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"Not I, sir. She's heading for the brig as straight as she can go. This wind favours us on both legs; and it's lucky it does, for 't will be hard on upon daylight afore we are alongside of her. You'll want half an hour of dark, at the very least, to get a good start of the Swash, in case she makes sail a'ter you."


'Straight for the brig!-what have we to do with the brig? Our course is for Key West, unless it might be better to run down before the wind to the Dry Tortugas again, and look for the sloop-of-war. Duty, and perhaps my own safety, tells me to let Captain Mull know what Spike is about with the Swash; and I shall not hesitate a moment about doing it, after all that has passed. Give me the helm, Jack, and let us ware short round on our heel.”

"Never, master maty-never. I must go back to the brig. Miss Rose, there, knows that my business is with Stephen Spike, and with him only."

"And I must return to my aunt, Harry," put in Rose, herself. "It would never do for me to desert my aunt, you know."

"And I have been taken from that rock, to be given up to the tender mercies of Spike again?"

This was said rather in surprise, than in a complaining way; and it at once induced Rose to tell the young man the whole of their project.

"Never, Harry, never," she said firmly. "It is our intention to return to the brig ourselves, and let you escape in the boat afterwards. Jack Tier is of opinion this can be done without much risk, if we use proper caution and do not lose too much time. On no account would I consent to place you in the hands of Spike again-death would be preferable to that, Harry!"

"And on no account can or will I consent to place you again in the hands of Spike, Rose," answered the young "Now that we know his intentions, such an act would be almost impious."


"Remember my aunt, dear Harry. What would be her situation in the morning, when she found herself deserted by her niece and Biddy-by me, whom she has nursed and watched from childhood, and whom she loves so well."

"I shall not deny your obligations to your aunt, Rose,

and your duty to her under ordinary circumstances. But these are not ordinary circumstances; and it would be courting the direst misfortunes, nay, almost braving Providence, to place yourself in the hands of that scoundrel again, now that you are clear of them."


Spike's a willian!" muttered Jack.

"And my desartin' the missus would be a sin that no praste would overlook aisily," put in Biddy. "When Miss Rose told me of this v'y'ge that she meant to make in the boat wid Jack Tier, I asked to come along, that I might take care of her, and see that there was plenty of wather; but ill-luck befall me if I would have t'ought of sich a thing, and the missus desarted."

"We can then run alongside of the brig, and put Biddy and Jack on board of her," said Mulford, reflecting a moment on what had just been said, "when you and I can make the best of our way to Key West, where the means of sending government vessels out after the Swash will soon offer. In this way we can not only get our friends out of the lion's jaws, but keep out of them ourselves.”

"Reflect a moment, Harry," said Rose, in a low voice, but not without tenderness in its tones; "it would not do for me to go off alone with you in this boat."

"Not when you have confessed your willingness to go over the wide world with me, Rose-with me, and with me only?"

"Not even then, Harry. I know you will think better of this, when your generous nature has time to reason with your heart, on my account."

"I can only answer in your own words, Rose-never. If you return to the Swash, I shall go on board with you, and throw defiance into the very teeth of Spike. I know the men do not dislike me, and, perhaps, assisted by Señor Montefalderon, and a few friends among the people, I can muster a force that will prevent my being thrown into the


Rose burst into tears, and then succeeded many minutes, during which Mulford was endeavouring, with manly tenderness, to soothe her. As soon as our heroine recovered her self-command, she began to discuss the matter at issue between them more coolly. For half an hour everything

was urged by each that feeling, affection, delicacy, or distrust of Spike could well urge, and Mulford was slowly getting the best of the argument, as well he might, the truth being mostly of his side. Rose was bewildered, really feeling a strong reluctance to quit her aunt, even with so justifiable a motive, but principally shrinking from the appearance of going off alone in a boat, and almost in the open sea, with Mulford. Had she loved Harry less, her scruples might not have been so active, but the consciousness of the strength of her attachment, as well as her fixed intention to become his wife the moment it was in her power to give him her hand with the decencies of her sex, contributed strangely to prevent her yielding to the young man's reasoning. On the subject of the aunt, the mate made out so good a case, that it was apparent to all in the boat Rose would have to abandon that ground of refusal. Spike had no object to gain by ill-treating Mrs. Budd; and the probability certainly was that he would get rid of her as soon as he could, and in the most easy manner. This was so apparent to all, that Harry had little difficulty in getting Rose to assent to its probability. But there remained the reluctance to go off alone with the mate in a boat. This part of the subject was more difficult to manage than the other; and Mulford betrayed as much by the awkwardness with which he managed it. At length the discussion was brought to a close by Jack Tier suddenly saying,

"Yonder is the brig; and we are heading for her as straight as if she was the pole, and the keel of this boat was a compass. I see how it is, Miss Rose, and a'ter all, I must give in. I suppose some other opportunity will offer for me to get on board of the brig ag'in, and I'll trust to that. If you won't go off with the mate alone, I suppose you'll not refuse to go off in my company."

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"Will you accompany us, Jack? This is more than I ad hoped for! Yes, Harry, if Jack Tier will be of the arty, I will trust my aunt to Biddy, and go with you to ey West, in order to escape from Spike."

This was said so rapidly, and so unexpectedly, as to take Malford completely by surprise. Scarce believing what he heard, the young man was disposed, at first, to feel hurt,

though a moment's reflection showed him that he ought to rejoice in the result let the cause be what it might.

"More than I had hoped for !" he could not refrain from repeating a little bitterly; “is Jack Tier, then, of so much importance, that his company is thought preferable to


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Hush, Harry!" said Rose, laying her hand on Mulford's arm, by way of strengthening her appeal. "Do not say that.

You are ignorant of circumstances; at another time you shall know them, but not now. Let it be enough for the present, that I promise to accompany you if Jack will be of our party."


Ay, ay, Miss Rose, I will be of the party, seeing there is no other way of getting the lamb out of the jaws of the wolf. A'ter all, it may be the wisest thing I can do, though back to the Swash I must and will come, powder or no powder, treason or no treason, at the first opportunity. Yes, my business is with the Molly, and to the Molly I shall return. It's lucky, Miss Rose, since you have made up your mind to ship for this new cruise, that I bethought me of telling Biddy to make up a bundle of duds for you. This carpet-bag has a change or two in it, and all owing to my forethought. Your woman said Miss Rose will come back wid us, Jack, and what's the use of rumplin' the clothes for a few hours' sail in the boat;' but I knew womankind better, and foreseed that if master mate fell in alongside of you ag'in, you would not be apt to part company very soon.

"I thank you, Jack, for the provision made for my comfort; though some money would have added to it materially. My purse has a little gold in it, but a very little, and I fear you are not much better off, Harry. It will be awkward to find ourselves in Key West penniless."

"We shall not be quite that. I left the brig absolutely without a cent, but foreseeing that necessity might make them of use, I borrowed half a dozen of the doubloons from the bag of Señor Montefalderon, and, fortunately, they are still in my pocket. All I am worth in the world is in a bag of half-eagles, rather more than a hundred altogether, which I left in my chest, in my own state-room aboard the brig."

"You'll find that in the carpet-bag too, master mate," said Jack, coolly.

"Find what, man--not my money, surely?"


Ay, every piece of it. Spike broke into your chest this a'ternoon, and made me hold the tools while he was doing it. He found the bag, and overhauled it—a hundred and seven half, eleven quarter, and one full-grown eagle, was the count. When he had done the job, he put all back ag'in, a'ter giving me the full-grown eagle for my share of the plunder, and told me to say nothing of what I had seen. I did say nothing, but I did a good bit of work, for, while he was at supper, I confiserated that bag, as they call it and you will find it there among Miss Rose's clothes, with the full-grown gentleman back in his nest ag'in."

"This is being not only honest, Tier," cried Mulford, heartily, "but thoughtful. One-half that money shall be yours for this act.”

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I thank 'e, sir; but I'll not touch a cent of it. It came hard, I know, Mr. Mulford; for my own hands have smarted too much with tar, not to know that the seaman earns his money like the horse.'”

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"Still it would not be spending it like an ass,' Jack, to give you a portion of mine. But there will be other opportunities to talk of this. It is a sign of returning to the concerns of life, Rose, that money begins to be of interest to us. How little did we think of the doubloons, or halfeagles, a few hours since, when on the wreck !"

"It was wather that we t'ought of then," put in Biddy. "Goold is good in a market, or in a town, or to send back to Ireland, to help a body's aged fader or mudder in comfort wid; but wather is the blessed thing on a wrack!”

"The brig is coming quite plainly into view, and you had better give me the helm, Jack. It is time to bethink us of the manner of approaching her, and how we are to proceed when alongside.'

This was so obviously true, that everybody felt disposed to forget all other matters, in order to conduct the proceedings of the next twenty minutes, with the necessary prudence and caution. When Mulford first took the helm, the brig was just coming clearly into view, though still

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