“Old Jolliffe told me that I should have to go,” said Jack to himself, “and he was right, so far; but hang me if I hadn’t the best of the argument, and that’s all I care about.”

Captain Wilson sent for the master, and reprimanded him for his oppression, as it was evident that there was no ground for punishment, and he forbade him ever to mast—head another midshipman, but to report his conduct to the first—lieutenant or himself. He then proceeded to the quarter—deck, and, calling for Mr. Easy, gave him what appeared to be a very severe reprimand, which Jack looked upon very quietly, because it was all zeal on the captain’s part to give it, and all zeal on his own to take it. Our hero was then ordered up to the mast—head.

Jack took off his hat, and took three or four steps, in obedience to the order—and then returned and made his best bow—inquired of Captain Wilson whether he wished him to go to the fore or to the mainmast head.

“To the main, Mr. Easy,” replied the captain, biting his lips.

Jack ascended three spokes of the Jacob’s ladder, when he again stopped, and took off his hat.

“I beg your pardon, Captain Wilson—you have not informed me whether it is your wish that I should go to the topmast, or the top—gallant cross—trees.”

“To the top—gallant cross—trees, Mr. Easy,” replied the captain.

Jack ascended, taking it very easy: he stopped at the maintop for breath; at the maintopmast head, to look about him; and, at last, gained the spot agreed upon, where he seated himself, and, taking out the articles of war, commenced them again, to ascertain whether he could not have strengthened his arguments. He had not, however, read through the seventh article before the hands were turned up—“up anchor!” and Mr. Sawbridge called, “All hands down from aloft!” Jack took the hint, folded up his documents, and came down as leisurely as he went up. Jack was a much better philosopher than his father.

The Harpy was soon under way, and made all sail, steering for Cape de Gatte, where Captain Wilson hoped to pick up a Spanish vessel or two, on his way to Toulon to receive the orders of the admiral.

A succession of light breezes and calms rendered the passage very tedious; but the boats were constantly out, chasing the vessels along shore, and Jack usually asked to be employed on this service: indeed, although so short a time afloat, he was, from his age and strength, one of the most effective midshipmen, and to be trusted, provided a whim did not come into his head; but hitherto Jack had always been under orders, and had always acquitted himself very well.

When the Harpy was off Tarragona, it so happened that there were several cases of dysentery in the ship, and Mr. Asper and Mr. Jolliffe were two of those who were suffering. This reduced the number of officers; and, at the same time, they had received information from the men of a fishing—boat, who to obtain their own release had given the intelligence, that a small convoy was coming down from Rosas as soon as the wind was fair, under the protection of two gun—boats.

Captain Wilson kept well off—shore until the wind changed, and then, allowing for the time that the vessels would take to run down the distance between Tarragona and Rosas, steered in the night, to intercept them; but it again fell calm, and the boats were therefore hoisted out, with directions to proceed along the shore, as it was supposed that the vessels could not now be far distant. Mr. Sawbridge had the command of the expedition in the pinnace; the first cutter was in charge of the gunner, Mr. Minus; and, as the other officers were sick, Mr. Sawbridge, who liked Jack more and more every day, at his particular request gave him the command of the second cutter. As soon as he heard of it, Mesty declared to our hero that he would go with him; but without permission that was not possible. Jack obtained leave for Mesty to go in lieu of a marine: there were many men sick of the dysentery, and Mr. Sawbridge was not

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