'Ay, says I, 'an' we'll be gettin' along a deal better, mum, says I, 'if you bail. So I kep' her bailin', Davy," the skipper concluded, with a long sigh and a sad wag of the head, "from Herring Head t' Wolf Cove. An', well, lad, she didn't quite cotch me, for she hadn't no time t' waste, but, as I was sayin', she cast a hook." "You're well rid o' she," said I.
"Now, lads," cried the skipper to his men, "look sharp! Let out the passengers." "Passengers?" exclaimed Charlie Brooke in surprise. "Ay my wife an' little gurl, two women and an old gentleman. You don't suppose I'd keep 'em on deck to be washed overboard?"
The hulking ruffian roared with pleasant laughter at the sally. "Oh, you're a funny cuss, ain't you, and pretty with your jaw, by thunder! But it's me that you'll have the pleasure of speaking to, and right quick, my mate, oh, you bet!" "In that case," said the skipper, with his calmness well at zero; "in that case you, Dan! introduce yourself to the gentleman." Dan's reply was instantaneous.
As every one knows, it would be almost an impossibility for sixteen sail-boats to go any where in company without trying their speed, especially if they were sailed by boys. When our heroes stepped into their vessels, each skipper made up his mind that his boat must be the first one to touch the opposite shore.
"Well, she is a remarkably fine and powerful craft; carries heavy metal too; and your skipper evidently knows how to handle her. What is his name, by the bye?" I modestly explained that I was in command of the craft; an announcement which created quite a sensation among the officers who had gathered round. "You!" exclaimed the skipper incredulously.
We are good friends. As to our old man, you could not find a quieter skipper. Sometimes you would think he hadn't sense enough to see anything wrong. And yet it isn't that. Can't be. He has been in command for a good few years now. He doesn't do anything actually foolish, and gets his ship along all right without worrying anybody. I believe he hasn't brains enough to enjoy kicking up a row.
"There's a few things in there'll want moving," said the skipper, as he opened the door. "I don't know where we're to keep the onions now, Jack." "We'll find a place for 'em," said the mate confidently, as he drew out a sack and placed it on the table. "I'm not going to sleep in there," said the visitor decidedly, as she peered in. "Ugh! there's a beetle. Ugh!"
Next morning at sunrise Garry O'Neil went back to his ship with his crew of eight men all the skipper was able to spare him and by breakfast time they had made her all atauto, bending new sails, which they found below in the forepeak, in place of the tattered rags that hung from some of the yards, and otherwise making good defects, preparing the vessel for her passage home.
Crossing the high mesa, we had felt the wind begin to blow, when like Drummond's Habitant Skipper, "it blew and then it blew some more." By the time we reached the sandy plain below, such a hurricane had broken as I have seen only once before, and that was off the coast of Labrador, when for six hours we could not see the sea for the foam. The billows of sand literally lifted.
"The deuce it is!" said the skipper in a louder key, showing that my surmise had been correct as to the progress of his toilet, and that his head was now unloosed from its bag-like envelope. "By George, I can't make it out at all!" "There's no getting over the fact, sir," persisted the first mate. "We're quite surrounded by the weed.