… I left Ruthven (it's hardly necessary to remark) with much greate_atisfaction than I had come to it; but whether I missed my way in th_eserts, or whether my companions failed me, I soon found myself alone. Thi_as a predicament very disagreeable; for I never understood this horri_ountry or savage people, and the last stroke of the Prince's withdrawal ha_ade us of the Irish more unpopular than ever. I was reflecting on my poo_hances, when I saw another horseman on the hill, whom I supposed at first t_ave been a phantom, the news of his death in the very front at Culloden bein_urrent in the army generally. This was the Master of Ballantrae, my Lor_urrisdeer's son, a young nobleman of the rarest gallantry and parts, an_qually designed by nature to adorn a Court and to reap laurels in the field.
Our meeting was the more welcome to both, as he was one of the few Scots wh_ad used the Irish with consideration, and as he might now be of very hig_tility in aiding my escape. Yet what founded our particular friendship was _ircumstance, by itself as romantic as any fable of King Arthur.
This was on the second day of our flight, after we had slept one night in th_ain upon the inclination of a mountain. There was an Appin man, Alan Blac_tewart (or some such name, but I have seen him since in France) who chance_o be passing the same way, and had a jealousy of my companion. Very uncivi_xpressions were exchanged; and Stewart calls upon the Master to alight an_ave it out.
"Why, Mr. Stewart," says the Master, "I think at the present time I woul_refer to run a race with you." And with the word claps spurs to his horse.
Stewart ran after us, a childish thing to do, for more than a mile; and _ould not help laughing, as I looked back at last and saw him on a hill, holding his hand to his side, and nearly burst with running.
"But, all the same," I could not help saying to my companion, "I would let n_an run after me for any such proper purpose, and not give him his desire. I_as a good jest, but it smells a trifle cowardly."
He bent his brows at me. "I do pretty well," says he, "when I saddle mysel_ith the most unpopular man in Scotland, and let that suffice for courage."
"O, bedad," says I, "I could show you a more unpopular with the naked eye. An_f you like not my company, you can 'saddle' yourself on some one else."
"Colonel Burke," says he, "do not let us quarrel; and, to that effect, let m_ssure you I am the least patient man in the world."
"I am as little patient as yourself," said I. "I care not who knows that."
"At this rate," says he, reining in, "we shall not go very far. And I propos_e do one of two things upon the instant: either quarrel and be done; or mak_ sure bargain to bear everything at each other's hands."
"Like a pair of brothers?" said I.
"I said no such foolishness," he replied. "I have a brother of my own, and _hink no more of him than of a colewort. But if we are to have our nose_ubbed together in this course of flight, let us each dare to be ourselve_ike savages, and each swear that he will neither resent nor deprecate th_ther. I am a pretty bad fellow at bottom, and I find the pretence of virtue_ery irksome."
"O, I am as bad as yourself," said I. "There is no skim milk in Francis Burke.
But which is it to be? Fight or make friends?"
"Why," says be, "I think it will be the best manner to spin a coin for it."
This proposition was too highly chivalrous not to take my fancy; and, strang_s it may seem of two well-born gentlemen of to-day, we span a half-crown (like a pair of ancient paladins) whether we were to cut each other's throat_r be sworn friends. A more romantic circumstance can rarely have occurred; and it is one of those points in my memoirs, by which we may see the old tale_f Homer and the poets are equally true to-day - at least, of the noble an_enteel. The coin fell for peace, and we shook hands upon our bargain. An_hen it was that my companion explained to me his thought in running away fro_r. Stewart, which was certainly worthy of his political intellect. The repor_f his death, he said, was a great guard to him; Mr. Stewart having recognise_im, had become a danger; and he had taken the briefest road to tha_entleman's silence. "For," says he, "Alan Black is too vain a man to narrat_ny such story of himself."
Towards afternoon we came down to the shores of that loch for which we wer_eading; and there was the ship, but newly come to anchor. She was the SAINTE- MARIE-DES-ANGES, out of the port of Havre-de- Grace. The Master, after we ha_ignalled for a boat, asked me if I knew the captain. I told him he was _ountryman of mine, of the most unblemished integrity, but, I was afraid, _ather timorous man.
"No matter," says he. "For all that, he should certainly hear the truth."
I asked him if he meant about the battle? for if the captain once knew th_tandard was down, he would certainly put to sea again at once.
"And even then!" said he; "the arms are now of no sort of utility."
"My dear man," said I, "who thinks of the arms? But, to be sure, we mus_emember our friends. They will be close upon our heels, perhaps the Princ_imself, and if the ship be gone, a great number of valuable lives may b_mperilled."
"The captain and the crew have lives also, if you come to that," say_allantrae.
This I declared was but a quibble, and that I would not hear of the captai_eing told; and then it was that Ballantrae made me a witty answer, for th_ake of which (and also because I have been blamed myself in this business o_he SAINTE-MARIE-DES-ANGES) I have related the whole conversation as i_assed.
"Frank," says he, "remember our bargain. I must not object to your holdin_our tongue, which I hereby even encourage you to do; but, by the same terms, you are not to resent my telling."
I could not help laughing at this; though I still forewarned him what woul_ome of it.
"The devil may come of it for what I care," says the reckless fellow. "I hav_lways done exactly as I felt inclined."
As is well known, my prediction came true. The captain had no sooner heard th_ews than he cut his cable and to sea again; and before morning broke, we wer_n the Great Minch.
The ship was very old; and the skipper, although the most honest of men (an_rish too), was one of the least capable. The wind blew very boisterous, an_he sea raged extremely. All that day we had little heart whether to eat o_rink; went early to rest in some concern of mind; and (as if to give us _esson) in the night the wind chopped suddenly into the north-east, and blew _urricane. We were awaked by the dreadful thunder of the tempest and th_tamping of the mariners on deck; so that I supposed our last hour wa_ertainly come; and the terror of my mind was increased out of all measure b_allantrae, who mocked at my devotions. It is in hours like these that a ma_f any piety appears in his true light, and we find (what we are taught a_abes) the small trust that can be set in worldly friends. I would be unworth_f my religion if I let this pass without particular remark. For three days w_ay in the dark in the cabin, and had but a biscuit to nibble. On the fourt_he wind fell, leaving the ship dismasted and heaving on vast billows. Th_aptain had not a guess of whither we were blown; he was stark ignorant of hi_rade, and could do naught but bless the Holy Virgin; a very good thing, too, but scarce the whole of seamanship. It seemed, our one hope was to be picke_p by another vessel; and if that should prove to be an English ship, it migh_e no great blessing to the Master and myself.
The fifth and sixth days we tossed there helpless. The seventh some sail wa_ot on her, but she was an unwieldy vessel at the best, and we made little bu_eeway. All the time, indeed, we had been drifting to the south and west, an_uring the tempest must have driven in that direction with unheard-o_iolence. The ninth dawn was cold and black, with a great sea running, an_very mark of foul weather. In this situation we were overjoyed to sight _mall ship on the horizon, and to perceive her go about and head for th_AINTE-MARIE. But our gratification did not very long endure; for when she ha_aid to and lowered a boat, it was immediately filled with disorderly fellows, who sang and shouted as they pulled across to us, and swarmed in on our dec_ith bare cutlasses, cursing loudly. Their leader was a horrible villain, wit_is face blacked and his whiskers curled in ringlets; Teach, his name; a mos_otorious pirate. He stamped about the deck, raving and crying out that hi_ame was Satan, and his ship was called Hell. There was something about hi_ike a wicked child or a half-witted person, that daunted me beyon_xpression. I whispered in the ear of Ballantrae that I would not be the las_o volunteer, and only prayed God they might be short of hands; he approved m_urpose with a nod.
"Bedad," said I to Master Teach, "if you are Satan, here is a devil for ye."
The word pleased him; and (not to dwell upon these shocking incidents) Ballantrae and I and two others were taken for recruits, while the skipper an_ll the rest were cast into the sea by the method of walking the plank. It wa_he first time I had seen this done; my heart died within me at the spectacle; and Master Teach or one of his acolytes (for my head was too much lost to b_recise) remarked upon my pale face in a very alarming manner. I had th_trength to cut a step or two of a jig, and cry out some ribaldry, which save_e for that time; but my legs were like water when I must get down into th_kiff among these miscreants; and what with my horror of my company and fea_f the monstrous billows, it was all I could do to keep an Irish tongue an_reak a jest or two as we were pulled aboard. By the blessing of God, ther_as a fiddle in the pirate ship, which I had no sooner seen than I fell upon; and in my quality of crowder I had the heavenly good luck to get favour i_heir eyes. CROWDING PAT was the name they dubbed me with; and it was little _ared for a name so long as my skin was whole.
What kind of a pandemonium that vessel was, I cannot describe, but she wa_ommanded by a lunatic, and might be called a floating Bedlam. Drinking, roaring, singing, quarrelling, dancing, they were never all sober at one time; and there were days together when, if a squall had supervened, it must hav_ent us to the bottom; or if a king's ship had come along, it would have foun_s quite helpless for defence. Once or twice we sighted a sail, and, if w_ere sober enough, overhauled it, God forgive us! and if we were all to_runk, she got away, and I would bless the saints under my breath. Teac_uled, if you can call that rule which brought no order, by the terror h_reated; and I observed the man was very vain of his position. I have know_arshals of France - ay, and even Highland chieftains - that were less openl_uffed up; which throws a singular light on the pursuit of honour and glory.
Indeed, the longer we live, the more we perceive the sagacity of Aristotle an_he other old philosophers; and though I have all my life been eager fo_egitimate distinctions, I can lay my hand upon my heart, at the end of m_areer, and declare there is not one - no, nor yet life itself - which i_orth acquiring or preserving at the slightest cost of dignity.
It was long before I got private speech of Ballantrae; but at length one nigh_e crept out upon the boltsprit, when the rest were better employed, an_ommiserated our position.
"None can deliver us but the saints," said I.
"My mind is very different," said Ballantrae; "for I am going to delive_yself. This Teach is the poorest creature possible; we make no profit of him, and lie continually open to capture; and," says he, "I am not going to be _arry pirate for nothing, nor yet to hang in chains if I can help it." And h_old me what was in his mind to better the state of the ship in the way o_iscipline, which would give us safety for the present, and a sooner hope o_eliverance when they should have gained enough and should break up thei_ompany.
I confessed to him ingenuously that my nerve was quite shook amid thes_orrible surroundings, and I durst scarce tell him to count upon me.
"I am not very easy frightened," said he, "nor very easy beat."
A few days after, there befell an accident which had nearly hanged us all; an_ffers the most extraordinary picture of the folly that ruled in our concerns.
We were all pretty drunk: and some bedlamite spying a sail, Teach put the shi_bout in chase without a glance, and we began to bustle up the arms and boas_f the horrors that should follow. I observed Ballantrae stood quiet in th_ows, looking under the shade of his hand; but for my part, true to my polic_mong these savages, I was at work with the busiest and passing Irish jest_or their diversion.
"Run up the colours," cries Teach. "Show the -s the Jolly Roger!"
It was the merest drunken braggadocio at such a stage, and might have lost u_ valuable prize; but I thought it no part of mine to reason, and I ran up th_lack flag with my own hand.
Ballantrae steps presently aft with a smile upon his face.
"You may perhaps like to know, you drunken dog," says he, "that you ar_hasing a king's ship."
Teach roared him the lie; but he ran at the same time to the bulwarks, and s_id they all. I have never seen so many drunken men struck suddenly sober. Th_ruiser had gone about, upon our impudent display of colours; she was jus_hen filling on the new tack; her ensign blew out quite plain to see; and eve_s we stared, there came a puff of smoke, and then a report, and a sho_lunged in the waves a good way short of us. Some ran to the ropes, and go_he SARAH round with an incredible swiftness. One fellow fell on the ru_arrel, which stood broached upon the deck, and rolled it promptly overboard.
On my part, I made for the Jolly Roger, struck it, tossed it in the sea; an_ould have flung myself after, so vexed was I with our mismanagement. As fo_each, he grew as pale as death, and incontinently went down to his cabin.
Only twice he came on deck that afternoon; went to the taffrail; took a lon_ook at the king's ship, which was still on the horizon heading after us; an_hen, without speech, back to his cabin. You may say he deserted us; and if i_ad not been for one very capable sailor we had on board, and for th_ightness of the airs that blew all day, we must certainly have gone to th_ard-arm.
It is to be supposed Teach was humiliated, and perhaps alarmed for hi_osition with the crew; and the way in which he set about regaining what h_ad lost, was highly characteristic of the man. Early next day we smelled hi_urning sulphur in his cabin and crying out of "Hell, hell!" which was wel_nderstood among the crew, and filled their minds with apprehension. Presentl_e comes on deck, a perfect figure of fun, his face blacked, his hair an_hiskers curled, his belt stuck full of pistols; chewing bits of glass so tha_he blood ran down his chin, and brandishing a dirk. I do not know if he ha_aken these manners from the Indians of America, where he was a native; bu_uch was his way, and he would always thus announce that he was wound up t_orrid deeds. The first that came near him was the fellow who had sent the ru_verboard the day before; him he stabbed to the heart, damning him for _utineer; and then capered about the body, raving and swearing and daring u_o come on. It was the silliest exhibition; and yet dangerous too, for th_owardly fellow was plainly working himself up to another murder.
All of a sudden Ballantrae stepped forth. "Have done with this play-acting,"
says he. "Do you think to frighten us with making faces? We saw nothing of yo_esterday, when you were wanted; and we did well without you, let me tell yo_hat."
There was a murmur and a movement in the crew, of pleasure and alarm, _hought, in nearly equal parts. As for Teach, he gave a barbarous howl, an_wung his dirk to fling it, an art in which (like many seamen) he was ver_xpert.
"Knock that out of his hand!" says Ballantrae, so sudden and sharp that my ar_beyed him before my mind had understood.
Teach stood like one stupid, never thinking on his pistols.
"Go down to your cabin," cries Ballantrae, "and come on deck again when yo_re sober. Do you think we are going to hang for you, you black-faced, half- witted, drunken brute and butcher? Go down!" And he stamped his foot at hi_ith such a sudden smartness that Teach fairly ran for it to the companion.
"And now, mates," says Ballantrae, "a word with you. I don't know if you ar_entlemen of fortune for the fun of the thing, but I am not. I want to mak_oney, and get ashore again, and spend it like a man. And on one thing my min_s made up: I will not hang if I can help it. Come: give me a hint; I'm only _eginner! Is there no way to get a little discipline and common sense abou_his business?"
One of the men spoke up: he said by rights they should have a quartermaster; and no sooner was the word out of his mouth than they were all of tha_pinion. The thing went by acclamation, Ballantrae was made quartermaster, th_um was put in his charge, laws were passed in imitation of those of a pirat_y the name of Roberts, and the last proposal was to make an end of Teach. Bu_allantrae was afraid of a more efficient captain, who might be _ounterweight to himself, and he opposed this stoutly. Teach, he said, wa_ood enough to board ships and frighten fools with his blacked face an_wearing; we could scarce get a better man than Teach for that; and besides, as the man was now disconsidered and as good as deposed, we might reduce hi_roportion of the plunder. This carried it; Teach's share was cut down to _ere derision, being actually less than mine; and there remained only tw_oints: whether he would consent, and who was to announce to him thi_esolution.
"Do not let that stick you," says Ballantrae, "I will do that."
And he stepped to the companion and down alone into the cabin to face tha_runken savage.
"This is the man for us," cries one of the hands. "Three cheers for th_uartermaster!" which were given with a will, my own voice among the loudest, and I dare say these plaudits had their effect on Master Teach in the cabin, as we have seen of late days how shouting in the streets may trouble even th_inds of legislators.
What passed precisely was never known, though some of the heads of it came t_he surface later on; and we were all amazed, as well as gratified, whe_allantrae came on deck with Teach upon his arm, and announced that all ha_een consented.
I pass swiftly over those twelve or fifteen months in which we continued t_eep the sea in the North Atlantic, getting our food and water from the ship_e over-hauled, and doing on the whole a pretty fortunate business. Sure, n_ne could wish to read anything so ungenteel as the memoirs of a pirate, eve_n unwilling one like me! Things went extremely better with our designs, an_allantrae kept his lead, to my admiration, from that day forth. I would b_empted to suppose that a gentleman must everywhere be first, even aboard _over: but my birth is every whit as good as any Scottish lord's, and I am no_shamed to confess that I stayed Crowding Pat until the end, and was not muc_etter than the crew's buffoon. Indeed, it was no scene to bring out m_erits. My health suffered from a variety of reasons; I was more at home t_he last on a horse's back than a ship's deck; and, to be ingenuous, the fea_f the sea was constantly in my mind, battling with the fear of my companions.
I need not cry myself up for courage; I have done well on many fields unde_he eyes of famous generals, and earned my late advancement by an act of th_ost distinguished valour before many witnesses. But when we must proceed o_ne of our abordages, the heart of Francis Burke was in his boots; the littl_ggshell skiff in which we must set forth, the horrible heaving of the vas_illows, the height of the ship that we must scale, the thought of how man_ight be there in garrison upon their legitimate defence, the scowling heaven_hich (in that climate) so often looked darkly down upon our exploits, and th_ere crying of the wind in my ears, were all considerations most unpalatabl_o my valour. Besides which, as I was always a creature of the nices_ensibility, the scenes that must follow on our success tempted me as littl_s the chances of defeat. Twice we found women on board; and though I hav_een towns sacked, and of late days in France some very horrid public tumults, there was something in the smallness of the numbers engaged, and the blea_angerous sea-surroundings, that made these acts of piracy far the mos_evolting. I confess ingenuously I could never proceed unless I was thre_arts drunk; it was the same even with the crew; Teach himself was fit for n_nterprise till he was full of rum; and it was one of the most difficult part_f Ballantrae's performance, to serve us with liquor in the proper quantities.
Even this he did to admiration; being upon the whole the most capable man _ver met with, and the one of the most natural genius. He did not even scrap_avour with the crew, as I did, by continual buffoonery made upon a ver_nxious heart; but preserved on most occasions a great deal of gravity an_istance; so that he was like a parent among a family of young children, or _choolmaster with his boys. What made his part the harder to perform, the me_ere most inveterate grumblers; Ballantrae's discipline, little as it was, wa_et irksome to their love of licence; and what was worse, being kept sobe_hey had time to think. Some of them accordingly would fall to repenting thei_bominable crimes; one in particular, who was a good Catholic, and with whom _ould sometimes steal apart for prayer; above all in bad weather, fogs, lashing rain and the like, when we would be the less observed; and I am sur_o two criminals in the cart have ever performed their devotions with mor_nxious sincerity. But the rest, having no such grounds of hope, fell t_nother pastime, that of computation. All day long they would he telling u_heir shares or grooming over the result. I have said we were prett_ortunate. But an observation fails to be made: that in this world, in n_usiness that I have tried, do the profits rise to a man's expectations. W_ound many ships and took many; yet few of them contained much money, thei_oods were usually nothing to our purpose - what did we want with a cargo o_loughs, or even of tobacco? - and it is quite a painful reflection how man_hole crews we have made to walk the plank for no more than a stock of biscui_r an anker or two of spirit.
In the meanwhile our ship was growing very foul, and it was high time w_hould make for our PORT DE CARRENAGE, which was in the estuary of a rive_mong swamps. It was openly understood that we should then break up and go an_quander our proportions of the spoil; and this made every man greedy of _ittle more, so that our decision was delayed from day to day. What finall_ecided matters, was a trifling accident, such as an ignorant person migh_uppose incidental to our way of life. But here I must explain: on only one o_ll the ships we boarded, the first on which we found women, did we meet wit_ny genuine resistance. On that occasion we had two men killed and severa_njured, and if it had not been for the gallantry of Ballantrae we had surel_een beat back at last. Everywhere else the defence (where there was any a_ll) was what the worst troops in Europe would have laughed at; so that th_ost dangerous part of our employment was to clamber up the side of the ship; and I have even known the poor souls on board to cast us a line, so eager wer_hey to volunteer instead of walking the plank. This constant immunity ha_ade our fellows very soft, so that I understood how Teach had made so deep _ark upon their minds; for indeed the company of that lunatic was the chie_anger in our way of life. The accident to which I have referred was this:- W_ad sighted a little full-rigged ship very close under our board in a haze; she sailed near as well as we did - I should be nearer truth if I said, nea_s ill; and we cleared the bow-chaser to see if we could bring a spar or tw_bout their ears. The swell was exceeding great; the motion of the ship beyon_escription; it was little wonder if our gunners should fire thrice and b_till quite broad of what they aimed at. But in the meanwhile the chase ha_leared a stern gun, the thickness of the air concealing them; and bein_etter marksmen, their first shot struck us in the bows, knocked our tw_unners into mince-meat, so that we were all sprinkled with the blood, an_lunged through the deck into the forecastle, where we slept. Ballantrae woul_ave held on; indeed, there was nothing in this CONTRETEMPS to affect the min_f any soldier; but he had a quick perception of the men's wishes, and it wa_lain this lucky shot had given them a sickener of their trade. In a momen_hey were all of one mind: the chase was drawing away from us, it was needles_o hold on, the SARAH was too foul to overhaul a bottle, it was mere fooler_o keep the sea with her; and on these pretended grounds her head wa_ncontinently put about and the course laid for the river. It was strange t_ee what merriment fell on that ship's company, and how they stamped about th_eck jesting, and each computing what increase had come to his share by th_eath of the two gunners.
We were nine days making our port, so light were the airs we had to sail on, so foul the ship's bottom; but early on the tenth, before dawn, and in a ligh_ifting haze, we passed the head. A little after, the haze lifted, and fel_gain, showing us a cruiser very close. This was a sore blow, happening s_ear our refuge. There was a great debate of whether she had seen us, and i_o whether it was likely they had recognised the SARAH. We were very careful, by destroying every member of those crews we overhauled, to leave no evidenc_s to our own persons; but the appearance of the SARAH herself we could no_eep so private; and above all of late, since she had been foul, and we ha_ursued many ships without success, it was plain that her description had bee_ften published. I supposed this alert would have made us separate upon th_nstant. But here again that original genius of Ballantrae's had a surprise i_tore for me. He and Teach (and it was the most remarkable step of hi_uccess) had gone hand in hand since the first day of his appointment. I ofte_uestioned him upon the fact, and never got an answer but once, when he tol_e he and Teach had an understanding "which would very much surprise the cre_f they should hear of it, and would surprise himself a good deal if it wa_arried out." Well, here again he and Teach were of a mind; and by their join_rocurement the anchor was no sooner down than the whole crew went off upon _cene of drunkenness indescribable. By afternoon we were a mere shipful o_unatical persons, throwing of things overboard, howling of different songs a_he same time, quarrelling and falling together, and then forgetting ou_uarrels to embrace. Ballantrae had bidden me drink nothing, and feig_runkenness, as I valued my life; and I have never passed a day s_earisomely, lying the best part of the time upon the forecastle and watchin_he swamps and thickets by which our little basin was entirely surrounded fo_he eye. A little after dusk Ballantrae stumbled up to my side, feigned t_all, with a drunken laugh, and before he got his feet again, whispered me to
"reel down into the cabin and seem to fall asleep upon a locker, for ther_ould be need of me soon." I did as I was told, and coming into the cabin, where it was quite dark, let myself fall on the first locker. There was a ma_here already; by the way he stirred and threw me off, I could not think h_as much in liquor; and yet when I had found another place, he seemed t_ontinue to sleep on. My heart now beat very hard, for I saw some desperat_atter was in act. Presently down came Ballantrae, lit the lamp, looked abou_he cabin, nodded as if pleased, and on deck again without a word. I peere_ut from between my fingers, and saw there were three of us slumbering, o_eigning to slumber, on the lockers: myself, one Dutton and one Grady, bot_esolute men. On deck the rest were got to a pitch of revelry quite beyond th_ounds of what is human; so that no reasonable name can describe the sound_hey were now making. I have heard many a drunken bout in my time, many o_oard that very SARAH, but never anything the least like this, which made m_arly suppose the liquor had been tampered with. It was a long while befor_hese yells and howls died out into a sort of miserable moaning, and then t_ilence; and it seemed a long while after that before Ballantrae came dow_gain, this time with Teach upon his heels. The latter cursed at the sight o_s three upon the lockers.
"Tut," says Ballantrae, "you might fire a pistol at their ears. You know wha_tuff they have been swallowing."
There was a hatch in the cabin floor, and under that the richest part of th_ooty was stored against the day of division. It fastened with a ring an_hree padlocks, the keys (for greater security) being divided; one to Teach, one to Ballantrae, and one to the mate, a man called Hammond. Yet I was amaze_o see they were now all in the one hand; and yet more amazed (still lookin_hrough my fingers) to observe Ballantrae and Teach bring up several packets, four of them in all, very carefully made up and with a loop for carriage.
"And now," says Teach, "let us be going."
"One word," says Ballantrae. "I have discovered there is another man beside_ourself who knows a private path across the swamp; and it seems it is shorte_han yours."
Teach cried out, in that case, they were undone.
"I do not know for that," says Ballantrae. "For there are several othe_ircumstances with which I must acquaint you. First of all, there is no bulle_n your pistols, which (if you remember) I was kind enough to load for both o_s this morning. Secondly, as there is someone else who knows a passage, yo_ust think it highly improbable I should saddle myself with a lunatic lik_ou. Thirdly, these gentlemen (who need no longer pretend to be asleep) ar_hose of my party, and will now proceed to gag and bind you to the mast; an_hen your men awaken (if they ever do awake after the drugs we have mingled i_heir liquor), I am sure they will be so obliging as to deliver you, and yo_ill have no difficulty, I daresay, to explain the business of the keys."
Not a word said Teach, but looked at us like a frightened baby as we gagge_nd bound him.
"Now you see, you moon-calf," says Ballantrae, "why we made four packets.
Heretofore you have been called Captain Teach, but I think you are now rathe_aptain Learn."
That was our last word on board the SARAH. We four, with our four packets, lowered ourselves softly into a skiff, and left that ship behind us as silen_s the grave, only for the moaning of some of the drunkards. There was a fo_bout breast-high on the waters; so that Dutton, who knew the passage, mus_tand on his feet to direct our rowing; and this, as it forced us to ro_ently, was the means of our deliverance. We were yet but a little way fro_he ship, when it began to come grey, and the birds to fly abroad upon th_ater. All of a sudden Dutton clapped down upon his hams, and whispered us t_e silent for our lives, and hearken. Sure enough, we heard a little fain_reak of oars upon one hand, and then again, and further off, a creak of oar_pon the other. It was clear we had been sighted yesterday in the morning; here were the cruiser's boats to cut us out; here were we defenceless in thei_ery midst. Sure, never were poor souls more perilously placed; and as we la_here on our oars, praying God the mist might hold, the sweat poured from m_row. Presently we heard one of the boats where we might have thrown a biscui_n her. "Softly, men," we heard an officer whisper; and I marvelled they coul_ot hear the drumming of my heart.
"Never mind the path," says Ballantrae; "we must get shelter anyhow; let u_ull straight ahead for the sides of the basin."
This we did with the most anxious precaution, rowing, as best we could, upo_ur hands, and steering at a venture in the fog, which was (for all that) ou_nly safety. But Heaven guided us; we touched ground at a thicket; scramble_shore with our treasure; and having no other way of concealment, and the mis_eginning already to lighten, hove down the skiff and let her sink. We wer_till but new under cover when the sun rose; and at the same time, from th_idst of the basin, a great shouting of seamen sprang up, and we knew th_ARAH was being boarded. I heard afterwards the officer that took her go_reat honour; and it's true the approach was creditably managed, but I thin_e had an easy capture when he came to board.
I was still blessing the saints for my escape, when I became aware we were i_rouble of another kind. We were here landed at random in a vast and dangerou_wamp; and how to come at the path was a concern of doubt, fatigue, and peril.
Dutton, indeed, was of opinion we should wait until the ship was gone, an_ish up the skiff; for any delay would be more wise than to go blindly ahea_n that morass. One went back accordingly to the basin-side and (peerin_hrough the thicket) saw the fog already quite drunk up, and English colour_lying on the SARAH, but no movement made to get her under way. Our situatio_as now very doubtful. The swamp was an unhealthful place to linger in; we ha_een so greedy to bring treasures that we had brought but little food; it wa_ighly desirable, besides, that we should get clear of the neighbourhood an_nto the settlements before the news of the capture went abroad; and agains_ll these considerations, there was only the peril of the passage on the othe_ide. I think it not wonderful we decided on the active part.
It was already blistering hot when we set forth to pass the marsh, or rathe_o strike the path, by compass. Dutton took the compass, and one or other o_s three carried his proportion of the treasure. I promise you he kept a shar_ye to his rear, for it was like the man's soul that he must trust us with.
The thicket was as close as a bush; the ground very treacherous, so that w_ften sank in the most terrifying manner, and must go round about; the heat, besides, was stifling, the air singularly heavy, and the stinging insect_bounded in such myriads that each of us walked under his own cloud. It ha_ften been commented on, how much better gentlemen of birth endure fatigu_han persons of the rabble; so that walking officers who must tramp in th_irt beside their men, shame them by their constancy. This was well to b_bserved in the present instance; for here were Ballantrae and I, tw_entlemen of the highest breeding, on the one hand; and on the other, Grady, _ommon mariner, and a man nearly a giant in physical strength. The case o_utton is not in point, for I confess he did as well as any of us. But as fo_rady, he began early to lament his case, tailed in the rear, refused to carr_utton's packet when it came his turn, clamoured continually for rum (of whic_e had too little), and at last even threatened us from behind with a cooke_istol, unless we should allow him rest. Ballantrae would have fought it out, I believe; but I prevailed with him the other way; and we made a stop and at_ meal. It seemed to benefit Grady little; he was in the rear again at once, growling and bemoaning his lot; and at last, by some carelessness, not havin_ollowed properly in our tracks, stumbled into a deep part of the slough wher_t was mostly water, gave some very dreadful screams, and before we could com_o his aid had sunk along with his booty. His fate, and above all thes_creams of his, appalled us to the soul; yet it was on the whole a fortunat_ircumstance and the means of our deliverance, for it moved Dutton to moun_nto a tree, whence he was able to perceive and to show me, who had climbe_fter him, a high piece of the wood, which was a landmark for the path. H_ent forward the more carelessly, I must suppose; for presently we saw hi_ink a little down, draw up his feet and sink again, and so twice. Then h_urned his face to us, pretty white.
"Lend a hand," said he, "I am in a bad place."
"I don't know about that," says Ballantrae, standing still.
Dutton broke out into the most violent oaths, sinking a little lower as h_id, so that the mud was nearly to his waist, and plucking a pistol from hi_elt, "Help me," he cries, "or die and be damned to you!"
"Nay," says Ballantrae, "I did but jest. I am coming." And he set down his ow_acket and Dutton's, which he was then carrying. "Do not venture near till w_ee if you are needed," said he to me, and went forward alone to where the ma_as bogged. He was quiet now, though he still held the pistol; and the mark_f terror in his countenance were very moving to behold.
"For the Lord's sake," says he, "look sharp."
Ballantrae was now got close up. "Keep still," says he, and seemed t_onsider; and then, "Reach out both your hands!"
Dutton laid down his pistol, and so watery was the top surface that it wen_lear out of sight; with an oath he stooped to snatch it; and as he did so, Ballantrae leaned forth and stabbed him between the shoulders. Up went hi_ands over his head - I know not whether with the pain or to ward himself; an_he next moment he doubled forward in the mud.
Ballantrae was already over the ankles; but he plucked himself out, and cam_ack to me, where I stood with my knees smiting one another. "The devil tak_ou, Francis!" says he. "I believe you are a half-hearted fellow, after all. _ave only done justice on a pirate. And here we are quite clear of the SARAH!
Who shall now say that we have dipped our hands in any irregularities?"
I assured him he did me injustice; but my sense of humanity was so muc_ffected by the horridness of the fact that I could scarce find breath t_nswer with.
"Come," said he, "you must be more resolved. The need for this fellow cease_hen he had shown you where the path ran; and you cannot deny I would hav_een daft to let slip so fair an opportunity."
I could not deny but he was right in principle; nor yet could I refrain fro_hedding tears, of which I think no man of valour need have been ashamed; an_t was not until I had a share of the rum that I was able to proceed. _epeat, I am far from ashamed of my generous emotion; mercy is honourable i_he warrior; and yet I cannot altogether censure Ballantrae, whose step wa_eally fortunate, as we struck the path without further misadventure, and th_ame night, about sundown, came to the edge of the morass.
We were too weary to seek far; on some dry sands, still warm with the day'_un, and close under a wood of pines, we lay down and were instantly plunge_n sleep.
We awaked the next morning very early, and began with a sullen spirit _onversation that came near to end in blows. We were now cast on shore in th_outhern provinces, thousands of miles from any French settlement; a dreadfu_ourney and a thousand perils lay in front of us; and sure, if there was eve_eed for amity, it was in such an hour. I must suppose that Ballantrae ha_uffered in his sense of what is truly polite; indeed, and there is nothin_trange in the idea, after the sea-wolves we had consorted with so long; an_s for myself, he fubbed me off unhandsomely, and any gentleman would hav_esented his behaviour.
I told him in what light I saw his conduct; he walked a little off, _ollowing to upbraid him; and at last he stopped me with his hand.
"Frank," says he, "you know what we swore; and yet there is no oath invente_ould induce me to swallow such expressions, if I did not regard you wit_incere affection. It is impossible you should doubt me there: I have give_roofs. Dutton I had to take, because he knew the pass, and Grady becaus_utton would not move without him; but what call was there to carry you along?
You are a perpetual danger to me with your cursed Irish tongue. By rights yo_hould now be in irons in the cruiser. And you quarrel with me like a baby fo_ome trinkets!"
I considered this one of the most unhandsome speeches ever made; and indeed t_his day I can scarce reconcile it to my notion of a gentleman that was m_riend. I retorted upon him with his Scotch accent, of which he had not s_uch as some, but enough to be very barbarous and disgusting, as I told hi_lainly; and the affair would have gone to a great length, but for an alarmin_ntervention.
We had got some way off upon the sand. The place where we had slept, with th_ackets lying undone and the money scattered openly, was now between us an_he pines; and it was out of these the stranger must have come. There he wa_t least, a great hulking fellow of the country, with a broad axe on hi_houlder, looking open-mouthed, now at the treasure, which was just at hi_eet, and now at our disputation, in which we had gone far enough to hav_eapons in our hands. We had no sooner observed him than he found his legs an_ade off again among the pines.
This was no scene to put our minds at rest: a couple of armed men in sea- clothes found quarrelling over a treasure, not many miles from where a pirat_ad been captured - here was enough to bring the whole country about our ears.
The quarrel was not even made up; it was blotted from our minds; and we go_ur packets together in the twinkling of an eye, and made off, running wit_he best will in the world. But the trouble was, we did not know in wha_irection, and must continually return upon our steps. Ballantrae had indee_ollected what he could from Dutton; but it's hard to travel upon hearsay; an_he estuary, which spreads into a vast irregular harbour, turned us off upo_very side with a new stretch of water.
We were near beside ourselves, and already quite spent with running, when, coming to the top of a dune, we saw we were again cut off by anothe_amification of the bay. This was a creek, however, very different from thos_hat had arrested us before; being set in rocks, and so precipitously dee_hat a small vessel was able to lie alongside, made fast with a hawser; an_er crew had laid a plank to the shore. Here they had lighted a fire, and wer_itting at their meal. As for the vessel herself, she was one of those the_uild in the Bermudas.
The love of gold and the great hatred that everybody has to pirates wer_otives of the most influential, and would certainly raise the country in ou_ursuit. Besides, it was now plain we were on some sort of stragglin_eninsula, like the fingers of a hand; and the wrist, or passage to th_ainland, which we should have taken at the first, was by this time no_mprobably secured. These considerations put us on a bolder counsel. For a_ong as we dared, looking every moment to hear sounds of the chase, we la_mong some bushes on the top of the dune; and having by this means secured _ittle breath and recomposed our appearance, we strolled down at last, with _reat affectation of carelessness, to the party by the fire.
It was a trader and his negroes, belonging to Albany, in the province of Ne_ork, and now on the way home from the Indies with a cargo; his name I canno_ecall. We were amazed to learn he had put in here from terror of the SARAH; for we had no thought our exploits had been so notorious. As soon as th_lbanian heard she had been taken the day before, he jumped to his feet, gav_s a cup of spirits for our good news, and sent big negroes to get sail on th_ermudan. On our side, we profited by the dram to become more confidential, and at last offered ourselves as passengers. He looked askance at our tarr_lothes and pistols, and replied civilly enough that he had scarc_ccommodation for himself; nor could either our prayers or our offers o_oney, in which we advanced pretty far, avail to shake him.
"I see, you think ill of us," says Ballantrae, "but I will show you how wel_e think of you by telling you the truth. We are Jacobite fugitives, and ther_s a price upon our heads."
At this, the Albanian was plainly moved a little. He asked us many question_s to the Scotch war, which Ballantrae very patiently answered. And then, wit_ wink, in a vulgar manner, "I guess you and your Prince Charlie got more tha_ou cared about," said he.
"Bedad, and that we did," said I. "And, my dear man, I wish you would set _ew example and give us just that much."
This I said in the Irish way, about which there is allowed to be somethin_ery engaging. It's a remarkable thing, and a testimony to the love with whic_ur nation is regarded, that this address scarce ever fails in a handsom_ellow. I cannot tell how often I have seen a private soldier escape th_orse, or a beggar wheedle out a good alms by a touch of the brogue. And, indeed, as soon as the Albanian had laughed at me I was pretty much at rest.
Even then, however, he made many conditions, and - for one thing - took awa_ur arms, before he suffered us aboard; which was the signal to cast off; s_hat in a moment after, we were gliding down the bay with a good breeze, an_lessing the name of God for our deliverance. Almost in the mouth of th_stuary, we passed the cruiser, and a little after the poor SARAH with he_rize crew; and these were both sights to make us tremble. The Bermudan seeme_ very safe place to be in, and our bold stroke to have been fortunatel_layed, when we were thus reminded of the case of our companions. For al_hat, we had only exchanged traps, jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire, ran from the yard-arm to the block, and escaped the open hostility of the man- of-war to lie at the mercy of the doubtful faith of our Albanian merchant.
From many circumstances, it chanced we were safer than we could have dared t_ope. The town of Albany was at that time much concerned in contraband trad_cross the desert with the Indians and the French. This, as it was highl_llegal, relaxed their loyalty, and as it brought them in relation with th_olitest people on the earth, divided even their sympathies. In short, the_ere like all the smugglers in the world, spies and agents ready- made fo_ither party. Our Albanian, besides, was a very honest man indeed, and ver_reedy; and, to crown our luck, he conceived a great delight in our society.
Before we had reached the town of New York we had come to a full agreement, that he should carry us as far as Albany upon his ship, and thence put us on _ay to pass the boundaries and join the French. For all this we were to pay a_ high rate; but beggars cannot be choosers, nor outlaws bargainers.
We sailed, then, up the Hudson River, which, I protest, is a very fine stream, and put up at the "King's Arms" in Albany. The town was full of the militia o_he province, breathing slaughter against the French. Governor Clinton wa_here himself, a very busy man, and, by what I could learn, very nea_istracted by the factiousness of his Assembly. The Indians on both sides wer_n the war-path; we saw parties of them bringing in prisoners and (what wa_uch worse) scalps, both male and female, for which they were paid at a fixe_ate; and I assure you the sight was not encouraging. Altogether, we coul_carce have come at a period more unsuitable for our designs; our position i_he chief inn was dreadfully conspicuous; our Albanian fubbed us off with _housand delays, and seemed upon the point of a retreat from his engagements; nothing but peril appeared to environ the poor fugitives, and for some time w_rowned our concern in a very irregular course of living.
This, too, proved to be fortunate; and it's one of the remarks that fall to b_ade upon our escape, how providentially our steps were conducted to the ver_nd. What a humiliation to the dignity of man! My philosophy, th_xtraordinary genius of Ballantrae, our valour, in which I grant that we wer_qual - all these might have proved insufficient without the Divine blessin_n our efforts. And how true it is, as the Church tells us, that the Truths o_eligion are, after all, quite applicable even to daily affairs! At least, i_as in the course of our revelry that we made the acquaintance of a spirite_outh by the name of Chew. He was one of the most daring of the India_raders, very well acquainted with the secret paths of the wilderness, needy, dissolute, and, by a last good fortune, in some disgrace with his family. Hi_e persuaded to come to our relief; he privately provided what was needful fo_ur flight, and one day we slipped out of Albany, without a word to our forme_riend, and embarked, a little above, in a canoe.
To the toils and perils of this journey, it would require a pen more elegan_han mine to do full justice. The reader must conceive for himself th_readful wilderness which we had now to thread; its thickets, swamps, precipitous rocks, impetuous rivers, and amazing waterfalls. Among thes_arbarous scenes we must toil all day, now paddling, now carrying our cano_pon our shoulders; and at night we slept about a fire, surrounded by th_owling of wolves and other savage animals. It was our design to mount th_eadwaters of the Hudson, to the neighbourhood of Crown Point, where th_rench had a strong place in the woods, upon Lake Champlain. But to have don_his directly were too perilous; and it was accordingly gone upon by such _abyrinth of rivers, lakes, and portages as makes my head giddy to remember.
These paths were in ordinary times entirely desert; but the country was no_p, the tribes on the war-path, the woods full of Indian scouts. Again an_gain we came upon these parties when we least expected, them; and one day, i_articular, I shall never forget, how, as dawn was coming in, we were suddenl_urrounded by five or six of these painted devils, uttering a very dreary sor_f cry, and brandishing their hatchets. It passed off harmlessly, indeed, a_id the rest of our encounters; for Chew was well known and highly value_mong the different tribes. Indeed, he was a very gallant, respectable youn_an; but even with the advantage of his companionship, you must not thin_hese meetings were without sensible peril. To prove friendship on our part, it was needful to draw upon our stock of rum - indeed, under whateve_isguise, that is the true business of the Indian trader, to keep a travellin_ublic-house in the forest; and when once the braves had got their bottle o_CAURA (as they call this beastly liquor), it behoved us to set forth an_addle for our scalps. Once they were a little drunk, goodbye to any sense o_ecency; they had but the one thought, to get more SCAURA. They might easil_ake it in their heads to give us chase, and had we been overtaken, I ha_ever written these memoirs.
We were come to the most critical portion of our course, where we migh_qually expect to fall into the hands of French or English, when a terribl_alamity befell us. Chew was taken suddenly sick with symptoms like those o_oison, and in the course of a few hours expired in the bottom of the canoe.
We thus lost at once our guide, our interpreter, our boatman, and ou_assport, for he was all these in one; and found ourselves reduced, at a blow, to the most desperate and irremediable distress. Chew, who took a great prid_n his knowledge, had indeed often lectured us on the geography; an_allantrae, I believe, would listen. But for my part I have always found suc_nformation highly tedious; and beyond the fact that we were now in th_ountry of the Adirondack Indians, and not so distant from our destination, could we but have found the way, I was entirely ignorant. The wisdom of m_ourse was soon the more apparent; for with all his pains, Ballantrae was n_urther advanced than myself. He knew we must continue to go up one stream; then, by way of a portage, down another; and then up a third. But you are t_onsider, in a mountain country, how many streams come rolling in from ever_and. And how is a gentleman, who is a perfect stranger in that part of th_orld, to tell any one of them from any other? Nor was this our only trouble.
We were great novices, besides, in handling a canoe; the portages were almos_eyond our strength, so that I have seen us sit down in despair for half a_our at a time without one word; and the appearance of a single Indian, sinc_e had now no means of speaking to them, would have been in all probabilit_he means of our destruction. There is altogether some excuse if Ballantra_howed something of a grooming disposition; his habit of imputing blame t_thers, quite as capable as himself, was less tolerable, and his language i_as not always easy to accept. Indeed, he had contracted on board the pirat_hip a manner of address which was in a high degree unusual between gentlemen; and now, when you might say he was in a fever, it increased upon him hugely.
The third day of these wanderings, as we were carrying the canoe upon a rock_ortage, she fell, and was entirely bilged. The portage was between two lakes, both pretty extensive; the track, such as it was, opened at both ends upon th_ater, and on both hands was enclosed by the unbroken woods; and the sides o_he lakes were quite impassable with bog: so that we beheld ourselves not onl_ondemned to go without our boat and the greater part of our provisions, bu_o plunge at once into impenetrable thickets and to desert what littl_uidance we still had - the course of the river. Each stuck his pistols in hi_elt, shouldered an axe, made a pack of his treasure and as much food as h_ould stagger under; and deserting the rest of our possessions, even to ou_words, which would have much embarrassed us among the woods, we set forth o_his deplorable adventure. The labours of Hercules, so finely described b_omer, were a trifle to what we now underwent. Some parts of the forest wer_erfectly dense down to the ground, so that we must cut our way like mites i_ cheese. In some the bottom was full of deep swamp, and the whole woo_ntirely rotten. I have leaped on a great fallen log and sunk to the knees i_ouchwood; I have sought to stay myself, in falling, against what looked to b_ solid trunk, and the whole thing has whiffed away at my touch like a shee_f paper. Stumbling, falling, bogging to the knees, hewing our way, our eye_lmost put out with twigs and branches, our clothes plucked from our bodies, we laboured all day, and it is doubtful if we made two miles. What was worse, as we could rarely get a view of the country, and were perpetually justle_rom our path by obstacles, it was impossible even to have a guess in wha_irection we were moving.
A little before sundown, in an open place with a stream, and set about wit_arbarous mountains, Ballantrae threw down his pack. "I will go no further,"
said he, and bade me light the fire, damning my blood in terms not proper fo_ chairman.
I told him to try to forget he had ever been a pirate, and to remember he ha_een a gentleman.
"Are you mad?" he cried. "Don't cross me here! And then, shaking his fist a_he hills, "To think," cries he, "that I must leave my bones in this miserabl_ilderness! Would God I had died upon the scaffold like a gentleman!" This h_aid ranting like an actor; and then sat biting his fingers and staring on th_round, a most unchristian object.
I took a certain horror of the man, for I thought a soldier and a gentlema_hould confront his end with more philosophy. I made him no reply, therefore, in words; and presently the evening fell so chill that I was glad, for my ow_ake, to kindle a fire. And yet God knows, in such an open spot, and th_ountry alive with savages, the act was little short of lunacy. Ballantra_eemed never to observe me; but at last, as I was about parching a littl_orn, he looked up.
"Have you ever a brother?" said be.
"By the blessing of Heaven," said I, "not less than five."
"I have the one," said he, with a strange voice; and then presently, "He shal_ay me for all this," he added. And when I asked him what was his brother'_art in our distress, "What!" he cried, "he sits in my place, he bears m_ame, he courts my wife; and I am here alone with a damned Irishman in thi_ooth-chattering desert! Oh, I have been a common gull!" he cried.
The explosion was in all ways so foreign to my friend's nature that I wa_aunted out of all my just susceptibility. Sure, an offensive expression, however vivacious, appears a wonderfully small affair in circumstances s_xtreme! But here there is a strange thing to be noted. He had only onc_efore referred to the lady with whom he was contracted. That was when we cam_n view of the town of New York, when he had told me, if all had their rights, he was now in sight of his own property, for Miss Graeme enjoyed a larg_state in the province. And this was certainly a natural occasion; but no_ere she was named a second time; and what is surely fit to be observed, i_his very month, which was November, '47, and I BELIEVE UPON THAT VERY DAY A_E SAT AMONG THESE BARBAROUS MOUNTAINS, his brother and Miss Graeme wer_arried. I am the least superstitious of men; but the hand of Providence i_ere displayed too openly not to be remarked.
The next day, and the next, were passed in similar labours; Ballantrae ofte_eciding on our course by the spinning of a coin; and once, when _xpostulated on this childishness, he had an odd remark that I have neve_orgotten. "I know no better way," said he, "to express my scorn of huma_eason." I think it was the third day that we found the body of a Christian, scalped and most abominably mangled, and lying in a pudder of his blood; th_irds of the desert screaming over him, as thick as flies. I cannot describ_ow dreadfully this sight affected us; but it robbed me of all strength an_ll hope for this world. The same day, and only a little after, we wer_crambling over a part of the forest that had been burned, when Ballantrae, who was a little ahead, ducked suddenly behind a fallen trunk. I joined him i_his shelter, whence we could look abroad without being seen ourselves; and i_he bottom of the next vale, beheld a large war party of the savages going b_cross our line. There might be the value of a weak battalion present; al_aked to the waist, blacked with grease and soot, and painted with white lea_nd vermilion, according to their beastly habits. They went one behind anothe_ike a string of geese, and at a quickish trot; so that they took but a littl_hile to rattle by, and disappear again among the woods. Yet I suppose w_ndured a greater agony of hesitation and suspense in these few minutes tha_oes usually to a man's whole life. Whether they were French or Englis_ndians, whether they desired scalps or prisoners, whether we should declar_urselves upon the chance, or lie quiet and continue the heart-breakin_usiness of our journey: sure, I think these were questions to have puzzle_he brains of Aristotle himself. Ballantrae turned to me with a face al_rinkled up and his teeth showing in his mouth, like what I have read o_eople starving; he said no word, but his whole appearance was a kind o_readful question.
"They may be of the English side," I whispered; "and think! the best we coul_hen hope, is to begin this over again."
"I know - I know," he said. "Yet it must come to a plunge at last." And h_uddenly plucked out his coin, shook it in his closed hands, looked at it, an_hen lay down with his face in the dust.
ADDITION BY MR. MACKELLAR. - I drop the Chevalier's narration at this poin_ecause the couple quarrelled and separated the same day; and the Chevalier'_ccount of the quarrel seems to me (I must confess) quite incompatible wit_he nature of either of the men. Henceforth they wandered alone, undergoin_xtraordinary sufferings; until first one and then the other was picked up b_ party from Fort St. Frederick. Only two things are to be noted. And first (as most important for my purpose) that the Master, in the course of hi_iseries buried his treasure, at a point never since discovered, but of whic_e took a drawing in his own blood on the lining of his hat. And second, tha_n his coming thus penniless to the Fort, he was welcomed like a brother b_he Chevalier, who thence paid his way to France. The simplicity of Mr.
Burke's character leads him at this point to praise the Master exceedingly; t_n eye more worldly wise, it would seem it was the Chevalier alone that was t_e commended. I have the more pleasure in pointing to this really very nobl_rait of my esteemed correspondent, as I fear I may have wounded hi_mmediately before. I have refrained from comments on any of his extraordinar_nd (in my eyes) immoral opinions, for I know him to be jealous of respect.
But his version of the quarrel is really more than I can reproduce; for I kne_he Master myself, and a man more insusceptible of fear is not conceivable. _egret this oversight of the Chevalier's, and all the more because the teno_f his narrative (set aside a few flourishes) strikes me as highly ingenuous.