“He’s a long way from ruin yet, Wilson—he’s a very fine fellow, even by your own acknowledgment. You humoured him out of gratitude to his father, when he first came into the service; humour him a little now to keep him in it. Besides, if your first-lieutenant is such a fool with his universal medicine, can you wonder at a midshipman taking advantage of it?”

“No, but I ought not to allow him to do so with my eyes open.”

“He has made it known to you upon honour, and you ought not to take advantage of his confidence: but still what I proposed would, I think, be the best, for then he will be at his duty in a way that will suit all parties. You, because you employ him on service—the first-lieutenant, because Jack can take his medicine—and Jack, because he can dine with me every day.”

“Well, I suppose it must be so,” replied Captain Wilson, laughing; “but still, I trust you will discover what is working in his mind to induce him to give me that answer, governor.”

“Never fear, Jack shall confess, and lay his soul as bare as that of a Catholic bigot before his padre.”

The party sat down to dinner, and what with the governor’s aide-de-camp and those invited, it was pretty numerous. After the cloth had been removed, the governor called upon Jack for his stories; whereupon, much to the surprise of Captain Wilson, who had never heard one word of it, for the admiral had not mentioned anything about it to him during the short time the Aurora was with the Toulon fleet, our hero gave the governor and the company the narrative of all that happened in the Eliza Ann transport—the loves of Captain Hogg and Miss Hicks—the adventures of Gascoigne—and his plan, by which he baulked them all. The governor was delighted, and Captain Wilson not a little astonished.

“You prevented a very foolish thing, Mr. Easy, and behaved very well,” observed the captain, laughing again at the idea; “but you never told me of all this.”

“No, sir,” replied Jack, “I have always reserved my stories for the governor’s table, where I am sure to meet you, and then telling once does for all.”

Jack received his appointment as orderly midshipman, and everything went on well; for, of his own accord, he stayed on board the major part of the day to learn his duty, which very much pleased the captain and Mr. Pottyfar. In this Jack showed a great deal of good sense, and Captain Wilson did not repent of the indulgence he had shown him. Jack’s health improved daily, much to Mr. Pottyfar’s satisfaction, who imagined that he took the universal medicine night and morning. Gascoigne also was a patient under the first-lieutenant’s hands, and often on shore with our hero, who thought no more of quitting the service.

For seven weeks they had now remained in harbour, for even the masts had to be made, when, one day, Captain Wilson opened a letter he received at breakfast-time, and having read it, laid it down with the greatest surprise depicted in his countenance. “Good heavens! what can this mean?” said he.

“What’s the matter, Wilson?” said the governor.

“Just hear its contents, Sir Thomas.”

Captain Wilson then read in Spanish as follows:—

“Honourable Sir,

“It is my duty to advise you that the Honourable Lady Signora Alforgas de Guzman, now deceased, has, in her testament, bequeathed to you the sum of one thousand doubloons in gold as a testimony of your kind services on the night of the 12th of August. If you will authorize any merchant here to receive the

  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.