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boat might have got into the smaller passages of the reef, where the brig could not enter, or she might have dodged about among these islets, until it was night, and then escaped in the darkness."

“I thought of all that, Mr. Mulford, but it came too late. When I first went aloft, I came out on the north-west side of the lantern, and took my seat, to look out for the sloopof-war, as you bade me, sir. Well, there I was sweepin' the horizon with the glass for the better part of an hour, sometimes fancyin' I saw her, and then givin' it up; for to this moment I am not sartain there is n't a sail off here to the westward, turning up toward the light on a bowline; but if there be, she's too far off to know anything partic'. lar about her. Well, sir, there I sat, looking for the Poughkeepsie, for the better part of an hour, when I thought I would go round on t other side of the lantern and take a look to windward. My heart was in my mouth, I can tell you, Miss Rose, when I saw the brig; and I felt both glad and sorry. Glad on my own account, and sorry on your ’n. There she was, however, and no help for it, within two miles of this very spot, and coming down as if she despised touching the water at all. Now, what could I do? There was n't time, Mr. Mulford, to get the boat out, and the mast stepped, afore we should have been within reach of canister, and Stephen Spike would not have spared that, in order to get you again within his power.”

“Depend on it, Harry, this is all true,” said Rose, earnestly. • I know Jack well, and can answer for his fidelity. He wishes to, and if he can he will return to the brig, whither he thinks his duty calls him, but he will never willingly betray us—least of all, me. Do I speak as I ought, Jack ?

“Gospel truth, Miss Rose, and Mr. Mulford will get over this squall, as soon as he comes to think of matters as he ought.

There's my hand, maty, to show I bear no malice."

“I take it, Jack, for I must believe you honest, after all you have done for us. Excuse my warmth, which, if a little unreasonable, was somewhat natural under the circumstances. I

suppose our case is now hopeless, and that we shall all be soon on board the brig again; for Spike will


hardly think of abandoning me again on an island provi sioned and fitted as is this !"

“It's not so sartain, sir, that you fall into his hands at all," put in Jack. “The men of the brig will never come here of their own accord, depend on that, for sailors dont like graves. Spike has come in here a’ter the schooner's chain, that he dropped into the water when he made sail from the sloop-of-war, at the time he was here afore, and is not expectin' to find us here. Nono- he thinks we are beatin' up toward Key West this very minute, if, indeed, he has missed us at all. 'T is possible he believes the boat has got adrift by accident, and has no thought of our bein' out of the brig.”

“ 'That is impossible, Jack. Do you suppose he is ignorant that Rose is missing?”.

“Sartain of it, maty, if Mrs. Budd has read the letter well that Miss Rose left for her, and Biddy has obeyed orders. If they've followed instructions, Miss Rose is thought to be in her state-room, mournin' for a young man who was abandoned on a naked rock, and Jack Tier, havin' eat somethin' that has disagreed with him, is in his berth. Recollect, Spike will not be apt to look into Miss Rose's state-room or my berth, to see if all this is true. The cook and Josh are both in my secret, and know I mean to come back, and when the fit is over I have only to return to duty, like any other hand. It is my calculation that Spike believes both Miss Rose and myself on board the Molly at this very moment."

And the boat—what can he suppose has become of the boat ?"

“Sartainly, the boat makes the only chance ag'in us. But the boat was ridin' by its painter astarn, and accidents sometimes happen to such craft. Then we two are the wery last he will suspect of havin' made off in the boat by ourselves. There'll be Mrs. Budd and Biddy as a sort of pledge that Miss Rose is aboard, and as for Jack Tier, he is too insignificant to occupy the captain's thoughts just now. He will probably muster the people for’ard, when he finds the boat is gone, but I do not think he'll trouble the cabins or state-rooms.”

Mulford admitted that this was possible, though it

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scarcely seemed probable to him. There was no help, however, for the actual state of things, and they all now turned their attention to the brig, and to the movements of those on board her. Jack Tier had swung-to the outerdoor of the house, as soon as the Swash came in view through it, and fortunately none of the windows on that side of the building had been opened at all. The air entered to windward, which was on the rear of the dwelling, so that it was possible to be comfortable and yet leave the front, in view from the vessel, with its deserted air. As for the brig, she had already anchored and got both her boats into the water. The yawl was hauled alongside, in readiness for any service that might be required of it, while

the launch had been manned at once, and was already - weighing the anchor, and securing the chain to which Tier

had alluded. All this served very much to lessen the uneasiness of Mulford and Rose, as it went far to prove that Spike had not come to the Dry Tortugas in quest of them, as, at first, both had very naturally supposed. It might, indeed, turn out that his sole object was to obtain this anchor and chain, with a view to use them in raising the illfated vessel that had now twice gone to the bottom.

“I wish an explanation with you, Jack, on one other point,” said the mate, after all three had been for sometime observing the movements on board and around the Swash. “Do you actually intend to get on board the brig ?

“ If it's to be done, maty. My v’y’ge is up with you and Miss Rose. I may be said to have shipped for Key West and a market, and the market 's found at this port.

“ You will hardly leave us yet, Jack,” said Rose, with a manner and emphasis that did not fail to strike her betrothed lover, though he could in no way account for either. That Rose should not wish to be left alone with him in that solitary place was natural enough; or, might rather be referred to education and the peculiar notions of her sex; but he could not understand why so much importance should be attached to the presence of a being of Jack Tier's mould and character. It was true, that there was little choice, under present circumstances, but it occurred to Mulford that Rose had manifested the same strange predilection when there might have been something nearer to a selection. The moment, however, was not one for much reflection on the subject.

“ You will hardly leave us yet, Jack ?" said Rose, in the manner related.

“ It's now or never, Miss Rose. If the brig once gets away from this anchorage without me, I may never lay eyes on her ag’in. Her time is nearly up, for wood and iron wont hold together always, any more than flesh and blood. Consider how many years I've been busy in huntin' her up, and how hard 't will be to lose that which has given me so many weary days and sleepless nights to find."

Rose said no more. If not convinced, she was evidently silenced, while Harry was left to wonder and surmise, as best he might. Both quitted the subject, to watch the people of the brig. By this time the anchor had been lifted, and the chain was heaving in on board the vessel, by means of a line that had been got around its bight. The work went on rapidly, and Mulford observed to Rose that he did not think it was the intention of Spike to remain long at the Tortugas, inasmuch as his brig was riding by short

range of cable. This opinion was confirmed, half an hour later, when it was seen that the launch was hooked on and hoisted in again, as soon as the chain and anchor of the schooner were secured. Jack Tier watched every movement with palpable uneasi

His apprehensions that Spike would obtain all he wanted, and be off before he could rejoin him, increased at each instant, and he did not scruple to announce an intention to take the boat and go alongside of the Swash at every hazard, rather than be left.

You do not reflect on what you say, Jack," answered Harry; “ unless, indeed, it be your intention to betray us. How could you appear in the boat, at this place, without letting it be known that we must be hard by ?"

“That do n't follow at all, maty," answered Jack. “Suppose I go alongside the brig and own to the captain that I took the boat last night, with the hope of findin' you, and that failin' to succeed, I bore up for this port, to look for provisions and water. Miss Rose he thinks on board at this moment, and in my judgment he would take me at my word, give me a good cursing, and think no more about it."

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“ It would never do, Jack," interposed Rose, instantly " It would cause the destruction of Harry, as Spike would not believe you had not found him, without an examination of this house.

“What are they about with the yaw , Mr. Mulford ?” asked Jack, whose eye was never off the vessel for a single moment. “It's gettin' to be so dark that one can hardly see the boat, but it seems as if they're about to man the yawl."

They are, and there goes a lantern into it. And that is Spike himself coming down the brig's side this instant.”

They can only bring a lantern to search this house," exclaimed Rose. “Oh! Harry, you are lost !".

“I rather think the lantern is for the light-house,” answered Mulford, whose coolness, at what was certainly a most trying moment, did not desert him. “Spike may wish to keep the light burning, for once before, you will remember, he had it kindled after the keeper was removed. As for his sailing, he would not be apt to sail until the moon rises; and in beating back to the wreck the light may serve to let him know the bearings and position of the reef.”

There they come,” whispered Rose, half breathless with alarm. “The boat has left the brig, and is coming directly hither!"

All this was true enough. The yawl had shoved off, and with two men to row it, was pulling for the wharf in front of the house, and among the timbers of which lay the boat, pretty well concealed beneath a sort of bridge. Mulford would not retreat, though he looked to the fastenings of the door as a means of increasing his chances of defence. In the stern-sheets of the boat sat two men, though it was not easy to ascertain who they were by the fading light. One was known to be Spike, however, and the other, it was conjectured, must be Don Juan Montefalderon, from the circumstance of his being in the place of honour. Three minutes solved this question, the boat reaching the wharf by that time. It was instantly secured, and all four of the men left it. Spike was now plainly to be discerned by means of the lantern which he carried in his own hands. He gave some orders, in his customary authoritative way.

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