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that neighbourhood, which still bears his name. This es
tablishment on the island was made in 1639; and now, at
an interval of two hundred and nine years, it is in posses
sion of its ninth owner, all having been of the name and
blood of its original patentee. This is great antiquity for
America, which, while it has produced many families of
greater wealth, and renown, and importance, than that of
the Gardiners, has seldom produced any of more permanent
local respectability. This is a feature in society that we
so much love to see, and which is so much endangered by
the uncertain and migratory habits of the people, that we
pause a moment to record this instance of stability, so
pleasing and so commendable, in an age and country of
changes.

The descendants of any family of two centuries standing,
will, as a matter of course, be numerous. There are excep
tions, certainly; but such is the rule. Thus is it with
Lyon Gardiner, and his progeny, who are now to be num
bered in scores, including persons in all classes of life,
though it carries with it a stamp of caste to be known in
Suffolk as having come direct from the loins of old Lyon
Gardiner. Roswell, of that name, if not of that Ilk, the
island then being the sole property of David Johnson Gar
diner, the predecessor and brother of its present proprietor,
was allowed to have this claim, though it would exceed our
genealogical knowledge to point out the precise line by
which this descent was claimed. Young Roswell was of
respectable blood on both sides, without being very bril
liantly connected, or rich. On the contrary, early left an
orphan, fatherless and motherless, as was the case with
Mary Pratt, he had been taken Irnm a. country academy



THE SEA LIONS. 25

when only fifteen, and sent to sea, that he might make his
own way in the world. Hitherto, his success had not been
of a very flattering character. He had risen, notwithstand
ing, to be the chief mate of a whaler, and bore an excellent
reputation among the people of Suffolk. Had it only been
a year or two later, when speculation took hold of the
whaling business in a larger way, he would not have had
the least difficulty in obtaining a ship. As it was, however,
great was his delight when Deacon Pratt engaged him aa
master of the new schooner, which had been already
named the "Sea Lion" or "Sea Lyon," as Roswell
sometimes affected to spell the word, in honour of his old
progenitor, the engineer.

Mary Pratt had noted all these proceedings, partly with
pain, partly with pleasure, but always with great interest.
It pained her to find her uncle, in the decline of life, en
gaging in a business about which he knew nothing. It
pained her, still more, to see one whom she loved from
habit, if not from moral sympathies, wasting the few hours
that remained for preparing for the last great change, in
attempts to increase possessions that were already much
more than sufficient for his wants. This consideration, in
particular, deeply grieved Mary Pratt; for she was pro
foundly pious, with a conscience that was so sensitive as
materially to interfere with her happiness, as will presently
be shown, while her uncle was merely a deacon. It is one
thing to be a deacon, and another to be devoted to the love
of God, and to that love of our species which we are told
is the consequence of a love of the Deity. The two are not
incompatible ; neither are they identical. This Mary had
been made to see, in spite of all her wishes to be blind as
respects the particular subject from whom she had learned
the unpleasant lesson. The pleasure felt by our heroine,
for such we now announce Mary Pratt to be, was derived
from the preferment bestowed on Roswell Gardiner. She
had many a palpitation of the heart when she heard of his
good conduct as a seaman, as she always did whenever she
heard his professional career alluded to at all. On this
point, Roswell was without spot, as all Suffolk knew and
confessed. On Oyster Pond, he was regarded as a species
of sea lion himself, so numerous and so exciting were the



26 THESEALIONS.

incidents that were related of his prowess among the whales,
But, there was a dark cloud before all these glories, in tha
eyes of Mary Pratt, which for two years had disinclined
her to listen to the young man's tale of love, which had
induced her to decline accepting a hand that had now been
offered to her, with a seaman's ardour, a seaman's frank
ness, and a seaman's sincerity, some twenty times at least,
which had induced her to struggle severely with her own
heart, which she had long found to be a powerful ally of
her suitor. That cloud came from a species of infidelity
that is getting to be so widely spread in America as no
longer to work in secret, but which lifts its head boldly
among us, claiming openly to belong to one of the numer
ous sects of the land. Mary had reason to think that Ros-
well Gardiner denied the divinity of Christ, while he pro
fessed to honour and defer to him as a man far elevated
above all other men, and as one whose blood had purchased
the redemption of his race !

We will take this occasion to say that our legend is not
polemical in any sense, and that we have no intention to
enter into discussions or arguments connected with this
subject, beyond those that we may conceive to be neces
sary to illustrate the picture which it is our real aim to
draw that of a confiding, affectionate, nay, devoted wo
man's heart, in conflict with a deep sense of religious
duty.

Still, Mary rejoiced that Roswell Gardiner was to com
mand the Sea Lion. Whither this little vessel, a schooner
of about one hundred and forty tons measurement, was to
sail, she had not the slightest notion; but, go where it
might, her thoughts and prayers were certain to accompany
it. These are woman's means of exerting influence, and
who shall presume to say that they are without results, and
useless? On the contrary, we believe them to be most
efficacious ; and thrice happy is the man who, as he treads
the mazes and wiles of the world, goes accompanied by
the petitions of such gentle and pure-minded beings at
home, as seldom think of approaching the throne of Grace
without also thinking of him and of his necessities. The
Romanists say, and say it rightly too, could one only be
lieve in their efficacy, that the prayers they offer up in be-



THE SEA LIONS. 27

half of departed friends, are of the most endearing nature ;
but it would be difficult to prove that petitions for the souls
of the dead can demonstrate greater interest, or bind the
parties more closely together in the unity of love, than
those that are constantly offered up in behalf of the living.

The interest that Mary Pratt felt in Roswell's success
needs little explanation. In all things he was most agree
able to her, but in the one just mentioned. Their ages,
their social positions, their habits, their orphan condition,
even their prejudices and who that dwells aside from the
world is without them, when most of those who encounter
its collisions still cherish them so strongly? all united to
render them of interest to each other. Nor was Deacon
Pratt at all opposed to the connection ; on the contrary, he
appeared rather to favour it.

The objections came solely from Mary, whose heart was
nearly ready to break each time that she was required to
urge them. As for the uncle, it is not easy to say what
could induce him to acquiesce in, to favour indeed, the ad
dresses to his niece and nearest relative, of one who was
known not to possess five hundred dollars in the world. As
his* opinions on this subject were well known to all on
Oyster Pond, they had excited a good deal of speculation;
" exercising" the whole neighbourhood, as was very apt to
be the case whenever anything occurred in the least out
of the ordinary track. The several modes of reasoning
were something like these :

Some were of opinion that the deacon foresaw a success
ful career to, and eventual prosperity in the habits and
enterprise of, the young mate, and that he was willing to
commit to his keeping, not only his niece, tut the three
farms, his " money at use," and certain shares he was
known to own in a whaler and no less than three coasters,
as well as an interest in a store at Southold ; that is to say,
to commit them all to the keeping of" young Gar'ner" when
he was himself dead ; for no one believed he would part
with more than Mary, in his own lifetime.

Others fancied he was desirous of getting the orphan off

his hands, in the easiest possible way, that he might make

a bequest of his whole estate to the Theological Institution

that had been coquetting with him now, for several years,

3*



28 THESEALIONS.

through its recognised agents, and to which he had already
made the liberal donation of one hundred dollars. It was
well ascertained that the agents of that Institution openly
talked of getting Deacon Pratt to sit for his portrait, in or
der that it might be suspended among those of others of its
benefactors.

A third set reasoned differently from both the foregoing.
The " Gar'ners" were a better family than the Pratts, and
the deacon being so " well to do," it was believed by these
persons that he was disposed to unite money with name,
and thus give to his family consideration, from a source
that was somewhat novel in its history. This class of rea-
soners was quite small, however, and mainly consisted of
those who had rarely been off of Oyster Pond, and who
passed their days with " Gar'ner's Island" directly before
their eyes. A few of the gossips of this class pretended to
say that their own young sailor stood next in succession
after the immediate family actually in possession should run
out, of which there was then some prospect ; and that the
deacon, sly fellow, knew all about it! For this surmise,
to prevent useless expectations in the reader, it may be well
to say at once, there was no foundation whatever, Roswell's
connection with the owner of the island being much too
remote to give him any chance of succeeding to that estate,
or to anything else that belonged to him.

There was a fourth and last set, among those who spe
culated on the deacon's favour towards " young Gar'ner,"
and these were they who fancied that the old man had
opened his heart towards the young couple, and was dis
posed to render a deserving youth and a beloved niece
happy. This was the smallest class of all; and, what is a
little remarkable, it contained only the most reckless and
least virtuous of all those who dwelt on Oyster Pond. The
parson of the parish, or the Pastor as he was usually term
ed, belonged to the second category, that good man being
firmly impressed that most, if not all of Deacon Pratt's
worldly effects would eventually go to help propagate the
gospel.

Such was the state of things when the deacon returned
from meeting, as related in the opening chapter. At hig
niece's suggestion of sending to the Harbour for Dr. Sage,



THESEALIONS. 29

he had demurred, not only on account of the expense, but
for a still more cogent reason. To tell the truth, he was
exceedingly distrustful of any one's being admitted to a
communication with Daggett, who had revealed to him
matters that he deemed to be of great importance, but who
still retained the key to his most material mystery. Never
theless, decency, to say nothing of the influence of what
" folks would say," the Archimedean lever of all society of
puritanical origin, exhorted him to consent to his niece's
proposal.

" It is such a round-about road to get to the Harbour,
Mary," the uncle slowly objected, after a pause.

" Boats often go there, and return in a few hours."

" Yes, yes boats; but I'm not certain it is lawful to
work boats of a Sabbath, child."

" I believe, sir, it was deemed lawful to do good on the
Lord's day."

" Yes, if a body was certain it would do any good. To
be sure, Sage is a capital doctor as good as any going in
these parts but, half the time, money paid for doctor's
stuff is thrown away."

" Still, I think it our duty to try to serve a fellow-crea
ture that is in distress ; and Daggett, I fear, will not go
through the week, if indeed he go through the night."

" I should be sorry to have him die !" exclaimed the
deacon, looking really distressed at this intelligence.
" Right sorry should I be, to have him die just yet."

The last two words were uttered unconsciously, and in
a way to cause the niece to regret that they had been ut
tered at all. But they had come, notwithstanding, and the
deacon saw that he had been too frank. The fault could
not now be remedied, and he was fain to allow his words
to produce their own effect.

" Die he will, I fear, uncle," returned Mary, after a short
pause; " and sorry should I be to have it so without our
feeling the consolation of knowing we had done all in our
power to save him, or to serve him."

" It is so far to the Harbour, that no good might come
of a messenger ; and the money paid him would be thrown
away, too."

" I dare say Roswell Gar'ner would he glad to go to



30 THE SEA LIONS.

help a fellow-creature who is suffering. He would no.
think of demanding any pay."

" Yes, that is true. I will say this for Gar'ner, that he
is as reasonable a young man, when he does an odd job, as
any one I know. I like to employ him."

Mary understood this very well. It amounted to neither
more nor less, than the deacon's perfect consciousness that
the youth had, again and again, given him his time and
his services gratuitously ; and that too, more than once,
under circumstances when it would have been quite proper
that he should look for a remuneration. A slight colour
stole over the face of the niece, as memory recalled to her
mind these different occasions. Was that sensitive blush
owing to her perceiving the besetting weakness of one who
stood in the light of a parent to her, and towards whom
she endeavoured to feel the affection of a child ? We shall
not gainsay this, so far as a portion of the feeling which
produced that blush was concerned; but, certain it is, that
the thought that Roswell had exerted himself to oblige Tier
uncle, obtruded itself somewhat vividly among her other
recollections.

"Well, sir," the niece resumed, after another brief
pause, " we can send for Roswell, if you think it best, and
ask him to do the poor man this act of kindness."

" Your messengers after doctors are always in such a
hurry ! I dare say, Gar'ner would think it necessary to
hire a horse to cross Shelter Island, and then perhaps a
boat to get across to the Harbour. If no boat was to be
found, it might be another horse to gallop away round the
head of the Bay. Why, five dollars would scarce meet the
cost of such a race !"

"If five dollars were needed, Roswell would pay them
out of his own pocket, rather than ask another to assist
him in doing an act of charity. But, no horse will be ne
cessary ; the whale-boat is at the wharf, and is ready for
use, at any moment."

" True, I had forgotten the whale-boat. If that is home,
the doctor might be brought across at a reasonable rate ;
especially if Gar'ner will volunteer. I dare say Daggett's
effects will pay the bill for attendance, since they have an
swered, as yet, to meet the Widow White's charges. As



THE SEA LIONS. 31

I live, here comes Gar'ner, at this moment, and just as we
want him."

" I knew of no other to ask to cross the bays, sir, and
sent for Roswell before you returned. Had you not got
back, as you did, I should have taken on myself the duty
of sending for the doctor."

" In which case, girl, you would have made yourself
liable. I have too many demands on my means, to be
scattering dollars broadcast. But, here is Gar'ner, and I
dare say all will be made right."

Gardiner now joined the uncle and niece, who had held
this conversation in the porch, having hastened up from
the schooner the instant he received Mary's summons. He
was rewarded by a kind look and a friendly shake of the
hand, each of which was slightly more cordial than those
that prudent and thoughtful young woman was accustomed
to bestow on him. He saw that Mary was a little earnest
in her manner, and looked curious, as well as interested,
to learn why he had been summoned at all. Sunday was
kept so rigidly at the deacon's, that the young man did not
dare visit the house until after the sun had set ; the New
England practice of commencing the Sabbath of a Satur
day evening, and bringing it to a close at the succeeding
sunset, prevailing among most of the people of Suffolk, the
Episcopalians forming nearly all the exceptions to the usage.
Sunday evening, consequently, was in great request for
visits, it being the favourite time for the young people to
meet, as they were not only certain to be unemployed, but
to be in their best. Roswell Gardiner was in the practice
of visiting Mary Pratt on Sunday evenings ; but he would
almost as soon think of desecrating a church, as think of
entering the deacon's abode, on the Sabbath, until after
sunset, or " sundown," to use the familiar Americanism
that is commonly applied to this hour of the day. Here
he was, now, however, wondering, and anxious to learn
why he had been sent for.

" Roswell," said Mary, earnestly, slightly colouring again
as she spoke " we have a great favour to ask. You know
the poor old sailor who has been staying at the Widow
White's, this month or more he is now very low ; so low,
we think he ought to have better advice than can be found



32 THE SEA LION SI.

on Oyster Pond, and we wish to get Dr. Sage over from
the Harbour. How to do it has been the question, when
[ thought of you. If you could take the whale-boat and
go across, the poor man might have the benefit of the doc
tor's advice in the course of a few hours."

" Yes," put in the uncle, " and I shall charge nothing
for the use of the boat; so that, if you volunteer, Gar'ner,
it will leave so much towards settling up the man's ac
counts, when settling day comes."

Roswell Gardiner understood both uncle and niece per
fectly. The intense selfishness of the first was no more a
secret to him than was the entire disinterestedness of the
last. He gazed a moment, in fervent admiration, at Mary;
then he turned to the deacon, and professed his readiness
to "volunteer." Knowing the man so well, he took care
distinctly to express the word, so as to put the mind of this
votary of Mammon at ease.

" Gar'ner will volunteer, then," rejoined the uncle, " and
I shall charge nothing for the use of the boat. This is
' doing as we would be done by,' and is all right, consider
ing that Daggett is sick and among strangers. The wind
is fair, or nearly fair, to go and to come back, and you '11
make a short trip of it. Yes, it will cost nothing, and may
do the poor man good."

"Now, go at once, Roswell," said Mary, in an entreat
ing manner; "and show the same skill in managing the
boat that you did the day you won the race against the
Harbour oarsmen."

"I will do all a man can, to oblige you, Mary, as well
as to serve the sick. If Dr. Sage should not be at home,
am I to look for another physician, Mr. Pratt?"

" Sage must be at home we can employ no other. Your
old, long-established physicians understand how to consider
practice, and don't make mistakes by the way, Gar'ner,
you needn't mention my name in the business, at all. Just
say that a sick man, at the Widow White's, needs his ser
vices, and that you had volunteered to take him across.
That will bring him I know the man."

Again Gardiner understood what the deacon meant
He was just as desirous of not paying the physician as of
nol paying the messenger. Mary understood him, too



THESEALIONS. 33

and, with a face still more sad than anxiety had previously
made it, she walked into the house, leaving her uncle and
lover in the porch. After a few more injunctions from the
former, in the way of prudent precaution, the latter de
parted, hurrying down to the water-side, in order to take
to the boat.



CHAPTER III.

"AH that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told ;
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold."

Merchant of Venice.

No sooner was Deacon Pratt left alone, than he hastened
to the humble dwelling of the Widow White. The disease
of Daggett was a general decay that was not attended with
much suffering. He was now seated in a homely arm
chair, and was able to converse. He was not aware, in
deed, of the real danger of his case, and still had hopes of
surviving many years. The deacon came in at the door,
just as the widow had passed through it, on her way to
visit another crone, who lived hard by, and with whom she
was in the constant habit of consulting. She had seen the
deacon in the distance, and took that occasion to run across
the road, having a sort of instinctive notion that her pre
sence was not required when the two men conferred to
gether. What was the subject of their frequent private
communications, the Widow White did not exactly know ;
but what she imagined, will in part appear in her discourse
with her neighbour, the Widow Stone.

"Here's the deacon, ag'in!" cried the Widow White,
as she bolted hurriedly into her friend's presence. " This
makes the third time he has been at my house since yes
terday morning. What can he mean?"

"Oh! I dare say, Betsy, he means no more than to
visit the sick, as he pretends is the reason of his many
visits."



34 THE SEA LIONS.

You forget it is Sabba' day !" added the Widow White ;
with emphasis.

" The better day, the better deed, Betsy."

" I know that ; but it 's dreadful often for a man to visit
the sick three times in twenty-four hours !"

" Yes ; 't would have been more nat'ral for a woman, a
body must own," returned the Widow Stone, a little drily.
u Had the deacon been a woman, I dare say, Betsy, you
would not have thought so much of his visits."

" I should think nothing of them at all," rejoined the
sister widow, innocently enough. " But it is dreadful odd
in a man to be visiting about among the sick so much
and he a deacon of the meeting !"

"Yes, it is not as common as it might be, particularly
among deacons. But, come in, Betsy, and I will show
you the text from which minister preached this morning.
Tt 's well worth attending to, for it touches on our forlorn
state." Hereupon, the two relicts entered an inner room,
where we shall feave them to discuss the merits of the ser
mon, interrupted by many protestations on the part of the
Widow White, concerning the " dreadful" character of
Deacon Pratt's many visits to her cottage, " Sabba' days"
as well as week days.

In the meanwhile, the interview between the deacon,
himself, and the sick mariner, had its course. After the
first salutations, and the usual inquiries, the visiter, with
some parade of manner, alluded to the fact that he had
sent for a physician for the other's benefit.

" I did it of my own head," added the deacon ; " or, I
might better say, of my own heart. It was unpleasant to
me to witness your sufferings, without doing something to
alleviate them. To alleviate sorrow, and pain, and the
throes of conscience, is one of the most pleasant of all the
Christian offices. Yes, I have sent young Gar'ner across
the bays, to the Harbour ; and three or four hours hence
we may look for him back, with Dr. Sage in his boat."

" I only hope I shall have the means to pay for all this
expense and trouble, deacon," returned Daggett, in a sort
of doubting way, that, for a moment, rendered his friend
exceedingly uncomfortable. " Go, I know I must, sooner
or later ; but could I only live to get to the Vineyard,



THE SEA LIONS. 35

t would be found that my share of the old homestead would
make up for all my wants. I may live to see the end of
the other business."

Among the other tales of Daggett, was one which said
that he had never yet received his share of his father's pro
perty ; an account that was true enough, though the truth
might have shown that the old man had left nothing worth
dividing. He had been a common mariner, like the son,
and had left behind him a common mariner's estate. The
deacon mused a moment, and then he took an occasion to
advert to the subject that had now been uppermost in his
thoughts ever since he had been in the habit of holding
secret conferences with the sick man. What that subject
was, will appear in the course of the conversation that
ensued.

" Have you thought of the chart, Daggett," asked the
deacon, " and given an eye to that journal?"

" Both, sir. Your kindness to me has been so great, that
T am not a man apt to forget it."



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