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The Village by Charles Dickens

The Village by Charles Dickens

Postby frank » August 8th, 2012, 11:47 pm

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"And a mighty sing'lar and pretty place it is, as ever I saw in all
the days of my life!" said Captain Jorgan, looking up at it.

Captain Jorgan had to look high to look at it, for the village was
built sheer up the face of a steep and lofty cliff. There was no
road in it, there was no wheeled vehicle in it, there was not a
level yard in it. From the sea-beach to the cliff-top two irregular
rows of white houses, placed opposite to one another, and twisting
here and there, and there and here, rose, like the sides of a long
succession of stages of crooked ladders, and you climbed up the
village or climbed down the village by the staves between, some six
feet wide or so, and made of sharp irregular stones. The old pack-
saddle, long laid aside in most parts of England as one of the
appendages of its infancy, flourished here intact. Strings of pack-
horses and pack-donkeys toiled slowly up the staves of the ladders,
bearing fish, and coal, and such other cargo as was unshipping at
the pier from the dancing fleet of village boats, and from two or
three little coasting traders. As the beasts of burden ascended
laden, or descended light, they got so lost at intervals in the
floating clouds of village smoke, that they seemed to dive down some
of the village chimneys, and come to the surface again far off, high
above others. No two houses in the village were alike, in chimney,
size, shape, door, window, gable, roof-tree, anything. The sides of
the ladders were musical with water, running clear and bright. The
staves were musical with the clattering feet of the pack-horses and
pack-donkeys, and the voices of the fishermen urging them up,
mingled with the voices of the fishermen's wives and their many
children. The pier was musical with the wash of the sea, the
creaking of capstans and windlasses, and the airy fluttering of
little vanes and sails. The rough, sea-bleached boulders of which
the pier was made, and the whiter boulders of the shore, were brown
with drying nets. The red-brown cliffs, richly wooded to their
extremest verge, had their softened and beautiful forms reflected in
the bluest water, under the clear North Devonshire sky of a November
day without a cloud. The village itself was so steeped in autumnal
foliage, from the houses lying on the pier to the topmost round of
the topmost ladder, that one might have fancied it was out a bird's-
nesting, and was (as indeed it was) a wonderful climber. And
mentioning birds, the place was not without some music from them
too; for the rook was very busy on the higher levels, and the gull
with his flapping wings was fishing in the bay, and the lusty little
robin was hopping among the great stone blocks and iron rings of the
breakwater, fearless in the faith of his ancestors, and the Children
in the Wood.

Thus it came to pass that Captain Jorgan, sitting balancing himself
on the pier-wall, struck his leg with his open hand, as some men do
when they are pleased--and as he always did when he was pleased--and
said, -

"A mighty sing'lar and pretty place it is, as ever I saw in all the
days of my life!"

Captain Jorgan had not been through the village, but had come down
to the pier by a winding side-road, to have a preliminary look at it
from the level of his own natural element. He had seen many things
and places, and had stowed them all away in a shrewd intellect and a
vigorous memory. He was an American born, was Captain Jorgan,--a
New-Englander,--but he was a citizen of the world, and a combination
of most of the best qualities of most of its best countries.

For Captain Jorgan to sit anywhere in his long-skirted blue coat and
blue trousers, without holding converse with everybody within
speaking distance, was a sheer impossibility. So the captain fell
to talking with the fishermen, and to asking them knowing questions
about the fishery, and the tides, and the currents, and the race of
water off that point yonder, and what you kept in your eye, and got
into a line with what else when you ran into the little harbour; and
other nautical profundities. Among the men who exchanged ideas with
the captain was a young fellow, who exactly hit his fancy,--a young
fisherman of two or three and twenty, in the rough sea-dress of his
craft, with a brown face, dark curling hair, and bright, modest eyes
under his Sou'wester hat, and with a frank, but simple and retiring
manner, which the captain found uncommonly taking. "I'd bet a
thousand dollars," said the captain to himself, "that your father
was an honest man!"

"Might you be married now?" asked the captain, when he had had some
talk with this new acquaintance.

"Not yet."

"Going to be?" said the captain.

"I hope so."

The captain's keen glance followed the slightest possible turn of
the dark eye, and the slightest possible tilt of the Sou'wester hat.
The captain then slapped both his legs, and said to himself, -

"Never knew such a good thing in all my life! There's his
sweetheart looking over the wall!"

There was a very pretty girl looking over the wall, from a little
platform of cottage, vine, and fuchsia; and she certainly dig not
look as if the presence of this young fisherman in the landscape
made it any the less sunny and hopeful for her.

Captain Jorgan, having doubled himself up to laugh with that hearty
good-nature which is quite exultant in the innocent happiness of
other people, had undoubted himself, and was going to start a new
subject, when there appeared coming down the lower ladders of
stones, a man whom he hailed as "Tom Pettifer, Ho!" Tom Pettifer,
Ho, responded with alacrity, and in speedy course descended on the

"Afraid of a sun-stroke in England in November, Tom, that you wear
your tropical hat, strongly paid outside and paper-lined inside,
here?" said the captain, eyeing it.

"It's as well to be on the safe side, sir," replied Tom.

"Safe side!" repeated the captain, laughing. "You'd guard against a
sun-stroke, with that old hat, in an Ice Pack. Wa'al! What have
you made out at the Post-office?"

"It is the Post-office, sir."

"What's the Post-office?" said the captain.

"The name, sir. The name keeps the Post-office."

"A coincidence!" said the captain. "A lucky bit! Show me where it
is. Good-bye, shipmates, for the present! I shall come and have
another look at you, afore I leave, this afternoon."

This was addressed to all there, but especially the young fisherman;
so all there acknowledged it, but especially the young fisherman.
"He's a sailor!" said one to another, as they looked after the
captain moving away. That he was; and so outspeaking was the sailor
in him, that although his dress had nothing nautical about it, with
the single exception of its colour, but was a suit of a shore-going
shape and form, too long in the sleeves and too short in the legs,
and too unaccommodating everywhere, terminating earthward in a pair
of Wellington boots, and surmounted by a tall, stiff hat, which no
mortal could have worn at sea in any wind under heaven;
nevertheless, a glimpse of his sagacious, weather-beaten face, or
his strong, brown hand, would have established the captain's
calling. Whereas Mr. Pettifer--a man of a certain plump neatness,
with a curly whisker, and elaborately nautical in a jacket, and
shoes, and all things correspondent--looked no more like a seaman,
beside Captain Jorgan, than he looked like a sea-serpent.

The two climbed high up the village,--which had the most arbitrary
turns and twists in it, so that the cobbler's house came dead across
the ladder, and to have held a reasonable course, you must have gone
through his house, and through him too, as he sat at his work
between two little windows,--with one eye microscopically on the
geological formation of that part of Devonshire, and the other
telescopically on the open sea,--the two climbed high up the
village, and stopped before a quaint little house, on which was
painted, "MRS. RAYBROCK, DRAPER;" and also "POST-OFFICE." Before
it, ran a rill of murmuring water, and access to it was gained by a
little plank-bridge.

"Here's the name," said Captain Jorgan, "sure enough. You can come
in if you like, Tom."

The captain opened the door, and passed into an odd little shop,
about six feet high, with a great variety of beams and bumps in the
ceiling, and, besides the principal window giving on the ladder of
stones, a purblind little window of a single pane of glass, peeping
out of an abutting corner at the sun-lighted ocean, and winking at
its brightness.

"How do you do, ma'am?" said the captain. "I am very glad to see
you. I have come a long way to see you."

"Have you, sir? Then I am sure I am very glad to see you, though I
don't know you from Adam."

Thus a comely elderly woman, short of stature, plump of form,
sparkling and dark of eye, who, perfectly clean and neat herself,
stood in the midst of her perfectly clean and neat arrangements, and
surveyed Captain Jorgan with smiling curiosity. "Ah! but you are a
sailor, sir," she added, almost immediately, and with a slight
movement of her hands, that was not very unlike wringing them; "then
you are heartily welcome."

"Thank'ee, ma'am," said the captain, "I don't know what it is, I am
sure; that brings out the salt in me, but everybody seems to see it
on the crown of my hat and the collar of my coat. Yes, ma'am, I am
in that way of life."

"And the other gentleman, too," said Mrs. Raybrock.

"Well now, ma'am," said the captain, glancing shrewdly at the other
gentleman, "you are that nigh right, that he goes to sea,--if that
makes him a sailor. This is my steward, ma'am, Tom Pettifer; he's
been a'most all trades you could name, in the course of his life,--
would have bought all your chairs and tables once, if you had wished
to sell 'em,--but now he's my steward. My name's Jorgan, and I'm a
ship-owner, and I sail my own and my partners' ships, and have done
so this five-and-twenty year. According to custom I am called
Captain Jorgan, but I am no more a captain, bless your heart, than
you are."

"Perhaps you'll come into my parlour, sir, and take a chair?" said
Mrs. Raybrock.

"Ex-actly what I was going to propose myself, ma'am. After you."

Thus replying, and enjoining Tom to give an eye to the shop, Captain
Jorgan followed Mrs. Raybrock into the little, low back-room,--
decorated with divers plants in pots, tea-trays, old china teapots,
and punch-bowls,--which was at once the private sitting-room of the
Raybrock family and the inner cabinet of the post-office of the
village of Steepways.

"Now, ma'am," said the captain, "it don't signify a cent to you
where I was born, except--" But here the shadow of some one
entering fell upon the captain's figure, and he broke off to double
himself up, slap both his legs, and ejaculate, "Never knew such a
thing in all my life! Here he is again! How are you?"

These words referred to the young fellow who had so taken Captain
Jorgan's fancy down at the pier. To make it all quite complete he
came in accompanied by the sweetheart whom the captain had detected
looking over the wall. A prettier sweetheart the sun could not have
shone upon that shining day. As she stood before the captain, with
her rosy lips just parted in surprise, her brown eyes a little wider
open than was usual from the same cause, and her breathing a little
quickened by the ascent (and possibly by some mysterious hurry and
flurry at the parlour door, in which the captain had observed her
face to be for a moment totally eclipsed by the Sou'wester hat), she
looked so charming, that the captain felt himself under a moral
obligation to slap both his legs again. She was very simply
dressed, with no other ornament than an autumnal flower in her
bosom. She wore neither hat nor bonnet, but merely a scarf or
kerchief, folded squarely back over the head, to keep the sun off,--
according to a fashion that may be sometimes seen in the more genial
parts of England as well as of Italy, and which is probably the
first fashion of head-dress that came into the world when grasses
and leaves went out.

"In my country," said the captain, rising to give her his chair, and
dexterously sliding it close to another chair on which the young
fisherman must necessarily establish himself,--"in my country we
should call Devonshire beauty first-rate!"

Whenever a frank manner is offensive, it is because it is strained
or feigned; for there may be quite as much intolerable affectation
in plainness as in mincing nicety. All that the captain said and
did was honestly according to his nature; and his nature was open
nature and good nature; therefore, when he paid this little
compliment, and expressed with a sparkle or two of his knowing eye,
"I see how it is, and nothing could be better," he had established a
delicate confidence on that subject with the family.

"I was saying to your worthy mother," said the captain to the young
man, after again introducing himself by name and occupation,--"I was
saying to your mother (and you're very like her) that it didn't
signify where I was born, except that I was raised on question-
asking ground, where the babies as soon as ever they come into the
world, inquire of their mothers, 'Neow, how old may you be, and
wa'at air you a goin' to name me?'--which is a fact." Here he
slapped his leg. "Such being the case, I may be excused for asking
you if your name's Alfred?"

"Yes, sir, my name is Alfred," returned the young man.

"I am not a conjurer," pursued the captain, "and don't think me so,
or I shall right soon undeceive you. Likewise don't think, if you
please, though I do come from that country of the babies, that I am
asking questions for question-asking's sake, for I am not. Somebody
belonging to you went to sea?"

"My elder brother, Hugh," returned the young man. He said it in an
altered and lower voice, and glanced at his mother, who raised her
hands hurriedly, and put them together across her black gown, and
looked eagerly at the visitor.

"No! For God's sake, don't think that!" said the captain, in a
solemn way; "I bring no good tidings of him."

There was a silence, and the mother turned her face to the fire and
put her hand between it and her eyes. The young fisherman slightly
motioned toward the window, and the captain, looking in that
direction, saw a young widow, sitting at a neighbouring window
across a little garden, engaged in needlework, with a young child
sleeping on her bosom. The silence continued until the captain
asked of Alfred, -

"How long is it since it happened?"

"He shipped for his last voyage better than three years ago."

"Ship struck upon some reef or rock, as I take it," said the
captain, "and all hands lost?"


"Wa'al!" said the captain, after a shorter silence, "Here I sit who
may come to the same end, like enough. He holds the seas in the
hollow of His hand. We must all strike somewhere and go down. Our
comfort, then, for ourselves and one another is to have done our
duty. I'd wager your brother did his!"

"He did!" answered the young fisherman. "If ever man strove
faithfully on all occasions to do his duty, my brother did. My
brother was not a quick man (anything but that), but he was a
faithful, true, and just man. We were the sons of only a small
tradesman in this county, sir; yet our father was as watchful of his
good name as if he had been a king."

"A precious sight more so, I hope--bearing in mind the general run
of that class of crittur," said the captain. "But I interrupt."

"My brother considered that our father left the good name to us, to
keep clear and true."

"Your brother considered right," said the captain; "and you couldn't
take care of a better legacy. But again I interrupt."

"No; for I have nothing more to say. We know that Hugh lived well
for the good name, and we feel certain that he died well for the
good name. And now it has come into my keeping. And that's all."

"Well spoken!" cried the captain. "Well spoken, young man!
Concerning the manner of your brother's death,"--by this time the
captain had released the hand he had shaken, and sat with his own
broad, brown hands spread out on his knees, and spoke aside,--
"concerning the manner of your brother's death, it may be that I
have some information to give you; though it may not be, for I am
far from sure. Can we have a little talk alone?"

The young man rose; but not before the captain's quick eye had
noticed that, on the pretty sweetheart's turning to the window to
greet the young widow with a nod and a wave of the hand, the young
widow had held up to her the needlework on which she was engaged,
with a patient and pleasant smile. So the captain said, being on
his legs, -

"What might she be making now?"

"What is Margaret making, Kitty?" asked the young fisherman,--with
one of his arms apparently mislaid somewhere.

As Kitty only blushed in reply, the captain doubled himself up as
far as he could, standing, and said, with a slap of his leg, -

"In my country we should call it wedding-clothes. Fact! We should,
I do assure you."

But it seemed to strike the captain in another light too; for his
laugh was not a long one, and he added, in quite a gentle tone, -

"And it's very pretty, my dear, to see her--poor young thing, with
her fatherless child upon her bosom--giving up her thoughts to your
home and your happiness. It's very pretty, my dear, and it's very
good. May your marriage be more prosperous than hers, and be a
comfort to her too. May the blessed sun see you all happy together,
in possession of the good name, long after I have done ploughing the
great salt field that is never sown!"

Kitty answered very earnestly, "O! Thank you, sir, with all my
heart!" And, in her loving little way, kissed her hand to him, and
possibly by implication to the young fisherman, too, as the latter
held the parlour-door open for the captain to pass out.


"The stairs are very narrow, sir," said Alfred Raybrock to Captain

"Like my cabin-stairs," returned the captain, "on many a voyage."

"And they are rather inconvenient for the head."

"If my head can't take care of itself by this time, after all the
knocking about the world it has had," replied the captain, as
unconcernedly as if he had no connection with it, "it's not worth
looking after."

Thus they came into the young fisherman's bedroom, which was as
perfectly neat and clean as the shop and parlour below; though it
was but a little place, with a sliding window, and a phrenological
ceiling expressive of all the peculiarities of the house-roof. Here
the captain sat down on the foot of the bed, and glancing at a
dreadful libel on Kitty which ornamented the wall,--the production
of some wandering limner, whom the captain secretly admired as
having studied portraiture from the figure-heads of ships,--motioned
to the young man to take the rush-chair on the other side of the
small round table. That done, the captain put his hand in the deep
breast-pocket of his long-skirted blue coat, and took out of it a
strong square case-bottle,--not a large bottle, but such as may be
seen in any ordinary ship's medicine-chest. Setting this bottle on
the table without removing his hand from it, Captain Jorgan then
spake as follows:-

"In my last voyage homeward-bound," said the captain, "and that's
the voyage off of which I now come straight, I encountered such
weather off the Horn as is not very often met with, even there. I
have rounded that stormy Cape pretty often, and I believe I first
beat about there in the identical storms that blew the Devil's horns
and tail off, and led to the horns being worked up into tooth-picks
for the plantation overseers in my country, who may be seen (if you
travel down South, or away West, fur enough) picking their teeth
with 'em, while the whips, made of the tail, flog hard. In this
last voyage, homeward-bound for Liverpool from South America, I say
to you, my young friend, it blew. Whole measures! No half
measures, nor making believe to blow; it blew! Now I warn't blown
clean out of the water into the sky,--though I expected to be even
that,--but I was blown clean out of my course; and when at last it
fell calm, it fell dead calm, and a strong current set one way, day
and night, night and day, and I drifted--drifted--drifted--out of
all the ordinary tracks and courses of ships, and drifted yet, and
yet drifted. It behooves a man who takes charge of fellow-critturs'
lives, never to rest from making himself master of his calling. I
never did rest, and consequently I knew pretty well ('specially
looking over the side in the dead calm of that strong current) what
dangers to expect, and what precautions to take against 'em. In
short, we were driving head on to an island. There was no island in
the chart, and, therefore, you may say it was ill-manners in the
island to be there; I don't dispute its bad breeding, but there it
was. Thanks be to Heaven, I was as ready for the island as the
island was ready for me. I made it out myself from the masthead,
and I got enough way upon her in good time to keep her off. I
ordered a boat to be lowered and manned, and went in that boat
myself to explore the island. There was a reef outside it, and,
floating in a corner of the smooth water within the reef, was a heap
of sea-weed, and entangled in that sea-weed was this bottle."

Here the captain took his hand from the bottle for a moment, that
the young fisherman might direct a wondering glance at it; and then
replaced his band and went on:-

"If ever you come--or even if ever you don't come--to a desert
place, use you your eyes and your spy-glass well; for the smallest
thing you see may prove of use to you; and may have some information
or some warning in it. That's the principle on which I came to see
this bottle. I picked up the bottle and ran the boat alongside the
island, and made fast and went ashore armed, with a part of my
boat's crew. We found that every scrap of vegetation on the island
(I give it you as my opinion, but scant and scrubby at the best of
times) had been consumed by fire. As we were making our way,
cautiously and toilsomely, over the pulverised embers, one of my
people sank into the earth breast-high. He turned pale, and 'Haul
me out smart, shipmates,' says he, 'for my feet are among bones.'
We soon got him on his legs again, and then we dug up the spot, and
we found that the man was right, and that his feet had been among
bones. More than that, they were human bones; though whether the
remains of one man, or of two or three men, what with calcination
and ashes, and what with a poor practical knowledge of anatomy, I
can't undertake to say. We examined the whole island and made out
nothing else, save and except that, from its opposite side, I
sighted a considerable tract of land, which land I was able to
identify, and according to the bearings of which (not to trouble you
with my log) I took a fresh departure. When I got aboard again I
opened the bottle, which was oilskin-covered as you see, and glass-
stoppered as you see. Inside of it," pursued the captain, suiting
his action to his words, "I found this little crumpled, folded
paper, just as you see. Outside of it was written, as you see,
these words: 'Whoever finds this, is solemnly entreated by the dead
to convey it unread to Alfred Raybrock, Steepways, North Devon,
England.' A sacred charge," said the captain, concluding his
narrative, "and, Alfred Raybrock, there it is!"

"This is my poor brother's writing!"

"I suppose so," said Captain Jorgan. "I'll take a look out of this
little window while you read it."

"Pray no, sir! I should be hurt. My brother couldn't know it would
fall into such hands as yours."

The captain sat down again on the foot of the bed, and the young man
opened the folded paper with a trembling hand, and spread it on the
table. The ragged paper, evidently creased and torn both before and
after being written on, was much blotted and stained, and the ink
had faded and run, and many words were wanting. What the captain
and the young fisherman made out together, after much re-reading and
much humouring of the folds of the paper, is given on the next page.

The young fisherman had become more and more agitated, as the
writing had become clearer to him. He now left it lying before the
captain, over whose shoulder he had been reading it, and dropping
into his former seat, leaned forward on the table and laid his face
in his hands.

"What, man," urged the captain, "don't give in! Be up and doing
like a man!"

"It is selfish, I know,--but doing what, doing what?" cried the
young fisherman, in complete despair, and stamping his sea-boot on
the ground.

"Doing what?" returned the captain. "Something! I'd go down to the
little breakwater below yonder, and take a wrench at one of the
salt-rusted iron rings there, and either wrench it up by the roots
or wrench my teeth out of my head, sooner than I'd do nothing.
Nothing!" ejaculated the captain. "Any fool or fainting heart can
do that, and nothing can come of nothing,--which was pretended to be
found out, I believe, by one of them Latin critters," said the
captain with the deepest disdain; "as if Adam hadn't found it out,
afore ever he so much as named the beasts!"

Yet the captain saw, in spite of his bold words, that there was some
greater reason than he yet understood for the young man's distress.
And he eyed him with a sympathising curiosity.

"Come, come!" continued the captain, "Speak out. What is it, boy!"

"You have seen how beautiful she is, sir," said the young man,
looking up for the moment, with a flushed face and rumpled hair.

"Did any man ever say she warn't beautiful?" retorted the captain.
"If so, go and lick him."

The young man laughed fretfully in spite of himself, and said -

"It's not that, it's not that."

"Wa'al, then, what is it?" said the captain in a more soothing tone.

The young fisherman mournfully composed himself to tell the captain
what it was, and began: "We were to have been married next Monday

"Were to have been!" interrupted Captain Jorgan. "And are to be?

Young Raybrock shook his head, and traced out with his fore-finger
the words, "poor father's five hundred pounds," in the written

"Go along," said the captain. "Five hundred pounds? Yes?"

"That sum of money," pursued the young fisherman, entering with the
greatest earnestness on his demonstration, while the captain eyed
him with equal earnestness, "was all my late father possessed. When
he died, he owed no man more than he left means to pay, but he had
been able to lay by only five hundred pounds."

"Five hundred pounds," repeated the captain. "Yes?"

"In his lifetime, years before, he had expressly laid the money
aside to leave to my mother,--like to settle upon her, if I make
myself understood."


"He had risked it once--my father put down in writing at that time,
respecting the money--and was resolved never to risk it again."

"Not a spectator," said the captain. "My country wouldn't have
suited him. Yes?"

"My mother has never touched the money till now. And now it was to
have been laid out, this very next week, in buying me a handsome
share in our neighbouring fishery here, to settle me in life with

The captain's face fell, and he passed and repassed his sun-browned
right hand over his thin hair, in a discomfited manner.

"Kitty's father has no more than enough to live on, even in the
sparing way in which we live about here. He is a kind of bailiff or
steward of manor rights here, and they are not much, and it is but a
poor little office. He was better off once, and Kitty must never
marry to mere drudgery and hard living."

The captain still sat stroking his thin hair, and looking at the
young fisherman.

"I am as certain that my father had no knowledge that any one was
wronged as to this money, or that any restitution ought to be made,
as I am certain that the sun now shines. But, after this solemn
warning from my brother's grave in the sea, that the money is Stolen
Money," said Young Raybrock, forcing himself to the utterance of the
words, "can I doubt it? Can I touch it?"

"About not doubting, I ain't so sure," observed the captain; "but
about not touching--no--I don't think you can."

"See then," said Young Raybrock, "why I am so grieved. Think of
Kitty. Think what I have got to tell her!"

His heart quite failed him again when he had come round to that, and
he once more beat his sea-boot softly on the floor. But not for
long; he soon began again, in a quietly resolute tone.

"However! Enough of that! You spoke some brave words to me just
now, Captain Jorgan, and they shall not be spoken in vain. I have
got to do something. What I have got to do, before all other
things, is to trace out the meaning of this paper, for the sake of
the Good Name that has no one else to put it right. And still for
the sake of the Good Name, and my father's memory, not a word of
this writing must be breathed to my mother, or to Kitty, or to any
human creature. You agree in this?"

"I don't know what they'll think of us below," said the captain,
"but for certain I can't oppose it. Now, as to tracing. How will
you do?"

They both, as by consent, bent over the paper again, and again
carefully puzzled out the whole of the writing.

"I make out that this would stand, if all the writing was here,
'Inquire among the old men living there, for'--some one. Most like,
you'll go to this village named here?" said the captain, musing,
with his finger on the name.

"Yes! And Mr. Tregarthen is a Cornishman, and--to be sure!--comes
from Lanrean."

"Does he?" said the captain quietly. "As I ain't acquainted with
him, who may he be?"

"Mr. Tregarthen is Kitty's father."

"Ay, ay!" cried the captain. "Now you speak! Tregarthen knows this
village of Lanrean, then?"

"Beyond all doubt he does. I have often heard him mention it, as
being his native place. He knows it well."

"Stop half a moment," said the captain. "We want a name here. You
could ask Tregarthen (or if you couldn't I could) what names of old
men he remembers in his time in those diggings? Hey?"

"I can go straight to his cottage, and ask him now."

"Take me with you," said the captain, rising in a solid way that had
a most comfortable reliability in it, "and just a word more first.
I have knocked about harder than you, and have got along further
than you. I have had, all my sea-going life long, to keep my wits
polished bright with acid and friction, like the brass cases of the
ship's instruments. I'll keep you company on this expedition. Now
you don't live by talking any more than I do. Clench that hand of
yours in this hand of mine, and that's a speech on both sides."

Captain Jorgan took command of the expedition with that hearty
shake. He at once refolded the paper exactly as before, replaced it
in the bottle, put the stopper in, put the oilskin over the stopper,
confided the whole to Young Raybrock's keeping, and led the way

But it was harder navigation below-stairs than above. The instant
they set foot in the parlour the quick, womanly eye detected that
there was something wrong. Kitty exclaimed, frightened, as she ran
to her lover's side, "Alfred! What's the matter?" Mrs. Raybrock
cried out to the captain, "Gracious! what have you done to my son to
change him like this all in a minute?" And the young widow--who was
there with her work upon her arm--was at first so agitated that she
frightened the little girl she held in her hand, who hid her face in
her mother's skirts and screamed. The captain, conscious of being
held responsible for this domestic change, contemplated it with
quite a guilty expression of countenance, and looked to the young
fisherman to come to his rescue.

"Kitty, darling," said Young Raybrock, "Kitty, dearest love, I must
go away to Lanrean, and I don't know where else or how much further,
this very day. Worse than that--our marriage, Kitty, must be put
off, and I don't know for how long."

Kitty stared at him, in doubt and wonder and in anger, and pushed
him from her with her hand.

"Put off?" cried Mrs. Raybrock. "The marriage put off? And you
going to Lanrean! Why, in the name of the dear Lord?"

"Mother dear, I can't say why; I must not say why. It would be
dishonourable and undutiful to say why."

"Dishonourable and undutiful?" returned the dame. "And is there
nothing dishonourable or undutiful in the boy's breaking the heart
of his own plighted love, and his mother's heart too, for the sake
of the dark secrets and counsels of a wicked stranger? Why did you
ever come here?" she apostrophised the innocent captain. "Who
wanted you? Where did you come from? Why couldn't you rest in your
own bad place, wherever it is, instead of disturbing the peace of
quiet unoffending folk like us?"

"And what," sobbed the poor little Kitty, "have I ever done to you,
you hard and cruel captain, that you should come and serve me so?"

And then they both began to weep most pitifully, while the captain
could only look from the one to the other, and lay hold of himself
by the coat collar.

"Margaret," said the poor young fisherman, on his knees at Kitty's
feet, while Kitty kept both her hands before her tearful face, to
shut out the traitor from her view,--but kept her fingers wide
asunder and looked at him all the time,--"Margaret, you have
suffered so much, so uncomplainingly, and are always so careful and
considerate! Do take my part, for poor Hugh's sake!"

The quiet Margaret was not appealed to in vain. "I will, Alfred,"
she returned, "and I do. I wish this gentleman had never come near
us;" whereupon the captain laid hold of himself the tighter; "but I
take your part for all that. I am sure you have some strong reason
and some sufficient reason for what you do, strange as it is, and
even for not saying why you do it, strange as that is. And, Kitty
darling, you are bound to think so more than any one, for true love
believes everything, and bears everything, and trusts everything.
And, mother dear, you are bound to think so too, for you know you
have been blest with good sons, whose word was always as good as
their oath, and who were brought up in as true a sense of honour as
any gentleman in this land. And I am sure you have no more call,
mother, to doubt your living son than to doubt your dead son; and
for the sake of the dear dead, I stand up for the dear living."

"Wa'al now," the captain struck in, with enthusiasm, "this I say,
That whether your opinions flatter me or not, you are a young woman
of sense, and spirit, and feeling; and I'd sooner have you by my
side in the hour of danger, than a good half of the men I've ever
fallen in with--or fallen out with, ayther."

Margaret did not return the captain's compliment, or appear fully to
reciprocate his good opinion, but she applied herself to the
consolation of Kitty, and of Kitty's mother-in-law that was to have
been next Monday week, and soon restored the parlour to a quiet

"Kitty, my darling," said the young fisherman, "I must go to your
father to entreat him still to trust me in spite of this wretched
change and mystery, and to ask him for some directions concerning
Lanrean. Will you come home? Will you come with me, Kitty?"

Kitty answered not a word, but rose sobbing, with the end of her
simple head-dress at her eyes. Captain Jorgan followed the lovers
out, quite sheepishly, pausing in the shop to give an instruction to
Mr. Pettifer.

"Here, Tom!" said the captain, in a low voice. "Here's something in
your line. Here's an old lady poorly and low in her spirits. Cheer
her up a bit, Tom. Cheer 'em all up."

Mr. Pettifer, with a brisk nod of intelligence, immediately assumed
his steward face, and went with his quiet, helpful, steward step
into the parlour, where the captain had the great satisfaction of
seeing him, through the glass door, take the child in his arms (who
offered no objection), and bend over Mrs. Raybrock, administering
soft words of consolation.

"Though what he finds to say, unless he's telling her that 't'll
soon be over, or that most people is so at first, or that it'll do
her good afterward, I cannot imaginate!" was the captain's
reflection as he followed the lovers.

He had not far to follow them, since it was but a short descent down
the stony ways to the cottage of Kitty's father. But short as the
distance was, it was long enough to enable the captain to observe
that he was fast becoming the village Ogre; for there was not a
woman standing working at her door, or a fisherman coming up or
going down, who saw Young Raybrock unhappy and little Kitty in
tears, but he or she instantly darted a suspicious and indignant
glance at the captain, as the foreigner who must somehow be
responsible for this unusual spectacle. Consequently, when they
came into Tregarthen's little garden,--which formed the platform
from which the captain had seen Kitty peeping over the wall,--the
captain brought to, and stood off and on at the gate, while Kitty
hurried to hide her tears in her own room, and Alfred spoke with her
father, who was working in the garden. He was a rather infirm man,
but could scarcely be called old yet, with an agreeable face and a
promising air of making the best of things. The conversation began
on his side with great cheerfulness and good humour, but soon became
distrustful, and soon angry. That was the captain's cue for
striking both into the conversation and the garden.

"Morning, sir!" said Captain Jorgan. "How do you do?"

"The gentleman I am going away with," said the young fisherman to

"O!" returned Kitty's father, surveying the unfortunate captain with
a look of extreme disfavour. "I confess that I can't say I am glad
to see you."

"No," said the captain, "and, to admit the truth, that seems to be
the general opinion in these parts. But don't be hasty; you may
think better of me by-and-by."

"I hope so," observed Tregarthen.

"Wa'al, I hope so," observed the captain, quite at his ease; "more
than that, I believe so,--though you don't. Now, Mr. Tregarthen,
you don't want to exchange words of mistrust with me; and if you
did, you couldn't, because I wouldn't. You and I are old enough to
know better than to judge against experience from surfaces and
appearances; and if you haven't lived to find out the evil and
injustice of such judgments, you are a lucky man."

The other seemed to shrink under this remark, and replied, "Sir, I
have lived to feel it deeply."

"Wa'al," said the captain, mollified, "then I've made a good cast
without knowing it. Now, Tregarthen, there stands the lover of your
only child, and here stand I who know his secret. I warrant it a
righteous secret, and none of his making, though bound to be of his
keeping. I want to help him out with it, and tewwards that end we
ask you to favour us with the names of two or three old residents in
the village of Lanrean. As I am taking out my pocket-book and
pencil to put the names down, I may as well observe to you that
this, wrote atop of the first page here, is my name and address:
'Silas Jonas Jorgan, Salem, Massachusetts, United States.' If ever
you take it in your head to run over any morning, I shall be glad to
welcome you. Now, what may be the spelling of these said names?"

"There was an elderly man," said Tregarthen, "named David Polreath.
He may be dead."

"Wa'al," said the captain, cheerfully, "if Polreath's dead and
buried, and can be made of any service to us, Polreath won't object
to our digging of him up. Polreath's down, anyhow."

"There was another named Penrewen. I don't know his Christian

"Never mind his Chris'en name," said the captain; "Penrewen, for

"There was another named John Tredgear."

"And a pleasant-sounding name, too," said the captain; "John
Tredgear's booked."

"I can recall no other except old Parvis."

"One of old Parvis's fam'ly I reckon," said the captain, "kept a
dry-goods store in New York city, and realised a handsome competency
by burning his house to ashes. Same name, anyhow. David Polreath,
Unchris'en Penrewen, John Tredgear, and old Arson Parvis."

"I cannot recall any others at the moment."

"Thank'ee," said the captain. "And so, Tregarthen, hoping for your
good opinion yet, and likewise for the fair Devonshire Flower's,
your daughter's, I give you my hand, sir, and wish you good day."

Young Raybrock accompanied him disconsolately; for there was no
Kitty at the window when he looked up, no Kitty in the garden when
he shut the gate, no Kitty gazing after them along the stony ways
when they begin to climb back.

"Now I tell you what," said the captain. "Not being at present
calculated to promote harmony in your family, I won't come in. You
go and get your dinner at home, and I'll get mine at the little
hotel. Let our hour of meeting be two o'clock, and you'll find me
smoking a cigar in the sun afore the hotel door. Tell Tom Pettifer,
my steward, to consider himself on duty, and to look after your
people till we come back; you'll find he'll have made himself useful
to 'em already, and will be quite acceptable."

All was done as Captain Jorgan directed. Punctually at two o'clock
the young fisherman appeared with his knapsack at his back; and
punctually at two o'clock the captain jerked away the last feather-
end of his cigar.

"Let me carry your baggage, Captain Jorgan; I can easily take it
with mine."

"Thank'ee," said the captain. "I'll carry it myself. It's only a

They climbed out of the village, and paused among the trees and fern
on the summit of the hill above, to take breath, and to look down at
the beautiful sea. Suddenly the captain gave his leg a resounding
slap, and cried, "Never knew such a right thing in all my life!"--
and ran away.

The cause of this abrupt retirement on the part of the captain was
little Kitty among the trees. The captain went out of sight and
waited, and kept out of sight and waited, until it occurred to him
to beguile the time with another cigar. He lighted it, and smoked
it out, and still he was out of sight and waiting. He stole within
sight at last, and saw the lovers, with their arms entwined and
their bent heads touching, moving slowly among the trees. It was
the golden time of the afternoon then, and the captain said to
himself, "Golden sun, golden sea, golden sails, golden leaves,
golden love, golden youth,--a golden state of things altogether!"

Nevertheless the captain found it necessary to hail his young
companion before going out of sight again. In a few moments more he
came up and they began their journey.

"That still young woman with the fatherless child," said Captain
Jorgan, as they fell into step, "didn't throw her words away; but
good honest words are never thrown away. And now that I am
conveying you off from that tender little thing that loves, and
relies, and hopes, I feel just as if I was the snarling crittur in
the picters, with the tight legs, the long nose, and the feather in
his cap, the tips of whose moustaches get up nearer to his eyes the
wickeder he gets."

The young fisherman knew nothing of Mephistopheles; but he smiled
when the captain stopped to double himself up and slap his leg, and
they went along in right goodfellowship.


Captain Jorgan, up and out betimes, had put the whole village of
Lanrean under an amicable cross-examination, and was returning to
the King Arthur's Arms to breakfast, none the wiser for his trouble,
when he beheld the young fisherman advancing to meet him,
accompanied by a stranger. A glance at this stranger assured the
captain that he could be no other than the Seafaring Man; and the
captain was about to hail him as a fellow-craftsman, when the two
stood still and silent before the captain, and the captain stood
still, silent, and wondering before them.

"Why, what's this?" cried the captain, when at last he broke the
silence. "You two are alike. You two are much alike. What's

Not a word was answered on the other side, until after the sea-
faring brother had got hold of the captain's right hand, and the
fisherman brother had got hold of the captain's left hand; and if
ever the captain had had his fill of hand-shaking, from his birth to
that hour, he had it then. And presently up and spoke the two
brothers, one at a time, two at a time, two dozen at a time for the
bewilderment into which they plunged the captain, until he gradually
had Hugh Raybrock's deliverance made clear to him, and also
unravelled the fact that the person referred to in the half-
obliterated paper was Tregarthen himself.

"Formerly, dear Captain Jorgan," said Alfred, "of Lanrean, you
recollect? Kitty and her father came to live at Steepways after
Hugh shipped on his last voyage."

"Ay, ay!" cried the captain, fetching a breath. "Now you have me in
tow. Then your brother here don't know his sister-in-law that is to
be so much as by name?"

"Never saw her; never heard of her!"

"Ay, ay, ay!" cried the captain. "Why then we every one go back
together--paper, writer, and all--and take Tregarthen into the
secret we kept from him?"

"Surely," said Alfred, "we can't help it now. We must go through
with our duty."

"Not a doubt," returned the captain. "Give me an arm apiece, and
let us set this ship-shape."

So walking up and down in the shrill wind on the wild moor, while
the neglected breakfast cooled within, the captain and the brothers
settled their course of action.

It was that they should all proceed by the quickest means they could
secure to Barnstaple, and there look over the father's books and
papers in the lawyer's keeping; as Hugh had proposed to himself to
do if ever he reached home. That, enlightened or unenlightened,
they should then return to Steepways and go straight to Mr.
Tregarthen, and tell him all they knew, and see what came of it, and
act accordingly. Lastly, that when they got there they should enter
the village with all precautions against Hugh's being recognised by
any chance; and that to the captain should be consigned the task of
preparing his wife and mother for his restoration to this life.

"For you see," quoth Captain Jorgan, touching the last head, "it
requires caution any way, great joys being as dangerous as great
griefs, if not more dangerous, as being more uncommon (and therefore
less provided against) in this round world of ours. And besides, I
should like to free my name with the ladies, and take you home again
at your brightest and luckiest; so don't let's throw away a chance
of success."

The captain was highly lauded by the brothers for his kind interest
and foresight.

"And now stop!" said the captain, coming to a standstill, and
looking from one brother to the other, with quite a new rigging of
wrinkles about each eye; "you are of opinion," to the elder, "that
you are ra'ather slow?"

"I assure you I am very slow," said the honest Hugh.

"Wa'al," replied the captain, "I assure you that to the best of my
belief I am ra'ather smart. Now a slow man ain't good at quick
business, is he?"

That was clear to both.

"You," said the captain, turning to the younger brother, "are a
little in love; ain't you?"

"Not a little, Captain Jorgan."

"Much or little, you're sort preoccupied; ain't you?"

It was impossible to be denied.

"And a sort preoccupied man ain't good at quick business, is he?"
said the captain.

Equally clear on all sides.

"Now," said the captain, "I ain't in love myself, and I've made many
a smart run across the ocean, and I should like to carry on and go
ahead with this affair of yours, and make a run slick through it.
Shall I try? Will you hand it over to me?"

They were both delighted to do so, and thanked him heartily.

"Good," said the captain, taking out his watch. "This is half-past
eight a.m., Friday morning. I'll jot that down, and we'll compute
how many hours we've been out when we run into your mother's post-
office. There! The entry's made, and now we go ahead."

They went ahead so well that before the Barnstaple lawyer's office
was open next morning, the captain was sitting whistling on the step
of the door, waiting for the clerk to come down the street with his
key and open it. But instead of the clerk there came the master,
with whom the captain fraternised on the spot to an extent that
utterly confounded him.

As he personally knew both Hugh and Alfred, there was no difficulty
in obtaining immediate access to such of the father's papers as were
in his keeping. These were chiefly old letters and cash accounts;
from which the captain, with a shrewdness and despatch that left the
lawyer far behind, established with perfect clearness, by noon, the
following particulars:-

That one Lawrence Clissold had borrowed of the deceased, at a time
when he was a thriving young tradesman in the town of Barnstaple,
the sum of five hundred pounds. That he had borrowed it on the
written statement that it was to be laid out in furtherance of a
speculation which he expected would raise him to independence; he
being, at the time of writing that letter, no more than a clerk in
the house of Dringworth Brothers, America Square, London. That the
money was borrowed for a stipulated period; but that, when the term
was out, the aforesaid speculation failed, and Clissold was without
means of repayment. That, hereupon, he had written to his creditor,
in no very persuasive terms, vaguely requesting further time. That
the creditor had refused this concession, declaring that he could
not afford delay. That Clissold then paid the debt, accompanying
the remittance of the money with an angry letter describing it as
having been advanced by a relative to save him from ruin. That, in
acknowlodging the receipt, Raybrock had cautioned Clissold to seek
to borrow money of him no more, as he would never so risk money

Before the lawyer the captain said never a word in reference to
these discoveries. But when the papers had been put back in their
box, and he and his two companions were well out of the office, his
right leg suffered for it, and he said, -

"So far this run's begun with a fair wind and a prosperous; for
don't you see that all this agrees with that dutiful trust in his
father maintained by the slow member of the Raybrock family?"

Whether the brothers had seen it before or no, they saw it now. Not
that the captain gave them much time to contemplate the state of
things at their ease, for he instantly whipped them into a chaise
again, and bore them off to Steepways. Although the afternoon was
but just beginning to decline when they reached it, and it was broad
day-light, still they had no difficulty, by dint of muffing the
returned sailor up, and ascending the village rather than descending
it, in reaching Tregarthen's cottage unobserved. Kitty was not
visible, and they surprised Tregarthen sitting writing in the small
bay-window of his little room.

"Sir," said the captain, instantly shaking hands with him, pen and
all, "I'm glad to see you, sir. How do you do, sir? I told you
you'd think better of me by-and-by, and I congratulate you on going
to do it."

Here the captain's eye fell on Tom Pettifer Ho, engaged in preparing
some cookery at the fire.

"That critter," said the captain, smiting his leg, "is a born
steward, and never ought to have been in any other way of life.
Stop where you are, Tom, and make yourself useful. Now, Tregarthen,
I'm going to try a chair."

Accordingly the captain drew one close to him, and went on:-

"This loving member of the Raybrock family you know, sir. This slow
member of the same family you don't know, sir. Wa'al, these two are
brothers,--fact! Hugh's come to life again, and here he stands.
Now see here, my friend! You don't want to be told that he was cast
away, but you do want to be told (for there's a purpose in it) that
he was cast away with another man. That man by name was Lawrence

At the mention of this name Tregarthen started and changed colour.
"What's the matter?" said the captain.

"He was a fellow-clerk of mine thirty--five-and-thirty--years ago."

"True," said the captain, immediately catching at the clew:
"Dringworth Brothers, America Square, London City."

The other started again, nodded, and said, "That was the house."

"Now," pursued the captain, "between those two men cast away there
arose a mystery concerning the round sum of five hundred pound."

Again Tregarthen started, changing colour. Again the captain said,
"What's the matter?"

As Tregarthen only answered, "Please to go on," the captain
recounted, very tersely and plainly, the nature of Clissold's
wanderings on the barren island, as he had condensed them in his
mind from the seafaring man. Tregarthen became greatly agitated
during this recital, and at length exclaimed, -

"Clissold was the man who ruined me! I have suspected it for many a
long year, and now I know it."

"And how," said the captain, drawing his chair still closer to
Tregarthen, and clapping his hand upon his shoulder,--"how may you
know it?"

"When we were fellow-clerks," replied Tregarthen, "in that London
house, it was one of my duties to enter daily in a certain book an
account of the sums received that day by the firm, and afterward
paid into the bankers'. One memorable day,--a Wednesday, the black
day of my life,--among the sums I so entered was one of five hundred

"I begin to make it out," said the captain. "Yes?"

"It was one of Clissold's duties to copy from this entry a
memorandum of the sums which the clerk employed to go to the
bankers' paid in there. It was my duty to hand the money to
Clissold; it was Clissold's to hand it to the clerk, with that
memorandum of his writing. On that Wednesday I entered a sum of
five hundred pounds received. I handed that sum, as I handed the
other sums in the day's entry, to Clissold. I was absolutely
certain of it at the time; I have been absolutely certain of it ever
since. A sum of five hundred pounds was afterward found by the
house to have been that day wanting from the bag, from Clissold's
memorandum, and from the entries in my book. Clissold, being
questioned, stood upon his perfect clearness in the matter, and
emphatically declared that he asked no better than to be tested by
'Tregarthen's book.' My book was examined, and the entry of five
hundred pounds was not there."

"How not there," said the captain, "when you made it yourself?"

Tregarthen continued:-

"I was then questioned. Had I made the entry? Certainly I had.
The house produced my book, and it was not there. I could not deny
my book; I could not deny my writing. I knew there must be forgery
by some one; but the writing was wonderfully like mine, and I could
impeach no one if the house could not. I was required to pay the
money back. I did so; and I left the house, almost broken-hearted,
rather than remain there,--even if I could have done so,--with a
dark shadow of suspicion always on me. I returned to my native
place, Lanrean, and remained there, clerk to a mine, until I was
appointed to my little post here."

"I well remember," said the captain, "that I told you that if you
had no experience of ill judgments on deceiving appearances, you
were a lucky man. You went hurt at that, and I see why. I'm

"Thus it is," said Tregarthen. "Of my own innocence I have of
course been sure; it has been at once my comfort and my trial. Of
Clissold I have always had suspicions almost amounting to certainty;
but they have never been confirmed until now. For my daughter's
sake and for my own I have carried this subject in my own heart, as
the only secret of my life, and have long believed that it would die
with me."

"Wa'al, my good sir," said the captain cordially, "the present
question is, and will be long, I hope, concerning living, and not
dying. Now, here are our two honest friends, the loving Raybrock
and the slow. Here they stand, agreed on one point, on which I'd
back 'em round the world, and right across it from north to south,
and then again from east to west, and through it, from your deepest
Cornish mine to China. It is, that they will never use this same
so-often-mentioned sum of money, and that restitution of it must be
made to you. These two, the loving member and the slow, for the
sake of the right and of their father's memory, will have it ready
for you to-morrow. Take it, and ease their minds and mine, and end
a most unfortunate transaction."

Tregarthen took the captain by the hand, and gave his hand to each
of the young men, but positively and finally answered No. He said,
they trusted to his word, and he was glad of it, and at rest in his
mind; but there was no proof, and the money must remain as it was.
All were very earnest over this; and earnestness in men, when they
are right and true, is so impressive, that Mr. Pettifer deserted his
cookery and looked on quite moved.

"And so," said the captain, "so we come--as that lawyer-crittur over
yonder where we were this morning might--to mere proof; do we? We
must have it; must we? How? From this Clissold's wanderings, and
from what you say, it ain't hard to make out that there was a neat
forgery of your writing committed by the too smart rowdy that was
grease and ashes when I made his acquaintance, and a substitution of
a forged leaf in your book for a real and torn leaf torn out. Now
was that real and true leaf then and there destroyed? No,--for says
he, in his drunken way, he slipped it into a crack in his own desk,
because you came into the office before there was time to burn it,
and could never get back to it arterwards. Wait a bit. Where is
that desk now? Do you consider it likely to be in America Square,
London City?"

Tregarthen shook his head.

"The house has not, for years, transacted business in that place. I
have heard of it, and read of it, as removed, enlarged, every way
altered. Things alter so fast in these times."

"You think so," returned the captain, with compassion; "but you
should come over and see me afore you talk about that. Wa'al, now.
This desk, this paper,--this paper, this desk," said the captain,
ruminating and walking about, and looking, in his uneasy
abstraction, into Mr. Pettifer's hat on a table, among other things.
"This desk, this paper,--this paper, this desk," the captain
continued, musing and roaming about the room, "I'd give--"

However, he gave nothing, but took up his steward's hat instead, and
stood looking into it, as if he had just come into church. After
that he roamed again, and again said, "This desk, belonging to this
house of Dringworth Brothers, America Square, London City--"

Mr. Pettifer, still strangely moved, and now more moved than before,
cut the captain off as he backed across the room, and bespake him

"Captain Jorgan, I have been wishful to engage your attention, but I
couldn't do it. I am unwilling to interrupt Captain Jorgan, but I
must do it. I knew something about that house."

The captain stood stock-still and looked at him,--with his (Mr.
Pettifer's) hat under his arm.

"You're aware," pursued his steward, "that I was once in the broking
business, Captain Jorgan?"

"I was aware," said the captain, "that you had failed in that
calling, and in half the businesses going, Tom."

"Not quite so, Captain Jorgan; but I failed in the broking business.
I was partners with my brother, sir. There was a sale of old office
furniture at Dringworth Brothers' when the house was moved from
America Square, and me and my brother made what we call in the trade
a Deal there, sir. And I'll make bold to say, sir, that the only
thing I ever had from my brother, or from any relation,--for my
relations have mostly taken property from me instead of giving me
any,--was an old desk we bought at that same sale, with a crack in
it. My brother wouldn't have given me even that, when we broke
partnership, if it had been worth anything."

"Where is that desk now?" said the captain.

"Well, Captain Jorgan," replied the steward, "I couldn't say for
certain where it is now; but when I saw it last,--which was last
time we were outward bound,--it was at a very nice lady's at
Wapping, along with a little chest of mine which was detained for a
small matter of a bill owing."

The cap
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