Harvey waked to find the "first half" at 'breakfast, the fo'c'sle
door drawn to a crack, and every square inch of the schooner
singing its own tune. The black bulk of the cook balanced behind
the tiny galley over the glare of the stove, and the pots and pans
in the pierced wooden board before it jarred and racketed to each
plunge. Up and up the fo'c'sle climbed, yearning and surging and
quivering, and then, with a clear, sickle-like swoop, came down
into the seas. He could hear the flaring bows cut and squelch, and
there was a pause ere the divided waters came down on the deck
above, like a volley of buck-shot. Followed the woolly sound of
the cable in the hawse-hole; a grunt and squeal of the windlass; a
yaw, a punt, and a kick, and the "We're Here" gathered herself
together to repeat the motions.
"Now, ashore," he heard Long Jack saying, "ye've chores, an' ye
must do thim in any weather. Here we're well clear of the fleet,
an' we've no chores - an' that's a blessin'. Good night, all." He
passed like a big snake from the table to his bunk, and began to
smoke. Tom Platt followed his example; Uncle Salters, with Penn,
fought his way up the ladder to stand his watch, and the cook set
for the "second half."
It came out of its bunks as the others had entered theirs, with a
shake and a yawn. It ate till it could eat no more; and then
Manuel filled his pipe with some terrible tobacco, crotched
himself between the pawl-post and a forward bunk, cocked his feet
up on the table, and smiled tender and indolent smiles at the
smoke. Dan lay at length in his bunk, wrestling with a gaudy,
gilt-stopped accordion, whose tunes went up and down with the
pitching of the "We're Here". The cook, his shoulders against the
locker where he kept the fried pies (Dan was fond of fried pies),
peeled potatoes, with one eye on the stove in event of too much
water finding its way down the pipe; and the general smell and
smother were past all description.
Harvey considered affairs, wondered that he was not deathly sick,
and crawled into his bunk again, as the softest and safest place,
while Dan struck up, "I don't want to play in your yard," as
accurately as the wild jerks allowed.
"How long is this for?" Harvey asked of Manuel.
"Till she get a little quiet, and we can row to trawl. Perhaps to-
night. Perhaps two days more. You do not like? Eh, wha-at?"
"I should have been crazy sick a week ago, but it doesn't seem to
upset me now - much."
"That is because we make you fisherman, these days. If I was you,
when I come to Gloucester I would give two, three big candles for
my good luck."
"To be sure - the Virgin of our Church on the Hill. She is very
good to fishermen all the time. That is why so few of us Portugee
men ever are drowned."
"You're a Roman Catholic, then?"
"I am a Madeira man. I am not a Porto Pico boy. Shall I be
Baptist, then? Eh, wha-at? I always give candles - two, three more
when I come to Gloucester. The good Virgin she never forgets me,
"I don't sense it that way," Tom Platt put in from his bunk, his
scarred face lit up by the glare of a match as he sucked at his
pipe. " It stands to reason the sea's the sea; and you'll git jest
about what's goin', candles or kerosene, fer that matter."
"Tis a mighty good thing," said Long Jack, "to have a fri'nd at
coort, though. I'm o' Manuel's way o' thinkin'. About tin years
back I was crew to a Sou' Boston market-boat. We was off Minot's
Ledge wid a northeaster, butt first,
atop of us, thicker'n burgoo. The ould man was dhrunk, his chin
waggin' on the tiller, an' I sez to myself, 'If iver I stick my
boat-huk into T-wharf again, I'll show the saints fwhat manner o'
craft they saved me out av.' Now, I'm here, as ye can well see,
an' the model of the dhirty ould Kathleen, that took me a month to
make, I gave ut to the priest, an' he hung Ut up forninst the
altar. There's more sense in givin' a model that's by way o' bein'
a work av art than any candle. Ye can buy candles at store, but a
model shows the good saints ye've tuk trouble an' are grateful."
"D'you believe that, Irish?" said Tom Platt, turning on his elbow.
"Would I do Ut if I did not, Ohio?"
"Wa-al, Enoch Fuller he made a model o' the old Ohio, and she's to
Salem museum now. Mighty pretty model, too, but I guess Enoch he
never done it fer no sacrifice; an' the way I take it is -"
There were the makings of an hour-long discussion of the kind that
fishermen love, where the talk runs in shouting circles and no one
proves anything at the end, had not Dan struck up this cheerful
"Up jumped the mackerel with his striped back.
Reef in the mainsail, and haul on the tack;
For it's windy weather -"
Here Long Jack joined in:
"And it's blowy weather;
When the winds begin to blow, pipe all hands together!"
Dan went on, with a cautious look at Tom Plait, holding the
accordion low in the bunk:
"Up jumped the cod with his chuckle-head,
Went to the main-chains to heave at the lead;
For it's windy weather," etc.
Tom Platt seemed to be hunting for something. Dan crouched lower,
but sang louder:
"Up jumped the flounder that swims to the ground.
Mind where ye sound!"
Tom Platt's huge rubber boot whirled across the fo'c'sle and
caught Dan's uplifted arm. There was war between the man and the
boy ever since Dan had discovered that the mere whistling of that
tune would make him angry as he heaved the lead.
"Thought I'd fetch yer," said Dan, returning the gift with
precision. "Ef you don't like my music, git out your fiddle. I
ain't goin' to lie here all day an' listen to you an' Long Jack
arguin' 'baout candles. Fiddle, Tom Platt; or I'll learn Harve
here the tune!"
Tom Platt leaned down to a locker and brought up an old white
fiddle. Manuel's eye glistened, and from somewhere behind the
pawl-post he drew out a tiny, guitar-like thing with wire strings,
which he called a nachette.
"'Tis a concert," said Long Jack, beaming through the smoke. "A
reg'lar Boston concert."
There was a burst of spray as the hatch opened, and Disko, in
yellow oilskins, descended.
"Ye're just in time, Disko. Fwhat's she doin' outside?"
"Jest this!" He dropped on to the lockers with the push and heave
of the "We're Here".
"We're singin' to kape our breakfasts down. Ye'll lead, av course,
Disko," said Long Jack.
"Guess there ain't more'n 'baout two old songs I know, an' ye've
heerd them both."
His excuses were cut short by Tom Platt launching into a most
dolorous tune, like unto the moaning of winds and the creaking of
masts. With his eyes fixed on the beams above, Disko began this
ancient, ancient ditty, Tom Platt flourishing all round him to
make the tune and words fit a little:
"There is a crack packet - crack packet o' fame,
She hails from Noo York, an' the Dreadnought's her name.
You may talk o' your fliers - Swallow-tail and Black Ball -
But the Dreadnought's the packet that can beat them all.
"Now the Dreadnought she lies in the River Mersey,
Because of the tugboat to take her to sea;
But when she's off soundings you shortly will know
She's the Liverpool packet - O Lord, let her go!
"Now the Dreadnought she's howlin' 'crost the Banks o' Newfoundland,
Where the water's all shallow and the bottom's all sand.
Sez all the little fishes that swim to an' fro:
'She's the Liverpool packet -O Lord, let her go!'"
There were scores of verses, for he worked the Dreadnought every
mile of the way between Liverpool and New York as conscientiously
as though he were on her deck, and the accordion pumped and the
fiddle squeaked beside him. Tom Platt followed with something
about "the rough and tough McGinn, who would pilot the vessel in."
Then they called on Harvey, who felt very flattered, to contribute
to the entertainment; but all that he could remember were some
pieces of "Skipper Ireson's Ride" that he had been taught at the
camp-school in the Adirondacks. It seemed that they might be
appropriate to the time and place, but he had no more than
mentioned the title when Disko brought down one foot with a bang,
and cried, "Don't go on, young feller. That's a mistaken jedgment
- one o' the worst kind, too, becaze it's catchin' to the ear."
"I orter ha' warned you," said Dan. "Thet allus fetches dad."
"What's wrong?" said Harvey, surprised and a little angry.
"All you're goin' to say," said Disko. "All dead wrong from start
to finish, an' Whittier he's to blame. I have no special call to
right any Marblehead man, but 'tweren't no fault o' Ireson's. My
father he told me the tale time an' again, an' this is the way
"For the wan hundreth time," put in Long Jack, under his breath.
"Ben Ireson he was skipper o' the Betty, young feller, comin' home
frum the Banks - that was before the war of 1812, but jestice is
jestice at all times. They f'und the Active o' Portland, an'
Gibbons o' that town he was her skipper; they f'und her leakin'
off Cape Cod Light. There was a terr'ble gale on, an' they was
gettin' the Betty home's fast as they could craowd her. Well,
Ireson he said there warn't any sense to reskin' a boat in that
sea; the men they wouldn't hev it; and he laid it before them to
stay by the Active till the sea run daown a piece. They wouldn't
hev that either, hangin' araound the Cape in any sech weather,
leak or no leak. They jest up stays'! an' quit, nat'rally takin'
Ireson with 'em. Folks to Marblehead was mad at him not runnin'
the risk, and becaze nex' day, when the sea was ca'am (they never
stopped to think o' that), some of the Active's folk was took off
by a Truro man. They come into Marblehead with their own tale to
tell, sayin' how Ireson had shamed his town, an' so forth an' so
on; an' Ireson's men they was scared, seem' public feelin' ag'in'
'em, an' they went back on Ireson, an' swore he was respons'ble
for the hull act. 'Tweren't the women neither that tarred and
feathered him - Marblehead women don't act that way - 'twas a
passel o' men an' boys, an' they carted him araound town in an old
dory till the bottom fell aout, an' Ireson he told 'em they'd be
sorry for it some day. Well, the facts came aout later, same's
they usually do, too late to be any ways useful to an honest man;
an' Whittier he come along an' picked up the slack eend of a lyin'
tale, an' tarred and feathered Ben Ireson all over onct more after
he was dead. 'Twas the only time Whittier ever slipped up, an'
'tweren't fair. I whaled Dan good when he brought that piece back
from school. Tots don't know no better, o' course; but I've give
you the facts, hereafter an' evermore to be remembered. Ben Ireson
weren't no sech kind o' man as Whittier makes aout; my father he
knew him well, before an' after that business, an' you beware o'
hasty jedgments, young feller. Next!"
Harvey had never heard Disko talk so long, and collapsed with
burning cheeks; but, as Dan said promptly, a boy could only learn
what he was taught at school, and life was too short to keep track
of every lie along the coast.
Then Manuel touched the jangling, jarring little nachette to a
queer tune, and sang something in Portuguese about "Nina,
innocente!" ending with a full-handed sweep that brought the song
up with a jerk. Then Disko obliged with his second song, to an
old-fashioned creaky tune, and all joined in the chorus. This is
"Now Aprile is over and melted the snow,
And outer Noo Bedford we shortly must tow;
Yes, out o' Noo Bedford we shortly must clear,
We're the whalers that never see wheat in the ear."
Here the fiddle went very softly for a while by itself, and then:
"Wheat-in-the-ear, my true-love's posy blowin';
Wheat-in-the-ear, we're goin' off to sea;
Wheat-in-the-ear, I left you fit for sowin';
When I come back a loaf o' bread you'll be!"
That made Harvey almost weep, though he could not tell why. But it
was much worse when the cook dropped the potatoes and held out his
hands for the fiddle. Still leaning against the locker door, he
struck into a tune that was like something very bad but sure to
happen whatever you did. After a little he sang in an unknown
tongue, his big chin down on the fiddle-tail, his white eyeballs
glaring in the lamplight. Harvey swung out of his bunk to hear
better; and amid the straining of the timbers and the wash of the
waters the tune crooned and moaned on, like lee surf in a blind
fog, till it ended with a wail.
"Jimmy Christmas! Thet gives me the blue creevles," said Dan.
"What in thunder is it?"
"The song of Fin McCoul," said the cook, "when he wass going to
Norway." His English was not thick, but all clear-cut, as though
it came from a phonograph.
"Faith, I've been to Norway, but I didn't make that unwholesim
noise. 'Tis like some of the old songs, though," said Long Jack,
"Don't let's hev another 'thout somethin' between," said Dan; and
the accordion struck up a rattling, catchy tune that ended:
"It's six an' twenty Sundays sence las' we saw the land,
With fifteen hunder quintal,
An' fifteen hunder quintal, 'Teen hunder toppin' quintal,
'Twix' old 'Queereau an' Grand!"
"Hold on!" roared Tom Plait "D'ye want to nail the trip, Dan?
That's Jonah sure, 'less you sing it after all our salt's wet."
"No, 'tain't. Is it, dad? Not unless you sing the very las' verse.
You can't learn me anything on Jonahs!"
"What's that?" said Harvey. "What's a Jonah?"
"A Jonah's anything that spoils the luck. Sometimes it's a man -
sometimes it's a boy - or a bucket. I've known a splittin'-knife
Jonah two trips till we was on to her," said Tom Plait. "There's
all sorts o' Jonahs. Jim Bourke was one till he was drowned on
Georges. I'd never ship with Jim Bourke, not if I was starvin'.
There wuz a green dory on the Ezra Flood. Thet was a Jonah too,
the worst sort o' Jonah. Drowned four men she did, an' used to
shine fiery o' nights in the nest."
"And you believe that?" said Harvey, remembering what Tom Platt
had said about candles and models. "Haven't we all got to take
A mutter of dissent ran round the bunks. "Outboard, yes; inboard,
things can happen," said Disko. "Don't you go makin' a mock of
Jonahs, young feller."
"Well, Harve ain't no Jonah. Day after we catched him," Dan cut
in, "we had a toppin' good catch."
The cook threw up his head and laughed suddenly - a queer, thin
laugh. He was a most disconcerting nigger.
"Murder!" said Long Jack. "Don't do that again, doctor. We ain't
used to Ut."
"What's wrong?" said Dan. "Ain't he our mascot, and didn't they
strike on good after we'd struck him?"
"Oh! yess," said the cook. "I know that, but the catch iss not
"He ain't goin' to do us any harm," said Dan, hotly. "Where are ye
hintin' an' edgin' to? He's all right."
"No harm. No. But one day he will be your master, Danny."
"That all?" said Dan, placidly. "He wun't - not by a jugful."
"Master!" said the cook, pointing to Harvey. "Man!" and he pointed
"That's news. Haow soon?" said Dan, with a laugh.
"In some years, and I shall see it. Master and man - man and
"How in thunder d'ye work that out?" said Tom Platt.
"In my head, where I can see."
"Haow?" This from all the others at once.
"I do not know, but so it will be." He dropped his head, and went
on peeling the potatoes, and not another word could they get out
"Well," said Dan, "a heap o' things'll hev to come abaout 'fore
Harve's any master o' mine; but I'm glad the doctor ain't choosen
to mark him for a Jonah. Now, I mistrust Uncle Salters fer the
Jonerest Jonah in the fleet regardin' his own special luck. Dunno
ef it's spreadin' same's smallpox. He ought to be on the Carrie
Pitman. That boat's her own Jonah, sure - crews an' gear make no
differ to her driftin'. Jimmy Christmas! She'll etch loose in a
"We're well dear o' the fleet, anyway," said Disko, "Carrie Pitman
an' all." There was a rapping on the deck.
"Uncle Salters has catched his luck," said Dan, as his father
"It's blown clear," Disko cried, and all the fo'c'sle tumbled up
for a bit of fresh air. The fog had gone, but a sullen sea ran in
great rollers behind it. The "We're Here" slid, as it were, into
long, sunk avenues and ditches which felt quite sheltered and
homelike if they would only stay still; but they changed without
rest or mercy, and flung up the schooner to crown one peak of a
thousand grey hills, while the wind hooted through her rigging as
she zigzagged down the slopes. Far away a sea would burst in a
sheet of foam, and the others would follow suit as at a signal,
till Harvey's eyes swam with the vision of interlacing whites and
greys. Four or five Mother Carey's chickens stormed round in
circles, shrieking as they swept past the bows. A rain-squall or
two strayed aimlessly over the hopeless waste, ran down wind and
back again, and melted away.
"'Seems to me I saw somethin' flicker jest naow over yonder," said
Uncle Salters, pointing to the northeast.
"Can't be any of the fleet," said Disko, peering under his
eyebrows, a hand on the fo'c'sle gangway as the solid bows
hatcheted into the troughs. "Sea's oilin' over dretful fast.
Danny, don't you want to skip up a piece an' see how aour trawl-
Danny, in his big boots, trotted rather than climbed up the main
rigging (this consumed Harvey with envy), hitched himself around
the reeling crosstrees, and let his eye rove till it caught the
tiny black buoy-flag on the shoulder of a mile-away swell.
"She's all right," he hailed. "Sail O! Dead to the no'th'ard,
comin' down like smoke! Schooner she be, too."
They waited yet another half-hour, the sky clearing in patches,
with a flicker of sickly sun from time to time that made patches
of olive-green water. Then a stump-foremast lifted, ducked, and
disappeared, to be followed on the next wave by a high stern with
old-fashioned wooden snail's-horn davits. The sails were red-
"Frenchmen!" shouted Dan. "No, 'tain't, neither. Da-ad!"
"That's no French," said Disko. "Salters, your blame luck holds
tighter'n a screw in a keg-head."
"I've eyes. It's Uncle Abishai."
"You can't nowise tell fer sure."
"The head-king of all Jonahs," groaned Tom Platt. "Oh, Salters,
Salters, why wasn't you abed an' asleep?
"How could I tell?" said poor Salters, as the schooner swung up.
She might have been the very Flying Dutchman, so foul, draggled,
and unkempt was every rope and stick aboard. Her old-style
quarter-deck was some four or five feet high, and her rigging flew
knotted and tangled like weed at a wharf-end. She was running
before the wind - yawing frightfully - her staysail let down to
act as a sort of extra foresail, -" scandalised," they call it, -
and her fore-boom guyed out over the side. Her bowsprit cocked up
like an old-fashioned frigate's; her jib-boom had been fished and
spliced and nailed and clamped beyond further repair; and as she
hove herself forward, and sat down on her broad tail, she looked
for all the world like a blowzy, frousy, bad old woman sneering at
a decent girl.
"That's Abishai," said Salters. "Full o' gin an' Judique men, an'
the judgments o' Providence layin' fer him an' never takin' good
holt. He's run in to bait, Miquelon way."
"He'll run her under," said Long Jack. "That's no rig fer this
"Not he, 'r he'd 'a' done it long ago," Disko replied. "Looks's if
he cal'lated to run us under. Ain't she daown by the head more'n
natural, Tom Platt?"
"Ef it's his style o' loadin' her she ain't safe," said the
sailor, slowly. "Ef she's spewed her oakum he'd better git to his
pumps mighty quick."
The creature thrashed up, wore round with a clatter and rattle,
and lay head to wind within ear-shot.
A greybeard wagged over the bulwark, and a thick voice yelled
something Harvey could not understand. But Disko's face darkened.
"He'd resk every stick he hez to carry bad news. Says we're in fer
a shift o' wind. He's in fer worse. Abishai! Abishai!" He waved
his arm up and down with the gesture of a man at the pumps, and
pointed forward. The crew mocked him and laughed.
"Jounce ye, an' strip ye, an' trip ye!" yelled Uncle Abishai. "A
livin' gale - a livin' gale. Yah! Cast up fer your last trip, all
you Gloucester haddocks. You won't see Gloucester no more, no
"Crazy full - as usual," said Tom Platt. "Wish he hadn't spied us,
She drifted out of hearing while the greyhead yelled something
about a dance at the Bay of Bulls and a dead man in the fo'c'sle.
Harvey shuddered. He had seen the sloven tilled decks and the
"An' that's a fine little floatin' hell fer her draught," said
Long Jack. "I wondher what mischief he's been at ashore."
"He's a trawler," Dan explained to Harvey, "an' he runs in fer
bait all along the coast. Oh, no, not home, he don't go. He deals
along the south an' east shore up yonder." He nodded in the
direction of the pitiless Newfoundland beaches. "Dad won't never
take me ashore there. They're a mighty tough crowd - an' Abishai's
the toughest. You saw his boat? Well, she's nigh seventy year old,
they say; the last o' the old Marblehead heel-tappers. They don't
make them quarter-decks any more. Abishai don't use Marblehead,
though. He ain't wanted there. He jes' drif's araound, in debt,
trawlin' an' cussin' like you've heard. Bin a Jonah fer years an'
years, he hez. 'Gits liquor frum the Feecamp boats fer makin'
spells an' selling winds an' such truck. Crazy, I guess."
"Twon't be any use underrunnin' the trawl to-night," said Tom
Platt, with quiet despair. "He come alongside special to cuss us.
I'd give my wage an' share to see him at the gangway o' the old
Ohio 'fore we quit floggin'. Jest abaout six dozen, an' Sam
Mocatta layin' 'em on crisscross!"
The dishevelled "heel-tapper" danced drunkenly down wind, and all
eyes followed her. Suddenly the cook cried in his phonograph
voice: "It wass his own death made him speak so! He iss fey - fey,
I tell you! Look!" She sailed into a patch of watery sunshine
three or four miles distant. The patch dulled and faded out, and
even as the light passed so did the schooner. She dropped into a
hollow and - was not.
"Run under, by the great hook-block!" shouted Disko, jumping aft.
"Drunk or sober, we've got to help 'em. Heave short and break her
Harvey was thrown on the deck by the shock that followed the
setting of the jib and foresail, for they hove short on the cable,
and to save time, jerked the anchor bodily from the bottom,
heaving in as they moved away. This is a bit of brute force seldom
resorted to except in matters of life and death, and the little
"We're Here" complained like a human. They ran down to where
Abishai's craft had vanished; found two or three trawl-tubs, a
gin-bottle, and a stove-in dory, but nothing more. "Let 'em go,"
said Disko, though no one had hinted at picking them up. "I
wouldn't hev a match that belonged to Abishai aboard. 'Guess she
run clear under. 'Must ha' been spewin' her oakum fer a week, an'
they never thought to pump her. That's one more boat gone along o'
leavin' port all hands drunk."
"Glory be!" said Long Jack. "We'd ha' been obliged to help 'em if
they was top o' water."
"'Thinkin' o' that myself," said Tom Platt.
"Fey! Fey!" said the cook, rolling his eyes. "He hass taken his
own luck with him."
"Ver' good thing, I think, to tell the fleet when we see. Eh, wha-
at'?" said Manuel. "If you runna that way before the wind, and she
work open her seams -" He threw out his hands with an
indescribable gesture, while Penn sat down on the house and sobbed
at the sheer horror and pity of it all. Harvey could not realise
that he had seen death on the open waters, but he felt very sick.
Then Dan went up the crosstrees, and Disko steered them back to
within sight of their own trawl-buoys just before the fog
blanketed the sea once again.
"We go mighty quick hereabouts when we do go," was all he said to
Harvey. "You think on that for a spell, young feller. That was
After dinner it was calm enough to fish from the decks, - Penn and
Uncle Salters were very zealous this time, - and the catch was
large and large fish.
"Abishai has shorely took his luck with him," said Salters. "The
wind hain't backed ner riz ner nothin'. How abaout the trawl? I
despise superstition, anyway."
Tom Platt insisted that they had much better haul the thing and
make a new berth. But the cook said: "The luck iss in two pieces.
You will find it so when you look. I know." This so tickled Long
Jack that he overbore Tom Platt, and the two went out together.
Underrunning a trawl means pulling it in on one side of the dory,
picking off the fish, rebaiting the hooks, and passing them back
to the sea again something like pinning and unpinning linen on a
wash-line. It is a lengthy business and rather dangerous, for the
long, sagging line may twitch a boat under in a flash. But when
they heard, "And naow to thee, O Capting," booming out of the fog,
the crew of the "We're Here" took heart. The dory swirled
alongside well loaded, Tom Platt yelling for Manuel to act as
"The luck's cut square in two pieces," said Long Jack, forking in
the fish, while Harvey stood open-mouthed at the skill with which
the plunging dory was saved from destruction. "One half was jest
punkins. Tom Platt wanted to haul her an' ha' done wid ut; but I
said, 'I'll back the doctor that has the second sight,' an' the
other half come up sagging full o' big uns. Hurry, Man'nle,
an' bring's a tub o' bait. There's luck afloat tonight."
The fish bit at the newly baited hooks from which their brethren
had just been taken, and Tom Platt and Long Jack moved
methodically up and down the length of the trawl, the boat's nose
surging under the wet line of hooks, stripping the sea-cucumbers
that they called pumpkins, slatting off the fresh-caught cod
against the gunwale, rebaiting, and loading Manuel's dory till
"I'll take no risks," said Disko, then - "not with him floatin'
around so near. Abishai won't sink fer a week. Heave in the
dories, an' we'll dressdaown after supper."
That was a mighty dressing-down, attended by three or four blowing
grampuses. It lasted till nine o'clock, and Disko was thrice heard
to chuckle as Harvey pitched the split fish into the hold.
"Say, you're haulin' ahead dretful fast," said Dan, when they
ground the knives after the men had turned in. "There's somethin'
of a sea tonight, an' I hain't heard you make no remarks on it."
"Too busy," Harvey replied, testing a blade's edge. "Come to think
of it, she is a high-kicker."
The little schooner was gambolling all around her anchor among the
silver-tipped waves. Backing with a start of affected surprise at
the sight of the strained cable, she pounced on it like a kitten,
while the spray of her descent burst through the hawse-holes with
the report of a gun. Shaking her head, she would say: "Well, I'm
sorry I can't stay any longer with you. I'm going North," and
would sidle off, halting suddenly with a dramatic rattle of her
rigging. "As I was just going to observe," she would begin, as
gravely as a drunken man addressing a lamp-post. The rest of the
sentence (she acted her words in dumb-show, of course) was lost in
a fit of the fidgets, when she behaved like a puppy chewing a
string, a clumsy woman in a side-saddle, a hen with her head cut
off, or a cow stung by a hornet, exactly as the whims of the sea
"See her sayin' her piece. She's Patrick Henry naow," said Dan.
She swung sideways on a roller, and gesticulated with her jib-boom
from port to starboard.
"But-ez---fer-me, give me liberty - er give me-death!"
Wop! She sat down in the moon-path on the water, courtesying with
a flourish of pride impressive enough had not the wheel-gear
sniggered mockingly in its box.
Harvey laughed aloud. "Why, it's just as if she was alive," he
"She's as stiddy as a haouse an' as dry as a herrin'," said Dan,
enthusiastically, as he was stung across the deck in a batter of
'em off an 'fends 'em off, an' 'Don't ye come anigh me,' she sez.
Look at her -jest look at her! Sakes! You should see one o' them
toothpicks h'istin' up her anchor on her spike outer fifteen-
"What's a toothpick, Dan?"
"Them new haddockers an' herrin'-boats. Fine's a yacht forward,
with yacht sterns to 'em, an' spike bowsprits, an' a haouse that
u'd take our hold. I've heard that Burgess himself he made the
models fer three or four of 'em, Dad's sot ag'in' 'em on account
o' their pitchin' an' joltin', but there's heaps o' money in 'em.
Dad can find fish, but he ain't no ways progressive - he don't go
with the march o' the times. They're chock-full o' labour-savin'
jigs an' sech all. 'Ever seed the Elector o' Gloucester? She's a
daisy, ef she is a toothpick."
"What do they cost, Dan?"
"Hills o' dollars. Fifteen thousand, p'haps; more, mebbe. There's
gold-leaf an' everything you kin think of." Then to himself, half
under his breath "Guess I'd call her Hattie S., too."