THE STORY OF PAUL BOYTON
VOYAGES ON ALL THE GREAT RIVERS OF THE WORLD, PADDLING OVER TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND MILES IN A RUBBER DRESS
A RARE TALE OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE
THRILLING EXPERIENCES IN DISTANT LANDS, AMONG STRANGE PEOPLE. A BOOK FOR BOYS, OLD AND YOUNG.
To my beloved and gentle wife, whose patience and help have enabled me to present the public the story of my life. —Paul Boyton
CHAPTER I.-On the Allegheny. First Attempt at navigation. The Grey Eagle. Voyage on a coal fleet.
CHAPTER II.-College days. Bruce's dam. The Fort of the Wild Geese.
CHAPTER III.-In the U. S. Navy. A voyage to the West Indies. Diving for treasure.
CHAPTER IV.-Wrecking with Captain Balbo. In the hull of a slaver. A swarm of sharks. Joining the Mexican revolutionists.
CHAPTER V.-Entering the life saving service. Grateful people. In the Franco-Prussian war. Failure of the Cuban expedition.
CHAPTER VI.-As a submarine diver. The Diamond fields of Africa. A floating Hell. An escape at Malaga.
CHAPTER VII.-The rubber dress. Overboard from the steamer Queen. Landing on the coast of Ireland.
CHAPTER VIII.-Arrival in Queenstown. The first lecture. In Dublin. Appearance before Queen Victoria.
CHAPTER IX.-Voyage across the English Channel. Pigeon dispatches. Landing in England.
CHAPTER X.-In Germany. A voyage down the Rhine. Through the whirlpool of Lurlei. The press boat.
CHAPTER XI.-A short run on the Mississippi. The funny Negro pilot. Down the Danube and the Po. Attacked by fever. Lucretia Borgia's castle.
CHAPTER XII.-Voyage on the Arno from Florence to Pisa. Narrow escape over a fall. Down the Tiber to Rome. Across the bay of Naples. Knighted by King Victor Emmanuel.
CHAPTER XIII.-The Straits of Messina. Attacked by sharks. Whirlpools of Scylla and Charybdis. Lake Trasimene.
CHAPTER XIV.-Quick voyage down the Rhone. The smugglers' chain. The gambling palaces of Monte Carlo. Down the Loire. In the Quicksands.
CHAPTER XV.-On the mysterious Tagus from Toledo to Lisbon. Over great falls and through dark canons. Ancient Moorish masonry. The villianous brigands.
CHAPTER XVI.-From Europe to Africa, across the Straits of Gibraltar. Preparing for sharks. Contrary currents and heavy overfalls. Landing at Tangier.
CHAPTER XVII.-Paddling in the ice floes on the Allegheny. Down the Ohio to Cairo. Queer characters. On the Mississippi. Strange sights and sounds. The comical darkies. Alligators. "Dead man in a boat."
CHAPTER XVIII.-Voyage on the Merrimac. Some peculiar people. A rough trip down the Connecticut. Lost in a Snow Storm. A winter in Florida.
CHPATER XIX.-Off for South America. An officer in the Peruvian service. Placing torpedoes. Caverns of the sea. Inca Tombs. An escape from prison and rescue from a lonely island.
CHAPTER XX.-The Upper Mississippi. The German Doctor and the negro boatman. Arrival at Cairo. Hunting and fishing.
CHAPTER XXI.-The longest voyage. Down the Yellowstone and Missouri. Thrilling adventures through the western wilds. In the tepees of the Indians. Caving banks, snags and mud sucks. Camp of the Rustlers. Arrival in St. Louis.
CHAPTER XXII.-Hunting in Southern bayous. An interesting voyage down the Arkansaw. Haytien insurgents. Down the Sacramento. A night on Great Salt Lake. Down the Hudson. In the ice on Lake Michigan. Catching seals.
CHAPTER XXIII.-Boyton to-day.
One bright day in July, 1858, two women carrying well filled market baskets, were crossing the old Hand Street bridge that spans the Alleghany River between Pittsburgh and Alleghany City, Penn.
"Oh, Mrs. Boyton, do look at that child in the middle of the river paddling around on a board."
"Well," said the one addressed as Mrs. Boyton, "I'm glad it is none of mine. My son Paul, loves the water dearly, but I took the precaution to lock him up before I started for market."
After observing the child, who was evidently enjoying his aquatic sport, for some time, the two women proceeded on their way. On reaching home, Mrs. Boyton, with a feeling of remorse for keeping her young son so long in captivity, went up stairs to release him, and to her consternation found that he had escaped. Three minutes later an excited woman stood on bank of the Alleghany, vigorously waving her hand and hailing the youthful navigator. The forward end of the one by twelve inch board was reluctantly headed for shore, and slowly idled in. As the child reached land, he was grasped by the angry and anxious mother, who beat a merry tattoo on a tender portion his body with a shingle.
This was not the first time that the young hero had received punishment for loving the water. His home was within one block of the clear and swift flowing Alleghany; and whenever he could escape the vigilant eye of his mother, he was found either on the bank or in the water. One day, Mrs. Boyton, who had a continual dread of his being drowned, was going on a visit, and she determined to secure Paul against accident. She took him upstairs, undressed him and removed his clothes from the room. She locked the door and went away content.
The day was lovely; the water lay clear and blue in sight and Paul could hear the delighted cries of the boys as they plunged into its refreshing depths. The temperature was too strong. Paul searched the room carefully and to his joy, discovered a pair of his father's drawers. He got into them and tied the waist-string around his neck. Then forcing a window, he slid down the convenient lightning rod like a young monkey, and was found in his usual haunt by his astonished mother some hours later. From this time on, she gave him more liberty to follow his natural bent. From early May until late in October, when not at school, Paul spent most of his time in the water.
In those days, driftwood, consisting of slabs, logs and boards, were continually floating down the river from the headwaters, where the great forests were being cut down. When he saw a nice piece of wood, Paul would cut through the water like a young shark, and swim with it ahead of him to the shore, where his lumber pile was a goodly sized one. He kept his mother's cellar well supplied with firewood and sold the surplus to the neighbors; the proceeds of wich were devoted to gingerbread and even at that early age to the abominable roll of tobacco known as the "Pittsburgh Stogie."
Great rafts of lumber were coming down the river daily and a favorite amusement when he saw one, was to run up the river bank about a quarter of a mile, swim off and board it. In this way he became acquainted with many of the hardy "buck-tail" boys who piloted the huge rafts down the river. His knowledge of the different bars that were formed by the bridge piers was utilized, and often proved of great assistance to his friends, the raftsmen. One day, he boarded a raft, the captain of which was evidently a stranger to the channel in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, and Paul saw that it was certain to run aground. He told the captain and was so earnest in his manner, the course was ordered changed. Less than 500 yards further down, the ugly bar showed up not five feet from the side of the raft, as it went gliding by. The raftsman insisted on keeping the little fellow by his side until he was safely moored to the Pittsburgh shore; then as a reward for his services, presented Paul with a little flat boat about twelve feet long by five feet wide and ordered two of the crew to tow it with a skiff to the Alleghany side.
The generous present was most joyfully and thankfully received, for Paul's sole and only ambition for a long time had been to own a boat. As the two sturdy oarsmen with the boat in tow, neared the Alleghany shore, Paul stood erect in the stern, his eyes shining with triumph and satisfaction, and loudly hailed his playmates to come and see his prize. It is safe to say, that no commander of a vessel, ever viewed his craft with more pride, than Paul did his little flat-bottom boat. He named her "Gray Eagle." He was ever tired of overhauling, scrubbing and cleaning her. All the money realized by the capture of drift-wood, was devoted to the purchase of paint. He selected and shipped a crew from among his playmates. They were soon able to drive her where they liked upon the river with long poles and paddles, and many a successful battle royal was fought with their old enemies across the river, the Pittsburgh boys. The "Gray Eagle" was generally half loaded with nice, round stones that served as ammunition.
The "Eagle" would be carefully poled up the Alleghany shore against the current, then headed out and vigorously paddled towards the Pittsburgh side. Nearing the enemies' headquarters a skirmish would be opened by a shower of stones sent into their ranks. If the Pittsburghers were not sufficiently numerous to repel the invasion, the "Gray Eagle" was landed. The majority of the crew pursued the flying enemy up the back streets, while the balance remained and hastily loaded up the best of the driftwood from the piles gathered by their antagonists. When their cargo was secured, the skirmishers were called in. All leaped aboard, and the "Eagle" headed for Alleghany, where the wood was carefully stored, far beyond the reach of a probable invasion by the Pittsburghers.
About this time a new enterprise opened for the commander and crew of the "Gray Eagle." The city commenced to pave the streets with large round stones called "Pavers," many of which were found in pockets at the bottom of the river. One day a contractor met Paul on the bank and said:
"Say, son, could not you boys gather a lot of pavers? I will buy them from you and give you thirty cents per hundred."
The offer was eagerly accepted. Next day the "Eagle" was anchored with a piece of rail-road iron, over a pocket, and the crew engaged in diving through the transparent water to the bottom, where they would gather one or two pavers, return to the top, and drop them into the boat. Paul had much difficulty in teaching his companions to keep their eyes open while under water. This occupation was pursued with varying success during the summer months of '59. The contractor came down every week to cart the "pavers" away; and many a dispute the boys had with him over the count. The dispute was generally decided by the carts driving off, and the contractor paying whatever he pleased. The boys discovered a rich pocket right near the old Aqueduct bridge. They worked it enthusiastically and were loath to leave such a find, until they had overloaded the Eagle. When all the divers climbed aboard, the additional weight almost swamped her. The strongest swimmers were compelled to go overboard and resting their hands gently on the gunwale, they propelled her by swimming toward the shore. They had not proceeded far when the bottom of the well-worn "Eagle" fell out and the cargo disappeared. While the boys hung on to the framework of their wrecked craft, their enemies across the river observed their predicament and sallied forth in a skiff to chastise them. The Alleghany boys swam for their own shore as rapidly as possible. On gaining shallow water, they faced about on their assailants and a battle was fought that was long remembered by the inhabitants on both sides of the river. In the meantime, the wreck of the "Gray Eagle" floated gently down to the Ohio, where the powerful current caught it and hurried it off to the southward.
After the loss of the "Eagle" the boys resumed their old sport of swimming and gathering wood. About this time, owing no doubt to the complaints of the riverside inhabitants, the city authorities determined to stop all further rows and displays of nudity. The orders against naked bathing were strictly enforced by a constable named Sam Long. Before the boys got thoroughly acquainted with him, he often captured an offender's clothing, which he detained until the boy came ashore. Then Sam would escort him to the Mayor's office to receive a stern reprimand, or his parents would be compelled to pay a small fine. Paul was never caught, for he was always on the outlook for the watchful Sam. On the constable's approach he would swim rapidly to his wardrobe which always lay conveniently close to the water. As it was neither weighty nor large, he would pile it on his head, tie it with a string under his chin; then swim swiftly off to the first pier of the bridge. This was fully fifty yards out in the stream, and here Paul would sit on the abutment rocks until Sam's patience was worn out and he would depart. Then Paul would swim leisurely to the shore, dress himself and go home.
Paul's elder brother, Michael, was a studious sedate boy who took no pleasure in the sports and adventures of his aquatic brother. But Paul's glowing descriptions of the pleasures of plunging and paddling in the cool, clear river, at last induced Michael to join in the watery gambols. One warm afternoon he accompanied his brother to the riverside. Paul slipped out of his clothes and was soon disporting himself in the refreshing water, while he shouted encouraging remarks to his hesitating brother to follow his example. Michael slowly disrobed and cautiously stepped into the water. He was no swimmer; but being surrounded by Paul and his companions, he grew bolder, waded farther out from shore, where he was soon enjoying himself as heartily as any of them.
Suddenly the cry of "Sam Long" was raised. Many of the boys seized their clothing and disappeared in the direction of their homes. The hardier swimmers, with Paul, struck out for the abutment on the pier in their usual way and poor Michael was left alone. Sam gently gathered up Michael's clothes, and retired to a lumber pile where he leisurely seated himself and waited for the owner to land. Michael had often heard of the terrible Sam Long so he did not go ashore, though Sam called him frequently. At last growing weary, the constable walked away with the captured wardrobe. As he disappeared, Michael started on a dead run for home. His clothes were recovered; but it was some time before Michael was inclined to calculate how many cubic feet of bread Paul would consume in a week, or to reckon how much time he lost from his studies by going into the water, as had been his custom. It is needless to add that it was many moons ere Michael went swimming again.
It was the custom then, as it is at present, to run enormous tows of coal barges, propelled by a powerful tug, from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. These grim and heavily loaded fleets had an intense fascination for young Paul. Many and many a day he spent in assisting the inland sailors in lashing boat to boat and diving overboard after spars, etc., that had slipped into the river. He often dreamt of the time when he would be large enough to go down the mighty Ohio and the great Mississippi. He made many friends among the coal men and eagerly devoured their stories of danger, of voyages down the river and of the comical "darkies" in the far off south. Time after time he implored permission from his mother to go away on one of those barge trips, but she would never consent. One day while assisting as usual on a fleet that was about to depart, a great, dark whiskered man named Tom, who was his particular friend, said: "Why don't you come with us, Paul? We will take good care of you and bring you safe hme again."
The temptation was strong, but the thought of his anxious mother deterred him. Tom still urged and the wonderful stories he told about brilliant New Orleans and the mighty "Father of Waters" rapt Paul's attention so that he did not at first notice that the tug "Red Lion" was driving the huge fleet of barges ahead of her. Would he jump into the river and swin ashore or would he go ahead?
"He who hesitates, is lost."
"Paul remained on board. Tom took him to the lookout far ahead on the tow and Paul forgot all about home and gave himself up to the delight of watching the swiftly passing banks while he listened to the swish, swish of the water as it beat against the bows of the barges. He was seated with the men on the watch, who passed the time telling stories and laughing at rough jokes. When it was getting late his big friend Tom, said:
"Now Paul, it's time you turned in. There's your bunk," pointing to a shelf in the dark and damp look-out house. Paul prepared to retire while the men continued their stories. The river-men of that time were rather given to profanity, so their yarns were freely interspersed with oaths. Suddenly Tom said in a loud whisper:
"Dry up! Don't you see the youngster is saying his prayers?"
A hush fell on the group, all looked around. Paul, kneeling on the damp, dirty beam alongside his bunk, was repeating the prayers learned at his mother's knee.
With the return of daylight, the remorseful feeling of a runaway boy came strongly upon him and Paul thoroughly realized how cruel he had been to his dear mother. He begged his friend Tom to get him back or to send a letter home. Tom dissuaded him from returning, but helped him write a letter which was posted at Wheeling, Va. This informed his mother that he was safe and would be taken good care of. Much relieved in mind, Paul was soon enjoying again the beautiful scenery and bright sunshine along the Ohio. His work was to carry the coffee to the forward men on the lookout, and to help in many other little ways.
When nearing Evansville, Indiana, about seven hundred miles below Pittsburgh, a great shock was felt on the fleet, and a shower of coal was sent flying into the air. The cry "Snag! Snag!" was heard on all sides, the big engines of the "Red Lion" were stopped and reversed and the headway of the fleet was checked, as it slowly swung to the shore. All hands rushed to the damaged barge and found that a snag, a sunken log, had penetrated the bottom. Fearing that she would go down and drag other barges with her, she was detached and a line passed to the shore, then luckily near. A crew shoveled the coal from the ugly rent. The snag was cut away and vain attempts were made to pass a tarpaulin under and so stop the hole. Paul stood near his friend Tom, and suggested that he dive under, take a rope with him, and so enable them to pass a canvass below.
"Do you think you can do it without drowning?" said Tom.
"I am certain," was the response.
Tom handed him the end of a rope. Without hesitation Paul sprang into the water and dove under the then sinking barge. The rope was hauled up and another passed to him with which he repeated the operation. Two ropes were fastened to the tarpaulin, two more fastened to the other corners. The canvas was lowered into the river and the men on the opposite side hauled it under the ragged hole. As the canvas covered it, the inflow of water was instantly checked. With a loud cheer, the crew sprang to the pumps. When the water got low enough, the carpenters nailed planks over the hole. The barge and the valuable cargo of coal were saved. In less than three hours from the time the snag had struck, the injured barge was again lashed to the fleet and on her way down the Ohio. Paul was the hero of the hour. The Captain of the "Red Lion" solemnly transferred him from his damp and grimy quarters on the head to the comfortable cabin and pilot house. He confessed to the kind Captain that he had run away from home and how anxious he was about his mother. That day the Captain wrote a glowing letter to Mrs. Boyton and posted it at Paducah, Kentucky. From that time, he took great pleasure in teaching Paul how to steer, and many other arts in river craft. Paul keenly enjoyed this first voyage down the Mississippi. The strange scenes on the river were of deep interest; but he never tired of watching the slaves, either at work in the fields, or at play on the banks of an evening.
At last the "Red Lion" and her tow were safely moored at New Orleans. The Captain found a letter waiting from Mrs. Boyton requesting that Paul be sent back by the first mail packet. While waiting her departure, the Captain took Paul out to see the great city. Among many places of interest they visited that day, the slave mart at the foot of the fine statue erected in honor of Henry Clay, lived long in Paul's memory. Numbers of slaves were to be sold. The Captain and Paul pushed their way well to the front, so that they stood near the auctioneer. With feelings hard to describe, Paul saw slaves disposed of, singly and in parties. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters were bid for and sold, and the critical purchasers examined them as if they were prize cattle. While the sale proceeded, Paul spelled out the inscription on the monument which said "that if he (Henry Clay,) could be instrumental in eradicating this deepest stain, slavery, from our country, he would be prouder than if he enjoyed the triumphs of a great conqueror." Even to his childish mind this seemed sadly inconsistent with the surroundings. The auction concluded with the sale of three boys, who seemed to be brothers, or at least close friends for they wept bitterly when parted. As they moved away, Paul's eyes were full of tears at the agony of the unhappy creatures, and turning to the Captain he said:
"Do you think this is right?"
"No," responded the Captain, "I'm darned if I do. It is an outrage and a shame that human beings should be sold like cattle, but—Great Scott! Did you notice what big prices they brought?" then added reflectively; "I'm blessed if it wouldn't pay me better to run a cargo of them down from Pittsburgh, than a tow of coal barges!"
Late that evening the Captain and Paul returned. As they approached, they saw an excited crowd, pushing their way through near the boat. They met the mate on the gang-plank keeping the people back.
"What's the matter?" demanded the Captain.
The mate explained that there had been a fight on the levee, and that big Tom had been stabbed, he feared fatally. Paul rushed into the cabin where his friend lay helpless and gasping.
"Tom, Tom!" he wailed.
"Ah! Paul, my boy," faintly responded Tom, "I fear I'm about to slip my cable. I want you lo help me say a few prayers. Just ask the good Lord not to be hard on me. I've been rough and careless all my life, but I never meant to be really bad. You talk for me."
The doctor came in and pushed the weeping Paul aside. One half hour later Tom had quietly floated out to eternity.
No one knew his full name or where his people were, so next day they buried him, the entire crew attending the funeral, and fervent were the prayers poured out then and often afterwards by little Paul for the friend so much beloved and so deeply mourned.
The Captain secured passage for Paul on a Northern bound boat and bought him many little presents ere wishing him God speed. Among them and prized most highly, were two red birds and a young alligator. At five o'clock that evening came the order: "All aboard! Haul in your gang- planks!" Just then a weird musical chant was struck up by the slaves working on the levee, which was answered by the boat's crew, as she backed out into the river and headed away on her long northern trip. Paul had snug quarters and spent much of his time feeding the red birds and playing with his alligator. He saw great fun ahead in the tricks he hoped to spring on his sisters and friends with the cunning little reptile. Whenever the boat made a landing, he was always on deck watching the negroes, as they rolled bales of cotton down the steep bluffs or struggled with the refractory hogs who refused to come aboard. The loud commands and fierce oaths of the mate made him feel very grateful that he was not a roustabout. About five weeks from the time he had so thoughtlessly embarked on the coal fleet, he stood hesitatingly half a block from his mother's home, holding in his hand the cage containing his red birds, while snugly stowed away in the bosom of his shirt was his much cherished pet, the alligator. He was not sure of the reception he would receive; but at length he steeled his nerves for whatever was in store and made a rush for the house. The delighted mother folded him in her arms and covered his face with kisses. His brothers and sisters grouped around with words of welcome for the prodigal.
"Thank God that you are safe home again, dear Paul," exclaimed his mother, as she embraced him again and again.
"But what's this?"
She started back, for she had felt something squirming inside of his shirt.
"Oh, that's my dear little alligator," and Paul put in his hand and pulled out his pet. His sisters ran screaming away. His mother gazed sternly at him and said:
"Put out that ugly reptile!" Paul placed it tenderly on the floor beside the red birds' cage and received from his fond mother a well merited castigation. That evening, however, all was forgotten and Paul entertained his family with stories of his adventures and was doubtlessly looked upon by the little group, as a wonderful traveler or a hardened young liar.
Paul's father, a traveling man, came home a few days after this. He had a long consultation with his wife regarding the escapade of their venturesome son. They came to the decision that they had better move from the vicinity of the river and so wean him from his unnatural love of the water. A week later found the family at the head of Federal Street, about as far as they could get away from the river and still remain in the city. Paul spent his last night before moving on one of his friends' woodpiles; (his own had been pirated during his absence,) and bitterly bemoaned the fate that took him so far away from his beloved element.
A rigid discipline was now pursued in regard to Paul. He was given a certain space of time to go and return from school. After that he was expected home and made to stay there. He studied hard all winter and advanced rapidly. But he had to cross a bridge going to and coming from school. He would always stop to gaze into the water he loved so well, even if had to run to make up for lost time. Spring came on and the longing increased to enjoy again the piney smell of the newly arrived rafts, to dive into the clear depths, and revisit his old friends the "pavers." He took off his shoes and felt the water's temperature. "In two weeks," he thought with rapture, "In two weeks I can take a plunge."
In less than two weeks he enjoyed this plunge and finally remembering that he had to be at home by four o'clock, he scrambled onto a raft and discovered that his body was covered with some unknown, greasy, tar-like substance. He could not get it off, and at last asked a raftsman, who stood by, what it was:
"Why, son," answered the lumberman; "That is petroleum. Don't you know that they struck oil at the head of the river and great quantities are pouring into the Alleghany above. It will be a long time before the river will be as clear as she used to be, and you, my little man, will have a nice job getting that off your skin."
When Paul reached home, his mother's scrutiny revealed the fact that something was wrong.
"Have you been swimming again, despite your promise?"
Paul murmured something that might be either "yes" or "no." His hat removed, showed his hair quite damp further investigation revealed the fact that his shirt was on wrong side out, while round his neck was a well defined dark line from the oil cakes he struck while swimming against the stream. His sister Teresa revenged herself that evening for many a raid on her dolls by scrubbing him into the appearance of a boiled lobster, so that he would be neat and presentable for school next day. Even this lesson did not teach him. One warm day while on his way to school, he lingered so long on the bridge that the tower clock struck ten, and then he argued that it would be useless to go until the afternoon session, when he could easily hoodwink his teacher with an excuse. But the afternoon came, and the wild boy was still in the water, too deeply interested in the navigation of a plank to realize that he was playing "hookey" and risking its shady consequences. About two o'clock he heard loud cries from the St. Clair Street bridge. Looking up, he saw an excited crowd gathering. The object of their excitement was a little boy who had waded out on a shallow bar above the bridge until he had stumbled into deep water and was being carried away by the strong current. Paul caught one glimpse of him as he disappeared and springing from his plank he swam out with a strong, steady stroke to his assistance. The crowd on the bridge shouted loud cries of encouragement. As Paul reached the spot where the body went down, he could find no traces of him. A man on the bridge shouted:
"A little farther down! A little farther down! I can see him at the bottom."
Paul swam in the direction indicated and at the cry, "there, there," dove to the bottom like a seal. He came directly on the body which was doubled up against a large boulder. He grasped it by the arm and rose with it to the surface. Loud ringing cheers from the crowd above, encouraged him. He swam with one arm, supporting the body with the other. They were being rapidly carried away down the stream, when a boat which had been sent out, reached the almost exhausted boy. Paul and the unconscious boy were taken ashore and conveyed to the back room of a saloon where a doctor soon revived both. He then proposed that, some token of recognition should be presented by the assembled crowd to the brave little fellow who had made the rescue. Paul's hat was taken and soon filled to the brim with silver. Then the two boys were loaded into an express wagon and escorted by a policeman, they started for home. When the wagon reached the house of the boy who had been rescued, the policeman lifted him out carefully and carried him in, while the mother's affrighted cries alarmed the neighborhood. The officer assured her that there was no danger, so she grew calmer and helped to roll her son into a warm blanket and tuck him snugly in bed. The old grandmother, who was blind, heard the story and asked that Paul be brought to her. Her trembling hands were passed over his face and head. She blessed him fervently and then to the delight of the grinning urchins, looking in at the door and to Paul's intense embarrassment, she kissed him several times. At last the policeman told him to come on and Paul and his silver continued their homeward journey. When Mrs. Boyton saw her truant son under police escort, she turned pale, but the officer called out, "Don't be frightened, ma'am, he's all right. You ought to be proud of this boy," and he told her the story of the rescue and handed over the silver. The mother's eye's beamed with pleasure as she listened. She praised her gallant little son and thanked the officer for his kindness. After he was gone she put the silver carefully away and interviewed the hero, as often before, with a shingle.
"Not only for playing hookey," she said; "but for going into the water at all."
The little fellow rescued that day is Thomas McCaffery, now a member of the Alleghany City Fire Department. Many years afterwards he gave Paul a gold medal in remembrance of their first meeting.
In vacation Paul started out to look for work, for with all his wildness he was industrious. He secured a place in a paper box factory at the princely salary of fifty cents a week. His business was to lower great packages of boxes from the upper story to the ground floor. He thought how delightful it would be to go down himself on the rope. One day he induced a small boy who worked near, pasting, to mind the windlass while he descended by hanging on above the usual pits of boxes. The sensation was novel and pleasing and it became exciting when the boy above leaned over and shouted: "The boss is coming, look out for yourself. I'll have to go." An instant later Paul and the boxes crashed together on the bottom floor. The proprietor dragged him out of the ruin he had made and assisted him energetically to the street, without even the hint of a recommendation.
As Paul slowly and painfully wended his way home, a lady called him: "Little boy, do you want a job?" Paul said he did and was put to work. He had to sprinkle the street and keep the brick sidewalk clean in front of her house. He was happily aided by a long hose, so that he thoroughly enjoyed his new work and gave entire satisfaction. About ten days after, Mrs. C., his employer sent him to escort her son to the house of a relative living in Lawrenceburg, a village a few miles up the river from Pittsburgh. She warned Paul to be careful of her little boy, who was a delicate child about his own age and gave him street car fare to pay his way up and down. Her last instructions were to leave Harvey at his aunt's and return as soon as possible. When Paul was about to take the car back, he thought of a pleasanter way, one in which he could save his car fare, too. So he went to the river where he selected a large sized plank and a piece of driftwood for a paddle. Then he piloted himself down in safety and was back in time. A few days later, the trusty little messenger was sent to Lawrenceburg to bring Harvey home. Instead of taking the cars as instructed, Paul induced his charge to go with him to the river. The little boy was very timid and refused to embark on a steering oar that Paul found near the shore. A steering oar consists of a plank securely pinned into a spar about thirty feet long and used on stern and bow of a raft to guide it. Paul at last half forcibly seated him on a block of wood on the steering oar and procuring a pole they started on their voyage. All went well until they had passed under the old Aqueduct Bridge. Then a crowd of Pittsburgh boys who were in a skiff recognized Paid as the leader of their enemies from Alleghany and opened up hostilities. Paul bravely kept them off with his pole and whenever the chance offered propelled it nearer and nearer to his own side of the river. When almost ashore they rammed the steering oar with the bow of their skiff, struck Paul with the oar and tumbled poor Harvey into the river. Paul never thought of himself; but seizing the son of his aristocratic mistress, he swam in for the shore, then only a few feet away. The Pittsburgh boys were satisfied with the prize they had captured in the steering oar and towed it away to their own side of the river. They were followed, however, by a shower of rocks hurled by the infuriated Paul. A sad looking pair greeted the maid who answered their ring. Paul turned young Harvey over to her, then sneaked around to the alley to await developments. Hearing loud lamentations coming from the direction of Mrs. C.'s room, he started for home where he told his mother that the work was too severe for him and fearing the lady would refuse to let him go, he left without bothering her for a reference.
About this time the war of the rebellion broke out and the fever burned fiercely in Pittsburgh and vicinity. Paul longed to join the great bodies of troops that were being hurried to the front, especially so, when he saw boat loads of his old friends, the gallant "buck-tail" boys coming down the river to enlist. He spent all his spare time hanging around the headquarters of the forming regiments. One day he asked a recruiting officer if he needed a drummer boy. "You are pretty small, sonny," said the soldier, "can you drum?" "No," said Paul, "but I can learn mighty quick." Pleased with the answer, the soldier took him to his headquarters and said: "Here is a little volunteer." Paul was closely questioned and untruthfully assured the officers in charge that his mother would be glad to get rid of him. That night he was enrolled in Colonel Cass' Regiment. Next day he began his drum practice, an exercise that was rudely interrupted by the appearance of his mother, who lead the "warrior bold" home by the ear.
His parents now decided to send Paul away to school. The college they selected was situated in the heart of the Alleghany Mountains about four miles from the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was far from any water course or river, and surrounded by a dense forest of pines. Paul's mother accompanied him to the college. She told the faculty of his peculiar passion for the water and the dread she had of losing him. Mrs. Boyton was assured that her boy would be taken good care of. Paul was permitted to escort her as far as the village where she took the stage for the rail road again. Their farewell was most affectionate. Paul cried bitterly, not only for the parting from his mother whom he loved so well, but for the feeling that he was being exiled for all his crimes and misdemeanors. The fall session had not yet begun so he had ample time to become acquainted with the few boys who were already at the college and to explore the dark pine woods that seemed a new world to him. Paul inquired eagerly if there was any water in the vicinity. The boys told him there was a place called the "swimming hole" about two miles from the college. Next day he coaxed some of his companions to show him the way. He found a pond, little larger than a hole, surrounded by heavy vegetation and inhabited by a colony of frogs. He was soon swimming in its depths and had induced two or three of the boys to follow his example. Day after day he visited the hole and made out to enjoy a swim; but he always thought longingly of the far off, bright Alleghany.
One day a teamster who sometimes came to the college, told Paul of a sheet of water that was much larger than the swimming hole. He called it "Bruce's Dam." Next morning Paul and a Philadelphia boy named Stockdale, who was his particular chum, obtained permission to go out of bounds. They had managed during breakfast to appropriate a sufficient supply of bread and butter for all day. They started out to find Bruce's dam. A long and weary tramp they had over the mountains. They turned aside often to chase the gray squirrels that abounded in that country, and they wasted much time in a fruitless attempt to dig out a red fox, that had crossed their path and shot down a hole in the ground. They were so long reaching the dam that they thought they must have been misdirected. They were about to return, when Paul suddenly said, "Hark! I think I hear water!" They listened intently for a few seconds. A sound again came through the woods. They struck out a little to the right and were soon at the long-sought, dam. It was a body of water about one hundred yards wide and five hundred yards long. Enormous pine stumps protruded through the surface. There was a miserable looking saw-mill situated at the lower end. Two men were employed in drawing out logs and ripping them up into boards. Paul tittered a joyful cry as he perceived that the water was both clear and deep. Hastily he divested himself of his clothing and "Stockie" slowly followed his example. As they stood naked on the bank, before their plunge, a snake shot out almost from under then feet, and swam gracefully over the surface to a stump a little distance off. That was enough for "Stockie," who resumed his clothes. Paul did not like the idea of snakes in the water, still he had traveled far for a swim and he was resolved to have it and so he plunged headlong in. Round and round among the stumps he swam. He saw several snakes and also a number of water lizards. After his bath, Paul and "Stockie" went down to the mill and had some talk with the men engaged there. The latter assured them that the snakes and water lizards were perfectly harmless. This restored "Stockie's" courage. He agreed to try the water before leaving, provided Paul would go in with him. The two chums had a long, delightful swim and finally, as sunset approached, they suddenly thought that they might be needed at the college. It was dark when they got back. They both received a severe lecture for their long absence. Bruce's dam was several times revisited and always with great enjoyment. At last vacation was over and these pleasant pilgrimages came to an end. Paul kept the promise made to his mother. During study time he applied himself with all his energies to the task before him and so rapidly increased his store of knowledge; but, he was also learning many things outside the school room. The loneliness and surroundings of the college increased the natural wildness of his nature. When recreation time approached, Paul would pass the sign to the ever ready "Stockie." Then he would obtain permission to leave the room on some pretext, and the other, by some clever maneuver, would soon be after him. Then down to the dark, cool pine woods to visit their "figure four" traps which they had set in different places to catch squirrels. This trap consisted of a square box placed on a piece of board and set with a little wooden trigger. When a squirrel would enter to get the walnut fastened inside, he would spring the trap and would not succeed in cutting his way out before his young captor's arrival. They would slip a pillow-case, furnished unconsciously by the college, under one corner of the box, turning it off the bottom board until a little opening was made into the bag. The squirrel of course would jump in, and was grabbed and twisted until it was squeezed down to one corner. Then his captors would get a firm grip on the back of his neck. If the squirrel proved to be a young one, they would put on a collar and little chain, that they had always ready, and keep him to train for a pet. Once Paul caught a gray squirrel kitten so small and young that he had to feed it on milk and crushed walnuts. He called it May. The tiny creature lived in his pocket and desk and shared his bed at night. It would sit on the off page of his book whilst he studied and comb its little whiskers and brush its tail in perfect contentment. Every one marveled at the affection of his pet and at the control he had over it. Paul would let it loose in the woods, it would run up a tree and at his call, "Come May," it would return at once and with a chuckle drop into his pocket. Paul kept this squirrel until after he had left college. The crowded streets of the city seemed to bewilder it, and it jumped from his pocket to the sidewalk. A man passing struck it with a cane and killed it. Paul grieved long over his pet; but from this experience he acquired a great control over animals and always had a supply in hand to train. He carried snakes and bugs and mice and lizards in his pockets and at one time had a white rat that came very near to filling the place of the lost May. If the boys captured an old squirrel, they generally let it go; but sometimes it was retained for another purpose.
It would be taken back to the college and that evening put down through a knot hole in the study-hall floor. The hole was carefully covered by a small piece of board with the leg of Paul's desk to keep it down. Next morning when all would be deep in their studies and a profound silence filled the hall, Paul would quietly slip the board away from the hole. Attracted by the light, the squirrel would soon come out. The studious (?) boys who were posted, kept one eve on their books and one on the hole. When the squirrel appeared, as it usually did in a short time these would start up with well feigned cries of alarm. In a moment the entire study-hall was in an uproar, all pursuing the bewildered squirrel. The first or second time this occurred, the staid professor took active part in the exciting chase. The frequent recurrence of squirrel hunts in the study-hall awakened suspicion in the minds of the faculty. An investigation was made, Paul and Stockie were called to the president's room and interviewed regarding squirrels and their habits. After this, the study-hall was no longer disturbed by these little denizens of the forest.
About the last time that Paul went swimming to Bruce's dam, a decayed thorn was driven into his foot, a portion of which he was unable to remove. This troubled him occasionally. During the month of November the foot commenced to swell in an alarming manner. He had to remain in the dormitory for over a week. While he was still an invalid, a box arrived from home full of cakes, candies, preserves and many other goodies dear to a school-boy's heart. In the box was also a present from his younger brother. It had been packed in without the knowledge of his mother. It was a large Chinese firecracker. Paul carefully concealed this precious gift until a grand occasion would come to fire it. At recess many of the boys came up to see him, and incidentally to share in the delicasies he had received. Stockie came also and told Paul that their crowd had discovered a tale-bearer in the person of a youth from Johnstown, Penn. He wound up by adding:
"And how are we to fix him?"
Paul answered mysteriously: "Leave it to me. I have it; bring me all the string you can find."
From day to day Stockie produced liberal supplies of the desired article. No doubt most of it belonged to the boy whose innocent pastime was that of flying kites during recess. Paul wound this string firmly and tightly around the Chinese cracker until it had assumed considerable proportions. He argued on the principle that, if paper resisted the force of the explosion, the additional binding of string would cause a much louder one. The bomb was at last completed and Stockie received a hint to keep his ears open for music that night. The little iron bed of the doomed talebearer was not far distant from Paul's, and between them was a stove in which burned a brisk fire every night to drive out the chill mountain air. When all were asleep, Paul slipped from his bed, and touched the fuse to the red hot side of the stove. Then he placed the ignited bomb under the tell-tales bed and hastily scrambled back to his own. He had just time to roll himself up in the blankets, when there was a flash and terrible explosion. The bed of the tell-tale turned a complete somersault, while the entire building trembled with the concussion and a shower of broken glass was scattered around. No serious damage was done; but Paul was horrified and frightened half to death at the result of his first essay with explosives. The boys in the dormitory were only too glad of an excuse for excitement. They immediately began the usual battle with pillows accompanied with the wildest yells and whoops, until they were suddenly quieted by the entrance of the officials. No one could find out the culprit, so the investigation was postponed until morning. Classes were suspended next day. Every student, including the invalid, was present in the study-hall. The entire faculty sat in judgment. The president opened the meeting with a severe lecture, during which he quoted that it "was better that ten guilty ones should escape rather than that one innocent person should suffer." He called urgently upon the guilty ones to stand up and declare themselves. His invitation was not accepted.
"Now boys, you know that it is a strict dormitory rule that no one there shall speak above a whisper. The noise you made last night was heard distinctly in the village a mile away. All of you who did not break the rule last night put up your hands."
Every boy's hand in the study hall was at once raised. The president looked perplexed, and said: "Perhaps you misunderstood me. To make it plain to you, I want every boy who did not raise his voice above a whisper after retiring last night to stand up."
The first on their feet were Paul and Stockie, whose good example was followed without any exception by every boy in the school. The president was dumbfounded. He shook his head sadly. After a brief consultation with the professors he remarked. "The young men now before me are grievously lacking either in understanding or veracity." Numerous were the mishaps that befell Paul and his companion Stockie, owing to their love of wandering through the woods. When they were missed, a professor was generally sent after the fugitives. In visiting their squirrel traps they often separated, Stockie examining one trap, Paul another. They would appoint a place of rendezvous, close to some well known giant pine. The one to arrive first would call the other by a loud whistle in close imitation of a quail. The other would answer by a similar whistle. One day when about to mount the tree and give his usual signal of recall, Paul discovered the professor, who had been sent after them, approaching. Quickly he climbed into the tree and concealed himself in the dense foliage. At this moment he heard Stockie's familiar signal quite near the rendezvous, and to his dismay, the professor, hidden behind a tree close by, repeated the quail call, thus leading the unsuspecting Stockie to his doom. As Stockie neared the tree in which Paul was hidden, he shouted: "I've got two!" The professor stepped forward and said: "I have one!"
Paul could distinctly over-hear the professor question Stockie in regard to his chum's whereabouts, all knowledge of which the latter loyally but untruthfully denied. He had grasped the situation at a glance. The professor with his captive remained a long while and the latter was compelled to repeat the quail call time after time in hopes that the other victim would respond. But the moaning of the pines was the only answer. Finally the professor and his prisoner started for the college. Paul slid down the tree and taking a shorter cut, was deep in his books when they entered. Though strongly suspected, he escaped that time, the poor captive receiving a double dose. Stockie was generally unfortunate enough to get more than his share of punishment, but he was thoroughly loyal to his friends and never murmured. It was customary, when a boy had misbehaved himself or broken any rule, to send him to the president's room where either reprimand or a thrashing awaited him. One day a professor called Stockie during recess and said:
"As you are a good, swift runner, I want you to go over to the President's room and ask for his letters. I want to put them in the mail bag. The coach will be starting in a few minutes."
The president was not in his room and Stockie availed himself of the chance to view the pictures hanging around the walls. The president had just made the discovery that several of the boys had utterly ruined some growing tobacco that he had been experimenting on, so he was in bad humor when he entered his sanctum.
"What! You here again?"
And without permitting the astonished Stockie to speak he began to administer a severe thrashing. The door was opened by the professor who wanted the mail.
"Has he been in mischief already? Why I told him a few moments ago to come here and get your letters." "Oh," exclaimed the president, "I thought he had been sent here as usual, for punishment. Well, if he does not deserve it now, he certainly will before the week is out."
Paul had organized a company of choice spirits who were known by the title of the 'Wild Geese'. Each member named himself after his own particular hero, such as Dick Turpin, Jack Shepard, Capt. Kidd and other distinguished gentleman freebooters. The headquarters of the association was in an abandoned log house about three miles from the college. On half holidays the company would escape out of bounds by different ways and assemble at headquarters. The cabin consisted of one large earthen floor room with a loft above. The stairs leading up to this loft had been cut away and a light ladder that could be easily hauled up, substituted. The aperture closed down by a rough trap door made for the purpose. This was done to afford concealment, in case any of the professors should come looking for them, or protection against a rival organization of larger boys, known as the "Wild Hens." When the company assembled, it was customary for Paul, who was their chosen chief, to detail parties to different duties. While some would be cutting and collecting wood to burn in the huge fire-place in the lower story, others would be off through the surrounding farms on a forage for chickens, potatoes, apples, etc., etc. All the money in the society would be entrusted to a committee of the most reliable members. These would be dispatched to the village store to purchase cheese, crackers, ginger-bread and other delicacies for the banquet. The village store was owned by an old fellow by the name of Philip Hardtsoe. He had expelled both Paul and Stockie from his territory on account of an incident which had happened some time previous. The two chums went in one day to buy a few cents worth of candy. They were difficult to please and insisted that Philip should hand them some from a jar on an upper shelf. While his back was turned Paul reached far into a barrel where a few nice, red apples lay on the bottom. As he balanced on his stomach over the chime of the barrel, Stockie saw his opportunity for mischief and gave him a push that toppled him down on his head. The noise caused old Philip to turn around. He thought the lads only intended to fool him when they asked for the candy. He rushed from behind the counter, easily capturing Paul, who was helpless in the barrel, while Stockie dashed through the door roaring with laughter. This was the reason that Philip would never allow either boy in his store, so Paul and Stockie had to buy their candy by proxy.
But to return to the "Wild Geese." As the various committees reported, they would find a roaring fire and everything ready for cooking. The banquet table was generally prepared in the upper story or loft and consisted of two long boards on trestles. The seats were round blocks of wood. The chief luxuries of the banquet itself, besides the store supplies, were chicken and potatoes. The chickens had been prepared by rolling them in mud; then baking them. When fully cooked the feathers came off. A sharp knife ripped them open and the baked entrails were easily removed. The potatoes were simply roasted in the hot ashes. The commoner articles of the banquet menu, such as bread, butter, salt and pepper were always appropriated from the college table. The first banquet that ever took place in the old log cabin followed the election of officers. Paul was unanimously elected chief and escorted to the head of the table. Stockie and Billy O'Meara, of Washington, as first and second lieutenants, sat on either side. It is doubtful if ever a pirate captain looked with more pride on his gallant crew, or if a real banquet was ever more thoroughly enjoyed by the participants.
Several times during the winter the "Wild Geese" were attacked by the "Wild Hens." They were always repulsed excepting one day when the latter were re-enforced by an alien crowd. The "Wild Geese" defended their cabin bravely, but, were driven foot by foot, until they wore compelled to retreat to the loft and draw up the ladder. The lower portion of the cabin was in full possession of the besiegers, who demolished everything they could lay their hands on, with much gusto. They did their utmost to pry up the trap door, but were beaten back. Suddenly to the "Wild Geese's" surprise, the lower part of the cabin was abandoned by the Hens. They thought it a ruse to draw them out, so I they lay quiet for some time. There were no windows in the loft. Bye and bye Paul knocked a hole through the shingles of the roof. Protruding his head he saw the Hens in a wild flight towards the forest. He could see no cause for this until he knocked a hole through the other side of the cabin roof. What he beheld was not calculated to cheer his heart. Eight or ten of the professors were almost on the cabin. There was no time or chance to escape. Paul commanded all hands to lie down and keep still while himself and lieutenants sat on the trap door. The house was quickly entered by the professors. Remarks such as "They must be here," "The fire is still burning," "See the chicken feathers," etc., etc. ascended to the trembling urchins above.
"Is there no loft or upper story?" said one finally.
"I don't think so," responded another; "There is no means of getting up there. They have all left. Here is their trail in the snow leading to the woods."
All would have been well with the "Wild Geese" had not the unlucky Stockie at this moment, given a loud sneeze. At which some of the minor members of the company giggled. The chief looked sternly at the culprit. He saw Stockie about to repeat the involuntary sneeze and grabbed him by the nose and throat. Too late! The noise had been heard below and the imperative command was given to "come down." Slowly the trap-door was opened and the ladder descended. Then a scuffle ensued to see who would go down last. The consequence was that two or three of the Geese went down at the same time. Slowly and sorrowfully the prisoners marched to the college where to add to their misery they beheld the faces of the smiling and triumphant "Wild Hens." These had regained "bounds" without being discovered and their loud cackling grated discordantly on the nerves of the late banqueters. That evening, singly and in pairs were the "Wild Geese" called over and interviewed by the president. On their return to the study hall their flushed faces and reddened eyes accompanied by rapid, mysterious signals, gave warning to the waiting ones of the wrath to come. Paul and Stockie were the last to be summoned. They found the president and the prefect of studies in the star chamber.
"Be seated" was the brief command. "Do either of you know anything about a secret organization called the 'Wild Geese'?"
The culprits saw that the customary denial of everything would not answer in this case. They acknowledged that they had heard of such a society. The President was satisfied that he had learned from the other members about all the information that he needed, and that the present interview would not add much to his knowledge, so he turned to the two boys with a kindly smile and gave them a fatherly lecture on the error of their ways. He urged them to promise that in the future they would be more faithful to study and more obedient to the rules of the institution. His kind tones made Paul and Stockie feel ashamed and inspired them with the hope that this gentle lecture would be their only punishment. They glanced congratulations at each other out of the corners of their eyes.
"Now boys," said the president in conclusion, "you have promised me faithfully to mend your conduct. To keep this promise fresh in your memory, I have something to give you. My motto is to leave the best for the last, so Master Paul will retain his seat. Take off your jacket, Stockdale."
Disappointment and dismay were depicted on the two faces. Stockie made many fruitless attempts to unbutton his jacket, unbuttoning two buttons and buttoning one. At last the president's patience gave out and he rushed on his victim with the strap. Now, in the room was an old- fashioned bed, in which ropes were fastened from side to side, in lieu of slats. To escape the strap, Stockie dove under this bed. The president, who was somewhat rheumatic, could not reach him very well, so he called upon the prefect and Paul to assist him in removing the bed. They moved it from side to side around the room in vain, for Stockie was holding on to the bed cords. Paul felt like an executioner to his friend; but life is sweet. He glanced furtively at the prefect and saw him convulsed with smothered laughter. The president made frantic attempts to dislodge Stockie and Paul dashed through the door to liberty. Later, Stockie appeared and cheered Paul with the information that his punishment would come when he had gone to bed. Paul looked the situation over and at last thought of a plan of escape. He sent Stockie into the hall to call out an unsuspicious youth whom he named. This boy soon appeared and Paul told him all about the tribulations of the "Wild Geese." He said he was certain he knew the informer, the villain who had brought all this dire disaster. He had a plan to punish the tale-bearer. He would like to exchange beds that night with his listener, so that he would be near the villain's bed. Then he would put a handful of red pepper over the mouth and nose while he snored. Was his friend willing? His friend thought the cause a just one and readily agreed to the proposed arrangement. That night the innocent youth slipped into Paul's bed and the avenger joyfully nestled in his, at the other side of the dormitory. About an hour after the boys had retired, a tall figure, with stealthy step passed in the direction of Paul's bed. There was a suppressed scuffle and the clear sound of a strap coming in contact with its victim, while a low, stern voice was heard saving: "Not a word sir; not a word. Don't dare to raise your voice above a whisper. You deserve it all and more." After a few moments Professor Justice retired with the same stealthy step. There was convulsive sobbing in Chief Paul's bed, and the other boys covered their heads with their blankets in dread of a similar visitation.
The boy who suffered that night is now a brilliant judge and well known politician. But he always believed that he had been punished for changing beds and wondered not a little that his companion had escaped similar castigation.
The boys were obliged to rise very early in the morning. The first duty of the day was to proceed to the chapel for prayers, and religious instruction. But many of the lads preferred to gather around the red hot stove of the study hall where they could tend to their devotions with more liberty and comfort than in the chilly chapel. If they were missed, a professor was sent to ascertain their whereabouts. He was generally discovered in time by the boy detailed by his companions as look out. The study hall and dormitories formed a building separate from the rest of the college. As the professor approached from the main building, the boys would leap from the low windows of the study hall into the snow. Sometimes the professor was suspicious and would reconnoiter outside the study hall; but the boys were alert and as he passed around a corner, they would get around another and so they often escaped to the chapel. One morning the president missed several of his jewels and started himself for the study hall determined to capture them. As usual, the boys clambered through the windows and escaped in different directions always keeping the hall between them and their pursuer. Stockie, Billy O'Meara and Paul adopted the old rule of sneaking away from one corner of the hall, while the president advanced around another. The pursuit was very close, for the president was sure from the tracks in the snow, that some of the boys were dodging him.
Stockie and O'Meara broke for the shelter of another building; but Paul continued to dodge around the study hall. Once the president failed to appear at the expected corner. Paul feared that he might be doubling on him and so crept cautiously on all fours back to the corner he had left to take a look around that side of the building. As he warily put his head out to take the observation it came in hard contact with that of the president, who had adopted Paul's own tactics to catch him. The situation was so ludicrous that even that austere gentlemen burst out laughing and Paul scampered away to the chapel.
A favorite resort for the boys during winter weather was a barn where they had rare sport tumbling over the great quantities of hay in the loft. A party of them were one day enjoying this pastime, when a stern voice below commanded them to "descend immediately," supplemented by the ominous and oft repeated expression, "I know you all, I, have your names." Some of the boys descended, but Paul and four companions clambered out on the roof of a wagon shed. This roof was very steep and was covered with about three feet of snow. Here they squatted down and awaited results. The professor took the names of the boys who had descended and ordered them to the study hall. This gentleman, by the way, was very successful in discovering culprits, and was known facetiously by the boys as the "blood-hound." He was sure he had not found all the truants, but he saw they were not in the loft, so he began a tour outside of the barn to ascertain how they had escaped. Slowly he walked around the wagon shed carefully scrutinizing every place in which he thought they might be concealed. The snow, loosened by the heat and extra weight of the unlucky boys, gave way and precipitated them over the head and shoulders of the astounded professor.
One form of punishment inflicted by the faculty was termed "corrence." The culprit was deprived of his meals mid compelled to remain at study in the hall while the others enjoyed their repast. This was a severe punishment to healthy, growing boys, whose appetites were whetted by the keen mountain air. On the "corrence" list one day appeared the names of William O'Meara and Paul Boyton. This was no infrequent occurrence. These boys did not seem much distressed. There was a secret understanding among the then suppressed "Wild Geese" that none of their number should suffer the pangs of hunger while provisions could be obtained from the table. The faculty must have found out this fraternal understanding, for on the day in question every boy was examined as he left the refectory and everything eatable in his possession confiscated. The day was hard for Billy and Paul. By night they were wild with hunger and vowed to make a raid on the kitchen or die. The kitchen in question was in the deep basement of the main building, lit up by small windows fully six feet above the floor. When the cooks had retired, Billy and Paul made their way to one of these windows. They pried it open. Paul persuaded his companion to crawl into the window head first, while he lowered him by holding on to his legs and feet. He instructed Billy that when the floor was reached he could with the aid of a chair easily pass out the much needed supplies. Billy began his descent. When lowered as far as Paul could reach he said:
"I can't feel the floor, pull me up."
Just then there was a deep growl heard in the kitchen and footsteps approaching from the outside. Paul did not have time or strength to haul Billy up again, so letting him go by the run, he started to his feet and disappeared in the darkness. Billy was seized by a large Newfoundland dog that held him fast until discovered by the cooks who came down to find out the cause of the noise.
The refectory of the college was a long, narrow room with a table extending its entire length. Each boy was supposed to stand in his place with folded hands and bowed head, while grace was being said by the professor at the end of the table. But such keen appetites could hardly wait for the blessing to be called. While one hand was devoutly raised, in case the professor would look down along the table, the other grasped a fork and all eyes were fixed of the dishes of meat. Smothered exclamations of "That's my piece with the fat;" "The middle piece is mine," "I like the lean," etc., passed along the line. As the amen rang out, every fork was darted into the longed for meat, as a harpoon is sent into a whale.
Not far from the college lived an irascible old gentleman who owned a rich farm and some very fine horses of which he took great pride. Paul and his chums looked on these lovely animals with envious eyes, and often wished that they could capture one and enjoy a ride. One day Stockie and Paul went to the woods at the bottom of a field that led by a gentle ascent to the farm house. They had with them a pillow-slip half full of oats. They were trying to induce a magnificent looking colt to approach them. The colt was shy, but the oats were tempting. He came near enough to taste them and submitted gently to the boy's caresses and even permitted them to lead him around by the forelock. "Now Stockie," said Paul, "I will hold him by the nose and mane. You jump from that stump and take the first ride."
With a spring, Stockie mounted the animal's back. The colt broke from Paul and dashed madly away, Stockie clinging to him like a cat. The creature never stopped in its mad career until it had reached the farm yard. With a terrific leap it unseated Stockie, who tumbled uninjured but paralyzed with fear, into a pile of manure from which he was dragged by the enraged farmer. As his friend disappeared, Paul made a beeline for the college. Soon after poor Stockie was brought in by the farmer and delivered into the hands of the president. It was some time before the victim was able to sit at his desk with any degree of comfort.
With such adventures as these, two years of college life glided by and then the parting came. Paul had progressed rapidly in his classes for his was a character that applied itself to books, as devotedly as it did to play. His best loved study was navigation, and he often surprised the gray-haired old professor by his knowledge in this quarter. His open, fearless nature had endeared him to his teachers and despite the punishments; he had learned to love the college life so his going was viewed with regret by both sides. The college was in its infancy when Paul's name was on the pupil's roll. He returned to visit it some years ago, to find it grown into one of the great educational institutions of the land. Many of our brightest and best men lovingly roll it their Alma Mater. The venerable president received him with open arms. He put Paul's picture in his gallery of the boys who were a credit to the institution, and both talked over old times and life's many changes with emotion, and laughed heartily over certain well remembered experiences. Paul felt a deep pang of remorse at the praise and the welcome, for his memory bore another record.
During Paul's sojourn at college, his family had moved from Alleghany to New York. His father was an importer of sea-shells, corals, marine curiosities anal oriental goods, of which he made annual sales in the chief cities of the country. He took Paul with him and gave him the first lesson in business. Travel suited Paul immensely; but business was irksome and the civil war was still raging. Stirring accounts of the conflicts in the south, and the martial air that pervaded the entire country, filled Paul's soul with longing to go to the front.
On the morning of April 15th, 1864, young Boyton presented himself at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and was enrolled in the United States Navy as a sailor before the mast. After a few weeks drilling he was transferred to the United States Steamer, Hydrangea, Captain W. Rogers in command. Paul was now in his fifteenth year. He had no difficulty in passing the scrutiny of the enlisting officers. He was of a powerful build and very muscular. His outdoor life in the woods and on the river made him look older than he really was. The Hydrangea was ordered to Fortress Monroe, and Paul received his baptism of fire while the steamer was running up the James river past Malvern Hill, where a confederate battery was stationed. Much has been written about the war, and as this is simply a story of adventure, it will be left to better writers to record war history many of whom have already described scenes enacted in that vicinity during the year 1864. The last engagement Paul was in, was the memorable assault on Fort Fisher. When the war closed, he was mustered out. At that time he held the position of yeoman.
Mr. Boyton discovered that Paul did not have much aptitude for commercial pursuits, so he sent him to the West Indies for the purpose of collecting and shipping all kinds of marine curiosities. Paul's companion was a submarine diver whom his father had engaged. They took passage on the bark, "Reindeer," bound for the Barbadoes. They had all kinds of the latest dredging apparatus, including submarine armor and pumps in their outfit. After a tedious voyage of twenty-seven days, the "Reindeer" cast anchor in Bridgetown. Paul and the diver, whose name was Tom Scott, were kindly welcomed by the merchant, an old friend of Mr. Boyton's, to whom they carried letters of introduction.
His father's instructions were to charter a fishing boat, or some suitable vessel at Bridgetown for a six month's cruise among the keys and islands surrounding, for the purpose of fishing up coral, shells and other curios that he could gather. A few days after his arrival, Paul engaged a staunch little sloop commanded by a negro, who was assisted by four strong sailors also colored, as crew. The first cruise was around the island of Barbadoes. Several curios were collected and purchased and a goodly shipment sent back by the "Reindeer." When he received them and read Paul's accompanying letter, Mr. Boyton was satisfied that his son was now engaged in a business that thoroughly suited him. The Cayosa, for such was the name of the little sloop, was then provisioned for a voyage to the group of islands that lay to the westward, and where it was said rare shells would be found. For a small consideration the captain had agreed to bunk forward with crew, leaving Tom Scott and Paul his little cabin all to themselves. This cabin was thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned by the pair, after which they fitted it up and placed therein their baggage, rifles, fishing gear, plenty of reading matter and their private stores.
While in port, Paul remained the guest of Mr. C., the merchant, whose home was a beautiful villa situated a little way out of town. The merry, bright-eyed daughters of his host made sad havoc in the susceptible heart of young Boyton. At last all the stores were aboard and everything was ready. One bright morning the anchor was weighed, and the sloop stood away on her cruise to the island of Vincent, which lay about one hundred miles to the westward. During this voyage a heavy tornado tested the little sloop to her utmost. She was driven far out of her course. It was four days ere they reached Kingston on the southward of the island, instead of Richmond whither they were bound. They spent a few days in the quaint, old town and picked up several curiosities. The sloop was then headed for the Cariacou islands, a large group which dot the ocean between St. Vincent and Granada. Many of these islands are uninhabited by human beings. They are low and loaded down to the water's edge with rich, tropical vegetation. The sloop spent six weeks in this group. Every available part of the boat was packed with coral and all kinds of curiosities. A run was then made to Charlottetown, Granada, where the collection was discharged, cleaned and packed in hogsheads all ready for the first boat that would call, bound for New York. Here the sloop was again provisioned, then she set out for Tobago about one hundred miles southeast. A cruise was made around the entire island, but the collection was not remunerative. The sloop was then headed to Trinidad, and along the north coast, valuable specimens were picked up. In this same locality they struck on a reef of exquisite brain coral, with which they loaded the sloop. Sail was then made for Port of Spain, the principal town of the island. In going through the Dragon's Mouth, a narrow, dangerous passage between the mainland of South America and Trinidad, the Cayosa was nearly wrecked. A sudden change in the wind when they were rounding the point drove her into the breakers. Her mast was badly sprung and only with the utmost difficulty was she saved. Under shortened sail she entered Port of Spain, a curiously picturesque old town. Here the collection was discharged as before and the Cayosa beached for an overhauling. Among those employed to assist in the repairs were three English sailors who were held prisoners on the charge of mutiny. The prison regulations in Trinidad were very lax, so much so that the three mutineers were permitted to come down daily and take a hand in the sloop's overhauling. They were from Liverpool and hard characters. The captain of their vessel delivered them over at Trinidad preferring to go shorthanded rather than have them aboard. On the shady side of the sloop, that was then high up on the beach, they entertained Scott and Paul with their varied adventures. One day Paul expressed astonishment that being prisoners, they were allowed such unusual liberties. One of them, Dick Harris by name, answered:
"We are a burden to the authorities here. They would be glad to be rid of us without the trouble and expense of sending us to England, where, no doubt, we would get the rope's end of the law. Last night when you paid us off, we stayed out late. When we got back at the jail we had to knock again and again. At last the jailer called out: 'Who's there?' We gave our names, when he exclaimed: 'Now if you blasted shell-backs can't get home at a reasonable hour, you can stay out. This is the last time I will be disturbed from my slumbers to let you in.'"
The three worthies implored Paul to take them away on the Cayosa. I referred them to the negro captain. The latter earnestly assured them that, he would sooner run a cargo of scorpions than risk himself and crew to the tender care of the mild mannered Liverpool tars.
When the sloop was fully repaired, she started on a trip around the island, but the breakers were too heavy for successful work. She directed her course northward and soon reentered the Cariacon group. A couple of months were spent in those lovely islands. The great breakers that swept in along the coast of Trinidad, Tobago and Granada were missing. In the tranquil bays and inlets, they pursued their occupation of bringing up the natural treasures of the deep with more profit and less risk. They would anchor the Cayosa as near shore as possible, in some well sheltered bay. Here soundings wouid be taken, and the vicinity thoroughly inspected. When the bay gave promise of shells and coral, a camp was made on the silver-like beach under the shade of the towering cocoanut trees. The mainsail was detached and carried ashore to serve as an awning. The large sheet-iron boilers were also landed. While two of the crew gathered wood and decayed vegetation for fuel, the others were busy erecting a crude fire- place with rocks, over which the boilers were set. The shore camp being ready, the submarine pump would be lowered into the yawl and with Tom Scott, encased in his diving armor, would be conveyed to the most likely place on the bay. When this was reached, a kedge anchor was dropped, the face piece of the armor screwed on, the pipes attached and Tom quietly slipped over the side and descended to the reef. Two of the crew turned cranks to force air down to him, while Paul seated in the stern held the life line. When the diver reached bottom, he gave the signal to shift the boat wherever his explorations led him. When a lot of shells or curious objects were found, several pulls on the line were given indicating, "to anchor and send down the bucket." This bucket was a huge iron affair, holding about five bushels. It was sent to the bottom. Tom soon filled it with living and dead specimens of brilliant and beautiful shells. Then it was hoisted and the contents transferred aboard. In the clear waters on the coral reef, Paul, by hanging over the stern, could distinctly see Tom on the bottom moving around in his ponderous dress. He longed for the day when he could go down and behold the strange sights below in the green, transparent water. At last, the yawl was loaded. Tom came up and the helmet of his suit was removed and he enjoyed the pure, salt air once more. The boat was headed for shore and the treasures landed. All living shells were quickly transferred to the boilers full of hot water. They were left to simmer over the fire for a couple of hours, after which they were dumped on the sands. The thoroughly cooked inhabitants were easily removed and the shells sweet and clean and glowing with all the beautiful tints of the rose and lily, were placed in piles under the shade of the awning.
While the crew was engaged in this latter occupation, Scott, and Paul, armed with rifle and shotgun, would saunter through the heavily perfumed tropical forests in search of any game they could find. In expeditions of this kind, they captured three young monkeys and a couple of parrots, who were soon trained pets on the Cayosa, furnishing all hands with amusement. Scott and Paul shot many iguanos. These are huge lizards that abound in the tropics. The captain and crew considered this game a great delicacy and broiled and ate them with relish. It was a long time ere Scott or Paul would touch the reptiles. One day the black captain offered all a young lizard, daintily broiled. He assured them that it was as sweet and tender as an angel's dream. They tasted it and found it really excellent, and from that time on partook heartily of the dish, whenever it was on the table. At night they frequently stretched their hammocks from tree to tree for their cabin was uncomfortably hot. After a refreshing bath in the cool phosphorescent water and a scamper up and down the level sands in lieu of a towel, they would turn in and enjoy a sound sleep. They were generally awakened before daylight by the shrieking and chattering of the parrots and monkeys. Then with a spring from their hammock, they would dash merrily in to the reviving water. After this they donned their white canvas suits and were ready for another day. Breakfast was taken on shore. This consisted of fresh fish, coffee, cocoanuts, pineapples and bread fruits. Abundance of this fruit was found on all the islands they visited. On some of the islands they could not enjoy their nights in the cool hammocks, owing to the attacks of the malicious jigger spider and ferocious mosquitoes.
One day while at anchor over a coral reef at the southern part of Vequin, Torn Scott agreed to give Paul his first lesson in diving. Tom had been feeling sick and feverish for some days so it made him willing to let Paul take his place for once. He gave Paul full instructions how to act, especially warning him not to gasp in the compressed air, but to breathe naturally and easily. When the helmet was screwed on, Paul felt a smothering sensation but it soon passed. Encouraged, he stepped down n the rope ladder over the side of the sloop and slowly slipped to bottom about five fathoms below. The descent was easy, but bewildering. When his heavily leaded feet struck on the coral, it seemed to him as if the top of his head was being lifted off. For the moment he wished to regain the surface, but Scott's advice to keep cool and steady came back to him and he quickly regained control of his nerves. He peered through the heavy plate glass visor curiously around at the strange sights under the green water. The bottom was as white as snow drift and the powerful sun lit lip the water so That he could distinctly see all objects within twelve or fifteen feet of him. He signaled "all right" to Scott with the line and started to walk around. The signal line and hose were played out to him, so that he could take a wide scope around and under the sloop. Notwithstanding the enormous weight of lead attached to the diving dress, Paul found that he had to walk as easily and lightly as if there were egg shells under his feet; the least little pressure on the bottom had the tendency to send him up. After a half-hour below, during which he thoroughly enjoyed his novel surroundings, he felt an oppression on his chest and signaled "to haul up." The strong arms of the crew helped him regain deck, the helmet was removed and his flushed and eager face exposed. He remarked to Tom that "diving was glorious." After a rest of two hours, the sloop having been shifted to another anchorage, he again descended. This time the bottom had a different aspect. It was full of dark rocks over which grow great masses ofsea weeds. A few feet from where he descended, sprang up a reef of branch coral which extended as far as he could see on either side. This coral grew like shrubbery. It was hard to believe that, all this was the product of an invisible insect, instead of being a miniature forest turned into pure white stone. The scene was surpassingly beautiful; coral branches ran up to a height of eight or ten feet from the bottom, where they locked and wove together like vines. Paul walked to the edge of this reef and gazed with delighted eyes into its liquid depths. Schools of bright colored fish were swimming gracefully in and out through the delicate coral branches. Some, more fearless than their companions, swam round and round Paul's copper helmet, and looked into the thick glass at the front. When Paul made a sudden move of his hand, they darted away; but returned soon again to satisfy their curiosity and ascertain what strange monster had invaded their fairy land.
Three sudden jerks of the life line held in the hands of the anxious Tom, recalled Paul to his work. The three pulls meant, "Where are you? Is everything right?" He then signaled for the bucket to be lowered. Taking his pry he broke off some exquisite specimens of the undergrowth coral, which he loaded in and sent up. He then explored on the side of the coral forest until he came to a small portion of the bottom, covered with sand and surrounded with rocks. Under the growth of marine vegetation, he passed his hand, and pulled from the rock a living shell. Paul had been fully instructed by his father in the science of conchology, so he recognized this specimen as very rare and much sought after. It was the shell called "voluta musica." This was the first one of those shells found during the expedition. After a careful search he found twenty-three more of the same kind, and several large shells known as "Triton's trumpet." The bucket was filled. Paul followed it to the surface well satisfied with his first day's work as a submarine diver.
Scott was not enthusiastic over the "volute musica", but the captain of the Cayosa was delighted. He knew the value of the shell. He told Paid he had sold many of them to the tourists and collectors in Barbadoes receiving from fifty cents to a dollar and a half apiece. He also said that where one of those shells was found there was generally many in the vicinity, and advised Paul not to move the sloop that night, but to descend again the next day.
When the sun was sufficiently high the next morning, Paul again donned the armor and resumed his search for the voluta. Not thirty yards from where he had discovered the first one, he found a basin in the rocks filled with sand. From around this basin he took out two hundred and forty specimens of the desired shell. Afterwards it was ascertained that no greater find of this species had ever been made. Scott was not pleased with Paul's success. He grew more sullen every day. Several tunes be tried to resume his position as chief diver, but his strength was not equal to the strain, and Paul gladly took his place, which only made Scott furious. The abuse and curses he heaped upon captain and crew would have resulted in something serious only for Paul. The captain wanted to maroon the growler, that is, to place him on an island with some provisions and sail away. To this Paul answered that he would blow off the head of the man that attempted such a thing. He then tried to restrain Scott but with poor success. There was no other way out of it, so Paul decided to end the cruise. The sloop had a pretty fair cargo so he ordered the captain to make sail for Bridgetown, Barbadoes. They arrived there a month before the charter expired. Mr. C. settled to the satisfaction of the Cayusa's Captain and Scott was placed in the Marine Hospital. Three weeks later, after intense suffering from fever, the poor fellow died. Then Paul understood all his growls and abuse and was sincerely sorry. The collection was boxed ready for shipment and Paul had a pleasant time on the island, while waiting for a northern bound vessel.
One day while sitting at the mole, fishing, he saw a staunch little schooner with dilapidated sails bear into the harbor. When her anchor was let go, a boat was lowered into which two sailors and a man evidently the captain, entered. Paul, folding his fishing line, sauntered down to find out who the new arrivals were. A custom house officer standing by, hailed the stranger as he came ashore with, "Why, Captain Balbo. I am delighted to see you."
"Shure it does me eyes good to see yureself," said the new arrival, in a rich Irish brogue. "Me papers air all right, so we'll have no trouble. O'ive just called in to get a bit av fresh wather, an' if the Lord's willin' somethin' a little stronger."
"You're always welcome," responded the officer, "even if you do neglect to get your clearances. You know there is no love lost between you and the custom house."
The schooner captain way a stout, thickset man with a face bronzed to the color of mahogany and a head of hair as red as a Pittsburgh furnace at midnight. His blue eyes sparkled with good nature and merriment, and a continual smile hovered over his massive mouth. After several hearty greetings to acquaintances on the landing, the captain proceeded to the warehouse of the merchant, where Mr. C. soon afterward introduced Paul to the jolly old sea dog. When Captain Balbo learned that Paul had come down after seashells and curiosities, he was delighted and invited the boy to come aboard.
"O'im in the same line meself. But instead of lookin' afther dirthy, bad-smellin' sea shells, it's afther the shells of ould Vessels Oi am."
Paul gladly promised to go aboard that afternoon. The captain purchased a supply of provisions and made arrangements for his casks of fresh water and "stronger stuff," but in vain Mr. C. entreated him to remain over and take dinner with himself and Paul. The captain declared he could "fill himself up at the hotel with more liberty and less embarrassment." Mr. C. told Paid that Captain Balbo was a good natured old wrecker and treasure hunter, well-known in all the West India Islands. Late that afternoon Paul rowed out to the schooner, and received an enthusiastic welcome from the captain, who had evidently been enjoying himself "without restraint or embarrassment." He took Paul into a roomy cabin, and introduced him to his wife, a Very obese yellow woman, who was reclining on a sofa. The woman was undoubtedly of negro blood; but to Paul's profound astonishment, she had as fine a brogue as her husband. After some conversation Paul ventured to ask the captain how this happened. The latter laughed heartily and answered:
"Me wife wuz born far enough away from dear ould Ireland. Oi'll tell ye how it wuz. Many years ago a parthy of immygrants left county Kerry for Nassau, New Providence oisland. Their ship wuz driven far out av her way in a sthorm an' wrecked on a small oisland in Flamingo Bay. A few av thoze thet survived, settled on the oisland, an' soon had foine homes on its fertile soil. They found only a few nager inhabitants, an' shure they tuk thim fur servants. Me parents were among the survivors from the ship an' Oi wuz born about a year afther the wreck. As toime went on, the nagers gradually acquired the accent of their masthers. Whin Oi grow up Oi shipped on a tradin' schooner in which we wus cast away near Nassau. There Oi joined an English ship; n' fur foive years put in the loife av a sailor forninst the mast. Me heart always longed fur the sunlit, happy oisland an' me people an' at lasht Oi got back there, an' there Oi married Betsy thet ye will see on her beam ends on the sofia. Soon afther, in company with others, Oi bought fur a trifle, a schooner that wuz wrecked on the Keys. Afther hard wuerk we got her afloat, an' re-masted. We did good wuerk in her as a wrecker. Wan be wan Oi bought me comrades out, until to-day Oi am masther av the good little craft that's under yez. Me wife is always the companion av me voyages. Ehen she has the will to shake hersel', she can put more weight on a rope then the balance av the crew. An' there's not a cook in the gay city of Paris that equal her. Me business is tradin' and wreckin.' Mr. C. tould me that ye had submarine armour an' some improved dredgin' appyratus. Now Oi know where both will be useful to ye an' to me. There's many a wreck that Oi know, that's out av me reach wid the appliances Oi have. Wid your appyratus we can get treasure in abundance."
His stories of wrecks and treasures were of deep interest to Paul. Gladly would he have joined the captain, but his father owned the submarine armour and apparatus and he felt that he ought to consult him first. But he promised to answer Captain Balbo later on. A was about to leave the schooner, he remarked, "Your good lady sleeps very soundly, but she is very fat."
"That fat, me b'y," responded Balbo, "is av great valey to me. The English law makes us to give wan fourth av all treasure trove; but it's devilish little they find on board the 'Foam' afther me wife lands. They ofthen remark to me, that it's queer how fat Betsy is whin she goes ashore an' how much flesh she loses afther a short sojourn. Now, me b'y, Oi'll meet ye to-morrow. Oi loike ye an' Oi hope ye'll jine me. Ye'll niver regret the day ye do. An' now ye black devils," he said, turning to the boat's crew, "set this young gintleman safe ashore, er be the port bow av Noah's ark. Oi'll break ivery bone in yer black shkins. Good night, God bless ye, me son," was shouted over the dark waters as the boat shot away to the landing.
That night Paul entertained Mr. C. with an account of his visit to the "Foam" and his interview with the captain. Mr. C. assured Paul that Balbo was reliable and thoroughly honest in his dealings. At the same time he strongly advised him to take passage in the brig that had just arrived in the offing bound for New York and consult his father before embarking in the enterprise proposed by the wrecker. The next day Mr. C., the captain and Paul dined together. Paul promised the captain, that if he would consent to his gathering curiosities during the voyages they would make together and give him a share of all treasure recovered, he would lay the matter before his father on his arrival in New York. If Mr. Boyton consented he would join him in Nassau, with all the improved apparatus he could secure for the business. The form of agreement was drawn up and a bargain concluded subject to the approval of Paul's father. Three days later Paul sailed for New York on the brig Saco, and after a quiet voyage arrived safely at home once more. The collection of curios he had with him and the previous shipments he had made convinced his father that in no other position would Paul be so valuable to him. He was delighted with his success and allowed him a liberal sum for his labors. Paul was glad to be with his family once more and proved to his much loved mother that he had not forgotten her in all his wanderings as he had a splendid collection of the richest, rarest and most beautiful specimens he had gathered during his voyage as a present for her. The liberal supply of money obtained from his father's generosity was recklessly divided between his sisters. A few days after reaching home, he broached the subject of Captain Balbo's proposition to his father. Mr. Boyton did not like the idea of wrecking or treasure hunting, but he was perfectly content that Paul should join the captain for the purpose of collecting curiosities, and was willing to supply him with money and all the improved apparatus required for that purpose. Paul promised his father that the outlay would be applied according to his directions; but made the firm resolve to himself that he would tackle the treasure ships mentioned to him by Balbo.