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I saw Cromwell grin widely into the binnacle candle flame when he heard me talk of ham, tongue, sweetmeats, marmalade and the like for supper, together with a can of hot claret, and knowing sailor's nature middling well, I did not doubt that the fare of the schooner would bring the three men more into love with the adventure than even the reward that was to follow it.

The boys were all fishermen, for a large part of the subsistence of the family came from the fishing-grounds outside the harbor, and, as the oldest brother took early to the sailor's life, my mother had to assume a larger share of all the harder services.

"That's right," replied Mr Mackay, apparently satisfied that at last everything forward was going on as it should; for he turned away from the poop rail and entered into conversation with a stout thickset strange man, dressed in sailor's clothes, but with a long black oilskin or waterproof over his other garments reaching down to his heels, although it wasn't raining at all, being a bright, fine afternoon.

We had rough weather, and some of the gentlemen volunteers, who prefer smooth water, grumbled not a little. My gentlemen's stomachs are dainty; and after Braund's cookery and White's kick-shaws, they don't like plain sailor's rum and bisket.

Another summer brought the happy day when the little brown house was set in order for a sailor's honeymoon, when the flag floated gayly over Miss Mary's cottage, and Ruth in a white gown with her chosen flowers in her hair and bosom, shipped with her dear Captain for the long cruise which had its storms and calms, but never any shipwreck of the love that grew and blossomed with the water-lilies by the sea.

"At all events, a sailor's blood runs in your veins, my lad; and, as you're such a good climber and know your way up the ratlines, just go up now and show that lubber of a greenhorn how to get up the futtock shrouds without tumbling, and so over the masthead."

On this second visit to the West-Indies we had many poor Sundays poor, I mean, from a sailor's point of view. The organ was often lashed, and I had enough to do to keep my balance, the crew on such occasions clinging to fixtures such as hatchways and stanchions with one hand, and holding the hymn-book in the other, singing heartily:

"You'd never dare shoot a man until his back was turned. You don't dare shoot me even then," and he deliberately turned his back full upon the sailor and walked nonchalantly away as if to put him to the test. The sailor's hand crept slyly to the butt of one of his revolvers; his wicked eyes glared vengefully at the retreating form of the young Englishman.

"I wish we had something to wash his face with," sighed Willy, "but I haven't got a handkerchief." "Neither have I." Willy looked thoughtful. A second more and he had stripped off his light sailor's jacket and dipped it in the water. The next minute the two boys were running up the hill again. When they reached the spot where the wounded man lay, he had slipped down and was flat on the ground.

"But, captain, as we must provide against everything, I shall ask your permission to take Herbert only with me on this voyage." "Pencroft," replied the engineer, placing his hand on the sailor's shoulder, "if any misfortune happens to you, or to this lad, whom chance has made our child, do you think we could ever cease to blame ourselves?"