Oliver Optic.

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

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" Bravo ! " shouted Tony, slapping the table with
his fist. " That's what I call noble ! But before we
do it, just think what a fine thing the fleet would be.
It is a great sacrifice."

" Question ! " called Joseph Hooper.

" Think well, fellows," said Tony. " Any remarks
upon the subject will be in order. It is a great ques-
tion, and ought not to be hastily decided."

" Question ! " shouted the whole club, wildly.

" Those in favor of applying the four hundred dol-
lars to the relief of Mr. Munroe will signify it," said

"All up!"

" It is a unanimous vote!"




" All aboard ! " shouted Tony, as soon as he had
declared the vote ; and the boys hurried into the boat
to be in readiness to join the Zephyr, which was
already upon the lake.

Tony's spirits were unusually buoyant. The sym-
pathy and cooperation of the club in regard to Little
Paul's father was in the highest degree grateful to
his feelings. Perhaps his companions did not so
cheerfully resign the project of the fleet ; perhaps
they had acted upon the impulse of the moment ;
but they were all to experience the benefit of doing
a good deed, of sacrificing their own gratification for
the happiness of others. Tony felt better for the
sacrifice they had made, and probably the rest of
them shared his feelings. He was satisfied that they
did not fully realize what they had done, and witK


the determination to take a fit opportunity to talk
over the matter with them, he took his place in the

The Zephyrs were laying on their oars, waiting
for the Butterfly when she backed out of the boat

" You are late, Tony, which is rather odd for you,"
said Frank.

" We had a little business to attend to, which de-
tained us," replied Tony ; " and while we are here
we may as well tell you about it. We have voted
our money away."

" For the fleet ? "

" No ; we have given that up."

" Indeed ! Given it up ? " exclaimed Frank, not
a little surprised at this declaration.

" Fact, Frank ! "

•' Something new has turned up, then? "

" Let us lash boats to keep us from drifting apart,
and I will tell you all about it."

The two boats were fastened together fore and aft,
and Tony proceeded to tell the story of Little Paul's
father. He spoke loud enough for all the Zephyrs


to hear Lim and as his heait warmed towards Mr.
Munroe in Lis misfortunes, his eyes dilated, and his
gestures were as apt and energetic as though he had
been an orator all his lifetime.

" I see what you have done with your money,"
said Frank, as the speaker paused at the close of the
narrative. " It was like you, Tony — noble and gen-
erous ! "

"We gave all our money for the relief of Mr.
Munroe ; but I didn't even suggest the thing to the
fellows. Henry Brown made the motion, and it was
a unanimous vote."

" Bravo, Butterflies ! "

" Have you given up the fleet ? " asked Tim
Bunker, whose face was the only one which did not
glow with satisfaction.

" Yes."

" There is more fun in helping a poor man out of
trouble than in working a fleet," added Henry Brown.

" So I say ! " put in Dick Chester,

" Humph ! " grunted Tim.

" But, Tony, you said the note was five hundred
dollars — didn't you ? " asked Frank.


" I did."

" And you have only four hundred ? "

" That's all ; " and Tony's eyes rekindled with
delight at the anticipation of what the Zephyrs
would do.

" You hear that, fellows."

" Would a motion be in order now ? " asked
Charles Hardy.

" Hold your tongue, you fool ! " said Tim Bunker,
in a low tone. " We can get another boat with our
money, and you shall be coxswain of it."

Charles looked at him.

" A motion would be in order ; at least we can
make it in order," replied Frank.

But Charles hesitated. The tempting offer of
Tim, the absurdity of which he did not stop to con-
sider, conquered his first impulse.

" I move you we appropriate one hundred dollars
to put with the Butterfly's money for Mr. Munroe,"
said William Bright, and Charles had lost the honoi
of making the motion.

" Second the motion," added Fred Harper.


" Those in f xvor of giving our money to Mr. Mun-
roe will signify it."

" Vote against it," said Tim ; and Charles accepted
the suggestion.

" Ten ; it is a vote, though not unanimous," con-
tinued Frank, as he cast a reproachful glance at his
friend who had voted against the proposition.

He was not surprised to see Tim Bunker vote
against it ; but that Charles should receive the advice
of such a counsellor, and such advice too, was calcu-
lated to alarm him. His friend had but little firm
ness, and was perhaps more likely to be led away by
bad influences than any other member of the club.
He was sorry to see Tim exhibiting his dogged dis-
position, but more sorry to see Charles so much un-
der his control.

" Hurrah ! " shouted Tony, when the vote was
declared. " Let us send up to Mr. Munroe, and tell
him what we have done, and get Little Paul. They
won't want him now."

" But, Tony, you forget that our doings must be
approved by our directors," said Frank.

« I'll risk them."

L T FE ON THE 1 A.KE- 139

"It would be better to have every thing right be*
fore we promise Mr. Munroe."

" So it would. Is your father at home ? "

" I believe so."

" George is, and it won't take five minutes to ob-
tain his consent. Let go the fasts forward," said
Tony, as he cast off the line astern.

" We will go ashore, and try to find my father/*
added Frank. " Ready — pull ! "

Away dashed the Zephyr towards her boat house,
while the Butterfly came about so that Tony could
leap on shore.

Of course both Captain Sedley and George Wes
ton were surprised at the sudden action of the clubs ;
but the deed was too noble, too honorable to their
kind hearts to want their sanction, and it was readily
given. In less than half an hour the boats were
pulling towards a convenient landing-place near Mr.
Munroe's house.

The poor man was confounded when the committee
of two from each club waited upon him and stated
their business. His eyes filled with tears, and he
and Little Paul wept together.


But Mr. Munroe could not think of aking the
taoney at first. He declared that he would suffer
any thing rather than deprive the hoys of the gratifi-
cation which their money would purchase.

" We are a little selfish about it, sir," said Tony.
" We want to keep Paul among us."

" That's the idea," added Henry Brown, who was
his colleague on the committee.

" I can't take your money, boys," replied Mr
Munroe, firmly.

e< You will oblige us very much by taking it. My
brother and Captain Sedley both know what we are
about. I am sure we shall feel happier in letting you
have this money than we should be made by any
thing it will buy. It was a unanimous vote in our

" Noble little fellows ! " exclaimed Mr. Munroe,
with a fresh burst of tears, as he grasped the hand
of Tony.

The matter was argued for some time longer, and
finally compromised by Mr. Munroe's agreeing to
accept the nion^y as a loan.

Tbe notec w&t drawn up and signed by the pool


mar^ whose inart was filled to overflowing with grat»
itude at this unexpected relief.

" Now you will let Paul come with us — won't you,
Mr. Munroe ? " asked Tony.

" Certainly ; and I shall never cease to thank God
that he has found such noble and true friends," re-
plied the poor man ; and as they took their leave, he
warmly pressed the hands of each member of the

" Cheer up, Paul ; don't be down-hearted. It is
all right now," said Tony.

"I can't be lively," replied Little Paul, whose
sadness cast a shade upon the enjoyment of the

" Why not, Paul ? "

" I feel so sad ; and your goodness to my poor
father overcomes me."

" Never mind that, Paul ; cheer up, and we will
have a glorious time."

But Little Paul's feelings were too strong and
deep to be easily subdued. His pride seemed to be
wounded by the events of the day, and when they
reached Centre Island, he told Tory how badly ha


felt abmt his iaiher being the recipient of theiK
charity, as he caJed it.

" Charity, Paul ! " exclaimed the noble Lttle fel-
low. " Look here ; " and he pulled the note he had
received from Mr. Munroe out of his pocket. " Do
you call this charity ? "

" Perhaps he can never pay you ; at least, it will
be a long time."

" No matter ; it is a fair trade. "We lent him the

And Tony argued the point with as much skill
as a lawyer would have done, and finally so far
succeeded in convincing Paul, that his face bright-
ened with a cheerful smile, and he joined with
hearty zest in the preparations for the May day

A long spruce pole, which had been prepared
for the occasion by Uncle Ben, was towed to the
island by the Zephyr, and erected in a convenient
place. The brushwood in the grove was clerred
from the ground, the large stones were rolled out
of the way, and were used in constructing a pier
foi convenience in landing. When their la? ors


were concluded it was nearly dark, and the boat*
pulled for home, each member of the clubs antici
pating a glorious time on the approaching holiday
for such the committee had decided the First oi
May should be.

144 Alili ABOARD, OJE.



Mai day came — warm, bright, and beautiful.
At six o'clock in the morning the Zephyr and the
Butterfly were manned, and the boys went over to
the island to trim the May pole with evergreen and
flowers. The Sylph was degraded for the time into
a " freighting vessel," and under command of Uncle
Ben conveyed to the island chairs and settees for the
use of the guests, tables for the feast, music stands
for the band, and other articles required for the

About nine o'clock the guests began to arrive, and
were conveyed to the island by the two club boats —
the Sylph having gone down to Hippleton after tne
band. The Sedleys, the Westons, Mr. Hyde, tne
parents of all the members of the clubs who could
attend, all the boys and girls of the school, and a


few gentlemen and ladies from the village who had
manifested a warm interest in the welfare of the
two associations, composed the party ; and before
ten they were all conveyed to the «cene of the fes-

4k Have you got them all, Frank ? " asked Captain
Sedley, as the coxswain was ordering his crew

" All but the Munroes, and the Butterflies are
going for them by and by."

" Tom is hoisting the signal/' added Captain Sed-
ley, pointing to a blue flag on the shore, which the
gardener had been directed to rrsist when any one
wished to go to the island.

<4 We will go, Frank," said Tony ; and away
dashed the boat towards the main shore.

" Ah, my Butterflies," said a voice, as they ap- «
proached the landing.

"Mr. Walker!" exclaimed Tony. " K,eady —
up ! Now let us give him three cheers. , I was
afraid he would not come."

The salute was given, and acknowledged by Mr.



" I am glad to see you again, my brave boy," said
the gentleman, as he grasped Tony's hand.

" I was afraid yon would not deem our invitation
worth accepting."

" I would not have missed of coming for the
world, my young friend. Here is Mrs. Walker ;
you know her."

Tony shook hands with the lady, and she said a
great many very pretty things to him, which made
the gallant little hero blush like a rose in June,
and stammer so that he could hardly make them
understand him.

" Shall I help you into the boat, Mrs. Walker ? "
said Tony.

" You shall, my little gallant ; though I shall not
be so glad to get into it as I was the other day."

The boat put off again, and Mr. and Mrs. Walker
were filled with admiration of the excellent disci-
pline of the rowers. They were warmly greeted by
the party at the island, and lustily cheered by the
crew of the Zephyr, which was again manned lot the
purpose of giving their liberal friend this compU
mentary salute.


" Off again, my lads ? " askec* Mr. Walker, as the
Butterflies prepared to go for thp Munroe family.

Captain Sedle ° ^plained tc him the nature of
their present errand ; and, of course, the warm-
hearted gentleman found renewed occasion to ap-
plaud the nobleness of Tony and his companions.
He could hardly find terms sufficiently strong to
express his sense of admiration, especially when he
learned the sacrifice which they had made.

"A fleet of boats ! " exclaimed he. " If it would
raise up such boys as these, it ought to be procured
at the public expense. Thank God ! I am rich."

" I understand you, Mr. Walker," replied Captain
Sedley ; " but I beg you will not let your generosity
do any thing more for the boys."

" Captain Sedley, I Jove those boys ! They are
good boys, and good boys are a scarcity nowadays.
There is nothing too good for them."

" You are enthusiastic."

" But I tell you, sir, there are no such boys as
those in the world ! " exclaimed Mr. Walker, with a
gesture of earnestness.

" O, yes, sir ; I presume, under the same disci-
pline, other boys would be the same."

I4£ ALL A130AKD, Ott

" Then let them have the same discipline."

" It would cost a fortune. It is a very extrav*
Agant recreation, this boating."

" But it makes men of them. I read the consti-
tution of the clubs, and Tony tells me it is carried
)ut to the fullest extent."

" No doubt of it. There are boys among them,
who, under other circumstances, would be bad boys.
[ am satisfied the club keeps them true to themselves
and their duty."

" That's just my idea ; and as these noble-hearted
little fellows have bestowed the money I gave them
in such a commendable manner, I mean to give them
as much more."

" That was my own feeling about the matter ; but
I do not think it is a good plan to make good all
they sacrifice. This fleet scheme was a cherished
project, and it was noble in them to give it up that
they might do a good deed."

" Noble ' It was heroic — I was just going to
QBe a stronger word."

" It is good for them to practise self-denial. That
is all that m^kes ;hc deed a worthv one."


" Exactly so."

" Therefore, my friend, we will not say any thing
more about the fleet at present."

" But if they bear it well, if they don't repent
what they have done, why, I should not value one
or two thousand dollars. Besides, it might be the
means of bringing a large number of boys within the
pale of good influences."

"That is my own view; and by and by we will
talk more of the matter."

Captain Sedley then introduced Mr. Walker to the
company, and the benevolent gentleman took a great
deal of pains to inform himself in relation to the
influence of the boat clubs upon the boys. He asked
a great many questions of their parents, and of Mr.
Hyde, the teacher. They all agreed that the young
iaen were the better for 1 the associations; that the
discipline was very useful, and the physical exercise
very healthy ; but some of them were afraid- their
sons would acquire such a taste for the water as to
create a desire to follow the seas. But few of
them considered boating, under the discipline of
the clubs, a dangerous recreation; so that the onl)


real objection was the tendency to produce long-
ings for

" A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep."

Mr. Walker tried to make the sceptical ones be-
lieve that Wood Lake was so entirely different from
the "rolling deep" as scarcely to suggest the idea
of a ship, or of the ocean. But the disadvantages
were trivial compared with the benefits which all
acknowledged to have derived from the associations,
even independently of the libraries, the lectures, and
the debating societies at the halls.

Tony and his companions soon returned with the
Munroe family, who were cordially received by the
guests. Captain Sedley expressed his sympathy for
the poor man, regretting that he had not known his
situation before.

" I would have bought your place myself rather
than have had you sacrifice your property to the
cupidity of such a man," said he.

" You are very good, sir," replied Mr. Munroe ;
"but I had not the courage to state my circuro-
Btances to any body. 'Squire Chase is a very hard


man ; even when I paid him the money, which the
kindness of the boys enabled me to do, he was so
angry that he conld scarcely contain himself. He
swore at me, and vowed he would have vengeance.'*

" He must be a very disagreeable neighbor."

" He is, indeed."

" On with the dance ! " shouted Frank, in the
most exuberant spirits ; and the rich and the poor
man dropped the subject.

The boys and girls had formed a line round the
May pole, and the band commenced playing a very
lively air. As the inspiring notes struck their ears,
they began to jump and caper about, taking all sorts
of fantastic steps, which it would have puzzled a dancing master to define and classify. Most
of the boys and girls knew nothing of dancing, as
an art ; but I venture to say they enjoyed themselves
quite as much as though they had been perfectly pro-
ficient in all the fashionable waltzes, polkas, and
redowas. Their hearts danced with gladness, and
their steps were altogether impromptu.

Then came the ceremony of -^crowning the Queen
of May, in the person of Mary Weston, which was


performed in the most gallant style by Frank Sed-
4 ey. Another dance succeeded, and then came the
feast. A great many good things weie eaten, a
great many fine things said, and a great many patri-
otic and complimentary toasts were drank. The
band played " Hail Columbia," " Yankee Doodle/'
and many other spirited tunes, and Mr. Walker was
very much astonished, as well as amused, to heai
some of the boys make speeches, flowery and fine,
which had evidently been prepared for the occasion,
when they were " called up " by the toasts.

After the feast was over, the party divided itself
into little knots for social recreation. Frank and
Mary Weston took a walk ca the beach, and the rest
of the boys and girls climbed over the rocks, amused
themselves in the swing which Uncle Ben had put
up, or wandered in the grove. Boys and girls al-
ways enjoy themselves at such seasons, and my
young readers need not be told that they all had a
" first-rate time."

I do not mean all ; for two members of the Zephyr
Club had wandered away from the rest of the party
to the north side of the island. They were concealed


horn, view by a large rock ; but if any one had ob-
served them, he could not have failed to see that
they were exceptions to the general rule — that they
were not happy. The two boys were Charles Hardy
and Tim Bunker. Frank had been pained to notice
that an unnatural intimacy had been growing up
between them for several days ; and he had already
begun to fear that it was in the heart of Tim to lead
his weak-minded associate astray.

*' Now, let's see how much there is in it," said

" I am afraid to open it," replied Charles, as he
glanced nervously over the rocks.

" Git out ! "

" I am doing wrong, Tim ; I feel it here." And
Charles placed his hand upon his heart.

" Humph ! " sneered Tim. " Give it to me, and I
will open it."

" We ought not to open it," replied Charles, put*
ting his hand into his pocket, and again glancing ovei
the top of the rocks. " Besides, Tim, you promised
to be a good boy when we let you into the club."

" I mean to have a good time. We nrght have

154 ALL ABOAEJ), Oif

had if you fellows hadn't given away all that

" I didn't do it."

" I know you didn't, but the rest on 'em did ; sa
it's all the same. They are a set of canting pups,
and for my part I'm tired on 'em. Frank Sedley
don't lord it over me much longer, you better be-
lieve ! And you are a fool if you let him snub you
as he does every day."

" I don't mean to," answered Charles. " I be-
lieve the fellows all hate me, or they would have
made me coxswain before this time."

" Of course they would. They hate you, Charley :
I heard Frank Sedley say as much as that the other

" He did ? "

" Of course he did."

" I wouldn't have thought that of him," said
Charles, his eye kindling with anger.

" Let's have the purse, Charley."

Charles hesitated ; but the struggle was soon over
in his bosom, and he took from his pocket a silken
puree and handed it to Tim.


** We are doing wrong, Tim," said he, as a twinga
of conscience brought to his mind a realizing sense
of his position* " Give me back the purse, and I
will try to find the owner."

" No, you don't ! " replied Tim, as he opened one
end of the purse and took therefrom a roll of bank
bills, which he proceeded to count.

" Do give it back to me ! I am sure the owner
has missed it by this time."

" No matter if he has ; he won't get it again in a
hurry," answered the Bunker, coolly. " Sixty dol-
lars in bills ! Good!"

" Give it to me, or I will go to Captain Sedley
and tell him you have it."

" Will you ? "

« I will."

" If you do, I'll smash your head," said Tim,
looking fiercely at him. " Don't be a fool ! With
this money we can have a first-rate time, and nobody
will be any the wiser for it."

" I am afraid we shall be found out."

Probably Charles was more afraid of that than of
the wicked s**t which he had permitted himself to


think of doing. He had found the purse on the
beach a little while before. When he had told Tim
of it, the reckless fellow, still the same person as
before, notwithstanding his promises and his altered
demeanor, had led him *over to this retired spot in
order to get possession of the purse.

" Nonsense ! Nobody will suspect you," replied
Tim, as he poured out the silver and gold in the
other end of the purse.

" I never did such a thing in my life."

" No matter ; there must be a beginning to every

" What would my mother say ? "

" She will say you are a clever fellow if you
don't get found out. Eleven dollars and a quarter
in specie ! That makes seventy-one twenty-five —
don't it ? "

« Yes."

" All right ! We will just dig a little hole here,
and put the purse into it," continued Tim, as he
scooped out a hole in the sand, and dropped the
ill-gotten treasure into it.

Filling up the hole, he placed a large flat stone


npon the spot,, which further secured the purse, and
concealed the fact that the sand had been disturbed.

" I am sure we shall get found out," said Charles,
trembling with apprehension.

" Nonsense ! Keep a stiff upper lip ; don't stop
l:o think, and all will go well. But, my hearty, if
you peach on me, I give you my word, I will take
your life before you are one month older — do you
hear ? " And Tim's fierce looks gave force to his
words. " Now, we will go back to the rest on 'em
before they miss us. Mind you don't say any thing,
nor look any thing."

Charles followed Tim back to the other side of the
island, and both of them joined the sports of the
day. The afternoon passed away, and nothing was
said of the purse. The owner had not missed it,
and Tim congratulated himself on the circumstance.
Charles tried to be joyous, and though he did not
feel so, he acted it so well that no one suspected
Jam of harboring so vile a sin within his bosom.

" All aboard ! " said Frank, and the band com-
menced playing " Home, Sweet Home."


In due time the party were all transported to the
Bhore, and every body went home highly delighted
with the day's amusements. The Zephyr was housed,
and the crew dismissed, but not a word was said
about the purse.




Dtteing the month of May, the members of the
two clubs continued to spend many of their leisure
hours on the lake ; but my young friends must not
Buppose that life was to them a continuous holiday ;
and, because these books are devoted chiefly to their
doings on the water, that boating was the only, or
the principal business that occupied them. They
had their school duties to perform, their errands to
do, wood to split, yards to sweep ; in short, they had
to do just like other boys. A portion of Wednesday
and Saturday afternoon, and of their other holidays,

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