Oliver Optic.

All aboard : or, Life on the lake ; a sequel to The boat club online

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" Hurrah for the fraternal hug ! " shouted Charles,
and all the boys laughed heartily.

" Nothing bearish about it, I hope," added Fred

" We have no bears," replied Frank, as he ordered
out his starboard oars.

Tony in like manner got out his larboard oars.

" Now, Frank," said he, " as you are a veteran in
the service, you shall be commodore, and command
the allied squadron."

A burst of laughter greeted this sally ; but Frank
was too modest to accept this double command, and
would only do so when a vote had been passed, mak-
ing him " commodore."

Fenders — a couple of cushions, which Frank, in
anticipation of this manoeuvre, had provided — were
placed between the two boats to keep them from in-
juring each other, and the order was given to pull.
As but six oars w^re pulled ir. each boat, their prog-
ress was not very rapid. N: one, however, seemed


to care for that. The joining of the two boats in
th? " fraternal hug " was emblematic of the union
that subsisted in the hearts of their crews, and all the
members of each club seemed better satisfied with
this symbolical expression of their feelings than
though they had won a victory over the other.

When they came abreast of the Zephyr's boat
house, they discovered, that Uncle Ben was on board
the Sylph, which lay moored at a short distance
from the shore.

Bang ! went the cannon which the veteran had
again rigged on the bow of the sail boat.

And as they passed down the lake, Uncle Ben
blazed away in honor of the fraternal hug between
the twc clubs.




At the end of the lake the boats separated^
after giving each other three hearty cheers.

" Where are you going now ? " asked Tim Bunker.

"We will go up the lake again."

" Suppose we try a race r " suggested Fred Harper.

" There will be no harm in it, I suppose," replied
Frank, glancing at the Butterfly.

" Zephyr, ahoy ! " shouted Tony. " We will pull
up together, if you like."


The two boats were then drawn up alongside of
each other, ready to start when the word should be

" Say when you are ready," shouted Tony.

The rowers in each boat were all ready to take the
first stroke.


" Ready — pull ! " said Frank ; and the crewa
bent to the work.

" Now give it to 'em ! " shouted Tim Bunker, as
Ae struck out with his oar.

• Steady, Tim," said Frank. "Be very careful,
or you will lose the stroke."

" No, I won't. Put 'em through by daylight ! "
And Tim, without paying much attention to the
swaying of the coxswain's body, by which his stroke
should have been regulated, redoubled his exertions.
He was very much excited, and the next moment
the handle of his oar hit the boy in front of him
in the back. Then the boy behind hit him, and a
scene of confusion immediately ensued. Of course
no boy could pull his stroke except in unison with
the others ; so the whole were compelled to cease

" We have lost it," said Frank, good naturedly.

The boys, seeing how useless it was to attempt to
row in the midst of such confusion, were obliged to
wait till order had been restored.

" No, we hain't ; pull away ! " replied Tim, as ht
seized his oar, and began to row with all his


** Cease rowing ! " said Frank.

" Catch your oars, you sleepies, or they will get in
first ! " exclaimed Tim, who continued to struggle
with his oar in defiance of the order.

He had already pulled the boat half round.

" I guess the fifty dollars won't come to this
crew," added Tim, contemptuously.

"It certainly will not, if you don't obey orders

better than that," replied Frank.

" I don't want to have the club beat so easy as

" But it is all your fault, Tim."

« You lie ! "

" What ! what ! " exclaimed Frank. " We can-
not have such language as that. If you don't con-
form to the constitution you have signed, you shall
be put on shore at the nearest land."

"Well, I ain't a going to have it laid to me,
when I hain't done nothing. Didn't I pull with all
my might and main ? and if the other fellers had
done so too, we should been ahead of 'em afore
this time," answered Tim, somewhat tamed by the
threat of the coxswain.


"We will not talk about that until you say
whether you intend to conform to the rules of the
club, or not," added Frank, firmly.

" Of course I do."

Tim was still gruff in his tones ; but it was evi-
dent that he wanted to conform to the rules, and
that his obstinacy was still struggling for expression.

"You must not tell the coxswain, or any other
member, that he lies, Tim," continued Frank.

" That was a slip of the tongue."

The Bunker tried to laugh it off, and declared that
he was so used to that form of expression he could
not leave it off at once. This was regarded as a
great concession by all.

" Very well ; if you will promise to do your best
to obey the rules, we will say no more about it."

" Of course I will," replied Tim, with a laugh,
which was equivalent to saying, " If any of you think
I am yielding too much, why, I am only joking."

"Now, Tim, that point being settled, I repeat
that our mibhap was caused by you, though we don't
blame you for it. You meant to do your best, but
you didn't go to work in the right way. ,;

1,1 FE ON THE LAKE. 63

" What's the reason I didn't ? "

" You broke up the stroke."

" The fellers ought to have pulled faster, then, so
as to keep up with me ; if they had, we should have
done well enough."

" That is not the way. The coxswain is to judge
how fast you may pull with safety."

" Just as you like. All I wanted was to win the

" I understand you ; but we can do nothing if the
discipline of the club is not observed."

" I didn't know about that."

" Let us understand one another for the future.
You must regulate your stroke by the motion of my
body. You are to see nothing but me ; and what-
ever happens, you must obey orders'."

" Let's try it again. I will do as you say," re-
plied Tim, with a great deal more gentleness than
he had before shown.

"Ready — pull ! " said Frank. And away darted
the Zephyr up the lake.

Tim pulled very steadily now, and showed a dis-
position to do as the others did, and to obey orders


Frank was pleased with the result of the conference,
and began to entertain strong hopes of the ultimate
reformation of the Bunker.

But the race was lost ; the Butterfly was almost at
the head of the lake.

" There's a chance for the Butterflies to crow Over
us," said Tim, after a silence of several moments.

*' There is to be no crowing. If we had beaten
them, I should not have permitted a word to be
spoken that would create a hard feeling in the minds
of any of them," replied Frank. " And I know that
Tony is exactly of my mind."

"It is no great credit to them to have beaten us
under tfiese circumstances," added Fred.

" Each club must be responsible for its own disci-
pline. No excuses are to be pleaded. Good order
and good regulations will prevent such accidents as
just befell us."

" That is what discipline is for," said William

"Exactly so. Don't you remember what Mr.
Hyde told me when I tried to excuse myself for
not having my sums done with the plea that I had


no pencil ? " asked Charles Hardy. " He said it waa
as much a part of our duty to be ready for our work
as it was to do it after we were ready."

" That's good logic," put in Fred. " If the en-
gine companies did not keep their machines in good
working order, of course they would render no ser-
'fice at the fire. You remember Smith's factory was
burnt because i No. 2's ' suction hose leaked, and the
' tub ' couldn't be worked."

" That's it ; in time of peace prepare for war."

" Where o cue Butterfly now ? " asked Tim, who
did not feel much interest in this exposition of duty.

" She is headed up to Rippleton River," replied
Frank. " I hope she does not mean to venture
among the rocks."

Rippleton River was a stream which emptied into
the lake at its eastern extremity. Properly speaking,
Wood Lake was only a widening of this river,
though the stream was very narrow, and discharged
itself into the lake amid immense masses of rock.

The mouth of this river was so obstructed by these
rocks, that Captain Seilley had forbidden the boys
ever to venture upon its waters ; though, with


occasional difficulties in the navigation, it was deej,
enough and wide enough to admit the passage of
the boat for several miles. A wooden bridge crossed
the stream a little way above the lake — an old, de-
cayed affair which had frequently been complained
of as unsafe.

" Tony knows the place very well/' said Charles
" He will not be rash."

" But there he goes right in amongst the rocks,
and the Butterflies are pulling with all their might.
He is crazy," added Frank, his countenance exhibit-
ing the depth of his anxiety.

" Let Tony alone ; he knows what he is about,"
responded Fred. .

" Heavens ! " exclaimed Frank, suddenly, as he
rose in his place. " There has been an accident at
the bridge ! I see a horse and chaise in the river."

Tim dropped his oar, and was turning round to
get a view of the object, when Frank checked him
So strict was the discipline of the club, that, not-
withstanding the excitement which the coxswain's
announcement tended to create, not another b< f
ceased rowing, or even missed his stroke.


4 * Keep your seat," said Frank to Tim. " Taka
your oar."

" I want to see what's going on," replied Tim.

" Keep your seat," repeated Frank, authorita-

Tim concluded to obey ; and without a word re-
sumed his place, and commenced pulling again.

" Tony is after them ; if you obey orders we may
get there in* season to render some assistance," con-
tinued Frank. " Don't balk us now, Tim."

" I won't, Frank ; I will obey all your orders. I
didn't think when I got up," replied Tim, with ear-
nestness, and withal in such a tone that Frank's
hopes ran high.

" Will you cross the rocks, Frank ? " asked Charles

" Certainly."

" But you know your father told us never to go
into the river."

" Circumstances alter cases."

" But it will be disobedience under any circum-

" We won't argue the point now," answered the


bold coxswain, quickening the movements of hi?
body till the crew pulled with their utmost strength
and speed, and the Zephyr flew like a rocket over
the water.

" I don't like to go, Frank, and though I will
obey orders, I now protest against this act o^* diso-
bedience," replied Charles, who was sure this time
that Captain Sedley would commend and approve his
inflexible love of obedience.

" Pull steady, and mind your stroke," added
Frank, whose eye was fixed upon the chaise in the

" We may strike upon the rocks and be dashed tc
pieces," suggested Charles.

" If you are afraid "

" O, no ! I'm not afraid ; I was thinking of the
boat." m

" If it is dashed to pieces in a good cause, let it
le so."

" Good ! " ejaculated Fred Harper. " That's the
talk for me ! "

" The water in the lake is very high, and I know
exactly where the rocks lie. Keep steady ; I will
put you through in safety."


" Where is the Butterfly now, Frank ? " asked
William Bright.

" Wait a minute. — There she goes ! Hurrah :
she has passed the reefs safely. They pull like he-
roes. There ! Up go ner oars — they are inboard.
There are a man and a woman in the water, strug-
gling for life. The man is trying to save the woman.
The chaise seems to hang upon a rock, and the horse
is kicking and plunging to clear himself, Steady —
pull steady."

" Tony will save them all," said Fred.

" Hurrah ! there he goes overboard, with half a
dozen of his fellows after him ! There are six left in
the boat, and they are working her along towards
the man and woman. They have them — they are
safe. Now they pull the lady in — hah — all right !
1 was afraid they would upset the boat. They have
got her in, and the man is holding on at the stern.
Tony has got a rope round the horse's neck, and the
fellows are clearing him from the chaise."

The Zephyr was now approaching the dangerous
-ocks, and Frank was obliged to turn his attention to
the steering of the boat through the perilous passage.


•' Steady," said he, "and pull strong. All right;
we are through. We are too late to do any thing.
They have landed the man and woman, and now
they are towing the horse ashore. Tony's a glorious
fellow ! He is worth his weight in solid gold ! "

" Can't we save the chaise ? " asked Tim Bunker.

" We can try."

" Hurrah for the chaise then ! "

" Bowman, get the long painter ahead," continued

" Ay, ay."

The coxswain of the Zephyr steered her towards
the vehicle, which still hung to the rock, and, by a
Bkilful manoeuvre, contrived to make fast the line to
one of the shafts of the chaise.

"Ready — pull!" t»aid Frank, as he passed the
line over one of the thwarts.

The crew pulled with a will, and the jerk disen-
gaged the. chaise, and they succeeded in hauling it
tafely to the shore, and placing it high and dry upon
the rocks.




Tony and his six companions, who had been with
him in the river, stood on the rocks shivering with
cold, when the Zephyr's crew landed. The rest of
her boys had been sent to conduct the lady and gen-
tleman to the nearest house, and render them such
assistance as they might require.

" You are a brave fellow, Tony ! " said Frank,
warmly, as he grasped the wet hand of his friend.

" I am very wet and cold, whatever else I may
be," replied Tony, trying to laugh, while his teeth
chattered so that he could hardly speak.

" You had better go home ; you will catch cold,"
continued Frank.

" We must wait for the fellows."

" No, you shall take six of the Zephyr's crew, and
pull home as fast as you can, and we will wait for
the rest."


" We can do no more good here ; so we may as
.veil go. Thank you for your offer, Frank, and I
vvill accept it. If you like I will take Fred Harpei
to steer down, for I should like to pull an oar myself
to warm up with."

" Certainly ; " and Frank detailed six of his club,
including Fred, who seated themselves in the But-

" I don't know about those rocks, Tony," said
Fred, as he grasped the tiller ropes.

kt The water is so high, that there is no danger. I
will have an eye to the passage when we get to it,"
replied Tony, as he took his old place at the bow oar.

The Butterfly pushed off, and in a few moments
after passed the dangerous rocks in safety. Her
crew pulled with energy, and it is quite likely that
they got warm before they Beached the boat house.

It was some time before the rest of the Butterfly's
crew returned to the rocks where they had landed.

*' Where's Tony ? " asked one of them, a boy of
fourteen, but so small in stature that his companions
nad nicknamed him " Little Paul," of whom we shal
have more to say by and by.


■' They have gone home ; we sent six of our fel-
lows with them. They were too wet and cold to
stay here," replied Frank. " You can return in oui

" The gentleman wants to see Tony very much."

" Who is he ? "

" His name is Walker ; it would do your heart
good to hear him speak of Tony."

" I dare say ; but Tony is worthy of all the praise
that can be bestowed upon him. How is the lady ? "

" She is nicely, and she thinks Tony is an angel.
She declares that a dozen strong men could have
done no more for them."

" She is right ; you did all that could have been
done by any persons. The Butterfly's first laurel is
a glorious one, and I can congratulate you on the
nonors you have won."

" Thank you, Frank," said Little Paul, modestly.
" I am sorry you were not with us to share the

" We should have been, if it hadn't been for Tim
Bunker," said Charles Hardy a little sourly.


Tim had gone with the Butterfly, or Charles would
not have dared to make such a remark.

"And if you had had your way, we shouldn't
have come when we did," added William Bright,

" What do you mean, Bill ? "

" Didn": you protest against passing the rocks ? "

"I did, because it was directly in opposition to
Captain Sedley's orders."

"Never mind, fellows," interposed Frank; "for
my part, I am glad the Butterfly had it all to herself.
She has just come out, and it will be a feather in
her cap."

" But we saved the chaise," said Charles.

" We pulled it ashore; it was safe enough where it
was. The Butterfly saved the lives of the man,
and woman, and the horse. They would have
drowned, and all the glory consisted in saving them.
Tony and his crew deserve all the credit, and I, for
one, am happy to accord it to them."

" That's just like you, Frank ! " exclaimed Little
Paul. "I believe, if the two boats had changed
places, you wDuld have given us all the credit."


" You behaved nobly.'*

" Just as you would have done if you had been in
Tj'iy's place."

" We will talk that over some other time. Wo
are ready to return when you are."

" I suppose there is nothing more to be done."

They were about to embark, when they discovered
a party of men approaching the place, several of
them carrying ropes and poles.

" Hold on ! " shouted Farmer Leeds, to whose
house the boys had conducted the lady and gentle-
man. " We want your boat to get the chaise out of
the river with."

" It is out now," replied Little Paul.

The boys waited till the party reached the river.
A. clump of trees had prevented them from seeing the
chaise till they had got almost to the shore ; and, as
Little Paul expressed it afterwards, " they looked
surprised enough, to see it high and dry upon the

" I must say one thing, Mr. Leeds," began Mr.
Walker ; " and that is, you have smart boys in tiiis
v4c : riity."


" Toler'ble," replied the farmer, with a smile.

" They are men in noble deeds."

" This boating business turns the boys into lsien 5
and though, in my opinion, it would be just as well
to set 'em to work in the cornfields, there is no
denying that it brings 'em out, and makes 'em

" My wife would certainly have been drowned
without their help."

" I dare say."

" But where is the little fellow that commanded
the boat ? " asked Mr. Walker, scrutinizing the facea
of the boys.

" He has gone home, sir ; he was wet and cold."

" That is right ; I am glad he has ; I shall go and
see him by and by. And these are the boys that
brought the chaise ashore ? "

" Yes, sir," replied Little Paul." This Is Frank
Sedley, the coxswain of the Zephyr.

" Well, Master Sedley, I am under great obliga-
tions to you."

" Not at all to me, sir. Tony W eston saved yo'i.
We only pulled the chaise ashore.'


•* B it you shall not be forgotten. The other bo^t
is gone, you say ? "

" Yes, sir. Tony Weston is the coxswain of the

" And a noble fellow he is, too. He will be i*
great man one of these days. It did my heart good
to see how cool and collected he was ; how skilfully
he managed the boat, when it came down upon us
like a race horse. He gave off his orders like a
hero, and they were obeyed with a promptness and
precision that would have been creditable to the crew
of a man of war, after a three years' cruise. And
then, when he ordered six of the boys to stay in the
boat, and the rest to follow him into the water, it was
really heroic. Over he went, with his crew aftei
him, as though they had been so many ducks. And
in the water, they worked with as much coolness
and courage as though it had been their native ele-
ment. I would give half my fortune to be the father
of such a son."

" I would give all of mine," added Farmer Leeds.
" You don't know half his worth yet But there is
nothing for us to do here ; the men shall haul your
7 #


chaise up to the house, and as we walk along I will
tell you about Tony."

" Master Sedley, I shall see you again to-day or
to-morrow. Tell Tony how highly I value his noble
service, and tell him I shall call upon him this even-
ing," said Mr. Walker, as he went away with Farmer

" My father would be very happy to have you stop
at his house while you remain in Rippleton," con-
tinued Frank, who was not sure that the farm house
would accommodate him.

" As to that," interposed Farmer Leeds, " I can't
offer you so grand a house as Captain Sedley's, but
such as it is, you are welcome to it."

" Thank you, Master Sedley, for your hospitable
invitation ; but I think I will remain with my good
friend here." And he departed with the farmer.

" All aboard ! " said Frank, and the boys tumbled
into the boat, and grasped their oars.

The Zephyr pushed off, and her cheerful crew
pulled merrily down the river. Frank was conscious
that the organization of the boat clubs had been the
means of accomp i; shing tre good work which the


srew of the Buttfrfly had just achieved, • He was
aware that some of the people in the vicinity had
cherished strong objections to the clubs, and 'that
Tony had had considerable difficulty in persuading
the parents of his crew to allow their sons to join,
The adventure at the bridge, he thought, would have
a tendency to reconcile them, and to elevate and dig-
nify boating. At any rate a good deed had been
done, and the parents of those who had taken part
in it could not but be proud of the laurels their sons
had earned.

The Zephyr, under Frank's skilful pilotage, passed
the rocks in safety, though, as they darted through
the narrow channel, he could see their sharp edges
only a little way below the surface of the clear water.

They had scarcely entered the open lake before
they perceived the Sylph, under full sail with a smash-
ing breeze, close aboard of them.

" Frank . " shouted Captain Sedley, who was at the
helm, while Uncle Ben was gazing at them with a
very sorrowful face from the half deck.

" Ay, ay, sir ! " replied Frank, as he laid thf
Zephyr's coiirse towards the sail boat.


Though his father had only spoken his name, thera
was something in the tone which could not be mis-
apprehended ; but it did not occur to him, he was so
engaged in thinking of the incidents at the bridge,
that he had disobeyed his father's command in pass-
ing into the river.

As the Zephyr approached, the Sylph luffed, and
came up into the wind, to wait for her. Frank
brought his boat round under the stern of the sail
boat, and " lay to " an oar's length from her.

" Frank," said his father, sternly, " I am surprised
that you should venture among those rocks, when I
have expressly forbidden you ever to go into the river."

" But. father, there was "

" How could you do such a thing, after I had so
carefully warned you — so positively interdicted it ?
Suppose your boat had been dashed in pieces," con-
tinued Captain Sedley, who, though deeply grieved
at his son's apparent disobedience, was too indig-
nant to hear an excuse ; for such he supposed Frank
was about to offer — one of those silly, frivolous
excuses which boys sometimes seize upon to pallia**
their misconduct.


" I protested against it ! " said Charles Hardy
rising from his seat.

" Shut ur> ! " exclaimed Little Paul, his cheek
glowing with indignation, as he pulled Charles back
into his seat.

" I went tc save life, father," replied Frank, almost
choked by his emotions, a flood of tears springing in
his eyes and well nigh blinding him.

" To save life ! " said Captain Sedley, touched by
the reply, and far more by Frank's emotion.

He saw that he had spoken too quick — that his
son had not passed the rocks without a good and
sufficient reason.

" Yes, sir," replied Frank, struggling to master
his feelings ; and then he related all that had oc-
curred at the bridge ; how Tony had saved the lady
and gentleman, and the horse ; and how his crew
had pulled the chaise ashore.

" You did right, Frank ; forgive my hasty words,"
said Captain Sedley, with deep feeling.

" Good, my hearty ! " exclaimed Uncle Ben, clap
ping his hands.


A heavy load had been removed from the mind
of the veteran, who had almost come to believe that

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Online LibraryOliver OpticAll aboard : or, Life on the lake ; a sequel to The boat club → online text (page 3 of 10)