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of something else—mayhap, the fine vessel he had lost, and all that. We saw the poor fellow swung off, and then went back to our ship. But there was no laughing or joking that day, nor the next either, for we all felt as if we had some hand in it; and wished the poor man had been food for the fishes, rather than to have fallen a prey to land-sharks. The body was taken down, and then hung up in chains; and on our homeward voyage, we saw them there rattling in the sea breeze and bleaching in the sun. I have passed here often, but I have never forgotten to look for the gallows and the pirate's remains; and I shall never forget that night while I live."
"All hands ahoy!" shouted the boatswain, and in a moment I was left alone. Before I went to my berth I took one more look at the dreaded object; and determined, if ever I found leisure, to commit the story to paper.
LOADING FOR HOME.
Wednesday, May 18th. Lat. 9o 54' N., long. 113° 17' w. north-east trades had now left us, and we had the usual variable winds which prevail near the line, together with some rain. So long as we were in these latitudes, we had but little rest in our watch on deck at night; for, as the winds were light and variable, and we could not loose a breath, we were all the watch bracing the yards, and taking in and making sail, and "humbugging" with our flying kites. A little puff of wind on the larboard quarter, and then-" larboard fore braces!" and studding-booms were rigged out, studding-sails set alow and aloft, the yards trimmed, and jibs and spanker in; when it would come as calm as a duck-pond, and the man at the wheel stand with the palm of his hand up, feeling for the wind. Keep her off a little !" All aback forward, sir!" cries a man from the forecastle. Down go the braces again; in come the studding sails, all in a mess, which half an hour won't set right; yards braced sharp up; and she's on the starboard tack, close hauled. The studding-sails must now be cleared away, and set up in the tops, and on the booms. By the time this is done, and you are looking out for a soft plank for a nap,-"Lay aft here, and square in the head yards!" and the studding sails are all set again on the starboard side. So it goes until it is eight bells,call the watch,-heave the log,-relieve the wheel, and go below the larboard watch.
Sunday, May 22nd. Lat. 5o 14' N., long. 166° 45′ w. We were now a fortnight out, and within five degrees of the line, to which two days of good breeze would take us; but we had, for the most part, what the sailors call, an Irishman's hurricane, right up and down. This day it rained nearly all day, and being Sunday, and nothing to do, we stopped up the scuppers and filled the decks with rain water, and bringing all our clothes on deck, had a grand wash, fore and aft. When this was through, we stripped to our drawers,
and taking pieces of soap, with strips of canvass for towels, we turned to, and soaped, washed, and scrubbed one another down, to get off, as we said, the California dust; for the common wash in salt water, which is all that Jack can get, being on an allowance of fresh, had little efficacy, and was more for taste, than utility. The captain was below all the afternoon, and we had something nearer to a Saturnalia, than anything we had yet seen; for the mate came into the scuppers, with a couple of boys to scrub him, and got into a battle with them in heaving water. By unplugging the holes, we let the soap-suds off the decks, and in a short time had a new supply of rain water, in which we had a grand rinsing. It was surprising to see how much soap and fresh water did for the complexions of many of us; how much of what we supposed to be tan, and sea-blacking, we got rid of. The next day, the sun rising clear, the ship was covered fore-and-aft with clothes of all sorts, hanging out to dry.
As we approached the line, the wind became more easterly, and the weather clearer, and in twenty days from San Diego,-
Saturday, May, 28th, at about three P. M., with a fine breeze from the east-south-east, we crossed the equator. In twenty-four hours after crossing the line, which was very unusual, we took the regular south-east trades. These winds come a little from the eastward of south-east, and, with us, they blew directly from the east-south-east, which was fortunate for us, for our course was south-by-west, and we could thus go one point free. The yards were braced so that every sail (drew, from the spanker to the flying-jib; and the upper yards being squared in a little, the fore and main top-gallant studding-sails were set, and just drew handsomely. For twelve days this breeze blew steadily, not varying a point, and just so fresh that we could carry our royals; and, during the whole time, we hardly started a brace. Such progress did we make, that at the end of seven days from the time we took the breeze, on
Sunday, June 5th, we were in lat. 19° 29′ S., and long. 118° 01′ w., having made twelve hundred miles in seven days, very nearly upon a taught bowline. Our good ship was getting to be herself again, had increased her rate of sailing more than one-third, since leaving San Diego. The crew ceased complaining of her, and the officers hove the log every two hours with evident satisfaction. This was glorious sailing. A steady breeze;-the light trade wind clouds, over our heads;-the incomparable temperature of the Pacific,-neither hot nor cold; a clear sun every day, and clear moon and stars each night,and new constellations rising in the south, and the familiar ones sinking in the north, as we went on our course,-" stemming nightly towards the pole." Already we had sunk the north star and the great bear in the northern horizon, and all hands looked out sharp to the southward for the magellan clouds, which, each succeeding night, we expected to make. "The next time we see the north star," said one, we shall be standing to the northward, the other side of the Horn." This was true enough, and no doubt it would be a welcome sight; for sailors say, that in coming home from round Cape Horn,
and the Cape of Good Hope, the north star is the first land you make. These trades were the same that, in the passage out in the Pilgrim, lasted nearly all the way from Juan Fernandez, to the line; blowing steadily on our starboard quarter for three weeks, without our starting a brace, or even brailing down the sky-sails. Though we had now the same wind, and were in the same latitude with the Pilgrim on her passage out, yet we were nearly twelve hundred miles to the westward of her course; for the captain, depending upon the strong south-west winds which prevail in high southern latitudes during the winter months, took the full advantage of the trades, and stood well to the westward so far, that we passed within about two hundred miles of Ducie's Island.
It was this weather and sailing that brought to my mind a little incident that occurred on board the Pilgrim, while we were in the same latitude. We were going along at a great rate, dead before the wind, with studding sails out on both sides, alow and aloft, on a dark night, just after midnight, and every thing as still as the grave, except the washing of the water by the vessel's side; for, being before the wind, with a smooth sea, the little brig, covered with canvass, was doing great business, with very little noise. The other watch was below, and all our watch, except myself and the man at the wheel, were asleep under the lee of the boat. The second mate, who came out before the mast, and was always very thick with me, had been holding a yarn with me, and just gone aft to his place on the quarter deck, and I had resumed my usual walk to and from the windlass end, when suddenly we heard a loud scream coming from ahead, apparently directly from under the bows. The darkness, and complete stillness of the night, and the solitude of the ocean, gave to the sound a dreadful and almost supernatural effect. I stood perfectly still, and my heart beat quick. The sound woke up the rest of the watch, who stood looking at one another. "What in the name of God is that?" said the second mate, coming slowly forward. The first thought I had was, that it might be a boat, with the crew of some wrecked vessel, or perhaps the boat of some whaleship, out over night, and we had run them down in the darkness. Another scream! but less loud than the first. This started us, and we ran forward, and looked over the bows, and over the sides, to leeward, but nothing was to be seen or heard. What was to be done? Call the captain, and heave the ship a-back? Just at this moment, in crossing the forecastle, one of the men saw a light below, and looking down the scuttle, saw the watch all out of their berths, and afoul of one poor fellow, dragging him out of his berth, and shaking him, to wake him out of a nightmare. They had been waked out of their sleep, and as much alarmed at the scream as we were, and were hesitating whether to come on deck, when the second sound, coming directly from one of the berths, revealed the cause of the alarm. The fellow got a good shaking for the trouble he had given. We made a joke of the matter; and we could well laugh, for our minds were not a little relieved by its ridiculous termination.
We were now close upon the southern tropical line, and, with so fine a breeze, were daily leaving the sun behind us, and drawing nearer to Cape Horn, for which it behoved us to make every preparation. Our rigging was all examined and overhauled, and mended, or replaced with new, where it was necessary; new and strong bobstays fitted in the place of the chain ones, which were worn out; the sprit-sail yard and martingale guys and back-ropes set well taught; bran new fore and main braces rove, top-gallant sheets, and wheel-ropes, made of green hide, laid up in the form of rope, were stretched and fitted; and new top-sail clewlines, etc. rove; new fore top-mast back-stays fitted; and other preparations made in good season, that the ropes might have time to stretch and become limper before we got into cold weather. Sunday, June 12th. Lat. 26° 04' s., long. 116° 31' w. We had now lost the regular trades, and had the winds variable, principally from the westward; and kept on, in a southerly course, sailing very nearly upon a meridian, and at the end of the week,
Sunday, June 19th, were in lat. 34° 15' s., and long. 116° 38' w. There began now to be a decided change in the appearance of things. The days became shorter and shorter; the sun running lower in its course each day, and giving less and less heat; and the nights so cold as to prevent our sleeping on deck; the magellan clouds in sight, of a clear night; the skies looking cold and angry; and, at times, a long, heavy, ugly sea, setting in from the southward, told us what we were coming to. Still, however, we had a fine strong breeze, and kept on our way, under as much sail as our ship would bear. Toward the middle of the week, the wind hauled to the southward, which brought us upon a taught bowline, made the ship meet, nearly head-on, the heavy swell which rolled from that direction; and there was something not at all encouraging in the manner in which she met it. Being so deep and heavy, she wanted the buoyancy which should have carried her over the seas, and she dropped heavily into them, the water washing over the decks; and every now and then, when an unusually large sea met her fairly upon the bows, she struck it with a sound, as dead and heavy as that with which a sledge-hammer falls upon the pile, and took the whole of it in upon the forecastle, and rising, carried it aft in the scuppers, washing the rigging off the pins, and carrying along with it everything which was loose on deck. She had been acting in this way all of our forenoon watch below; as we could tell by the washing of the water over our heads, and the heavy breaking of the seas against her bows, (with a sound as though she were striking against a rock,) only the thickness of the plank from ou. heads, as we lay in our berths, which are directly against the bowsr At eight bells, the watch was called, and we came on deck, one hand going aft to take the wheel, and another going to the galley to get the grub for dinner. I stood on the forecastle, looking at the seas, which were rolling high, as far as the eye could reach, their tops white with foam, and the body of them of a deep indigo blue, reflecting the bright rays of the sun. Our ship rose slowly over a few of the largest of them, until one immense fellow came rolling on, threatening
to cover her, and which I was sailor enough to know, by "the feeling of her," under my feet, she would not rise over. I sprang upon the knight-heads, and seizing hold of the fore-stay with my hands, drew myself up upon it. My feet were just off the stanchion, when she struck fairly into the middle of the sea, and it washed her fore-andaft, burying her in the water. As soon as she rose out of it, I looked aft, and everything forward of the main-mast, except the long-boat, which was griped and double-lashed down to the ring-bolts, was swept off clear. The galley, the pig-sty,—the hen-coop,-and a large sheep-pen which had been built upon the fore-hatch, were all gone, in the twinkling of an eye-leaving the deck as clean as a chin new reaped-and not a stick left, to show where they had stood. In the scuppers lay the galley, bottom up, and a few boards floating about, the wreck of the sheep-pen, and half a dozen miserable sheep floating among them, wet through, and not a little frightened at the sudden change that had come upon them. As soon as the sea had washed by, all hands sprung up out of the forecastle to see what had become of the ship; and in a few moments the cook and Old Bill crawled out from under the galley, where they had been lying in the water, nearly smothered, with the galley over them. Fortunately, it rested against the bulwarks, or it would have broken some of their bones. When the water ran off, we picked the sheep up, and put them in the long-boat, got the galley back in its place, and set things a little to rights; but, had not our ship had uncommonly high bulwarks and rail, every thing must have been washed overboard, not excepting Old Bill and the cook. Bill had been standing at the galley door, with the kid of beef in his haud for the forecastle mess, when away he went, kid, beef, and all. He held on the kid to the last, like a good fellow, but the beef was gone; and when the water had run off, we saw it lying high and dry, like a rock at low tide-nothing could hurt that. We took the loss of our beef very easily, consoling ourselves with the recollection that the cabin had more to loose than we; and chuckled not a little at seeing the remains of the chicken-pie and pancakes floating in the scuppers. "This will never do!" what some said, and every one felt. Here we were, not yet within a thousand miles of the latitude of Cape Horn, and our decks swept by a sea, not one half so high as we must expect to find there. Some blamed the captain for loading his ship so deep, when he knew what he must expect;-while others said that the wind was always southwest, off the Cape, in the winter; and that running before it, we should not mind the seas so much. When we got down into the forecastle, Old Bill, who was somewhat of a croaker,-having met with a great many accidents at sea,-said, that if that was the way she was going to act, we might as well make our wills, and balance the books at once, and put on a clean shirt. "Vast there you old owl! you're always hanging out blue lights! You're frightened by the ducking you got in the scuppers, and can't take a joke! What's the use in being always on the look out for Davy Jones?" "Stand by!" says another, "and we'll get an afternoon watch below, by