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How I Fared at the Siege of Plymouth.
Pretty soldiers you be!” was Bridget's scornful to be contrary to your honour not to do so. Then I rejoinder.
trust, however serious the consequences may be, I am The change in her manner somewhat surprised the last who could advise a man [these two words me, but I only laughed. Then she pulled out from were crossed out and the one word "you" substisome mysteriously hidden pocket a small sealed note, tuted] against your duty. and my heart beat fast at sight of it. But Bridget
“I remain, sir, never did things in a hurry, unless under very strong
“ Yours faithfully, provocation, and I was anxious now, as always, to
" LUCY WOOLLCOMBE. propitiate her if possible.
I was half ashamed to remember how little atten“Some folks is thought a deal of for doing no- tion I had paid to the words of the Cavalier the thing," she remarked, "and other folks is thought preceding evening, in relation to our condition as an little of for doing much."
I had been so absorbed in my fair charmer, Very true," I assented.
and the progress I believed I had made in her favour ; “And them that does little be always they that so delighted that she had shown her liking for me as thinks they does much," she continued.
a friend so unmistakeably to her guest, that his words I could hardly doubt that her words were intended had not set me thinking, as Lucy doubtless had beto apply to myself, but I was determined, for my lieved they would do. Now, like a flash of lightning, sweet Lucy's sake, not to feel annoyed with her I seemed to understand it all. faithful servant. I had detected unmistakeable signs “Wasn't it worth while,” the Cavalier had said, of jealousy towards me before now, yet I would be “ to sacrifice a few to thirst for the sake of our purposely blind to it.
cause ?” “I have no doubt you are right,” I answered. Mr. Woollcombe, then, had devised a plan to cut
“I'm not one to be always talking and parleying off our water supply, but had not divulged it to Prince and disputing about Bible rexes and Bible words, but Maurice, probably from reasons of humanity. the Bible does say we've not got to serve two masters ; The water of Plymouth was brought into the town know that."
from the beautiful springs of Dartmoor, just fifty "We cannot," I answered, “if the masters are years ago, by the good skill and careful engineering opposed, and require a different kind of service.” of Sir Francis Drake, for which some, notably Mrs.
She answered, not with any words, but with a Tonkin, are willing to give him more praise than for significant grunt, and pushed out her under lip so as all his bravery abroad. to form what, when I was a child, was called a Mr. Tonkin has pleasantly related to me the ceredripping-pan. This ugly pout by no means improved mony of first receiving the water, which he, though the personal appearance of the “ grown Dutch doll,” then a very little child, has a clear remembrance of. and I began to realise that Lucy Woollcombe might For the Mayor in his robes and all the Corporation have a good deal to put up with in the strange went out in state to meet the water, as it flowed along temper of her liege woman. Yet that she was towards the town, through its newly-cut channel ; devotedly fond of, and loyally attached to, her sweet and every parent was minded that his child should young mistress I was fully assured ; and that alone taste of the pure stream on that auspicious day; and would have made her bearable in my sight, whatever many eloquent speeches were made, and the ability she had said or done to me personally.
of the great navigator much lauded. Before this “There's no use wasting words about it,” she time, merchant vessels putting into this harbour, observed at length, as she handed me the note, otherwise so convenient, had had great difficulty in dropped me a curtsey, and disappeared, before I obtaining water. could detain her.
But my heart seemed almost to stand still as I reI was very sorry, but saw not how to mend matters flected how easily impediments might be put in the by regrets. I opened Lucy's note; no one will blame way to block the channel
, if once the idea had got me that I delayed to do so till I had kissed again and into the minds of the besiegers. And I felt troubled again the fair superscription to
and anxious lest, if the blockade should be again Ensign Benjamin Holbeck,
changed into a siege, the plans of Mr. Woollcombe Plymouth Fort.
should be adopted, and the garrison, and, above all, What a delicate tracery it was ! just suitable to the townspeople themselves, should die of thirst. emanate from those soft little hands that last night I There were wells, it is true, but sadly insufficient for had felt, with their delicious power of soothing, on a bountiful supply of water. my burning brows; I could feel them yet. This Must I make known what I had heard ; if I did not, was her dear letter :
would not the blood of the innocent victims be on my “Dear MR. HOLBECK,- I hope Bridget will be able head? And if I made it known, what but ruin could to tell me on her return that you are very much. come to my Lucy? I wished much I could consult better. Indeed, you must take care of yourself, for with my father in so difficult a business, and yet more the sake of your dear family so far away at Brier often, perhaps, I regretted the death in our fort of that Grange, and for the sake of all your many friends good old sergeant to whom I might have confided the here.
matter. After much reflection, I decided to ask the “I am afraid you heard last night what it was not Almighty to direct me, knowing that both those to at all intended anyone should hear who is not on the whom I would so gladly have turned for advice had it side of the King. I am very much puzzled how to been possible, would themselves have turned to Him act in this maiter. But I think I shall feel I have for counsel. And it seemed to be made very plain done all that is required of me if I ask you not to to me that I must do nothing rashly. mention what you heard, unless, indeed, you feel it
(To be continued.)
SEA STORIES OF PERIL AND ADVENTURE, BATTLE AND SHIPWRECK.
By W. DAVENPORT ADAMS.
THE ICE-RAFT (continuel).
the vessel, which was under both steam and sail, with HE night was one of terror ; profound was the feelings (as the novelists say) impossible to describe darkness, the wind raged tempestuously, the - alternating emotions of hope and fear. But she snow fell in blinding showers. “We did not kept along the coast, and then, instead of steering know," says Tyson, " who was on the ice, or towards the castaways, dropped behind Littleton
on the ship; but I knew some of the Island. In other words, she abandoned them. children were on the ice, because almost the last Tyson thereupon resolved to cross to the other side things I had pulled away from the crushing keel of of the floe, and make for the land, at a point lower the ship were some musk-ox skins; they were lying down than the Polaris, so as to intercept her. across a wide crack in the ice, and as I pulled them Everything was cast aside, except two or three days' towards me to save them, I saw that there were two provisions, and the boats were got ready. But the or three of Hans' children rolled up in one of the men, not apprehending the full extent of their danger, skins. A slight motion of the ice, and in a moment were slow and reluctunt. They had no oars; it blew more they would either have been in the water and almost a gale; and as night approached, Tyson felt drowned, in the darkness, or crushed between the ice.” | obliged to abandon his purpose. During the night of
When morning dawned, the cold grey light dis- the 16th the floe again broke ; so that Tyson and his closed to Tyson that some of the men were afloat on companions found themselves adrift on one part, with small blocks of ice; these were rescued by the whale one of the boats, while the other boat, part of the boat, and the whole company then consisted of provisions, and a hut which they had run up with eighteen persons, besides himself, namely-Mr. spars, remained on the main body of the floe. The Meyers, the meteorologist; Herron, steward; Jackson, portion carrying Tyson and his companions measured cook; Kruger, Jamka, Lindermann, Anthing, Lind about 150 yards each way, guist, and Johnson, seamen; Eskimo Joe, his wife On the 2ist they succeeded in recovering the other Hannah, and their child Puney; and Eskimo Hans, boat and the provisions. Joe, with the quick eyes of his wife Christiana, her children Augustina, Tobias, an Eskimo, caught sight of the boat's bow projecting and Sucri, and baby Charlie Polaris, so called because from a fragment of the broken ice, and with Captain born on board the ship. Their temporary asylum was Tyson and six dogs hastened in quest of it. The a circular piece of floe, about four miles in circum- dogs were harnessed to the boat, which they soon ference, diversified, like a small island, by hillocks and dragged across the disrupted floe. The whole party ponds, the latter, formed by the summer-melting of then removed to a larger and firmer floe, which lay the ice. Its thickness varied at different parts. Some nearer the shore. There they set to work to build some of the mounds or hummocks were as much as thirty snow huts or igloës, as a protection from the weather. feet thick, others did not exceed ten or fifteen feet. First they levelled off the ground, and one-half As a whole, it formed a kind of ice-raft, which moved of the floor, towards the end opposite the entrance, slowly southward with the current, but might at any was slightly raised above the other or front half. The time be broken up.
raised part formed parlour and bedroom ; the front For the company thus strangely cast adrift, the part workshop and kitchen. The arched roof and supply of provisions consisted only of fourteen cans the walls were alike built of square blocks of solid of pemmican, i.e., dried and pounded meat; eleven snow; a square of about eighteen inches of thin ice and a half bags of bread, one can of dried apples, or compressed snow served for window. The low and fourteen hams; and if the ship did not return for entrance was approached through a narrow gallery, them, they might have to support themselves on this which at night was blocked up by a slab of frozen scanty stock throughout the winter, or perish miser- snow. ably of starvation. Fortunately, they had a couple A snug little encampment was speedily completed : of boats, and in these it might just be possible to a hut for Captain Tyson and Mr. Meyers; another reach the land.
for Eskimo Joe, Hannah, and Puney; a third for the Tyson soon came to the conclusion that the seamen ; a fourth for Eskimo Hans and his family; Polaris would not return for them; and proceeded to also a store-hut for provisions, and a cask house, all make a bold effort to comfort his little company and connected by arched galleries or corridors made of make for the shore. The two boats had been got off snow. In one of these iyloës a white man of average the film for this purpose, and partly loaded, and the stature could just manage to stand erect. They are men were pulling shorewards, with the intention of admirably adapted, however, for the rough expericoming back for what was left, when the loose drift ences of an Arctic climate. They cannot be blown rendered progress impossible, and forced them to haul over, though they are frequently buried in the snow up on the floe. Soon after, to their great joy, they drift ; and when there is oil enough to keep the lamps saw the Polaris, which came round a point above burning, they can be kept quite comfortably warm. them, at a distance of eight or ten miles. Captain Towards the end of October, like a thristy houseTyson not unnaturally wondered why she did not keeper, Captain Tyson took stock, and found that the come and look for them; and, to attract her attention, provisions still at their disposal consisted of :set up the colours he had with him, and a piece of Eleven and a half bags of bread. india-rubber cloth. Glass in land, he closely watched Fourteen cans of pemmican, each weigbing 45 lbs.
Tyson writes thus in his
living as little as the human frame can endure without succumbing; some timble with weakness when they try to walk. Mr. Meyers suffers much from this cause ; he was not well when he came on the ice, and the regimen here has not improved him. He lives with the men now; they are mostly Germans, and so is he, and the affinity of blood draws them together, I suppose. Since he has housed
with the men, I have lived in An Arctic Scene Watching a Seal Hole.
the hut with Joe, Hannah,
and Puney. Puney, poor Fourteen small hams.
child, is often hungry; indeed, all the children often. A can of dried apples, weighing 22 lbs.
cry with hunger. We give them all that it is safe Two dozen cans of meats and soups, from one to to use. I can do no more, however sorry Ι
feel two pounds each; and,
for them." About twenty pounds of chocolate and sugar mixed. . One day, when Joe and Hans were out on the
Such a supply was clearly inadequate to the sup- chase, they lost one another among the hummocks; port of nineteen persons through the dreary, deadly and Joe, after some fruitless efforts to track game, Arctic winter, and Captain Tyson's hope lay in returned to the huts as night approached. He exgetting to the shore, where their guns might possibly pected to find Hans at home, and was much alarmed provide them with some species of game.
when he heard that nothing had been seen of him. The daily ration of the whole company was Accompanied by Robert, be started in search of the fixed at two pounds of pemmican, six pounds of wanderer. Hurrying along through the growing bread, and four pounds of canned meat. On so small darkness, they saw, as they conceived, a Polar bear an allowance, everybody's strength declined rapidly; advancing in their direction, and loaded their pistols and it was not supplemented by any fresh provisions, in order to welcome him warmly. At this moment for though the Eskimo went out hunting every day, the.“ creature” stood erect, threw up his arms, and they failed to bring in any game. In winter the seal is revealed himself as their missing comrade. In climbnot easily found. Living mainly under the ice, he ing the rough hummocks he had used both his hands can be seen only when it cracks, or when he and feet, and his fur clothing being white with snow, comes up for air. For breathing purposes, he makes he presented a very fair imitation of Ursus Arcticus. air holes through the ice and snow, but as these do Meanwhile, the floe, or ice-raft, continued its slow not exceed two inches and a half in diameter, it is progress to the southward. The stormy weather predifficult to distinguish them in the duskiness of an vented its reluctant passengers from making an Arctic day. The patience displayed by the native attempt to reach the shore. When any lull in the hunter is extraordinary; he will remain watching a gale occurred, Tyson yoked his dog-team to the sledge seal hole for thirty-five or forty-eight hours before and drove across the broken ice, as near the shore as getting a chance to strike, and then if he make but he could safely venture. The miserable condition of one false aim, the chance is lost, for the seal returns no the captain. an l his little company, can easily more. He makes use of a barbed spear as a weapon ; and as tlie seal's skin is very thin, a well directed blow invariably penetrates it, so that the prize can be held securely until the air hole has been sufficiently enlarged to admit of the passage of the victim's body.
On the 21st of November a couple of seals were captured, furnishing the castaways with a welcome supply.
By this time they had slaughtered all the dogs but four, and every member of the little company grievously feeble. Captain
The Esquimaux and his way of travelling.
be imagined. With hurricane and snow-storm haviour, but the reduction of their daily ration to constantly beating around them-adrift on a raft of less than twelve ounces had a sobering effect. Hope ice, half clad, half fed, and lacking all those ap- springs eternal in the human breast; at all events, it pliances by which science has enabled men to endure revived in the breasts of our navigators on the 19th, with comparative comfort the rigour of an Arctic when, after an absence of eighty-three days, the sun winter-apprehensive that at any moment their in- rose once more above the horizon. O glorious source secure asylum might betray them--their wretched of life and light, how all men rejoice in thy genial ness was scarcely deficient in a single element that beams! How the fearful soul gains courage, and the could make it complete.
sorrowful finds a relief for its pain! How the young A seal was caught on the 29th of December, and feel their veins aglow with ecstacy, and the old beenabled the castaways to close up the year with a ban- come sensible of renewed strength! The sea that quet. Captain Tyson tells us there is but one way of wore such an aspect of terror, breaks at once into a properly dividing a seal, and, indeed, there is but one myriad smiles; the shadows flee from the valley; the way of properly doing anything. First, the Eskimo mountain-tops kindle into holy altars ; the waves of remove the “blanket," that is the skin, and the the rolling river gleam and glitter like the spearblubber, the two being inseparable as they come off heads of an advancing army; the corn-fields shine the creature. Next, they open up the body with great with billows of ruddy gold! Thank God for the sun! care, to prevent any loss of blood, and place it in such Type of the Eternal Love, it puts away the darkness of a position that all the blood may flow into the inter- death, as, day after day, it rises, sublime in its pure nal cavity, which is laboriously scooped out, and the splendour, with healing on its wings ! blood either saved for future use or passed round, Stimulated by the burst of sunlight, Eskimo Joe that each person present may enjoy a draught. As undertook another hunting expedition, and, about the liver and heart are precious dainties, they are five miles from the hut, found open water, and shot a divided into equal portions, that all may partake. couple of seals. He could bring only one to land, So, too, with the brain, another valuable delicacy. however; the other was carried away by the young The youngest child receives the eyes ; and afterwards ice. the flesh is fairly divided. Frequently the “ cutter-up" The 25th of January was the one hundred and stands with his back to the slices, and, as the different third day of this weary voyage on the ice-raft. It was names of the company are called out in succession, a calm, beautiful day; but the thermometer marked hands one to each, so that no display of partiality or 40° below zero (that is, 72° below freezing-point !). At prejudice is possible. The entrails are usually scraped midnight a magnificent auroral display lighted up the and allowed to freeze, before they are eaten. The heavens with luminous colours. From south-west to skins are saved to be made into garments, or reins north-east, from horizon to zenith, the magnetic fires and harness, or coverings for huts and canoes. It shot with capricious, undulating motion, like that of may safely be said that no part of the animal is flame before a strong wind. The brilliant display wasted. In a region where animal life is so limited, reached such a climax that the human eye turned the seal is too valuable not to be utilised down even away from its excess of light, almost blinded. to the membranous tissue, which, stretched and dried, A heavy gale arose on the 1st of February, and serves as a semi-transparent window for the snow-hut the ice-floe rocked and rolled until it was broken by or igloë.
a number of great cracks and fissures. Huge fragln the water the small Greenland seal is pretty to ments fell off from the mass; and the vast bergs which look at, with its shining white fur beautifully variegated had hitherto attended it, and to some extent sheltered on the back and sides by black and dusky spots. This it, drove before the storm like mastless hulks. Though species is more frequently met with in shoals, as is the surrounded by masses of ice, which, if driven against case with the springing seal. The latter is a lively their encampment, must have overwhelmed it, they animal, and plays with its comrades in the open water, continued their dreary and singular voyage in safetymuch like a porpoise, except that it has a springing occasionally disturbed by the reflection that, at some instead of a rolling motion. Largest of all the tribe is time or other, the floe must break up, and that then the harp or bearded seal, which is ponderous and they might be involved in the rain. This reflection, even awkward in its movements. When attacked, it however, seems to have weighed very lightly on the makes a revolution, and dives head foremost, like a minds of most of Tyson's followers, who, amid all the whale; the small seal, on the contrary, sinks back- “ elemental war,” preserved their old habits of indifward, tail first, and head last.
ference and composure. If we look into one of their By the 9th of January the ice-raft had drifted igloë, we see some such picture as the following: "Joe down to lat. 72°, or about the middle of Davis Strait, and Hannah seated in front of the lamp, playing and was making in the direction of Labrador, though checkers on an old piece of canvas, the squares being those on board of it flattered themselves that it was marked out with Tyson's pencil. They use buttons for steering for Disco in Greenland. The cold was ex. men, as they have nothing better. The natives easily cessive: 35° below zero at noon, and 37° at midnight. learn any sort of game; some of them can even play a On the 13th it sank to 40°. Next day, however, the respectable game of chess; and cards they undertemperature rose to 14°, under the more genial in- stand as well as the “heathen Chinee." Cards go fluence of a strong westerly wind. The Eskimo wherever sailors go, and the first lessons that the launched a kayack (or skin canoe); a seal was hunted natives of any uncivilised country get are usually down; and a good meal enjoyed.” On the 17th down from sailors. "Little Puney, and Joe, and Hannah's went the thermometer to 38° below zero, and no more adopted child, a little girl, are sitting wrapped in 3 seals could be seen. The men had hitherto caused musk-ox skin ; every few minutes the child says to Captain Tyson much trouble by their unruly be- her mother, 'I am so hungry! The children often
cry with hunger. It makes one's heart ache, but they ing the wind subsided, the snow-drifts ceased; and are obliged to bear it with the rest."
they were able to look around them. A complete In February they descended into a part of the change had taken place in the aspect of the scene: Strait where icebergs of all sizes and forms abounded, the different "floes” were jammed together into one presenting a spectacle as strange as it was picturesque. immense“ pack;" and huge blocks of all shapes and When lighted up by the occasional sunshine, they sizes were heaped into a singular chaotic mass. gleamed with prismatic colours, like the creations of a The diminished ice-raft reached lat. 61° 59' N. on fairy world; but in days of gloom they drifted through the 25th of March. Hooded .seals were now the mist like sheeted phantoms, weird and porten numerous, and a good supply of fresh meat did tous in their colossal bulk. The pressure of hunger something to restore the strength and spirits of the was now less felt by the inmates of the ice-raft. involuntary voyagers. On the 28th a bear was Seals were caught on the 5th and 7th, and occasion killed. Shortly after dusk a noise was heard outside ally a dovekie relieved their meagre bill of fare. They one of the tents; and Joe, reconnoitring, discovered also shot, but failed to capture, a couple of narwhals, Bruin near his kajack, which lay within ten feet of or sea-unicorns, so called on account of the elongated the hut occupied by Joe and Captain Tyson. Both tooth, some six to eight feet in measurement, which their rifles were outside, one in the kajack, the other projects from the upper jaw. Day after day the raft close to it. Tyson and Joe stealthily glided out, and sailed slowly onward, carrying its living freight perceived that the visitor was leisurely feasting upon through mist and snow—the snow sometimes falling the sealskins and pieces of blubber scattered over the so thickly as to wrap the scene in the gloom of deso- foe. While Joe crept into the sailors’ hut to give lation. Through the darkness of the night and the the alarm, Tyson crawled forward and seized his obscurity of the day, ever onward, onward, until, on rifle, but in doing so knocked down a shot-gun and the 17th of February, land was sighted in the west aroused Mr. Bruin's attention. The Captain loaded at no greater distance than thirty-eight or forty his rifle ; Bruin growled; the trigger would not go miles. The hearts of our adventurers kindled anew off; a second and a third time it would not go off ; with hope and confidence. On the 21st the thermo- but the Captain did, for the bear. made a rush ! meter, for the first time, was above zero, and next day When within the hut Tyson reloaded his rifle, again' it had risen to 20°, or within 12° of freezing point; sallied forth, faced the bear, and shot him dead. so that men accustomed to the deadly severity of the “ It was a glorious victory," and provided a welcome Arctic winter smiled in each other's face quite change of food for several days. cheerily.
As the ice-raft was rapidly wearing away, Tyson It was a drawback, however, that game began launched his one sea-worthy boat, huddled into her to fail, and that the hunters returned from their day's his whole company, with their hut, sleeping gear, and expeditions empty-handed. The men, too, grew very a supply of powder and shot, and abandoning every feeble ; so that a light Eskimo kajack, which any thing else, stood to the westward, in order to reach moderately robust man can carry easily, proved a “the pack.” In this they succeeded on the 4th of burden scarcely to be borne by six or seven. "Captain April. But a terrible gale arose, and as it continued Tyson at last perceived that they must reach the for several days, the storm-beaten voyagers were shore or die. On the 3rd of March the floe drew near reduced to grievous distress by the failure of their Cumberland Gulf, and he resolved, as soon as the provisions. Their sufferings from hunger were weather was favourable, to take to the boats. But extreme, and wild, mad thoughts entered the for some days pitiless hurricanes of frozen snow minds of some of the famished ones.
“ The men, raged from the north-west, rendering any such writes Tyson, on the 10th of April,“ have dangerous attempt impossible. The ice, meanwhile, cracked looks ; this hunger is distracting their brains. I and snapped under them with a sound like that of cannot but fear that they contemplate crime. After distant thunder, until they wondered what new what we have gone through, I hope this company calamity awaited them. The noises were so omin. may be preserved from any fatal wrong. We can, ously loud on the 7th that it was evident the and we must, bear what God sends without crime.' disruption of the floe would not be long deferred. This party must not disgrace humanity by canCaptain Tyson speaks of them as very various in nibalism." Happily, a seal was killed on the character, and as having a peculiar effect upon the 18th. listener; and feeling unable to do justice to them in Yet another calamity! At night, on the 20th, a plain prose, indulges in a poetical quotation :- heavy sea suddenly arose, and sweeping upon the “ Hark! a dull crash, a howling, ravenous yell,
ice-floe in tremendous billows, carried away their Opening full symphony of ghastly sound;
hut, their skins, most of their bed-clothing, in fact, Jarring, yet blunt, as if the dismal hell
all that was movable, and left them in a sad state Sent its strange anguish from the rent profound. of destitution. Only a few articles were saved ; Through all its scale the horrid discord ran ; Now mocked the beast, now took the groan of man.”
these they managed to stow in the boat, in which,
happily, the women and children had taken shelter, The long-anticipated disruption took place on the or the latter must have perished. The boat itself 11th, when, in the midst of a terrible storm, the ice- narrowly escaped destruction. But the men knew raft shivered and split into hundreds of pieces, on one that all their hopes of safety centred in it, and this of which, measuring not more than a hundred yards knowledge animated them to almost incredible efforts. by seventy-five, they found themselves afloat. Judge For twelve hours they held on to it “like grim of their alarm, their anxiety, lest this piece too death.” Above the turmo i of the night rose Captain should be broken up, plunging them into the whirl Tyson's orders, “ Hold on,' “ Bear down, my men!" of waters ! But it remained intact ; and in the morn- Now put on all your might !” with the men's