“Then he did his duty; but depend upon it it was not a pleasant one to him: and I’ll answer for it, when you meet him on board, he will be as friendly with you as if nothing had happened.”

“He told me that he’d soon make me know what a first—lieutenant was: what did he mean by that?” inquired Jack.

“All zeal.”

“Yes, but he said, that as soon as he got on board, he’d show me the difference between a first—lieutenant and a midshipman.”

“All zeal.”

“He said my ignorance should be a little enlightened by—and—by.”

“All zeal.”

“And that he’d send a sergeant and marines to fetch me.”

“All zeal.”

“That he would put my philosophy to the proof.”

“All zeal, Mr. Easy. Zeal will break out in this way; but we should do nothing in the service without it. Recollect that I hope and trust one day to see you also a zealous officer.”

Here Jack cogitated considerably, and gave no answer.

“You will, I am sure,” continued Captain Wilson, “find Mr. Sawbridge one of your best friends.”

“Perhaps so,” replied Jack; “but I did not much admire our first acquaintance.”

“It will perhaps be your unpleasant duty to find as much fault yourself; we are all equally bound to do our duty to our country. But, Mr. Easy, I sent for you to say that we shall sail to—morrow: and, as I shall send my things off this afternoon by the launch, you had better send yours off also. At eight o’clock I shall go on board, and we can both go in the same boat.”

To this Jack made no sort of objection, and having paid his bill at the Fountain, he sent his chest down to the boat by some of the crew who came up for it, and attended the summons of the captain to embark. By nine o’clock that evening, Mr. Jack Easy was safe on board his Majesty’s sloop Harpy.

When Jack arrived on board, it was dark, and he did not know what to do with himself. The captain was received by the officers on deck, who took off their hats to salute him. The captain returned the salute, and so did Jack very politely, after which, the captain entered into conversation with the first—lieutenant, and for a while Jack was left to himself. It was too dark to distinguish faces, and to one who had never been on board of a ship, too dark to move, so Jack stood where he was, which was not far from the main bitts; but he did not stay long; the boat had been hooked on to the quarter davits, and the boatswain had called out:

“Set taut, my lads!”

And then with the shrill whistle, and “Away with her!” forward came galloping and bounding along, the men with the tackles; and in the dark Jack was upset, and half a dozen marines fell upon him; the men, who had no idea that an officer was floored among the others, were pleased at the joke, and continued to dance over those who were down, until they rolled themselves out of the way. Jack, who did not understand this, fared badly, and it was not till the calls piped belay, that he could recover his legs, after having been

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.