No, there seemed to be nothing for it but for all hands to go down with the ship, thanks to the terror-stricken selfishness of the 'tween-decks passengers, who were too ignorant to do anything useful themselves, and too obstinate and distrustful to allow anyone else to do anything.
The two warders had been shot and thrown overboard, and so also had the third mate. Prendergast then descended into the 'tween-decks and with his own hands cut the throat of the unfortunate surgeon. There only remained the first mate, who was a bold and active man.
"No, Martin, no except when first I clapped eyes on you, she chanced to be lying in your arms, d'ye see?" "Tush!" said I. "What o' that? 'Twas after she'd set the ship afire and sought to murder Don Federigo; we left her in the 'tween-decks and I found her nigh stifled by the smoke. Have you got her fast in the bilboes safe under lock and key?" "Lord love you no.
At the moment we arrived forward, five Chinese, like so many bees, came swarming out of the little 'tween-decks cabin, the sleep still in their eyes. Leading them came a big, muscular man, conspicuous for his pock-marked face and the yellow silk handkerchief swathed about his head.
Only an occasional vernacular ejaculation, such as 'Oh, wirra! wirra! or, 'Och hone, mavrone! betokened the smouldering remains of emotion in the frieze coats and gaudy shawls assembled for'ard: the wisest of the party were arranging their goods and chattels 'tween-decks, where they must encamp for a month or more; but the majority, with truly Celtic improvidence, will wait till they are turned down at nightfall, and have a general scramble in the dusk.
At the moment we arrived forward, five Chinese, like so many bees, came swarming out of the little 'tween-decks cabin, the sleep still in their eyes. Leading them came a big, muscular man, conspicuous for his pock- marked face and the yellow silk handkerchief swathed about his head.
We passed her, and descended another ladder, which brought us to the 'tween-decks, and into the steerage, in the forepart of which, on the larboard side, abreast of the mainmast, was my future residence a small hole, which they called a berth; it was ten feet long by six, and about five feet four inches high; a small aperture, about nine inches square, admitted a very scanty portion of that which we most needed, namely, fresh air and daylight.
I found that it was the duty of the emigrants to keep their own quarters clean, and this seemed to have been somewhat neglected of late. I therefore gave orders that all hands should at once turn-to and give the 'tween-decks a thorough cleansing, in readiness for another inspection by myself at eight bells in the afternoon watch.
"Nowt!" says he, cowering away; but taking him by his little, thin shoulders I lifted him into the dim light of a swinging lanthorn, and looked into a small, pallid face swollen and disfigured by cuts and bruises wrought by some brutal hand. "Who did this?" I demanded. "Nobody!" says he, gulping a sob. "Who are you?" "'Tween-decks boy." "How old are you, child?"
Internally, the Livorno had been very thoroughly gutted, even to the removal of many of her deck joists and 'tween-decks' stanchions. But in her galley, which, having remained closed, was in quite good order, we found the cooking range, though rusty, intact. It had been built into the deck-house, and, being partly of tiles, would hardly have lent itself to easy transport or use in another place.