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to the southward."

" I dare say it would ; but, back I go. I do not ask you
to accompany us, Gar'ner; by no means. A'ter the hand
some manner in which you 've waited for us so long, ]
couldn't think of such a thing ! If the wind has r'ally go;
round to nothe-east, and I begin to think it has, I shall get
the schooner into the cove in four-and-twenty hours ; and
there 's as pretty a spot to beach her, just under the shelf
where we kept our spare casks, as a body can wish. In a
fortnight we '11 have her leaks all stopped, and be jogging
along in your wake. You '11 tell the folks on Oyster Pond
that we 're a-coming, and they '11 be sure to send the news
across to the Vineyard."

This was touching Roswell on a point of honour, and
Daggett knew it very well. Generous and determined, the
young man was much more easily influenced by a silent
and indirect appeal to his liberal qualities, than he could
possibly have been by any other consideration. The idea
of deserting a companion in distress, in a sea like that in
which he was, caused him to shrink from what, under other
circumstances, he would regard as an imperative duty.
The deacon, and still more, Mary, called him north; but
the necessities of the Vineyarders would seem to chain him
to their fate.

" Let us see what the pump tells us now," cried Roswell
impatiently. " Perhaps the report may make matters better
than we have dared to hope for. If the pump gains on the
leak, all may yet be well."

"It's encouraging and hearty to hear you say this; but
DO one who was in that nip, as a body might say, can ever
25*



292 THE SEA LIONS.

expect the schooner to make a run of two thousand miles
without repairs. To my eye, Gar'ner, these bergs are se
parating, leaving us a clearer passage back to the open
water."

" I do believe you are right ; but it seems a sad loss of
time, and a great risk, to go through these mountains again,"
returned Roswell. " The wind has shifted ; and the nearest
bergs, from some cause or other, are slowly opening ; but
recollect what a mass of floe-ice there is outside. Let us
sound again."

The process was renewed this time much easier than
before, the boxes being already removed. The result was
soon known.

" Well, what news, Gar'ner ?" demanded Daggett, lean
ing down, in a vain endeavour to perceive the almost im
perceptible marks that distinguished the wet part of the
rod from that which was dry. " Do we gain on the leak,
or dqes the leak gain on us? God send it may be the
first!"

" God has so sent it, sir," answered Stimson, reverently ;
for he was holding the lantern, having remained on board
the damaged vessel by the order of his officer. " It is He
alone, Captain Daggett, who could do this much to seamen
in distress."

" Then to God be thanks, as is due ! If we can but
keep the leak under, the schooner may yet be saved."

" I think it may be done, Daggett," added Roswell.
" That one pump has brought the water down more than
two inches ; and, in my judgment, the two together would
clear her entirely."

" We '11 pump her till she sucks !" cried Daggett. " Rig
the other pump, men, and go to the work heartily."

This was done, though not until Roswell ordered fully
half of his own crew to come to the assistance of his con
sort. By this time the two vessels had filled away, made
more sail, and were running off before the new wind, re
tracing their steps, so far as one might judge of the position
of the great passage. Daggett's vessel led, and Hazard
followed ; Roswell still remaining on board the injured
craft. Thus passed the next few hours. The pumps soon
sucked, and it was satisfactorily ascertained that the



THE SEA LIONS. 293

uchooner could be freed from the water by working at them
about one-fourth of the time. This was a bad leak, and
one that would hare caused any crew to become exhausted
in the course of a few days. As Roswell ascertained the
facts more clearly, he became better satisfied with a deci
sion that, in a degree, had been forced on him. He was
passively content to return with Daggett, convinced that
taking the injured vessel to Rio was out of the question,
until some attention had been paid to her damages.

Fortune or as Stimson would say, Providence favour
ed our mariners greatly in the remainder of their run among
the bergs. There were several avalanches of snow quite
near to them, and one more berg performed a revolution
at no great distance ; but no injury was sustained by either
vessel. As the schooners got once more near to the field-
ice, Roswell went on board his own craft; and all the boats,
which had been towing in the open passage, were run up
and secured. Gardiner now led, leaving his consort to
follow as closely in his wake as she could keep.

Much greater difficulty, and dangers indeed, were en
countered among the broken and grating floes, than had
been expected, or previously met with. Notwithstanding
fenders were got out on all sides, many a rude shock was
sustained, and the copper suffered in several places. Once
or twice, Roswell apprehended that the schooners would
be crushed by the pressure on their sides. The hazards
were in some measure increased by the bold manner in
which our navigators felt themselves called on to push
ahead ; for time was very precious in every sense, not only
on account of the waning season, but actually on account
of the fatigue undergone by men who were compelled to
toil at the pumps one minute in every four.

At the return of day, now getting to be later than it had
been during the early months of their visit to these seas,
our adventurers found themselves in the centre of vast fields
of floating ice, driving away from the bergs, which, influ
enced by under-currents, were still floating north, while
the floes drove to the southward. It was very desirable to
get clear of all this cake-ice, though the grinding among it
was by no means as formidable as when the seas were run-
ping high, and the whole of the frozen expanse was in



294 THE SEA LIONS.

violent commotion. Motion, however, soon became nearly
impossible, except as the schooners drifted in the midst of
the mass, which was floating south at the rate of about two
knots.

Thus passed an entire day and night. So compact was
the ice around them, that the mariners passed from one
vessel to the other on it, with the utmost confidence. No
apprehension was felt so long as the wind stood in its pre
sent quarter, the fleet of bergs actually forming as good a
lee as if they had been so much land. On the morning of
the second day, all this suddenly changed. The ice began
to open ; why, was matter of conjecture, though it was at
tributed to a variance between the wind and the currents.
This, in some measure, liberated the schooners, and they
began to move independently of the floes. About noon,
the smoke of the volcano became once more visible ; and
before the sun went down the cap of the highest elevation
in the group was seen, amid flurries of snow.

Every one was glad to see these familiar land-marks,
dreary and remote from the haunts of men as they were
known to be ; for there was a promise in them of a tempo
rary termination of their labours. Incessant pumping
one minute in four being thus employed on board the Vine
yard craft was producing its customary effect; and the
men looked jaded and exhausted. No one who has not stood
at a pump-break on board a vessel, can form any notion of
the nature of the toil, or of the extreme dislike with which
seamen regard it. The tread-mill, as we conceive for our
experience extends to the first, though not to the last of
these occupations is the nearest approach to the pain of
such toil, though the convict does not work for his life.

On the morning of the fourth day, our mariners found
themselves in the great bay, in clear water, about a league
from the cove, and nearly dead to windward of their port.
The helms were put up, and the schooners were soon within
the well-known shelter. As they ran in, Roswell gazed
around him, in regret, awe, and admiration. He could not
but regret being compelled to lose so much precious time,
at that particular season. Short as had been his absence
from the group, sensible changes in the aspect of things
had already occurred. Every sign of summer and they



THE SEA LIONS. 295

had ever been few and meagre was now lost; a chill and
dreary autumn having succeeded. As a matter of course,
nothing was altered about the dwelling ; the piles of wood,
and other objects placed there by the hands of man, re
maining just aa they had been left ; but even these looked
less cheering, more unavailable, than when last seen. To
the surprise of all, not a seal was visible. From some cause
unknown to the men, all of these animals had disappeared,
thereby defeating one of Daggett's secret calculations ; this
provident master having determined, in his own mind, to
profit 'by his accident, and seize the occasion to fill up.
Some said that the creatures had gone north to winter ;
others asserted that they had been alarmed, and had taken
refuge on one of the other islands ; but all agreed in saying
that they were gone.

It is known that a seal will occasionally wander a great
distance from what may be considered his native waters;
but we are not at all aware that they are to be considered
as migratory animals. The larger species usually take a
wide range of climate to dwell in, and even the little fur-
seal sometimes gets astray, and is found on coasts that do
not usually come within his haunts. As respects the animals
that so lately abounded on Sealer's Land, we shall hazard
no theory, our business being principally with facts ; but a
conversation that took place between the two chief mates
on this occasion may possibly assist some inquiring mind
in its speculations.

" Well, Macy," said Hazard, pointing along the deserted
rocks, " what do you think of that? Not an animal to be
seen, where there were lately thousands !"

" What do I think of it? Why, I think they are off,
and I've know'd such things to happen afore" The
sealers of 1819 were not very particular about their Eng
lish, even among their officers "Any man who watches
for signs and symptoms, may know how to take this."

" I should like to hear it explained ; to me it is quite
new."

" The seals are off, and that is a sign toe should be off,
too. There's my explanation, and you may make what
you please of it. Natur' gives sich hints, and DO prudent



296 THE SEA LIONS.

seaman ought to overlook 'em. I lay, that when the scale
go, the sealers should go likewise."

"And you set this down as a hint from natur', as you
call it?"

" I do ; and a useful hint it is. If we was in sailing
trim, I 'd ha'nt the old man, but I 'd get him off this blessed
night. Now, mark my words, Hazard no good will come
of that nip, and of this return into port ag'in ; and of all
this veering and hauling upon cargo."

The other mate laughed ; but a call from his command
ing officer put a stop to the dialogue. Hazard was wanted
to help secure the schooner of Daggett in the berth in
which she was now placed. The tides do not appear to
rise and fall in very high latitudes, by any means, as much
as it does in about 50. In the antarctic sea they are re
ported to be but of medium elevation and force. This fact
our navigators had noted ; and Daggett had, at once, carried
his schooner on the only thing like a beach that was to be
found on any part of that wild coast. His craft was snug
within the cove, and quite handy for discharging and taking
in. Beach, in a proper sense, it was not ; being, with a
very trifling exception, nothing but a shelf of rock that was
a little inclined, and which admitted of a vessel's being
placed upon it, as on the floor of a dock.

Into this berth Daggett took his schooner, while the
other vessel anchored. There was nearly a whole day be
fore them, and all the men were at once set to work to dis
charge the cargo of the injured vessel. To get rid of the
pumps, they would cheerfully have worked the twenty-four
hours without intermission. As fast as the vessel was
lightened, she was hove further and further on the rock,
until she was got so high as to be perfectly safe from sink
ing, or from injuring anything on board her; when the
pumps were abandoned. Before night came, however, the
schooner was so secured by means of shores, and purchases
aloft that were carried out to the rocks, as to stand per
fectly upright on her keel. She was thus protected when
the tide left her. At low water it was found that she want*
ed eight feet of being high and iry, having already been
lightened four feet. A good deal of cargo was still in, on
this the first night after her return.



THE SEA LIONS. 297

The crew of Daggett's vessel carried their mattresses
ashore, took possession of the bunks, lighted a fire in the
stove, and made their preparations to get the camboose
ashore next day, and do their cooking in the house, as had
been practised previously to quitting the island. Roswell,
and all his people, remained on board their own vessel.

The succeeding day the injured schooner was cleared of
everything, even to her spars, the lower masts and bowsprit
excepted. Two large sealing crews made quick work with
so small a craft. Empty casks were got under her, and at
the top of the tide she was floated quite up to the small
beach that was composed of the debris of rock, already
mentioned. As the water left her, she fell over a little, of
course; and at half-tide her keel lay high and dry.

The prying eyes of all hands were now busy looking out
for the leaks. As might have been expected, none were
found near the garboard streak, a fact that was clearly
enough proved by a quantity of the water remaining in the
vessel after she lay, entirely bare, nearly on her bilge.

" Her seams have opened a few streaks below the bends,'
said Roswell, as he and Daggett went under the vessel's
bottom, looking out for injuries; " and you had better set
about getting off the copper at once. Has there been an
examination made inside?"

None had yet been made, and our two masters clamber
ed up to the main hatch, and got as good a look at the
state of things in the hold as could be thus obtained. So
tremendous had been the pressure, that three of the deck
Varns were broken. They would have been driven quite
cior of their fastenings, had not the wall of ice at each
end prevented the possibility of such a thing. As it was,
the top-timbers had slightly given way, and the seams must
have opened just below the water-line. When the tide
came in again, the schooner righted of course; and the
opportunity was taken to pump her dry. There was then
no leak ; another proof that the defective places must be
sought above the present water-line.

With the knowledge thus obtained, the copper was re
moved, and several of the seams examined. The condition
of the pitch and oakum pointed out the precise spots that
needed attention, and the caulking-irons were immediately



V

298 THE SEA LIOWS.

set at work. In about a week the job was completed, a*
was fancied, the copper re-placed, and the schooner was
got afloat again. Great was the anxiety to learn the effect
of what had been done, and quite as great the disappoint
ment, when it was found that there was still a serious leak
that admitted too much water to think of going to sea until
it was stopped. A little head-work, however, and that on
the part of Roswell, speedily gave a direction to the search
that was immediately set on foot.

" This leak is "not as low down as the vessel's bilge," he
said ; " for the water did not run out of her, nor into her,
until we got her afloat. It is somewhere, then, between
her light-water load-line and her bilge. Now we have had
all the copper off, and the seams examined in the wake of
this section of the vessel's bottom, from the fore-chains to
the main ; and, in my judgment, it will be found that some
thing is wrong about her stem, or her stern-post. Perhaps
one of her wood-ends has started. Such a thing might very
well have happened under so close a squeeze."

" In which case we shall have to lay the craft ashore
again, and go to work anew," answered Daggett. "I see
how it is ; you do not like the delay, and are thinking of
Deacon Pratt and Oyster Pond. I do not blame you, Gar'-
ner ; and shall never whisper a syllable ag'in you, or your
people, if you sail for home this very a'ternoon ; leaving
me and mine to look out for ourselves. You 've stood by
us nobly thus far, and I am too thankful for what you have
done already, to ask for more."

Was Daggett sincere in these professions? To a certain
point he was; while he was only artful on others. He
wished to appear just and magnanimous; while, in secret,
it was his aim to work on the better feelings, as well as oo
the pride of Gardiner, and thus secure his services in getting
his own schooner ready, as well as keep him in sight until
a certain key had been examined, in the proceeds of which
he conceived he had a share, as well as in those of Sealer's
Land. Strange as it may seem, even in the strait in which
he was now placed, with so desperate a prospect of ever
getting his vessel home again, this man clung like a leech
to the remotest chance of obtaining property. There is a
hull-dog tenacity on this subject, among a certain portion



THE SEA LIONS. 290

of the great American family the god-like Anglo-Saxon
that certainly leads to great results in one respect ; but
which it is often painfui to regard, and never agreeable to
any but themselves, to be subject to. Of this school was
Daggett, whom no dangers, no toil, no thoughts of a future,
could divert from a purpose that was coloured by gold. We
do not mean to say that other nations are not just as mer
cenary ; many are more so ; those, in particular, that have
long been corrupted by vicious governments. You may
buy half a dozen Frenchmen, for instance, more easily
than one Yankee ; but let the last actually get his teeth
into a dollar, and the muzzle of the ox fares worse in the
jaws of the bull-dog.

Roswell was deeply reluctant to protract his stay in the
group; but professional pride would have prevented him
from deserting a consort under such circumstances, had
not a better feeling inclined him to remain and assist Dag
gett. It ia true the last had, in a manner, thrust himself
on him, and the connection had been strangely continued
down to that moment ; but this he viewed as a dispensation
of Providence, to which he was bound to submit. The
result was a declaration of a design to stand by his com
panion as long as there was any hope of getting the injured
craft home.

This decision pointed at once to the delay of another
week. No time was lost in vain regrets, however; but all
hands went to work to get the schooner into shallow water
again, and to look further for the principal leak. Accurate
trimming and pumping showed that a good deal of the
water was already stopped out ; but too much still entered
to render it prudent to think of sailing until the injury was
repaired. This time the schooner was not suffered to lie
on her bilge at all. She was taken into water just deep
enough to permit her to stand upright, sustained by shores,
while the tide left two or three streaks dry forward ; it be
ing the intention to wind her, should the examination for
ward not be successful.

On stripping off the copper, it was found that a wood-
end had indeed started, the inner edge of the plank having
got as far from its bed as where the outer had been origin
ally placed. This opened a crack through which a small
26



300 THE SEA LIONS.

stream of water must constantly pour, each hour rendering
the leak more dangerous by loosening the oakum, ana
raising the plank from its curvature. Once discovered,
however, nothing was easier than to repair the damage. It
remained merely to butt-bolt anew the wood-end, drive a
few spikes, cork, and replace the copper. Roswell, who
was getting each moment more and more impatient to sail,
was much vexed at a delay that really seemed unavoidable,
as it arose from the particular position of the leak. Placed
as it was, in a manner, between wind and water, it was not
possible to work at it more than an hour each tide ; and the
staging permitted but two hands to be busy at the same
time. As a consequence of these embarrassments, no less
than six tides came in and went out, before the stem was
pronounced tight again. The schooner was then pumped
out, and the vessel was once more taken into deep water.
This time it was found that the patience and industry of
our sealers were rewarded with success ; no leak of any
account existing.

" She's as tight as a bottle with a sealed cork, Gar'ner,"
cried Daggett, a few hours after his craft was at her an
chor, meeting his brother-master at his own gangway, and
shaking hands with him cordially. " I owe much of thia
to you, as all on the Vineyard shall know, if we ever get
home ag'in."

" I am rejoiced that it turns out so, Captain Daggett,"
was RoswelFs reply ; " for to own the truth to you, the
fortnight we have lost, or shall lose, before we get you
stowed and ready to sail again, has made a great change
in our weather. The days are shortening with frightful
rapidity, and the great bay was actually covered with a
skim of ice this very morning. The wind has sent in a sea
that has broke it up ; but look about you, in the cove here
a boy might walk on that ice rfear the rocks."

" There '11 be none of it left by night, and the two crews
will fill me up in twenty-four hours. Keep a good heart,
Gar'ner ; I '11 take you clear of the bergs in the course of
the week."

" I have less fear of the bergs now, than of the new ice
and the floes. The islands must have got pretty well to
the northward by this time ; but each night gets colder,



THE SEA LIONS. 301

and the fields seem to be setting back towards the group,
instead of away from it."

Daggett cheered his companion by a good deal of confi
dent talk ; but Roswell was heartily rejoiced when, at the
end of four-and-twenty hours more, the Vineyard craft was
pronounced entirely ready. It was near the close of the
day, and Gardiner was for sailing, or moving at once ; but
Daggett offered several very reasonable objections. In the
first place, there was no wind; and Roswell's proposition
to tow the schooners out into the middle of the bay, was
met by the objection that the people had been hard at work
for several days, and that they needed some rest. All that
could be gained by moving the schooners then, was to get
them outside of the skim of ice that now regularly formed
every still night near the land, but which was as regularly
broken and dispersed by the waves, as soon as the wind'
returned. Roswell, however, did not like the appearances
of things; and he determined to take his own craft outside,
let Daggett do as he might. After discussing the matter
in vain, therefore, and finding that the people of the other
schooner had eaten their suppers and turned in, he called
all hands, and made a short address to his own crew,
leaving it to their discretion whether to man the boats or
not. As Roswell had pointed out the perfect absence of
wind, the smoothness of the water, and the appearances of
a severe frost, or cold, for frost there was now, almost at
mid-day, the men came reluctantly over to his view of the
matter, and consented to work instead of sleeping. The
toil, however, could be much lessened, by dividing the
srew into the customary watches. All that Roswell aimed
at was to get his schooner about a league from the cove,
which would be taking her without a line drawn from cape
to cape, the greatest danger of new ice being within the
curvature of the crescent. This he thought might easily
be done in the course of a few hours ; and, should there
come any wind, much sooner. On explaining this to the
crew, the men were satisfied.

Roswell Gardiner felt as if a load were taken off his
spirits, when his schooner was clear of the ground, and his
mainsail was hoisted. A boat was got ahead, and the craft
was slowly towed out of the cove, the canvass doing neither



302 , THE SEA LIONS.

good nor harm. As the vessel passed that of Daggett the
last was on deck ; the only person visible in the Vineyard
craft. He wished his brother-master a good night, pro
mising to be out as soon as there was any light next
morning.

It would not be easy to imagine a more dreary scene
than that in which Deacon Pratt's schooner moved out into
the waters that separated the different islands of this remote



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