was to Jack’s harangue; after which Mesty gave them some biscuit, which they devoured in thankfulness, until they could get something better. The next morning the wind was fair, they weighed their kedge with some difficulty, and ran out of the harbour; the men appeared very contrite, worked well, but in silence, for they had no very pleasant anticipations; but hope always remains with us; and each of the men, although he had no doubt but that the others would be hung, hoped that he would escape with a sound flogging. The wind, however, did not allow them to steer their course long; before night it was contrary, and they fell off three points to the northward. “However,” as Jack observed, “at all events we shall make the Spanish coast, and then we must run down it to Gibraltar: I don’t care—I understand navigation much better than I did.” The next morning they found themselves, with a very light breeze, under a high cape, and, as the sun rose, they observed a large vessel in—shore, about two miles to the westward of them, and another outside, about four miles off. Mesty took the glass and examined the one outside, which, on a sudden, had let fall all her canvas, and was now running for the shore, steering for the cape under which Jack’s vessel lay. Mesty put down the glass.

“Massa Easy—I tink dat de Harpy.”

One of the seamen took the glass and examined her, while the others who stood by showed great agitation.

“Yes, it is the Harpy,” said the seaman. “Oh! Mr. Easy, will you forgive us?” continued the man, and he and the others fell on their knees. “Do not tell all, for God’s sake, Mr. Easy.”

Jack’s heart melted; he looked at Mesty.

“I tink,” said Mesty apart to our hero, “dat with what them hab suffer already, suppose they get seven dozen a—piece, dat quite enough.”

Jack thought that even half that punishment would suffice; so he told the men, that although he must state what had occurred, he would not tell all, and would contrive to get them off as well as he could. He was about to make a long speech, but a gun from the Harpy, which had now come up within range, made him defer it till a more convenient opportunity. At the same time the vessel in—shore hoisted Spanish colours, and fired a gun.

“By de powers, but we got in the middle of it,” cried Mesty; “Harpy tink us Spaniard. Now, my lads, get all gun ready, bring up powder and shot. Massa, now us fire at Spaniard—Harpy not fire at us—no ab English colours on board—dat all we must do.”

The men set to with a will; the guns were all loaded, and were soon cast loose and primed, during which operations it fell calm, and the sails of all three vessels flapped against their masts. The Harpy was then about two miles from Jack’s vessel, and the Spaniard about a mile from him, with all her boats ahead of her, towing towards him; Mesty examined the Spanish vessel.

“Dat man—o’—war, Massa Easy—what de debbel we do for colour? must hoist something.”

Mesty ran down below; he recollected that there was a very gay petticoat, which had been left by the old lady who was in the vessel when they captured her. It was of green silk, with yellow and blue flowers, but very faded, having probably been in the Don’s family for a century. Mesty had found it under the mattress of one of the beds, and had put it into his bag, intending probably to cut it up into waistcoats. He soon appeared with this under his arm, made it fast to the peak halyards and hoisted it up.

“Dere, massa, dat do very well—dat what you call all nation colour. Everybody strike him flag to dat— men nebber pull it down,” said Mesty, “anyhow. Now den, ab hoist colour, we fire away—mind you only fire one gun at a time, and point um well, den ab time to load again.”

“She’s hoisted her colours, sir,” said Sawbridge, on board of the Harpy; “but they do not show out clear, and it’s impossible to distinguish them; but there’s a gun.”

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