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'Oh, if they spared one, he might see them afterwards in Hull or London, when they came there to spend their money, and so might bear witness against them, and cause them to be punished. In earlier years the pirates were more merciful, but when some of them were convicted on the evidence of persons whom they had spared, the others said, "Dead men tell no tales," and murdered all whom they took. People who begin to do wickedly almost always have to do another wicked thing to cover the first, and so can never find a stoppingplace.
4. 'One morning, when we were about halfway to our port, a fair wind was blowing very freshly indeed, and we were running under short sail. At sunrise I came on deck, and took my glass, to look around and see if any sail were in sight; and far away to the east, I could barely discern a schooner 1 standing to the north. I just fairly made her out, when her course was suddenly changed, and she began sailing directly after us. In a few minutes I saw more sail spread upon her, and it soon became evident that she was chasing us.
5. 'I did not like to alarm the crew, so I said nothing about the vessel astern,2 but called the mate, and said, "Mr. Mason, it's best to make the most of a fair wind: you may spread a little more sail." "All hands aloft to make sail!" he shouted.
1 A schooner, a small vessel usually carrying two masts, but sometimes having three.
'Then coming up to me, looking a little pale, he said, "What is it, Captain?"-for he had noticed that I had kept the glass at my eye a good while.
"Nothing of great consequence," said I.
Something, I'm certain," he said to himself,
but went away.
6. 'I didn't keep the secret long, for when the sailors had done making sail, one of them spied the schooner, and cried, "Sail ho!" They all saw her, and knew in a moment what it meant.
'Coming down to the deck, they stood in a group, looking pretty anxious, but keeping quiet, and gazing at me as if I carried all their lives in my hands. Before long, we could see the schooner plainly from the deck with the naked eye. How swiftly she came on! And we, too, were rushing forward at a great speed.
'Soon the mate came to me again. "Captain Dunbar, we are ready to set more sail, if you say so."
"Not now," I said; "we'll see. The wind freshens fast, and I am not sure she could carry more sail with safety."
7. In an hour more the pirate was only three or four miles astern. We could see her decks crowded
with men. And presently up went the black flag!!
"There it is!" cried all the crew with one
'The black flag, the colours of a pirate.
'Yes, there it was; and now if we could outsail the pirate, we lived; if not, we died.
8. 'The wind had been freshening fast all the while, and was now a sharp gale. I had never in my life, perhaps, had so much canvas on in so heavy a blow, but we must spread more.
"Set more sail."
'You should have seen the men fly to obey. They obeyed the order in about the time it took me to say it.
9. "More sail yet." It was done almost as soon as said.
'I now waited to see if we were going fast enough; but soon perceived, only too plainly, that the pirate still gained upon us, though slowly at last. I looked up to the masts, they were bending like coach whips-that they did not go overboard seemed a miracle-and yet we must carry more sail.
10. "Get on the studding-sails," I said; "we must trust to make the ship bear it."
་ At any other time, had I ordered the seamen aloft, when the masts were each moment threatening to give way, they would have refused duty; now they sprang up like cats.
'Studding-sail after studding-sail was set; then
' Canvas, the material of which sails are made. 'To spread more canvas' means to set more sails, and thus to catch more wind and be hurried along faster.
2 Studding-sails, narrow sails set at the outer edges of the square sails when the wind is light.
we got out the boat's sails, and spread them wherever they would catch a capful of wind. And still not a spar nor a yarn parted.' It seemed to me that they were held only by the mighty power of Him who rules the winds and waves.
II. 'There were a few moments of deep suspense. I stood turning my eyes now aloft at the bending, groaning masts, then astern at our fierce. pursuers.
Courage, boys!" I cried. "She no longer
'What a hurrah! But next moment they were still as death again, for it did not seem possible that our masts and our sails could hold out, and the snapping of one spar or rope would have doomed us.
12. 'And so for an hour, that seemed a year, the ship flew; but the moments lagged-how they lagged! Still the wind increased. I could see that the pirate was ploughing terribly into the sea, and that if the wind went on increasing she must soon take in sail. Presently there was a puff of smoke at her bow, and a cannon-ball plunged into the sea, a quarter of a mile astern. The men quailed a little, but I said, "Good! Boys, they begin to see that they cannot catch us." She kept firing for half an hour. Some of the balls would have struck, had they been well enough
1 Spar nor a yarn parted, neither a rod nor a rope of the sails broke.
2 Quailed, became frightened.
aimed; but the firing hindered her speed, and she lost ground considerably.
13. 'It was now nine o'clock. By this time the gale was too much for her, and her great square sail was taken in. She fell behind rapidly. At one o'clock her hull could no longer be seen, and she gave up the chase. I now had some of the sails taken in, and ordered dinner, for as yet no man had taken food. We soon left her out of sight, and at length reached our port in safety. So ends my story.'
OWEN GLENDOWER'S OAK.
I. OWEN GLENDOWER'S oak is situated at Shelton, distant about a mile from Shrewsbury. It has its name from a tradition of Owen Glendower having mounted the tree to gain a view of the battle of Shrewsbury. This battle was fought on July 20, 1403, between the forces of Henry IV., then King of England, and those of Sir Henry Percy, commonly called Hotspur, eldest son of the Earl of Northumberland.
2. Henry IV. had not been long on the throne before he found that he had many enemies, among the most formidable of whom were the Earl of Northumberland and Owen Glendower, who was descended from the ancient sovereigns of Wales. These two persons became discontented with Henry's government, and formed a scheme for