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again, and I could plainly hear the loud throbbing of more than one heart.
Come,” said Dick again, “what was the fool frightened about? Look for the candle, some of you !" At last Bill found it in his breast, broke in two, and half melted away, and was proceeding for a light, when the carpenter stepped to the hatch with his lantern and said, “Why, you're all in the dark there, shipmates! Here, take
lantern." I may as well here observe that the carpenter had been listening to the story as he sat by the hatchway on deck, and it was he who had favoured us with the miau which had so frightened the boy.
As soon as the lantern had been received and the candle relighted, Dick recommenced.
“Well, my lads, I said that the captain went down below, brought up his gun, and let fly at the cat, and then-well, and then-the cat gave a loud shriek, and falls down upon the deck. The captain walks forward to it, takes it up by the tail, brings it aft, and shies it among the men.
". There, you fools,' said he, “it is the cat himself; will you believe your own eyes ?'
“ And sure enough so it was ; for you see, when Jim tumbled overboard, it being then dark, and we so busy with Jim we did not look after the cat, and so it must have crawled up the cable and run down into the hold while the hatches were off; and all that noise heard aft must have been the brute chasing the rats, I suppose ; Jim may have heard, but he could not have seen, the cat; that was all fancy and fright. You know how loug a cat will live without much food, and so the
animal was pretty quiet after it nad killed all the rats. Then when the gale came on and the upper part of the cargo fetched way a little, for it was loosely stowed, we suppose that it got jammed now and then with the rolling, and that made it miaw; and then, when we took off the hatches to look at the cargo, after we had sprung the leak, the cat o' course came out, and a pretty skeleton it was, as you may suppose.
Now do you understand the whole of it?"
• Yes, that's all clear,” replied Bill," and it was no ghost after all; but still the cat did do mischief, for if the mate had not been frightened by it, he wouldn't have let go the wheel, and the masts would not have
gone by the lee.”
“That's true enough, and he might have done more mischief still if the captain had not shot him; for the men would never have gone to the pumps again; but when they found out that it was nothing but the cat himself, then they set to, and before the next evening the vessel was clear, and only required pumping out every two hours, for the leak wasn't great, after all. So there's a ghost story for you, and I believe that all others will be found, like mine, to end in moonshine. Now suppose we turn in, for we shall weigh at three o'clock in the morning."
We all tumbled into the standing berths in the fore peak; I dreamt of black tom cats all night. The next morning we weighed with a fair wind : as before, I stood beside Bramble, who pointed out to me everything worth notice or memory as we passed; but at last the motion affected me so much that I could pay little attention, and I remained by his side as pale as a
sheet. We rounded the North Foreland, and long before dark anchored in the Downs. Bramble went no further with the vessel, the captain himself being a good pilot for the Channel. A Deal boat came alongside, we got into it, they landed us on the shinglo beach, and I followed Bramble up to his abode.
BRAMBLE'S VETHOD OF EDUCATION PROVES VERY EFFECTIVE, HE
ALSO POINTS OUT A POSITION IN WHICII YOU MAY PREFER YOUR ENEMIES TO YOUR FRIENDS.
The house of Philip Bramble was situated on the further side of a road which ran along the shore, just above the shingle beach. It was a large cottage on one floor, the street door entering at once into its only sitting-room. It was furnished as such tenements usually are, with a small dresser and shelves for crockcry, and a table and chairs of cherry wood: on the broad mantelpiece, for the fireplace was large, were several brass candlesticks, very bright, ranged with foreign curiosities, and a few shells; half-a-dozen prints in frames ornamented the walls; and on largo nails drove into the panels, wherever a space could be found, were hung coats, P-jackets, and other articles of dress, all ready for the pilot to change whenever he came on shore wet to the skin. Everything was neat and clean: the planks of the floor were white as snow, yet the floor itself was sanded with white sand, and there were one or two square wooden boxes, also filled with sand, for the use of those who smoked. When I add, that, opposite to the fireplace, there was a set of drawers of walnut wood, with an escritoire at the top, upon the flat part of which were a few books neatly arranged, and over it an old-fashioned looking-glass, divided at the sides near to the frame into sections, I believe that I have given a catalogue of the whole furniture. When I followed Bramble into the room, a little girl of about nine or ten years old ran into his arms, as he stooped down to receive her. She was a pretty child, with a very fair skin and rosy cheeks, her hair and eyes of a very dark brown, almost approaching to black; but she was not, in my opinion, near so pretty as my sister Virginia. As Bramble kissed her, she exclaimed, “O father! I am so glad you are como home. Mrs. Maddox has been in bed ever since you left: her leg is very bad indeed.”
“ Whew,” whistled Bramble, “ I'm sorry to hear that of the old lady; and how have you got on without her assistance ?"
“Why, don't you think I'm very tidy, father?” said she, looking round the room.
“Yes, Bessy, you are very tidy; and it's a pleasure to come home to a tidy clean house. Here is a conpanion for you. I told you he was coming, and you know his name.”
“It's Tom Saunders, isn't it, father?”
“Yes, that's his name, for want of a better-so I leave you to make friends, while I go up and see the poor old lady.”
“You look cold and pale, are you not well ?" was the first question of little Bessy.
“I'm cold, and not very well,” replied I: “I have not been used to knocking about on board ship.”
“Very true; I forgot you had never been at sea before. Come to the fire, then, and sit in father's big chair.”
“I never knew that your father had been married. I thought Peter Anderson said that he was a bachelor.''
“ And so he is,” replied Bessy. “ I'm not his daughter, although I call him father.”
“Indeed! then whose daughter are you? and who is the old lady up stairs ?"
“ The old lady up stairs is the widow of the pilot with whom father served his time. Her husband was lost at sea, and she keeps father's house. Father picked me up at sea, and has taken care of me ever since.” 6 Then you
don't remember your own parents ?" No, I recollect nothing, till I found myself in this house. Father says I'm a Dutchman, because it was a Dutch ship or a Dutch boat which I was taken out of.” “And how long was that ago ?"
“Nine years ago. I am now, I believe, about ten years old.”
Bessy then catechised me relative to my own family, and I had not answered all her questions when Bramble came down stairs.
“Bessy, dear, we must have the doctor to look at that leg again. I'm afeard that it will never get well. Missus is too old to shake it off.”
“Shall I go now, father?” “Yes, child, go now, for she's in great pain with it