Captain Frederick Marryat
Part 5 out of 9
apologising for his presence being necessary below, as they were
unloading a cargo of considerable value, he ordered his old porter to
show Mr Ramsay into his rooms, and to take up his luggage, informing his
guest that, it being now twelve o'clock, dinner would be on the table at
half-past one, during which interval he begged Ramsay to amuse himself,
by examining the pictures, books, &c., with which the room was well
furnished. Then, resuming his tablets and pen, and taking the letters
with him, Mynheer Van Krause made a very low bow, and left Ramsay to
himself, little imagining that he had admitted an attainted traitor
under his roof.
Ramsay could speak Dutch fluently, for he had been quartered two years
at Middleburg, when he was serving in the army. As soon as the sailors
had taken up his portmanteau, and he had dismissed them with a gratuity,
the extent of which made the old porter open his eyes with astonishment,
and gave him a favourable opinion of his master's new guest, he entered
into conversation with the old man, who, like Eve upon another occasion,
was tempted, nothing loth, for the old man loved to talk; and in a house
so busy as the syndic's there were few who had time to chatter, and
those who had, preferred other conversation to what, it must be
confessed, was rather prosy.
"Mein Gott, mynheer, you must not expect to have company here all day.
My master has the town business and his own business to attend to: he
can't well get through it all: besides, now is a busy time, the schuyts
are bringing up the cargo of a vessel from a far voyage, and Mynheer
Krause always goes to the warehouse from breakfast till dinner, and then
again from three or four o'clock till six. After that he will stay
above, and then sees company, and hears our young lady sing."
"Young lady! has he a daughter then?"
"He has a daughter, mynheer--only one--only one child--no son, it is a
pity; and so much money too, they say. I don't know how many stivers and
guilders she will have by-and-bye."
"Is not Madame Krause still alive?"
"No, mynheer, she died when this maiden was born. She was a good lady,
cured me once of the yellow jaundice."
Ramsay, like all young men, wondered what sort of a person this lady
might be; but he was too discreet to put the question. He was, however,
pleased to hear that there was a young female in the house, as it would
make the time pass away more agreeably; not that he expected much.
Judging from the father, he made up his mind, as he took his clothes out
of his valise, that she was very short, very prim, and had a
The old man now left the room to allow Ramsay to dress, and telling him
that if he wanted anything, he had only to call for Koops, which was his
name, but going out, he returned to say, that Ramsay must call rather
loud, as he was a little hard of hearing.
"Well," thought Ramsay, as he was busy with his toilet, "here I am safe
lodged at last, and everything appears as if it would prosper. There is
something in my position which my mind revolts at, but stratagem is
necessary in war. I am in the enemy's camp to save my own life, and to
serve the just cause. It is no more than what they attempt to do with
us. It is my duty to my lawful sovereign, but still I do not like it.
Then the more merit in performing a duty so foreign to my inclinations."
Such were the thoughts of Ramsay, who like other manly and daring
dispositions, was dissatisfied with playing the part of a deceiver,
although he had been selected for the service, and his selection had
been approved of at the Court of St Germains.
Open warfare would have suited him better; but he would not repine at
what he considered he was bound in fealty to perform, if required,
although he instinctively shrank from it. His toilet was complete, and
Ramsay descended into the reception-room: he had been longer than usual,
but probably that was because he wished to commune with himself; or it
might be, because he had been informed that there was a young lady in
The room was empty when Ramsay entered it, and he took the advice of his
host, and amused himself by examining the pictures, and other articles
of _virtu_, with which the room was filled.
At last, having looked at everything, Ramsay examined a splendid clock
on the mantelpiece, before a fine glass, which mounted to the very top
of the lofty room, when, accidentally casting his eyes to the
looking-glass, he perceived in it that the door of the room, to which
his back was turned, was open, and that a female was standing there,
apparently surprised to find a stranger, and not exactly knowing whether
to advance or retreat. Ramsay remained in the same position, as if he
did not perceive her, that he might look at her without her being aware
of it. It was, as he presumed, the syndic's daughter; but how different
from the person he had conjured up in his mind's eye, when at his
toilet! Apparently about seventeen or eighteen years of age, she was
rather above the height of woman, delicately formed, although not by any
means thin in her person: her figure possessing all that feminine
luxuriance, which can only be obtained when the bones are small, but
well covered. Her face was oval, and brilliantly fair. Her hair of a
dark chestnut, and her eyes of a deep blue. Her dress was simple in the
extreme. She wore nothing but the white woollen petticoats of the time,
so short, as to show above her ankles, and a sort of little jacket of
fine green cloth, with lappets, which descended from the waist, and
opened in front. Altogether, Ramsay thought that he had never in his
life seen a young female so peculiarly attractive at first sight: there
was a freshness in her air and appearance so uncommon, so unlike the
general crowd. As she stood in a state of uncertainty, her mouth opened,
and displayed small and beautifully white teeth.
Gradually she receded, supposing that she had not been discovered, and
closed the door quietly after her leaving Ramsay for a few seconds at
the glass, with his eyes fixed upon the point at which she had
Ramsay of course fell into a reverie, as most men do in a case of this
kind; but he had not proceeded very far into it before he was
interrupted by the appearance of the syndic, who entered by
"I am sorry to have been obliged to leave you to your own company,
Mynheer Ramsay, so soon after your arrival; but my arrangement of time
is regular, and I cannot make any alteration. Before you have been with
us long, I trust that you will find means of amusement. I shall have
great pleasure in introducing you to many friends whose time is not so
occupied as mine. Once again let me say how happy I am to receive so
distinguished a young gentleman under my roof. Did the cutter bring
despatches for the States General, may I enquire?"
"Yes," replied Ramsay, "she did; and they are of some importance."
"Indeed?" rejoined Mynheer inquisitively.
"My dear sir," said Ramsay, blushing at his own falsehood, "we are, I
believe, both earnest in one point, which is to strengthen the good
cause. Under such an impression, and having accepted your hospitality, I
have no right to withhold what I know, but with which others are not
"My dear sir," interrupted Krause, who was now fully convinced of the
importance of his guest, "you do me justice; I am firm and steadfast in
the good cause. I am known to be so, and I am also, I trust, discreet;
confiding to my tried friends, indeed, but it will be generally
acknowledged that Mynheer Krause has possessed, and safely guarded, the
secrets of the state."
Now, in the latter part of this speech, Mynheer Krause committed a small
mistake. He was known to be a babbler, one to whom a secret could not be
imparted, without every risk of its being known; and it was from the
knowledge of this failing in Mynheer Krause that Ramsay had received
such very particular recommendations to him. As syndic of the town, it
was impossible to prevent his knowledge of government secrets, and when
these occasionally escaped, they were always traced to his not being
able to hold his tongue.
Nothing pleased Mynheer Krause so much as a secret, because nothing gave
him so much pleasure as whispering it confidentially into the ear of a
dozen confidential friends. The consequence was, the government was
particularly careful that he should not know what was going on, and did
all they could to prevent it; but there were many others who, although
they could keep a secret, had no objection to part with it for a
consideration, and in the enormous commercial transactions of Mynheer
Krause, it was not unfrequent for a good bargain to be struck with him
by one or more of the public functionaries, the difference between the
sum proposed and accepted being settled against the interests of Mynheer
Krause, by the party putting him in possession of some government
movement which had hitherto been kept _in petto_. Every man has his
hobby, and usually pays dear for it, so did Mynheer Krause.
Now when it is remembered that Ramsay had opened and read the whole of
the despatches, it may at once be supposed what a valuable acquaintance
he would appear to Mynheer Krause; but we must not anticipate. Ramsay's
reply was, "I feel it my bounden duty to impart all I am possessed of to
my very worthy host, but allow me to observe, mynheer, that prudence is
necessary--we may be overheard."
"I am pleased to find one of your age so circumspect," replied Krause;
"perhaps it would be better to defer our conversation till after supper,
but in the meantime, could you not just give me a little inkling of what
is going on?"
Ramsay had difficulty in stifling a smile at this specimen of Mynheer
Krause's eagerness for intelligence. He very gravely walked up to him,
looked all round the room as if he was afraid that the walls would hear
him, and then whispered for a few seconds into the ear of his host.
"Indeed!" exclaimed Krause, looking up into Ramsay's face.
Ramsay nodded his head authoritatively.
"Gott in himmel!" exclaimed the syndic; but here the bell for dinner
rang a loud peal. "Dinner is on the table, mynheer," continued the
syndic, "allow me to show you the way. We will talk this over to-night.
Gott in himmel! Is it possible?"
Mynheer Krause led the way to another saloon, where Ramsay found not
only the table prepared, but, as he had anticipated, the daughter of his
host, to whom he was introduced. "Wilhelmina," said Mynheer Krause, "our
young friend will stay with us, I trust, some time, and you must do all
you can to make him comfortable. You know, my dear, that business must
be attended to. With me, time is money; so much so, that I can scarcely
do justice to the affairs of the state devolving upon me in virtue of my
office. You must, therefore, join with me, and do your best to amuse
To this speech, Wilhelmina made no reply, but by a gracious inclination
of her head towards Ramsay, which was returned with all humility. The
dinner was excellent, and Ramsay amused himself very well indeed until
it was over. Mynheer Krause then led the way to the saloon, called for
coffee, and, so soon as he had finished it, made an apology to his
guest, and left him alone with his beautiful daughter.
Wilhelmina Krause was a young person of a strong mind irregularly
cultivated; she had never known the advantage of a mother's care, and
was indeed self-educated. She had a strong tinge of romance in her
character, and, left so much alone, she loved to indulge in it.
In other points she was clever, well read, and accomplished; graceful in
her manners, open in her disposition, to a fault; for, like her father,
she could not keep a secret, not even the secrets of her own heart; for
whatever she thought she gave utterance to, which is not exactly the
custom in this world, and often attended with unpleasant consequences.
The seclusion in which she had been kept added to the natural timidity
of her disposition--but when once intimate, it also added to her
confiding character. It was impossible to see without admiring her, to
know her without loving her; for she was nature herself, and, at the
same time, in her person one of Nature's masterpieces.
As we observed, when they retired to the saloon, Mynheer Krause very
shortly quitted them, to attend to his affairs below, desiring his
daughter to exert herself for the amusement of his guest; the contrary,
however, was the case, for Ramsay exerted himself to amuse her, and very
soon was successful, for he could talk of courts and kings, of courtiers
and of people, and of a thousand things, all interesting to a young girl
who had lived secluded; and as his full-toned voice, in measured and low
pitch, fell upon Wilhelmina's ear, she never perhaps was so much
interested. She seldom ventured a remark, except it was to request him
to proceed, and the eloquent language with which Ramsay clothed his
ideas, added a charm to the novelty of his conversation. In the course
of two hours Ramsay had already acquired a moral influence over
Wilhelmina, who looked up to him with respect, and another feeling which
we can only define by saying that it was certainly anything
The time passed so rapidly, that the two young people could hardly
believe it possible that it was past six o'clock, when they were
interrupted by the appearance of Mynheer Krause, who came from his
counting-house, the labours of the day being over. In the summer-time it
was his custom to take his daughter out in the carriage at this hour,
but the weather was too cold, and, moreover, it was nearly dark. A
conversation ensued on general topics, which lasted till supper-time;
after this repast was over Wilhelmina retired, leaving Ramsay and the
It was then that Ramsay made known to his host the contents of the
despatches, much to Mynheer Krause's surprise and delight, who felt
assured that his guest must be strong in the confidence of the English
government, to be able to communicate such intelligence. Ramsay, who was
aware that the syndic would sooner or later know what had been written,
of course was faithful in his detail; not so, however, when they
canvassed the attempts of the Jacobite party; then Mr Krause was
It was not till a late hour that they retired to bed. The next morning,
the syndic, big with his intelligence, called upon his friends in
person, and much to their surprise told them the contents of the
despatches which had been received--and, much to his delight, discovered
that he had been correctly informed. He also communicated what Ramsay
had told him relative to the movements of the Court of St Germains, and
thus, unintentionally, false intelligence was forwarded to England as
from good authority. It hardly need be observed, that, in a very short
time, Ramsay had gained the entire confidence of his host, and we may
add also, of his host's daughter; but we must leave him for the present
to follow up his plans, whatever they may be, and return to the
personages more immediately connected with this narrative.
In which Jemmy Ducks proves the truth of Moggy's assertion, that there
was no one like him before or since--Nancy and Jemmy serenade the
As soon as Moggy landed at the Point with her dear darling duck of a
husband, as she called him, she put his chest and hammock on a barrow
and had them wheeled up to her own lodgings, and then they went out to
call upon Nancy Corbett to make their future arrangements; Moggy
proceeding in rapid strides, and Jemmy trotting with his diminutive legs
behind her, something like a stout pony by the side of a large horse. It
was in pedestrianism that Jemmy most felt his inferiority, and the
protecting, fond way in which Moggy would turn round every minute and
say, "Come along, my duck," would have been irritating to any other but
one of Jemmy's excellent temper. Many looked at Jemmy, as he waddled
along, smiled and passed on; one unfortunate nymph, however, ventured to
stop, and putting her arms a-kimbo, looked down upon him and exclaimed,
"Vell! you are a nice little man," and then commenced singing the
"I had a little husband no bigger than my thumb,
I put him in a pint pot, and there I bid him drum:"
when Moggy, who had turned back, saluted her with such a box on the ear,
that she made the drum of it ring again. The young lady was not one of
those who would offer the other cheek to be smitten, and she immediately
flew at Moggy and returned the blow; but Jemmy, who liked quiet, caught
her round the legs, and, as if she had been a feather, threw her over
his head, so that she fell down in the gutter behind him with a violence
which was anything but agreeable. She gained her legs again, looked at
her soiled garments, scraped the mud off her cheek--we are sorry to add,
made use of some very improper language, and finding herself in the
minority, walked off, turning round and shaking her fist at every
Moggy and her husband continued their course as if nothing had happened,
and arrived at the house of Nancy Corbett, who had, as may be supposed,
changed her lodgings and kept out of sight of Vanslyperken. Nancy was no
stranger to Jemmy Ducks; so far as his person went he was too remarkable
a character not to be known by her who knew almost everybody; and,
moreover, she had made sufficient inquiries about his character. The
trio at once proceeded to business: Jemmy had promised his wife to join
the smugglers, and it was now arranged, that both he and his wife should
be regularly enlisted in the gang, she to remain at the cave with the
women, unless her services were required elsewhere, he to belong to the
boat. There was, however, one necessary preliminary still to be taken,
that of Jemmy and his wife both taking the oath of fidelity at the house
of the Jew Lazarus; but it was not advisable to go there before dusk, so
they remained with Nancy till that time, during which she was fully
satisfied that, in both parties, the band would have an acquisition, for
Nancy was very keen and penetrating, and had a great insight into
At dusk, to the house of Lazarus they accordingly repaired, and were
admitted by the cautious Jew. Nancy stated why they had come, and there
being, at the time, several of the confederates, as usual, in the house,
they were summoned by the Jew to be witnesses to the oath being
administered. Half-a-dozen dark-looking bold men soon made their
appearance, and recognised Nancy by nods of their heads.
"Who have we here, old Father Abraham?' exclaimed a stout man, who was
dressed in a buff jerkin and a pair of boots which rose above his knees.
"A good man and true," replied Nancy, caking up the answer.
"Why, you don't call that thing a man!" exclaimed the fierce-looking
confederate with contempt.
"As good a man as ever stood in your boots," replied Moggy in wrath.
"Indeed: well, perhaps so, if he could only see his way when once into
them," replied the man with a loud laugh, in which he was joined by his
"What can you do, my little man?" said another of a slighter build than
the first, coming forward and putting his hand upon Jemmy's head.
Now Jemmy was the best-tempered fellow in the world, but, at the same
time, the very best-tempered people have limits to their forbearance,
and do not like to be taken liberties with by strangers: so felt Jemmy,
who, seizing the young man firmly by the waistband of his trousers just
below the hips, lifted him from the ground, and with a strength which
astonished all present, threw him clean over the table, his body
sweeping away both the candles, so they were all left in darkness.
"I can douse a glim anyhow," cried Jemmy.
"That's my darling duck," cried Moggy, delighted with this proof of her
Some confusion was created by this manoeuvre on the part of Jemmy, but
candles were reproduced, and the first man who spoke, feeling as if this
victory on the part of Jemmy was a rebuke to himself, again commenced
"Well, my little man, you are strong in the arms, but what will you do
"Not run away, as you have done a hundred times," replied Jemmy,
"Now by the God of War you shall answer for this," replied the man,
catching hold of Jemmy by the collar; but in a moment he was tripped up
by Jemmy, and fell down with great violence on his back.
"Bravo, bravo!" exclaimed the rest, who took part with Jemmy.
"That's my own little duck," cried Moggy; "you've shown him what you can
The man rose, and was apparently feeling for some arms secreted about
his person, when Nancy Corbett stepped forward.
"Do you dare?" cried she; "take what you have received, and be thankful,
or--" and Nancy held up her little forefinger.
The man slunk back among the others in silence. The old Jew, who had not
interfered, being in presence of Nancy, who had superior commands, now
read the oath, which was of a nature not to be communicated to the
reader without creating disgust. It was, however, such an oath as was
taken in those times, and has since been frequently taken in Ireland. It
was subscribed to by Jemmy and his wife without hesitation, and they
were immediately enrolled among the members of the association. As soon
as this ceremony had been gone through, Nancy and her proteges quitted
the house and returned to her lodgings, when it was agreed that the next
night they should go over to the island, as Jemmy's services were
required in the boat in lieu of Ramsay, whose place as steersman he was
admirably qualified to occupy, much better, indeed, than that of a
rower, as his legs were too short to reach the stretcher, where it was
The next evening the weather was calm and clear, and when they embarked
in the boat of the old fisherman, with but a small portion of their
effects, the surface of the water was unruffled, and the stars twinkled
brightly in the heavens; one article which Jemmy never parted with, was
in his hand, his fiddle. They all took their seats, and the old
fisherman shoved off his boat, and they were soon swept out of the
harbour by the strong ebb tide.
"An't this better than being on board with Vanslyperken, and your leave
stopped?" observed Moggy.
"Yes," replied the husband.
"And I not permitted to go on board to see my duck of a
husband--confound his snivelling carcass?" continued Moggy.
"Yes," replied Jemmy, thoughtfully.
"And in company with that supernatual cur of his?"
Jemmy nodded his head, and then in his abstraction touched the strings
of his violin.
"They say that you are clever with your instrument, Mr Salisbury,"
observed Nancy Corbett.
"That he is," replied Moggy; "and he sings like a darling duck. Don't
you, Jemmy, my dear?"
"Quack, quack," replied Jemmy.
"Well, Mr Salisbury, there's no boat that I can see near us, or even in
sight; and if there was it were little matter. I suppose you will let me
hear you, for I shall have little opportunity after this?"
"With all my heart," replied Jemmy; who, taking up his fiddle, and
playing upon the strings like a guitar, after a little reflection, sang
Bless my eyes, how young Bill threw his shiners away,
As he drank and he danced, when he first came on shore!
It was clear that he fancied that with his year's pay,
Like the Bank of Old England, he'd never be poor.
So when the next day, with a southerly wind in
His pockets, he came up, my rhino to borrow;
"You're welcome," says I, "Bill, as I forked out the tin,
But when larking to-day--_don't forget there's to-morrow_."
When our frigate came to from a cruise in the west,
And her yards were all squared, her sails neatly furled,
Young Tom clasped his Nancy, so loved, to his breast,
As if but themselves there was none in the world.
Between two of the guns they were fondly at play,
All billing and kissing, forgetting all sorrow;
"Love, like cash," says I, "Nan, may all go in a day,
While you hug him so close--_don't forget there's to-morrow_."
When a hurricane swept us smack smooth fore and aft,
When we dashed on the rock, and we floundered on shore,
As we sighed for the loss of our beautiful craft,
Convinced that the like we should never see more,
Says I, "My good fellows," as huddled together,
They shivered and shook, each phiz black with sorrow,
"Remember, it's not to be always foul weather,
So with ill-luck to-day--_don't forget there's to-morrow_!"
"And not a bad hint, neither, Mr Salisbury," said Nancy, when Jemmy
ceased. "You sailors never think of to-morrow, more's the pity. You're
no better than overgrown babies."
"I'm not much better, at all events," replied Jemmy, laughing: "however,
I'm as God made me, and so all's right."
"That's my own darling Jemmy," said Moggy, "and if you're content, and
I'm content, who is to say a word, I should like to know? You may be a
rum one to look at, but I think them fellows found you but a rum
customer the other night."
"Don't put so much rum in your discourse, Moggy, you make me long for a
glass of grog."
"Then your mouth will find the water," rejoined Nancy; "but, however,
singing is dry work, and I am provided. Pass my basket aft, old
gentleman, and we will find Mr Salisbury something with which to whet
his whistle." The boatman handed the basket to Nancy, who pulled out a
bottle and glass, which she filled, and handed to Jemmy.
"Now, Mr Salisbury, I expect some more songs," said Nancy.
"And you shall have them, mistress; but I've heard say that you've a
good pipe of your own; suppose that you give me one in return, that will
be but fair play."
"Not exactly, for you'll have the grog in the bargain," replied Nancy.
"Put my fiddle against the grog, and then all's square."
"I have not sung for many a day," replied Nancy, musing, and looking up
at the bright twinkling stars. "I once sang, when I was young--and
happy--I then sang all the day long; that was really singing, for it
came from the merriness of my heart;" and Nancy paused. "Yes, I have
sung since, and often, for they made me sing; but 'twas when my heart
was heavy--or when its load had been, for a time, forgotten and drowned
in wine. That was not singing, at least not the singing of bygone days."
"But those times are bygone too, Mistress Nancy," said Moggy; "you have
now your marriage lines, and are made an honest woman."
"Yes, and God keep me so, amen," replied Nancy mournfully.
Had not the night concealed it, a tear might have been seen by the
others in the boat to trickle down the cheek of Nancy Corbett, as she
was reminded of her former life; and as she again fixed her eyes upon
the brilliant heavens, each particular star appeared to twinkle
brighter, as if they rejoiced to witness tears like those.
"You must be light o' heart now, Mistress Nancy," observed Jemmy,
"I am not unhappy," replied she, resting her cheek upon her hand.
"Mistress Nancy," said Moggy, "I should think a little of that stuff
would do neither of us any harm; the night is rather bleak."
Moggy poured out a glass and handed it to Nancy; she drank it, and it
saved her from a flood of tears, which otherwise she would have been
unable to repress. In a minute or two, during which Moggy helped herself
and the old boatman, Nancy's spirits returned.
"Do you know this air?" said Nancy to Jemmy, humming it.
"Yes, yes, I know it well, Mistress Nancy. Will you sing to it?"
Nancy Corbett who had been celebrated once for her sweet singing, as
well as her beauty, immediately commenced in a soft and melodious tone,
while Jemmy touched his fiddle.
Lost, stolen, or strayed,
The heart of a young maid;
Whoever the same shall find,
And prove so very kind.
To yield it on desire,
They shall rewarded be,
And that most handsomely,
With kisses one, two, three.
Cupid is the crier,
Cupid is the crier.
O yes! O yes! O yes!
Here is a pretty mess!
A maiden's heart is gone,
And she is left forlorn,
And panting with desire;
Whoever shall bring it me,
They shall rewarded be.
With kisses one, two, three.
Cupid is the crier,
Cupid is the crier.
'Twas lost on Sunday eve,
Or taken without leave,
A virgin's heart so pure,
She can't the loss endure,
And surely will expire;
Pity her misery.
Rewarded you shall be,
With kisses one, two, three.
Cupid is the crier,
Cupid is the crier.
The maiden sought around,
It was not to be found,
She searched each nook and dell,
The haunts she loved so well,
All anxious with desire;
The wind blew ope his vest,
When, lo! the toy in quest,
She found within the breast
Of Cupid, the false crier,
Cupid the false crier.
"Many thanks, Mistress Corbett, for a good song, sung in good tune, with
a sweet voice," said Jemmy. "I owe you one for that, and am ready to pay
you on demand. You've a pipe like a missel thrush."
"Well, I do believe that I shall begin to sing again," replied Nancy.
"I'm sure if Corbett was only once settled on shore in a nice little
cottage, with a garden, and a blackbird in a wicker cage, I should try
who could sing most, the bird or me."
"He will be by-and-bye, when his work is done."
"Yes, when it is; but open boats, stormy seas, and the halter, are
heavy odds, Mr Salisbury."
"Don't mention the halter, Mistress Nancy, you'll make me melancholy,"
replied Jemmy, "and I sha'n't be able to sing any more. Well, if they
want to hang me, they need not rig the yard-arm, three handspikes as
sheers, and I shouldn't find soundings, heh! Moggy?"
Nancy laughed at the ludicrous idea; but Moggy exclaimed with vehemence,
"Hang my Jemmy! my darling duck! I should like to see them."
"At all events, we'll have another song from him, Moggy, before they
spoil his windpipe, which, I must say, would be a great pity; but Moggy,
there have been better men hung than your husband."
"Better men than my Jemmy, Mrs Corbett! There never was one like him
afore or since;" replied Moggy, with indignation.
"I only meant of longer pedigree, Moggy," replied Nancy soothingly.
"I don't know what that is," replied Moggy, still angry.
"Longer legs, to be sure," replied Jemmy. "Never mind that, Moggy. Here
goes, a song in two parts. It's a pity, Mistress Nancy, that you
couldn't take one."
"When will you give up this life of wild roving?
When shall we be quiet and happy on shore?
When will you to church lead your Susan, so loving,
And sail on the treacherous billows no more?"
"My ship is my wife, Sue, no other I covet,
Till I draw the firm splice that's betwixt her and me;
I'll roam on the ocean, for much do I love it--
To wed with another were rank bigamy."
"O William, what nonsense you talk, you are raving;
Pray how can a ship and a man become one?
You say so because you no longer are craving,
As once you were truly--and I am undone."
"You wrong me, my dearest, as sure as I stand here,
As sure as I'll sail again on the wide sea;
Some day I will settle, and marry with you, dear,
But now 'twould be nothing but rank bigamy."
"Then tell me the time, dear William, whenever
Your Sue may expect this divorce to be made;
When you'll surely be mine, when no object shall sever,
But locked in your arms I'm no longer afraid."
"The time it will be when my pockets are lined,
I'll then draw the splice 'tween my vessel and me,
And lead you to church, if you're still so inclined--
But before, my dear Sue, 'twere rank bigamy."
"Thank you, Mr Salisbury. I like the moral of that song; a sailor never
should marry till he can settle on shore."
"What's the meaning of big-a-me?" said Moggy.
"Marrying two husbands or two wives, Mrs Salisbury. Perhaps you might
get off on the plea that you had only one and a half," continued
"Well, perhaps she might," replied Jemmy, "if he were a judge of
"I should think, Mistress Nancy, you might as well leave my husband's
legs alone," observed Moggy, affronted.
"Lord bless you, Moggy, if he's not angry, you surely should not be; I
give a joke, and I can take one. You surely are not jealous?"
"Indeed I am though, and always shall be of anyone who plays with my
"Or if he plays with anything else?"
"Yes, indeed! then you must be downright jealous of his fiddle, Moggy,"
replied Nancy; "but never mind, you sha'n't be jealous now about
nothing. I'll sing you a song, and then you'll forget all this." Nancy
Corbett then sang as follows:
Fond Mary sat on Henry's knee,
"I must be home exact," said he,
"And see, the hour is come."
"No, Henry, you shall never go
Until me how to count you show;
That task must first be done."
Then Harry said, "As time is short,
Addition you must first be taught;--
Sum up these kisses sweet;
"Now prove your sum by kissing me:--
Yes, that is right, 'twas three times three--
Arithmetic's a treat.
"And now there is another term,
Subtraction you have yet to learn;
Take four away from these."
"Yes, that is right, you've made it out,"
Says Mary, with a pretty pout,
"Subtraction don't me please."
Division's next upon the list;
Young Henry taught while Mary kissed,
And much admired the rule;
"Now, Henry, don't you think me quick?"
"Why, yes, indeed, you've learned the trick;
At kissing you're no fool."
To multiply was next the game,
Which Henry by the method same,
To Mary fain would show;
But here his patience was worn out,
She multiplied too fast I doubt,
He could no farther go.
"And now we must leave off, my dear;
The other rules are not so clear,
We'll try at them to-night;"
"I'll come at eve, my Henry sweet;
Behind the hawthorn hedge we'll meet,
For learning's my delight."
"That's a very pretty song, Mistress Corbett, and you've a nice
collection, I've no doubt. If you've no objection, I'll exchange another
"I should be most willing, Mr Salisbury; but we are now getting well
over, and we may as well be quiet, as I do not wish people to ask where
we are going."
"You're right, ma'am," observed the old fisherman, who pulled the boat.
"Put up your fiddle, master; there be plenty on the look out, without
our giving them notice."
"Very true," replied Jemmy, "so we break up our concert."
The whole party were now silent. In a quarter of an hour the boat was
run into a cut, which concealed it from view; and, as soon as the
fisherman had looked round to see the coast clear, they landed and made
haste to pass by the cottages; after that Nancy slackened her pace, and
they walked during the night over to the other side of the island, and
arrived at the cottages above the cave.
Here they left a portion of their burdens and then proceeded to the path
down the cliff which led to the cave. On Nancy giving the signal, the
ladder was lowered, and they were admitted. As soon as they were upon
the flat, Moggy embraced her husband, crying, "Here I have you, my own
dear Jemmy, all to myself, and safe for ever."
In which Mr Vanslyperken treats the ladies.
On the second day after his arrival, Vanslyperken, as agreed, went up to
the syndic's house to call upon Ramsay. The latter paid him down one
hundred pounds for his passage and services, and Vanslyperken was so
pleased, that he thought seriously, as soon as he had amassed sufficient
money, to withdraw himself from the service, and retire with his
ill-gotten gains; but when would a miser like Vanslyperken have amassed
sufficient money? Alas! never, even if the halter were half round his
neck. Ramsay then gave his instructions to Vanslyperken, advising him to
call for letters previously to his sailing, and telling him that he must
open the government despatches in the way to which he had been witness,
take full memorandums of the contents, and bring them to him, for which
service he would each time receive fifty pounds as a remuneration.
Vanslyperken bowed to his haughty new acquaintance, and quitted
"Yes," thought Ramsay, "that fellow is a low, contemptible traitor, and
how infamous does treason appear in that wretch! but--I--I am no
traitor--I have forfeited my property and risked my life in fidelity to
my king, and in attempting to rid the world of a usurper and a tyrant.
Here, indeed, I am playing a traitor's part to my host, but still I am
doing my duty. An army without spies would be incomplete, and one may
descend to that office for the good of one's country without tarnish or
disgrace. Am I not a traitor to her already? Have not I formed visions
in my imagination already of obtaining her hand, and her heart, and her
fortune? Is not this treachery? Shall I not attempt to win her
affections under disguise as her father's friend and partisan? But what
have women to do with politics? Or if they have, do not they set so
light a value upon them, that they will exchange them for a feather?
Yes, surely; when they love, their politics are the politics of those
they cling to. At present, she is on her father's side; but if she leave
her father and cleave to me, her politics will be transferred with her
affections. But then her religion. She thinks me a Protestant. Well,
love is all in all with women; not only politics but religion must yield
to it; 'thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God,' as
Ruth says in the scriptures. She is wrong in politics, I will put her
right. She is wrong in religion, I will restore her to the bosom of the
church. Her wealth would be sacrificed to some heretic; it were far
better that it belonged to one who supports the true religion and the
good cause. In what way, therefore, shall I injure her? On the
contrary." And Ramsay walked down stairs to find Wilhelmina. Such were
the arguments used by the young cavalier, and with which he fully
satisfied himself that he was doing rightly; had he argued the other
side of the question, he would have been equally convinced, as most
people are, when they argue without any opponent; but we must leave him
to follow Vanslyperken.
Mr Vanslyperken walked away from the syndic's house with the comfortable
idea that one side of him was heavier than the other by one hundred
guineas. He also ruminated; he had already obtained three hundred
pounds, no small sum, in those days, for a lieutenant. It is true that
he had lost the chance of thousands by the barking of Snarleyyow, and he
had lost the fair Portsmouth widow; but then he was again on good terms
with the Frau Vandersloosh, and was in a fair way of making his fortune,
and, as he considered, with small risk. His mother, too, attracted a
share of his reminiscences; the old woman would soon die, and then he
would have all that she had saved. Smallbones occasionally intruded
himself, but that was but for a moment. And Mr Vanslyperken walked away
very well satisfied, upon the whole, with his _esse_ and _posse_. He
wound up by flattering himself that he should wind up with the savings
of his mother, his half-pay, the widow's guilders, and his own
property,--altogether it would be pretty comfortable. But we leave him
and return to Corporal Van Spitter.
Corporal Van Spitter had had wisdom enough to dupe Vanslyperken, and
persuade him that he was very much in love with Babette; and
Vanslyperken, who was not at all averse to this amour, permitted the
corporal to go on shore and make love. As Vanslyperken did not like the
cutter and Snarleyyow to be left without the corporal or himself, he
always remained on board when the corporal went, so that the widow had
enough on hand--pretending love all the morning with the lieutenant, and
indemnifying herself by real love with the corporal after dusk. Her fat
hand was kissed and slobbered from morning to night, but it was half for
love and half for revenge.
But we must leave the corporal, and return to Jemmy Ducks. Jemmy was two
days in the cave before the arrival of the boat, during which he made
himself a great favourite, particularly with Lilly, who sat down and
listened to his fiddle and his singing. It was a novelty in the cave,
anything like amusement. On the third night, however, Sir R. Barclay
came back from Cherbourg, and as he only remained one hour, Jemmy was
hastened on board, taking leave of his wife, but not parting with his
fiddle. He took his berth as steersman, in lieu of Ramsay, and gave
perfect satisfaction. The intelligence brought over by Sir Robert
rendered an immediate messenger to Portsmouth necessary, and, as it
would create less suspicion, Moggy was the party now entrusted in lieu
of Nancy, who had been lately seen too often, and, it was supposed, had
been watched. Moggy was not sorry to receive her instructions, which
were, to remain at Portsmouth until Lazarus the Jew should give her
further orders; for there was one point which Moggy was most anxious to
accomplish, now that she could do it without risking a retaliation upon
her husband, which was, to use her own expression, to pay off that
snivelling old rascal, Vanslyperken.
But we must leave Moggy and the movements of individuals, and return to
our general history. The _Yungfrau_ was detained a fortnight at
Amsterdam, and then received the despatches of the States General and
those of Ramsay, with which Vanslyperken returned to Portsmouth. On his
arrival, he went through his usual routine at the admiral's and the
Jew's, received his douceur, and hastened to his mother's house, when he
found the old woman, as she constantly prophesied, not dead yet.
"Well, child, what have you brought--more gold?"
"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, laying down the one hundred and fifty
guineas which he had received.
"Bless thee, my son--bless thee!" said the old woman, laying her palsied
hand upon Vanslyperken's head. "It is not often I bless--I never did
bless as I can recollect--I like cursing better. My blessing must be
worth something, if it's only for its scarcity; and do you know why I
bless thee, my Cornelius? Because--ha, ha, ha! because you are a
murderer and a traitor, and you love gold."
Even Vanslyperken shuddered at the hag's address.
"What do you ever gain by doing good in this world? nothing but laughter
and contempt. I began the world like a fool, but I shall go out of it
like a wise woman, hating, despising everything but gold. And I have had
my revenge in my time--yes--yes--the world, my son, is divided into only
two parts, those who cheat, and those who are cheated--those who
master, and those who are mastered--those who are shackled by
superstitions and priests, and those who, like me, fear neither God nor
devil. We must all die; yes, but I shan't die yet, no, no."
And Vanslyperken almost wished that he could gain the unbelief of the
decrepit woman whom he called mother, and who, on the verge of eternity,
held fast to such a creed.
"Well, mother, perhaps it may be you are right--I never gained anything
by a good action yet."
_Query_. Had he ever done a good action?
"You're my own child, I see, after all; you have my blessing, Cornelius,
my son--go and prosper. Get gold--get gold," replied the old hag, taking
up the money, and locking it up in the oak chest.
Vanslyperken then narrated to his mother the unexpected interview with
Smallbones, and his surmise that the lad was supernaturally gifted. "Ah,
well," replied she, "those who are born to be hung will die by no other
death; but still it does not follow that they will not die. You shall
have your revenge, my child. The lad shall die. Try again; water, you
say, rejects him? Fire will not harm him. There is that which is of the
earth and of the air left. Try again, my son; revenge is sweet, next
After two hours' conversation, it grew dark, and Vanslyperken departed,
revolving in his mind, as he walked away, the sublime principles of
religion and piety, in the excellent advice given by his aged mother. "I
wish I could only think as she does," muttered Vanslyperken at last; and
as he concluded this devout wish, his arm was touched by a
neatly-dressed little girl, who curtsied, and asked if he was not
Lieutenant Vanslyperken, belonging to the cutter. Vanslyperken replied
in the affirmative, and the little girl then said that a lady, her
mistress, wished to speak to him.
"Your mistress, my little girl?" said Vanslyperken, suspiciously; "and
pray who is your mistress?"
"She is a lady, sir," replied the latter; "she was married to Major
Williams, but he is dead."
"Hah! a widow; well, what does she want? I don't know her."
"No, sir, and she don't know you; but she told me if you did not come at
once, to give you this paper to read."
Vanslyperken took the paper, and walking to the window of a shop in
which there was a light, contrived to decipher as follows:--
"The lady who lived in Castle Street has sent me a letter,
and a parcel, to deliver up into your own hands, as the
parcel is of value. The bearer of this will bring you to
"Your very obedient,
"Where does your mistress live, little girl?" enquired Vanslyperken, who
immediately anticipated the portrait of the fair widow set in diamonds.
"She lives in one of the publics on the hard, sir, on the first floor,
while she is furnishing her lodgings."
"One of the publics on the hard; well, my little girl, I will go with
"I have been looking for you everywhere, sir," said the little girl,
walking, or rather trotting by the side of Vanslyperken, who
"Did your mistress know the lady who lived in Castle Street?"
"O yes, sir, my mistress then lived next door to her in Castle Street,
but her lease was out, and now she has a much larger house in William
Street, but she is painting and furnishing all so handsome, sir, and so
now she has taken the first floor of the 'Wheatsheaf' till she can get
And Mr Vanslyperken thought it would be worth his while to reconnoitre
this widow before he closed with the Frau Vandersloosh. How selfish
In a quarter of an hour Mr Vanslyperken and the little girl had arrived
at the public-house in question. Mr Vanslyperken did not much admire the
exterior of the building, but it was too dark to enable him to take an
accurate survey. It was, however, evident, that it was a pot-house, and
nothing more; and Mr Vanslyperken thought that lodgings must be very
scarce in Portsmouth. He entered the first and inner door, and the
little girl said she would go upstairs and let her mistress know that he
was come. She ran up, leaving Mr Vanslyperken alone in the dark passage.
He waited for some time, when his naturally suspicious temper made him
think he had been deceived, and he determined to wait outside of the
house, which appeared very disreputable. He therefore retreated to the
inner door to open it, but found it fast. He tried it again and again,
but in vain, and he became alarmed and indignant. Perceiving a light
through another keyhole, he tried the door, and it was open; a screen
was close to the door as he entered, and he could not see its occupants.
Mr Vanslyperken walked round, and as he did so, he heard the door closed
and locked. He looked on the other side of the screen, and, to his
horror, found himself in company with Moggy Salisbury, and about twenty
other females. Vanslyperken made a precipitate retreat to the door, but
he was met by three or four women, who held him fast by the arms.
Vanslyperken would have disgraced himself by drawing his cutlass; but
they were prepared for this, and while two of them pinioned his arms,
one of them drew his cutlass from its sheath, and walked away with it.
Two of the women contrived to hold his arms, while another pushed him in
the rear, until he was brought from behind the screen into the middle of
the room, facing his incarnate enemy, Moggy Salisbury.
"Good evening to you, Mr Vanslyperken," cried Moggy, not rising from
her chair. "It's very kind of you to come and see me in this friendly
way--come, take a chair, and give us all the news."
"Mistress Salisbury, you had better mind what you are about with a
king's officer," cried Vanslyperken, turning more pale at this mockery,
than if he had met with abuse. "There are constables, and stocks, and
gaols, and whipping-posts on shore, as well as the cat on board."
"I know all that, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Moggy, calmly; "but that has
nothing to do with the present affair: you have come of your own accord
to this house to see somebody, that is plain, and you have found me. So
now do as you're bid, like a polite man; sit down, and treat the ladies.
Ladies, Mr Vanslyperken stands treat, and please the pigs, we'll make a
night of it. What shall it be? I mean to take my share of a bottle of
Oporto. What will you have, Mrs Slamkoe?"
"I'll take a bowl of burnt brandy, with your leave, Mrs Salisbury, not
being very well in my inside."
"And you, my dear?"
"O, punch for me--punch to the mast," cried another. "I'll drink enough
to float a jolly-boat. It's very kind of Mr Vanslyperken."
All the ladies expressed their several wishes, and Vanslyperken knew not
what to do; he thought he might as well make an effort, for the demand
on his purse he perceived would be excessive, and he loved his money.
"You may all call for what you please," said Vanslyperken, "but you'll
pay for what you call for. If you think that I am to be swindled in this
way out of my money, you're mistaken. Every soul of you shall be whipped
at the cart's tail to-morrow."
"Do you mean to insinuate that I am not a respectable person, sir?" said
a fierce-looking virago, rubbing her fist against Vanslyperken's nose.
It was not a nosegay at all to the fancy of Mr Vanslyperken; he threw
himself back, and his chair fell with him. The ladies laughed, and Mr
Vanslyperken rose in great wrath.
"By all the devils in hell," he exclaimed, whirling the chair round his
head, "but I'll do you a mischief!"
But he was soon pinioned from behind.
"This is very unpolite conduct," said one; "you call yourself a
"What shall we do, ladies?"
"Do," replied another; "let's strip him, and pawn his clothes, and then
turn him adrift."
"Well, that's not a bad notion," replied the others, and they forthwith
proceeded to take off Mr Vanslyperken's coat and waistcoat. How much
further they would have gone it is impossible to say, for Mr
Vanslyperken had made up his mind to buy himself off as cheap as
Be it observed, that Moggy never interfered, nor took any part in this
violence; on the contrary, she continued sitting in her chair, and said,
"Indeed, ladies, I request you will not be so violent, Mr Vanslyperken
is my friend. I am sorry that he will not treat you; but if he will not,
I beg you will allow him to go away."
"There, you hear," cried Mr Vanslyperken; "Mrs Salisbury, am I at
liberty to depart?"
"Most certainly, Mr Vanslyperken; you have my full permission. Ladies, I
beg that you will let him go."
"No, by the living jingo! not till he treats us," cried one of the
women; "why did he come into this shop, but for nothing else? I'll have
my punch afore he starts."
"And I my burnt brandy." So cried they all, and Mr Vanslyperken, whose
coat and waistcoat were already off, and finding many fingers very busy
about the rest of his person, perceived that Moggy's neutrality was all
a sham, so he begged to be heard.
"Ladies, I'll do anything in reason. As far as five shillings--"
"Five shillings!" exclaimed the woman; "no, no--why, a foremast man
would come down with more than that. And you a lieutenant? Five
guineas, now, would be saying something."
"Five guineas! why I have not so much money. Upon my soul I hav'n't."
"Let us see," said one of the party, diving like an adept into
Vanslyperken's trousers-pocket, and pulling out his purse. The money was
poured out on the table, and twelve guineas counted out.
"Then whose money is this?" cried the woman; "not yours on your soul;
have you been taking a purse to-night? I vote we sends for a constable."
"I quite forgot that I had put more money in my purse," muttered
Vanslyperken, who never expected to see it again. "I'll treat you,
ladies--treat you all to whatever you please."
"Bravo! that's spoken like a man," cried the virago, giving Vanslyperken
a slap on the back which knocked the breath out of his body.
"Bravo!" exclaimed another, "that's what I call handsome; let's all kiss
Vanslyperken was forced to go through this ordeal, and then the door was
unlocked, but carefully guarded, while the several orders were given.
"Who is to pay for all this?" exclaimed the landlady.
"This gentleman treats us all," replied the woman.
"Oh! very well--is it all right, sir?"
Vanslyperken dared not say no: he was in their power, and every eye
watched him as he gave his answer; so he stammered out "Yes," and, in a
fit of despair at the loss of his money, he threw himself into his
chair, and meditated revenge.
"Give Mr Vanslyperken his purse, Susan," said the prudent Moggy to the
young woman who had taken it out of his pocket.
The purse was returned, and, in a few minutes, the various liquors and
mixtures demanded made their appearance, and the jollification
commenced. Every one was soon quite happy, with the exception of Mr
Vanslyperken, who, like Pistol, ate his leek, swearing in his own mind
he would be horribly revenged.
"Mr Vanslyperken, you must drink my health in some of this punch."
Vanslyperken compressed his lips, and shook his head. "I say yes, Mr
Vanslyperken," cried the virago, looking daggers; "if you don't, we
But Vanslyperken argued in his mind that his grounds of complaint would
be weakened, if he partook of the refreshment which he had been forced
to pay for, so he resolutely denied.
"Von't you listen to my harguments, Mr Vanslyperken?" continued the
woman. "Vell, then, I must resort to the last, which I never knew fail
yet." The woman went to the fire and pulled out the poker, which was red
hot, from between the bars. "Now then, my beauty, you must kiss this, or
drink some punch;" and she advanced it towards his nose, while three or
four others held him fast on his chair behind; the poker, throwing out a
glow of heat, was within an inch of the poor lieutenant's nose: he could
stand it no more, his face and eyes were scorched.
"Yes, yes," cried he at last, "if I must drink, then, I will. We will
settle this matter by-and-bye," cried Vanslyperken, pouring down with
indignation the proffered glass.
"Now, Susan, don't ill-treat Mr Vanslyperken: I purtest against all
"Ill-treat, Mrs Salisbury! I am only giving him a lesson in
"Now, Mr What-the-devil's-your-name, you must drink off a glass of my
burnt brandy, or I shall be jealous," cried another; "and when I am
jealous I always takes to red-hot pokers." Resistance was in vain, the
poker was again taken from between the bars, and the burnt brandy
Again and again was Mr Vanslyperken forced to pour down his throat all
that was offered to him, or take the chance of having his nose
"Is it not wrong to mix your liquors in this way, Mr Vanslyperken?"
said Moggy, in bitter mockery.
The first allowance brought in was now despatched, and the bell rung,
and double as much more ordered, to Vanslyperken's great annoyance; but
he was in the hands of the Philistines. What made the matter worse, was,
that the company grew every moment more uproarious, and there was no
saying when they would stop.
"A song--a song--a song from Mr Vanslyperken," cried one of the party.
"Hurrah! yes, a song from the jolly lieutenant."
"I can't sing," replied Vanslyperken.
"You shall sing, by the piper who played before Moses," said the virago;
"if not, you shall sing out to some purpose;" and the red-hot poker was
again brandished in her masculine fist, and she advanced to him, saying,
"suppose we hargue that point?"
"Would you murder me, woman?"
"No; singing is no murder, but we ax a song, and a song we must have."
"I don't know one--upon my honour I don't," cried Vanslyperken.
"Then, we'll larn you. And now you repeat after me."
"'Poll put her arms a-kimbo.' Sing--come, out with it." And the poker
was again advanced.
"O God!" cried Vanslyperken.
"Sing, or by Heavens I'll shorten your nose! Sing, I say," repeated the
woman, advancing the poker so as actually to singe the skin.
"Take it away, and I will," cried Vanslyperken, breathless.
"Well then, 'Poll put her arms a-kimbo.'"
"'Poll put her arms a-kimbo,'" repeated Vanslyperken.
"That's saying, not singing," cried the woman. "Now again. 'At the
admiral's house looked she.'"
"'At the admiral's house looked she,'" replied Vanslyperken, in a
Thus, with the poker staring him in the face, was Vanslyperken made to
repeat the very song for singing which he would have flogged Jemmy
Ducks. There was, however, a desperate attempt to avoid the last stanza.
"I'll give you a bit of my mind, old boy,
Port Admiral, you be d----d."
Nothing but the tip of his nose actually burnt would have produced these
last words; but fear overcame him, and at last they were repeated. Upon
which all the women shouted and shrieked with laughter, except Moggy,
who continued sipping her port wine.
"Your good health, Mr Vanslyperken," said Moggy, drinking to him.
Vanslyperken wiped the perspiration off his forehead, and made no reply.
"You call yourself a gentleman, and not drink the health of the lady of
the house!" cried virago Mrs Slamkoe. "I'll hargue this point with
The same never-failing argument was used, and Mr Vanslyperken drank Mrs
Salisbury's health in a glass of the port wine which he was to have the
pleasure of paying for.
"I must say, Mr Vanslyperken," said Moggy, "it was very hard for to wish
to flog my poor Jemmy for singing a song which you have just now been
"Did he want to flog your Jemmy for that?"
"Yes, he did indeed, ladies."
"Then as sure as I stand here, and may this punch be my poison, if he
sha'n't beg your pardon on his knees. Sha'n't he, girls?" cried
"Yes, yes, that he shall, or we'll poke him with the poker."
This was a dreadful threat, but the indignity was so great, that
Vanslyperken attempted to resist. It was, however, in vain; he was
forced to go on his knees, and ask Mrs Salisbury's pardon.
"Indeed, ladies, I do not wish it," said Moggy; "no, pray don't. Well,
Mr Vanslyperken, pardon granted; so now kiss and make friends."
Mr Vanslyperken, surrounded now by furies rather than Bacchanalians,
kissed Mrs Salisbury.
"What in the world would you have me do, you she-devils?" cried he at
last, driven to desperation.
"This is language for a gentleman," said Mrs Slamkoe.
"They shall make you do nothing more," replied Moggy. "I must retire,
ladies, your freak's up. You know I never keep late hours. Ladies, I
wish you all a very good-night."
"Perhaps, Mr Vanslyperken, you would wish to go. I'll send for the woman
of the house that you may settle the bill; I think you offered to treat
Vanslyperken grinned ghastly. The bell was rung, and while Mr
Vanslyperken was pulling out the sum demanded by the landlady, the
ladies all disappeared.
Vanslyperken put up his diminished purse. "There is your sword, Mr
Vanslyperken," said Moggy; who, during the whole of the scene, had kept
up a _retenue_ very different from her usual manners.
Vanslyperken took his sword, and appeared to feel his courage
return--why not? he was armed, and in company with only one woman, and
he sought revenge.
He rang the bell, and the landlady appeared.
"Landlady," cried Vanslyperken, "you'll send for a constable directly.
Obey me, or I'll put you down as a party to the robbery which has been
committed. I say, a constable immediately. Refuse on your peril, woman;
a king's officer has been robbed and ill-treated."
"Lauk-a-mercy! a constable, sir? I'm sure you've had a very pleasant
"Silence, woman; send for a constable immediately."
"Do you hear, Mrs Wilcox?" said Moggy, very quietly, "Mr Vanslyperken
wants a constable. Send for one by all means."
"Oh! certainly, ma'am, if you wish it," said the landlady, quitting the
"Yes, you infamous woman, I'll teach you to rob and ill-treat people in
"Mercy on me! Mr Vanslyperken, why I never interfered."
"Ay, ay, that's all very well; but you'll tell another story when you're
all before the authorities."
"Perhaps I shall," replied Moggy, carelessly. "But I shall now wish you
a good-evening, Mr Vanslyperken."
Thereupon Mr Vanslyperken very valorously drew his sword, and flourished
it over his head.
"You don't pass here, Mrs Salisbury. No--no--it's my turn now."
"Your turn now, you beast!" retorted Moggy. "Why, if I wished to pass,
this poker would soon clear the way; but I can pass without that, and I
will give you the countersign. Hark! a word in your ear, you wretch. You
are in my power. You have sent for a constable, and I swear by my own
Jemmy's little finger, which is worth your old shrivelled carcass, that
I shall give you in charge of the constable."
"Me!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.
"Yes, you--you wretch--you scum. Now I am going, stop me if you dare.
Walls have ears, so I'll whisper. If you wish to send a constable after
me, you'll find me at the house of the Jew Lazarus. Do you understand?"
Vanslyperken started back as if an adder had come before him, his sword
dropped out of his hand, he stood transfixed.
"May I go now, Mr Vanslyperken, or am I to wait for the constable?
Silence gives consent," continued Moggy, making a mock courtesy, and
walking out of the room.
For a minute, Vanslyperken remained in the same position. At last,
bursting with his feelings, he snatched up his sword, put it into the
sheath, and was about to quit the room, when in came the landlady with
"You vants me, sir?" said the man.
"I did," stammered Vanslyperken, "but she is gone."
"I must be paid for my trouble, sir, if you please."
Vanslyperken had again to pull out his purse; but this time he hardly
felt the annoyance, for in his mind's eye his neck was already in the
halter. He put the money into the man's hand without speaking, and then
left the room, the landlady courtesying very low, and hoping that she
soon should again have the pleasure of his company at the Wheatsheaf.
In which Snarleyyow again triumphs over his enemies.
But we must return to the cabin, and state what took place during this
long absence of the commander, who had gone on shore about three
o'clock, and had given directions for his boat to be at the Point at
sunset. There had been a council of war held on the forecastle, in which
Corporal Van Spitter and Smallbones were the most prominent; and the
meeting was held to debate, whether they should or should not make one
more attempt to destroy the dog; singular that the arguments and
observations very nearly coincided with those made use of by
Vanslyperken and his mother, when they debated how to get rid of
"Water won't touch him, I sees that," observed Smallbones.
"No. Mein Gott, dat was to trow time and de trouble away," replied the
"Hanging's just as natural a death for a cur," observed Spurey.
"Yes," observed Short.
"I'm afeard that the rope's not laid that's to hang that animal,"
observed Coble, shaking his head. "If water won't do, I'm persuaded
nothing will, for did not they use, in former days, to lay all spirits
in the Red Sea?"
"Yes," quoth Short.
"But he ban't a spirit yet," replied Smallbones; "he be flesh and blood
o' some sort. If I gets fairly rid of his body, d----n his soul, I say,
he may keep that and welcome."
"But then, you know, he'll haunt us just as much as ever--we shall see
him here just the same."
"A spirit is only a spirit," observed Smallbones; "he may live in the
cabin all day and night afore I care; but, d'ye see, there's a great
difference between the ghost of a dog, and the dog himself."
"Why, if the beast ar'n't natural, I can't see much odds," observed
"But I can feel 'em," replied Smallbones. "This here dog has a-bitten me
all to bits, but a ghost of a dog can't bite anyhow."
"No," replied Short.
"And now, d'ye see, as Obadiah Coble has said as how spirits must be
laid, I think if we were to come for to go for to lay this here hanimal
in the cold hearth, he may perhaps not be able to get up again."
"That's only a perhaps," observed Coble.
"Well, a perhaps is better than nothing at all," said the lad.
"Yes," observed Short.
"That depends upon sarcumstances," observed Spurey. "What sort of a
breakfast would you make upon a perhaps?"
"A good one, perhaps," replied Smallbones, grinning at the jingling of
"Twenty dozen tyfels, Smallbones is in de right," observed Jansen, who
had taken no part in the previous conversation. "Suppose you bury de
dog, de dog body not get up again. Suppose he will come, his soul come,
leave him body behind him."
"That's exactly my notion of the thing," observed Smallbones.
"Do you mean for to bury him alive?" inquired Spurey.
"Alive! Gott in himmel--no. I knock de brains out first, perry
"There's some sense in that, corporal."
"And the dog can't have much left anyhow, dog or devil, when his brains
are all out."
"No," quoth Short.
"But who is to do it?"
"Corporal and I," replied Smallbones; "we be agreed, ban't we,
"Mein Gott, yes!"
"And now I votes that we tries it off-hand; what's the use of
shilly-shally? I made a mortal vow that that 'ere dog and I won't live
together--there ban't room enough for us two."
"It's a wide world, nevertheless," observed Coble, hitching up his
trousers; "howsomever, I have nothing to say, but I wish you luck; but
if you kill that dog, I'm a bishop--that's all."
"And if I don't try for to do so, I am an harchbishop, that's all,"
replied the gallant Smallbones. "Come along, corporal."
And here was to be beheld a novel scene. Smallbones followed in
obedience by his former persecutor and his superior officer; a bag of
bones--a reed--a lath--a scarecrow; like a pilot cutter ahead of an
Indiaman, followed in his wake by Corporal Van Spitter, weighing twenty
stone. How could this be? It was human nature. Smallbones took the lead,
because he was the more courageous of the two, and the corporal
following, proved he tacitly admitted it.
"He be a real bit of stuff, that 'ere Peter Smallbones," said one of the
"I thinks he be a supernatural himself, for my part," rejoined Spurey.
"At all events, he ar'n't afeard of him," said another.
"We shall see," replied Coble, squirting out his tobacco-juice under the
"Come, men, we must go to work now. Shall we, Mr Short?"
"Yes," replied the commanding officer, and the conference broke up.
In the meantime the consultation was continued between Smallbones and
the corporal. The latter had received instruction to take on shore Mr
Vanslyperken's dirty linen to the washerwoman, and of course, as a
corporal, he was not obliged to carry it, and would take Smallbones for
that purpose. Then he could easily excuse taking the dog on shore, upon
the plea of taking care of it. It was therefore so arranged; the dog
would follow the corporal in the absence of his master, but no one else.
In a few minutes the corporal, Smallbones, Snarleyyow, and a very small
bundle of linen, were in the boat, and shoved off with as many good
wishes and as much anxiety for their success, as probably Jason and his
followers received when they departed in search of the Golden Fleece.
The three parties kept in company, and passed through the town of
Portsmouth. The washerwoman lived outside the Lines, and there they
proceeded, Snarleyyow very much in spirits at being able to eat the
grass, which his health very much required. They walked on until they
arrived at a large elm-tree, on the side of the road, which lay between
two hedges and ditches.
"This will do," observed the corporal solemnly. "Mein Gott! I wish it
was over," continued he, wiping the perspiration from his bull-forehead.
"How shall we kill him, corporal?" inquired Smallbones.
"Mein Gott! knock him head against de tree, I suppose."
"Yes, and bury him in the ditch. Here, dog--Snarleyyow--here, dog," said
Smallbones; "come, a poor doggy--come here."
But Snarleyyow was not to be coaxed by Smallbones; he suspected
"He won't a-come to me, corporal, or I'd soon settle his hash," observed
The corporal had now got over a little panic which had seized him. He
called Snarleyyow, who came immediately. Oh! had he imagined what the
corporal was about to do, he might have died like Caesar, exclaiming, "Et
tu Brute," which, in plain English means, "and you--you brute."
The corporal, with a sort of desperation, laid hold of the dog by the
tail, drawing him back till he could swing him round. In a second or two
Snarleyyow was whirling round the corporal, who turned with him,
gradually approaching the trunk of the elm-tree, till at last his head
came in contact with it with a resounding blow, and the dog fell
senseless. "Try it again, corporal, let's finish him." The corporal
again swung round the inanimate body of the dog; again, and again, and
again, did the head come in contact with the hard wood; and then the
corporal, quite out of breath with the exertion, dropped the body on the
grass. Neither of them spoke a word for some time, but watched the body,
as it lay motionless, doubled up, with the fore and hind feet meeting
each other, and the one eye closed.
"Well, I've a notion that he is done for, anyhow," said Smallbones, "at
"Mein Gott, yes!" replied the corporal. "He never get on his legs again,
be he tog or be he tyfel."
"Now for to come for to go for to bury him," said Smallbones, swinging
the dog by the tail, and dragging him towards the ditch. "I wonder if we
could get a spade anywhere, corporal."
"Mein Gott! if we ask for a spade they will ask what for, and
Vanslyperken may find it all out."
"Then I'll bury him and cover him up, anyhow; he'll not come to life
again, if he does may I be knocked on the head like him, that's all."
Smallbones dragged the body into the ditch, and collecting out of the
other parts of the ditch a great quantity of wet leaves, covered the
body a foot deep. "There, they won't find him now, because they won't
know where to look for him. I say, corporal, I've a notion we had better
not be seen here too long."
"No," said the corporal, wiping his forehead, putting his handkerchief
in his cap, and his cap on his head; "we must go now."
They went to the washerwoman's, delivered the bundle, and then returned
on board, when the whole crew were informed of the success of the
expedition, and appeared quite satisfied that there was an end of the
detested cur; all but Coble, who shook his head.
"We shall see," says he; "but I'm blessed if I don't expect the cur back
We must now return to Vanslyperken, who left the public-house in a state
of consternation. "How could she possibly know anything about it?"
exclaimed he. "My life in the power of that she-devil" And Vanslyperken
walked on, turning over the affair in his mind. "I have gone too far to
retreat now. I must either go on, or fly the country. Fly, where? What a
fool have I been!" but then Vanslyperken thought of the money. "No, no,
not a fool, but I am very unfortunate." Vanslyperken continued his
route, until it at last occurred _to_ him that he would go to the Jew
Lazarus, and speak with him; for, thought Vanslyperken, if all is
discovered, they may think that I have informed, and then my life will
be sought by both parties. Vanslyperken arrived at the Jew's abode,
knocked softly, but received no answer: he knocked again, louder; a
bustle and confusion was heard inside, and at last the door, with the
chain fixed, was opened a couple of inches, and the Jew stammered out,
"Wot vash there at this late hour of the night?"
"It is me, the lieutenant of the cutter," replied Vanslyperken. "I must
speak with you directly."
The door was opened, several figures, and the clatter of arms, were
heard in the dark passage, and as soon as Vanslyperken had entered it
was relocked, and he was left in the dark.
In a minute the Jew, in a woollen wrapper, made his appearance with a
light, and led Vanslyperken into the room where he had been
"Now then, Mishter Leeftenant, vat vash de matter?"
"We are discovered, I'm afraid!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.
"Holy father Abraham!" exclaimed the Jew, starting back. "But tell me vy
you shay sho."
"A woman told me this night that she knew why I came to your house--that
I was in her power."
"A hell-cat, who hates me as she does the devil."
"A hell-cat vould not hate de divil," slowly observed the Jew.
"Well, perhaps not; but she will ruin me if she can."
"Vat vash her name?" said Lazarus.
"Paah! is dat all? vy, my good friend, she is one of us. Dere, you may
go vay--you may go to bed, Mr Vanslyperken."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean dat she laughed at you, and frighten you--dat she is one of us,
and so is her husband, who vas in your chip. Ven you hang, she and I
vill all hang together; now you comprehend?"
"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, "I do now: but how could you trust such
"Trust such people, Mr Vanslyperken? If you prove as true as those
peoples, vy all de bitter; now go avay--go to bed--you have vaked up all
the peoples here. Good night, Mr Leeftenant;" and the Jew led the way to
the door, and let Vanslyperken out.
"So then," thought Vanslyperken, as he pursued his way down to the
Point, "that woman and her husband are--damnation, but I've a great mind
to discover all, if it's only to hang them." But on second thoughts,
Vanslyperken thought that it was not worth while to be hanged himself,
just for the pleasure of hanging others. It was a great relief to his
mind to know that there was no fear of discovery. The tip of his nose
itched, and he rubbed it mechanically; the rubbing brought away all the
skin. He remembered the hot poker--the money he had been forced to
pay--his being made to sing and to beg pardon on his knees; and he
cursed Moggy in his heart, the more so, as he felt that he dare not take
any steps against her.
When he came to the Point, he stood on the shingle, looking for his
boat, but the men had waited till twelve o'clock, and then presuming
that their commander did not intend to come at all that night, had
pulled on board again. He was looking round for a waterman to pull him
off, when something cold touched his hand. Vanslyperken started, and
almost screamed with fear. He looked, and it was the cold nose of
Snarleyyow, who now leaped upon his master.
"Snarleyyow, my poor dog! how came you on shore?"
But the dog not being able to speak, made no answer.
While Vanslyperken was wondering how the dog could possibly have come on
shore, and what Corporal Van Spitter could be about to have allowed it,
the small casement of a garret window near him was opened, and a head
was thrust out.
"Do you want to go on board, sir?" said a tremulous voice.
"Yes," replied Vanslyperken.
"I will be down directly, sir," replied the old boatman, who in a minute
or two appeared with his sculls on his shoulder.
"Not easy to find a boat at this time of the morning, sir," said the
man; "but I heard you speaking, for I've had such a toothache these two
nights that I can't shut my eyes."
The old man unlocked the chain which fastened his wherry, and in a few
minutes Vanslyperken was on the deck of the cutter, but he found there
was no one to receive him,--no watch kept.
"Very well," thought he, "we'll talk about this to-morrow morning. Short
or Coble, I wonder which of the two--pretty neglect of duty,
indeed--report to the admiral, by heavens!"
So saying, Mr Vanslyperken, with Snarleyyow at his heels, went down
into the cabin--undressed in the dark, for he would not let anyone know
that he was on board. It being about three o'clock in the morning, and
Mr Vanslyperken being well tired with the events of the day, he was soon
in a sound sleep. There will be no difficulty in accounting for the
return of the dog, which had a skull much thicker than even the
corporal's. He had been stunned with the heavy blows, but not killed.
After a certain time he came to himself in his bed of leaves, first
scratched with one paw, and then with another, till his senses returned:
he rose, worked his way out, and lay down to sleep. After he had taken a
long nap, he rose recovered, shook himself, and trotted down to the
beach, but the boat had shoved off, and the cur had remained there
waiting for an opportunity to get on board, when his master came down
with the same object in view.
But as every soul is fast asleep, we shall now finish the chapter.
Listeners never hear any good of themselves.
Vanslyperken was awakened three hours after he had fallen asleep by the
noise of the buckets washing the decks. He heard the men talking on
deck, and aware that no one knew that he was on board, he rose from his
bed, and opened one of the sliding sashes of the skylight, that he might
overhear the conversation. The first words he heard were from
"I say, Coble, I wonder what the skipper will say when he comes on
board, and finds that the dog is gone?"
"Hoh! hoh!" thought Vanslyperken.
"I arn't convinced that he is gone yet," replied Coble.
"Smallbones swears that he's settled, this time," replied Spurey.
"So he did before," replied Coble.
"Smallbones again," thought Vanslyperken. "I'll--Smallbones him, if I
hang for it."
"Why, he says he buried him two feet deep."
"Ay, ay; but what's the use of burying an animal who's not a human
creature? For my part, I say this, that the imp belongs to his master,
and is bound to serve him as long as his master lives. When he dies the
dog may be killed, and then----"
"Why, with the blessing of God, they'll both go to hell together, and I
don't care how soon."
"Kill me, you old villain!" muttered Vanslyperken, grinding his teeth.
"Well, anyhow, if the dog be not made away with, no more be Smallbones.
He ar'n't afeard of the devil himself."
"No, not he; I'm of opinion Smallbones wa'n't sent here for nothing."
"He's escaped him twice, at all events."
"Then they know it," thought Vanslyperken, turning pale.
"Ay, and I will take you any bet you please, that the skipper never
takes that boy's life. He's charmed, or I am a gudgeon."
Vanslyperken felt that it was his own suspicion, and he trembled at the
idea of the lad being supernatural.
"Out of the way, Coble, or I'll fill your shoes," cried out one of the
men, slashing a bucket of water.
"That's not quite so easy, 'cause I've got boots on," replied Coble.
"However, I'll take up another berth."
The men walked away, and Vanslyperken could hear no more; but he had
heard quite enough. The life of the dog had been attempted by
Smallbones, it was evident. Mr Vanslyperken, after a little agitation,
rang the bell.
"By all that's blue, the skipper's on board!" exclaimed the men on deck.
"When the devil did he come?"
"Not in my watch, at all events," replied Coble. "Did he come in yours,
"No," replied Short.
"Then it must have been in the corporal's."
"The corporal never called me, nor was he 'on deck," replied Coble.
"I've a notion he never kept his watch."
The ring at the bell particularly concerned two people, the two
culprits, Smallbones and Corporal Van Spitter.
The latter made his appearance; but previous to his answering the bell,
Mr Vanslyperken had time to reflect. "So they think my dog is
supernatural," said he; "so much the better. I'll make them believe it
still more." Mr Vanslyperken called the dog, and pointed to his bed. The
dog, who was fond of a warm berth, and but seldom allowed to get on the
bed, immediately jumped up into it when invited, and Mr Vanslyperken
patted him, and covered him up with the bedclothes. He then drew the
curtains of the bed, and waited to see who would answer the bell.
Corporal Van Spitter made his appearance.
"Corporal, I came on board very late, where have you put the dog? Bring
him into the cabin."
Here the corporal, who was prepared, shook his head, smoothed down the
hair of his forehead, and made a very melancholy face.
"It was all my fault, Mynheer Vanslyperken; yet I do for the best, but
de tog be lost."
"How is that, corporal?"
The corporal then stated that he had taken the precaution to take the
dog on shore, as he was afraid to leave it on board when he went to the
washerwoman's, and that he was not long there, but while he was, the dog
disappeared. He had looked everywhere, but could not find it.
"You took Smallbones with you?" said Vanslyperken.
"Yes, mynheer, to carry de linen."
"And where was he when you were at the washerwoman's."
"He was here and dere."
"I know that it was he who killed and buried the dog, corporal."
Corporal Van Spitter started, he thought he was discovered.
"Kilt and perryed, mein Gott!" said the corporal, obliged to say
"Yes, I overheard the men say so on deck, corporal. He must have taken
the opportunity when you were in the house counting the linen."
Now the corporal had time to recover himself, and he argued that
anything was better than that he should be suspected. Smallbones was
already known to have attempted the life of the dog, so he would leave
the lieutenant in his error.
"Mein Gott' he is von d----d kill-dog feller," observed the corporal. "I
look everywhere, I no find te tog. Den de dog is dead?"
"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, "but I'll punish the scoundrel, depend upon
it. That will do, corporal; you may go."
As Snarleyyow remained perfectly quiet during this conversation, we must
give Vanslyperken great credit for his manoeuvre. The corporal went to
Smallbones, and repeated what had passed. Smallbones snapped
"He may keel-haul, or hang me, for all I care. The dog is dead. Never
fear, corporal, I won't peach upon you. I'm game, and I'll die so--if so
be I must."
Vanslyperken sent for Smallbones. Smallbones, who was worked up to the
highest state of excitement, came in boldly.
"So, you villain, you've killed my dog, and buried it."
"No, I ar'n't," replied Smallbones. "I knows nothing about your dog,
"Why, the men on deck said so, you scoundrel, I heard them."
"I don't care what the men say; I never killed your dog, sir."
"You rascal, I'll have your life!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.
Smallbones grinned diabolically, and Vanslyperken, who remembered all
that the men had said in confirmation of his own opinion relative to
Smallbones, turned pale. Smallbones, on his part, aware from Corporal
Van Spitter, that the lieutenant had such an idea, immediately took
advantage of the signs in the lieutenant's countenance, and drawled
Vanslyperken turned away. "You may go now, sir, but depend upon it you
shall feel my vengeance!" and Smallbones quitted the cabin.
Vanslyperken finished his toilet, and then turned the dog out of the
He went on deck, and after he had walked a little while, sent for
Corporal Van Spitter to consult as to the best method of ascertaining
what had become of Snarleyyow. Having entered apparently very earnestly
into the corporal's arrangements, who was to go on shore immediately, he
desired the corporal to see his breakfast got ready in the cabin.
It so happened, that the corporal went into the cabin, followed by
Smallbones; the first object that met his view, was Snarleyyow, sitting
upon the chest, scratching his ragged ear as if nothing had happened.
"Gott in himmel!" roared the corporal, turning back, and running out of
the cabin, upsetting Smallbones, whom he met in the passage, and
trotting, like an elephant, right over him. Nor was Smallbones the only
one who suffered; two marines and three seamen were successively floored
by the corporal, who, blinded with fear, never stopped till he ran his
head butt against the lining in the forepeak of the cutter, which, with
the timbers of the vessel, brought him up, not all standing, in one
sense of the word, for in his mad career his head was dashed so
violently against them, that the poor corporal fell down, stunned to
In the meantime Smallbones had gained his feet, and was rubbing his
ribs, to ascertain if they were all whole. "Well, I'm sure," said he,
"if I ar'n't flattened for all the world like a pancake, with that 'ere
corporal's weight. One may as well have a broad-wheel waggon at once go
over one's body; but what could make him come for to go to run away
bellowing in that ere manner? He must have seen the devil; or, perhaps,"
thought Smallbones, "that imp of the devil, Snarleyyow. I'll go and see
what it was, anyhow."
Smallbones, rubbing his abdomen, where the corporal had trod hardest,
walked into the cabin, where he beheld the dog. He stood with his mouth
"I defy the devil and all his works," exclaimed he, at last, "and you be
one of his, that's sartain. I fear God, and I honour the king, and the
parish taught me to read the bible. There you be resurrectioned up
again. Well, it's no use, I suppose. Satan, I defy you, anyhow, but it's
very hard that a good Christian should have to get the breakfast ready,
of which you'll eat one half; I don't see why I'm to wait upon the devil
or his imps."
Then Smallbones stopped, and thought a little. "I wonder whether he
bee'd dead, as I thought. Master came on board last night without no one
knowing nothing about it, and he might have brought the dog with him, if
so be he came to again. I won't believe that he's hal-together not to be
made away with, for how come his eye out? Well, I don't care, I'm a good
Christian, and may I be swamped if I don't try what he's made of yet!
First time we cuts up beef, I'll try and chop your tail, anyhow, that I
will, if I am hung for it."
Smallbones regained his determination. He set about laying the things
for breakfast, and when they were ready he went up to the quarter-deck,
reporting the same to Mr Vanslyperken, who had expected to see him
frightened out of his wits, and concluding his speech by saying, "If you
please, sir, the dog be in the cabin, all right; I said as how I never
kilt your dog, nor buried him neither."
"The dog in the cabin!" exclaimed Mr Vanslyperken, with apparent
astonishment. "Why, how the devil could he have come there?"
"He cummed off, I suppose, sir, same way as you did, without nobody
knowing nothing about it," drawled out Smallbones, who then walked away.
In the meantime the corporal had been picked up, and the men were
attempting to recover him. Smallbones went forward to see what had
become of him, and learnt how it was that he was insensible.
"Well, then," thought Smallbones, "it may have been all the same with
the dog, and I believe there's humbug in it, for if the dog had made his
appearance, as master pretends he did, all of a sudden, he'd a been more
frightened than me."
So reasoned Smallbones, and he reasoned well. In the meantime the
corporal opened his eyes, and gradually returned to his senses, and then
for the first time, the ship's company, who were all down at their
breakfast, demanded of Smallbones the reason of the corporal's conduct.
"Why," replied Smallbones, "because that 'ere beast, Snarleyyow, be come
back again, all alive, a'ter being dead and buried--he's in the cabin
"That's all!" exclaimed one. "All!" cried another. "The devil!" said a
"I said as how it would be," said Obadiah Coble--"that dog is no dog, as
sure as I sit here."
The return of the dog certainly had a strong effect upon the whole of
the ship's company. The corporal swore that he was not in the cabin, and
that Mr Vanslyperken had arranged for his going on shore to look for
him, when all of a sudden the dog made his appearance, no one knew how.
Smallbones found himself so much in the minority, that he said nothing.
It was perfect heresy not to believe that the dog was sent from the
lower regions; and as for any further attempts to destroy it, it was
considered as perfect insanity.
But this renewed attempt on the part of Smallbones, for Vanslyperken
was convinced that an attempt had been made, although it had not been
successful, again excited the feelings of Mr Vanslyperken against the
lad, and he resolved somehow or another to retaliate. His anger overcame
his awe, and he was reckless in his desire of vengeance. There was not
the least suspicion of treachery on the part of Corporal Van Spitter in
the heart of Mr Vanslyperken, and the corporal played his double part so
well, that if possible he was now higher in favour than ever.
After a day or two, during which Mr Vanslyperken remained on board, he
sent for the corporal, determining to sound him as to whether he would
make any attempts upon Smallbones; for to such a height had
Vanslyperken's enmity arrived, that he now resolved to part with some of
his darling money, to tempt the corporal, rather than not get rid of the
lad. After many hints thrown out, but not taken by the wily corporal,
who was resolved that Vanslyperken should speak plainly, the deed and
the reward of ten guineas were openly proclaimed, and Vanslyperken
waited for the corporal's reply.
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