condition for rest than they otherwise could
have been.

Just one month, or four weeks to a day, after the second
schooner got in, it being Sunday of course, Gardiner and
Daggett met on the platform of a perfectly even rock that
lay stretched for two hundred yards directly beneath the
house. It was in the early morning. Notwithstanding
there was a strong disposition to work night and day on
the part of the new-comers, Roswell's rule of keeping the
Sabbath as a day of rest had prevailed, and the business
of washing, scrubbing and shaving, had just commenced.
As for the two masters, they required fewer ablutions than
their men, had risen earlier, and were already dressed for
the day.

" To-morrow will be the first day of February," said
Daggett, when the salutations of the morning were passed,
" and I was calculating my chances of getting full this sea
son. You will be full this week, I conclude, Gar'ner?"

" We hope to be so, by the middle of it," was the an
swer. " I think the seal are getting to be much shyer than
they were, and am afraid we shall demonstrate that ' the
more haste is the worse speed.' "

" What is that to you V returned Daggett quickly. " Of
course you will sail for home as soon as you can get off."

Gardiner did not like the " of course," which was indi
rectly saying what the other would do himself under similar
^circumstances. Still, it caused no difference in his owa
'decision, which had been made up under the influence of
much reflection, and of a great deal of good feeling.

" I shall do np such thing, Captain Daggett," was the
answer. " I do not fancy the idea of leaving a fellow-
creature, a countryman nay, I might say, a neighbour,
on this lone spot, with the uncertainty of his ever getting
out of it If you can come to some understanding with
my officers and crew, I will keep the schooner here until
we are both full, and ready to sail in company."



THE SEA LIONS. 235

** In which case you would nat'rally ask a lay for your
self!"

" Naturally, perhaps, I might," returned Roswell, smil
ing, " though positively, I shall not. Not one of us in the
cabin will look for any other advantage than your good
company. I have talked this matter over with my mates,
and they say that the advantage of having a consort in
getting through the ice is sufficient to justify us in holding
on two or three weeks longer. With the men, it will be a
little different, perhaps ; and they will require some pay.
The poor fellows live by their hands, and what their hands
do they will expect to be compensated for."

" They shall have good lays, depend on it. As for your
self, Captain Gar'ner, I trust my owners will not forget to
do what is right, if we ever get home, and meet with luck
in the market."

" Never fear for me, Daggett. I look for my reward in
the bright eyes and pleasant smiles of as excellent a girl as
Long Island can produce. Mary never fails to reward me
in that way whenever I do right. It is right to stand by
you just now to do as I would be done by : and I '11 do it.
Set the thing down as decided, but make your bargain with
my men. And now, Daggett, what say you to climbing
yonder mountain to-day, by way of getting a good survey
of our territories, as well as to take a look at the state of
the ice?"

Daggett assented very cheerfully, his mind being greatly
relieved by this assurance of standing by him, on the part
of Roswell ; for he had been undecided whether to remain
after the departure of the other schooner or not. All was
now clear to him, however, and the two masters made their
preparations to ascend the mountain as soon as they had
breakfasted. Stimson was summoned to be of the party,
his officer having got to be accustomed to, and desirous of,



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