Chapter 14


As Captain Sawbridge did not return on board that evening, Easy went on shore and called upon him at the governor’s, to whom he was introduced, and received an invitation to dine with him. As Gascoigne could not come on shore, our hero took this opportunity of making his request to Captain Sawbridge, stating that the person he had with him was not such as he wished and could confide everything to; that is, not one to whom he could talk to about Agnes. Jack, as he found that Captain Sawbridge did not immediately assent, pressed the matter hard; at last Captain Sawbridge, who reflected that Gascoigne’s interest hereafter would be much greater through his friend Easy than any other quarter, and that the more the friendship was cemented the more advantageous it might prove to Gascoigne, gave his consent to our hero’s wish, who called on board of the Latona to acquaint Gascoigne and the first-lieutenant of Captain Sawbridge’s intentions, and then went on board of the Rebiera and ordered Mesty to come with his portmanteau on shore to the inn, that he might dress for dinner. Gascoigne, now considered as not belonging to the Latona, was permitted to accompany him; and Jack found himself looking out of the window at which he had hung out his trousers upon the memorable occasion when the boatswain had to follow his own precept, of duty before decency.

“What scenes of adventure I have passed through since that,” thought Jack; “not much more than four years ago, then not three weeks in the service.” Whereupon Jack fell into a deep reverie, and thought of the baboon and of Agnes.

The repairs of the Latona were all made good by the next day, and Gascoigne, having received his discharge-ticket, went on board the Rebiera. The gun-boat was put into the hands of the agent, and shortly afterwards purchased by Government. The Rebiera’s crew did not, however, obtain their prize- money and share of the head-money, for she had seventy men on board, until their return, but, as they did, they had broken the ice, and that was everything. Moreover, it gave them confidence in themselves, in their vessel, and in their commander. Our hero weighed a short time after the Latona, having first taken leave of Captain Sawbridge, and committed to his care a letter to Dr. Middleton.

Once more behold the trio together— the two mid-shipmen hanging over the taffrail, and Mesty standing by them. They had rounded Europa Point, and with a fine breeze off the land, were lying close-hauled along the Spanish shore. Mr. Oxbelly was also walking near them.

“When I was cruising here it was very different,” observed Jack; “I had a vessel which I did not know how to manage, a crew which I could not command, and had it not been for Mesty, what would have become of me?”

“Massa Easy, you know very well how to get out of scrapes, anyhow.”

“Yes, and how to get into them,” continued Gascoigne.

“And how to get others out of them, too, Ned.”

“‘No more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me,’ ” quoted Gascoigne. “I have often wondered what has been the lot of poor Azar.”

“The lot of most women, Ned, in every country— prized at first, neglected afterwards— the lot she might have had with you.”

“Perhaps so,” replied Ned, with a sigh.

“Massa Easy, you get eberybody out of scrape; you get me out of scrape.”

“I do not recollect how, Mesty.”

“You get me out from boil kettle for young gentlemen— dat devil of scrape.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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