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his company.

For the first two hours after quitting the house, Gardi
ner, Daggett, and the boat-steerer, were busily employed
in working their way across the broken surface of the
island, to the base of the cone-like pinnacle that formed
the apex of all. There they rested, and took a little re
freshment, conversing the while on the state of the ice in



236 THE SEA LIONS.

the offing, so far as the last could be seen from their pre
sent elevation.

" We shall have a sharp hill to climb, should we succeed
in getting up here," observed Roswell, " though the rocks
appear to be quite clear of snow just now."

" Just now, or never. This is the antarctic dog-days,
Gar'ner," answered Daggett, laughing, "and we must make
the most of them. A man can move about without his pee-
jacket at noon-day, and that is something gained ; for, I
have heard of ice making in the bays, even at mid-sum
mer."

" We are not in a high enough latitude for that, thank
heaven, though pretty well south too. This is our harvest-
time here, sure enough, and we had better look to it."

As Gardiner said this, the eyes of all three were turned
on the sterile scene around them. The island was not
absolutely destitute of vegetation, as is the case a few de
grees further south ; but it might be said to be nearly so.
A few stunted plants were to be seen in the fissures of the
rocks, and a little soil had been made, seemingly by the
crumbling of the stones, in which a wiry grass occasionally
showed itself. As for the mountain, however, it was mostly
bare ; and when our party began to climb, the ascent was
not only difficult, but in places dangerous. Roswell had
foreseen this, and he had made a provision accordingly.
In addition to his lance, used as a leaping-staff and walk
ing-pike, each man had a small coil of ratlin-stuff thrown
over his shoulder, in order to help him in difficult places,
or enable him to help his companions. It was in the de
scent chiefly that these ropes were expected to be of ser
vice, though their utility was made apparent ere the three
reached. the summit. The ascent of a mountain a thousand
feet in height is no great exploit under ordinary circum
stances. Even when there are precipitous cliffs, gorges,
ravines and broken masses, youth, activity and courage
will commonly overcome all the difficulties, placing the
foot of man on eminences that nature would appear to
have intended solely for the dominion of the goat. Thus
did it turn out with the three sealers, all of whom stood on
the bald cap of that mountain, after a vigorous and some
what hazardous ascent, that occupied rather more than an



THE SEA LIONS. 237

hour. They had greatly aided each other in achieving
their purpose, to be sure ; and the ratlin-stuff was found
of use on more than one occasion.

An extraordinary, and, considering the accessories, a
most brilliant view, rewarded the adventurers. But, after
a few minutes passed in pure admiration o what they be
held, the minds of all three adverted to the parts which
gave such unusual splendour to the panorama. Icebergs
were visible on all sides of them, the great bay excepted;
and the group was surrounded by them, in a way that would
seem to proclaim a blockade. At that season, the south
winds prevailed, though changes were frequent and sudden,
and the vast frozen fleet was drifting north. Gardiner saw
that the passage by which he had brought in his schooner
was now completely closed, and that the only means of exit
from the bay was by its northern outlet. The great depth
of the bergs still prevented their coming within the cluster
of islands, while their number and size completely stopped
the floes from passing.

To the northward, the sea was much more open. Gar
diner and Daggett both thought, as they gazed in that di
rection, that it would be easy enough to take a vessel
through the difficulties of the navigation, and that a good
run of eight-and-forty hours would carry her quite beyond
the crowded ice. This sight awakened some regrets in the
two masters, that they were not then in a condition to
depart.

" I am almost sorry that we have made a holiday of the
Sunday," said Daggett, seating himself on a point of rock,
to get a little rest after so fatiguing an ascent. " Every
minute of time is precious to men in our situation."

" Every minute of time is precious to all men, Captain
Daggett, in another and a still more important sense, if
they did but know it," put in Stimson, with a zealous free
dom, and a Christian's earnestness.

" I understand you, Stephen, and will not gainsay it.
But a sealin' v'y'ge is no place, after all, for a man to give
himself up to Sabbaths and religion."

"All places are good, sir, and all hours Sabbaths, when
the heart is in the true sta.e. God is on this naked rock,
as he is on the Vineyard ; and a thought, or a syllable, in



238 THE SEA LIONS.

his praise, on this mountain, are as pleasant to him as
them that arise from churches and priests."

" I believe it is, at least, a mistake in policy to give the
men no day of rest," said Roswell, quietly. " Though not
prepared to carry matters as far as my friend Stephen here,
I agree with him entirely in that."

"And not in believing, sir, that the Spirit of God is on
this island V

" In that too, certainly. Neither Captain Daggett nor
myself will be disposed to dispute either of thfese two pro
positions, I think, when we come to reflect on them. A
day of rest would seem to be appointed by nature ; and I
make no doubt we have filled up all the sooner for having
observed one. Seamen have so many calls on their time
which cannot be neglected, that it is unwise in them to
increase the number unnecessarily."

" This is not the spirit, Captain Gar'ner, I 'm sorry to
say, in which we should keep our day of rest, though it is
well that we keep it at all. I 'm no stickler for houses and
congregations, though they are good enough in their times
and seasons; for every man has a tabernacle in his own
heart, if he's disposed to worship."

"And if any place on earth can particularly incline one
to worship God, surely it must be some such spot as this !"
exclaimed Roswell, with a degree of fervour it was not
usual for him to exhibit. " Never in my life have my eyes
seen a sight as remarkable and as glorious as this !"

Well might our young mariner thus exclaim. The day
was fine for the region, but marked by the caprice and
changeful light of high latitudes. There was mist in places,
and flurries of snow were to be seen to the southward, while
the ocean to the northward of the group was glittering
under the brightness of an unclouded sun. It was the
mixed character of this scene that rendered it so peculiar,
while its grandeur, sublimity, and even beauty, were found
in its vastness, its noble though wild accessories, its frozen
and floating mountains, glowing in prismatic light, and the
play of summer on the features of an antarctic view.

" 'T is a remarkable spot, as no one can deny," answered
Dagget ; " but I like its abundance of seal the most of aL
I cannot say I have much taste for sights, unless they bring



THE SEA MONS. 239

the promise of good profit with them. We Vineyarders
live in a small way, and are not rich enough to take delight
in landscapes."

" Serve God, and reverence his holy name," said Stim-
son, earnestly, " and all places will be good to look upon.
I have been on the Vineyard in my time, and have never
found any difference as to the spot, so long as the heart is
right."

"A poor man must work," answered Daggett, dropping
his eyes from the more distant and gorgeous views of the
drifting ice-mountains, to the rocky shore, that was still
frequanted by thousands of seals, some of the largest of
which might be seen, even from that elevation, waddling
about ; " ay, a poor man must work, Sundays or no Sun
days; and he who would make his hay, must do it while
the sun shines. I like meetin'-goin' at the right place, and
sealin' when sealin' ought to be done. This day is lost, I
fear, and I hope we shall not have reason to regret it."

Stimson did not abandon what he conceived to be his
duty, but answered this cold, worldly spirit in the best
manner his uncultivated speech enabled him to do. But
his words were thrown away on Daggett. The lust of gold
was strong within him ; and while that has full dominion
over the heart, it is vain to expect that any purely spiritual
fruits will ripen there. Daggett was an instance of what,
we fear, many thousands resembling him might be found, up
and down the land, of a man energetic by temperament,
industrious by habit, and even moderate in his views, but
whose whole existence is concentrated in the accumulation
of property. Born poor, and in a state of society in which
no one other generally recognised mode of distinction is so
universally acknowledged as that of the possession of mo
ney, it is not surprising that a man of his native disposition
should early bend all his faculties to this one great object.
He was not a miser, like Deacon Pratt, for he could spend
freely, on occasion, and perfectly understood the necessity
of making liberal outfits to insure ample returns; but he
lived for little else than for gain. What such a man might
have become, under more favourable auspices, and with
different desires instilled into his youthful mind, it is not
easy to say; it is only certain that, as he was, the steel-trap
21



240 THE SEA LIONS.

is not quicker to spring at the touch, than he was to arouse
all his manifold energies at the hopes or promise of profit.
As his whole life had been passed in one calling, it was but
natural that his thoughts should most easily revert to the
returns that calling had so often given. He never dreamed
of speculations, knew nothing of stocks, had no concern
with manufactures in cotton or wool, nor had any other
notion of wealth than the possession of a good farm on the
Vineyard, a reasonable amount of money " at use," certain
interests in coasters, whalers, and sealers, and a sufficiency
of household effects, and this in a very modest way, to
make himself and family comfortable. Notwithstanding
this seeming moderation, Daggett was an intensely covet
ous man ; but his wishes were limited by his habits.

While one of the masters of the sealing crafts was draw
ing these pictures, in his imagination, of wealth after his
manner, very different were the thoughts of the other.
Roswell's fancy carried him far across that blue and spar
kling ocean, northward, to Oyster Pond, and Deacon Pratt's
homestead, and to Mary. He saw the last in her single-
nearted simplicity, her maiden modesty, her youthful beauty,
nay, even in her unyielding piety; for, singular as it may
Teem, Gardiner valued his mistress so much the more for
that very faith to which, in his own person, he laid no claim.
Irreligious he was not, himself, though skeptical on the one
great tenet of Christianity. But, in Mary, it struck him it
was right that she should believe that which she had been
so sedulously taught; for he did not at all fancy those in
quiring minds, in the other sex, that lead their possessors
in quest of novelties and paradoxes. In this humour, then,
the reader will not be surprised to hear that he imagined
the deacon's niece in her most pleasing attributes, and
bedecked her with all those charms that render maidens
pleasant to youthful lovers. Had Mary been less devout,
less fixed in her belief that Jesus was the Son of God ;
strange as it may seem, the skeptical young man would
have loved her less.

And what was that rugged, uncultivated seaman, who
stood near the two officers, thinking of, all this time? Did
he, too, bend his thoughts on love, and profit, and the plea
sures of this world ? Of love, most truly, was his heart full



THE SEA LIONS. 241

to overflowing; but it was the love of God, with that affec
tion for all his creatures, that benevolence and faith, which
glow as warmly in the hearts of the humblest and least edu
cated, as in those of the great and learned. His mind was
turned towards his Creator, and it converted the extraordi
nary view that lay before his sight into a vast, magnificent,
gorgeous, though wild temple, for his worship and honour.
It might be well for all of us occasionally to pause in our
eager pursuit of worldly objects, and look around on the
world itself, considering it as but a particle in the illimi
table fields of creation, one among the many thousands
of other known worlds, that have been set in their places
in honour of the hand that made them. These brief but
vivid glances at the immensity of the moral space which
separates man from his Deity, have very healthful effects in
inculcating that humility which is the stepping-stone of
faith and love.

After passing an hour on the bald cap of the mountain,
sometimes conversing, at others ruminating on the scene,
a change in the weather induced our party to move. There
had been flurries of snow visible all the morning, but it
was in the distance, and among the glittering bergs. Once
the volcano had thus been shut in from view ; but now a
driving cloud passed over the mountain itself, which was
quickly as white as the pure element could make it. So
heavy was the fall of snow, that it was soon impossible to
see a dozen yards, and of course the whole of the plain
of the island was concealed. At this most inauspicious
moment, our adventurers undertook their descent.

It is always much less dangerous to mount an acclivity
than to go down it. The upward progress is easily enough
arrested, while that in the other direction is frequently too
lapid to be under perfect command. Roswell felt the truth
of this, and would have proposed a delay until the atmo
sphere became clear again, but it struck him that this was
not likely to occur very soon. He followed Daggett, there
fore, though reluctantly, and with due caution. Stimson
brought up the rear.

For the first ten minutes our adventurers got along with
out any great difficulty. They found the precise point at
which they had reached the summit >i the mountain, and



242 THE SEA LIONS.

began (o descend. It was soon apparent that great caution
must be used, the snow rendering the footing slippery.
Daggett, however, was a bold and hot-blooded man when
in motion, and he preceded the party some little distance,
calling out to those behind him to come on without fear.
This the last did, though it was with a good deal more
caution than was observed by their leader. At length, all
three reached a spot where it seemed they could not over
come the difficulties. Beneath them was the smooth face
of a rock already covered with snow, while they could not
see far enough in advance to ascertain in what this inclined
plane terminated. Daggett, however, insisted that he knew
the spot ; that they had passed up it. There was a broad
shelf a short distance below them; and once on that shelf,
it would be necessary to make a considerable circuit in
order to reach a certain ravine, down which the path would
be reasonably easy. All remembered the shelf and the
ravine ; the question was merely whether the first lay be
neath them, and as near as Daggett supposed. A mistaken
confidence beset the last, and he carried this feeling so far
as to decline taking an end of a line which Roswell threw
to him, but seated himself on the snow and slid downward,
passing almost immediately out of sight.

"What has become of him?" demanded Roswell, en
deavouring to pierce the air by straining his eye-balls. " He
is not to be seen !"

" Hold on to the line, sir, and give me the other end of
it; I will go and see," answered Stimson.

It being obviously the most hazardous to remain to the
last, and descend without the support of one above him,
Roswell acquiesced in this proposal, lowering the boat-
steerer down the rock, until he too was hid from his sight.
But, though out of sight in that dense snow-storm, Stimson
was not so distant as to be beyond the reach of the voice.

" Go more to the right, sir," called out the seaman, " and
steady me with the line along with you."

This was done, the walking being sufficiently secure at
the elevation where Roswell was. Presently, Stimson shook
the line, and called out again.

" That will do, Captain Gar'ner," he said. " I am on
the shelf note, and have pretty good footing. Lay the line



THE SEA LIONS. 243

down on the snow, sir, and slide as slowly as you can;
mind and keep close at its side. I'll stand by to fetch
you up."

Gardiner understood all this perfectly, and did as he was
desired to do. By keeping near the line he reached the
shelf precisely at the spot where Stimson was ready to meet
him ; the latter arresting his downward movement by throw
ing the weight of his own body forward to meet his officer.
By such a precaution Roswell was stopped in time, else
would he have gone over the shelf, and down a declivity
that was so nearly perpendicular as to offer no means of
arresting the movement.

"And what has become of Captain Daggett?" demanded
Gardiner, as soon as on his feet again.

" I fear he has shot off the rock, sir," was the answer
"At the place where I reached this shelf, it was so narrow
I could with great difficulty walk could not, indeed, had
not the line been there to steady me ; and, judging from
the marks in the snow, the poor man has gone down help
less!"

This was appalling intelligence to receive at such a
time, and in such a place ! But, Roswell was not unmanned
by it; on the contrary, he acted coolly and with great
judgment. Making a coil of the ratlin-stuff, he threw the
line down until certain it reached bottom, at the distance
of about six fathoms. Then he caused Stimson to brace
himself firmly, holding on to the line, aided by a turn
round a rise in the rock, and he boldly lowered himself
down the precipice, reaching its base at about the distance
he had calculated so to do.

It still snowed violently, the flakes being large, and eddy
ing round the angles of the rocks, in flurries so violent as,
at moments, to confound all the senses of the young man.
He was resolute, however, and bent on an object of
humanity, as well as of good fellowship. Living or dead,
Daggett must be somewhere on his present level ; and he
began to grope his way among the fragments of rock, eager
and solicitous. The roaring of the wind almost prevented
his hearing other sounds ; though once or twice he heard,
or fancied that he heard, the shouts of Stimson from above.
Suddenly, the wind ceased, the snow lessened in quantity,
21*



244 THE SEA LIONS.

soon clearing away altogether ; and the rays of the sun
and this in the dog-days of that region, be it remembered
fell bright and genial on the glittering scene. At the
next instant, the eyes of Roswell fell on the object of his
search.

Daggett had been carried over the narrow shelf on which
Stimson landed, in consequence of his having no support,
or any means of arresting his momentum. He did thrust
forward his lance, or leaping-staff ; but its point met no
thing but air. The fall, however, was by no means perpen
dicular, several projections of the rocks helping to lessen
it; though it is probable that the life of the unfortunate
sealer was saved altogether by means of the lance. This
was beneath him as he made his final descent, and he slid
along it the whole length, canting him into a spot where
was the only piece of stinted vegetation that was to be seen
for a considerable distance. In consequence of coming
down on a tolerably thick bunch of furze, the fall was
essentially broken.

When Roswell reached his unfortunate companion, the
latter was perfectly sensible, and quite cool.

"God be thanked that you have found me, Gar'ner," he
said ; " at one time I had given it up."

" Thank God, also, that you are living, my friend," an
swered the other. " I expected only to find your body ;
but you do not seem to be much hurt."

" More than appears, Gar'ner ; more than appears. My
left leg is broken, certainly ; and one of my shoulders pains
me a good deal, though it is neither out of joint or broken.
This is a sad business for a sealing v'y'ge !"

" Give yourself no concern about your craft, Daggett
I will look to her, and to your voyage."

"Will you stand by the schooner, Gar'ner? Promise
me that, and my mind will be at peace."

" I do promise. The two vessels shall stick together,
at all events, until we are clear of the ice."

"Ay, but that won't do. My Sea Lion must be filled up
as well as your own. Promise me that."

" It shall be done, God willing. But here comes Stim-
gon ; the first thing will be to get you out of this spot."

Daggett was obviously relieved by RosweJl'si pledges;



THE SEA LIONS. 245

for, amid the anguish and apprehensions of his unexpected
state, his thoughts had most keenly adverted to his vessel
and her fortunes. Now that his mind was somewhat re
lieved on this score, the pains of his body became more
sensibly felt. The situation of our party was sufficiently
embarrnssing. The leg of Daggett was certainly broken,
a little distance above his ancle; and various bruises in
other places, gave notice of the existence of other injuries.
To do anything with the poor man, lying where he was,
was out of the question, however; and the first thing was
to remove the sufferer to a more eligible position. Fortu
nately it was no great distance to the foot of the mountain,
and a low level piece of rock was accessible by means of
care and steady feet. Daggett was raised between Roswell
and Stimson in a sitting attitude, and supporting himself
by putting an arm around the neck of each. The legs
hung down, the broken as well as the sound limb. To this
accidental circumstance the sufferer was indebted to a piece
of incidental surgery that proved of infinite service to him.
While dangling in this manner the bone got into its place,
and Daggett instantly became aware of that important fact,
which was immediately communicated to Roswell. Of
course the future mode of proceeding was regulated by this
agreeable piece of information,

Sailors are often required to act as physicians, surgeons
and priests. It is not often that they excel in either capa
city ; but, in consequence of the many things they are called
to turn their hands to, it does generally happen that they
get to possess a certain amount of address that renders
them far more dexterous, in nearly everything they under
take, than the generality of those who are equally strangers
to the particular act that is thus to be exercised. Roswell
had set one or two limbs already, and had a tolerable no
tion of the mariner of treating the case. Daggett was now
seated on a rock at the base of the mountain, with his legs
still hanging down, and his back supported by another rock.
No sooner was he thus placed, than Stimson was despatch
ed, post-haste, for assistance. His instructions were full,
and the honest fellow set off at a rate that promised as early
relief as the circumstances would at all allow.

As for our hero, he set about his most important office



246 THE SEA LIONS.

the instant Stimson left him. Daggett aided with his coun
sel, and a little by his personal exertions ; for a seaman doeg
not lie down passively, when anything can be done, even
in his own case.

Baring the limb, Roswell soon satisfied himself that the
bone had worked itself into place. Bandages were instantly
applied to keep it there while splints were making. It was,
perhaps, a little characteristic that Daggett took out his
knife, and aided in shaving down these splints to the ne
cessary form and thickness. They were made out of the
staff of the broken lance, and were soon completed. Ros
well manifested a good deal of dexterity and judgment in
applying the splints. The handkerchiefs were used to re
lieve the pressure in places, and rope-yarns from the ratlin-
stuff furnished the means of securing everything in its
place. In half an hour, Roswell had his job completed,
.and that before there was much swelling to interfere with
him. As soon as the broken limb was thus attended to, it
was carefully raised, and laid upon the rock along with its
fellow, a horizontal position being deemed better than one
that was perpendicular.

Not less than four painful hours now passed, ere the
gang of hands from the vessels reached the base of the
mountain. It came prepared, however, to transport the
sufferer on a hand-barrow that had been used in conveying
the skins of seal across the rocks. On this barrow Daggett
was now carefully placed, when four men lifted him up,



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