YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD
DIKES AND DITCHES
Lee & Shepard.
DIKES AND DITCHES;
YOUNG AMERICA IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM.
A STORY OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE.
LEE AND SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS.
LEE, SHEPARD & DILLINGHAM, 49 GREENE STREET.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by WILLIAM T. ADAMS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
ELECTROTYPED AT THE Boston Stereotype Foundry, No. 19 Spring Lane.
My Fellow-Voyager in the Steamship Persia
DURING A PLEASANT TRIP ACROSS THE ATLANTIC,
STEPHEN S. HOE,
WHOSE NAME EVER REMINDS ME OF MY PERSONAL INDEBTEDNESS FOR MUCH OF THE PLEASURE OF THE VOYAGE; NOT ONLY TO MY YOUNG FRIEND WHOSE NAME I MENTION HERE, BUT ALSO TO HIM WHO SAT OPPOSITE TO US AT TABLE, WHOSE NAME, ASSOCIATED WITH ONE OF THE PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF AMERICAN INVENTIVE GENIUS, I NEED NOT MENTION, FOR NO WORD OF MINE COULD HONOR IT,
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.
YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD.
BY OLIVER OPTIC.
A Library of Travel and Adventure in Foreign Lands. First and Second Series; six volumes in each Series. 16mo. Illustrated.
I. OUTWARD BOUND; OR, YOUNG AMERICA AFLOAT.
II. SHAMROCK AND THISTLE; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND.
III. RED CROSS; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN ENGLAND AND WALES.
IV. DIKES AND DITCHES; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM.
V. PALACE AND COTTAGE; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN FRANCE AND SWITZERLAND.
VI. DOWN THE RHINE; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN GERMANY.
I. UP THE BALTIC; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN DENMARK AND SWEDEN.
II. NORTHERN LANDS; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN PRUSSIA AND RUSSIA.
III. VINE AND OLIVE; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
IV. SUNNY SHORES; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN ITALY AND AUSTRIA.
V. CROSS AND CRESCENT; OR, YOUNG AMERICA IN GREECE AND TURKEY.
VI. ISLES OF THE SEA; OR, YOUNG AMERICA HOMEWARD BOUND.
DIKES AND DITCHES, the fourth of the "YOUNG AMERICA ABROAD" series, is a continuation of the history of the Academy Ship and her consort in the waters of Holland and Belgium. As in its predecessors, those parts of the book which lie within the domain of history and fact are intended to be entirely reliable; and great care has been used to make them so. The author finds his notes so copious, and his recollections of the Low Countries so full of interest, that he has felt obliged to devote a considerable portion of the work to the geography and history of the country, and to the manners and customs of the people; but there is so much that is novel in the region itself, and so much that is stirring and even "sensational" in the history of the sturdy patriots of Holland, that he hopes his young friends will not complain of the proportion in which he has mingled his material. It would be a very great happiness to him to have excited a sufficient degree of interest in these countries to induce the boys and girls to read Mr. Motley's inimitable works, "The Rise of the Dutch Republic," and "The History of the United Netherlands." The writer is confident that young people will find these volumes quite as attractive as the story books of the day.
DIKES AND DITCHES has its independent story of the adventures of the students. Though the Academy Squadron has thus far been remarkably fortunate in the character of its instructors, Professor Hamblin proves to be an exception, and the crews of the ship and her consort are unhappily plunged into sundry disciplinary tribulations by his overstrained dignity, and by his want of discretion. The young commander of the Josephine suffers from the evils of a divided authority, which brings him into conflict with the senior instructor before experience suggests the remedy. While the principal is compelled to punish the students for their misconduct in "hazing" the obnoxious professor, he also finds it necessary to abate the nuisance of a conceited, overbearing, and tyrannical pedagogue. Boys cannot be expected to be angels in school, until their instructors have soared to this sublime height.
The author of the series, more than ever encouraged by the hearty and generous favor of his readers, submits this volume to their consideration, trusting that they will at least appreciate his earnest efforts not only to please, but to instruct them.
HARRISON SQUARE, MASS., April 9, 1868.
I. THE PROFESSOR AND THE CAPTAIN. 11
II. A SQUALL IN THE GERMAN OCEAN. 27
III. SOMETHING ABOUT DIKES. 43
IV. UP THE SCHELDT TO FLUSHING. 59
V. CAPTAIN SCHIMMELPENNINK. 76
VI. PROFESSOR HAMBLIN CHANGES HIS MIND. 93
VII. THE LECTURE ON BELGIUM. 110
VIII. ANTWERP AND RUBENS. 129
IX. TROUBLE ON BOARD THE JOSEPHINE. 146
X. WHO WAS CAPTAIN OF THE JOSEPHINE. 162
XI. ON THE WAY TO GHENT. 179
XII. IN BELGIUM'S CAPITAL. 195
XIII. THREE CHEERS FOR THE KING OF BELGIUM. 213
XIV. THE VICE-PRINCIPAL. 230
XV. THE PROFESSOR'S CHARGE. 245
XVI. CAPTAIN KENDALL'S DEFENCE. 262
XVII. MORE ABOUT THE DIKES AND DITCHES. 278
XVIII. AN EXCURSION AMONG THE DIKES. 293
XIX. A RUN THROUGH HOLLAND. 310
XX. ADIEU TO HOLLAND AND PROFESSOR HAMBLIN. 328
DIKES AND DITCHES;
YOUNG AMERICA IN HOLLAND AND BELGIUM.
THE PROFESSOR AND THE CAPTAIN.
The Young America, with every rag of canvas set, including studding-sails alow and aloft, rolled and pitched gracefully on the long swells of the German Ocean. The wind was very light from the north-west, and there was hardly enough of it to give the ship steerage-way. A mile off, on her starboard bow, was the Josephine, beclouded in the quantity of sail she carried, but hardly leaving a wake in the blue waters behind her. The hummocks and the low land of the shores of Holland and Belgium were in sight; but, with the present breeze, there was but little hope of reaching the mouth of the Scheldt that night, though it was hardly twenty miles distant.
The regular course of instruction was in progress in both vessels, the starboard watch of each being in the steerage, attending to their studies, while the port watch were on deck, in charge of the sailing department. Mr. Lowington paced the deck of the ship, and, with the habit of an old sailor, frequently cast his eyes aloft to see what sails were drawing. Occasionally, from a custom begotten of his solicitude for his charge, he glanced at the Josephine.
The squadron did not make even a mile an hour; and when the watch was changed, at four o'clock, there was not a breath of air to ruffle the glassy waves. The ship rolled and pitched on the swells, and the sails slapped against the masts and rigging under the effect of her motion. The young seamen on deck, without being in a hurry, were annoyed and vexed, as all sailors are in a calm. They partook of the heaviness of the scene, and gaped and yawned, from mere inactivity, and the want of something to occupy their minds.
The calm was only the prelude of a lively scene. To the westward, beyond the low coast line dimly seen in the distance, was a dense mass of black clouds, rising rapidly towards the zenith. Low, muttering, muffled thunder came over the sea. The sun went into the inky veil; and then the lightnings flashed, faintly at first, but glaring brighter and brighter as the darkness increased.
Mr. Lowington still paced the deck; but, instead of looking aloft now, he cast frequent glances at the officer of the deck, who was watching the dense black clouds. The principal said nothing; for, whatever views he had in regard to the working of the ship, it was his policy never to interfere until absolutely necessary. The officers were encouraged to do their own thinking, and were expected to take all necessary precautions for the safety of the ship at the right time. The second lieutenant was in charge of the deck, and as yet he had taken no step which indicated that he was conscious of any peril.
"Mr. Lavender," said he, at last, when the principal's movements had begun to be a little nervous.
The second midshipman, who was the third officer in rank on duty, stepped up to the lieutenant and touched his cap.
"Tell the captain there is a shower coming up, and that the clouds look squally," added Mr. Ellis, the officer of the deck.
Lavender touched his cap, and went down into the steerage, where the captain was reciting his French lesson to Professor Badois.
"Excuse me," said Captain Haven. "I must go on deck, for I suppose Mr. Lowington wouldn't give an order to take in sail if the masts were blown out of the ship."
The commander of the Young America went on deck in a hurry. He and all below had observed the sudden darkness which pervaded the steerage, and they were rather glad to have something stirring occur to break up the monotony of the calm. The captain looked at the black clouds, and promptly directed the officer of the deck to take in the studding-sails, which was done by the watch.
The clouds wore that peculiar appearance which indicates wind—an aspect which the old sailor readily recognizes. Captain Haven was familiar enough with the weather signs to understand what was coming; but the young sailor is almost as much afraid of taking in sail too soon as of being too tardy in doing so. There is as much vanity in carrying sail as in wearing fine clothes. The captain did not wish to be too cautious, for that would cause a smile upon the faces of the ship's crew.
He looked at Mr. Lowington, who seemed to be perfectly satisfied, or rather his attention was directed entirely to the Josephine, which had not yet taken in her huge fore square-sail. Then he studied the threatening pile of black clouds, which had now nearly reached the zenith; while the thunder rattled, and the lightnings flashed with blinding glare.
"Take in topgallant-sails and royals," said Captain Haven to the officer of the deck, now satisfied that his reputation for carrying sail could not suffer in the face of such admonitory indications.
Mr. Ellis called on the entire starboard watch to obey his orders; for only a quarter watch was required to handle the ship under ordinary circumstances, the other portion of the watch being idlers on deck. The light sails were taken in; and Mr. Lowington made no comment, as he sometimes did, after an evolution had been performed, in order to express his approval or otherwise of the action of the captain.
The Josephine was most strangely deficient in caution on the present occasion, and the principal was evidently much disturbed by the conduct of her captain, who was usually very prudent, without being timid. There she was, with all her extra sail set and flapping in the calm, while a tempest was brewing before her.
"Captain Kendall must be asleep," said Mr. Lowington, nervously, to Peaks, the adult boatswain of the ship.
"And the officers too," replied the old salt, hitching up his trousers. "We ought to fire a gun to wake them up."
"It is not like Captain Kendall to be caught napping when a squall is gathering," added the principal.
"I should think the thunder would wake them up. It's heavy for these parts. That squall will come all at once when it does come. It will take their sails right out of the bolt-ropes."
Mr. Lowington walked aft again, and on the quarter-deck met Flag-officer Gordon, who had also been observing the Josephine, and wondering at her continued neglect of the most ordinary precautions.
"Mr. Lavender," said the commander of the squadron.
The midshipman, ever ready to do the meagre duties assigned to him, touched his cap to Captain Gordon.
"Pass the word for the signal-officer," added the flag-officer.
"That's right, Captain Gordon!" exclaimed the principal. "If the officers of the Josephine don't do better than this, they must be broken. I am astonished."
"So am I, sir. Captain Kendall is usually very careful, and what he don't see isn't worth seeing."
"Be as expeditious as possible, for the squall will soon be upon us."
The signal-officer appeared with the midshipman and quartermaster in charge of the signals. Captain Gordon ordered the number, "Take in sail," to be set.
Paul Kendall was severely criticised on board of the ship; but, before he has suffered too much in the estimation of his sympathizing friends, let our readers be transferred to the steerage of the Josephine, in which, as the consort of the Academy Ship, the same rules and regulations prevailed. The port watch were at their studies, while the starboard watch had the deck, in charge of Mr. Terrill, the first lieutenant. This was the captain's study time, for he was a member of the several classes, and in school hours was subject to the discipline of the professors, the same as other students.
When the squall began to gather, Professor Hamblin was hearing the recitation in Greek. The learned gentleman did not think a scholar knew anything unless he possessed a considerable knowledge of Greek. It was his favorite branch, and the class in this language was his pet. He was a strict disciplinarian, and never allowed anything to interrupt the recitation in Greek if he could possibly avoid it. No scholar, not even the captain, as the regulations then were, could leave the class without his permission. It is true, the rule had not been made, or even been considered, with special reference to the commander of the vessel; but Paul had always quietly submitted to it, even at some inconvenience and sacrifice to himself. No emergency had arisen, since the Josephine went into commission, which required the setting aside of the rule, and it was supposed the professors would have judgment enough to use it with proper discretion.
Professor Hamblin, so far as Greek roots were concerned, was not lacking in judgment; but he knew no more about a ship than Cleats, the boatswain, did about Greek. He was a very learned man, and lived in a Greek and Latin atmosphere. The dead languages were the chief end of man to him. He was cold, stern, and precise, except that, when hearing a class in Greek, he warmed up a little, and became more human, especially if the students manifested a becoming interest in his favorite branch.
Unfortunately for Paul Kendall, he was not an enthusiastic devotee of the Greek language and literature. He lived too much in the present to be enamoured of anything so old, and, as it seemed to him, so comparatively useless. But he was faithful in the discharge of all the academic requirements of the institution, not excepting even those branches which he disliked. Though he was always very respectful to Professor Hamblin, he was candid enough to say that he did not like Greek. He was, therefore, no favorite of the learned gentleman, who thought his abilities and his scholarship were over-estimated—because he did not like the dead languages.
"Mr. Terrill directs me to inform you that a squall is coming up," said Ritchie, the third master, as he touched his cap to Captain Kendall.
"No interruption! No interruption!" interposed Professor Hamblin, very ill-naturedly.
The third master touched his cap, as the captain bowed to him in acknowledgment that he had heard the message, and then retired. The professor was vexed: perhaps he was a little more ill-natured than usual, on account of being slightly seasick—an effect produced by the uneasy roll of the vessel in the calm.
"Now, Mr. Kendall, go on with the dual of [Greek: admev]," added he, as Ritchie retired.
"I must beg you will excuse me, Professor Hamblin," said Paul, with the utmost deference, as he rose from the bench on which he was seated.
"Go on with the dual!" replied the professor, sternly.
Paul looked at the snapping gray eye of the learned gentleman, and was assured that he had a will of his own. As the captain of the Josephine, he did not wish to set an example of insubordination, which others might adopt before they were certain that the emergency required it. He had not seen the gathering clouds, and he had full confidence in the judgment and skill of Terrill, who was in charge of the deck. The rule was that the professors should be obeyed in study hours. This had always been the regulation on board the ship; but, then, the principal, who was a sailor himself, was always present to prevent any abuse of power.
Paul decided to yield the point for a time, at least, and he recited his lesson as directed by the professor. Half an hour later, Ritchie appeared again, with another message from the first lieutenant, to the effect that the squall was almost upon them. This was about the time that Flag-officer Gordon had sent for the signal-officer, on board of the ship.
"You must excuse me now, Professor Hamblin, for I must go on deck," said Paul, as respectfully as he could speak.
"I can't spare you; I haven't finished the exercise yet," replied Mr. Hamblin, sourly. "This is a plan to break up the lesson in Greek, because some of the young gentlemen don't like to study it."
"I beg your pardon, sir; but the officer of the deck sends me word that the squall is upon us. You can hear the thunder and see the lightning," added Paul.
"I am not afraid of thunder and lightning," growled the professor. "My classes are not to be broken up on any frivolous pretences. Mr. Lowington assured me I had full powers over all during study hours; and I tell you to be seated, and go on with your recitation."
"But the vessel is in danger, sir," protested Paul.
"I'm not afraid, and you need not be. Take your seat, sir, or I will report you to the principal."
Paul's face flushed. No officer or professor had before ever threatened to report him to Mr. Lowington. Mr. Hamblin was as ignorant as a baby upon nautical matters, and while the Josephine rolled easily on the waves, and the sails flapped idly against the masts, he could imagine no peril.
"I am sorry to disobey your order, sir; but in this instance I must," said Paul, firmly, though his voice trembled with emotion.
"Very well, sir," replied the professor, angrily, "I shall report you to the principal, and if I have any influence with him, you will be removed from your present position."
Paul did not wait to hear any more, but hastened on deck. His quick eye discovered the peril of the moment. The squall was indeed upon them. At the peak of the Young America hung the signal which had been hoisted; but it was not necessary to look in the book for its meaning.
"Mr. Terrill, call all hands—quick!" said Captain Kendall, in sharp tones.
"All hands on deck, ahoy!" roared the boatswain's mate, as he piped his shrill whistle at the main hatch.
The students flew from their seats at the mess table, deserting the two professors without an apology. With only two exceptions, the officers and crew of the Josephine were all old sailors. Most of them had been on board the ship for two years, and a sudden squall was no new thing to them. They leaped into their stations, and when the orders were given they knew exactly what to do.
"Stand by sheets and halyards!" shouted the first lieutenant. "Man the jib, and flying jib halyards, and downhauls!"
"All ready forward, sir," reported the second lieutenant, whose place was on the forecastle.
"Man the topgallant clewlines and buntlines!" continued Terrill.
"All ready, sir!"
"Ease off the sheets! Settle away the halyards! Clew up! Lay aloft, and furl topgallant-sail!"
The topgallant men sprang up the rigging like so many cats, for all hands had been thoroughly waked up by the impending peril.
"Let go the flying jib halyard! Haul down! Lay out and stow the flying jib!"
"Man the topsail clewlines and buntlines!"
"All ready, sir," replied the second lieutenant.
"Let go the topsail sheets! Clew up! Settle away the halyards! Haul taut the braces!"
All this was done in half the time it takes to read it; and the light sails of the Josephine were furled. The main gaff-topsail was taken in, and then the schooner had only her jib, foresail, and mainsail. It was not necessary to take these in until the peril became more imminent; but Paul ordered the foresail to be lowered, and reefed, for the vessel was supposed to lie to best under this sail. The Young America had furled everything except her topsails, jib, and spanker.
Professor Hamblin had not yet recovered from his astonishment, and he was as indignant as a learned Greek scholar could be. Professor Stoute and himself were the only persons left in the steerage; but while the former laughed, the latter stormed.
"I have been insulted, Mr. Stoute," said the learned gentleman. "That boy has disobeyed me, as though I were a person of no consequence."
"Why, he was perfectly respectful to you," laughed the good-natured professor. "You must remember that he is the captain of the ship, and that everything depends upon him."
"He left the class contrary to my orders; and not satisfied with that, he calls all the rest of the students on deck," added Mr. Hamblin, wrathfully. "I had not finished the Greek lesson."
"But there's a squall coming up," pleaded Mr. Stoute.
"What if there was a squall coming up. The principal assured me there were hands enough on deck to work the vessel under all ordinary circumstances."
"But you don't understand the matter, Mr. Hamblin," continued the jolly professor.
"Do you mean to insult me too, Mr. Stoute?" demanded the irate fountain-head of Greek literature.
"Certainly not; I beg your pardon, Mr. Hamblin," replied Mr. Stoute, laughing more heartily than before. "I do not profess to comprehend these nautical affairs; but I presume it was necessary to call all hands, or the captain would not have done so."
"It was not necessary. I am willing to take the responsibility of that assertion myself, and I shall report this disrespect and disobedience of the captain to Mr. Lowington. If he chooses to sustain the delinquent in such gross misconduct, I will leave the vessel at the first port we enter."
"Mr. Lowington will certainly do justice to both of you."
"Excuse me, Mr. Stoute; he must do justice to me. I have been a schoolmaster and a professor in college all my lifetime, and I do not wish to have any one speak of settling a case between me and one of my pupils. There is only one side to such a question," replied Mr. Hamblin, whose dignity was terribly damaged by the incident of the afternoon.
"Well, Mr. Hamblin, I wish to be respectful; but I also mean to be candid. I feel compelled to say that I believe you are all wrong."
"All wrong, sir!"
"Yes, sir; all wrong. Look at the question for one moment."
"I don't wish to look at it. Between teacher and pupil there can be no issues of any kind. It is my place to command, my scholar's to obey, in the school-room."
"Now, really, Mr. Hamblin," continued the laughing professor, rubbing his hands, as though he enjoyed the controversy, "while I agree with you on the general principle, I must differ from you in its application to this particular case. Your pupil is the commander of the vessel. Our very lives depend upon his prudence and skill. It was necessary to take in sail."
"Very well. Wasn't half the crew on deck for that purpose?" interposed Mr. Hamblin.
"But who shall determine whether it is necessary or not to take in sail?"
"The officer who has the care of the vessel for the time being, of course. Then there are Mr. Cleats, and Mr. Gage, and the servants to help them reduce the sails, if needed. There is not the least necessity for disturbing the classes."
"But no one except the captain can give the order to take in a single sail in the daytime. This vessel is under naval discipline, you are aware; but I think you cannot have read the rules. Here they are," added Mr. Stoute, taking the printed regulations of the ship from his pocket. "Officer of the Deck. He is not to make or take in sail in the daytime, except in a squall, without directions from the captain; but in the night he may take in sail, acquainting the captain with his reasons, which he must enter on the log."
"Well, this is a squall—isn't it?" growled Mr. Hamblin.
"Perhaps it will be; but it seems to me quite proper that the captain should go on deck when there is any danger. For my part, I have some regard for my fat body, and I don't care about leaving it here at the bottom of the German Ocean," chuckled Mr. Stoute; and he always laughed with especial gusto when he had said anything which he thought was funny. "The captain can leave any of my classes when he is sent for to look out for the vessel."
"Mr. Stoute, this is a question of discipline; and higher considerations than those of merely personal comfort and security should be brought to bear upon it. It would be impossible for me to impart to my pupils a knowledge of that noblest language of the historic past, if they are to be permitted to leave the class when they choose to do so. I shall refer this matter to Mr. Lowington for his decision. He must suspend the captain, or he must suspend me. If I cannot control my scholars, I will not attempt to instruct. It would be preposterous to do so. I shall take a boat, and go on board of the ship at once, for this difficulty admits of no delay."
Professor Hamblin, in high dudgeon, took his hat, and went up the ladder. Mr. Stoute shook his fat sides, laughing at the ire of his distinguished and learned associate. He was desirous of seeing his companion start for the ship in the approaching tempest, and he followed him on deck.
"Captain Kendall," said Mr. Hamblin, sternly, as he walked up to the young commander, heedless of the rattling thunder and the flashing lightning.
Paul bowed politely, and looked at the professor, intimating that he was ready to hear him. It was noticeable that Mr. Hamblin always called the commander "Mr. Kendall" when he was in the steerage attending to his studies, and "Captain Kendall" on deck, or in the cabin. The professor intended to indicate, by this choice of terms, that he was captain during school hours.
"Captain Kendall, I desire a boat immediately," added Mr. Hamblin.
"A boat!" exclaimed Paul, astonished at the request at such a time.
"I said a boat, Captain Kendall. I purpose to refer the matter of your disobedience to Mr. Lowington without any unnecessary delay."
"But, Mr. Hamblin, there is a squall coming up."
"I am aware of that; but I demand the boat."
"It would be dangerous, sir. The boat would certainly be swamped."
"I will take the responsibility of that."
"I should be very happy to furnish the boat, sir; but I cannot expose a crew to such a storm as will soon break upon us," replied Paul.
"You refuse—do you?" demanded the professor, angrily.
"I feel compelled to do so, sir."
"In my hearing, Mr. Lowington instructed you to furnish the professors with a boat at any time when they desired it."
"I will furnish the boat, sir; but I will not expose the crew to such peril. I will hoist out the third cutter for you, sir, if you wish."
"I demand a sufficient number of sailors to row the boat."
"You will pardon me, sir; but I will not send any seamen into a boat until the squall is over. It is unreasonable to ask such a thing."
"Unreasonable, sir! How dare you tell me I am unreasonable?" stormed the professor, stamping his foot upon the deck.
Paul bowed, but made no reply. He was placed in a very disagreeable and painful position. He knew that it was madness to send a boat off while the squall was impending. Mr. Hamblin was wrathy. The long billows were black and smooth, and the sails hung idly on the gaffs. There was no danger then, and the learned gentleman had been so fortunate as never to see any of the perils of the ocean. His passage to England in the steamer had been a remarkably pleasant one. Nothing like a gale, or even a high wind, had interrupted its serenity, and the professor had imbibed a certain contempt for the perils of the ocean. He had never seen them; and, if mere boys were able to work such a vessel as the Josephine, a learned man like himself need not tremble in their presence.
A SQUALL IN THE GERMAN OCEAN.
"Mr. Cleats!" said Professor Hamblin, in the most sternly solemn and impressive manner, as he rushed up to the adult boatswain of the Josephine.
"Here, sir!" responded the old salt, touching his cap as politely as though the learned gentleman had been an admiral.
"I want a boat, sir," continued the professor, fiercely.
"Your honor must apply to the captain," answered Cleats, touching his cap again.
"I have applied to him, and he has refused me. I desire you to take a boat, and row me to the ship. The carpenter can assist you."
"Bless your honor's heart, I can't go without the captain's orders," added Cleats, opening his eyes as wide as though he had been invited to head a mutiny.
"I will protect you from any harm, Mr. Cleats. I will represent the matter to Mr. Lowington."
"I never do anything, your honor, without orders from the captain. It would be mutiny for me to do so, and I should be hung at the fore yard-arm."
"Nonsense, Mr. Cleats! Will you listen to reason?"
"Sartain, your honor. I always listen to reason; but there isn't any reason in leaving the ship without the captain's orders."
"But the captain says I may have the boat; and I only want a couple of men to row it."
"I will pull the boat with the greatest pleasure, sir, if the captain orders me to do so; or the first lieutenant, for that matter, sir. I always obey orders, sir, if it sinks the ship."
"I have a complaint to make against the captain for disobedience of my orders, and he will not permit me to go on board of the ship to prefer the charge."
"Whew!" whistled the boatswain, as long and loud as though the sound had been made with his own shrill pipe. "A complaint against the captain! I beg your honor's pardon, but that can't be. Nobody can have a complaint against the captain."
"I do not wish to argue the matter with you. Will you do what I ask, or not?"
"I beg your honor's pardon, but I will not," replied Cleats, who seemed to have no doubt in regard to his own course, whatever rupture there might be among the powers above him.
"That's enough," growled Mr. Hamblin, turning on his heel.
"There's a big squall coming, your honor," added Cleats, loud enough for the professor to hear him. "The boat wouldn't live a minute in it."
"I am not afraid of the squall," replied the learned gentleman, pausing. "Will you row the boat?"
"No, sir; I would rather not," answered Cleats, shaking his head.
At this moment a heavy roaring, rushing sound came over the sea from the direction of the land. The water was covered with a dense white mist. The sound increased in volume till it vied with the booming thunder, and the surface of the sea was lashed into a snowy foam by the coming tempest.
"Down with the jib and mainsail!" shouted Captain Kendall, sharply.
"Stand by the mainsail halyards!" said Terrill, through his speaking trumpet. "Man the jib halyards and downhaul!"
"All ready, sir," replied the second lieutenant, forward; for all hands were still at their stations, in anticipation of the emergency.
"All ready, sir," added the fourth lieutenant, whose place was on the quarter-deck.
"Let go the mainsail halyards!" added the first lieutenant; and the order was repeated by the fourth lieutenant. "Down with it, lively!"
The heavy sail, assisted by twenty pairs of willing and eager hands, rattled down in an instant, and was speedily secured.
"Let go the jib halyards! Haul down!" said the second lieutenant, on the forecastle, when the order to take in the jib reached him.
The hands "walked away" with the downhaul, and the jib was on the bowsprit in an instant.
"Lay out and stow the jib!" added the officer. "Mind your eye there! The squall is upon us!"
The roar of the squall—heard at first miles away—swept along over the ocean, carrying a tempest of foam and spray before it, and came down upon the Josephine. Though she carried no sail, the force of the wind was enough to heel her down, while the spray leaped over her decks in the furious blast. The scene was grand and sublime. The thunders roared; the lightnings seemed to hiss in their fury, as they darted through the moist atmosphere; and the wind, hardly less than a hurricane, howled in unison with the booming thunderbolts.
At first, on the long swells of the ocean, which a moment before had been as smooth and glassy as a mirror, thousands of little white-capped waves gathered, throwing up volumes of fine spray, which was borne away by the tempest; so that the air was laden with moisture. Though the squall came heavy in the beginning, it did not attain its full power for several minutes. The effect even of the onslaught of the tempest was tremendous, and officers and crew clung to the rigging and the wood-work of the vessel, fearful that the savage blast would take them bodily from their feet, and bear them away into the angry ocean.
"Down with the helm!" roared Captain Kendall to the quartermaster, who, with four of the strongest seamen, had been stationed at the wheel.
The action of the fierce wind upon the vessel's side was powerful enough to give her steerage-way without any sail, and her head came up to the gale, so that she took the blast on her port bow. Thus far, the effect upon the ocean did not correspond with the violence of the tempest; for even the severest blow does not immediately create a heavy sea. But, if the tempest continued even for a few minutes, this result was sure to follow. There is no especial peril in a squall, if the seaman has had time to take in sail, unless in a heavy sea; but it does not take long for a hurricane, in the open ocean, to stir up the water to its maddest fury.
Professor Hamblin was walking up and down in the waist,—a very pretty type of the squall itself,—when the initial stroke of the tempest came upon the Josephine. His "stove-pipe" hat, as non-nautical as anything could be, which he persisted in wearing, was tipped from his head, and borne over the rail into the sea. This accident did not improve his temper, and he was on the point of asking the captain to send a boat to pick up his lost tile, when the full force of the squall began to be expended upon the vessel. He found himself unable to stand up; and he reeled to the mainmast, where Professor Stoute was already moored to the fife-rail.
"Wouldn't you like the boat now, Mr. Hamblin?" chuckled the jolly professor, hardly able to speak without having his words blown down his throat.
"I've lost my hat," growled the learned gentleman, almost choked with ill-nature within, and the ill-wind without.
"Ask the captain to send a boat for it," laughed Mr. Stoute. "There he stands! Upon my word, he is a wonder to me! He handles the vessel like an old admiral who has been imbedded in salt for forty years!"
"Any boy could do it!" snarled the irate professor.
"It is fortunate that Captain Kendall went on deck when he did," added Mr. Stoute. "We should all have gone to the bottom if they hadn't taken in sail in season."
"You distress yourself with mighty bugbears," sneered Mr. Hamblin. "I am very sorry to see you encouraging insubordination among your pupils, and—"
And a blast more savage than any which had before struck the vessel ended the professor's speech; for, while it drenched him with salt water, it gave him all he wanted to do to hold on for his life. He worked himself round under the lee of the mainmast, and held on with both hands at the fife-rail, his breath blown down into his lungs by the wind.
The squall was not one of those which come and go in a few moments; and, in a short time, the sea had been lashed into a boiling, roaring, foam-capped maelstrom. The Josephine rolled and pitched most fearfully. Below there was a fierce crashing of everything movable, while the winds howled a savage storm-song through the swaying rigging. By the captain's order, the crew had, with great difficulty, extended several life-lines across the deck, for the safety of those who were compelled to move about in executing the various manoeuvres which the emergency required.
The angry professor began to cool off under the severe regimen of the tempest. He was drenched to the skin by the spray, and it required the utmost activity on his part to enable him to keep his hold upon the fife-rail. Now the vessel rolled, and pitched him upon his moorings; and then rolled again, jerking him, at arm's length, away from them, his muscles cracking under the pressure. Professor Stoute, determined to be on the safe side, had passed the end of the lee topgallant brace around his body, and secured himself to one of the belaying pins. Nothing ever disturbed his equanimity, and though he was doubtless fully impressed by the sublimity of the storm, he was just as jolly and good-natured as ever.
The captain and the executive officer were holding on at one of the life-lines on the quarter-deck. Paul looked as noble and commanding as though he had been a foot taller, with a full beard grown upon his face. He appeared to be master of the situation, and Professor Stoute regarded him with an admiration strongly in contrast with the disgust of his fellow-teacher. The competent captain of the ship is always little less than a miracle of a man to his passengers, especially in a storm, when he is confident and self-reliant. They feel that everything—their very lives, and the lives of those they love—are dependent upon him, and they look up to him as to an oracle of skill and wisdom.
"It's coming heavier and heavier," said Terrill, as the Josephine gave a fearful lurch.
"Ay, ay! It's nothing less than a hurricane," replied Paul.
"It's the biggest squall I ever was in," added Terrill, blowing the salt water out of his mouth, after a pint of spray had slapped him in the face.
"It is kicking up an awful sea."
"Keep your helm hard down, Blair!" shouted Paul to the quartermaster in charge of the wheel.
"She don't mind it now, sir!" yelled the quartermaster, at the top of his lungs.
"She's falling off, Mr. Terrill," added Paul.
"I see she is, sir."
"We must keep her head up to it, or our decks will be washed. Hard down, Blair!"
"She don't mind it, sir!"
"Set the close-reefed foresail, Mr. Terrill," said the captain. "But be careful of the hands."
Terrill, with the trumpet in his hand, sprang from the life-line to the fife-rail, so as to be nearer to the hands who were to execute the captain's order. The unpleasant plight of Mr. Hamblin attracted his attention, in spite of the pressure of the emergency. His gyrations, as he bobbed about under the uneasy motions of the vessel, gave him a ludicrous appearance, which even the positive expression of suffering on his face did not essentially mitigate. He had evidently come to a realizing sense of the perils of the sea, and was a pitiful sight to behold.
"Man the foresail outhaul!" shouted Terrill, through his trumpet. "Mr. Martyn!"
"Here, sir!" replied the second lieutenant; but his voice sounded like a whisper in the roar of the hurricane.
"Double the hands on the outhaul!" added Terrill. "Stand by the brails!"
"All ready, forward, sir!" reported Martyn.
"Stand by the fore-sheets!—Mr. Cleats!" continued the executive officer.
"Here, sir!" said the old sailor, who, with the carpenter, was holding on at the weather-rail.
"Will you and Mr. Gage assist at the sheet?"
"Ay, ay, sir! This is heavy work. I hope she'll carry that foresail."
"She must carry it, or carry it away," added Terrill. "We are falling off badly."
"So we are; it ought to be done," answered the boatswain, as he began to overhaul the sheets.
It was with the greatest difficulty that any one could stand up on deck. The billows were momentarily increasing, and the Josephine had fallen off into the trough of the sea, and rolled helplessly in the surging waves, so that her fore yard appeared almost to dip in the brine. The outhaul was run out on the deck, and manned by all the hands that could get hold of it. The lee sheet was extended in like manner, and the whole after guard, besides the two adult forward officers, were called to walk away with it.
"O, dear!" groaned Mr. Hamblin, after the vessel had given an unusually heavy lee lurch, the jerk of which had nearly knocked the breath out of his body.
"What's the matter, your honor?" demanded Cleats, who always pitied a landlubber in a gale.
"Do you think there's any danger, Mr. Cleats?" gasped the professor.
"Danger! Bless your honor's heart! there's never any danger in a good ship, well manned," replied the veteran tar, as he knocked a kink out of the sheet. "Look at the captain! When he gets scared, you may."
"It is really terrible!" puffed the learned professor.
"Wouldn't your honor like the boat now?" growled the boatswain, with a hearty chuckle.
"All ready at the sheets, sir!" screamed Robinson, the fourth lieutenant, who had charge of the waist at quarters.
"Hold on, Mr. Terrill!" shouted the captain, as the Josephine rolled on her lee side till the water bubbled up in her scuppers. "Wait till I give you the word!"
Paul was waiting for a favorable moment, when the blast should lull a little, to set the reefed foresail.
"You must get out of the way, gentlemen!" said Terrill, roaring out the words through his trumpet. "The sheet blocks will knock you over!"
Mr. Stoute unmoored himself, and made a dive at the life-line, where the captain was holding on; but, being rather clumsy in his obesity, he missed his aim, and was thrown into the scuppers. Mr. Cleats went to his assistance, and picked him up while he lay upon his back, with his legs and arms thrown up like a turtle trying to turn over. Mr. Hamblin was not encouraged by this experiment of his associate.
"Why don't you go below, sir?" shouted Terrill, placing his trumpet close to the professor's head.
"I can't move," replied he.
"Mr. Gage will help you," added the lieutenant.
The carpenter assisted Mr. Hamblin to the companion-way, while the boatswain had succeeded in rolling Mr. Stoute up to the same point. The doors were opened, and the head steward helped them down the ladder.
"All ready!" shouted Captain Kendall, when the favorable moment came for setting the foresail.
"Let go the brails!" bellowed the executive officer. "Haul out!"
The ready seaman promptly obeyed the order, at the instant when the vessel, having rolled over as far as her centre of gravity would permit her to go in the trough of the sea, was poised as it were on a balance, waiting for the recoil of the wave that was to throw her down on the weather roll. The close-reefed foresail flew out from the brails, and began to thresh tremendously in the fierce blast.
"Slack the weather vang!" continued Terrill to the hands who had been stationed at this rope. "Walk away with the sheet!"
It required a tremendous pull to haul home the sheet of the foresail, banging furiously in the tempest; but there was force enough to accomplish it, though not till the vessel had made her weather roll, which lifted half the line of seamen from their feet. The close-reefed foresail was trimmed so as to lay the schooner to with her head up to the sea. The billows were increasing in volume so fearfully that it was no longer prudent to permit the vessel to roll in the trough of the sea, where she was in danger of being overwhelmed by the combing waves.
"Mind your helm, Blair!" called the first lieutenant, springing aft to the wheel. "Port a little! Don't let the sail be taken aback!"
The head of the Josephine came up handsomely to the sea, and it was thus proved that the double-reefed foresail was just the sail for such an emergency. It was only to be demonstrated whether the sail would be blown out of the bolt-ropes or not. If it had been an old one, such would probably have been its fate; but being nearly new, and of the best material, it stood the strain to the end.
"Mind your eye, Blair!" roared Terrill. "Starboard!"
"Starboard, sir!" replied the quartermaster.
"Touch her up when it comes so heavy," added the lieutenant.
The vessel had fallen off, and took the wind so far on the beam that she buried her scuppers deep in the waves. The order to "touch her up," or luff her up into the wind, so as partially to spill the sail, was given to ease off the tremendous pressure. The Josephine minded her helm, and luffed so that she righted herself.
"Steady, Blair!" called the lieutenant. "Port! Not too much, or you'll broach her to!"
"Sail ho!" suddenly shouted several of the seamen in the forward part of the vessel.
"Right over the lee bow! She has capsized!"
Paul and Terrill ran to the rail, and discovered a small vessel, lying over on her beam ends.
"That's a Dutch galiot!" exclaimed Cleats, who promptly recognized the craft. "That's a trick they have of turning bottom upwards."
"Port!" shouted Terrill, who did not take his eye off the foresail of the Josephine for more than an instant at a time.
The attention of the quartermaster and the helmsman had been attracted by the announcement of the wreck, and they had permitted the Josephine to luff up until the foresail began to shake. The atmosphere was so thick that the galiot was seen but for an instant, and it then disappeared in the dense mists. Captain Kendall trembled with emotion when he saw the disabled vessel; but it was impossible to do anything for her until the hurricane subsided.
Fortunately the worst of it had already passed, and a few moments later it ceased almost as suddenly as it commenced. The rain began to fall in torrents, while a fresh breeze and a tremendous sea were all that remained of the hurricane—for such it was, rather than an ordinary squall.
"Set the jib and mainsail, Mr. Terrill," said Captain Kendall. "We must endeavor to find that wreck."
These sails were accordingly hoisted, the Josephine came about, and stood off in the direction towards which the galiot was supposed to have drifted. The Young America had not been seen since the squall came up; but Paul conjectured that she had run away before it. He was deeply interested in the fate of those on board of the wreck, and trusted he should be able to render them some assistance, if all on board of her had not already perished.
The rain poured down furiously; but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the young officers and crew, though they were already drenched to the skin. The reefed foresail was taken in, for it was found that the jib and mainsail were all the schooner needed. She stood on for an hour or more, without obtaining a sight of the wreck, though every eye on board was strained to catch the first glimpse of it.
"We must have passed her," said the captain.
"It is so thick we can't see her, even if we should go within half a mile of her."
"Come about, and stand a little more to the southward!" added Captain Kendall. "Let the fog-horns be blown. We may get a signal of some kind from them."
"I am afraid they were lost overboard; and that there is no one left to make a signal," answered Terrill, sadly.
The vessel was put about, and headed as indicated by the captain. The fog-horns were blown at intervals, and every one on board listened eagerly for a reply. These efforts were not unavailing, for a response was obtained after the Josephine had run half an hour on her present course. A hoarse shout was heard on the weather beam, which was unmistakably a cry of distress.
"Steady as she is!" said Paul to the executive officer, as soon as the sounds were reported to him, and the direction from which they came.
"Are you not going about, Captain Kendall?" asked Terrill, with a look of anxiety on his dripping face.
"Certainly; but if we go about here, we should fall to leeward of the wreck," replied Paul.
The Josephine stood on for a few moments longer, and then tacked.
"Blow the horns, and keep a sharp lookout forward," added the captain, who was quite as anxious as any other person on board; but he kept apparently cool, in deference to the dignity of his high office.
"I see her!" shouted Wheeler, the boatswain, who had gone out on the flying jib-boom.
"Where away is she?" demanded Martyn, from the forecastle.
"Well on the lee bow, sir."
"Are we headed for her?"
"Ay, ay, sir! We shall go clear of her to windward."
"Wreck on the lee bow, sir," reported the second lieutenant to Terrill, who in turn reported to the captain.
"Clear away the first cutter, Mr. Terrill," said Paul.
"All the first cutters, ahoy!" shouted the boatswain's mate.
"Mr. Pelham will have charge of the boat," added Captain Kendall, who had great confidence in the zeal and ability of this officer.
"The wreck! The wreck!" shouted all hands, as the disabled galiot came into view.
On the rail of the vessel, whose starboard half was completely submerged in the water, were two men, making violent gestures, and shouting to the crew of the Josephine. Not a word they said could be understood, but it was easy enough for Yankees to guess the meaning of their words. The schooner was thrown up into the wind, the jib lowered, and she lay to under the mainsail. Pelham and the crew of the first cutter took their places in the boat, and were lowered into the stormy sea. The falls were cast off the instant she struck the water; the coxswain gave his orders rapidly, and the cutter went off, rising and falling on the huge waves like a feather.
The distance was short; but even this was a hard pull in such a violent sea. Pelham was cool and steady, and his self-possession encouraged the crew to their best efforts. The boat ran up under the lee of the wreck, and made fast to one of the masts. As soon as it was secured, both of the men on the rail began to jabber in an unintelligible language.
"Parlez-vous francais?" shouted Pelham, who had some knowledge of the polite language.
But the men made no response; and it was evident that no long speeches need be made on the present occasion. Pelham made signs to them to come down into the boat, which they did. They were not satisfied, but continued to talk in their own language, and to point earnestly to the after part of the wreck. One of them repeated a word so many times, that the officer of the boat was enabled at last to separate it from the confused jumble of sentences.
"Vrow?" said he.
The man nodded earnestly, and pointed with redoubled vigor to the after part of the galiot.
Vrow means wife; and Pelham concluded that the skipper's lady was in the cabin, but whether dead or alive he did not know.
SOMETHING ABOUT DIKES.
It was evident to those on board of the Josephine that there was some reason for the delay of the boat in not bringing off the survivors of the wreck. The energetic motions of the men on the disabled vessel could be dimly seen through the mist and rain.
"Hoist the jib, Terrill," said Captain Kendall. "We will run up to the wreck, and ascertain what the trouble is."
"Man the jib halyards! Stand by the jib sheet!" added Terrill.
"All ready, sir!"
"Let go the downhaul! Hoist away!" continued the first lieutenant. "Port the helm!"
The mainsail was trimmed, the jib sheet hauled down, and the schooner filled away again. She ran close under the lee of the galiot, just far enough off to clear her masts.
"What's the matter, Mr. Pelham?" called Terrill through his trumpet.
"There's a woman in the cabin," replied Pelham.
"Clear away the gig!" said Captain Kendall, as the Josephine passed out of hailing distance of the wreck. "Mr. Martyn will take charge of the boat."
The gig's crew were piped away, and the falls were manned. The second lieutenant stood ready at the gangway to take his place in the boat. The operation of hoisting out a boat was not so difficult and dangerous as it had been when the first cutter went off, for the sea was every moment abating its fury.
"Mr. Cleats and Mr. Gage will go in the boat with a couple of axes," added the captain, who had been studying the position of the wreck.
The first lieutenant gave the order to the adult forward officers, who presented themselves at the gangway provided with their implements, ready to do the work assigned to them. By this time the weather had begun to clear off, and a streak of blue sky appeared in the west. The low land and the white cliffs and sand hills were seen again; but the coast was different from that which they had observed before the tempest burst upon them.
"Mr. Martyn, you will cut away the masts of the wreck; but first endeavor to save the woman in the cabin," added the captain, when the crew of the boat had taken their places, and everything was in readiness to lower the boat.
"I will do the best I can," replied Martyn, as he stepped into the gig.
"If the galiot does not right when the masts are cut away, report to me."
The boat went off on her mission of mercy, and those left on board of the schooner watched her progress with the most intense interest. All felt that they were not "playing sailor" then, but that the issues of life and death depended upon the exertions of the two boats' crews.
"Have you any idea where we are, Captain Kendall?" asked Terrill, gazing earnestly at the distant shore, which was now revealing itself with greater clearness.
Paul took a spy-glass and carefully surveyed the shore. Terrill took another glass, and both of them went up into the main rigging, so as to obtain a better view of the shore.
"There are some church steeples near the coast, and farther back there is a great number of them," said Terrill.
"All right," replied Paul, as he returned to the deck, followed by the first lieutenant.
"Do you make out the coast?" asked the latter.
"Yes; we are on Thornton's Ridge. Throw the lead!" replied Paul, with some anxiety, as he took the glass and pointed it in the direction opposite the shore.
"By the mark five!" reported the quartermaster, who was heaving the lead in the fore chains.
"That proves it," exclaimed Paul. "We are on Thornton's. The steeples on the shore are Blankenburg, and those farther off are the Bruges steeples. We are about twelve miles to the eastward of the North Hinder, where there is a light-vessel. We have been drifting to the southward. We will tack now, and stand over to windward of the wreck."
The Josephine went about again, and stood up to the point indicated by the captain. The wind had now subsided to a gentle breeze, and the sea was abating its violence in a corresponding degree. The lead was thrown continually, but not less than three fathoms was indicated at any time. Cleats and Gage, with their sharp axes, were dealing heavy blows at the masts of the galiot, while the crew of the gig and first cutter were clearing away the standing rigging. By the time the schooner reached the position to windward of the wreck, the work had been accomplished. The two boats had backed away from the wreck, and suddenly the hull righted. A few more strokes of the axes severed the shrouds, which could not be reached while the vessel lay upon her side.
Pelham, who was on the deck of the vessel when she righted, rushed to the companion-way, which had been submerged before. He was closely followed by the two men. The cabin was half full of water; but he found there a woman and a young girl of sixteen, who had been clinging for life to an upper berth. The gallant lieutenant plunged up to his middle in the water, and bore the girl to the ladder. At the same time, the older of the men performed a similar service for the woman. He was evidently the husband of the woman and the father of the girl. When he returned to the deck, he embraced the woman and the girl, and lavished upon them the most tender caresses.
"Mr. Pelham, you will convey these people to the Josephine, and report what has been done to the captain," said Martyn, who was the superior officer.
The first cutter was hauled up to the gangway of the galiot, and Pelham by signs invited the family to embark. They comprehended his meaning, and the females were assisted into the boat. The older man, who was apparently the skipper of the vessel, exhibited some reluctance at leaving his craft. His heart seemed to be broken by the calamity which had befallen him, and he wept bitterly, uttering piteous exclamations, which could not be understood by the Josephines, as Pelham hurried him into the cutter.
The party continued their sad wailings till the boat reached the schooner. The women were assisted to the deck, where they stood staring with blank amazement at the vessel and her crew. The skipper was bewildered by the misfortune that overshadowed him.
"I am glad to see you, sir," said Paul, as the disconsolate captain came up the accommodation ladder.
"No use, Captain Kendall," said Pelham, smiling. "They can't speak a word of English."
"Do you know anything about the vessel?" asked Paul.
"I read her name on the stern, as we came back, and wrote it down; for a Yankee would choke to death in uttering it," replied Pelham, as he produced a piece of wet paper. "It is the 'Wel tevreeden, Dordrecht.'"
"That's Dutch. She hails from Dort," added Paul.
"Where are the professors?" asked Terrill. "Can they speak Dutch?"
The professors, who had seen enough of rough weather for one day, had been making themselves as comfortable as possible in the cabin. The Dutchman and his family were conducted below by the first lieutenant.
"What have you here?" demanded Mr. Stoute, who had just come from his berth, in which he had bolstered himself up, in order, as he expressed it, to know exactly where he was.
"We have just saved them from the wreck of a Dutch galiot. They can't speak a word of English, and we wish you to talk to them."
"In Dutch?" laughed Mr. Stoute. "I cannot do it."
"What is the matter, Mr. Terrill?" inquired Professor Hamblin, who had also taken to his berth to save his limbs from being broken.
"A vessel has been wrecked, and we have saved two men and two women. Can you talk Dutch?" asked the first lieutenant, going to the door of the professor's state-room.
Mr. Hamblin proved to be no wiser than his associate, so far as the Dutch language was concerned; and it was found to be impossible to hold any communication with the wrecked persons except by signs. They were committed to the care of the steward, by whom everything was done to render them comfortable. The captain's state-room was given to the women, and they were supplied with hot coffee and other refreshments.
"What is the condition of the wreck, Mr. Pelham?" asked Captain Kendall, as soon as the unfortunate persons had been provided for.
"She is half full of water," replied the second master. "The crew of the gig were pumping her out when we left."
"Do you know anything about her cargo?"
"No, sir. Her hatches were battened down, and we could not see what was in the hold."
The first lieutenant was directed to detail a working party for the wreck, to assist in pumping her out, and the first cutter returned to the galiot with sixteen hands. Orders were sent to Martyn to use every exertion to save the vessel and her cargo. It was now nearly dark; but the weather was favorable, and Paul hoped to get the dismasted galiot into port on the following day.
The cutter reached the wreck, and the crew of the gig, who had been pumping and baling diligently, were relieved by fresh hands. The work went on with renewed energy. The hatches had been taken off, and the cargo was found to consist of butter, cheese, and manufactured goods. The boatswain had explored the hold, and declared that the merchandise was not badly damaged. The galiot had taken in less water than was supposed, from her position on the waves. After four hours of severe toil by the young seamen, the pumps sucked. The hull was tight, and the working party were greatly encouraged by the success of their efforts.
The boatswain and carpenter, assisted by the boys, rigged a jury-mast out of the foremast of the galiot, which had been saved for the purpose. A jib and foresail were bent upon it, and the "Wel tevreeden" was in condition to make a harbor. It was midnight when the work was completed, and the report sent to Captain Kendall. Martyn, Pelham, and a crew of ten, to be assisted by Cleats and Gage, were detailed to take the galiot into the Scheldt.
During the first part of the night it had been a dead calm, which had greatly assisted the labors of the working party. About four o'clock, on the morning of Sunday, a light breeze from the westward sprang up, and the order was given by signal for the galiot to make sail, and to follow the Josephine. There was hardly a four-knot breeze, with the tide setting out; and the progress of the galiot, under her short sail, was very slow.
Nothing had been seen of the Young America since the storm shut down upon her and concealed her from the view of those on board of the Josephine. Paul knew that Mr. Lowington would be exceedingly anxious about him and his vessel; but he was proud and happy in the reflection that he had carried the Josephine safely through the perils which had surrounded her. He had not closed his eyes during the night, as indeed no one connected with the sailing department of the schooner had done. The professors and the wrecked party had all turned in as usual, while Paul kept vigil on deck with the first lieutenant.
"Sail ho!" cried the lookout forward, about seven o'clock in the morning.
A small vessel was discovered approaching the Josephine from the direction of the shore, or rather of the mouth of the Scheldt, whose western estuary forms a broad bay about twelve miles in width. As the small craft came near, it was evident that she was a pilot boat. She carried a red flag at her mast-head, on which was a number in white figures. On her principal sail there was a large letter "P," and under it "ANTWERPEN." When she hove in sight, the jack was hoisted at the foremast-head of the Josephine, which is the signal for a pilot. As the little cutter rounded to, the words "Bateau Pilote" with her number, were seen on the stern.
She was a Belgian pilot-boat. The mouth of the Scheldt, and its course for forty miles, are in Holland, and off the mouth of the river both Dutch and Belgian pilots offer their services to inward-bound vessels; but the sea pilots take vessels only to Flushing, the river pilotage being a separate charge. Mr. Lowington had instructed Paul, as the squadron was bound to Antwerp, to prefer a Belgian pilot, who would take the vessel up to that city, and charge the pilotage in one bill.
A canoe put off from the "Bateau Pilote," and a weather-beaten Belgian sailor leaped upon the deck. He opened his eyes very wide when he had taken a single glance at the vessel and her crew. He seemed to be as much confounded as the Liverpool pilot had been on a similar occasion. The professors were at breakfast in the cabin, and not a single man appeared on deck.
"L'Amerique?" said the pilot, glancing at the flag which floated at the peak.
"Oui," replied Paul, laughing.
"Ou est le capitaine, monsieur?" added the pilot, looking around him again.
"Je suis capitaine," replied Paul.
"C'est possible. You speak English?—parlez-vous anglais?" added Paul.
"I speak un pere," replied the pilot. "What vessel that is?" he continued, pointing to the galiot, which was following in the wake of the Josephine.
"She is a Dutch vessel, that was upset yesterday. We saved her. The captain and his family are on board, but none of us have been able to speak a word to him."
"Where bound are you?"
"To Antwerp. We have a crew on board of the galiot. We will not attempt to take her to Antwerp."
"She have taken a pilot," said the Belgian, as another man from the "Bateau Pilote" boarded her. "She shall be taken to Flushing."
"You will put into Flushing, then, so that I can obtain the men on board of her."
"Did a ship—the Young America—go up the river last night?" asked Paul.
"No; no ship. We see a ship off the Rabs when the storm came. She come about, and go to sea before the wind."
This was what Paul supposed the Young America had done. He had no fears in regard to the safety of the ship as long as she had plenty of sea room. She would soon return, and the pilot-boat would be able to report the Josephine to the anxious people on board of her. The Belgian pilot took charge of the vessel; and after he had headed her towards the channel by which he intended to enter the river, he began to ask questions in regard to the juvenile officers and crew. He did not speak English any more fluently than Paul did French, and they did not get along very well. Mr. Stoute, having finished his breakfast, came on deck. He taught the French in the Josephine, and was very happy to find an opportunity to air his vocabulary.
The skipper of the galiot came up from the cabin soon after with his family. As the pilot spoke Dutch, the story of the unfortunate captain was obtained at last. The vessel had been caught in the squall, and knocked down. Two men on deck had been washed away and drowned. The companion-way being open, the water had rushed in and prevented the vessel from righting. The women, who lived on board all the time, as is frequently the case with the families of Dutch skippers, had climbed up and obtained a hold upon the berths on the port side of the cabin. By these means they were saved from drowning; but the cabin doors, being on the starboard side, were under water, so that they could not escape while the vessel lay on her beam-ends.
The Josephine, followed by the "Wel tevreeden," entered the river. It was a beautiful day, warm and pleasant; and the officers and crew, in spite of the hardships of the preceding night, were eager to obtain their first view of the new country whose waters they were now entering. It was still over sixty miles, by the course of the Scheldt, to Antwerp; but the sights on the river and on the shore were novel and interesting. The vessels which sailed up and down the river were essentially different from any they had ever seen, with the exception, perhaps, of the wrecked galiot. They looked more like huge canal-boats than sea-going vessels. Some of them had wings, or boards, at their sides, which were let down when the craft was going on the wind, thus serving the same purpose as a centreboard. Others were rigged so that their masts could be lowered to the deck in passing bridges.
Maps, guide-books, and other volumes of reference were in great demand among the students, and Professor Stoute was continually questioned by all hands. Mr. Hamblin was too grouty to permit any such familiarity, and doubtless he was saved from exposing his ignorance of the interesting country which the voyagers had now entered.
The West Scheldt, upon whose waters the Josephine was now sailing, is sometimes called the Hond. On the left, and in plain sight from the deck, was Walcheren, the most extensive of the nine islands which constitute the province of Zealand, the most southern and western division of the kingdom of Holland. Zeeland, or Zealand, means sea-land; and its territory seems to belong to the ocean, since it is only by the most persevering care that the sea is prevented from making a conquest of it. These islands are for the most part surrounded and divided by the several mouths of the Scheldt, all of which are navigable.
Our readers who have been on the sea-shore where the coast is washed by the broad ocean, or any considerable bay, have observed a ridge of sand, gravel, or stones thrown up from ten to twenty feet higher than the land behind. This was caused by the action of the sea. The exterior shore of Holland, that is, the land bordering upon the open ocean, has generally a ridge of sand of this description. The sand-hills or hummocks which are observed on the shores of Holland and Belgium are produced by the ceaseless beating of the stormy waves.
In Holland, these ridges, or chains of sand-hills, are called "dunes." They extend, with little interruption, from the Straits of Dover to the Zuyder Zee. The ridge is from one to three miles wide, and rising from twenty to fifty feet in height. The sand of which the "dunes" are composed is generally so fine that it is readily blown by a sharp wind; and they were as troublesome as the sands of Sahara in a simoom. In a dry and windy day, the atmosphere would become dim from the sand smoke of the dunes, and the material was conveyed in this manner far into the interior of the country, covering up the rich soil, so that it became necessary to dig up the sand. To overcome this evil, a kind of coarse reed grass is annually sown on the dunes, which forms a tough sod, and prevents the sand from being blown away.
The dunes form a natural barrier to the progress of the sea; but these, of themselves, are insufficient to accomplish the purpose; for in the highest tides the waters sweep through the openings or valleys between the sand-hills. Immense dikes and sea-walls are erected to complete the security of the country from the invasions of the ocean. The embankments which protect the islands of Zealand are over three hundred miles in length in the aggregate, and involve an annual expense of two millions of guilders—more than eight hundred thousand dollars—in repairs.
"The great dike of West Kappel is there," said the pilot to Captain Kendall, as he pointed to the land on the northern shore of the estuary.
"I don't see anything," replied Paul.
"There is nothing particular to see on this side of the dike," interposed Professor Stoute, laughing at the astonishment of the captain. "What did you expect to see?"
"I hardly know. I have heard so much about the dikes of Holland, that I expected to see a big thing when I came across one of them," added Paul.
"They are a big thing; but really there is very little to see."
"But what is a dike, sir?" asked Paul, curiously. "I never supposed it was anything more than a mud wall."
"It is nothing more than that, only it is on a very large scale, and it must be constructed with the nicest care; for the lives and property of the people depend upon its security. When they are going to build a dike, the first consideration, as in putting up a heavy building, is the foundation. I suppose you have seen a railroad built through a marsh, or other soft place."
"Yes, sir; the railroad at Brockway went over the head of the bay, where the bottom was very soft. As fast as they put in gravel for the road, the mud squashed up on each side, making a ridge almost as high as the road itself. They built a heavy stone wharf at Brockway, the year before we sailed, and the weight of it lifted up the bottom of the shallow bay a hundred feet from it, so that boats get aground there now at half tide."
"That is the idea exactly: The foundation is not solid; and that is often the chief difficulty in building a dike. The immense weight of the material of which it is constructed crowds the earth out from under it, and it sinks down faster than they can build it. In such places as this they find it necessary to drive piles, to build the embankment on."
"They must cost a heap of money, then."
"The annual expense even for repairs of dikes in Holland is about three millions of dollars of our money. Speaking of that very dike of West Kappel," added the professor, pointing to its long, inclined escarpment, "it is said if it had been originally built of solid copper, the prime cost would have been less than the amount which has since been expended upon it in building, rebuilding, restoring, and repairing it. But the money spent on dikes is the salvation of Holland. The entire country would be washed away in a few years, if they were suffered to decay."
"I see there are trees growing on the shore, farther up the river," added Paul.
"Those trees are willows; and wherever it is possible for them to thrive, they encourage their growth for two reasons: first, because the roots of the trees strengthen the dike; and, secondly, because the willow twigs are wanted in repairing and securing the embankment. The foundations of sea-dikes vary from a hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty feet in width. The rampart is made of clay, which, as being impervious to water, forms the entire structure when the material is available in sufficient quantities. The maximum height of the dikes is forty feet; but of course they vary in this respect with the elevation of the land to be protected by them."
"But I should think the mud and clay would be washed away by the beating of the sea."
"So they are sometimes; and to guard against such an event, which is a calamity in this country, the dike is covered with a kind of thatch-work of willow twigs, which has to be renewed every three or four years. Occasionally the outer surface of the embankment is faced with masonry, the stone for which has to be brought from Norway."
"A ship there is coming in," interrupted the pilot, pointing to seaward.
She was several miles distant, standing in under all sail. She was examined with the spy-glasses, and every one was rejoiced to learn that it was the Young America.
UP THE SCHELDT TO FLUSHING.
"I am very glad to see the ship again," said Paul to Professor Stoute.
"I supposed she would get in before us, we were detained so long by the wreck," replied Mr. Stoute.
"Probably she stood off and on during the night, seeking for us," added Paul, as he again looked through the spy-glass at the ship. "She seems to be sound in all her upper works, so far as I can see."
"I dare say the ship would be safe enough as long as Mr. Lowington and Mr. Fluxion are on board of her."
"Yes, sir; I didn't suppose any harm had come to her; but Mr. Lowington will naturally be very anxious about us. He has made us out by this time, and is satisfied that we are still on the top of the water. There are the steeples of a town," said Paul, pointing to the Walcheren shore. "That must be Middleburg."
"This island was inundated in 1808," continued Mr. Stoute, after the pilot had assured him that the steeples seen in the interior of the island were those of Middleburg. "Though the sea is as diligently watched as the advance-guard of an invading army, the great dike of West Kappel broke through, and a large part of the island was under water. Middleburg has its own dikes and ditches, the former constituting the wall of the town, upon the top of which there is a public promenade. This dike or mound kept the water out of the city after the sea-dike had given way. The inundation rose as high as the roofs of the houses in the town, but was fortunately kept at bay by the strength of the walls."
"Were you ever in Holland, Mr. Stoute?" asked Paul, with a significant smile.
"Never," laughed the professor; "but the schoolmaster must not be abroad when boys ask as many questions as the students on board of this vessel. As soon as I learned that we were coming to Holland, I read up everything I could find relating to the country, and I assure you my interest in the country has been doubled by my studies. We have in our library quite a collection of works relating more or less directly to Holland. The New American Encyclopaedia contains very full and reliable articles on the subject. We have a full list of Murray's Hand-Books, which form a library in themselves, and which impart the most minute information. Indeed, half the books of travel which are written are based upon Murray's invaluable works. Then we have Motley's History of the Dutch Republic, and the two volumes of his United Netherlands which have been published. My knowledge of Holland and Belgium comes mainly from these works."
"I haven't had time to look up these matters yet. I have given considerable extra time to my French. As soon as we are moored, I suppose Mr. Mapps will give us his lecture on the country; and I intend to make that the basis of my reading."
"Then I will not say anything more about the dikes," laughed Mr. Stoute. "You can do the matter up more systematically by your intended course."
"I am very glad to get all I can without the trouble of hunting it up," replied Paul, as he glanced again at the Young America. "I may have more time than I want to study up these subjects."
"I suppose I am to be court-martialed for disobedience as soon as Mr. Lowington arrives," replied Paul, fixing his eyes upon the deck. "Mr. Hamblin has not spoken to me since I left the class yesterday afternoon."
"It is not proper for me to say anything about that to you, Captain Kendall," added Mr. Stoute.
"I feel that I have tried to do my duty; and, whatever happens to me, I shall endeavor to be satisfied."
Professor Stoute walked away, apparently to avoid any further conversation on the disagreeable subject. Paul did not feel quite easy about the difficulty which had occurred between him and the dignified professor. He had hoped and expected that the storm would justify his action in the opinion of the learned gentleman; but Mr. Hamblin carefully avoided him, and he was confident he intended to prefer charges against him as soon as the principal arrived.
The Josephine was now entering the port of Flushing. The pilot was talking with the Dutch skipper very earnestly, and occasionally glancing at the "Wel tevreeden." The latter seemed to be very uneasy, and to manifest a great deal of solicitude in regard to his vessel, notwithstanding she was safe, though the cargo had been damaged, and she had lost her masts and part of her standing rigging.
"Captain Schimmelpennink to you wish to talk," said the pilot, stepping up to Paul.
"Who?" exclaimed Paul, almost stunned by the sound of the Dutchman's name.
The pilot repeated it, but not much more to the edification of the young commander than before.
"I can't talk Dutch," laughed Paul.
"I for you will speak the English," added the Belgian.
This was hardly more encouraging than the Dutch of the disconsolate skipper; but Paul consented to the conference.
"The galiot to you belongs for the labor you have to save him," continued the pilot.
With some difficulty, with the assistance of Mr. Stoute, who, however, was not familiar with French nautical terms, Paul learned that Captain Schimmelpennink was much disturbed about the ultimate disposal of the "Wel tevreeden." According to maritime law, recognized by all countries, the captain, officers, and crew of the Josephine were entitled to salvage for saving the vessel. As, without assistance, it was probable that the galiot would have been totally lost, the salvors would be entitled to the greater part of the value of the wreck when it should be sold. One half, two thirds, or even three fourths, is sometimes awarded to those who save a vessel, the proportion depending upon the condition of the wreck.
It appeared that the captain of the galiot was much distressed on this account. He declared that he was a poor man; that his vessel was all the property he had in the world; that one of the men lost overboard in the squall was his own brother, and the other his wife's brother; and misery had suddenly come upon him in an avalanche. By the exertions of Martyn and others from the Josephine, a portion of the sails and standing rigging of the galiot had been saved, so that only about one fourth of the value of the vessel had been sacrificed by the tempest. But now the skipper was in great trouble because two thirds or three fourths of the remaining value of his property was to be decreed to the salvors by a maritime court.
Paul did not feel that it would be right for him to settle, or even discuss, this question, and he referred the skipper to Mr. Lowington, assuring him that he was a fair man, and would deal kindly with him. But this did not satisfy the unfortunate man. It was bad enough to lose one fourth of his property,—for the vessel was not insured,—without having the greater part of the remainder wrested from him by a court.
"All hands, moor ship, ahoy!" shouted the boatswain, when the schooner was approaching one of the great canals of Flushing, or Vlissingen, as the Dutch call it.
The anchor was let go, the sails lowered and stowed, and the Josephine was once more at rest. The galiot came in, and anchored a cable's length from her. Communication between the two vessels was immediately opened, and Lieutenant Martyn made his report of the voyage since he sailed from Thornton's Ridge. No events of any importance had occurred, and his story could not be said to be at all sensational.
In less than an hour the Young America ran into the port, and moored near the Josephine. The moment her anchor had buried itself in the mud of the harbor, her officers and crew were in the rigging, gazing earnestly at the consort. It was possible they had noticed the galiot under a jury-mast, and in some manner connected her with the Josephine; but they could have had no other clew to the exciting incidents which had transpired since the two vessels parted company the day before.
"I desire to renew my request for a boat, Captain Kendall," said Professor Hamblin, stiffly, the moment the rattling cable of the ship was heard.
"Certainly, sir. I shall be very happy to furnish a boat for you," replied Paul, politely. "Mr. Terrill, you will pipe away the first cutters for Mr. Hamblin."
"Yes, sir," replied the first lieutenant, touching his cap. "Boatswain, pipe away the first cutters for Mr. Hamblin."
"Mr. Terrill, you will pipe away the crew of the gig for me. I will go on board of the ship," added the captain.
"Yes, sir," answered Terrill. "Boatswain's mate, pipe away the gigsmen for the captain."
"All the first cutters, on deck, ahoy!" shouted the boatswain.
"All the gigsmen, on deck, ahoy!" piped the boatswain's mate.
Professor Hamblin stamped his foot on deck when he heard these orders, given almost in the same breath. He did not seem to consider that there was anything to be done except to attend to his affair.
"Captain Kendall," said he, walking up to the young commander, with a brisk, nervous step, "I wish to see Mr. Lowington alone."
"Certainly, sir; I will not object to your seeing him alone. If I can do anything to favor your views, I shall be happy to assist."
"You have ordered your gig, and you said you were going on board the ship," added the learned gentleman, his wrath not at all appeased by the conciliatory reply of Paul.
"I am, sir."
"Am I to understand that you are going to see the principal in reference to my communication with him?" demanded Mr. Hamblin.
"No, sir. It is my duty to report any unusual event which occurs in the navigation of this vessel," answered Paul, respectfully.
"It is quite proper for you to regard your own disobedience as an unusual event," retorted the professor.
"I was not thinking of that, sir. I am quite willing to leave that matter with Mr. Lowington, and to abide by his decision. I refer to the storm, and the wreck of the Dutch galiot. Those were unusual events."
"It would be more proper, and more respectful to me, for you to defer your affairs till after I have seen the principal. This is the Sabbath day," added Mr. Hamblin, solemnly. "I do not desire to have this controversy opened to-day."
"Then, sir, I suggest that you defer it until to-morrow," added Paul.
"This is a question of discipline, and admits of no delay. If the professors of this vessel are to be disobeyed and insulted, it is not proper for me to remain in her another hour."
"Insulted, sir?" exclaimed the young commander, blushing under this charge.
"Yes, sir; insulted, sir!" replied Mr. Hamblin, angrily. "Did you not leave the class? That was disobedience, which, under the circumstances, perhaps I might have forgiven, if you had not added insult to injury. Not contented with your own misconduct, you immediately ordered all hands to be called, and every member of my class was taken away."
"As to-day is Sunday, sir, I will not attempt to explain my conduct. I am very sorry that any difficulty has occurred; but I think Mr. Lowington will understand the matter. Your boat is ready, Mr. Hamblin," added Paul, pointing to the gangway, where the third lieutenant was waiting for his passenger.
"Do I understand that you insist upon going on board of the ship immediately?" demanded the professor.
"Yes, sir. It is my duty to report to the principal without delay. There is a signal at the peak of the ship now," replied Paul.
"Signal for the captain to report on board of the ship, sir," said the signal-officer, touching his cap to his commander.
Mr. Hamblin went over the side into the first cutter, which pulled away towards the ship. The gig immediately took her place, and the captain stepped into her. The cutter reached the Young America first, and the angry professor ran up the ladder with unwonted briskness. The principal was standing on the quarter, waiting to see the captain of the Josephine, for he was anxious to learn whether she had sustained any damage or lost any one overboard in the fierce storm. He knew that nothing but the most skilful seamanship could have prevented the decks of the schooner from being washed in the tremendous sea that prevailed during the hurricane.
To Mr. Lowington every moment of time since the two vessels of the squadron parted company the day before had been burdened with the most intense solicitude for the fate of the consort and her crew. The fact that she had been dilatory in taking in sail, when no one could know at what instant the squall would break upon her, had indicated a degree of recklessness which increased his anxiety. Mr. Fluxion had been sent to the fore cross-trees with a powerful glass early in the morning, and the Josephine had been discovered by the ship long before the Young America was seen by the pilot.
During the night the ship had cruised off and on in search of her consort, but the Josephine had drifted to the southward, and had sailed in that direction, after the fury of the tempest had wasted itself, in looking for the wreck of the galiot. The report of Mr. Fluxion on the cross-trees that she was entering the Hond, relieved the principal's anxiety in part; but he was still fearful that some of her crew had been washed overboard. As soon as the anchor was let go, he had ordered the signal for Captain Kendall to be hoisted.