possible to get out of them without perceiving it: besides, I should know the rock of Gibraltar again, if I saw it. I must talk to Mesty.”

Mesty soon returned with the keys of the provision room tied to his bandana.

“Now,” says he, “they not get drunk again in a hurry.”

A few more buckets of water soon brought the men to their senses: they again stood on their legs, and gradually recovered themselves. Daylight broke, and they found that the vessel had made an attempt for the Spanish coast, being within a mile of the beach, and facing a large battery á fleur d’ eau; fortunately they had time to square the yards, and steer the ship along shore under the topsails, before they were perceived. Had they been seen at daylight in the position that they were in during the night, the suspicions of the Spaniards would have been awakened; and had a boat been sent off, while they were all drunk, they must have been recaptured.

The men, who perceived what danger they had been in, listened very penitently to Jack’s remonstrances; and our hero to impress them more strongly on their minds, took out the “articles of war,” and read that on drunkenness from beginning to end; but the men had heard it read so often at the gangway that it did not make a due impression. As Mesty said, his plan was better, and so it proved; for as soon as Jack had done, the men went down to get another jug of wine, and found, to their disappointment, that it was all under lock and key.

In the meantime, Jack called Mesty aft, and asked him if he knew the way to Toulon. Mesty declared that he knew nothing about it.

“Then, Mesty, it appears to me that we have a better chance of finding our way back to Gibraltar; for you know the land was on our left side all the way coming up the Mediterranean; and if we keep it, as it is now, on our right, we shall get back again along the coast.”

Mesty agreed with Jack that this was the ne plus ultra of navigation: and that old Smallsole could not do better with his “pig—yoke” and compasses. So they shook a reef out of the topsails, set top—gallant—sails, and ran directly down the coast from point to point, keeping about five miles distant. The men prepared a good dinner; Mesty gave them their allowance of wine, which was just double what they had on board the Harpy—so they soon appeared to be content. One man, indeed, talked very big and very mutinously, swearing that if the others would join him, they would soon have liquor enough, but Mesty gave him his look, opened his knife, and swore that he would settle him, and Jack knocked him down with a handspike; so that, what with the punishment received, and that which was promised, the fellow thought he might as well say no more about it. The fact is, that had it not been from fear of Mesty, the whole of the men would, in all probability, have behaved equally as bad; nevertheless, they were a little staggered, it must be owned, at seeing Jack play so good a stick with the handspike.

After this night Jack and Mesty kept watch and watch, and everything went on very well until they were nearly abreast of Carthagena, when a gale came on from the northward, and drove them out of sight of land. Sail after sail was reduced with difficulty from their having so few hands, and the gale blew for three days with great fury. The men were tired out and discontented. It was Jack’s misfortune that he had but one good man with him: even the coxswain of the boat, although a fine—looking man, was worth nothing. Mesty was Jack’s sheet—anchor. The fourth day the gale moderated, but they had no idea where they were: they knew that they had been blown off, but how far they could not tell; and Jack now began to discover that a cruise at sea without knowledge of navigation was a more nervous thing than he had contemplated. However, there was no help for it: at night they wore the ship, and stood on the other tack, and at daylight they perceived that they were close to some small islands, and much closer to some large rocks, against which the sea beat high, although the wind had subsided. Again was the helm put up, and they narrowly escaped. As soon as the sails were trimmed, the men came aft, and proposed, that if they could find anchorage, they should run into it, for they were quite tired out. This was true; and Jack consulted with Mesty, who thought it advisable to agree to the proposal. That

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