I rowed out of the canal on to the lake; but finding that the strong wind and rough waves were too much for my boat, I beat a hasty retreat into the port of refuge, and, securing my bow-line to a pile, and my stern-line to the bob-stay of a wood-schooner, the "Felicit," I prepared to ride out the gale under her bow. The skippers of the little fleet were very civil men.
Ordering the snare drum player to "cut away the main bob-stay, and belay the cornet," Mr. Jarvis took the bass drum between his teeth and jumped overboard, followed by the band, and they waded ashore. On Monday last the band arrived in Milwaukee and reported on board the Goodrich steamer, in the river, ready for business.
The jib-boom and bowsprit had snapped off during the night and now lay at right angles to the ship, with the chains, martingale, and bob-stay dragging them as the vessel quivered and moved in the grinding pack. The ice had driven over the forecastle and she was well down by the head.
The stepping of it, the captain whispered, "did the young dog great credit, for it looked as natural as the best wig he had ever seen; and then, in addition to the bob-stay, it had two guys, which acted like the yoke-lines of a boat, or in such a way, that by holding one in each hand, the brush could be worked 'starboard and larboard' like a rudder."
Gibney halted this dissertation with upraised hand. "Scraggs, it's about time you found out I ain't no potato bug, an' if you think McGuffey's a coddlin' moth you're wrong agin. Fork over them eggs an' the coffee an' a coupler slices o' dummy an' be quick about it or I'll bust your bob-stay." "Get off my ship, you murderin' pirates," Scraggs screamed.
"I'm not very strong, but if you made the boat drift under the ship's bows, I could catch hold of and swarm up the bob-stay easily enough. Nobody would see me, and if I got hold quickly, the boat could go on round to the stern, and if anybody was on the watch he would think you were trying to get to the Dennings' window."
"I think so," answered Sprague, "easy now!" Pete brought the yacht carefully alongside the duck, Sprague twined one foot around the bob-stay, reached over and lifted the bird into the boat. As soon as it was set on deck the duck shook its feathers, gave one defiant waggle of the tail, and paddled aft, remarking: "Quack! quack! qua-a-a-ck!" "Well!
There was a deck-chair well placed behind the shelter of the saloon skylight, and upon this I made myself at ease, drawing my peaked hat upon my eyes, and getting the sleep-music from the swish of the sea, as it ran upon us, and sprinted from the tiller right away to the bob-stay.
"Either the brute will be catching some of us, or we must catch him," he observed, as he prepared a harpoon and line. Descending by the dolphin-striker, he stood on the bob-stay, watching with keen eye and lifted arm for the shark, which now dropped astern, now swam lazily alongside.
The shot appeared to drop into the water almost under the whaler's bob-stay, and sent up a cloud of foam and spray, glistening in the moonlight; but the ship answered to it as to a deadly summons; and the tide and wind setting off shore, she went into the breeze easily, and lay to at the first demand. Then Black gave his orders