501“What’s your hurry?” demanded the skipper. “I’ll sign you on at full wages and you can make the trip home in her.”
“Thank you kindly, sir,” I 佛山夜生活 answered, “but I’m home now, once I get ashore.”
“Aye!” snorted the captain, “And in three days you’ll be on the beach and howling to sign on again. I can’t sign you off here, anyway, without paying port dues. Turn to with the crew until she’s dumped her ballast and tied up in Tacoma, and I’ll give you your board-of-trade discharge.”
I protested against such a delay as forcibly as the circumstances permitted.
“Huh! That’s it!” growled the master. “Every man jack of you with the price of a drink coming to him puts his helm hard down if a shift of work turns up. Well, to-morrow’s Sunday. I’ll get some money of the agents when I go ashore and pay you off on Monday morning. But I’ll have to set you down on the log as a deserter.”
“Very good, sir,” I answered.
Fifty-seven days after boarding the Glenalvon I bade farewell to her crew. Dressed in khaki uniform and an ancient pair of sea 佛山桑拿会所一条龙 boots that had cost me four messes of plum duff, I landed with the captain at a rocky point on the further side of the cove. He marched before me until we had reached the door of an isolated saloon, then turned and dropped into my hand seven and a half dollars.
“I’ve brought you here,” he said, “to save you from losing your wages to those sharks down there in Squiremouth. You must be back on board by to-morrow night.”
“Eh!” I gasped.
“Oh, I have to tell you that,” snapped the skipper, “or I can’t set you down as a deserter,” and, pushing aside the swinging doors before him, he disappeared.
I plodded on towards the city of Victoria. The joy of being on land once more, above all of being my own master, was so acute that it was with difficulty that I refrained from cutting a caper in the public highway. For once I realized the full strength of that instinct which drives the seaman on the day he is paid off from a long voyage 佛山南海区桑拿娱乐会所 to plunge headlong into the wildest excesses of dissipation.
In reality I was still in a foreign land; yet how every detail about me suggested the fatherland from which I had so long been absent. The wooden sidewalk drumming under my boots; the cozy houses, roofed with shingles instead of tiles, and each standing with 502retiring modesty in its own green lawn; the tinkle of cow-bells in neighboring pastures—a hundred unimportances, that passed unheeded
when I dwelt among them, stood forth to call up reminiscences of my pre-wandering existence. In Victoria every passer-by seemed a long-lost friend, so familiar did each look in feature, garb, and actions. All that day, as often as I heard a voice behind me, I whirled about and stared at the speaker, utterly astonished that he should be speaking English.
I caught the night boat for Seattle and landed at midnight in my native land after an absence of four hundred and sixty-six days. For two days following I did little but sleep, then set out one evening to “beat my way” eastward, landing 佛山桑拿论坛0757 in Spokane the second night thereafter. My wages as a seaman being nearly exhausted, I put up at the “Ondawa Workingman’s Inn,” purchased a job at an employment agency, and spent a week “bucking the concrete board” for J. Kennedy, a bustling Irish contractor to whom Spokane is indebted for most of her sidewalks. At the end of that time I turned over another dollar to the employment agency and shipped as a railway laborer to Paola, Montana. The train halted at midnight at the station named, an isolated shanty in a wild mountain gorge; but, having no desire to tramp ten miles across the parched foothills to the camp of the contractor, I went on, like several of the “agency gang,” by the same train—this time crouched on the steps of a Pullman car. My companions dropped off one by one as the night air set their teeth chattering, but I clung to my place until daylight came and the conductor, raising the vestibule floor above my head, invited me to “hit the grit.”
A four-mile walk brought me to Havre. From one of its restaurants I had barely emerged when a ranchman accosted me. When night fell I was speeding eastward in charge of seven car-loads of cattle. Six days later I turned the animals over to the tender mercies of a packing-house in Chicago, and, on the morning of October fourteenth, entered the portals of my paternal home.
“A Victorious union” is the sixth and last of “The Blue and the Gray Series.” While the volume is not intended to be a connected historical narrative of the particular period of the War of the Rebellion in which its scenes are laid, the incidents accurately conform to the facts, and especially to the spirit, of the eventful years in which they are placed, as recorded in the chronicles of the great struggle, and as they exist in the memory of the writer. It is more than thirty years since the war began, and thousands upon thousands of the active participants in the strife as soldiers and sailors, including nearly all the great commanders, have passed on to their eternal reward. Thousands upon thousands of men and women have been born and reached their maturity since the most tremendous war of modern times ended in A Victorious union. The knowledge of the stirring events of those four years of conflict, and 6 of the patriotic spirit which inspired and underlaid them, has come, or will come, to at least one-half the population of this vast nation of sixty-five millions from the printed page or through the listening ear. The other moiety, more or less, either as children or adults, lived in the period of action, saw the gathering battalions, and heard or read the daily reports from the ensanguined battle-fields.
In some of the States that remained loyal to the union throughout the long struggle, a military parade had been regarded by many as something very much in the nature of a circus display, as “fuss and feathers,” such as tickled the vanity of both officer and private. Military organizations, except in our small regular army, were disparaged and ridiculed. When the war came, the Northern people were unprepared for it to a very great degree. The change of public opinion was as sudden as the mighty event was precipitate. Then the soldier became the most prominent and honored member of the community, and existing military bodies became the nucleus of the armies that were to fight the battles of the Republic.
During the last thirty years the military spirit has been kept alive as a constituent element of 7 patriotism itself. The love of country has been diligently fostered and nurtured in the young, and public opinion has been voiced and energized in the statutes of many States, and in the educational machinery of many municipalities. Over vast numbers of schoolhouses in our land floats the American flag, the symbol of the union and the principles that underlie it.
The flag, the banner now of a reunited nation, means something more than the sentiment of loyalty to the union as the home of freedom; for it implies the duty of defending the honor of that flag, the representative idea of all we hold dear in Fatherland. In the East and the West a considerable proportion of the high schools make military tactics a part of their educational course. Companies, battalions, and regiments of young men in their teens parade the streets of some of our cities, showing in what manner the military spirit is kept alive, and, at the same time, how the flag floating over our educational institutions, which means so much more than ever before to our people, is to be defended and perpetuated in the future.
The author of the six volumes of “The Blue and the Gray Series,” as well as of “The Army 8 and Navy Series,” the latter begun in the heat of the war thirty years ago, earnestly believes in keeping active in the minds of the young the spirit of patriotism. In the present volume, as in those which have preceded it, he has endeavored to present to his readers, not only a hero who is brave, skilful, and ready to give his life for his country, but one who is unselfishly patriotic; one who is not fighting for promotion and prize-money, but to save the union in whose integrity and necessity he believes as the safeguard and substance of American liberty.
Peace has reigned in our land for nearly thirty years, and the asperities of a relentless war have been supplanted by better and more brotherly relations between the North and the South. The writer would not print a word that would disturb these improving conditions; and if he has erred at all in picturing the intercourse between Americans as enemies, he has made sure to do so in the interests of justice and magnanimity on both sides.
In the series of which this volume is the last, the author has confined his narrative of adventures to the navy. It has been suggested to him that another series, relating exclusively to incidents 9 in the army, should follow. After forty years of labor in this particular field, and having already exhausted the threescore and ten of human life, he cannot be assured that he will live long enough to complete such a series, though still in excellent health; but he intends to make a beginning of the work as soon as other engagements will permit.
William T. Adams.
Dorchester, March 16, 1893.
THE MISSION TO MOBILE POINT
“I almost wish you were the second or the third lieutenant of the Bellevite, instead of the executive officer, Christy,” said Captain Breaker, the commander of the steamer, as they were seated together one day on the quarter-deck.
“Do I fail in the discharge of my duty in my present position, Captain?” asked Christy, very much astonished, not to say startled, at the remark of the commander.
“Not in the slightest degree, my dear boy!” returned Captain Breaker with very decided emphasis. “You have served in your present capacity for four months; and if you were fifty years old, and had twenty years of naval experience behind you, it would be hardly possible for you to 16 be more correct and dignified in the performance of the details of your office.”
“I thank you, Captain, for the partial view you take of what I have done,” added Christy, taking off his cap and bowing to his superior.
“Well, you ought to be a good officer in any situation, my dear fellow,” continued the commander. “I doubt if there is another officer in the navy who has enjoyed the advantages you have had in preparing himself for the duties of his profession. You were brought up, so to say, on board of the Bellevite. You were a good scholar in the first place. Without including myself, you have had excellent teachers in every department of science and philosophy, among whom your father was one of the wisest. Poor Dashington was one of the best seamen that ever trod a deck; and he took especial delight in showing you how to make every knot and splice, as well as in instructing you in the higher details of practical seamanship. Blowitt and myself assisted him, and old Boxie, who gave his life to his country, was more than a grandfather to you.”
“I have certainly been very grateful to you and to them for all they did for me,” replied Christy 17 with a sad expression on his handsome face as the commander recalled the three shipmates of both of them who slept in heroes’ graves.
“Perhaps the brilliant genius of our engine-room did quite as much for you as any other person, though not many years your senior.”
“Paul Vapoor is my friend and crony; and if he had been my professor in a college he could have done no more for me. I assure you, Captain, that I keep alive my gratitude to all my instructors, including some you have not mentioned.”
“I was only explaining why you are what you ought to be, for you have had very exceptional opportunities, better by far than any other officer in the service. But it is altogether to your credit that you have used those opportunities wisely and well.”
“I should have been a blockhead if I had not.”
“That is very true; but the mournful wrecks of wasted opportunities strew the tracks of many, many young men. I think you can look back upon as few of them as any one within my knowledge,” said the commander, bestowing a look of genuine affection upon his chief officer. “More than once, even before we entered upon this terrible war, I 18 have told your father how happy he ought to be in having such a son as you are.”
“Come, come, Captain Breaker, you are praising me!” exclaimed Christy impatiently.
“I am speaking only the simple truth, and I have very rarely said as much as I say now. It was when you asked me if you had failed in the discharge of the duties of your present position that I was 佛山桑拿上门服务 led into this line of remark; and I am sure you will not be spoiled by honest and just praise,” replied the captain.
“Then, to go back to the point where you began, why do you almost wish that I were second or third lieutenant, instead of executive officer, of the Bellevite, Captain?” continued Christy, rising from his seat, and fixing an earnest gaze upon the face of the commander, for he was very sensitive, and he could not help feeling that he had been lacking in something that would make him a better executive officer than he was.
“Mr. Ballard, the second lieutenant, and Mr. Walbrook, the third, are gentlemen of the highest grade, and excellent officers; but they are both somewhat wanting in dash and cool impetuosity.”