The loss of a man was, to him, a matter of deep moment; all his habits and propensities inclining him to be solicitous about the manning of ships. A man saved was as good as a man impressed; and he was the first person in the boat. By the time the ship had lost her way, the boat was ready; and I heard Sennit call out the order to lower.
As this was said, Sennit pointed to Tom Voorhees, an athletic, handsome young North River man, of Dutch extraction, a fellow who had not a drop of English blood in his veins, and the ablest-bodied and the best seaman in the Dawn; a fact that the lieutenant's nautical tact had not been slow to detect.
Lord Harry is a nobleman, and a captain, and what could a poor devil of a lieutenant, whose commission is not a year old, do against such odds! No no there should be more feeling and good-fellowship between chaps like you and me, who have their way to make in the world." "You remind me of the necessity of being in motion. Adieu, Mr. Sennit cut, Moses!"
I knew there were too many motives for such a bribe, connected with our treatment, the care of our private property, and other things of that nature, to feel any apprehension that the true object of this liberality would be suspected by those who were to reap its advantages. Sennit, Marble, and myself, sate quite an hour at table.
Under ordinary circumstances, this last dignitary would have been of sufficient skill to take the ship in: but this was the first prize Lord Harry had taken; she promised to be valuable if condemned; and I suppose he and his young, gentleman-like luffs were desirous of getting rid of their vulgar associate. At any rate, Messrs. Sennit and Diggens both came on board us, bag and baggage.
It was but the work of a moment to make the noose; another to let it down into the water; a third to pass it over the upper jaw of the shark; a fourth to draw it taut, and tighten the cord around the creature's teeth. The next thing done was to secure the other end of the sennit to the upright oar; and the carcass of the shark was thus kept afloat near the surface of the water.
"My mate owns the offence, sir; it was committed to get you out of the ship, while we took charge of her, again. The Dawn is under my orders once more, Mr. Sennit; and before I permit you to come on board her, again, we must have an understanding on the subject."
As I do not suppose you are to be coaxed out of the advantage you have obtained, we have no choice but compliance. Give us some food and water in addition, and, for God's sake! don't cast us adrift in this boat, so far from land." I gave Sennit an assurance that we would take care of him, and orders were issued to comply with his wishes.
This work occupied us all the morning; for the grooves had to be deeply burnt; and in the meantime the men had completed near enough sennit for the stringing of the bows; yet those who were at work on the line which the arrow was to carry, had scarce made more than half, so that I called off one man from the sennit to turn-to, and give them a hand with the making of the line.
Nothing kept his tongue within the bounds of moderation, and I am far from certain I might not add his fists, but my assurances he would be sent on board the Speedy, unless he behaved with prudence. As our people were sent out of the ship, I thought, several times, he would break out in open hostilities; and he did actually propose to me to knock Sennit down, and throw him overboard.