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Chapter 7 Gratitude.

  • 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.
  • "In oars!"
  • 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?"
  • "Yes, sir."
  • "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."