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No Asi was to be found; but at last they were shown his fishing-lights on the reef, rowed out, took him as he was, and carried him on board a man-of-war, where he was detained some while between-decks.

"Really, Dicey, you are a brave fellow," said Jack Ivyleaf one day, while Charles was taking his usual walk on deck for exercise. "I cannot bring myself to go among those sick people as you do. It's all very well to go forward and amuse them when they are in health, and inclined to be jolly; but to go and sit in the hot, sweltering atmosphere between-decks is quite another thing."

A few other friends were of the party, but at last they left us, and we were alone upon the sea, and the sailors were busy with the sails and ropes. The Lexington was an old ship, changed from a sloop-of-war to a store-ship, with an after-cabin, a "ward-room," and "between-decks." In the cabin were Captains Bailey and Tompkins, with whom messed the purser, Wilson.

If you touched a bit of iron on deck it almost burned your hand. If you lay down between-decks covered with a sheet, you awoke in a bath of perspiration. "Sail, ho!" The man, in his excitement, repeated the shout before he could be hailed from the deck. "Where away?" sang out the captain. "Two points on the weather-bow, sir," was the reply.

Accordingly, besides the usual number of casks on deck, rows of immense tierces were lashed amid-ships, all along the between-decks, forming a sort of aisle on each side, furnishing access to four rows of bunks, three tiers, one above another, against the ship's sides; two tiers being placed over the tierces of water in the middle. These bunks were rapidly knocked together with coarse planks.

The sides of the between-decks were clapboarded, the knees and stanchions of iron, and the latter made to unship. The crew said she was as tight as a drum, and a fine sea boat, her only fault being, that of most fast ships, that she was wet, forward. When she was going, as she sometimes would, eight or nine knots on a wind, there would not be a dry spot forward of the gangway.

Thus the "Weymouth" was able to get within gunshot of them before her character was discovered. Quickly bracing up her yards, she poured a broadside into her two opponents, which were close together. They were found to be two large galleys, which carried some twenty guns on the upper-deck, and several on the quarter-deck, while between-decks were small ports, out of which their oars projected.

But he avoided even her when dinner was over, and was busy, he sent word, with troop papers down between-decks, and she felt, somehow, that that letter was at the bottom of his sudden resolution and longed to see it, yet could not ask. At three bells, half-past nine, she saw him coming quickly along the promenade-deck, and she stopped her escort and held out a detaining hand.

Further resistance was useless. The thing was done; and the moment the first hatch was raised the sickening effluvium that issued from the hold proclaimed the truth. Nearly three hundred slaves were packed between-decks, many of the poor creatures standing so close that they could not lie down.

Doubtless the mate of the lower deck, and often enough the first lieutenant, and sometimes even the captain, will be anxious to break up all the men's chests, in order to have a clear-looking, open, airy, between-decks, to make a show of; but with proper care it may be kept almost as clear and quite as clean with a couple of chests in each berth as without.