Chapter 62 THE LAST THAT WAS EVER HEARD OF HARRY BOLTON
That same afternoon, I took my comrade down to the Battery; and we sat on on_f the benches, under the summer shade of the trees.
It was a quiet, beautiful scene; full of promenading ladies and gentlemen; an_hrough the foliage, so fresh and bright, we looked out over the bay, varie_ith glancing ships; and then, we looked down to our boots; and thought what _ine world it would be, if we only had a little money to enjoy it. But that'_he everlasting rub—oh, who can cure an empty pocket?
"I have no doubt, Goodwell will take care of you, Harry," said I, "he's _ine, good-hearted fellow; and will do his best for you, I know."
"No doubt of it," said Harry, looking hopeless.
"And I need not tell you, Harry, how sorry I am to leave you so soon."
"And I am sorry enough myself," said Harry, looking very sincere.
"But I will be soon back again, I doubt not," said I.
"Perhaps so," said Harry, shaking his head. "How far is it off?"
"Only a hundred and eighty miles," said I.
"A hundred and eighty miles!" said Harry, drawing the words out like a_ndless ribbon. "Why, I couldn't walk that in a month."
"Now, my dear friend," said I, "take my advice, and while I am gone, keep up _tout heart; never despair, and all will be well."
But notwithstanding all I could say to encourage him, Harry felt so bad, tha_othing would do, but a rush to a neighboring bar, where we both gulped down _lass of ginger-pop; after which we felt better.
He accompanied me to the steamboat, that was to carry me homeward; he stuc_lose to my side, till she was about to put off; then, standing on the wharf,
he shook me by the hand, till we almost counteracted the play of the paddles;
and at last, with a mutual jerk at the arm-pits, we parted. I never saw Harr_gain.
I pass over the reception I met with at home; how I plunged into embraces,
long and loving:—I pass over this; and will conclude _my first voyage_ b_elating all I know of what overtook Harry Bolton.
Circumstances beyond my control, detained me at home for several weeks; durin_hich, I wrote to my friend, without receiving an answer.
I then wrote to young Goodwell, who returned me the following letter, no_pread before me.
_"Dear Redburn—Your poor friend, Harry, I can not find any where. After yo_eft, he called upon me several times, and we walked out together; and m_nterest in him increased every day. But you don't know how dull are the time_ere, and what multitudes of young men, well qualified, are seeking employmen_n counting-houses. I did my best; but could not get Harry a place. However, _heered him. But he grew more and more melancholy, and at last told me, tha_e had sold all his clothes but those on his back to pay his board. I offere_o loan him a few dollars, but he would not receive them. I called upon hi_wo or three times after this, but he was not in; at last, his landlady tol_e that he had permanently left her house the very day before. Upon m_uestioning her closely, as to where he had gone, she answered, that she di_ot know, but from certain hints that had dropped from our poor friend, sh_eared he had gone on a whaling voyage. I at once went to the offices i_outh-street, where men are shipped for the Nantucket whalers, and mad_nquiries among them; but without success. And this,_ I _am heartily grieve_o say, is all I know of our friend. I can not believe that his melanchol_ould bring him to the insanity of throwing himself away in a whaler; and _till think, that he must be somewhere in the city. You must come dow_ourself, and help me seek him out."_
This! letter gave me a dreadful shock. Remembering our adventure in London,
and his conduct there; remembering how liable he was to yield to the mos_udden, crazy, and contrary impulses; and that, as a friendless, penniles_oreigner in New York, he must have had the most terrible incitements t_ommitting violence upon himself; I shuddered to think, that even now, while _hought of him, he might no more be living. So strong was this impression a_he time, that I quickly glanced over the papers to see if there were an_ccounts of suicides, or drowned persons floating in the harbor of New York.
I now made all the haste I could to the seaport, but though I sought him al_ver, no tidings whatever could be heard.
To relieve my anxiety, Goodwell endeavored to assure me, that Harry mus_ndeed have departed on a whaling voyage. But remembering his bitte_xperience on board of the Highlander, and more than all, his nervousnes_bout going aloft, it seemed next to impossible.
At last I was forced to give him up.
Years after this, I found myself a sailor in the Pacific, on board of _haler. One day at sea, we spoke another whaler, and the boat's crew tha_oarded our vessel, came forward among us to have a little sea-chat, as i_lways customary upon such occasions.
Among the strangers was an Englishman, who had shipped in his vessel a_allao, for the cruise. In the course of conversation, he made allusion to th_act, that he had now been in the Pacific several years, and that the goo_raft Huntress of Nantucket had had the honor of originally bringing him roun_pon that side of the globe. I asked him why he had abandoned her; he answere_hat she was the most unlucky of ships.
"We had hardly been out three months," said he, "when on the Brazil banks w_ost a boat's crew, chasing a whale after sundown; and next day lost a poo_ittle fellow, a countryman of mine, who had never entered the boats; he fel_ver the side, and was jammed between the ship, and a whale, while we wer_utting the fish in. Poor fellow, he had a hard time of it, from th_eginning; he was a gentleman's son, and when you could coax him to it, h_ang like a bird."
"What was his name?" said I, trembling with expectation; "what kind of eye_id he have? what was the color of his hair?"
"Harry Bolton was not your brother?" cried the stranger, starting.
It was even he!
But yet, I, Wellingborough Redburn, chance to survive, after having passe_hrough far more perilous scenes than any narrated in this, _My First Voyage_