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barely escaped by crawling through the mud in sorry poor fellow did not fall out of rank through faintness plight. Many more were killed by our horse and from privation. foot, and by our ships at the Point, who, seeing we The brave old Sergeant Garney endeared himself had the victory, grew honest again-a poor, mean sort to every young soldier during this time. The old of honesty that!
fellow never received his rations, such as they were, Dick Tonkin, his face all aglow with pride and joy, without immediately husbanding them for the growing thanked God aloud that he had been permitted to lads, who must suffer, he said, so much more than help in this victorious ending of the business of the himself. I do not know how he lived. He never day, and been given strength to wield his weapon in complained ; but his sturdy strength waned, and but defence of the holy cause of truth and righteousness. for the marvellous determination and resolution that
Amongst our prisoners was a priest called Father never failed him, he would surely have given way Langford, who served as a captain amongst the altogether. I had thought him at first a little hard, enemy. We had also a captain-lieutenant of horse and stern, and severe, for he would never overlook a and some thirty soldiers. Besides this we captured fault, such as lying, or swearing, or stealing, amongst thirteen barrels of powder, and two teams of horses the men, however sorely they were tempted ; and as with their furniture, by which they were drawing up for drunkenness, I used sometimes to smile, and our ordnance against us. But we saw fit to put them wonder how it would fare with Jonathan Thorp at to another use.
home if he ever fell into the hands of Sergeant But our own losses were great : brave Captain Gurney. I have now and then expostulated with Wansey and twelve men were killed, and we had a “ Old Ironsides," as we playfully, yet with reverence, hundred wounded, some of whom have since died ; called him, and told him he should not "expect old while three officers and forty soldiers were taken heads on young shoulders.” “ There'll be fools' prisoners.
heads on old shoulders in a few more years, Master “ Look at the Lord's deliverance, young sirs,” said Holbeck, if the poor lads know no restraint. Old Sergeant Gurney to Dick Tonkin and myself after- England wants men to fight for her, not rascals to wards. “When the enemy had gotten a ground of waste her. How can we expect the Lord's blessing advantage, and were ten to one against us, the if we go against His laws ? " Almighty was pleased by our handful to drive them Once or twice, or even oftener, Colonel Gould back another way than they came.” The same day himself invited the Sergeant to his kitchen, and our guard, encouraged by our success, drove the insisted on his sharing the meal of his servants. enemy back from an attack they made on Penny. Dick Tonkin took him home with him, and entercome quick Work; and after this we had a little quiet tained him as an honoured guest at his own table, for about a fortnight, while the enemy gathered his and I heard the young Lieutenant tell his mother routed troops together somewhat. Only he attacked a afterwards that he understood now that text in the new work under Lipson, called Lipson Mill Work, Bible, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for and partly slighted it; our guard left it without a thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” shot, then suddenly returning upon it, managed to
“Dear old Ironsides doesn't look much like an restore it as before.
angel, mother, but he has the heart of one ;" and For our victory at Laira, and in the fight which Mrs. Tonkin assented. followed, and the success at Penny-come-quick, a If I had a clever pencil, as my grandmother has, general thanksgiving was appointed. After attendance who often has amused us with her pictures, I would at church I dined with my good friends, the Tonkins. make one of Sergeant Gurney, surrounded by the The repast was a frugal one, and it could not be other- rough, raw lads, to whom he is distributing his wise now; people who had an abundance of means biscuit and dried fish. It is something to see them, could not exchange their money for food. There was not pushing greedily forward, but patiently waiting some talk amongst the officers of sowing and plant- their turn, and receiving their few mouthfuls with ing the Hoe with corn and vegetables ; but while we abundant thanks, not always willing to take it from waited for these to grow there was too much likelihood the brave old hero. we should die of waiting. Food was eaten in the “Eat away, my hearties, eat away, and thank the homes of the poor at this time which they would not Lord for the bit and the sup, more than ye ever have believed in happier times they could have thanked Him for a full meal,” he said one day, as I brought themselves to taste. Grass was boiled, mice watched him from my window, above the court, were cooked, while those thought themselves happy where this little scene took place. And then he got indeed who could catch fish of any description to allay up to leave them with a smile, tender and beautiful, the pangs of a hunger which they had long ceased to on his rugged features. But all suddenly his faee fully satisfy. All who had stores of salted bacon or turned ashen, he staggered and fell, and I hurried fish were envied by their neighbours; and if money down just as several of the lads he had fed rushed to was dearer to them than the satisfaction of their l assist him. hungry stomachs, they could obtain almost fabulous There was quite a crowd in the court immediately. prices for their commodities.
No one could be unmoved at what had happened. I pitied the soldiers, and most of all the sen- Softly and reverently we bore him to his quarters, tries, who had hard duties to do, much lonely the unconscious form of the famished Sergeant. The night work too, upon the barest pittance of food. Colonel and other officers, with Doctor Calmady from Frightful dreams of unknown dangers are a common the town, the same who had attended Lucy Woollaccompaniment of such hunger, and these they combe, were presently there. We all waited in suffered from very sadly. We were now arrived at respectful silence for the verdict of the man of science. such a pass that there was hardly a day when some Even his rosy, smiling face was sad and serious How I Fared at the Siege of Plymouth.
“ Fallen in the fight, sir," he said, turning to the Colonel, “ fallen in the fight, and as brave a death
CHAPTER VIII.–Pilchards. as if in the battle-field, to my mind. Poor old
SERGEANT Sergeant ! he would rather have heard the balls
GURNEY had around him when he fell.” Dr. Calmady said this
been buried after he had laid his head close to the Sergeant's
week with the heart, and tried in other ways to ascertain whether
honours he would he yet breathed.
most have covet“Was he dead ? " the question was in every man's
ed, and the siege mind, yet none dared utter it, till the Colonel spoke
was not yet raised in a hard tone, which yet could not hide his evident
by the malignants. emotion
Our fear of famine " Will he get the better of this, Doctor ?”
grew daily more “He is dead, Colonel Gould !”
real, when I never saw such a thing as happened then.
morning, as I was Rough lads began to gob and cry like babies, and
getting up, I hurried out, ashamed of what did them more credit
heard a tremellthan all their idle, noisy mirth. The officers who
dous shout, Barremained were most of them in tears. Colonel Gould
bican way, and fell on his knees beside the corpse and prayed aloud.
feared the enemy It was a solemn, reverent, humble prayer. In it he
had made an enasked to be forgiven for not taking better care of this
trance. Yet it faithful servant of God; for eating while this saint
was hardly like was hungry, for drinking while he was thirsty.
the noise of men When he had ended he got up and stood leaning upon
shouting in battle his sword, and gazing down into the calm, dead face but rather like a jubilant upraising of all kinds of of the old warrior, while a few big tears came out of voices in chorus. Again! again ! I hurried on my his cold grey eyes, and rolled solemnly, as if to a uniform and went out to know the meaning of the death march, over his large features, until they were clamour. I had not seen so much eagerness and delight lost in his shaggy beard. Then he turned and left, in the faces of the men for weeks. not speaking another word.
soldiers danced about and clapped their hands I felt as if now, if never before, I was truly in the joyfully, and presently I saw women at the gates of presence of the Lord of Hosts.
our fort, with great baskets in their hands, as much One by one the officers drew near, gazed on the as they could carry, laden with small fishes, and still form, and then left. Dr. Calmady went with heard eager talking and discussion about the price. some of them, and I was alone with the dead.
* We can't stay haggling, Mother Kitty," said one All the words of advice he had ever spoken to me, pale lad, whose face I remembered like a full moon all the brave, manful thoughts he had uttered in my for roundness two months ago ; " I'd give all I've presence, in short concise language, as his manner was, got to feel full again.” came over me then. They softened me, they inspired A burst of laughter from his comrades was the me, they made me long to live the noble life he led. answer to poor Tom's words.
“O God of my father, God of this, Thy servant, But the Commissary appeared at this moment, and. bo Thou my God!”
in the Colonel's name, bought all the stock of fish, and ordered that a full ration of them, with some bread, should be served to every man. Quarters soon smelt like a single kitchen ; there was such a hurry to cook the longed-for meal, that every available fire was in request, and
leisurable man turned cook. - Friz! friz ! friz !" What a noise it was! These little fish had the additional advantage of being oily enough to “ fry theirselves," as Mother Kitty informed
“ It was a real miracle," she further said. “ They be out of season, my dear, and no ways used to coming close in shore to be caught, else why should dear souls go out in boats and ships and such like to catch 'em ? And they do run the risk of their poor dear lives, that they do, many and many's the time. Why, would you believe it, sir, my man hisself, he that was my second husband—for my first was drownded too, though not here, but somewhere in foreign parts—he lost his life, catching these 'ere pilchards!"
I looked a little unbelievingly at Mother Kitty, and then reflected she did not mean these particular fish she had just brought, as her words implied, but
pilchards" of long past days. Then I said, “A
miracle is a large word for a catch of fish, Mother “Shall we ever dare waste anything again, sir ?'" Kitty.” This I said more to hear her answer than I heard Tom ask of Lieutenant Tonkin. for any other reason. I had little doubt if Sergeant “Yes, Tom, unless God alters our hearts as well as Gurney were here, he would believe firmly in the our circumstances,” Dick answered him. - You feel miraculous interposition of Providence in regard to now as if you would remember your hungerto the last the pilchards.
day of your life, but when the siege is raised, you will “ You baint as well read as you ought to be, young be like the man who looks in the glass and goes away sir, and you an officer in a godly army, if you don't again, and forgets how he looks, unless you see the know that there have been fish miracles afore to-day. sin of wastefulness. Just as men who have been shipMr. Cheare preacheth beautiful, and he told us all wrecked or in imminent peril of their lives at sea, about 'em out of the Bible, he did, how the Lord come back to port, and spend their first night on made so many of the fish to come into the net that shore in drunkenness and dissipation; daring the Lord it broke, and the poor souls was afeared they'd all be to smite them again, if He wasn't better to them than lost in the bottom of the say. But somehow they they are to themselves.” catched
the ropes, and saved everyone. And then I suppose Dick is right. I have myself imagined, there was that there big fish with the money in the when I stood face to face with death in battle, that I mouth of ’un; haven't I often and often wished I could never forget it ; yet I have forgotten, and have could find such luck when times was hard and no even grown somewhat hardened in fight. If I were money, and scarce any fish to get money by! But fighting for all I held dear, perhaps it would be there, 'twasn't luck, 'twas miracle !" So saying, different. Am I not? I am often perplexed. Why Mother Kitty took up her empty baskets, and pre- do two honourable, high-minded men, like my father, pared to go, for she had already received payment for instance, and Mr. Woollcombe, feel, both of them, for her fish.
perfectly convinced that precisely opposite things She was a good specimen of her class, and as are right, and worthy of the sacrifice of a man's life, my mother and sisters, if they ever get these if need be. Can two opposite things be right ? My papers of mine, may like to have her described for brain, which I never used to trouble with such them, they but rarely having seen a fish-wife, I will speculations, often aches now; I am glad to have do my best in the matter. She appears, though a night-work given me, that I may, in quiet, think of woman of good average height, almost as broad as she the many things which, when I have done my best, is long; her petticoats being very full and ample and are as far from explanation as ever. From the short, formed of dark blue woollen material of very reports of the prisoners, the Royalist forces lead a coarse texture. Over this she wears a short bedgown, very different life to ours. Gaiety, revelling, cards, just as my mother and sisters and our servants them and other amusements are freely promoted by the selves do in the midst of their work; but it is of a officers amongst the men. Colonel Gould is a religious bright colour, and flowery pattern; over her shoulders man, an Independent, and a strict disciplinarian. a coarse, woollen turnover, of very showy colours, The men he likes best amongst the non-commissioned scarlet and black, or green and red. Instead officers are such as Sergeant Gurney, only they are of carrying her baskets on her head, as is so much not, after all, such as he was, but much more stiff and our custom, she carries them at the sides, resting hard. We shall never get so good a specimen of the them on her hips, and in loud sing-song tone she Ironsides amongst us again, as that fine, noble-hearted generally calls her wares through every street. Sergeant we loved as well as feared, and who himself
Pilchards ! fresh pilchards !" is, in the summer “ feared God, and knew no other fear.” and early autumn, one of the most frequent cries in the When I went down into the town, after the ample streets of Plymouth. The pilchard season was just breakfast of bread and pilcharde, which officers and at its height when I arrived here, and I was greatly men had so much enjoyed, everyone was talking at a loss to understand what Mother Kitty and her about the fish, and the rather strong smell of such a companions said. The pilchard is a small fish about universal cooking of them was in every street, the size of a herring, oily and tasty, very good when “It is nothing different to the supply of manna fried or salted. The Plymouth folks often salt and and quails in the wilderness," said one old fisherman, put away small barrels full for winter use, and in this the centre of a little group of men time of siege, those who had been thus provident quay. “I'm an old man now, and I never heerd tell when these fish were plenty, congratulated themselves of no such thing afore, never! You seed it for youron their prudence; while others as bitterly repented selves, and I needn't tell 'ee how it was, the fish their carelessness in not making this provision. come in a shoal, and threw theirselves on the beach,
Pilchards are only to be found on the coasts of and asked to be caught." Devon and Cornwall-a curious circumstance, which There was some laughter amongst the listeners, and I am not learned enough to account for, but for which the old man smiled too, and his merry eyes twinkled. I should like to know the reason. Sometimes, I am " Asked to be caught, pretty dears, and they did too, told, the fishermen catch more than can be eaten, though with dumb meanings, like.” and they are thrown away. But we have all of us Another burst of laughter greeted the speaker. The learned, in the last few weeks, not lightly to estimate poor people were to-day in the comfortable state of the bounties of Providence in the way of food. I those who had had enough, and were ready to enjoy have often seen bread cast about the streets on my anything. My old woman, and yours, mate, and first coming here; now such a prize as a half-eaten yours, and the little 'uns, and the big 'uns amongst slice thrown away by some too well-fed child would the children, took their baskets and went down to be pounced upon by a dozen hands, each eager to Barbican from all parts, and the fish, they as good as claim it for his own.
said, . Here we be, my dears, sent to 'ee all from the
How I Fared at the Siege of Plymouth.
Lord, to fill up your poor empty insides. Don't 'ee by no means relaxed in its expression, only her lips forget to thank the Lord when you do eat us, and muttered something about seeing whether Miss with that, the pilchards hopped into the baskets with Woollcombe was at liberty. just a bit of a push ; as many as you would have, the To stand there was not agreeable, but it must be more the merrier. And the widow's cruse of oil was borne. Presently I heard the sweet, soft voice I knew as good as done over again, with these here pilchards. so well, exchanging a sentence or two with the dry, Every basket was filled, and still there was more, and hard tones of Bridget. Then the serving-woman they brought tubs and barrels and still there was returned, and said: more. Don't 'ee mean to believe God after that? “ You can walk in, sir." If you don't, the Lord have mercy on 'ee, for you I availed myself of this grudging invitation, and won't believe nothing, and aren't worth the miracle !” followed her into the same small, snug apartment
I was much interested and amused at the old where we had had tea on the previous occasion. fisherman's harangue, and when it was ended I found Lucy's arm was still in a sling. She looked pale and my way to Mr. Tonkin's.
fragile, and as if she still suffered a good deal of pain. I had never yet repeated my visit to the house of Bridget hovered round after I had taken my seat Mr. Woollcombe after the warning I had received from near her young mistress, as if quite unwilling ta Captain Wansey, followed as it was by such a sad leave us alone together. experience; but to-day, being somewhat in spirits “ You may go now, Bridget,” said the sweet, tender through God's goodness to us in the matter of the voice. "I shall not want you for anything just fish, and by the sufficiency of food I had had after so at present. You can go on with the fish, Bridget,” long a scarcity, I decided to call and inquire for Lucy and she smiled. Bridget extended her square lips a and her father, and to judge by Bridget's man- little, as if she rather enjoyed the cleverness of her ner whether I should venture to intrude further. young mistress, but was not in the least deceived by My reception by Bridget was somewhat curt, just as I anything; she obeyed unquestioningly, however, and expected it would be. She invited me inside the door, we were left alone. which she shut, and then retreated, her wooden face
(To be continued.)
birds, as they settled themselves to rest, only made the hush seem more intense. There was not even the presence of the snow to make things look seasonable and Christmas-like, but everything was dank and wet as with autumnal mist, and the withered flowers in the deserted grounds of the house hung drearily above the leaf-strewn mould.
It was the 24th of December, and, formally speaking, the school had broken up some days ago.
Breaking-up," however, did not mean “going home" to all the inmates, as you might have learned, if on this particular afternoon you could have glanced in at one of the windows; for there in the deepening twilight two boys stood lounging against the pannelled walls of the large schoolroom, both evidently surveying the prospect with no enviable feelings. All their companions had taken their departure, and they were left with only floating visions of other people's enjoyments to comfort them. Could anything be more aggravating or more depressing to a boy's mind ?
So thought Hugh Culross, the elder of the two, a
tall square-shouldered lad of fifteen; and so thought HE dull his companion in misery, Harry Ernshaw, a solemnDecember faced, thin-legged youth, some few months younger, afternoon whose company did not tend to raise the thermometer
was fast of his friend's spirits, which, since 4 p.m., had fallen drawing to a close, and almost to zero.
the tall trees, now bare “I can't make out why in the world they want us and spectral, began to throw deep to stop till to-morrow," burst out Hugh, at last ; "it shadows on the scholastic walls of was settled weeks ago that I was to go home on the
Pengarvan Hall. Everything was grow- 22nd, and take you with me. Why can't they keep ing still and dark, and the faint notes of the shivering to their arrangement ? It was all so jolly before, and
now the whole thing's upset. I declare it's a horrid youngsters, who delighted to supply her with new shame!"
material for speeches. What's the reason of this changing ?" asked his About half-past five tea was brought in for the two companion.
boys, and the sight of a pot of preserve-a somewhat “That's just what I want to know : they didn't say rare luxury-brightened their downcast faces. When in the letter."
tea was finished, a good supply of light reading from It is a nuisance !" supplemented Harry, and then the library helped to while away the hours till nine there was a long silence, in which the mind of each o'clock came. boy seemed to imbibe a further supply of the melan- The evening meal was soon concluded, and the boys choly which pervaded the scene outside.
sat together talking in front of the well-fed hearth " What time does the Doctor expect to arrive discussing their plans for the ensuing holidays. An home ?” asked Harry Ernshaw, after a pause. hour passed and ten o'clock struck, before they were
“He left word that he should not be home at all aware how the time had flown. Hugh got up lazily. to-night, but should probably come on by the morn- “I suppose we had better turn in,” he said ; " it's ing train.”
getting late. Have the servants gone up ?" · Humph! That's lively! So now there's no one Yes, long ago," was the reply. " Here, help us in the house except the servants and old Barnacles.” rake out the fire, and we'll go up."
The latter individual, who lived in the capacity of Presently old Barnabas came shuffling in, to put out coachman at Pengarvan Hall, had been christened the lights and take a look round before going to bed. Barnabas Abbot when a child, but the youthful in- “ Is the Doctor's room locked up, Barnabas ? " mates of the school had unceremoniously altered it asked Hugh. He was not up to chaffing to-night. into Barnacles. So Barnacles he was called and “ Yes, Master Culross ; he give me the key afore Barnacles he remained, though he much resented the he went. He told me to be sure an’ look sharp after misnomer, and often came to quarrelling about it with the bolts and catches, 'cause there was a good share the more aggravating of his youthful sponsors. of gold in his cabinet. But I've looked all round, and
"No," continued Hugh; so we shall have to it's all as safe as can be. Will you take your candle, make ourselves as comfortable ver it as we can. Master Hugh? Master left strict orders that all What time is it now ?”
lights should be out at ten. Wake you in the “ Just five o'clock," said his companion, pulling out mornin' as usual ?”' a silver hunter, and closing the case with a loud snap ; “ Yes, please, Barnabas. Good-night." And the * pleasant, isn't it-four hours more of doing nothing two lads went off to bed. before we turn in ?”
As they passed the window on the great staircase, Suddenly a voice came from the dark corner of the they looked out. The clouds were scudding fast across room—“Polly's hungry !"
a grey starless sky, and the ivy trails, blown by the Both the lads started and looked round.
wind, were flapping disconsolately against the panes. "Stupid bird! How it frightens one !" laughed The look-out did not improve their spirits, and as Hugh.
they proceeded up the stairs, Harry kept involun“We've forgotten all about her, poor thing!" he tarily close to his companion. How desolate the long said. “I don't expect the servants have given her dormitory looked now, and what strange moving anything to eat. Here, Poll,” and the good-natured shadows were darkening the walls. The very pictures, boy offered her a lump of sugar, a dainty eagerly hung around them to enliven the appearance of the accepted.
room, now looked down solemnly on the two solitary Oh, you rascal !—Here's a jolly lark !—What are lads, and their footfall echoed drearily along the halfyou doing there?” vociferated Poll, repeating a string carpeted floor. Could this be the scene of all those of phrases caught up from different persons whom jokes and boyish “larks” that had created such an she had come in contact with at various times. atmosphere of merriment, and taken the edge off the
Shut up, you silly bird !" shouted Harry from memory of the day's toilsome routine ? Where now the other end of the room, whereupon Poll shuffled was the ringing laugh of jest-loving Tom Halley and about a bit on her perch, and finally settled down to the ceaseless clack of Paul Chatterton's voice? Ah! sleep till lights were brought in.
where were they now? Safe home, in the midst of This feathered inmate of Pengarvan Hall had lived parents, and brothers and sisters, and uncles and aunts, in its present quarters some eight years or more, and and cousins, and parties, and plum-pudding. Oh! had seen many a change in the crowd of boyish faces the thought was horrible, and they to be shut up in a with which the big schoolroom was usually filled. She lonely school-house, cut off from the world of fun! was a great pet of the Doctor's, whose evening studies As they closed the door and turned the key-a she alone was allowed to disturb with impunity. Her somewhat unusual custom—the loneliness seemed to native home was a sunny island lying far away to the increase. How quiet it all was ! There was no westward, not far from Jamaica, where she had been Phil Carter to spin yarns to them while they lay in captured by the father of one of the scholars, and sent bed; rubbish though it often was, they would gladly as a present to the principal of Pengarvan school. have heard him to-night. They almost missed the Age and experience had not rendered her a whit less bristly brushes and peppered pillows with which the voluble in her talking capacity, and any cant phrase juniors were wont to make easy the nightly couch of that had its run in the school never slipped her their senior “ • tyrants." memory. Some very uncomplimentary epithets were Well, there was nothing left to do but to get consequently added to her lengthy vocabulary, which into bed as soon as possible, and forget their grievances was more extensive than select. This, however, only and loneliness in sleep. made her more of a favourite with the fun-loving