Imágenes de páginas

O, how the hearts of the poor fellows throbbed with anxiety as they watched the increasing mast, and then the hull of the vessel, as it came up fully to view. It was steering towards them. It came nearer and nearer hour after hour. At last they shouted, and made signals, though still too distant to be heard. On, on, came the vessel, bounding over the waves.

“Captain!” said Frank, “Captain! we shall be saved."

“Well, what of that ? " said the poor captain, without the slightest expression of joy.

“ Could I not possibly get at my chest ? ” said Brandon. “What will people think of me in these old clothes ?

“It would not be safe to make the attempt,” was the reply of one of the sailors, an experienced tar. “ Never mind your clothes, Joe, if your

life is saved. There comes a boat, - hurrah !” cried Frank.

It was an English brig, bound for Fayal. The boat was soon alongside.

“Halloo ! shipmates !” said a bluff English sailor; “ you do n't spread much canvass. I'm afraid you ’re bound for Davy's locker.” And


he jumped upon the deck, now almost level with the ocean, followed by his companions.

The story of their misfortunes was soon told.

“Hurry! hurry!” said the first speaker; have n't a second to lose. What ails your captain ? He seems in a brown study.”

“ He has been very ill, and since his misfortunes seems to have lost his reason. We must help him on board,” said Frank, taking him kindly by the hand.

6. We must leave the poor

Sally Ann."

66 That was my

wife's name,

,” said the captain. “ Must we go? Well, just as you say "; and he stepped into the boat. Brandon, Frank, and the sailors followed.

A few casks of biscuit, and some other things of little value, were all that could be saved from the wreck.

They rowed for the brig; and, after having been cordially welcomed by the English captain and crew, they turned to see, once more, the wreck of the Sally Ann.

- The shattered thing Had passed away and left no mark.”





With a fair wind the brig went on towards Fayal. There seemed but little change in the captain from day to day, and yet he was declining. Frank attended upon him with as much devotedness as if he had been his father.

The cry of “ Land, land,” the third day after they left the wreck, started the captain from a long sleep. Frank was sitting by him. He knew him, and calling him by name, said, “ Was not that the cry of land ?

“ It was,” said Frank, pleased to see that the captain had once more his reason.

• Here is Captain Brown who will tell you what it is.”

" How are you, Captain ? Better, I hope. We shall soon be in port. The land is a high mountain in one of the Azores, called the Peak,” said the English captain.

“ I have a dim recollection of escape from a wreck. The poor Sally Ann, did she go down, Frank ? ” asked Captain Wye, in a mournful voice.

“She did, Sir, but all were saved," replied Frank.

“ You are a good lad, Frank, God bless you,” said the poor captain ; then, lowering his voice almost to a whisper, he said, “ You pray sometimes, Frank, do n't you? Well, pray for me, for I am going to my long account. Bury me in the ocean, Captain, I shall rest better there."

For a few moments he was silent; he thought of his far-distant home. He then called Frank again, and said, “Here, my brave boy, take my watch, it is all I have to give you, - it keeps true time ; and when you get home, go to New Bedford and tell my wife all about my misfortunes. Call the other boys."

The sailors were called.

• Well, my lads, your captain 's just going," said he. “Keep steady, boys, and then, you know, all 's well. There's nothing more comfortable than a clean conscience when one is about to die. Brandon, I thought you would have gone before me, but it seems you stay a while longer. Be kind to Frank, whatever happens; he has been kind enough to you. God bless you, Captain Brown. Take good care of these poor

fellows." And here the captain's mind wandered again ; he muttered indistinctly for a while, and then was for ever silent. In a few hours he had breathed his last.

“ They saw the pomp of day depart,

The cloud resign its golden crown,
When to the ocean's beating heart

The sailor's wasted corse went down.-
Peace be to those whose graves are made
Beneath the bright and silver wave.”

The town of Villa de Horta, in Fayal, is inhabited principally by the Portuguese. At the time of the arrival of Captain Brown with the wrecked seamen from the Sally Ann, it happened there was no American consul there, and only one American resident in the place. Vessels from the United States, however, frequently visited the island; and the captain, after giving each of the sailors a full suit of coarse clothes, left them to find what opportunity they could to return to their own country. The very next day, the two sailors shipped on

« AnteriorContinuar »