Reuben looked round, upon gaining his feet. He saw Miss Hudson standing by th_ide of her companion; who had fallen, fainting, to the ground. Mr. Hudson an_aptain Wilson, running at their full speed, were within a few paces of th_irls. They had entered a shop to make a purchase, while the ladies strolle_n; and although they had rushed out on hearing the alarm, they were too fa_ff to render assistance and, impotent to help, had seen with horror th_errible death which threatened the ladies.
Frances Hudson had not uttered a word, from the moment when the Malay rushe_own upon them; but as her father came up she turned round, and burst int_ears as he clasped her in his arms.
As soon as it was seen that the Malay was no longer dangerous, the peopl_oured out again from the houses and shops. It was no very unusual thing, i_ape Town, for the Malays to run amuck; and many of those in the street_urried off, in the direction from which the man had come, to inquire how man_ictims had fallen to his deadly crease, and to see whether any friends wer_mong them. On the Malay himself no one spared a moment's attention. A secon_remendous blow, with the policeman's club, had dashed out his brains; fo_alays running amuck were always killed upon the spot, partly in order to sav_urther trouble with them, partly to strike terror into others.
Many of the bystanders gathered round Reuben, seized him by the hand, pattin_im on the shoulder, and praising him for the courage with which he had face_he maddened savage. A minute later, Mr. Hudson forced his way through th_rowd. Miss Furley had already been raised, and carried into a shop.
"Go in with her, my dear," Mr. Hudson said to his daughter. "I will bring hi_o you directly.
"My brave fellow!" he exclaimed, as he made his way to Reuben and grasped hi_and, "how can I thank you for saving my child's life? It seemed to us tha_he was lost, and that nothing could save her; when we saw you dash past her, and throw yourself unarmed upon the madman. It was a noble deed, indeed.
"You are not badly hurt, I hope," he added, as he saw the blood streaming dow_euben's face and arm.
"Nothing to speak of, sir," Reuben replied. "At least, I think not; but I fee_ather queer from this loss of blood. I had better get myself bandaged up."
And indeed, Reuben was turning very pale, partly from the relaxation of th_ension of the struggle; partly, as he said, from loss of blood.
"Stand back!" Mr. Hudson cried, "don't press upon him. The lad is nearl_ainting. One of you help me get him into a shop. Where is the nearest surgeo_o be found?"
It was as much as Reuben could do to walk across the street, aided by his tw_upporters. A strong glass of Cape smoke (as the native spirit is called) an_ater revived him somewhat. It was some minutes before a surgeon arrived; fo_ive persons had been terribly wounded, and two killed by the Malay on hi_ourse, and the surgeons near were busily employed.
"Not very serious," the surgeon said, as soon as he examined Reuben's wounds.
"Very different affairs from those I have just come from."
"I had hold of his hand," Reuben said, "so that he couldn't strike. They ar_nly cuts he made in trying to get his arm free."
"That on your arm will not trouble you, though it has bled pretty freely. Th_ne down your face is, fortunately, of no great consequence; except that i_as cut down to the bone on the brow and cheek. If it had been an inch furthe_ack, it would have severed the temporal artery. You have had a narrow escap_f it. As it is, you will get off with a scar, which may last for some time; but as it is an honourable one, perhaps you won't so much care. However, _ill bring it together as well as I can, and stitch it up, and it may not sho_uch."
The wound was sewn up and then bandaged, as was that on the arm. The other an_lighter wounds were simply drawn together by slips of plaster. When all wa_one, Reuben said to Mr. Hudson:
"I shall do very well now, sir. I am sure you must wish to go to Miss Hudson.
I will sit here a bit longer, and then go on board the ship."
"You will do nothing of the kind," Mr. Hudson said. "I have just sent for _ehicle, and you will come to the hotel and get into bed at once. You are no_it to stand now, but I hope a good night's rest will do you good."
Reuben would have protested, but at this moment a vehicle arrived at the door, and with it Captain Wilson entered.
"I have just taken your daughter and Miss Furley to the hotel, Hudson," h_aid. "They are both greatly shaken, and no wonder. So I thought it better t_ee them back, before coming in to shake hands with our gallant young frien_ere."
"He has lost a good deal of blood, Wilson; and I am just taking him off, t_et him to bed in the hotel.
"So we won't do any thanking till the morning," Mr. Hudson said, seeing tha_euben's lip quivered, and he was incapable of bearing any further excitement.
"Do you take one of his arms and I will take the other, and get him into tha_rap."
A quarter of an hour later, Reuben was in bed at the hotel. Mr. Hudson brough_im up a basin of clear soup. Having drunk this, he turned over and was, in _ery few minutes, asleep. The captain and most of the other passengers were a_he same hotel, and there was great excitement when the news arrived of th_errible danger the two girls had run. Mrs. Hudson had, from her early life, been accustomed to emergencies; and the instant the girls arrived she too_hem up to the room they shared between them, and insisted upon their going a_nce to bed, after partaking of a cup of tea.
"What am I to do for this young fellow, Wilson?" Mr. Hudson asked as, havin_een his patient comfortably in bed, he returned downstairs, and took a sea_n the verandah by his fellow passenger. "I owe Frances' life to him, an_here is nothing I wouldn't do for him. The question is, what? One does no_ike to offer money to a man, for such a service as this."
"No," Mr. Wilson agreed, "especially in his case. The young fellow appears t_e very much above his condition. Your daughter first pointed it out to me, and I have since chatted with him several times, and find him a very superio_oung fellow. Certainly his education has been very different from that o_ost men in his condition of life, and I should have taken him for _entleman, who had got into some scrape and run away, had it not been that h_eems to have been regularly apprenticed to his trade. Still, there i_omething a little mysterious about him. I asked him casually what part of th_ountry he came from. He hesitated a moment, and then said, 'From the south o_ngland.' Of course, I did not ask any further questions, as it was clear h_id not care about naming the precise locality, or he would not have given s_ague an answer. I feel as deeply indebted to him as you do."
Mr. Hudson nodded. Only the evening before arriving at Cape Town, Captai_ilson had spoken to him on the matter of his affection for his daughter, an_ad asked his permission to speak to Frances. They had known each other in th_olony, but had not been intimate until thrown together on board th_aramatta. Seeing that she was an only child, and that her father wa_onsidered one of the wealthiest squatters in the colony, Captain Wilson ha_eared that Mr. Hudson would not approve of him as a suitor; and had therefor_roached the subject to him, before speaking to her. Mr. Hudson, however, ha_aised no objections.
"You have taken a manly and proper course, in speaking to me first," he said;
"just what I should have expected from you. I own that, with the fortune th_irl will have some day, I have always looked for her making what they call _ood match, and settling down in the old country; but I may tell you tha_hile she has been in Europe she has had several opportunities of so doing, i_he would have taken them. She did not think fit to do so, and I have alway_ade up my mind not to influence her in any way, providing she didn't fix he_hoice upon one whose character I disapproved. Certainly I have no reasons fo_o doing, in the present case. Your character stands high in the colony; an_ersonally, as you are well aware, I like you exceedingly.
"What Frances' feelings in the matter are, I have no means of knowing. Ther_s no doubt she likes you, but as to anything more, it is for you to find out.
You will have plenty of time, between this and Sydney. Anyhow, you have m_earty approval of your wooing.
"I think, between ourselves you know, you must not expect, at first, any ver_ordial approval on the part of her mother. She had an idea, you know, tha_rances would marry a duke at least, and an offer from a prince of the bloo_ould not have surprised her. It is a great disappointment, to her, that sh_hould have returned unmarried; and she has already been talking to me abou_ur returning to England, in another couple of years. So she will not tak_uite kindly to it, at first; but you mustn't mind that. Fond of Frances a_he is, she will soon come round, if she finds that the girl's happiness i_eally concerned in the matter.
"Take my advice, and don't push it till we get near the end of the voyage. I_rances says yes, she is the sort of girl to stick to it; and as I am wit_ou, you may be quite sure it will come right in the long run; but we migh_ot have a very pleasant time of it during the remainder of the voyage, yo_now, and as things have gone on so pleasantly, it would be a pity to spoi_hem."
Thus it was that Mr. Hudson nodded, when the young officer of the constabular_aid that his indebtedness to Reuben was equal to his own.
"Yes," he said, "if it had been one of the sailors, I could have set th_atter right by drawing a big cheque, and I shouldn't have cared how big; bu_ith this young fellow I do not quite see my way. However, I will shift th_esponsibility, by leaving the matter in Frances' hands—women are much bette_ands at things of this sort, that require a light touch, than we are. I d_ot wonder that she and Miss Furley are shaken. I feel shaken myself. I shal_ever forget that scene, and the two girls standing there, and that wild Mala_ushing at them. My legs seemed to give way under me, and I thought I shoul_ave fallen down."
"I felt bad myself, sir," Captain Wilson said. "I have been in some toug_ights, with bush rangers and natives; but I never had that sort of feelin_efore.
"One ran, but one felt it was no use running, as all must be over before w_ould get there. When it was over, I felt as weak as a child."
"Don't let us talk any more about it," Mr. Hudson said, rising. "I doub_hether I shall get a wink of sleep now; and I am sure I sha'n't, if we go o_alking any more about it. Let us take a turn, and have a stiff glass o_randy and water afterwards, to settle our nerves before turning in."
The passengers by the Paramatta were up early in the morning, for the ship wa_o sail at nine. But early as they were, Reuben was before them; and on Mr.
Hudson inquiring about him, as he turned out, he was informed that he ha_lready gone on board the ship.
The two girls both looked pale, when they came down to their early breakfast.
Both declared, however, that they had slept well.
"You must give us time, dad, to get up our roses," Frances Hudson said, i_eply to her father's remarks as to their appearance. "I have no doubt a fe_ays at sea will do it; but of course, it is only right and proper that youn_adies should be pale, after going through such an adventure as we ha_esterday.
"But do not let us talk about it," she said, with a shudder. "I should lik_ot to be able to think about it, again, for six months. You used to say, dad, that I was plucky, because I wasn't afraid of wild cattle, and not very afrai_f the natives or bush rangers; but I am sure I cannot lay claim to an_pecial courage in future, for no one in the world could feel more frightene_han I did, yesterday."
"Well, my dear, you were no worse than anyone else, for everyone else bolte_t the first alarm. The way that street was cleared was something marvellous."
"Yes, dad; but I was too frightened to run. Not that it would have been an_se if I had, for he was close to us before we knew what was the matter; an_f I could have run, I don't think Emma could."
"No, indeed," Miss Furley said. "I had no idea of running and, even had ther_een plenty of time, I am sure I could not have got out of the way. Somehow _eemed to lose all power to move. I had just shut my eyes, and thought it wa_ll over, when there was a shout and a rush, and I saw the Malay roll over; and then I made a snatch at Frances, and rolled over, too."
"It was a terrible moment," Mr. Hudson said. "But I agree, with Frances, tha_t is better for you to try and think nothing more about it, until you hav_erfectly recovered your health and spirits."
"I hear, dad, that the young man that saved us has gone on board ship. _sked, directly I was up, because I wanted to see him."
"And I expect, my dear, that he slipped away because he didn't want to se_ou. It sounds rude, doesn't it? But I can perfectly understand it."
"So can I," the girl agreed. "Did you see him this morning?"
"No, my dear. I came downstairs only a minute or two before you did, and the_ound that he was gone."
"Have you thought over what you are going to do, dad, for him?"
"Wilson and I have talked it over, Frances, but at present we don't see ou_ay. It is too serious a matter to make up our minds in a hurry. Your mothe_s in favour of giving him a handsome present; but I don't think, myself, tha_hat would do. Men who will do such deeds as that are not the sort of men t_e paid by money."
"Oh no, dad! Surely not that. Any other possible way, but not money."
"No, my dear; so I thought. I have chatted it over with Wilson, and we hav_greed that the best plan is to leave it entirely in your hands."
"I will think it over, dad," the girl said gravely. "It is a serious thing. W_we him our lives, and the least we can do is not to hurt his feelings, by th_ay in which we try to show our gratitude."
Reuben had slept well; and on waking, soon after daylight, jumped at once ou_f bed; and was glad to feel that, except for a certain amount of weakness i_he legs, and stiffness in his wounds, he was all right again. He dresse_uietly and, as soon as he heard persons moving about in the hotel, made hi_ay down to the shore, and sat down there to wait for a boat from the ship; which was lying some distance out, and would, he was sure, be sending of_arly, as there would be many things to bring on board before she sailed.
It was not long before he saw the men descending the gangway to the boa_longside, which was soon rowing towards the shore. As she approached, Reube_aw the steward and first mate, sitting in the stern seats; and when th_fficer jumped ashore, his eye fell on Reuben.
"Ah, Whitney," he said, "I am glad to see you about. When the captain cam_ff, last night, he told me all about your gallant rescue of the two ladies. _m sorry to see you bandaged up so much. The captain said you had some nast_uts, but I didn't think they were so bad."
"They are nothing to speak about, sir," Reuben replied, "although you woul_hink so, from seeing those bandages all over one side of the face, and my ar_n a sling; but they are no great depth, and don't hurt to speak of. They wer_lean cuts with a sharp edge, and don't hurt half as much as many a knock _ave had, with a hammer."
"Well, we all feel proud of you, my lad. It isn't everyone who would face _alay running amuck, without weapons, I can tell you."
"I think any English sailor would do so, sir, if he saw the Malay rushing dow_pon two ladies. There was no time to think about danger, one way or th_ther. The only thing to be done was to rush at him, and so I rushed, a_nyone else would have done."
"Ah, it's all very well to say so, Whitney; but I have my doubts abou_veryone else rushing. However, I mustn't stand talking about it now, as _ave my hands full of work. The sooner you get on board the ship, the better.
"Row Whitney back to the ship, lads, and come back again in an hour's time.
None of the things will be down here before that."
Reuben stepped into the boat, which at once pushed off. The men rowed easily, for they were anxious to hear the particulars of the report which ha_irculated through the ship. Bill Hardy was rowing the stroke oar, and did th_uestioning.
"You may try to make little of it," he said, "but I tell you, Reuben, it wer_ right down good thing—a thing any man would have right to be proud of.
"What do you say, mates?"
There was a general chorus of "Ay, ay."
"I took you in hand when you came on board, young un," Bill went on, "and _ooks upon you as my chick, and I tell you I feel proud on you. I felt sur_ou would turn out a good un, some day, but I didn't look to see it so quick.
The boat ran up alongside the gangway, and Reuben was soon upon deck. He wa_here met by the captain, who had just come up as the boat rowed alongside. H_hook Reuben's hand heartily.
"You are a fine young fellow, Whitney; and your mother, if you have one, ough_o be proud of you. I should be, if you were a son of mine. It was a lucky da_or us all, when I shipped you on board the Paramatta; for it would have bee_ heavy day for us, if those two young ladies had been killed by that madman, yesterday.
"You look pale, lad, as much as one can see of you, and you will have to li_y for a bit. I hear you lost a great deal of blood.
"Steward, bring another cup of cocoa with mine, a large one, and put plenty o_ilk in."
The captain insisted on Reuben coming to his cabin to drink his cocoa.
"You had best knock off your allowance of spirits, till your wounds hav_ealed up, lad. I will tell the second mate to serve you out port wine, instead."
Reuben now went forward, feeling very much the better for the cocoa. He agai_ad to receive the hearty congratulations of the men; and then, rather t_scape from this than because he felt he needed it, he turned into his bunk, and was soon sound asleep.
Three hours later, he was awakened by the tramp of men overhead, and knew tha_hey were shortening the anchor chain, and preparing to be off. Going out o_o the deck, he saw that the courses had been dropped, and the topsails wer_ying loose in their gaskets. The crew were singing merrily, as they worke_he capstan. Three of the boats already hung from the davits, and two larg_oats were bringing off the passengers, and were already within a hundre_ards of the ship; while the remaining ship's boat, with the steward, crowde_ith fresh stores, was but a short way behind them. As soon as the passenger_ere up, and the shore boats had left, she came alongside.
"Hook on the falls at once," the first mate ordered, "and run her up as sh_s. You can get the things out afterwards."
The anchor was, by this time, under the foot.
"Up with it, lads!" and the sailors again started, at full speed, on th_apstan.
The jibs were run up, the courses and topsails shaken out and braced, and th_aramatta began to steal through the water again, for the second portion o_er voyage. Mr. Hudson and his friend very soon made their way forward, an_he ship was scarcely under way when Reuben, who was gazing over the bulwar_t the shore, felt a hand laid on his shoulder.
"How are you today, Reuben? Better, I hope? It was too bad of you to run of_n that way, this morning."
"I am all right now, thank you, sir," Reuben answered. "I felt just a littl_haky at first, but the captain gave me a cup of cocoa when I came on board, and I feel now as if I were fit for duty again."
"Oh, nonsense," Mr. Hudson exclaimed, "you mustn't think of work, for day_et. No, you must come aft with me. My daughter and Miss Furley are mos_nxious to see you; and my wife, too, is longing to add her thanks to mine."
"You are very good, sir, but really I would rather not, if you will excuse me.
It is horrid being thanked and made a fuss about, just because, on the spur o_he moment, one did one's duty."
"That's all very well, Reuben; but you see, it wouldn't be fair to m_aughter. If anyone did you a great service, you would want to thank them, would you not?"
"Yes, I suppose so, sir," Reuben answered reluctantly; "but really, I hat_t."
"I can understand your feelings, my lad, but you must make up your mind to d_t. When anyone puts others under a vast obligation to him, he must submit t_e thanked, however much he may shrink from it. Come along, it will not b_ery dreadful."
Reuben saw that there was no getting out of it, and followed Mr. Hudson alon_he deck; feeling, however, more ashamed and uncomfortable even than he di_hen standing in the dock, as a criminal. Captain Wilson walked beside him.
Hitherto he had not spoken, but he now laid his hand quietly upon Reuben'_houlder.
"My lad," he said, "I am not a man to talk much; but believe me that, henceforth, I am your friend for life."
Reuben looked up, with a little smile which showed that he understood. He ha_ften, indeed, watched the young officer and Miss Hudson together, and ha_uessed that they were more than mere acquaintances.
The passengers were, with the exception of the three ladies, all gathered o_he poop. But Frances had proposed to her mother that they should see Reube_n the cabin alone, as she felt that it would be a severe ordeal, to the lad, to be publicly thanked. Captain Wilson ascended to the poop and joined th_thers there, while Mr. Hudson went alone into the cabin.
The three ladies were awaiting him there. Frances came forward first. Th_ears were standing in her eyes.
"You have saved my life," she said softly, "at the risk of your own; and _hank you with all my heart, not only for my own sake, but for that of m_ather and mother; who would have been childless, today, had it not been fo_ou."
"I need no thanks, Miss Hudson," Reuben said quietly.
His shyness had left him, as he entered the cabin.
"It will, all my life, be a source of pleasure and gratification to me, that _ave been able to have been of service to so bright and kind a lady."
"I am not less grateful," Miss Furley said, advancing also. "I shall neve_orget that dreadful moment, and the feeling which darted through my mind, a_ou rushed past us and threw yourself upon him, and I felt that I was save_lmost by a miracle."
"And you must accept my thanks also," Mrs. Hudson said; "the thanks of _other, whose child you have saved from so dreadful a death. Believe me tha_here is nothing that my husband or myself would not do, to show how deepl_nd sincerely we are grateful to you."
Mrs. Hudson, indeed, felt rather aggrieved that she could not, at once, tak_ome active steps towards rewarding the young man for saving her daughter'_ife; and she had been unable to understand the scruples of her husband an_aughter on the subject. It was only, indeed, at their urgent entreaty tha_he had given way on this point.
"I call it monstrous, Frances," she said, almost angrily. "Of course the youn_an will expect something more substantial than words. It is only natural tha_e should reward him for preserving your life, and it would be a crime if w_idn't do so. Of course, he didn't do it for money at the time, but it i_bsurd to suppose that a young carpenter like this, working his way out o_oard a ship, will object to receive a handsome present for such a service a_his. Our feelings have a right to be considered, as well as his; and a nic_hing it will be, for people to say that Ralph Hudson and his wife were s_tingy, and ungrateful, that they did nothing for the lad who had saved thei_aughter's life."
"There is no fear of their saying that, mother. Everyone in the colony know_hat there are no more open-handed people in New South Wales than you and m_ather. Besides, I do not say that we are to do nothing for him. On th_ontrary, I agree with you that it would be wrong, indeed, if we did not. _nly say, please don't let there be a word said about reward, now. Let u_hank him as one would thank a gentleman, who had done us a great service."
"Of course, I will do as your father wishes, Frances, but I call it nonsense.
If he were a gentleman it would, of course, be different; but he is a youn_arpenter and, though you won't see it, that seems to me to make all th_ifference."
"From what I have seen of him, mother," Frances persisted, "I am sure that h_as the feelings of a gentleman; even if he is not one by birth, about which _m not certain. Anyhow, I am much obliged to you for letting me have my ow_ay."
"You always do have your own way, Frances," her mother laughed. "You get roun_our father first, and then you come to me, and what can I do against the tw_f you?"
Reuben briefly answered Miss Furley and Mrs. Hudson; and Mr. Hudson, feelin_hat the lad would rather get over the scene as soon as possible, slipped hi_rm though his and said:
"Now, Reuben, you must just come up for a minute on the poop. The othe_assengers are all waiting to shake you by the hand, and they would no_orgive me if I were to let you run off, as I know you are wanting to do, without a word."
Accordingly Reuben was taken up to the poop, where the passengers all shoo_ands with him, and congratulated him upon his courage.
"Now, I suppose I can go, sir," he said, with a smile to Mr. Hudson, when thi_as over.
"Yes, you can go now," Mr. Hudson laughed. "Most young fellows at your ag_ould be glad of an opportunity for figuring as a hero, but you talk as if i_as one of the most painful businesses imaginable."
"Anyhow, I am glad it's over, Mr. Hudson, I can assure you; and now, I think _ill turn in again. Considering what a night I had, I feel wonderfull_leepy."
It was not until the sun was setting that Reuben appeared again on deck.
Shortly after he did so, Captain Wilson strolled up to the place where he wa_tanding.
"I wish, Reuben," he said, after a few remarks on other subjects, "that yo_ould tell me a little more about yourself. You understand that I do not as_rom mere inquisitiveness; but after what has happened, you see, we seem t_ave got into close relationship with each other; and if I knew more abou_ou, I could the easier see in what way I could most really be useful to you, out there. Are you what you appear to be?"
"I am, indeed," Reuben replied, with a smile. "My history is a very simpl_ne. My father was a miller with a good business and, up to the age of ten, i_id not appear that I should ever be working as a craftsman for my living.
Unhappily, at that time my father slipped, one night, into the mill pond an_as drowned; and when his affairs came to be wound up, it was found that h_ad speculated disastrously in wheat; and that, after paying all claims, ther_as nothing left.
"My mother took a little village shop, and I went to the village school. A_irst, I think I did not work very hard; but fortunately there was a change i_asters, and the new one turned out one of the best friends a boy ever had. H_ushed me on greatly and, when I was apprenticed to a mill wright, he urged m_o continue my education by working of an evening. I stuck to it hard, an_ith his help learned, therefore, a good deal more than was usual, in m_tation of life. My mother was always particular about my speaking and, wha_ith that and the books, I suppose I talk better than they generally do."
"And is your mother alive?"
"But how came you to think of emigrating, at your age; when indeed, you canno_ave served out your full time?"
"That, sir," Reuben said gravely, "I cannot tell you. Some day, perhaps, i_ou care to know, I may bring myself to do so. I may say that it was a seriou_atter, but that I was really in no way to blame, whatever people may think.
My conscience is absolutely clear, and yet I would rather that the story, which I left England to escape, should not be known to anyone."
"I do not seek to know further, Reuben. I think I know enough of you to b_erfectly sure that you would do nothing that was wrong, and I am perfectl_illing to take your word in the matter. However, I am glad that you have tol_e as much as you have. Your early rearing, your mother's care, and th_ducation you have had, perfectly account for what seemed strange about yo_efore. You have no objection, I hope, to my repeating your story to Mr.
Hudson, who is as much interested in you as I am.
"And now another thing. I know that it is painful, to him, that one to whom h_s so indebted should be forward here in the forecastle, instead of being i_he cabin. He was afraid of hurting your feelings, by speaking to you abou_t; but I know that it would be a great relief and pleasure, to him and Mrs.
Hudson, if you would allow them to make an arrangement with the captain that, for the remainder of the voyage, you should be a passenger."
"I am much obliged to them," Reuben said quietly; "but I could not think o_ccepting such an offer. I am working my way out independently, sir, and I ow_o one anything. I am really enjoying the passage, and so far there has bee_o hardship worth speaking of. Even putting aside the fact that I should no_ike to accept an obligation which would, to most people, look like a paymen_or the service I was fortunate enough to be able to render to Mr. Hudson, _hould feel out of my element. I am very comfortable, and get on very wel_ith the men; while in the cabin I should feel strange, and out of place."
"I don't think you would seem out of place anywhere, Reuben. No one, from you_anner and conversation, would judge you to be otherwise than a gentleman b_irth; while there are several of the passengers, aft, whose talk and method_f expression are by no means up to the level of yours."
"I should feel uncomfortable myself," Reuben said, "even if I didn't mak_ther people uncomfortable. So I think that, with all gratitude for the offer, I would very much rather remain as I am. Accustomed as I have been to har_ork, during my apprenticeship, the life here appears to be exceedingly easy."
"Then we will say no more about it," Captain Wilson said. "It would have bee_ pleasure, both to me and the Hudsons, to have you aft, and I am sure yo_ould be well received by all the passengers. However, as you think you woul_ot be comfortable, we will let the matter drop.
"However, as to your work in the colony, we must have a say in that; and _ope that, when I thoroughly understand your wishes, we shall be able to hel_ou forward there."
"For that I shall be extremely obliged, sir. It would be a great thing, indeed, for anyone on landing to have gentlemen ready to assist him, and pus_im forward. This is so at home, and is of course still more the case in _trange country. I am very anxious to get on, and am ready to work my hardest, to deserve any kindness that may be shown me."
"Well, we shall have plenty of time to think it over before we arrive.
"I fancy," Captain Wilson went on, looking upwards at the sky, "that ou_onderful run of good luck, with regard to the weather, is likely to en_hortly, and that we are in for a gale."
"Do you think so, sir?"
"I do, indeed; and if we do get a gale, it is likely to be a serious one. Th_ape, you know, was much feared for its terrible storms by the Portuguese, an_t has kept up its reputation ever since. I think it is going to give us _aste of its quality."