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Pond Point, and is called by the Anglo-Saxon appellation
of Plum Gut. The coaster just mentioned had come through
this latter passage; and it was the impression of those who
saw her from the schooner, that she was bound up into
Peconic, or the waters of Sag Harbour. Instead of luffing
up into either of the channels that would have carried her
into these places, however, she kept off*, crossing Gardiner's
Bay, until she got within hail of the schooner. The wind
being quite light, there was time for the following short
dialogue to take place between the skipper of this coaster
and Roswell Gardiner, before the sloop had passed beyond
the reach of the voice.

"Is that the Sea Lion, of Oyster Pond?" demanded the
skipper, boldly.

"Ay, ay," answered Roswdl Gardiner, in the sententious
manner of a seaman.



92 THE SEA LIONS.

" Is there one Watson, of Martha's Vineyard, shipped in
that craft ?"

" He was aboard here for a week, but left us suddenly.
As he did not sign articles, I cannot say that he run."

" He changed his mind, then," returned the other, as
one expresses a slight degree of surprise at hearing tha*
which was new to him. " Watson is apt to whiffle about,
though a prime fellow, if you can once fasten to him, and
get him into blue water. Does your schooner go out to
morrow, Captain Gar'ner 1"

"Not till next day, I think," said Roswell Gardiner,
with the frankness of his nature, utterly free from the
slightest suspicion that he was communicating with one in
the interests of rivals. " My mates have not yet joined me,
and I am short of my complement by two good hands. Had
that fellow Watson stuck by me, I would have given him a
look at water that no lead ever sounded."

"Ay, ay ; he 's a whiffler, but a good man on a sea-ele
phant. Then you think you'll sail day a'ter to-morrow?"

" If my mates come over from the main. They wrote
me yesterday that they had got the hands, and were then
on the look-out for something to get across in. I 've come
out here to be ready for them, and to pick 'em up, that
they needn't go all the way up to the Harbour."

" That 's a good traverse, and will save a long pull. Per
haps they are in that boat."

At this allusion to a boat, Roswell Gardiner sprang into
his main rigging, and saw, sure enough, that a boat was
pulling directly towards the schooner, coming from the
main, and distant only a short half mile. A glass was
handed to him, and he was soon heard announcing cheer
fully to his men, that " Mr. Hazard and the second officer
were in the boat, with two seamen," and that he supposed
they should now have their complement. All this was
overheard by the skipper of the sloop, w!v caught each
syllable with the most eager attention.

" You '11 soon be travelling south, I 'm thinking, Captain
Gar'ner?" called out this worthy, again, in a sort of felici
tating way " Them 's your chaps, and they '11 set you up."

" I hope so, with all my heart, for there is nothing more
tiresome than waiting when one is all ready to trip. My



THE SEA LIONS. 93

owner is getting to be impatient too, and wants to see some
skins in return for his dollars."

"Ay, ay, them 's your chaps, and you '11 be off the day
a'ter to-morrow, at the latest. Well, a good time to you,
Captain Gar'ner, and a plenty of skinning. It 's a long
road to travel, especially when a craft has to go as far south
as your's is bound !"

" How do you know, friend, whither I am bound ? You
have not asked me for my sealing ground, nor is it usual,
in our business, to be hawking it up and down the coun
try."

"All that is true enough, but I 've a notion, notwith
standing. Now, as you '11 be off so soon, and as I shall not
see you again, for some time at least, I will give you a
piece of advice. If you fall in with a consort, don't fall out
with her, and make a distant v'y'ge a cruise for an enemy,
but come to tarms, and work in company; lay for lay; and
make fair weather of what can't be helped."

The men on board the sloop laughed at this speech,
while those on board the schooner wondered. To Roswell
Gardiner and his people the allusions were an enigma, and
the former muttered something about the stranger's being
a dunce, as he descended from the rigging, and gave some
orders to prepare to receive the boat.

" The chap belongs to the Hole," rejoined the master
of the schooner, " and all them Vineyard fellows fancy
themselves better blue-jackets than the rest of mankind :
I suppose it must be because their island lies further out
to sea than anything we have here inside of Montauk."

Thus ended the communications with the stranger. The
sloop gHded away before a light south wind, and, favoured
by an ebb tide, soon rounded the spit of sand that shelters
the anchorage; and, hauling up to the eastward, she went
on her way towards Holmes' Hole. The skipper was a
relative of half of those who were interested in fitting out
the rival Sea Lion, and had volunteered to obtain the very
information he took with him, knowing how acceptable it
would be to those at home. Sooth to say, a deep but wary
excitement prevailed on the Vineyard, touching not only
the sealing-islands, but also in respeet to the buried trea
sure. The information actually possessed by the relations



94 fHE SEA LIONS.

of the deceased mariner was neither very full nor very
clear. It consisted principally of sayings of Daggett, utter
ed during his homeward-bound passage, and transmitted
by the master of the brig to him of the sloop in the course
of conferences that wore away a long summer's afternoon,
as the two vessels lay becalmed within a hundred fathoms
of each other. These sayings, however, had been frequent
and intelligible. All men like to deal in that which makes
them of importance; and the possession of his secrets had
just the effect on Daggett's mind that was necessary to
render him boastful. Under such impulses his tongue had
not been very guarded ; and facts leaked out which, when
transmitted to his native island, through the medium of
half a dozen tongues and as many fancies, amounted to
statements sufficient to fire the imaginations of a people
much duller than those of Martha's Vineyard. Accustomed
to converse and think of such expeditions, it is not sur
prising that a few of the most enterprising of those who
first heard the reports should unite and plan the adventure
they now actually had in hand. When the intelligence of
what was going on on Oyster Pond reached them, every
thing like hesitation or doubt disappeared ; and from the
moment of the nephew's return in quest of his uncle's
assets, the equipment of the " Humses' Hull" craft had
been pressed in a way that would have done credit to that
of a government cruiser. Even Henry Eckford, so well
known for having undertaken to cut the trees and put
upon the waters of Ontario two double-bank frigates, if
frigates they couid be termed, each of which was to mount
its hundred guns, in the short space of sixty days, scarce
manifested greater energy in carrying out his contract,
than did these rustic islanders in preparing their craft to
compete with that which they were now certain was about
to sail from the place where their kinsman had breathed
his last.

These keen and spirited islanders, however, did not
work quite as much in the dark as our accounts, unex
plained, might give the relder reason to suppose. It will
be remembered that there was a till to the chest which
had not been examined by the deacon. This till contained
an old mutilated journal, not of the last, but of one or two



THE SEA LION S. 95

of the earlier voyages of the deceased ; though it hau de
tached entries that evidently referred to different and dis
tant periods of time. By dint of study, and by putting
together sundry entries that at first sight might not be sup
posed to have any connection with each other, the present
possessor of that chest had obtained what he deemed to be
very sufficient clues to his uncle's two great secrets. There
were also in the chest several loose pieces of paper, on
which there were rude attempts to make charts of all the
islands and keys in question, giving their relative positions
as it respected their immediate neighbours, but in no in
stance giving the latitudes and longitudes. In addition to
these significant proofs that the reports brought through
the two masters were not without a foundation, there was
an unfinished letter, written by the deceased, and addressed
as a sort of legacy, " to any, or all of Martha's Vineyard,
of the name of Daggett." This address was sufficiently
wide, including, probably, some hundreds of persons ; a
clan in fact; but it was also sufficiently significant. The
individual into whose hands it first fell, being of the name,
read it first, as a matter of course, when he carefully folded
it up, and placed it in a pocket-book which he was much
in the habit of carrying in his own pocket. On what prin
ciple this letter, unfinished and without a signature, with
nothing indeed but its general and comprehensive address
to point out its origin as well as its destination, was thus
appropriated to the purposes of a single individual, we
shall not stop to inquire. Such was the fact, however, and
none connected with the equipment of the Sea Lion, of
Holmes' Hole, knew anything of the existence of that
document, its present possessor excepted. He looked it
over occasionally, and deemed the information it conveyed
of no trifling import, under all the circumstances of the
ease.

Both the enterprises of which we have given an opening
account were perfectly characteristic of the state of society
in which they were brought into existence. Deacon Pratt,
if he had any regular calling, was properly a husbandman,
though the love of money had induced him to invest his
^ash in nearly every concern around him, which promised
remunerating returns. The principal owners of the Sea
9



96 THE SEA LIONS.

Lion, of Holmes' Hole, were husbandmen also; folk who
literally tilled the earth, cradled their own oats and rye,
and mowed their own meadows. Notwithstanding, neither
of these men, those of the Vineyard any more than he of
Oyster Pond, had hesitated about investing of his means
in a maritime expedition, just as if they were all regular
ship-owners of the largest port in the Union. With such
men, it is only necessary to exhibit an account with a fair
prospect of large profits, and they are ever ready to enter
into the adventure, heart, hand, and pocket. Last season,
it may have been to look for whales on the coast of Japan ;
the season before that, to search for islands frequented by
the seals; this season, possibly, to carry a party out to
hunt for camelopards, set nets for young lions, and beat
up the quarters of the rhinoceros on the plains of Africa ;
while the next, they may be transporting ice from Long
Pond to Calcutta and Kingston not to say to London
itself. Of such materials are those descendants of the
Puritans composed ; a mixture of good and evil ; of the
religion which clings to the past, in recollection rather
than in feeling, mingled with a worldiy-mindedness that
amounts nearly to rapacity ; all cloaked and rendered de
cent by a conventional respect for duties, and respectable
and useful, by frugality, enterprise, and untiring activity.

Roswell Gardiner had not mistaken the persons of those
in the boat. They proved to be Phil Hazard, his first
officer; Tim Green, the second mate; and the two sealers
whom it had cost so much time and ingenuity to obtain.
Although neither of the mates even suspected the truth,
no sooner had they engaged the right sort of man than he
was tampered with by the agents of the Martha's Vineyard
concern, and spirited away by means of more tempting
proposals, before he had got quite so far as to sign the
articles. One of the motives for sending Watson across to
Oyster Pond had been to induce Captain Gardiner to be
lieve he had engaged so skilful a hand, which would effec
tually prevent his attempting to procure another, until, at
the last moment, he might find himself unable to put to
sea for the want of a complement. A whaling or a sealing
voyage requires that the vessel should take out with her the
particular hands necessary to her specific object, though,



THE SEA LIONS. 97

of late years, the seamen have got so much in the habit
of ' running,' especially in the Pacific, that it is only the
craft that strictly belong to what may be termed the whaling
communities, that bring back with them the people they
carry out, and not always them.

But here had Roswell Gardiner his complement full,
and nearly everything ready to sea. He had only to go up
to the Harbour and obtain his clearance, have a short in
terview with his owner, a longer with Mary, and be off for
the antarctic circle, if indeed the ice would allow him to
get as far south. There were now sixteen souls on board
the Sea Lion, a very sufficient number for the voyage on
which she was about to sail. The disposition or rating of
the crew was as follows, viz.

1. Roswell Gardiner, master. 9. Joshua Short, seaman.

2. Philip Hazard, chief mate. 10. Stephen Stimson, do.

3. Timothy Green, second do. 1 1. Bartlett Davidson, do

4. David Weeks, carpenter. 12. Peter Mount, landsman.

5. Nathan Thompson, seaman. 13. Arcularins Mott, do.

6. Sylvester Havens, do. 14. Robert Smith, do

7. Marcus Todd, do. 15. Cato Livingston, cook.

8. Hiram Flint, do. 16. Primus Floyd, boy.

This was considered a good crew, on the whole. Every
man was a native American, and most of them belonged to
old Suffolk. Thompson, and Flint, and Short, and Stim
son, four capital fellows in their way, came from the main ;
the last, it was said, from as far east as Kennebunk. No
matter; they were all reasonably young, hale, active fel
lows, with a promise of excellent service about every man
of them. Livingston and Floyd were coloured persons,
who bore the names of the two respectable families in
which they or their progenitors had formerly been slaves.
Weeks was accustomed to the sea, and might have been
rated indifferently as a carpenter or as a mariner. Mount
and Mott, though shipped as landsmen, were a good deal
accustomed to the water also, having passed each two sea
sons in coasters, though neither had ever yet been really
outside, or seen blue water.

It would not have been easy to give to the Sea Lion
a more efficient crew ; yet there was scarce a real sea
man belonging to her a man who could have been made



98 THESEALIONS.

a captain of the forecastle on board a frigate or a ship
of the line. Even Gardiner, the best man in his little
craft in nearly every respect, was deficient in many attain
ments that mark the thorough sea-dog. He would have
been remarkable anywhere for personal activity, for cou
rage, readiness, hardihood, and all those qualities which
render a man useful in the business to which he properly
belonged ; but he could hardly be termed a skilful leads
man, knew little of the finesse of his calling, and was
wanting in that in-and-in breeding which converts habit
into an instinct, and causes the thorough seaman to do the
right thing, blow high or blow low, in the right way, and
at the right moment. In all these respects, however, he
was much the best man on board ; and he was so superior
to the rest as fully to command all their respect. Stimson
was probably the next best seaman, after the master.

The day succeeding that on which the Sea Lion re
ceived the remainder of her people, Roswell Gardiner went
up to the Harbour; where he met Deacon Pratt, by ap
pointment. The object was to clear the schooner out,
which could be done only at that place. Mary accompa
nied her uncle, to transact some of her own little domestic
business ; and it was then arranged between the parties,
that the deacon should make his last visit to his vessel in
the return-boat of her master, while Roswell Gardiner
should take Mary back to Oyster Pond, in the whale-boat
that had brought her and her uncle over. As Baiting Joe,
as usual, had acted as ferryman, it was necessary to get
rid of him, the young sailor desiring to be alone with Mary.
This was easily enough effected, by a present of a quarter
of a dollar. The boat having two lugg sails, and the wind
being light and steady, at south-west, there was nothing to
conflict with Roswell Gardiner's wishes.

The young sailor left the wharf at Sag Harbour about
ten minutes after the deacon had preceded him, on his way
to the schooner. As the wind was so light and so fair, he
soon had his sheets in, and the boat gliding along at an
easy rate, which permitted him to bestow nearly all his at
tention on his charming companion. Roswell Gardiner
had sought this occasion, that he might once more open
his heart to Mary, and urge his suit for the last time, pre-



THE SEA LIONS. 99

viously to so long an absence. This he did in a manly,
frank way, that was far from being unpleasant to his gentle
listener, whose inclinations, for a few minutes, blinded her
to the resolutions already made on principle. So urgent
was her suitor, indeed, that she should solemnly plight her
faith to him, ere he sailed, that a soft illusion came over
the mind of one as affectionate as Mary, and she was half-
inclined to believe her previous determination was unjusti
fiable and obdurate. But the head of one of her high prin
ciples, and clear views of duty, could not long be deceived
by her heart, and she regained the self-command which
had hitherto sustained her in all her former trials, in con
nection with this subject.

" Perhaps it would have been better, Roswell," she said,
" had I taken leave of you at the Harbour, and not incurred
the risk of the pain that I foresee I shall both give and
bear, in our present discourse. I have concealed nothing
from you ; possibly I have been more sincere than prudence
would sanction. You know the only obstacle there is to
our union ; but that appears to increase in strength, the
more I ask you to reflect on it to try to remove it."

" What would you have me do, Mary ! Surely, not to
play the hypocrite, and profess to believe that which I cer
tainly do not, and which, after all my inquiries, I cannot
believe."

" I am sorry it is so, on every account," returned Mary,
in a low and saddened tone. " Sorry, that one of so frank,
ingenuous a mind, should find it impossible to accept the
creed of his fathers, and sorry that it must leave so impas
sable a chasm between us, for ever."

"No, Mary; that can never be! Nothing but death
can separate us for so long a time ! While we meet, we
shall at least be friends ; and friends love to meet and to
see each other often."

" It may seem unkind, at a moment like this, Roswell,
but it is in truth the 1 very reverse, if I say we ought not to
meet each other here, if we are bent on following our own
separate ways towards a future world. My God is not your
God ; and what can there be of peace in a family, when its
two heads worship different deities? I am afraid that you
do not think sufficiently of the nature of these things."
9*



100 THE SEA LIONS.

" I did not believe you to be so illiberal, Mary ! Had
the deacon said as much, I might not have been surprised ;
but, for one like you to tell me that my God is not your
God. is narrow, indeed !"

"Is it not so, Roswell? And, if so, why should we at
tempt to gloss over the truth by deceptive words'? I am a
believer in the Redeemer, as the Son of God ; as one of
the Holy Trinity ; while you believe in him only as a man
a righteous and just, a sinless man, if you will, but as a
man only. Now, is not the difference in these creeds im
mense? Is it not, in truth, just the difference between
God and man ? I worship my Redeemer ; regard him as
the equal of the Father as a part of that Divine Being;
while you look on him as merely a man without sin as a
man such as Adam probably was before the fall."

" Do we know enough of these matters, Mary, to justify
us in allowing them to interfere with our happiness ?"

" We are told that they are all-essential to our happiness
not in the sense you may mean, Roswell, but in one of
far higher import and we cannot neglect them, without
paying the penalty."

" I think you carry these notions too far, dearest Mary,
and that it is possible for man and wife most heartily to
love each other, and to be happy in each other, without
their thinking exactly alike on religion. How many good
and pious women do you see, who are contented and pros
perous as wives and mothers, and who are members of
meeting, but whose husbands make no profession of any
sort !"

" That may be true, or not. I lay no claim to a right
to judge of any other's duties, or manner of viewing what
they ought to do. Thousands of girls marry without/eeZ-
ing the very obligations that they profess to reverence ; and
when, in after life, deeper convictions come, they cannot
cast aside the connections they have previously formed, if
they would; and probably would not,ifthey could. That
is a different thing from a young woman, who has a deep
sense of what she owes to her Redeemer, becoming delibe
rately, and with a full sense of what she is doing, the wife
of one who regards her God as merely a man I care not
how you qualify this opinion, by saying a pure and sinless



THE SEA LIONS. 101

man ; it will be man, still. The difference between God
and man is too immense, to be frittered away by any such
qualifications as that."

" But, if I find it impossible to believe all you believe,
Mary, surely you would not punish me for having the sin
cerity to tell you the truth, and the whole truth."

"No, indeed, Roswell," answered the honest girl, gently,
not to say tenderly. " Nothing has given me a better opi
nion of your principles, Roswell a higher notion of what
your upright and frank character really is, than the manly
way in which you have admitted the justice of my suspi
cions of your want of faith of faith, as I consider faith can
alone exist. This fair dealing has made me honour you,
and esteem you, in addition to the more girlish attachment
that I do not wish to conceal from you, at least, I have so
long felt."

"Blessed Mary!" exclaimed Roswell Gardiner, almost
ready to fall down on his knees and worship the pretty en
thusiast, who sat at his side, with a countenance in which
intense interest in his welfare was beaming from two of the
softest and sweetest blue eyes that maiden ever bent on a
youth in modest tenderness, whatever disposition he might
be in to accept her God as his God. " How can one so kind
in all other respects, prove so cruel in this one particular !"

" Because that one particular, as you term it, Roswell,
is all in all to her," answered the girl, with a face that was
now flushed with feeling. " I must answer you as Joshua
told the Israelites of old ' Choose you, this day, whom
you will serve ; whether the gods which your fathers served,
that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the
Amorites, in whose land ye dwell : but as for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord.' "

" Do you class me with the idolaters and pagans of Pa
lestine?" demanded Gardiner, reproachfully.

" You have said it, Roswell. It is not I, but yourself,
who have thus classed you. You worship your reason,
instead of the one true and living God. This is idolatry
of the worst character, since the idol is never seen by the
devotee, and he does not know of its existence."

" You consider it then idolatry for one to use those gifts
which he has received from his Maker, and to treat the



102 THE SEA LIONS.

most important of all subjects, as a rational being, instead
of receiving a creed blindly, and without thought ?"

" If what you call thought could better the matter ; if it
were sufficient to comprehend and master this subject,
there might be force in what you say. But what is this
boasted reason, after all? It is not sufficient to explain a
single mystery of the creation, though there are thousands.
I know there are, nay there must be, a variety of opinions
among those who look to their reasons, instead of accept
ing the doctrine of revelation, for the character of Christ ;
but I believe all, who are not open infidels, admit that the
atonement of his death was sufficient for the salvation of
men : now, can you explain this part of the theory of our
religion any more than you can explain the divine nature
of the Redeemer ? Can you reason any more wisely touch
ing the fall, than touching the redemption itself? I know
I am unfit to treat of matters of this profound nature," con
tinued Mary, modestly, though with great earnestness and



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