all of them on board that he could spare, and them asked Jack to dine with him, for Jack had put on his best attire, and looked very much of a gentleman.

“Mr. Easy,” said the flag-captain, who had been looking at the transport with his glass, “is that the master’s wife on board?”

“No, sir,” replied Jack; “it’s the vice-consul.”

“What, in petticoats! the vice-consul?”

“Yes, the vice-consul of Tetuan. He came on board in that dress when the brig was under way, and I considered it my duty not to delay, being aware how very important it was that the fleet should be provided with fresh beef.”

“What is all this, Mr. Easy?” said the admiral; “there has been some trick here. You will oblige me by coming into the cabin.”

Easy followed the admiral and flag-captain into the cabin, and then boldly told the whole story how he tricked them all. It was impossible for either of them to help laughing, and when they began to laugh it was almost as impossible to stop.

“Mr. Easy,” said the admiral at last, “I do not altogether blame you; it appears that the captain of the transport would have delayed sailing because he was in love—and that Mr. Gascoigne would have stayed behind because he was infatuated; independent of the ill-will against the English which would have been excited by the abduction of the girl. But I think you might have contrived to manage all that without putting the vice-consul in petticoats.”

“I acted to the best of my judgment, sir,” replied Jack, very humbly.

“And altogether you have done well. Captain Malcolm, send a boat for the vice-consul.”

Mr. Hicks was too impatient to tell his wrongs to care for his being in his sister’s clothes: he came on board, and although the tittering was great, he imagined that it would soon be all in his favour, when it was known that he was a diplomatic. He told his story, and waited for the decision of the admiral, which was to crush our hero, who stood with the midshipmen on the lee-side of the deck; but the admiral replied, “Mr. Hicks, in the first place, this appears to me to be a family affair concerning the marriage of your sister, with which I have nothing to do. You went on board of your own free will in woman’s clothes. Mr. Easy’s orders were positive, and he obeyed them. It was his duty to sail as soon as the transport was ready. You may forward your complaint if you please, but, as a friend, I tell you that it will probably occasion your dismissal, for these kind of pranks are not understood at the foreign office. You may return to the transport, which, after she has touched at Mahon, will proceed again to Tetuan. The boat is alongside, sir.”

Mr. Hicks, astonished at the want of respect paid to a vice-consul, shoved his petticoats between his legs and went down the side amidst the laughter of the whole of the ship’s company. Our hero dined with the admiral, and was well received. He got his orders to sail that night for Minorca, and as soon as dinner was over he returned on board, where he found Captain Hogg very busy selling his porter—Gascoigne walking the deck in a brown study—and Mr. Hicks solus abaft, sulking in his petticoats.

As soon as they were clear of the boats, the Mary Ann hoisted her ensign and made sail, and as all the porter was not yet sold, Jack ordered up a bottle.

Jack was much pleased with the result of his explanation with the admiral, and he felt that, for once, he had not only got into no scrape himself, but that he had prevented others. Gascoigne walked the deck gloomily; the fact was, that he was very unhappy; he had had time to reflect, and now that the first

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