In fact it was only by having two men stationed to keep Ram-stam on his legs that the thing could be done! With some difficulty Edgar was got on board, and the order was immediately given to weigh anchor. Expressing great surprise at the state of things he found above water, and regret that he had not sooner attended to orders, Edgar placed the box on the deck.
"Sure I've done it twice a'ready," replied Rooney, who was attending to our hero's life-line while Ram-stam and Chok-foo toiled at the air-pumps. "What does he reply?" asked Joe. "He replies, `all right, but nothin' more. If he knew the imptiness of my och! There he goes at last, four tugs. Come along, my hearty," said Rooney, coiling away the slack as Edgar rose slowly to the surface.
Perspiration rolled down the cheeks of Chok-foo and Ram-stam as they gasped for breath and turned the handles with all the strength they possessed. "Pump oh! Pump for pity's sake." She ended with a wild shriek, for at that moment the waves were cleft alongside, and Rooney Machowl came up from the bottom, feet foremost, with a bounce that covered the sea with foam.
"There is but one o' the esquires that is Barbara Halliburton's son," answered the Bailie; "the ither is her ain man and a great ram-stam, unbiddable, unhallowed deevil he is Guid forbid that I should say as muckle to his face!" The knights had moved slowly out from their pavilions on either side, and now stood waiting the order to charge.
After the fire, Rooney removed with his family to the house of a Chinese labourer named Chok-foo, whose brother, Ram-stam, dwelt with him. They were both honest hard-working men, but Chok-foo was beginning, as we have seen, to fall under the baleful influence of opium-smoking. Ram-stam may be said to have been a teetotaler in this respect. They were both men of humble spirit.
In short, there is every probability that an attack of croup, or something dreadful, would have ensued if the child's mother had not risen hastily and snatched it away from the would-be infanticide. "Now then, Ram-stam and Chok-foo," said Edgar Berrington, putting down his spoon, "clear away the rat's-tail soup, and bring on the roast puppy."
When, however, pipes were got out by those who smoked, and chairs were placed in the verandah, and no sound was heard around save the yelling of Chinese children who were romping in the Chinese kennel that skirted the pagoda, and the champing of the jaws of Ram-stam and Chok-foo as they masticated inside then came the feast of reason, not to mention the flow of soul.
"All right?" asked Joe again, after giving the order to pump, which Ram-stam commenced with the steady coolness and regularity of a veteran. "All right," replied Maxwell, who immediately afterwards slowly disappeared. After an hour's absence he signalled that he was coming up. In a few minutes his helmet was seen far down in the depths. Then it emerged from the surface.
It was intended that we should. Why were we gifted with the quality of courage if risk and danger were never to be encountered?" The screwing on of the bull's-eye put a stop to further remark, and a few seconds later our hero went over the side, while Ram-stam, smiling benignant indifference as to the event which had so recently happened, steadily performed his duty.
She büt to have come in ram-stam an' stern forrit; for the bows of her are aften under, and the back-side of her is clear at hie-water o' neaps. But, man! the dunt that she cam doon wi' when she struck! Lord save us a'l but it's an unco life to be a sailor a cauld, wanchancy life.