Fighting for freedom, or, The birth of the Stars and Stripes


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Fighting for freedom, or, The birth of the Stars and Stripes

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Title:
Fighting for freedom, or, The birth of the Stars and Stripes
Creator:
Lounsberry, Lionel.
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Philadelphia
Publisher:
David McKay
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English

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Revolution -- History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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028865648 ( ALEPH )
228136703 ( OCLC )
C21-00038 ( USFLDC DOI )
c21.38 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
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Boys of Liberty Library A new series of splendid tales of the wonderful and stirring adventures of boys who fought in The Revolutionary War, The French and Indian Wars, and Naval Battles of 1812. The stories are written in an intensely interesting style, and no boy can read them without being aroused to the highest pitch of patriotic enthusiasm. We give herewith a list of titles now ready. Read the first and you will want to read all the others. Uniform with this volume in size, style, and price. Each, postpaid, 50 eta • Paul Revere . . . . . . . The First Shot for Liberty Fooling the Enemy . . . • Into the Jaws of Death . . The Hero of Ticonderoga . On to Quebec . . . . Fighting Hal . . • • . Marion and His Men . . The Young Ambassador . The Young Guardsman . The Cruise of the Lively Bee . The Tory Plot . . . . • In Buff and Blue . . . Washington's Young Spy Under Greene's Banner . Captain of the Minute Men • The Quaker Spy . . • • Fighting for Freedom . . By Order of the Colonel A Call to Duty In Glory's Van The King's Messenger Dashing Paul Jones . From Midshipman to Commodore The Cruise of the Essex • . • . . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. • By John De Morgan. . By John De Morgan. • By John De Morgan. • By John De Morgan. . By T. C. Harbaugh. . By T. C. Harbaugh. . By T. C. Harbaugh. • By T . C. Harbaugh. • By Harrie Irving Hancock. . By Lieut. Lounsberry. . By Lieut. Lounsberry. . By Lieut. Lounsberry. . By Lieut. Lounsberry. • By Lieut. Lounsberry. . By Capt. Frank Ralph. • By Frank Sheridan. . By Frank Sheridan. . By Frank Sheridan.

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"Examine him with care, Master Pryle," commanded Captain Jones. 11 Exert all your skill to restore him." (See page 7)

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FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM OR THE BIRTH OF THE STARS AND STRIPES BY LIEUT. LIONEL LOUNSBERRY AUTHOR. OF "The Treasure of the Golden Crater," "Out with Commodore Decatur," "Won at West Point," "Cadet Kit Carey," etc. PHILADELPHIA DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER 610 SOUTH w ASHINGTON SQUAR.lt

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Copyrlgllt, By STREET & SMITH Fighting !or Freedom.

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FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM. CHAPTER I. THE MYSTERIOUS CASTAWAY. It was in the early morning hours of an August day in the year 1778. When the glowing summer sun peeped over the edge of the horizon formed by the low-lying shores of France, almost due south from Land's End, England, it brought out from its shadows a wide expanse of water recently troubled by a violent storm. At first sight the surface of the mighty Atlantic seemed untenanted. Not the glint of a sail, be it a fishing smack or lofty Indiaman, could be seen. Not even-as might reasonably be expected at that hour and place-were the dun-colored canvases of belated smug gling luggers visible. Notwithstanding that fact, a close inspection-had there been human eyes to witness it-would have re vealed a peculiar object pitching sluggishly at the mercy of the waves. It was not an overturned yawl, nor a derelict vessel, mute relics of a marine tragedy, but the rope-festooned top of a ship's mast, with a portion of a spar still clinging to it. As it tossed back and forth, riding the foam-capped

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6 The Mysterious Castaway. waves in sullen protest, the rising sun shone upon a pallid face, secured just out of the sea ' s reach. It was that of a youth, possibly sixteen years of age. The eyes were closed; the hair, dank with salty mois ture, clung closely to a rather high forehead, across which ran a jagged scar still stained with crimson. A sea gull hovered for a moment over the flotsam with its ghastly freight, then alighted gently upon the youth's breast. Not a hand was raised to touch it, neither did the lips open to bid the bird begone. A half hour passed ; then, with a vigorous flutter of its wings, the gull soared aloft and darted away toward a speck of dazzling white which had just made its ap pearance in the south. As time passed the speck grew larger, finally expanding into the swelling sails of a full-rigged ship. Then the hull came into view. It was not a merchantman, for along both sides ran a double row of ports , through which frowned the muzzles of cannon. Aft from the mizzen peak flut tered a strange flag-the first of its kind ever seen in those waters. It consisted of alternate stripes of red and white, and bore in one corner a blue field sprinkled with thirteen white stars . The English Channel had been plowed by ships flaunting many banners. The colors of Spain and France and Italy-ay, and it is wh i spered that even Black Jack itself, the defiant ensign of merciless pi rates, had been observed in the busy reach of waters between France and England. But never before had this queer device of parti-col ored bunting been flung to the breeze. What did it portend?

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The Mysterious Castaway. 7 The vessel bearing it was stanch and trim. The sails were white and new, and crowding the decks were many sailors, stalwart of frame, and with an expression of stern resolution on their faces. Wafted by a favoring breeze, which still carried a trace of the recent storm in its force, the frigate bore down upon the floating topmast. Presently a lookout on the forecastle head espied the derelict. Word was sent aft to the officer in charge of the declC, and the vessel's course changed so it would pass within easy distance of the bit of flotsam. Rough bearded men crowded the sides, and their harsh voices softened as they talked to their mates concerning the mute evidence of a recent wreck. Presently the bowsprit of the frigate arrived within a biscuit's toss, and then a cry went up forward and aft: "It bears a lad!" " 'Tis gospel truth,'' exclaimed an officer near the lee rail. "Heaven grant the poor castaway is yet alive. Ho, there I lower a boat and bring him on board to the surgeon!" The speaker's orders were instantly obeyed, and soon the youth was conveyed from his perilous refuge to the main deck of the frigate, where awaited the doctor. "Examine him with care, Master Pryle," commanded the officer mentioned above. "Exert all your skill to restore him if a spark of life still lingers in his breast." "It will be a laoor of love, Capt. Jones,'' heartily re plied the surgeon, bending to his task. "But I fear me from his wan appearance that-ha I 'tis marvelous, . sir-his heart surely beats !"

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8 The Mysterious Castaway. The last part of his speech caused a thrill of excite ment to run through the crowd surrounding the cast away and his rescuers. A brief word from Capt. Jones cleared a space, and soon three or four of the crew were hard at work chafing the nerveless hands and feet of the shipwrecked lad. Even the commander himself labored at the task, casting aside his sword and belt of weapons for the better use of his arms. It was a strange sight, truly, and seemed out of place on the deck of a ship con structed for the taking of life, not the saving of it. Finally the surgeon recommended that his patient be removed to the sickbay until he recovered conscious ness. This was done at once. The various officers of the frigate gathered around their commander and dis cussed the rescue with animation. "What think you of it?" queried the first lieutenant. "The passing storm which smote us as we left Brest must have found a prey in some stanch ship, and per chance this lad is the sole survivor." "That is probably the case," replied _ Capt. Jones, musingly. "In fact, it must be so; but, strange to say, the lad's features seem familiar to me. Where could I have seen him before?" Without waiting for an answer, he moved slowly toward the starboard rail and gazed seaward in an atti tude of deep thought. "It is only a fleeting resemblance to some friend," he muttered. "I could never have known the poor youth. It is simply some trick of the features, of a verity. I hope he will not fall a victim to his cruel fortunes. Ah I here comes Master Pryle. Now for news."

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The Mysterious Castaway. 9 The surgeon bustled up to his superior officer, fol lowed at a respectful distance by several juniors eager to learn the news. The doctor's face wore a puzzled expression, and he saluted absently. "How now ? Is the lad recovered?" asked Capt. Jones, curiously. "He is sensible, sir, but very weak. 'Tis a mar velous case." "Marvelous? Has he explained the circumstances of the wreck?" "He talks bravely; but he cannot explain anything, sir." "What is his name?" "That I asked him several times, but he says, in a vague way, that he does not know." "Not know his own name?" echoed the commander, in amazement. "What folly is this, Master Pryle ?" "It is true, as I stand here on the deck of the good ship Ranger, sir," insisted the leech, earnestly. "The lad hath lost his memory, and remembers not one in"'. stant of his past life. . It is a strange case, and can only be explained by the presence of a rather severe wound on his forehead." "Heaven preserve him ! Then he is an imbecile.'' "Not so; the youth is bright and, albeit still weak, speaks intelligently.'' "Does he converse in our tongue?" "Yes, sir. But come and see him, Capt. Paul, and satisfy yourself." Turning to a slim, pleasant-faced midshipman stand ing near by, the commander said, authoritatively: "Master Preble, tell Lieut. Simpson to keep a careful

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10 The Mysterious Castaway. watCh for sails while I am below, and to hold the course as it is." The middy scurried away, discharged his errand, and then slipped into the sickbay shortly after the captain and surgeon reached the cot of the stranger youth. The latter was entirely conscious, and glanced in quiringly at his visitors. The color had returned to his cheeks, and he presented a more pleasant spectacle than before. As stated before, he appeared to be about sixteen years of age. His face gave proof of intelligence, and his figure, as outlined under the sheet, promised lithe ness and strength. His eyes bore a vague expression as of one just awakened from a troubled sleep. It was plainly evi dent that he did not recognize his surroundings, but, for some reason, that fact bothered him not. He smiled when Capt. Jones approached, and held out one hand. The commander started, and muttered, beneath his breath, wonderingly: "That face ; how familiar it is ! Who is he? Surely I must have seen him before. and many times." "My lad," he added, aloud, "the doctor brings me strange tidings of you, but of that anon. How are you now-comfortable?" "Yes, sir; my head pains me slightly, that is all," replied the youth. "Is this a ship?" "It is the American frigate Ranger, and I am John Paul Jones, of the United States Naval Service," re plied the captain. "We are on our way from Brest to English waters for the purpose of giving our lawful

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A Brief Lifting of the Veil. I I enemies a taste of their own medidne. Now, about yourself. What was the name of your vessel?" The lad contracted his brows, thought long and deeply, then replied, with almost a sob in his voice: "I cannot remember, sir. It is all a blank. I do not know!" CHAPTER II. A BRIEF LIFTING OF THE VEIL. Capt. Jones exchanged glances with the surgeon, then he laughed good-humoredly and said : "Well, my boy, don't worry yourself about it. Take a good sleep, and perhaps when you again awaken you will remember all." "I have tried very hard to recall how I came on board this vessel, sir, but I have failed utterly. It is so queer. I-I don't even remember my name. What is the matter with me? How did I receive this cut on my forehead, sir?" Dr. Pryle's face was a study of perplexity. "If you don't know that, lad, how can we tell you? Were you shipwrecked-ay, you must have been, for we found you on a -floating mast. Get your wits to gether. Think hard. Now, Robert, John, William, how were you called? Surely you know what your mother named you." r Slowly the youth shook his head. Slipping from the cot he paced up and down the sickbay deck, stag gering slightly as he walked. For fully five minutes his companions waited in silence. Then Capt. Jones stepped forward and placed one arm around him.

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I 2 A Brief Lifting of the Veil. "Never mind, my boy," he said, gently. "You will want for neither a home or name while John Paul Jones is afloat on the troubled sea of life. Lie down and take a needed rest. If it be the will of Providence that your past remains a blank you can stay with me. As for a . name, you can have a multitude to choose from." The castaway attempted to reply, but his voice choked ; then he gave way to his emotions. At a signal from Capt. Jones the surgeon followed that officer from the sickbay. The middy, Preble, lingered for a brief period. Quickly approaching the strange lad, he grasped his . hand with hearty good will. "You may have lost your name and other things," he whispered, with boyish eagerness, "but you have found friends, and I am one of them. Preble-Jabez Preble is my name. If you want anything, just sing out for me. Better do as the old man told you, and go to sleep. Good-by for a while." He, too, slipped away, and presently the youth, worn out by his recent experience, fell asleep upon the cot. He was not disturbed, nor did he move until long into the following day. Shortly after returning to the Capt. Jones held a brief conversation with the worthy surgeon. "What think you of the case?" he asked. "Is the lad shamming?" "No, sir; most emphatically not," replied Dr. Pryle, earnestly. "I know the poor waif tells the truth. Such peculiar afflictions are not unknown to medical science. The cruel blow he received has evidently deadened a portion of the brain. There is the case mentioned by

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A Brief Lifting of the Veil. I 3 Sir Pinkway Throggs, dean of the British Medical College. He said--" "Tush, man !" interrupted Capt. Jones, with a smile. "We will forego your professional reminiscences. When your tongue begins on that subject it never stops clacking. I am minded to agree with you con cerning our castaway. His face is in his favor, and, moreover, it is strangely familiar to me." "Perchance he is an American." "I should judge so from his dress; but what would he be doing over here at this time?" "He is evidently not a sailor, nor does he know much of the sea, from all appearances. It is, indeed, a mys tery . " "Will the poor lad recover his memory in time, think you?" asked the commander, musingly. "Father Time only can tell. Such cases have been known. Another blow upon the head, or a chance re mark, or even the sight of a familiar face, may recall his past quick as the lightning's stroke. Until then, what is your will concerning him?" "He bides here with me, if it is his desire. Paul Jones always has a place for the friendless. We will enroll him with the crew-<>r better, a midshipman's billet will be his if his intelligence proves trustworthy." "And the name, sir? Why not your own?" "If he so wishes it,'' slowly replied the captain. "h I have stated before, I am minded of some one when I see his face. It has escaped my memory where, but the fact remains. See to it that the lad wants nothing, and when he is somewhat recovered, bring him to me." As it happened, it was not until the morning of the

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14 A Brief Lifting of the Veil. second day after his opportune rescue that the strange youth was again brought to Capt. Jones' notice. A storm, springing up from the north, drove the good ship Ranger from the Channel, and it required all her commander's skill and attention to bring her back to the English coast. The interview between the nameless waif and Capt. Jones was brief, but to the point, and at its conclusion the former was duly enlisted in the naval service as Midshipman Paul Jones-to which all on board affixed the distinguishing word, "junior." "Now, lad-tush I I know you are grateful, and I ap preciate your thanks-now it is well for you to know more about your future life," added the R11nger'.s com mander, after the ceremony was over. "As a recompense for his past history, I suppose," spoke up Dr. Pryle. Young Paul-to give him his new title-smiled sadly. "Have you any recollection of any country? Of America?" continued Capt. Jones. "Do you remem ber that a war is now being waged between England and the United States?" Paul wrinkled his brow thoughtfully, then shook his head. "It is strange , very strange, sir," he replied , ear nestly, "but I can recall nothing beyond my awakening on board this vessel and seeing the doctor bending over me." ''Heaven's mercy! you are as a little child, then , and needs must be grounded in all the news. Time presses ; I can only tell you wh y the Ran g er is in this part of the world . The rest will be taught you by your future

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A Brief Lifting of the Veil. I 5 comrades-such as Jabez Preble, whom I see grinning friendly from behind yon fife rail." With rapid words, the captain explained how the Revolutionary War between the mother country had started; how he had entered the naval service, finally reaching France in command of the first frigate con structed in the United States; how the former country had promptly and generously recognized the Americans struggling under such untoward circumstances for their liberty, and finally, how he, with one ship, and that only partially armed, had sallied forth against the English fleet of a thousand vessels. Young Paul listened intently. His eyes kindled, and he glanced aft at the flag waving from the peak, in partial recognition. "I'm sure I have seen the Stars and Stripes before, sir," he hastily exclaimed. "Where was it? America -I must-no! it's gone again. Why cannot I remem ber? why cannot I remember?" "It is a brief lifting of the veil,'' whispered the surgeon to Capt. Jones. "There is hope for him yet. One thing certain, he is an American, and a patriot." "For that I am thankful, indeed, as I take a strange interest in the lad," replied the commander. Then he added, aloud : "Go now with your mates, Master Paul. Learn from them your new duties. There is warm work before us, and I expect a good account of you." "You shall have it, sir,'' replied his protege, simply, and without boasting. "I would be ungrateful, in deed, if I did not strive to repay your generosity by my future actions. I feel-ay, I know that I am of your

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16 Paul Makes an Enemy. race, and my life from now on will be consecrated to the flag which you so proudly defend." CHAPTER III. PAUL MAKES AN ENEMY. "I don't suppose there was ever a youngster shipped under such peculiar circumstances," remarked Jabez to Paul, while the twain were on their way forward after the latter'i interview with the captain. ''No, nor did ever castaway meet with such kindly treatment," warmly replied our her.o. "I tell you, my dear friend, I cannot find words with which to express my gratitude to your noble commander, and to all of you." "You will have ample chance to return thanks by actions, Paul. We are bound on a desperate cruise, and warm work awaits us on the English coast. Capt. Jones knows no fear, but methinks he will find him self in a hornet's nest before many hours.'' "He is, indeed, a brave man to thus pit himself against an overwhelming enemy. How many vessels of war did he say constitutes the British fleet?" "A thousand of all classes. Just think of it I There must be at least a third of that number hovering around the English ports, and here we are bound straight in that direction.'' "Surely, he does not expect to defeat such odds. Why, this frigate would not last ten seconds in a battle with a fleet like that.'' "You don't know Capt. John Paul Jones,'' smiled

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Paul Makes an Enemy. 17 Jabez. "He hasn't the slightest intention of fighting the enemy now, but he expects to give them a sudden warning that Americans can strike back even if they are outnumbered." As young Paul learned, in due time, it was his daring 1 commander's intention to strike a blow first upon some unprotected point on the south side of England. It was, indeed, a bold and chivalric movement for the little Ranger, with her eighteen guns, to plunge into the very heart of the English Channel, which was crowded with the massive seventy-fours of Britain's proud navy. England was discharging the broadsides of her in vincible fleet upon our defenseless towns, and was landing her boats' crews to apply the torch to our peaceful villages. Not a fishing boat could leave a cove without danger of capture and the imprisonment of all the crew. Little did the British Government imagine that any commander of an American vessel would have the audacity to approach even within sight of her shores. It was the main desire of Capt. Jones to punish England for the atrocities she was so cruelly perpetrating upon us-and to punish her in kind. It was the noble mission of Paul Jones to teach Britannia that the arm of the avenger could reach her even in her own Channel, and in her own harbors. This he did, in truth, as history amply proves. The youthful Americans of to-day who read this story can well be proud of their ancestors' brave struggle for freedom, in those dark and gloomy days when the British yoke was first cast away. In all the thrilling events of our navy, from the time

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18 Paul Makes an Enemy. of its inception in the year 1777, to the present hour, there are none more daring and perilous than those occurring during John Paul Jones' descent upon the English coast, and the months immediately following. The unknown waif, with his strange affiiction, whom the gallant captain had adopted in the kindliness of his heart, had indeed fallen upon stirring times. The greeting given him as he followed his volunteer guide to the middies' quarters showed that the crew of the Ranger still retained generous qualities in their hearts despite their grim profession. Paul's arrival in the little department forward de voted to the junior officers was the signal for an ova tion. 'The half a dozen lads assembled there almost fought to shake his hand, and it was all young Preble could do to make room at the swinging center table. "As this will be your home for an indefinite period, it is best for you to become acquainted with your future shipmates at once," said Jabez, with ludicrous solem nity. Pointing to a lantern-jawed individual clad in the uniform of a master's mate, and whose long face bore the imprint of a doleful mind, he added : "That is Joyful Home Stubbs. He is in of us middies, and is the greatest joker in the ship. He was never known to laugh, but he keeps the rest of us in a constant giggle with his fun." This surprising statement was received with a shout from all the occupants except Stubbs himself. He drew down the corners of his mouth, and with a deep sigh, replied : "I'll make you laugh on the wrong side of your face, Jabez Preble. I'll tickle you with a rope's end until

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Paul Makes an Enemy. you giggle in seven languages. It'll be awful funny. I am glad to make your acquaintance, Paul Jones, but I'm sorry you run foul of that imp alongside of you. You are welcome to our mess." "Don't mind him, Paul-none of us do except when he gives orders in the line of duty," retorted Preble. "By the rules of the service, he is compelled to buckle on his sword as a sign of authority. I may as well tell you that when he does you had better look out for squalls." "Stop your nonsense, and introduce me," spoke up a bright-faced boy, with laughing eyes, who had been striving to attract Jabez's attention. "This is George William Peter Screwneck, whose father sent him aboard this ship to stop a cannon ball," began Preble, with a wink at his companions. "He is--" "Going to give you a sound thrashing if you don't talk sensible," interrupted the lad, making a futile attempt to grab the speaker's collar. Turning to Paul, who had been an amused spectator, he added: "My name is Harry Quincy Adams. My father signed the Declaration of Independence, which you know-er-er--I mean you--" Paul looked puzzled for a moment, then he sighed, and made answer : "I must confess my ignorance. I am as a child born yesterday. I can't remember anything now. It will all come back some day, I hope." "And so do I," said Harry, in deep sympathy. "Do you mean to say that you don't know how you came on that floating spar?" suddenly spoke up a lad

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20 Paul Makes an Enemy. standing at Harry's elbow. "That's rot. It's my opin ion you are playing some game, eh, John?" All turned to look at the speaker, a bullet-headed youth, with a sneering, unpleasant face. He seemed startled at the attention he had just drawn to himself, and appeared rather sorry that he had spoken so abruptly. The effect of his words upon young Paul was imme diate. The lad paled to the lips, and his eyes flashed ominously. Turning quickly to Jabez, he asked, curtly: "What does he mean? Is it possible he says I lie?" "Shame! shame!" cried three or four boys, pushing forward. "Dick Haslett, you ought to apologize. This is no way to welcome a new shipmate." "Apologize for what?" scornfully demanded Haslett. "I have a right to my own opinions, I guess. What did I say out of the way? I simply declined to believe such an improbable story, and--" He was suddenly interrupted by a lithe arm which shot forth and landed with a resounding thump upon his right cheek. Taken by surprise, Haslett fell against the table, and then rolled at the feet of Joyful Home Stubbs. That worthy unceremoniously gave him a shove that sent the astounded youth to the other side of the deck. "Served you right, you miserable croaker," he said at the same time. "The new middy didn't give you half enough. Get up and beg his pardon, or I'll be under the painful necessity of reporting you to the captain." When Dick Haslett finally scrambled erect he saw Paul standing on the defensive ready to repeat the

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Paul Makes an Enemy. 2.1 blow. And, moreover, Harry Adams and Jabez Preble were moving toward him with sinister intent. Luckily for the grumpy young bully, a welcome diversion occurred at that moment. A shrill cry came down the open hatch from aloft. It consisted of only two words, but its long-drawn-out intonation instantly attracted the attention of all on board the Continental war ship. "Sail 0-0-0 !" Preble and Adams checked their hostile advance ment toward Haslett ; the latter looked vastly relieved ; Joyful Home Stubbs snatched his sword from a hook and hastily fiuckled it around his waist, and even young Paul dropped his arms in excitement. A clattering of feet overhead indicated that certain preparations were being made. A hoarse voice hailed the lookout, but the reply was drowned in a gruff com mand from Master's Mate Stubbs. "On deck, lads. Up the ladder with you, my heart ies. A sail is sighted, and it must be an enemy." "You're right," replied Harry Adams; making a dash for the hatch. "It's an enemy surely. We haven't any friends in this part of the world. I only hope it's a single frigate, or maybe a merchantman or two." "Want to join a prize crew, eh?" chuckled Preble, following at his heels with Paul. "The old man will never trust you off the ship, rest assured of that." "I would do better . than you did in the case of that coasting lugger,'' retorted Harry, with a wink at young Jones. "Jabez was sent to cut out a small craft near the Scilly Islands a week ago. He managed to lay her aboard, but stuck on a mud bank before he got the lugger out of port. He--"

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22 Paul Makes an Enemy. "Stow that running-tackle of a tongue, or I'll slice off about a foot of it,'' interrupted Stubbs, pricking the talkative middy with the sharp point of his sword. By this time the whole crowd had reached the deck, and were eagerly looking for the strange sail. Paul was the first to discover it, and he indicated the spot with a hasty gesture of his hand. "There-almost dead ahead,'' he exclaimed, eagerly. "Why, there are two of them!" A doleful sigh came from Joyful Home Stubbs. "Blood I destruction I death and wounds !" he mut tered, in a deep voice, "and-and plenty of prize money. Would there were two score of them, and each carried a hold full of English gold pieces. Oh, this cruel, cruel war I When will it be brought to a timely end? When, oh, when will we get the money for the ships captured last year?" Paul glanced at the speaker in profound surprise. "Don't mind him," whispered Harry Adams, with a grin. "He's really the greatest joker on the ship. He's spouting like that just to astonish you. Say, what a crack you gave Dick Haslett down below. He's been needing it for a month." "I'm sorry it occurred," Paul replied, regretfully. "I owe all of you so much, and I don't wish to appear ungrateful, but-but I couldn't stand that, you know. When he intimated that I lied, my hand shot out before I ICnew it." "Yes, and it hit him in the eye before he knew it, too,'' chuckled Harry. "My I how surprised he was." "I am sorry to make an enemy on board,'' said Paul, gravely. "I feel that he will be one after this." "No doubt; but what's the difference? He'll surely

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Paul Makes an Enemy. be civil to your face after his experience with your fis t ; and I hardly think he will try any underhand g ames with a protege of Capt. Jones." "That is one thing I am afraid of. I would like my shipmates to judge me for my own worth, not because our noble commander has taken an interest in me." Paul set his teeth with a snap, and added : "Harry, I am sure both you and Preble are my friends, but I trust it is not because Capt. Paul Jones has adopted me." "Ho I ho I What a young bantam it is," came in the gruff tones of Joyful Home Stubbs, who had approached unnoticed. "You should be de-lighted, simply d-e-lighted that the old man is your godfather and voluntary protector, youngster. I wish he would
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Paul Makes an Enemy. "He's a good one, sir, and he's got the stuff in him. He's fought a battle already. He got the wind gauge of Haslett, and a shot on his bowsprit before Diel{ could even beat to quarters. He! he! he!" A grim smile crossed the lips of the lieutenant. Be fore he could reply, Capt. Jones called him away. While passing forward Paul received a kindly nod from the commander, and his face flushed with pleasure. "Any man who couldn't fight under his leadership must be a coward, indeed," he confided to his com panion as they ascended the forecastle ladder. "He's my idea of a hero." "What a terrible mistake!" sighed Stubbs, wagging his lower jaw in a most melancholy manner. "You don't know him. Why, he is meaner than a Salem witch." Paul stopped, as if suddenly glued to the deck. His eyes flashed and he gave the master's mate an angry glance. "I beg to differ from you, sir,'' he exclaimed. "I am surprised to hear--" . "I tell you he is a villain of the deepest dye," inter rupted Stubbs, mournfully. "Why, on five different occasions he released the crews of fishing boats we had captured, and actually bade them go home and pro vide for their families. Humph ! and at the same time the tender-hearted Britishers were cutting throats on the other side of the Atlantic. A mighty mean man is Capt. Jones!" Paul was compelled to laugh. "I beg your pardon, sir," he said. "I'll know how to take you next time."

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Paul Makes an Enemy. "Better learn how to take the enemy-it'll be more to your credit and profit. And by the same token you'll soon have a chance to receive your first lesson in the art of war. Those ships are English frigates, and either of them could swallow the Ranger without half trying." Paul wondered by what miracle his companion rec ognized the identity of the strange sails. Neither of them were within eight nautical miles, and their hulls were mere shapeless blots against the green of the sea. It was evident that Capt. Jones agreed with Stubbs, as he speedily issued an order to serve all the guns with ammunition. The Ranger, although constructed to carry a full battery of eighteen-pounders, had only a few of that size, the majority being small carronades. Paul ran his eye up and down the deck, mentally comparing the ill-fitted ship with what he had been told concerning the English seventy-fours, with their army of men and multitude of guns. "Is it possible he intends to fight them?" he asked the master's mate, doubtfully. "Do you think the old man was born this noon? He's only running close enough to see who they are, and to show the enemy that new bit of bunting floating from the peak. There is not a craft in the whole British fleet as fast as the Ranger, and the skipper knows it. I think he is minded for a game of tag this day. He'll maybe exchange the compliments of the season with them and then tear a slice off the English coast to morrow." An hour later Stubbs' previous prediction was veri fied. The strangers were British frigates, and well manned, well armed and trim aloft and alow at that.

PAGE 27

Paul Makes an Enemy. They bore down on the little Ranger with ponderous dignity, and on arriving within easy range let fly their bow-chasers. Since sighting them, Capt. Jones had stood toward them under moderate sail. Now he ordered the ship about and every stitch of canvas spread fore and aft. As yet, the English frigates had not seen the Stars and Stripes waving proudly from the peak of the Con tinental war ship. Suddenly the foremost vessel yawed and discharged a whole broadside at the Ranger. The iron hail fell short of the mark, lashing the surface of the ocean into foam three hundred yards away. "Look aft I" cried Stubbs, pointing toward the quar ter-deck. Paul glanced in the direction indicated. Standing near the rail, and with his head uncovered, was Capt. Paul Jones. His hands grasped the signal halyards, and just as the thunderous report died away, he lowered and then raised the American flag. "What is he doing?'' whispered the lad, wonder ingly. The master's mate gave a dry chuckle . "He's made them salute the banner of freedom," he replied. "Now you will see the Ranger show her heels to the bulldogs." The gallant Continental frigate had been slowly drawing ahead in the meantime. Before the British vessels could fire another volley, she was heeling over to the breeze and slipping through the water like a thing of life. With face flushed with excitement, Paul leaned from the starboard forecastle rail. He saw the lumbering

PAGE 28

Beginning a Naval Career. 2 7 ships of the enemy gather slowly in pursuit, watched the white puffs of smoke from their bow-chasers, and then, just as he felt sure that the Ranger was safe, a ringing cry came from the masthead. "Sail O!" Then almost instantly following came the startling announcement: "Sail 0 I Sail 0 I It's a fleet of British war ships I" CHAPTER IV. BEGINNING A NAVAL CAREER. The startling cry from the lookout instantly drew the attention of all from the pursuing frigates to the new danger. The man at the masthead, elevated above the deck, was enabled to distinguish the hulls of the new comers, but to Paul's vision, only their topsails were in evidence. He saw with consternation that there were at least eight of them. They were tacking toward the Ranger in such a manner that another hour would see her com pletely surrounded if she did not escape in the mean time. Two were almost dead ahead, and the rest were dis tributed off both bows. Astern the two seventy-fours were coming down before the wind, resembling, with their immense spread of canvas, a pair of gigantic swans pursuing a duckling. It looked very much as if the cruise of the Conti nental war ship was about to come to an untimely end. Paul said as much to Stubbs, but that peculiar indi-

PAGE 29

2 8 Beginning a Naval Career. vidual simply sighed and went about his work in apparent indifference. Notwithstanding the master's mate's previous asser tion that Capt. Jones would never dream of fighting such overwhelming odds, our hero saw that every preparation was being made for battle. . He glanced aft from the break of the forecastle, and regarded with great interest the scene spread out before him. He saw the tier of guns in a line curving out toward the center ; the tackle stretched across the deck ; the round shot and wads arranged in plentiful store ; the grape and canister placed at hand. He observed the half a dozen powder boys, almost too young to know their danger, each seated calmly on his little charge box; the captains of guns with their primers buckled around their sturdy waists ; the locks fixed upon the guns ; the lanyards laid around them ; the officers with drawn swords, standing by their re spective divisions, and last, but not least, the quiet groups of determined men, some stripped to the belt, ready for any chance of carnage at their beloved com mander's bidding. And the latter ? Standing on the after-deck, calm and immutable, Capt. Paul Jones issued order after order in a low voice; saw that each straining sail was doing the utmost need of its work, and in his own daring mind was evolving a plan for escape from the dragnet of his enemies. Presently he raised one hand as a signal. It was understood, and instantly obeyed. The men at the wheel sent the spokes flying to larboard ; a score of sailors sprang to the tacks and sheets, and a moment

PAGE 30

Beginning a Naval Career. 29 later the gallant frigate spun around at right angles from her former course. This brought the wind on the beam, but it also brought the two pursuing frigates almost ahead. If she continued in that direction the Ranger would soon pass within short gunshot of both. Such a course could only result fatally, as either of the seventy-fours could sink the Continental ship with a well-aimed broadside. "What does he inted to do?" anxiously asked Paul. Before Stubbs could reply , Harry Adams hurried up with orders from the commander to wet all the forward sails. "'Souse 'em until they are soaking,' he said,'' added the happy-go-lucky middy. "Make 'em as wet as Dick Haslett's eyes were after Paul here got through with him." The master's mate, aided by both lads, put. his divi sion to work with buckets and the forward-deck hose, and soon had the sails dripping with salt water. "What's the reason for this?" asked young Jones, after the task was completed. "Looks funny to you , eh?" replied Harry. "It's a great plan. D'ye see, the old man thinks those fel lows'll let fly at us with burning arrows and set the sails afire." "Don't you believe a word the rascal says,'' called out Stubbs , who had overheard the conver s ation. "Why can ' t you tell the truth once in a while, Adams?" "How can I with you as a constant example before me?" replied the . impudent youth. "Your face is enough to make a fellow forget his catechism." Stubbs aimed a blow at his tormentor, but it was dodged with great agility. Harry then slid down the

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30 Beginning a Naval Career. forecastle ladder and returned to his post on the after deck. "I declare," grinned Paul, "it's no wonder you look sorrowful, with such monkeys under your care." The master's mate heaved a deep sigh, his jaw dropped, and he gave a chuckle that sounded like a soft wind rustling over dry bones. "It isn't that, sir," he replied. "The boys don't bother me, bless their hearts. It's the fact that I am such a funny young thing that makes me sad. Before this cruel war broke out I was an assistant to an under taker named Cryan W eepe, in Boston. I was getting good wages, saved a little money, and had quite a name in the profession, when all at once my jolly nature got the best of me, and I was discharged without a charac ter." Paul looked incredulous, but he politely refrained from expressing his doubts in words. The very idea of the melancholy Stubbs posing as a "funny young thing" was so ridiculous that the lad exploded with laughter. The master's mate rebuked him with a sorrowful glance. At that moment Dick Haslett sauntered past, and the peculiarly malevolent glance he gave Paul caused the latter to sober instantly. He regretted exceedingly his misadventure with Dick, and if that youth had only shown a halfway in clination to "make up," our hero would have been only too willing. The mere idea of having an enemy aboard the Ranger-which be now regarded as bis only home -was distressing to him. Paul thoroughly appreciated the debt he owed his benefactor, Capt. Jones; and he also extended his grati-

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Beginning a Naval Career. JI tude to every member of his crew. As yet, he had not given the peculiar mystery of his past much thought. After being revived by the surgeon, he had remained in a semi-comatose state until that morning. Then succeeding the interview with the commander came his fight with Dick Haslett, and immediately fol. \ lowing came the sighting of the English fleet. Paul's t head still ached slightly. He knew he had been injured, but how and where? "Who am I?" he asked himself, rather sorrowfully. "It is strange that I cannot remember even my own name. If my clothing had been marked, or the name of the ship painted on some part of that floating top, it would furnish a clew." These thoughts, called up by the appearance of Dick Haslett, were soon dispelled by the excitement of the chase. After seeing to the wetting of the foresails, which Stubbs presently explained as necessary to ob tain the full "drawing" powers of the canvas, that worthy and Paul returned to their stations in charge of the forecastle guns. In the meantime the two seventy-fours had altered their course so as to intercept the Ranger. The other frigates had gone about on the other tack , and were now heading toward a point the Continental war ship would be compelled to pass if she held her present helm. Such was not the wily commander's intention, as the reader can probably guess. Capt. Jones had had too much experience in seamanship to sail straight into the enemy's clutches. He knew that with the present wind he would have nothing to fear from the eight ships to the southward ;

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32 Beginning a Naval Career. the real danger would come from the seventy-fours. As stated before, one broadside at close quarters would settle the Ranger's fate. Capt . Paul had no intention J of running the risk. "Just keep your eye on him," muttered Stubbs to our hero, as the saucy frigate drew near her enemies. "He has some daring plan in that head of his that 'll make those Britishers think they have been chasing the Fl y i n g D u tchman ." "What is it, do you know?" asked Paul , curiously. "Not I. If I did I'd be as great a captain as he," promptly replied the master's mate. "It certainly looks as if we can't escape from them, don't it?" "Yes it does. Those two large ships will soon be within range at this rate, and if we turn back, those fel lows will pick us up. See, they are spread out like a fan now." "I'll tell you what I'll do , youngster. I'll bet you twenty-three shillings and sixpence that we escape without damage." Paul laughed at that odd amount, but shook his head. "I haven't a farthing to my name ,' ' he replied . "You know that nothing was found in my pockets when I was rescued from that spar . " "That don't make any difference. I'll trust here comes Jabez Preble; he'll maybe lend you the money. Hey, Jezzy !" "What is it now?" inquired the slim youth as he apnroached them. "What have I done?" "Something wrong, I warrant," said Stubbs , g loom ily. "The question proves that your conscience is troubling you. But of that more anon. Will you lend

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Beginning a Naval Career. 33 Paul twenty-three shillings and sixpence? He wants to bet me that the Ranger will be captured." "I--" began our hero, in protest, but he was inter rupted by Jabez, who said, very promptly: "Not much. Not a penny will I .lend him for such a bet. You old rascal, you are trying to defraud Paul. Why, of course we'll escape. D'ye think the Britishers can catch Capt. Jones? Humph I He'd slip through if they had their whole fleet here." Such unbounded faith caused our hero to open his eyes. He glanced at the gun's crews near him. Their faces reflected the utmost confidence in their leader. Despite the serious situation in which the Ranger was undoubtedly placed, they laughed and joked with su preme indifference. Stubbs shrewdly conjectured the drift of Paul's thoughts, and his melancholy face wrinkled with the ghost of a chuckle. "The skipper is a wonderful man, youngster," he said. "Wait until you know him better. Why, it ain't stretching the truth any for me to believe that he could capture every one of these Britishers if he wanted to." "Hardly that, I suppose," replied Paul, with a smile. "Stubbs is lying," spoke up Preble, cautiously edging away from the master's mate at the same time. "He knows better than that. However--" The slim middy was suddenly interrupted by a per emptory order from the quarter-deck, and almost in stantly the Ranger was stripped of canvas by three score of nimble sailors. It was the beginning of Capt. Jones' plan to outwit the enemy.

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CHAPTER V. THE ESCAPE. The effect of this maneuver was to clieck the frig ate's headway. Before many minutes had elapsed she lay motionless upon the water. Ere that, however, sturdy arms at the w11:eel had sent the vessel around until her bowsprit again pointed toward the distant fleet of eight ships. A sign from the commander, and the sails were spread . with marvelous rapidity. Topsails, courses, top gallant sails, staysai.Is and jibs burst into view until the gallant Ranger was simply a cloud of canvas. The breeze still held from the same quarter. It had fortunately strengthened perceptibly-a fact which caused all hands much inward joy. Taken by surprise, the English seventy-fours were tardy in following the example of their shrewd antagonist. They finally tacked and stood in pursuit, but by that time the continental war ship had gained a decided lead. It was the old story of the hare doubling on its followers, but in this case it promised to be entirely successful. The Ranger sailed like a witch. Sne had been con structed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire , by men skilled in their craft, and her lines had been laid for speed. It was well known, even in those ear!y days of our country, that American ships were the fastest sailers in the world, and to the latter fact may be attributed our success upon the sea.

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The Escape. 35 To say that Paul was deeply interested in watching the battle of wits would be telling only half the truth. He was simply fascinated. In his eagerness he climbed the weather shrouds a few feet above the deck, and clung there, oblivious of his immediate surroundings. He saw the nearest seventy-four discharge her bow chasers with spiteful chagrin, and when the iron shot disappeared midway between the vessels, he shook his clinched fist with scorn. "If that lad ain't an American, I'll lose my grog for six months,'' muttered Stubbs to himself, as he watched his charge. "It's in him, it's in him. And if Paul Jones, Junior, don't make a name for himself in this cruel war, I'm not a soothsayer from Salem." Before long the Ranger was far out of range. She tacked twice under Capt. Jones' able directions ; then, with a clear field before her, sailed away toward the French coast in calm disdain. Just before passing out of sound a couple of guns were fired to leeward as a last taunt. Two hours later the enemy were hull down astern. When they had finally disappeared beyond the horizon, a course was again laid for the Channel of St. George. By this time it was fairly dark. The chase had lasted all of five hours, although to Paul it did not seem as many minutes. Shortly after four bells (six o'clock), Harry Adams hunted up our hero and notified him that Capt. Jones wished to see him in the cabin. "Speak a good word for a fellow if you get a chance," he added, confidentially. "Tell him that I would make a splendid officer to send to France with a prize; do, that's a good boy." "If I had any influence with the captain I would cer-

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The Escape. tainly use it in your behalf,'' smiled Paul. "Of course I haven't. Why should I?" "Aren't you his adopted son? Don't that give you a right to speak? If I were in your place, I would say: 'My dear adopted father, there's an awful nice middy on board named Harry Adams. He knows a lot about ships and can manage men almost as well as you. Give him a chance at once. Make him a master ' s mate, so he'll get more prize money.' How' d that go, eh ?" "Well, if I were the captain, and you would say that to me, I'd give you three dozen with the cat-o'-nine tails," laughed Paul, as he moved away. He was ushered into the cabin by a sentry without delay. Capt. Jones was seated at a table poring over a chart, but he instantly glanced up with a smile of wel come. He was a man about thirty-five years of age at that time. His face was noble and commanding, and he had a rare faculty of inspiring both confidence and admiration in his few acquaintances. To our hero he was the incarnation of all that was great and good, and his present greeting caused the lad to become confused with emotion. Motioning him to a seat, Jones said, kindly : "I will not detain you long, Paul. I wish to hear how you liked your first day in the service." "Very much, sir," stammered the youth. "I-I cannot tell how grateful I am for your extreme kindness, sir. If it had not been for you I would now be at the bottom of the ocean." ''Tut, lad I No more, I pray. I am only too glad I happened along in time to be of service. You were in sore extremity of a verity. Another few hours ex posure to the pitiless clutches of the sea and you would

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The Escape. 37 have fallen a victim. Has aught came back to you of your past ?" "No, sir, nothing," sorrowfully replied Paul. "I cannot remember the least detail. Sometimes I think the working of a ship is familiar to me. When the crew prepared the Ranger for action, each detail seemed an old friend. Perchance I was aboard a frigate before this." "That is possible," agreed the commander, thought fully. "I have kept an eye on you during the after noon, and you certainly seemed more at home than a landsman ignorant of the sea. Your memory may return little by little." "I sincerely hope so, sir," said Paul, fervently. "How is that cut on your head? Does it pain you?" "Not very much, sir. The doctor said that it would heal within a few days. He told me that it was merely superficial." "Yours is a very strange case, lad, a very strange case. That you should totally forget your past, even to your name, and yet remain intelligent and to all intents a rational being, passeth my understanding." Paul sighed, and a troubled look came into his face. "You do not doubt me, sir?" he asked, rather plead ingly. "Not in the slightest degree, IPY boy," quickly re plied his companion. "Why do you ask?" "There are some on board that--" "Tut ! tut! what matters it, if I accept your story? There are ignorant men forward, and, I am sorry to say, there are some aft, who may look upon your story with suspicion, but let them dare question your word in my presence."

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The Escape. The speaker brought his clinched hand down upon the table with a bang. As his enemies well knew, Capt. Jones could be severe when need be. After a few fur ther words, he dismissed Paul with the admonition to conduct himself with bravery and circumspection in his new lite, and not to forget that he, his adopted father , would watch his career with the greatest interest. As the lad left the cabin the captain glanced after him with a puzzled look in his expressive eyes. "It is passing strange," he muttered. "The more I see of him the greater is his similarity to some one I know. What mystery is this I have stumbled upon in this part of the world?" When Paul stepped out from the quarter-deck the sudden change from the lighted cabin blinded him for the moment, and he unconsciously jostled against some one standing near the wheel. "Look out where you are going!" growled the in visible personage. "Do that again and you ' ll get into trouble." . By his voice our hero recognized the speaker as the middy, Dick Haslett. ''I beg your pardon; it was entirely unintentional , " quietly replied Paul, but his blood boiled at the fel low's offensive tone. Before Dick could reply, Paul walked forward. "The grumpy brute,'' he muttered, under his breath. "He seems determined to force a quarrel with me. I haven't any desire to pose as a fighter , but I am afraid we will come to blows before long. Phew I how dark it is." Groping his way along . the deck he finally arrived at the hatch leading to the midshipmen ' s quarters.

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The Escape. 39 Pausing for a moment before descending, he glanced about him. The night was extremely dark. From where he stood Paul could scarcely see the break of the fore castle. Close at hand the shadowy outlines of an eighteen-pounder loomed mistily, resembling in its vagueness a crouching animal. Aloft the wind whistled merrily through the taut rigging; a leech of the foretopsail flapped to and fro with sullen jerks; a block creaked with the weight of a halyard. The power of vision seemed to end at the rail ; beyond was a black wall. The soft swash of the waves as they touched the frigate's sides mingled with a low murmur of -voices,. making a pleasant refrain. The latter came from sev eral members of the crew who were pacing up and down with the curious seven steps of a sailor. Presently Paul's impression was marred by a burst of laughter floating up through the midshipmen's hatch. "Making merry down ther:e, eh?" he muttered. "Must be supper time." Suddenly a slim form passed him, and, halting near the opening . , called down, authoritatively : "First luff says to stop that noise at once, .or he'll masthead every mother's son of you." "Is that you, Preble?" "Hello, Paul ! Stargazing?" "Hardly; there arc not many to be seen. This is a nice night for a surprise." "Yes ; but there is nothing on tap. We'll not make the coast before daybreak. Better come to supper." Nothing loath, Paul followed his friend down the ladder to the next deck, and from there descended

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The Escape. another stair to the steerage. In the time of which we write the junior officers of the navy were not as well looked after as they are to-day. The quarters allowed naval cadets on board the cruisers and battle ships of the present navy would have been considered sumptuous for a fleet admiral during the last century. On the Ranger, the midshipmen's berth, or "cock pit," as it was called, was simply a cramped apart ment, separated from the steerage by a rough wooden partition. It was about twelve feet long by seven, and not more than six feet in height. A round dead-light in the side admitted a modicum of air, and in the daytime very little light. The fur niture was conspicuous by its absence. In the center was a deal table occupying most of the space, and on both sides were narrow benches, food-stained and greasy. Attached to the bulkhead was a square lan tern, casting a mere apology for a light. When Paul and Jabez reached the apartment they found the table set for the evening meal. It was cer tainly not a banquet. A jug of molasses, a small wooden box filled with sea biscuit, a platter of cold, pickled beef, and a few tin plates and cups formed the feast. The benches were well occupied with midshipmen eager to fall to, but Stubbs' chair at the head was vacant. Our hero's appearance was greeted with a shout from Harry Adams, who sat near the middle on the larboard side. "Here's a place for you and Jezzy," he exclaimed. "Hurry, or some one will cut you out. There is not

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An Unwelcome Surprise. room for all of us, ye know, and the late comers will have to take the leavings." As Paul started to pass over to the spot indicated by Harry, Dick Haslett rushed through the door leading from the steerage, and with a leap gained the coveted seat. In the act, he shoved Paul so violently that the latter staggered against the side. CHAPTER VI. AN UNWELCOME SURPRISE. A cry came from the majority of those present. "Shame ! brute ! dirty trick !" and similar expressions sounded on all sides. Three of the assembled midship men were silent, however. One of these, a tall, raw boned lad, named John Potter, greeted Haslett's suc cess with a grin of approbation. It was several seconds before Paul could recover himself. When he did his face was pale, and an omi nous light gleamed in his eyes. He stood for a moment quietly gazing at Dick. Then, just as Harry Adams and Jabez Preble burst forth in indignant protest at Haslett's action, Paul reached over and grasped the fellow by the collar. Calling all his muscles into play, he gave a quick jerk and dragged Dick from his seat to a clear place near the door. Not a word was said. The two clinched, and then separating, began to pummel each other with lusty force. The supper was forgotten. Springing to their feet, all the occupants of the cockpit watched the combat

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An U nwclcome Surprise. with eager eyes. At first the honors were about even, then Paul managed to deliver a stinging right-hander squarely upon Dick's rather prominent nose. Confused and dizzy with the pain, Haslett sent his arms flying wildly through the air, and as a result received a blow from an unexpected quarter which sent him sprawling upon the table. His head landed in the bread box, and his shoulder, coming in violent contact with the molasses jar, sent that article flying into John Potter's face. The sticky fluid spattered in every direction, but the greater part (Jf it filled the eyes and mouth of the unfortunate middy. Sputtering with rage, he rushed wildly at Paul, and, before that lad could defend himself, knocked him to the deck. Jabez and Harry instantly hurried to their friend's aid, but before they reached him, Potter had brought down his heavy boot upon the head of the prostrate youth. "For shame!" shouted Adams. "You scoundrel! Strike a person while he is down, ch?" echoed Preble. Then both made a combined attack upon John. He was being roughly handled when two other midshipmen entered the combat. For a moment it seemed as if a general fracas would result. The sudden appearance of Master's Mate Stubbs caused a cessation of hostilities, however, and the pugnacious lads separated. The melancholy senior officer halted in the doorway and surveyed the wreck of the evening meal with the most profound dejection. His face lengthened, and a suspicion of moisture appeared in his eyes . . "Well, I'll be eternally keelhauled if this isn't just

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An Unwelcome Surprise. 43 awful !" he sighed. "What do you confounded rascals mean? Where's the supper? Here I am nearly starved to death, and you have gone and spoiled everything with your antics." Catching sight of Haslett, who still remained upon the table where he had fallen early in the fray, he gave him a dozen sharp cuts with a rope's end taken from-his pocket. "You will (whack) kick up a (whack) rumpus,'' Stubbs exclaimed, punctuating his remarks as he pro ceeded. "I'll teach you (biff) how to (whack! whack) make a (bang) pillow out of the (whack) bread kit." Unable to stand it any longer Dick wriggled from his hands, and fell unceremoniously between the benches. The master's mate's appetite for revenge was not yet satisfied. Espying the molasses decorating Potter's counte nance, he groaned in spirit and fell upon that youth with renewed vigor. For a mome _ nt the air was filled with blows and lamentations, then a messenger came aft with a stern command to cease the racket at once. When quiet reigned once more, Harry Adams and Jabez hauled Paul from under the table and found that he was unconscious, the result of Potter's brutal kick. Preble darted off for the surgeon, but Stubbs checked him at the door. "We'll settle this little matter ourselves,'' he said, grimly. "The lad will recover in a moment. Dash some water in his face, one of you. What cur did that?" "John Potter," replied Harry Adams, with a venge ful glance at the middy named.

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44 An Unwelcome Surprise. "He started it first by attacking Dick," said John, sullenly. "You are lying, and you know it, confound you I" re torted Adams. "That precious chum of yours played Paul a dirty trick by cheating him out of his seat; then in the fight you were pasted with the molasses jug." "Don't you tell me I lie I" blustered Potter, doubling his fist. "You do, and you don't dare take it up," sturdily replied Harry, who was several years younger than his antagonist. Matters threatened to become interesting again, but Stubbs, who had been working over Paul, interfered. "That'll do ! that'll do I" he exclaimed, reaching for his rope's end. "No more rowing to-night, or by the living Moses, I'll take a hand to your sorrow. Here, some of you fellows rig up Jones' hammock, so that he can turn in." "Never mind, I'm-I'm all right," interrupted Paul, staggering to his feet. He swayed to and fro for a brief moment, then straightened up and walked quietly toward John Potter. "You are a despicable coward I" he said, slowly. "A miserable cur I You attacked me unawares, and then after knocking me down, treacherously kicked me in the head. Now understand, I will repay you for that trick if it takes my life to do it." The middy-he was a coward at heart-paled slightly and edged away. Dick Haslett peeped out from his retreat heh.ind the benches, and whispered something, but the advice-whatever it was-passed unheeded.

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An Unwelcome Surprise. 45 "I don't blame you, youngster," spoke up the mas ter's mate, patting Paul upon the shoulder, "but . I'm going to attend to this little affair myself. We' ll le t matters drop until to-morrow, then I intend to hold a court-martial of my own down here. Whoever is guilty will get a punishment he'll not forget for a long time. Now let's eat supper-if there is any left." The meal was partaken of in silence by Dick Haslett and his boon companions, but our hero and his two friends talked and laughed gayly with Stubbs. After its conclusion, Paul, Harry Adams and Preble adjourned to the forecastle deck. The late trouble was discussed from all points, and finally a compact was made between the three middies, leading to an offensive and defensive alliance against Haslett and his chums. "Dick is jealous of you," spoke up Harry, addressing Paul. "That explains his hatred. Before you came aboard he was the chief middy, and somewhat in the old man's favor; now that is changed." "Yes, his nose is out of joint," agreed Jabez. "He's a bad one, and I don't believe he'd hesitate at anything to get square. We'll have to watch him." "I regret that my coming on board has caused trou ble, but I feel that it is not my fault," said Paul, firmly. "I do not intend to allow either Dick Haslett , or any of his friends, to run over me. If they try to there will be trouble. We are three against four, but I think we can give a good account of ourselves." "Thorpe and Harmer don't amount to much , but they will side in with Haslett and Potter," remarked Harry. "To tell the truth, those fellows have been making it rather warm for J ezzy and me heretofore.

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An Unwelcome Surprise. Now we'll pay them back in their own coin if they give us half a chance." After again swearing allegiance to each other, the three lads returned to the cockpit, where they turned in for the night. All hands were called at daybreak. The sun ' s rays revealed a sea entirely clear of vessels, but just visible on the northern horizon was a hazy spot which Stubbs recognized as the southernmost point of the English coast. Shortly before noon the lookout espied a sail directly ahead, which finally proved to be an English brig bound down the Channel. By Capt. Jones' orders, all the guns were run inboard, the ports closed, and the neat, rigging slackened carelessly. "He intends to fool that fellow into believing that we are the same as him," Harry Adams confided to Paul. "Oh, he's a cute one! Just wait until we get within hailing distance, then you'll see a prize captured quicker'n a cat can catch a mouse." The American flag was lowered, and the British J act< hoisted in its place. All the men, except five or six, were ordered below, as the display of such a num ber would be hardly consistent with the disguise. The English brig came on under full sail, apparently unconscious of her danger. When within hailing dis tance, Capt. Jones mounted the rail, and shouted, coolly: "Back your main-yard ; I wish to speak with you." "What do you want?" came the reply, uttered by a lusty-voiced man on the brig's after-deck. "Can't ye speak without my losing any time in lieaving to? Who are ye, anyway?"

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The Capture of the Brig. + 7 "The Continental frigate, Ranger!" quickly replied Jones, signaling the first lieutenant to display the American ensign. "You are our prize, my fine fell ow. Surrender, or I'll open--" Before he could complete the sentence, a line of ports flew back along the brig's side, the muzzles of a dozen cannon appeared, and with a terrific roar, a whole broadside of round-shot hurtled through the Ameri can frigate's rigging I CHAPTER VII. THE CAPTURE OF THE BRIG. The surprise was thorough and complete. Capt. Jones, clever as he was, had been almost hoisted by his own petard. He was fooled at his own game, but it did not take long for him to recover. Staggered for a moment, he glared at the man-of-war brig-for such it was-as if not believing his senses. Then, with a bound, he leaped from the rail and ran forward, giving order after order. In the twinkling of an eye, the crew poured on deck and manned the batteries. The guns were already ' loaded, so the in terval was short before the enemy's broadside was returned. The conflict that ensued was brief, but exciting. The ... brig was no match for the Continental frigate, with its eighteen-pounders and large crew. The Englishmen fought bravely, and did not . surrender until their vessel was unmanageable and in danger of sinking. Paul remained near Stubbs, and copied that worthy's

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48 The Capture of the Brig. example in working the forecastle guns. The master's mate kept his eye on the middy, and noted, with extreme surprise, that he acted very much as if he were at home. Toward the end of the battle, the gunner of the third carronade was killed by a chance grapeshot. The crew remained stupefied at their posts. Before Stubbs could issue an order, Paul sprang forward and assumed charge. Seizing a bag of powder, he rammed it into the muzzle, then thrust a round-shot after it, and training the piece of ordnance himself, pulled the firing lanyard. And all this with the methodical precision of a veteran. It was almost the last shot of the combat. A few moments later the captain of the brig pulled down his flag with his own hands, thus surrendering to an over powering force. A triumphant cheer rang out from the ' Ranger's deck, not because the victory was very great, but to mark the first capture on the English coast. Seizing an opportunity, Stubbs drew Paul aside. "See here, youngster; where did ye learn how to handle a carronade ?" he queried, with a note of sus picion in his voice. "I haven't the slightest idea," was the frank reply. "It just came natural, that's all. When I saw that man fall, I grasped the rammer before I hardly knew what I was doing." "Well, all I can say is that you are the queerest speci men I've ever been shipmates with. . You are what my old grand'ther calls a 'mighty mysterious myste . ry.' " "I guess I am all that," smiled Paul. "I haven't any explanation to offer. Every little while I run across

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The Capture of the Brig. 49 something that seems familiar to me, but where I have seen it before I cannot remember for the life of me." A hail from Capt. Jones, bidding the commander of the brig report on board with his sword, ended their conversation. Our hero went aft to witness the cere mony. The English officer-a little man, with fierce, bushy whiskers-scrambled up the side, and strode across the quarter-deck to where Jones was standing, surrounded by his officers. The Britisher's face was the picture of humiliation. He attempted to speak, but the effort resulted in a most ludicrous sputter. Capt. Jones sternly repressed a sign of amusement on the part of his companions, and gravely saluted his prisoner. "I am very sorry that the fortunes of war compel me to ask for your sword, sir," he said, "but you recog nize the necessity. Your bravery in defending your ship against such odds awakens in me the most pro found admiration and --" "Zounds, man I why shouldn't I fight for my flag?'' interrupted the little man, irritably. "I don't ask for your commendation, sir. I am mad-mad clean through-that I am compelled to surrender to a pirate, for that is what you are." Exclamations of anger came from the group of officers, and more than one hand grasped the hilt of a sword. But Capt. Jones merely smiled. "No doubt you think yourself justified in using such a term," he said, rather sadly. "To the occupants of yon isle all Americans fighting for their rights arc traitors and pirates. I excuse you, sir; but mark me, before many years elapse there will be a new country

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50 The Capture of the Brig. upon the face of the earth, and proud England shall acknowledge its existence with tears of blood I" Paul-who had taken his stand within hearing distance-could scarcely restrain himself. To his boyish mind, John Paul Jones W:'\S the incarnation of all that was patriotic and brave. His prophetic words rang in the lad's ears like a trumpet blast. A murmur of applause came from the lieutenants, but the English man shrugged his shoulders with supreme contempt and reluctantly extended his sword. It was taken with grave ceremony, and then quickly returned. "Keep it, sir," exclaimed Jones, courteously. "I will not humiliate a brave man. Give me your promise not to embark in this war again, and I will set you ashore on your own soil." The British captain's face flushed. He awkwardly grasped the sword so unexpectedly returned to him, and then his eyes suddenly filled with tears. "Gad, sir! you make me thoroughly ashamed of myself," he exclain1ed, brushing them away. "I take back my words. You are not a pirate, but a gentle man, sir-a gentleman of the first water. It will never be said that Godfrey Jenkins has been outdone in courtesy. You have conquered me twice, sir; by force of arms, and again by kindness. Permit me to shake t hands with you." " Capt. Jones' face bore an expression of proud tri-t . umph greater than that caused by the brig's capture, as he willingly obeyed the prisoner's desire. To his sensitive nature the moral victory thus gained by kind words was far more glorious than a dozen naval battles.

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The Capture of the . Brig. SI Linking his ann with that of Capt. Jenkins, he con ducted him aft to the cabin. As they walked away Paul heard the English officer state that his honor for bade him offering a parole, and that he would be com pelled to remain a prisoner of war. Several hours later, the brig-which had been tem porarily repaired-sailed down the Channel for Brest under charge of a prize crew. To our hero's delight, neither Harry Adams nor Jabez Preble were sent in the detail. The short distance to the French coast necessitated only a couple of officers, who were selected from the lieutenants and masters. The Ranger had met with little damage. A shot hole or two, a couple of torn sails, and the splintering of the main-yard made up the sum total. These were speedily attended to, and the frigate again gotten under way for the English coast. The loss in killed and wounded amounted to eight. The sailmaker performed the last offices for the dead, and the surgeon looked after those still living. The decks were cleared up, and within three hours after the fight the gallant Ranger was in readiness for another. Down in the cockpit the affray was discussed at great length by the embryo admirals. Dick Haslett boasted of his valor to his cronies, and a bystander, ignorant of the facts, would have considered him the hero of the hour. Paul and Harry Adams listened in disgust, but as both Preble and Stubbs were absent, they discreetly refrained from questioning the fellow's words. After a while the master's mate came, followed by Jabez. Glancing around the apartment, Stubbs asked, gruffly : "Where's Harmer?"

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The Capture of the Brig. "On watch," replied Harry. "D'ye want him?" "No; I guess there's enough here. Paul, close and bar that door." As our hero started to obey the order Dick Haslett arose from his seat at the table and attempted to leave the cockpit. He was checked by the master's mate, who said, grimly: "Just remain where you are, young fellow; I have something to tell you." "I've got to go aft. The first luff wants me," re plied Haslett, uneasily. "Stay where you are, I say," sternly insisted Stubbs. Dick sullenly slunk back to the table, and sat down close to Potter and Thorpe. Paul exchanged glances with Harry Adams, and asked, in a whisper : "What's up now? What does Stubbs mean?" The middy grinned with delight. "He's going to hold a court-martial about that affair last night," he replied. "Just wait and you'll see fun." "Will Dick and his cronies stand it?" "They'll have to. Joyful Home has a way to make them." Taking his seat at the end of the table, Stubbs rapped with a knife handle to attract attention. "There was a disturbance in this place last evening," he said, solemnly, "by which the supper was ruined and the peace disturbed. As head of this part of the ship, I propose to make an investigation and to punish the guilty party, or parties, as the case may be. Midship man Preble, stand up and tell us what you know about the affair." The slim youth shot to his feet as if moved by a spring. It was evident from his smiling face that the

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The Capture of the Brig. 53 invitation was greatly to his liking. He winked at Paul, and then, with a triumphant glance toward Haslett, said: "I will tell you with pleasure, sir. Jones and I came down here from duty about six o'clock last night. As we entered the door, Adams called out to hurry or we would lose our seats. Just then Dick rushed in, and shoving Paul against the side, jumped into the place meant by Harry." "What have you to say, Adams?" asked the master's mate, grimly : "Jezzy has exactly described it. It happened just as he says. Paul then grasped Haslett by the collar and jerked him to the floor. They clinched, and after a moment Dick was knocked upon the table. At that moment John Potter hit Paul and kicked him in the head after he had fallen to the deck, and I want to add that it was the meanest trick I ever saw." "Keep your opinion to yourself,'' growled Potter. "Silence !" rapped Stubbs. Then he added, significantly : "You'll have a chance to talk sobn enough. Dick Haslett, what have you to say about this disgraceful affair?" The middy addressed drummed with his fingers upon the table, and paid no attention to the question . Stubbs repeated it, but with a like result. "Humph I Won't speak, eh? Well, it doesn't make any difference. It's an acknowledgment of your guilt. Now, Potter, what do you say? Do you deny kicking Paul in the treacherous manner described?" John followed the example of his leader and refused

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54 In Fearful Peril. to reply, except to cast a ferocious glance toward or hero. The latter laughed in his face, contemptuously. "Ho! so you have lost your tongue also?" exclaimed the chief inquisitor. "Well, it'll save time. I hereby find you and Dick Haslett guilty of spoiling a mighty good supper, and of acting in an unfriendly way toward shipmates. I will now pass sentence. Each of you are to receive twenty licks with a rope's end on the softest part of your body, and to go without molasses for one week." CHAPTER VIII. IN FEARFUL PERIL. Both Haslett and Potter started to their feet with a mutinous expression on their faces. Thorpe, who had taken no part in the impromptu trial, looked relieved because of his omission. "You won't touch me with a rope ' s end," cried Dick, desperately. "I won't stand it , and that's flat." "Very well," replied Stubbs, moving toward the door. "If you refuse to take my punishment , I'll re port the matter to Capt. Jones, and he ' ll attend to it. I'll just tell him how you have acted toward Midship man Paul Jones, who is his protege, by the way , and who , for certain peculiar reasons, should receive a friendly welcome on board this frigate." "That'll cook Dick's goose for sure , " said Harry Adams, in an audible voice. "He'll be sent home at the first opportunity and lose his prize money, too." "You haven't any right to whip us," spoke up John Potter.

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In Fearful Peril. SS "Yes, I have, and you know it. I'm !upposed to keep order in this cockpit, and when necessary I can use force. Are you going to submit or not?" Potter looked at Dick, and Dick looked at Potter. They knew that a report aft would result in their dis comfiture. It was humiliating to submit to such a punishment, but it was better than to risk a greater one. Suddenly Paul whispered something to Stubbs. The latter at first shook his head, then he finally nodded assent. "Jones has asked me to remit the rope's end part of it,'' he said, addressing the culprits, "and as he is the injured person, I'll consent. You'll do without your molasses, though. If either of you have a particle of manhood in you, you'll thank Paul for his inter cession." Both Dick and John looked sheepish, but they did not make any attempt to follow the advice. Watching their opportunity, they sneaked on deck amid the jeers of Harry Adams and Jabez Preble. "Confound them !-they should have received the licking,'' growled the latter middy. "A hundred lashes would about do them." "You'll get no thanks for your generosity,'' added Harry, addressing Paul. "Either of the brutes will knife you if they get a chance." "I'll try to keep out of their way,'' replied our hero, carelessly. "I didn't care to see the fellows humiliated on my account." "The sentiment does you credit,'' remarked Stubbs, "but I think Harry is right in saying that you will not receive any thanks for your action. I'll just hold the

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In Fearful Peril. rope's end in mind, and if they try any of their dirty tricks, I'll pay the debt, with interest. Hey, you, Thorpe! you can tell your scurvy friends what I have said." The last sentence was shouted after the midshipman named, whom the master's mate had espied slipping from the cockpit. The lad cast a frightened glance behind him, and then darted from sight, fearful that he would be recalled and treated to a dose of his supe rior officer's medicine. The changing of the watch brought all hands on deck at this juncture. Paul had been detailed in the larboard division, but he still remained under Stubbs' immediate command. During the few days the youth had spent on board the frigate he had developed a fondness for his peculiar companion. It had not taken lopg for him to see that Stubbs was at heart a brave and trustworthy officer, and that his eccentricities simply formed a mask to hide his evident good nature. On his part the master's mate had become greatly attached to his young charge. Recent experiences had shown him that Paul would develop into a daring and intelligent cadet, despite his strange loss of memory. Then his generous action in the mock court-martial indicated that his nature was as noble as it was brave. Shortly after the larboard watch assumed charge of the ship a sail was sighted inshore. It was about an hour before dark, and the slanting rays of the sun pres ently brought out in bold relief the rigging and canvas of the stranger. At the moment Paul was detailed on the quarter deck. He carried the news of the discovery to the

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In Fearful Peril. 57 commander, who instantly appeared on deck. Bid ding the middy bring him a spyglass he made a care ful survey, and then briefly reported his belief that it was a government revenue cutter. "We' ll lure those fellows alongside and see if we can pick up any information," concluded the captain. "Paul, make signal that we have important news for them." The order was a puzzler for Paul, as he had not learned a signalman's duties as yet. Fortunately, Harry Adams reported aft just then, and by his aid a couple of bright-colored flags were hoisted to the lee mizzen yardarm. After the fight with the man-of-war, the Ranger had again been disguised as a merchantman. The ruse had not deceived the brig, but it might prove effective in the present case. Jones resolved to try it, anyway. At first the signal was disregarded ; then after a while the cutter changed her course and sailed out toward the frigate. On board the latter vessel the men were sent below as before, and the officers changed their uniforms for ordinary clothing. When the unsuspecting revenue craft had arrived within hailing distance, the Ranger's main-yard was backed, and her speed checked. All this had taken time, and it was almost dusk when the cutter sailed alongside. A strong breeze had blown up in the mean time, which threatened to develop into something worse before many hours. Seeing this, Capt. Jones resolved to capture the Englishman without delay, and, after removing the crew to his own vessel, sink the prize, which was too small to send to France.

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In Fearful Peril. "What ship is that?" bawled out a man on the after deck of the cutter. "The Wandering Heir, of Bristol," replied Jones . "Bound home from the West Indies with a general cargo." "What is the meaning of your signal? What news have you?" "Have you heard anything of an American man of-war cruising in these waters?" asked the Rangers captain, with a grim smile. "We got word that some such vessel was in the neighborhood, but it is impossible, " replied the cut ter's commander, with a contemptuous laugh. "The Yankees wouldn't dare send one of their tubs to the English Channel." "Is that so? Well, don't be too sure of that. You arc looking at one now, my fine fellow. Ho, there, forward! train a couple of guns on the cutter, and fire if he don't haul down his flag in half a minute." Paul, who was peeping from one of the forward ports, saw the English captain fall back in mingled amazement and consternation. Then the first lieutenant ordered a carronade fired to leeward. Before the report had died away , the British ensign came down from the cutter's peak in token of sur render. A boat was called away on board the Ranger, and ordered dispatched to the prize for the purpose of bringing her crew. Stubbs was sent in command. To Paul ' s unbounded joy the master ' s mate asked him to go along. As the middy piled over the side after the six sturdy men forming the boat's crew, he caught sight of Dick Has-

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In Fearful Peril. 59 lett's envious face glaring at him from behind the hammock netting. Paul, in his glee, could not forbear shaking his fist at the fellow, and, needless to say, the salute was re turned with interest. A few moments later the boat arrived alongside of the English cutter. "Get your dunnage ready to leave your vessel," called out Stubbs, as he shinned up the side. "Make haste now, as itm blow great guns before long." An officer in undress naval uniform met the Ameri can crew at the gangway. He was greatly agitated and wrung his hands in despair. Behind him Paul saw the revenue crew of ten men. The latter still carried arms, as if reluctant to lay them down. The cutter was small-probably of not more than sixty tons burden-but she was heavily rigged, and probably fast. The only weapons of defense she car ried were fcur small carronades on the main deck, and a swivel gun forward. "Gentlemen, gentlemen ; is it possible yon ship is a Yankee?" demanded the officer, eagerly. "That is just what she is," replied Stubbs, laconic ally. "Then Heaven help me ; I am the prisoner of a Yankee pirate !" "Ye-es," sighed the master's mate. Then turning to Paul, he asked, with a comical "Did you bring our black flag along to hoist above this here prize?" The middy laughed and shook his head. "Come, pile into the boat alongside," shouted Stubbs, suddenly growing grave. "There's a squall brewing,

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60 In Fearful Peril. or my name is not Joyful Home. In with you, my hearties. Shake a leg I shake a leg I" There was good reason for haste. The twilight, which had been steadily falling, quickly changed to darkness. Gathering clouds overhead massed together in one black pall ; a fierce gust of wind swept down Channel from the north, and in the twinkling of an eye the Ranger disappeared from sight. "Don't stop for your dunnage I" roared the master's mate. "Pile in, all of ye I Pile in, I say I" "Your boat will not live in such a sea," bellowed the cutter's commander. "Better get sail on the Magpie while we have time." Just then a junior officer crept to the captain's side and muttered in his ear. Paul, who was standing near by, saw the latter give a start, and then before our hero or Stubbs knew what was brewing, the revenue crew ran aft with hoarse shouts. "Look out I they intend to attack us !" shouted Paul, drawing his sword. "Stand by, Rangers I" hurriedly exclaimed the mas ter's mate. "Drive them back, bullies! Drive them to the forecastle I" The six from the frigate massed themselves around their officers, and met the onslaught of the enemy with so much firmness that the latter broke and retreated up the deck. Seeing their opportunity, Paul and Stubbs followed with their men. At this, the Magpie's captain-who had been slightly dazed by the chang-e in his fortunes-rallied his sailors and again charged. The odds were two to one, and although the Americans fought bravely, they were forced back. All this was but the work of a moment.

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In Fearful Peril. 61 In that time, however, the squall had increased in fierceness. Suddenly a gust struck the cutter with such force that she broached to. The foremast snapped with the strain, and fell over the side, carrying top-hamper, rigging and lee bulwark with it. The howling of the gale was such that the crash was unheard. It was seen, however, and the fight between the two forces came to a speedy end. It was now a case of self-preservation. Americans and Englishmen, forgetting their differences, mutually labored to clear away the wreckage for the purpose of getting the cutter before the wind again. The Ranger had vanished, swallowed up in the darkness. The squall had descended from the northwest, but soon whipped around toward the west, and blew directly on shore. The cutter lay over on the larboard side so heavily that the shattered bulwark gave easy passage for the white-capped waves. By herculean efforts the foremast was at last cut away. The loss of this weight caused the cutter to ride better, and she presently obeyed the helm , at which four strong seamen had been stationed. Finding him self close to Stubbs after a while, Paul managed to ask him in what direction lay the coast. "Heaven only knows, lad," was the grim reply. "The compass has been washed away; I think it is dead ahead, however. Is that the captain over there?'' The middy crept up to where a shadowy figure stood clinging to the mainmast. He was followed by the master's mate. It was the unfortunate commander of the Magpie.

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62 The Death Song of the Sea. "How does the land lay about here?" bellowed Stubbs, uneasily. "We will soon know," responded the officer, bit terly. "Only a miracle can save us, as Rocky Point must bear directly in front." "Wouldn't a closereefed storm-sail rigged up for ward do just as well as a miracle?" coolly asked the master's mate. "What d'ye say? Shall we try it?" "Fool! the foremast has been carried away," replied the captain, beside himself with fear. "What could you rig the canvas .to ?" His words were wasted upon the empty air. Struck with this new idea, Stubbs made his way forward, accompanied by Paul. With gestures and an occa sional word, they explained matters to the sailors. A spare spar lashed amidships was secured to the stump of the foremast, and a double stretch of canvas rigged from its upper end. It had hardly been placed in position, however, when a sharp squall ripped it adrift, and carried the sail to windward with a report like that of a small carronade. A moment later, the sullen booming of breakers arose above the noise of the wind. The Magpie was doomed I CHAPTER IX. THE DEATH SONG OF THE SEA. When that fatal sound-the death song of the seacame to the ears of the doomed crew, they crowded aft

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The Death Song of the Sea. 63 with an instinctive desire to get as far away from the threatened point of impact as possible. During the past few moments a vague light had crept into being from some unknown source. By its aid, Paul saw across the white, spume-covered waves a dark, shapeless mass looming mistily above the near by horizon. It was the land mentioned by the English captain-Rocky Point. Turning his gaze inboard, the middy beheld a strange sight. All the men were aft near the rail, and : most of them, knowing that the cutter must go ashore, had taken off their oilskins and sea boots, ready for an effort to save themselves at the last. Wet through, some with no hats on, up to their knees in water, for the decks would not clear themselve!!, though some of the deck ports were stove in, a weird picture the sailors presented. Americans and English were intermingled together. Foes an hour previous, now all enmity was forgotten. Each had a battle to fight with the warring elements in which steel. or shot would avail not. Standing a little apart was Joyful Home Stubbs. Even in the misery and excitement of the moment, Paul was compelled to smile at the incongruous name. The master's mate displayed no fear. His arms were folded and he watched the rapidly nearing land with an inscrutable eye. Something in his attitude inspired courage. Taking advantage of a lull in the dreadful pitching of the cut ter, the middy slipped across the deck. "What's the lookout?" he shouted, placing his lips: close to Stubbs' ear. "Bad, lad; very bad,'' was the reply. "The Magpie

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6+ The Death Song of the Sea. is gone up-that's certain. The only hope left is that she'll pass safely through the outer line of breakers and strike the coast beyond." "Can you swim, Stubbs?" "Like a dolphin. Can you ?" "I think so. I'll make a good attempt, anyway. I guess Dick Haslett and his cronies will hail our loss with joy if we go under." "Confound them I yes. Death and wounds I we'll live, if only to disappoint them. I don't think you were born to drown, lad. If so, we wouldn't have picked you up." Paul was too engrossed in watching the fatal racing of the cutter toward the land to pay much heed to the remarks of his companion. It would be untrue to deny that the middy was alarmed. He fully realized their danger. He saw strong men weeping with despair all around him. He feared such a cruel death as threat ened by the looming rocks. Small wonder that his face paled and his breath came in gasps-small wonder that he involuntarily clung to Stubbs as the doomed grasp at aught within reach. "Heart up, lad!" exclaimed the master's mate, cheer ily. "I think we will pass the outer line of breakers all right. We are almost among them. Come to the wheel. Perhaps we can steer the cutter through them." They struggled aft, and each grasping a spoke, man aged to throw the rudder hard over to starboard. Sev eral of the American seamen, seeing the effort, climbed up the main rigging, and indicated the position of the different rocks whose jagged heads were now in plain view. By these means the Magpie was steered clear of the

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The Death Song of the Sea. 6 5 first few groups. Then, just as the wretched crew gained hope, a heavy sea wrenched the wooden rudder from its fastening, leaving them as helpless as before. "It is no use," shouted Stubbs, giving up at last. "We will strike in a moment. Stand by, men I Stand--" The caution was never finished. Just as he uttered the last word the cutter struck a submerged rock with a terrific crash. The remaining mast went over the side, snapped like a pipe stem, close to the deck, the hull quivered for a brief space, then ripping fore and aft, sunk half on each side of the reef. At the first shock Paul was dashed from his feet. He felt the salty water curling over his head ; then he struck out blindly with both hands. Presently, he rubbed against some soft object. Opening his eyes, he gave one look, and then shrank away with nameless horror. It was the Magpie's commander. The pallid face and staring eyes indicated that he had succumbed early in the struggle. From then until unconsciousness came, Paul was in a dream. He heard the cries of anguish rising above the howling of the storm and the deep roar of the sea; he saw heads dotting the water's surface here and there; he saw one after another toss up their arms and disappear from view-then he, too, reached forth for the aid that came not, and then-* * * * * * * It was still night. Overhead the clouds had cleared away, and a soft light beamed down from a full moon. The wind had lessened considerably, but its edge still

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66 The Death Song of the Sea. bore a keenness that set a figure crouching close to the surf, shivering like an ague-stricken invalid. It was not the only human shape in sight, but the others-of which there were six or seven-were mo tionless. Stretched out here and there, some face downward, others doubled up in misshapen heaps, they seemed to be mute relics of some dread disaster-and they were. Presently the figure before mentioned, arose and staggered . painfully along the beach. It stopped at the nearest body and bent over to examine the exposed face. A half-sob mingled with the strange noises from the sea, then the words : "It is not Stubbs; thank God . ! there is hope left. He may have escaped." Then Paul-for it was he, miraculously saved from death-wearily moved on to the next recumbent figure. A cursory examination, and a shake of the head. While pausing beside another victim of the tragedy, a peculiar sound came to his ears. It was a man's gruff voice singing an old-time ditty: "The thunder of guns across the deep, the deep, Came wafted to our ears. The dolphins and whales, aroused from sleep, from sleep, Shook the ocean with their fears. Now sing, boys, of the merry times, the merry times, the merry times, Now sing-" The song came to a sudden stop. Darting across the beach, Paul knelt by the side of a man stretched out almost within reach of the surf. Seizing him by the arms, the middy dragged him to a place of safety and then fell to crying :

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Captured. "Stubbs! Stubbs! Is it you? Wake up; what is the matter with you? Wake up, I say I It is I-Paul. Oh, thank Heaven! you are safe!" The master's mate lurched to a sitting position, and stared stupidly at the lad. A tiny stream of blood trickling down his cheek indicated that he had been injured. It accounted for his peculiar actions. Presently laying his head upon Paul's shoulder, he broke forth, again : "The thunder of guns across the deep, the deep, Came wafted-" Springing to his feet, Paul exerted all his strength and lifted the delirious man to an erect position. Then half-dragging him, half-carrying him, he made Stubbs walk inland a dozen paces. The exercise had a good effect, aad in the course of a half-hour, the master's mate rocognized his young companion. As it hap pened, the recovery came just in time. CHAPTERX. CAPTURED. "All gooe but you and me, lad? It's just awful I Seventeen stout hearts gone to their last rest, and only two saved! What have we done to be picked out by a special dispensation of Providence, eh? Gently, gently, there; tie the rag a trifle higher. That' s it. Now we'll be moving." In a spot sheltered from the wind by a slight eleva tion sat Joyful Home Stubbs. Bending over him was Paul, in the act of bandaging the master's mate's head

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68 Captured. with a strip of cloth torn from his shirt. The youth's deft fingers soon accomplished the task, and his com panion arose to his feet with a sigh of relief. "You speak of moving; where will we go?" asked our hero, as he and Stubbs again emerged upon the beach. "We'll have to get away from this place, and that as soon as possible," was the rather grim reply. "Some of the people living in these parts will come down on us before we know it." Paul glanced down at his soiled and torn uniform in some dismay. "That's a fact," he said, slowly. "If the Britishers catch us in these clothes they will be apt to land us in a prison hulk. If we could only disguise ourselveswhere are you going?" The last question was called forth by a sudden move ment on Stubbs' part. Hobbling across the beach, the master's mate began dragging the bodies of the un fortunate victims away from the edge of the water. "Hi there, Paul!" he called out. "Just select one of these poor fellows what's your size and strip him. It's not a very nice task, but-Heaven save them !-they don't need their earthly outfits any more." The middy was quick to see the drift of his com panion's meaning. By changing costumes with a couple of the cutter's crew, it might be possible to con ceal their identity in case awkward questions were asked. As Stubbs had said, it was not the most pleasant task in the world, but it was a case of necessity. Paul succeeded in finding the body of an Englishman not

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Captured. much larger than himself, and in the course of a few moments the transfer was made. They had barely donned the garments when the middy happened to catch sight of several men moving along the crest of a hill a few hundred yards inland. "Here they come !" he cried. "Quick ! Flop around on the beach as if you were just reviving," directed Stubbs. "When they get here, wring your hands and s . creech like a sea gull. If we don ' t pull the wool over their eyes we're good for the hulks." "Perhaps these men were known about here," sug gested the middy, following his companion's example. "Then we are done for, that's all. It won't do any ha.rm to try the ruse. Your name is Jack Brine, and I'm called Bill Bunker. Now, don't forget." Just then a faint shout from the ridge indicated that they had been seen. Stubbs and Paul slowly rose to their feet from where they had thrown themselves, and feebly waved their hands. A few moments later, they were surrounded by several rough-looking farmers. "Why, dang my buttons! if it isn't a shipwreck," ejaculated the foremost in startled tones. A chorus of sympathetic cries came from the yeo man's companions. One of them pointed seaward, where the unfortunate cutter's mainmast could be seen floating near the reef, and then stared aghast at the inanimate bodies of the crew. "It's one of his majesty's revenue boats," he said, in shocked tones. "So it is, Hughes, so it is; but here's two poor fel lows that need our aid at once. They are evidently all that are left of the crew. What a pity."

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Captured. At this the master's mate burst into a well-simulated paroxysm of grief. "My poor mates," he cried. "They are all gone I Yon wreck is all that remains of the revenue cutter Magpie, good sirs, and--" He was suddenly interrupted by one of the farmers. "What craft did you say?" asked the man, exchan-.i ging glances with his companions. The action was not lost on Stubbs. With an uneasi ness that he could hardly conceal, he repeated the name of the cutter, adding: "Jack Brine and me were ordinary seamen aboard of her. The captain's name was Morris-Lieut. John Morris, of London. He was the first to go under. How me and my mate were saved is beyond my knowledge. I can just remember the cutter striking the reef, then the next thing I knew I was stretched out on the beach. Poor fellows, they were good mates, all of them, except old Jim Cross, who had a fashion of stealing one's grog if he got a chance. Well, he's gone to a place where the rum is doled out in great plenty and each jacky gets his rightful share." Stubbs stopped to take breath, and before he could resume his garrulous yarn, one of the farmers, who had been quietly inspecting the bodies, called out : "I have found three Yankees here. The boatswain's story tallies exactly." An ominous murmur came from the remainder. The master's mate slyly edged his way close to Paul, and gave him a nudge of warning, saying, in a low whisper: "Look out for squalls, lad. These men suspect something. If it comes to the worst, fight it out and make your escape if possible."

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Captured. "You say that you are members of the Magpie's crew?" asked a sturdy yeoman, placing his arms akimbo in a peculiarly aggressive manner. "We were,'' mournfully replied Stubbs. "The Mag pie is 110 more. Her sorely buffeted hulk lies out yonder alongside the cruel reefs. Woe is me?" "And the captain's name was what?" "Lieut. John Morris, of London. He was a good man, and de6erved a better fate. Many's the time he has said to me, 'Bill Bunker, I feel it in my bones that Rocky Point will be my undoing,' and, alack! it was. This squall came--" "A pest on your tongue,'' interrupted the farmer, angrily. "It runs like thin water through a sieve. Fellow, there is no truth in your words. You did not belong to the Magpie, nor did your youthful com panion. We know all about you. By the mercy of Providence, the boatswain of the cutter was safely carried ashore above here. We spoke with him not a half ltour past. He said that the Magpie had been captured by an American frigate, but that she was driven ashore with the prize crew. He described the leader of the Yankee pirates." "Thin of face, lean as a hungry dog and daring as a Briton," spoke up the farmer, who had examined the bodies. "He also said that the second in command was a youth of good form, and as brave as his master. Friends, these are the American officers. They are traitors and enemies of his majesty the king. Seize them!" As he uttered the final sentence, the speaker at tempted t-0 grasp Paul by the arm. To his surprise, his hand clutched the empty air, and the next moment

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72 Captured. he staggered back, almost felled by a blow delivered full in his prominent paunch. In the meantime, Stubbs had not been inactive. He knew that the game was up, and that if they failed to escape from the farmers, they would be turned over to the authorities of the nearest town. Visions of the prison hulks and the treatment ac corded prisoners of war by the English at that time formed an inducement sufficient to cause the master's mate to fight desperately for liberty. Paul had hardly made the attack mentioned above when his companion charged like a mad bull upon the nearest yeoman. He instantly went down, but managed to drag Stubbs with him. The latter tried to wrench himself free, but the brawny arms of the farmer encircled his neck so firmly that it was impossible. A moment later another yokel threw his weight upon the master's mate, and he was speedily made a prisoner. During this brief, but exciting, scrimmage, Paul had managed to dodge his antagonists, and he now stood several paces distant, an interested spectator of his companion's mishap. He was fleet of foot, and probably could have made good his escape, but instead of making the attempt, he hurried to Stubbs' aid with a shout of encouragement. The inevitable result happened. The middy, althoug-h strong and an able fighter with his fists, was a child in the hands of the farmers. They knocked him down and then bound him side by side with his superior officer. The latter's arms had been fastened, but his tongue still wagged, and he used it with great freedom. After first rebuking Paul for not running away when he had

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Captured. 73 the opportunity, he turned his attention to his captors, and read them a lecture on hospitality. " 'Tis a nice way to treat your cousins from across the sea," he said, dejectedly. "This is what ye call true British welcome, eh? Out on ye for a passel of cut purses !" "No, 'tis not your purse we'll cut, good man," grimly replied one. "It is your throat the king's men will slit just as soon as we turn you over to them. Then you will be gibbeted at the crossroads near Foxboro, as a warning to all Yankee traitors and pirates.'' "What fools ye were to approach the English coast,'' remarked another. "What is your ship-a trawler? Hot ho!" "Your king will soon find out to his sorrow,'' re torted Paul, stung by the fellow's taunting words. "A trawler, forsooth. It's a frigate that'll teach some of your seventy-fours the art of war." "Ha! the cub can growl also." "Yes, and he can do more, the little fiend!" quoth the one Paul had struck so shrewdly. "I say, friends, why should we bother with turning them over to the king's men? The sea hath been their home, why not return them to it? It'll save much trouble, and, hark ye, I have little time to go about the country with traitors. The crop needs my attention." " 'Tis bravely said, but what of the boatswain? Did he not hint at a reward if we discovered the Ameri cans?" "Yes , yes ; he did mention a matter of ten pounds which would be our portion in case we captured the chief officer. 'Tis best to wait and see. Anyway, we'll

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74 The Strange Sailor. be aiding his majesty against his enemies. On to Foxboro with them." During this conversation Stubbs had remained silent. He realized that it would be simply a waste of breath to argue the matter with the stolid farmers. The only chance remaining was to attempt an escape when an occasion offered. Leaving one of their number to guard the prisoners, the rest dug a shallow grave several hundred yards from the surf, and buried the unfortunate victims of the wreck. After that had been accomplished, the party started inland, threading their way across a dreary waste of sand and scraggy hillocks by the aid of the moon's mellow light. CHAPTER XI. THE STRANGE SAILOR. After traveling a couple of miles, lights were sighted in adyance. They gleamed from the windows of a little village nestled between two hills. It was simply a collection of huts, with here and there a stone house of greater pretensions. "This can't be Foxboro,'' remarked Stubbs. "I have heard of that town, and it must be larger than this." "It is, as you will find right speedily," vouchsafed a farmer. "This is the village o' Mills, and the boat swain of the cutter abideth here in waiting for news. \ You will soon confront him to your undoing."

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The Strange Sailor. 75 "It is the fortunes of war," coolly replied the master's mate. "There is no war about it , " testily exclaimed another yeoman. "It is simply clearing the seas of a band 9f pirates, and punishing treasonable subjects of his majesty the king." "No war about it?" spoke up Paul, indignantly. "Just wait and see." "All right, youngster, we will, but I doubt much that you and your mate will be able to wait very long your selves . " This significant speech ended the conversation. A few moments later the party reached the edge of the town. Their coming had been seen, and a crowd of men sallied forth to meet them, despite the lateness of the hour. Among them was a burly individual whom both Paul and Stubbs recognized as the boatswain of the ill-fated Magpie. The fellow strode forward with a lantern. Thrusting it close to the prisoners' faces, he eyed them with every appearance of satisfaction. " 'Tis the rebels, masters," he said, exultantly. "Ye have bagged a pretty catch this night. Yon rascal with the lengthy jaws and hangman's cheeks is the leader of the prize crew, and the whelp with him was his assistant. Fine fruit will soon blossom on the gal lows tree or my name is not O'Grady. " "The identification is now complete, so we'll hasten to Foxboro without loss of time," said the leader of the farmers. "It is a good three leagues , and daylight will be here ere we reach the boro. Hasten, friends ; bring forth horses for us." Paul and his companion were bound together and

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The Strange Sailor. placed on one gaunt steed, and their captors mounted others furnished by the villagers. The cavalcade set out at once, and, as the yeoman had stated, reached Foxboro just as the first rays of the sun appeared. It was rather early for the good citizens, and the entry was made without attracting attention. An old watchman dozing in a sheltering doorway was awak ened by the noise. He dropped his horn lantern and steel-shod staff in surprise, and, on learning the great news, soon spread it through his portion of the town. It was not long before the prisoners were surrounded by a crowd which increased with every passing mo ment. Finally the farmers were forced to halt in dis may. "Never been such a prominent person in all my life,'' remarked Stubbs, with a grim smile. "What would my old gran'ther think if she saw her Joyful the object of such a demonstration, eh?" "It would hardly please her if she knew the probable result," dryly replied Paul. "For my part, I would rather be the smallest powder boy aboard the Ranger at this moment than an American midshipman in the hands of these people. They certainly do not appear to be very merciful as a rule." Suddenly a chorus of cries came from the mob: "Traitors!" "Yankee freebooters !" "Hang them ! hang them !" The mob gathered about the cavalcade made such a hostile demonstration at this moment that the farmer guard became frightened for their own safety. The elder man, who appeared to be the leader, rose in his stirrups, and begged them to be calm.

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The Strange Sailor. 77 "Peace, friends," he cried, in a strident voice. "I grant ye that these prisoners are Americans, and that they approached our coast for hostile purposes, but it is the business of his majesty's soldiers to deal with them. Back and clear a road for us, if it please you." His words had an instant effect. The crowd parted to the left and right, forming a lane through which the guards rode with Paul and Stubbs. The last horseman had barely passed when the citizens of Foxboro, now augmented by many scores, closed in behind, and followed the party down the street. The windows on either side were lined with curious spectators eager to see the terrible monsters just captured by their valiant countrymen. Here and there could be seen the awe-stricken faces of children held up by their anxious mothers. Paul noted all this with a feeling half contemptuous and half sad. That he and his companion should be regarded as traitorous scoundrels and looked upon in the same light as thieves and such malefactors, was shameful to him. His gaze wander e d from window to window, from face to face, in unconscious search of a s y mpathetic glance-but he found it not. While looking toward the open door of a tavern he noticed a lean, sallow-visaged man clad in the easy costume of a seafarer leaning against the side. He did not appear to take a lively interest in the hubbub of the outer street, and yawned indifferently as the mob surged past. Suddenly his eyes fell upon the middy. An expres sion of the most profound amazement flashed into his face, and he started up from his lounging attitude. Somewhat startled, Paul watched the fellow, who,

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The Strange Sailor. leaving his place, tried to force a way through the crowd. He w:as held back by the throng in front of him, how ever, and when the farmers with the prisoners moved on, Paul saw him gesticulating wildly in the midst of a group of excited citizens. The lad tried to recall where, if ever, he had seen the sailor, but without avail. Then a sudden thought struck him, and he turned to Stubbs with a low cry of emotion. "That man back there waving his hands-do you see him?" he asked, eagerly. "Who? The fellow with the seaman's outfit and the hatchet face ?" "Yes, yes. He knows me, Stubbs; that is plainly indicated by his actions." "Well, what of it, lad?" "What of it? Can't you understand, man? He is not a member of the Ranger's crew ; therefore--" "He must have known you previous to your rescue," completed the master's mate, hurriedly. "Death and wounds! Paul, it's a chance to solve the mystery. Ho, there! Stop the procession. Halt, I tell ye!" Raising a loud outcry, Stubbs bade the guard cease the march. Not understanding his reason, the farmers closed in around the horse upon which the prisoners were mounted, evidently thinking it an attempt to es cape. This excited the mob, and for a moment pande monium reigned. It was suddenly quelled by the appearance of a new factor upon the scene. Clattering down the street came a squad of horse soldiery. A young officer in charge waved his sword and commanded the crowd to dis-

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The Strange Sailor. 79 perse in the king ' s name. The order was obeyed with ill grace. "What does this mean? Who are these fellows?" demanded the ensign, authoritatively, pointing to Paul and his companion in misfortune. The leading farmer made a hurried explanation, and turned over the prisoners with unconcealed relief. All this received little attention from Paul. He was craning his neck to catch another glimpse of the sallow visaged sailor. Although apparently happy and con tented on board the Continental frigate, yet the mys tery of his past life weighed heavily on the lad. In the silent watches of the night he had striven to recall his real name. Together with Stubbs and Harry Adams, he had gone over word after word, city after city, country upon country, in a futile endeavor to remember the circumstances of his nativity. The pres ence of that terrible wall beyond which he could not peer affrighted him. He felt the loneliness of his position more than words can tell. He appreciated the kindness of Capt. Paul Jones and the Ran ger's crew, but their well meaning friendship did not satisfy his longing for home and kindred. It was certainly a most peculiar position for one to be placed in, and Paul cannot be blamed if he thou ght more of the seafarer ' s strange actions than of his peril ous situation. His backward glance revealed the fellow still striving to force his way through the crowd. He had man aged to gain a spot a dozen yards from the tavern, and was now within speaking distance. The middy wished

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So The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. to address him, but he did not know what to say. Finally he called out, eagerly: "I say, you chap with the sailor's clothes; do you know me?" The man nodded vigorously, and made some reply. To Paul's great disappointment, the words were lost, blotted out by the tramping of horses' hoofs upon the flinty road. The company of soldiers surrounded their prisoners, and at a word from their youthful com mander, started down the street at a trot, followed at a respectful distance by the farmers who had made the capture. Almost frantic with disappointment, Paul tried to gain the attention of the officer. The ensign heard his voice pleading for a moment's halt, but he replied with a contemptuous stare. CHAPTER XII. THE PRISONERS HEAR A PROPOSAL. "No use, lad," said Stubbs, who was cognizant of all that had happened. "We are in the clutches of these brutes and we can't help ourselves." "Oh, I must not let this chance slip, Stubbs!" ex claimed Paul, the tears starting to his eyes. "That man knows me ; he surely has seen me before. What shall I do ? What shall I do ?" The master's mate craned his head and glanced back at the following crowd. He caught sight of the strange sailor in the front ranks of the citizens. The

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The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. 81 fellow was running slowly, as if simply trying to keep the troopers in sight. "Never mind, lad; we'll have an opportunity to speak with the mariner before very long," said Stubbs, encouragingly. "When we reach the jail, wherever it is, he'll catch up with us." The squad, consisting of a dozen sturdy, red-faced men, clad in dingy breastplates and buff suits, rode steadily onward. The horse upon which were mounted Paul and his companion, ambled along in the center. The young officer galloped at the side, keeping a wary eye on the mob in the rear. Down a long lane they went, past quaint houses, set back from the outer walks, until finally the outskirts of the town were revealed in front. Beyond stretched several patches of garden fields, and beyond those could be seen, plain and distinct, in the morning sun, the towers of an old castle. "Ah, I'll wager that is our destination,'' muttered Stubbs. "If I mistake not, we 'll be cast into some lower dungeon for the nonce. It is a sorry outlook, lad. I know these ancient castles. They were builded in strength, and are veritable prisons." Paul made no reply, nor did he evince the slightest interest in his companion's conversation. His head was still filled with the peculiar actions of the lean mariner. A while ' later the party halted in front of the walls and beside the ditch of the castle. Their coming had been observed. Several officers of a rank higher than that of the ensign emerged from the sally port and eyed the prisoners curiously. The crowd surged forward as the troopers prepared to dis mount. Paul watched eagerly for a glimpse of the

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82 The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. mariner, and, after a moment of suspense, saw him in the center of the mob. Before the middy could call out to him, the young officer ordered their horse led across the drawbridge. Just then the strange sailor hastened up to one of the troopers and addressed a few words to him. What the result was our hero had no opportunity to learn, as at that moment he and Stubbs were escorted into a vaulted passage. One of the elderly officers conversed with the ensign for a moment, and then bade the prisoners brought into an adjoining room. It was a great hall, barren of fur niture save at one end, where had been placed a large oak table and a dozen chairs. The walls were dark with age, and showed signs here and there of the progress of decay. The master's mate eyed these spots with evident sat isfaction, and remarked to Paul, in an undertone, that he hoped their prison cell would have walls as easy to pick through. The prisoners' arms had been unfas tened, but the presence of several guards precluded the possibility of a dash for freedom. "How now ! who and what are you , fellows ?" pres ently demanded an officer clad in the uniform of a colonel, who had taken his seat at the head of the table. "We are sailors from his majesty's late cutter, the Magpie, your worship," coolly replied Stubbs. "By the mercy of Providence, we managed to escape from the sea, but only to find that we had fallen into evil hands. We beg your honor to examine our case and--" "He lies !" suddenly interrupted a voice, "I was the

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The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. 83 boatswain of the Magpie, and those villains were not members of the crew." At these words a group of farmers standing back from the table parted, and a grizzle-haired sailor stepped into view. Stubbs clinched his fists and ad vanced, as if for the purpose of attacking the speaker, but he was restrained by one of the guards. It was plain the elder officer had been well-informed by the ensign, as he turned upon the master's mate with a sneering smile, and said : "Ye would continue to play the comedy, eh? Sea men of his majesty's service you claim to be. You may have been at one time , but you are now a traitor and shall reap the punishment of such. That lad with you; is he also an officer of the so-called navy of the Yankees?" "That I am, sir, and proud of it," boldly replied Paul. "You have guessed rightly. No need to hide the truth." "This certainly passeth belief," suddenly remarked a soldierly appearing man seated near the lower end of the table. "Is it possible the misguided colonists of his majesty's provinces have sent vessels here to engage our fleet?" "Not vessels," responded Stubbs, calmly, "but simply one frigate, if you wish to know. You have a thou sand, we have one; yet fight for our freedom we will." "You are crazy. What can you hope to do with a solitary craft?" "Tidings will soon reach you," answered the mas ter's mate, significantly. "What fool is in command of your fleet?'' asked the

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84 The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. elderly officer, with a sneering emphasis upon the last word. Before either Paul or Stubbs could reply, a trooper entered the hall and with a respectful salute, stated that a sailor wished to speak with the commander, adding: "He insists on seeing you, sir, and says that he knows one of the prisoners." The middy uttered an exclamation of joy. It could be none other than the person he had noticed in the doorway of the inn. With trembling eagerness, he awaited the officer's reply. It soon came, and was a most bitter disappointment. "Drive the fellow from the door,'' the commander said, roughly. "The prisoners have been sufficiently identified as pirates by this boatswain. I have little time to--" "Oh, sir, please permit him to enter,'' interrupted Paul, stepping forward with hands clasped in entreaty. "I wish to see him, sir. He can solve a mystery about my past life. I was picked up at sea by the Conti nental frigate. They found me adrift upon a mast, and when I was rescued I could not remember my name nor--" "Peace, babbler. Your Yankee tongue is foul with lies. Wouldst think we are fools to believe such a tale? Away with them, sergeant. Confine the knaves in the north tower , and station a double guard over them. I will send a courier to London at once, and see if we cannot have the satisfaction of hanging the traitors before a week passes. Away with them." Paul pleaded for a moment's delay to state his case further, but he was rudely dragged from the hall by a file of soldiers. Stubbs was treated in a similar fash-

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The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. 8 S ion, and presently the twain found themselves the occu pants of a dreary cell some distance away from the audience hall. Th\:! master's mate had used his eyes as they were being transferred. He saw that the prison was situ a ted in the extreme northern corner of the castle, and that a goodly part of the main structure was in ruins. This pleased him mightily, and he chuckled with evi dent satisfaction as he observed it. "Almost out of earshot of the soldiers' quarters," he muttered, to himself. "Three and twenty steps have we mounted through the base of the tower. That means a good thirty feet above the ground-not much for agile young fellows like the middy and me." Paul's recent disappointment was too sore for him to take much interest in his surroundings until the cell was reached. Then a few encouraging words from Stubbs heartened him up. "I know ye feel badly, lad," said that worthy. "If I had lost all recollection of the name of Joyful Home Stubbs, and had for g otten my old gran' ther, I would be eager to recall my vagrant memory, too. Never you mind; it'll come out by and by. Our first duty is to escape from this den. That hungry-looking buff coat with the sergeant ' s marks is going to keep a care ful watch over us, btlt we'll fool him. Now, let's see how we are situated." The cell contained a rude straw pallet and an oaken stool. The walls were of stone and of great thick ness. A single window some ten feet above the floor furnished light and air. It was to this Stubbs in stantly turned his attention. Bidding Paul place his back against the side the

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86 The Prisoners Hear a Proposal. master's mate-who was not overweighty---crawled upon his shoulders and peered forth at the outside world. What he saw caused him to drop down with a grunt of disapproval. "Little chance thore, I'm thinking," he saii. " 'Tis barely a foot across, and hath an iron bar set shrewdly in the masonry." "Even if it were wider, how could we reach the ground with little risk to our necks ?" queried the middy. "We have jackets and hose, my boy. Torn in strips, the garments would make a neat rope. But it will not do ; we must think up other plans. How is the door?" Paul started to examine it, but he had barely com menced when it was thrown back, and the commander of the castle guard entered the cell. He was alone, and when he had passed the threshold, the door was again closed and bolted. "I have something to say to you, men," he exclaimed, without loss of time. "I have come to ask how you would like to regain your freedom with but little cost to yourselves?" Stubbs eyed the speaker fixedly for a moment, then he chuckled, dryly. "What is the bargain, sir?" he asked, abruptly. "You are not releasing your prisoners for nothing, I opine. What can two poor Yankees do for your wor ship?" "Just this much. If you will help me capture the frigate that brought you here, or give me information which I can transfer to the naval officer of this division, I will set you free. If you refuse, I will have both of you hanged before morning. Take your choice."

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CHAPTER XIII. THE ESCAPE FROM THE CASTLE. The commander of the castle guard made the propo sition as coolly as if it were simply an ordinary sen tence. He faced Paul as he spoke, but his words were addressed to Stubbs. The latter's face changed not the slightest, but his eyes gleamed with an ominous light. "Please repeat that?" he said, softly. "If you will give me information by which we can capture the Yankee frigate, I'll set you free ; but if you refuse, you will be hanged before morning. Take your choice. What do you say? Will you furnish the key by which yon door can be unlocked?" "No ! a thousand times no!" cried Paul, striking his clinched fists together. "For my part, I would rather hang this very hour than even hint at anything that would imperil my shipmates." "Rightly said, lad," spoke up the master's mate. "You mean well, but you haven't made it strong enough." As he spoke, he strode up to the officer and shook both hands in his face. The latter started back and attempted to draw his sword, but ere he could produce the blade Stubbs had him by the throat. The attack was so sudden and unexpected that Paul stared at the struggling pair in amazement for a brief period. Then he recovered, and sprang to his companion's aid. The officer fought desperately, and made the walls

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88 The Escape From the Castle. ring with his cries of alarm. A noise sounded outside , and in a twinkling the door was dashed open , revealing a couple of arm e d soldi e rs in the out s ide c o rrid o r. A s they entered, Stubbs rose to his feet, grasping the com mander's sword in his right hand. Quickly placing the point against the prostrate man ' s breast, he cried , sternly: " Close that door and stop where you are, you dogs, or I'll run him through." The guards gaped in amazement, and hesitated. Seeing that they were almost incapable of moving, Paul ran to the cell door and hastily closed it. As the oaken portal crashed against the framework, the commander made a sudden attempt to wriggle from under the threatening weapon, but he only received a painful thrust for his reward. It was warning enough, and he remained motion less, glaring up at the man who had so cleverly turned the tables on him. Stubbs enjoyed his triumph for a moment, then he bade the soldiers throw down their arms. "If you do as I say, all will be well, barring our escape," he said, grimly; "but if either of you raise an alarm or make a move to rescue your commander, that moment he dies. We are desperate men, and we will hesitate at nothing to gain our freedom. Lay down your arms." The soldiers glanced stupidly at their superior offi cer, as if awaiting an order. He was purple in the face with rage, but he gave a reluctant signal of assent. The heavy guns of the guards fell to the stone floor with a clang. At a signal from the master's mate, Paul kicked them

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The Escape From the Castle. 89 out of reach, and then skillfully bound the men with their own belts. A like service was performed upon the prostrate officer. "Now just gag them, and we'll quietly take our leave," said Stubbs, cheerfully. The stirring events of the past few days had cleared away his habitual mask of melancholy, which, after all, was no indication of his real nature. "Sorry to break off our acquaintance so abruptly," remarked Paul, addressing the commander. "Next time don't be so rash in entering the cells of your pris oners. Adieu !" With a farewell wave of their hands they slipped from the apartment. Muffled groans and stifled sounds of words not used in polite society followed them . Stubbs chuckled with huge satisfaction and exchanged a congratulatory grasp with the middy. They were now standing in a narrow corridor leading from the cell door to a winding stair at the far end. The walls, floor and ceiling were of stone, damp with mold and stained with age. Softly treading their way to the circular well in which the steps were placed, they looked down. "Death and wounds ! another guard," whispered Stubbs. Directly beneath them, and in plain view were three hulking soliders lolling upon a settee. Their guns were leaning against the wall, but each man carried a short sword strapped to his waist. That the sound of the struggle in the upper cell had not penetrated to their ears was incredible. "They could not have arrived earlier than a moment ago," whispered Paul.

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90 The Escape From the Castle. "I opine that you are right," replied his companion. "It must be a relief guard awaiting until the officer comes down. They'll have a long spell of it, I'm think ing. But how are we going to pass them?" "There is a window large enough for one to crawl through in that room," said the middy, wistfully. "If we could only drive those fellows farther below we would be all right . " "I have an idea,'' suddenly exclaimed the master's mate. "Do you think you could speak like that offi cer?" "I don't know. Why?" asked Paul, wonderingly. "What do you mean?" "If one of us could imitate his voice, we might fool those soldiers. It's a great plan. Try it, lad. Perhaps you can do it." ''What shall I say?" "I'll give this sword a clank against the wall ; at the same time you call out in a gruff voice : 'Ho, there, guard I get down to the barracks and wait further orders.' Try it now." Paul obeyed. The ring of the sword against the stone wall almost drowned the words , but they were heard by the soldiers. Stubbs slyly peeped over the edge, and saw them spring to attention. There was a brief hesitation, then a civil "Very good , sir, " floated to their ears, and the guard tramped noisily down the lower stairs. The coast was clear. In much less time than it takes to describe it, Paul and his companion had reached the window beneath them. It was large, and only four or five feet from the floor. The drop outside was not more than twelve ,"" r

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The Escape From the Castle. 9 I feet, but it was into the moat, which seemed to be par tially filled with stagnant, evil-smelling water. "We can swim if it's over our heads," remarked the middy; "but the splash may be heard." "Out with you; there isn't any time to lose. We may be discovered at any moment." "We are lucky in not having a crowd to watch our escape," replied Paul, as he prepared to drop. "There is not a soul in sight. Here goes." With the last word, he released his grasp on the ledge and shot down into the moat, striking the water with but comparatively little noise. To his delight, he found that it was only three or four inches in depth, with about an equal thickness of mud underlying that. Stubbs speedily followed him, and the twain scram bled out upon the bank without further ado. One glance showed them that they were opposite a portion of the castle that had long been in ruins, the tower in which the prison was situated being tpe only part hab itable. Several hundred yards from the crumbling wall was a fore s t of Englis h oak trees, whose nodding branches see m ed to beckon them to a place of safety within its midst. It is hardly necessary to say that the fugitives did not linger long in the sun. "We'll hide there?" queried Paul, indicating the woods. S t ubbs nodded. "Yes , but we'll not tarry long in this vicinity. The fooli s h pli ght of the commander and his men will soon be dis covered, and then hot will be the chase. Come on. " Crossing the open space they penetrated the forest ,

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91 The Escape From the Castle. and hastened along as rapidly as the circumstances per mitted. Paul, who was slightly ahead, suddenly halted, and pointed toward a moving object some dis tance in advance. "It's a man, and he's hastening this way," he ex claimed, excitedly. "There are two of them," corrected the master's mate, slipping behind a tree. "Hist ! lad ; conceal your self or we are undone. That bush to your right will make a safe hiding place for the time being. If they espy us, the alarm will--" He ceased speaking, interrupted by the deep-toned clanging of a bell. The sound came from the castle and could only mean one thing. Their escape had been discovered. Stubbs' face became gray and his jaw lengthened. Their situation was one of extreme peril. Paul gave vent to an exclamation of dismay. "Heavens ! they are soon upon our trail," he said. "The villains will swarm through these woods in no time. What shall we do?" "Hide from those in front first. Follow me." Crouching down, Stubbs crawled through the long grass to the bush he had previously indicated. Paul crept close to his heels, and nestled next to his com panion. A moment later the crackling of branches proclaimed that the men were upon them. Peering forth, the middy caught sight of the fore most. He half rose to his feet, and uttered an exclamation of excitement. The master's mate's lean hand drew him back, but the noise Paul had made had done its work.

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Fugitives in England. 93 "What do you mean, lad?" angrily breathed Stubbs. "Want to surrender us?" "It is the sailor ; it is the man who recognized me from the inn door," was the eager reply. "I must speak with him, cost what it may." CHAPTER XIV. FUGITIVES IN ENGLAND. "Hast gone daft? Such a course would surely lead to our recapture. Quick ! down with you, lad ; they may pass--" There came a sudden interruption. The bush behind which the fugitives were concealed parted, and a face leered at them through the space. With an exclama tion, Stubbs sprang to his feet, and thrust forward his sword. The weapon reached its mark. A shrill screech of agony came from the intruder's lips, and he fell back to the ground. Paul bounded forth, followed by the master's mate. The latter started in chase of the wounded man's companion, but the f e llow was fleet of foot and soon disappeared in the direction of the castle. When Stubbs returned he found the middy bending over the prostrate man. The latter was groaning with pain. His face was distorted, but not so much as to render it unrecognizable. It was the l e an-visaged sailor of the inn door. A trickling stream of blo o d from a spot in the right breast showed where the sharp-pointed weapon had

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94 Fugitives in England. performed its deadly work. Paul lifted the sufferer's head, and pleaded with him to speak. "You know me," he said, anxiously. "Where have I met you? My name-what is it? Speak, man, for the love of Heaven !" The mariner's lips moved, but no sound came forth. He glanced from Paul to the master's mate and again essayed to talk. The middy listened eagerly and finally caught the words : "Yes, I-I know you, lad. Ugh I this pain is-is terrible. I know you well. You are-" He hesitated, stammered, and then his head fell back. Wild with disappointment, the middy passionately begged him to continue. The frantic words revived the injured man, and he again opened his eyes. He struggled hard to speak, but only a fragment of a sen tence was the result. "Your-your name is-is--" he gasped, and then relapsed into unconsciousness once more. A renewed clanging of the alarm bell came from the nearby castle, whose towers were plainly visible between the interlacing tree branches. Suddenly, a faint murmur as of many voices mingled with the brazen tones. Stubbs glanced backward as if expecting to see the pursuers already on their trail. "Come lad," he said, hurriedly. "We must fly at once. I am sorry for you, but remaining here will not drag further information from the poor fellow. Come." Without a word, Paul rose to his feet and followed the speaker. He seemed dazed, and stepped forward as if in a dream. It was high time for the flight. When the fugitives had gained a point hardly a bun-

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Fugitives in England. 95 dred yards from the wounded sailor, the forest rang with the sounds of an animated pursuit. Running at the top of their speed, darting between clumps of trees, at times stumbling across masses of decaying leaves and branches, went Paul and Stubbs. Luckily, both were sturdy and sound of wilul, as the pace soon became terrific. Finally reaching a road, they darted over it and again took up their flight through a continuation of the woods. Thus matters went for the best part of an hour. At the expiration of that time both were fain to halt for a much-needed rest. A couple of moments spent in the shelter of a knoll, and on again. Few words had passed between them ; breath was far too precious to waste in needless conversation. At the end of the second hour they emerged upon another road which wound its devious way to where, nestling on the side of a hill, could be seen a small vil lage. It was not more than five miles distant, and appeared to be one of the numerous rural towns abiding in the country districts of old England. A halt was instantly called for a consultation. "I think we can safely proceed now as any respecta ble traveler would,'' said Stubbs, reflectively. "Our pursuers are far behind, thanks to our fleetness of foot. and I opine that it will be some hours before they can obtain tidings of us." "Have you any certain destination in view?" asked Paul. "None except the Ranger." "Where do you expect to find her?" "The good Lord only knows, lad," replied the master's mate, taking a seat on a fallen log. "It will be

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Fugitives in England. like searching for an honest rogue in Boston jail, I am afraid." "We must strike the coast as soon as possible. Capt. Jones will make a descent upon some port before very long, I should judge." "Such is his intention, no doubt. If I mistake not, I heard mention made of Whitehaven, which, by the way, must lay not many leagues from Foxboro. It is to the north." "We have been traveling in that direction, have we not?" "Yes, almost continually. I think our best plan will be to boldly enter yon village and palm ourselves off as a couple of his majesty's revenue sailors bound afoot for Whitehaven. We have lost our way, and would fain have some good soul direct us. Then mayhap we could e'en obtain a bite of food." "The last is greatly to my mind," smiled Paul. "I confess to a growing emptiness beneath my belt." "So be it, then. We'll risk it." They set out forthwith, and in the course of a halfhour gained the outskirts of the town. Observing an old man leaning over the gate of the first house, Stubbs boldly approached him. Respectfully remqving his cap, he bowed and asked: "Good sir, would you oblige a couple of his majesty's men with a little information? We desire the title of this quaint and well-kept village." "Strangers?" queried the ancient, in a cracked voice. "Even so." "Thou must be not to ken th' name o' this town. It be Roxton, of course. Whither bound?" "Whitehaven, to rejoin our vessel. In which direc-

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Fugitives in England. 97 t _ ion should we travel? We have lost our way and fear that we be late at the rendezvous." "Whitehaven layeth yonder. It be a matter o' ten leagues. Thee be king's men, eh? Zounds! thou art far from thy native element. Ho! ho! thou must feel like a fish out o' water this distance from the sea. Art hungry, lads?" "That we be, kind sir," quickly replied Paul. The old man called to a woman hovering around the doorway, and bade her bring cheese and bread. This the fugitives devoured with good appetites, washing it down with a generous portion of milk. As they were preparing to take their leave, Stubbs happened to glance down the road in the direction whence they had come. A cloud of dust near the edge of the distant forest attracted his attention. He gave a start, and quickly crossed over to where Paul stood conversing with their host. Watching his chance, he managed to whisper, unnoticed: "We must leave at once. If I mistake not, there rides a courier with news of our escape. Come!" Hastily thanking the old man for his kindness, they started off up the road at a swinging walk, and on passing around a bend took to their heels. They were soon out of sight of the village, but neither slackened the pace until a good four miles were between them and Roxton. After a short rest in the vicinity of a farmhowie, they resumed the march and traveled almost unceas ingly until sundown. Just as the shades of night fell, a good-natured yeoman gave them a piping hot supper, and permitted the footsore fu g itives to sleep in his barn. W om out by their exertions, they slumbered until

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Fugitives in England. daylight. Paul was the first to awake. Seeing tke sun streaming through the cracks in the side, he hurriedly aroused his companion . Thoroughly alarmed at the delay caused by their carelessness, the twain speedily left the barn and resumed the road. They were none too soon. As they skirted the hedge bordering the farm they observed a cottple of horsemen in close consultation with their late host. After a moment all three walked rapidl!y toward the place in which Paul and Stubbs had sought shdter. "The meaning is plain," quoth the master's mate. "They are in search of us. Death and ill tid ings travel fast in this country. It behooves us to hasten our steps, lad. Whitehaven is our place of refuge. We may mingle with the mariner:S of the town and escape notice." "I hope we find the Ranger hovering off the port," replied the middy. "This game of hide-and-seek grows tiresome. I liked the experience at first, but since I failed to gain information from that sailor-information that my heart yearns for-I would fain be aboard the frigate." There was little chance for further conversation. The vicinity of the farmhouse was left at once, luckily, without attracting any attention. During tbe entire day Paul and Stubbs plodded along toward the coast, and shortly after dark they sighted the lights of White haven.

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CHAPTER XV. AMONG FRIENDS ONCE MORE. Mamg a short detour, the fugitives gained the edge of the bay tspon which Whitehaven is situated. Skirting the water, they presently reached that portion de voted 1o the shipping. As seen in the semi-darkness, the harlfor was filled with vessels. "What fine pickings this will be for the old man,'' remarked Stubbs, indicating the fleet with a wave of his hand. "A m;ttter o' two hundred craft of all kinds, I reckon. If the Ranger would only slip between those two forts out on the Heads now, she'd make a grand haul." "Would it not be perilous work?" asked Paul, dubi ously. "The frigate could hardly fight such a force." "Oh, couldn't she ? Never mind about that, my boy; with Capt. John Paul Jones in command, she could take anything. I'll wager a nimble sixpence he will make this town think the world has come to an inglori ous end before many days." "It grows cold, comrade; where shall we go?" "I think our best plan will be to make our way out to the Heads. Mayhap we can find shelter for the night with some kind soldier. The buff coats are al ways willing to help a wayfarer; then we'll be nearer the sea, too." "And perchance catch a glimplie of the frigate, eh?" added Paul, wistfully. "I envy the comfort of the cockpit about now. Wonder what our friends will say

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100 Among Friends Once More. when we pop upon them;" then he added, sotto voce: "If we ever do." " 'Tis my belief that many will welcome us, but b y the same token there are others who won't be overmuch pleased: to wit, Dick Haslett, John Potter and others o' that ilk." Still conversing, they made their way through the lower streets of Whitehaven, and presently emerged upon a stretch of vacant land extending out to the northernmost fort of the pair guarding the entrance to the bay. The chill night wind had cleared the roads of pedestrians, so none were met with to question the business of the fugitives. A brisk walk of less than a half hour brought them within sight of their destination. Espying several small cottages in the shadows of the main fort, Stubbs and Paul made their way thither. They found little difficulty in persuading a brawny sergeant to give them shelter, and ere long they were snugly stowed away in a pile of thatch. Tired nature soon asserted herself, and they speedily fell into a deep sleep. The night was peaceful, the hours passed swiftly, and nothing occurred to disturb the m until near the ed g e of dawn. Then Paul, feelin g cold, awoke to hear the tramping of feet near their refuge. He peered forth from between the wisps and saw a small body of men approaching the battery walls. Despite the dimness of the early li g ht, he recognized the foremost. Thinkin g himself dreaming, he rubbed his eyes and looked again. He had not made a mistake-it was Capt. Paul Jones! Giving Stubbs a shake that startled him into instant

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Among Friends Once More. IOI activity, the middy sprang from the thatch and darted toward his benefactor. "Capt. Jones I Capt. Jones ! is it you?" he cried, ex c i tedly. "Oh, can it be possible that we have found you at last?" The party of men halted at the first word. Their leader wheeled around , uttered an e x clamation of e x treme surpri se, and then met the lad halfway. He grasped his hand and shook it warmly . "What! my protege turned up at last?" he said, joy ously. "I thought old Father Neptune could not hold you in his clutches. How came you here, lad? Where is your companion, Stubbs?" At that moment the pile of thatch was scattered, and the master's mate rushed forth. He gave the group one amazed glance, and then darted toward them as fast as his leg s could carry him, crying: "Death and wounds! Do my eyes deceive me? Is this a dream , caused by sumptuous living, or is it true? What ! you, Capt. Jones ? Ho ! ho ! ha ! and Jed Brug gles, and Bill Warren, and Freeborn Sprouts! Where's the Ranger, mates? My heart yearns for a sight of the dear old--" The American commander checked him with a warning gesture. " 'Sh-h-h ! Quiet, Stubbs , or you will alarm the g uards," he muttered. "The frigate is off the harbor . Lieut. Wallingford and I came in the bay in the first and second cutters to burn the shipping. I am very glad that you and Paul are safe. This is no time or place for con g r a tulations, however. There are but fif teen of us on this side of the bay, and it will take quick work to carry out my plans. Do you and the youngster

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102 Among Friends Once More. hasten ahead to see if any of the sentries have espied us. We'll abide here in readiness for a charge." Highly delighted to find themselves in harness again, the master's mate and Paul set out toward the battery. The meeting with their beloved commander was so un expected and withal, satisfactory, that both felt a trifle dazed. "Is it really true, Stubbs?" queried the middy, chuckling. "We are not asleep back there in the castle, are we?" "Blamed if I know," grinned his companion. "Suppose we pinch each other and make sure." Paul agreed, and in his exuberance of spirits, gave his companion such a forcible twist of the biceps that he almost cried out with the pain. Before Stubbs could retaliate in kind they saw the vague form of a sentry emerge from a sheltered corner of the ramparts. The two scouts crouched close to the ground and waited. The soldier halted, looked around, and then, drowsily shifting his gun, sauntered back to his nook. "He'll be asleep in two minutes," whispered the middy. "Suppose we hurry back and tell the captain." "Do you carry the information while I hide here on watch," replied the master's mate. "Tell the old man that all's clear." It did not take very long to bring up the little handful of men. Then, with Capt. Jones at the head, the y silently scaled the ramparts. Paul and Stubbs were with the gallant commander when the party reached the top. All hands were armed with pistols and cut lasses. The garrison of the fort would probably consist of fifty men. Against this force of trained soldiers were

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Among Friends Once More. lOJ pitted scarcely more than a dozen. The astute Ameri can commander knew well that he could not hope for victory in a hand-to-hand fight. He depended entirely upon the effect of a surprise. Who in all proud England's domain would antici pate that a petty group of despised Yankee sailors would cross the seas to attack a British port? It would be less improbable to expect an assault upon Gibraltar by the monkeys of Algeria I History does not contain in its records a more daring act than that of Capt. John Paul Jones when he landed from the solitary frigate Ranger on Albion's coast to bum the shipping of Whitehaven. A mighty fleet of a thousand sails guarded the channels; well-garrisoned batteries lined the shore ; troop upon troop of soldiers, foot, horse and artillery, were quartered in nearby towns, yet that immortal hero, Jones, carried the flaming torch from ship to ship in the harbor, and then de parted to further conquests. "All hail to him!" should be voiced by every patriot in this land of the free. To the story. On gaining the top of the parapet, the sentry men tioned before was observed in an angle. He stood leaning against the side, and his nodding head indicated that he slumbered. A dozen yards away another guard was observed in a like condition, and across the small parade still another was visible. The latter was evi dently awake, but his back was turned to the invaders. With the ease of an old campaigner, the commander gave his orders. Signifying his intention to take charge of the first man, he bade his little party scatter and caphtre the others.

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104 Among Friends Once More. "Paul, you and Stubbs slip across to the door of the barracks," he whispered, to our hero. "Lock and bar it as quickly as possible; then rejoin me." As the middy and his companion hurried away to do his bidding, they heard a sharp cry of alarm. Turning, they saw Capt. Jones fell the first sentry with the butt of his pistol; then, with a tiger-like spring, he grasped the second and placed him alongside his comrade. The shout had come from the third soldier. However, before he could do more than repeat his warning, he was captured by several sailors. In the meantime, Paul and Stubbs had gained the stout oak door of the living quarters. In much less time than it takes to describe it, the portal was barred. A confused noise from within proclaimed the alarm of the garrison. A window was opened, but the middy managed to thrust the muzzle of his pistol across the sill in time to prevent egress of the inmates. "No, you don't," he exclaimed, sternly. "Keep back, or you will get hurt." "For Heaven's sake I what does this mean?" asked an agitated voice. "Are you crazy, boy?" The speaker, from his costume, an officer, thrust his head out and glared wildly at the unexpected scene. Before Paul could reply, the master's mate brought the flat of his cutlass down upon the exposed cranium. With a yell of pain, the officer disappeared, to be seen no more. After fastening the window with several boards found near by , the middy and Stubbs rejoined the main party. The sentries were lying upon the edge of the parade bound hand and foot. The coast was clear

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Among Friends Once More. 105 for the more important work-that of burning the ship ping. Mounting the rampart, Capt. Jones gazed anxiously across the bay. It had grown light enough for objects to be plainly visible some distance away. What the commander saw caused him to leap down with an ex pression of surprise. "Something is wrong!" he exclaimed. "Walling ford is crossing with the second cutter, and without at tending to his part of the plan. He should have set fire to that part of the fleet lying on his side. What can be the matter?" Suddenly, Paul, who had climbed up on another por tion of the parapet, called out that several men were running toward the town from the cottages near the battery. Knowing that this would mean an early alarm, the commander gave orders to spike the guns and march upon the shipping which lay at anchor a mile farther up the bay. "Hot work, hot work," chuckled Stubbs, as they set out. "We now have an opportunity to become mar tyrs, my boy." "Dead ones?" grinned the middy. "If so, please ex cuse me. I would prefer to remain a live midshipman. What do you think has caused the lieutenant's return?" "Hard to say. Fluked, I guess,'' dryly replied Stubbs. "What I Afraid to carry out his orders?" "Yes. Never thought much of him, anyway. Mark my words; he will have some queer excuse to offer. Hurry, lad; move those long legs of yours, or we'll fall behind. The old man is anxious to complete the work and get away, I guess. Don't blame him; it's broad

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I 06 Among Friends Once More. daylight now, and the whole town will be at our heels if we don't watch out." "Lucky we captured the fort, eh?" "It is, lad. The old man knows his business. Hello I the town is astir." The soldiers seen by Paul as they left the cottages near the battery had vanished from sight up the nearest street. They must have spread the alarming news al ready, as scattered groups of citizens, some hatless and in their shirt sleeves, now appeared upon the beach. Nothing daunted, the gallant captain led his men to the water's edge. Embarking in a couple of small boats, the party hurriedly rowed to the nearest vessel, a brig of several hundred tons. The crew were in visible, doabtless still asleep. It was but the work of a moment to climb over the bulwark. Just as they gained the deck, the cabin door swung open, and a stout, red-faced man, clad in trousers, shirt and nightcap, crossed the threshold. He gave the intruders one startled glance, and then disap peared with a howl of consternation. "After him! Lock the door, some one!" shouted the commander. Stubbs, run to the forecastle and keep the crew below." Paul darted toward the cabin in obedience to the first order. He had barely reached the entrance when the fellow with the corpulent body-who was evidently the in the passageway. He carried at his shoulder an immense blunderbuss, and before the middy could prevent him, he had leveled it and pulled the trigger. I

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CHAPTER XVI. THE RETURN TO THE FRIGATE. Fortunately for the safety of the invading force, the captain of the brig was too excited to aim correctly. The charge of slugs from the blunderbuss whizzed through the main rigging and landed with an angry spat in the foretop. The recoil of the ancient weapon was so tremendous that it sent the skipper upon his back. Before he could rise again Paul had him by the throat. The fellow floundered about and probably would have wriggled free if one of the American sailors had not come to the middy's assistance. Between them they held their prisoner until a shout from forward indicated that the brig had been fired. By Capt. Jones' orders, the crew were disarmed and sent ashore in their boat. The Ameri cans piled into the craft they had brought from shore and set out for the next vessel, a full-rigged ship. From the main hatch of the brig a dense volume of smoke tinged with ruddy flames soared aloft. A brisk wind from seaward carried innumerable sparks to other vessels and presently a dozen incipient fires sprung up. "The elements are lending their aid,'' remarked Capt. Jones, grimly. "It is well, as I doubt if we could re main much longer. We will destroy yon ship and then retreat." "The good citizens of Whitehaven are gathering in force," said Stubbs. "Look at that hill back of the town ; it is black with people."

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108 The Return to the Frigate. "But not as dark as their faces are at the present moment, I ween," replied Paul, with a reckless laugh. " ' Tis a pit y to thus carr y ruin with the torch," mused the captain. "I feel for the owners of these ships, but it is time to teach all England a lesson. If we should • ravage this whole co ast we would not work a tithe of the harm the British have in our country." "A doctor hates to take his own medicine,'' quoth the master ' s mate, dryly. " ' Tis human nature, I suppose. His majesty has long dosed the colonies with bitter draughts, but he'll now find that he mast swallow an equally bitter pill." When the boat reached the ship's side the brig just left was a roaring mass of flames. Capt. Jones led the way to the former vessel's deck, cutlass in hand. Their coming had been observed, and such was the consterna tion created that the crew incontinently fled in their yawl. This left a clear field, and it was not 10ng before the ship was given over to the flames. In the meantime the citizens of Whitehaven, aghast at the destruction to their fleet, had gathered close to the beach. A large number, more bold than their fel lows, had formed a mob directly opposite the ship. Some were armed with guns, which they brandished menacin g ly at the Americans. "We'll have a scrimmage with them, I'm thinking," s a id Stubbs, to the middy, shaking his head ominously. " They outnumber us fifty to one, and they are wrought up to about the highest pitch." "The commander does not intend to land there, surely," repli e d Paul. "By the way, where is his cutter? I did not see anythi n g of it near the "It's around on the sea front," spoke up a sailor.

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The Return to the Frigate. 109 "The old man left it in a cove in charge of Midshipman Preble." "So J ezzy is ashore, eh? I'll be glad to meet the lad again. Hello, the old man is motioning us to enter the boat. I guess he intends to pull down the bay after all. Well, we have accomplished about all we can ; the wind will do the rest." The little party entered their borrowed cutter and rowed steadily toward the Heads, followed by the wrathful cries of the mob ashore. A few guns and pistols were fired, but without effect. Opposite the battery lay the cutter commanded by Lieut. Walling ford. Its crew were resting on their oars, evidently waiting for the commander's boat. Capt. Jones' face clouded when he caught sight of his subordinate officer seated in the stern sheets; and when the two ships were within easy distance, he called out: "What is the matter, sir? Why did you not carry out your orders ?" Wallingford saluted respectfully. His face red dened, and his voice trembled as he replied: "Our torches went out, sir, and it was impossible to ol;>tain a light ashore." Stubbs nudged Paul, and whispered: ''Didn't I tell you he would make some queer excuse? Fancy such a thing happening. Why, I'll bet a crown there are a dozen flint and steels among the fellows." "You could not obtain a light?" echoed the com mander, in surprise. "Why--" He hesitated, thought for a moment, then added, sternly: "You will hold yourself in readiness for an official

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IIO The Return to the Frigate. investigation on our return to the frigate, Lieut. Wallin g ford. I decline to receive such an excuse." The young officer simply bowed in reply, but his m anner indicated that he was ill at ease. A few mo m ents later the two boats swept around the Head and into the open sea . Several miles from shore, with her main-yard aback, was the Ran ger. At sight of her, Paul and Stubbs clapped their hands in glee. "Ay, there's a picture for sore eyes," quoth the lat ter. "She hath not overmuch beauty left since reaching these waters, but I'd rather put my p e epers on her this blessed minute than upon my old gran'ther, rest her soul." Almost concealed from view in a little cove past the Head was the other cutter. Paul saw a slim figure standing upon the shore near by . It was Jabez Preble. The middy waved his hands and executed an im promptu hornpipe on catching si ght of the two boats. He stopped suddenly, as if transfixed , when his eyes fell upon the beaming countenance of Paul and the master ' s mate; then rushing into the surf up to his knees , he stretched out his arms in gl a d welcome. "What! glory to goodness! it ' s Paul and Joy ful Home. Whoop ! " he cried. "Where under the seven s u ns have y ou been? How did--" A stern gesture from Capt. Jones checked his enthu siasm. "No time for welcome now , lads , " e x claimed the commander. "Tra n s f e r to the cutter at once. Quick I in with y ou! Read y , o u t oars ; p u ll a w ay !" As he uttered the last command , a chorus o f angry cries came from near the fort, and the foremost of the

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The Return to the Frigate. I 11 rabble of citizens appeared in view. The cutters left the beach in ample time to escape from them, however. After rowing a short distance Capt. Jones signaled his men to stop for a moment. Standing up in the stem of the last boat, he removed his cocked hat, and with a polite bow, called out : "I am very sorry, my dear friends, to cause you so much pain and trouble, but it is the fortune of war. 'Tis a pity to wage destruction against a defenseless people, but I am only repaying your monarch in his own coin. He moved against your brothers in Amer ica with fire and sword-I am simply following his illustrious example. Seek him for redress." A fierce burst of flame and smoke from the doomed vessels in Whitehaven harbor came as a fitting period to the gallant officer's patriotic speech, but it is doubt ful whether the lesson went home to the hearts of the British that day. The short distance to the Ranger was soon traversed, and before many minutes had elapsed the Continental war ship was again under way, bound up the Channel. To say that Paul and Stubbs received a right royal wel come would not be giving the ceremony justice. A hearty cheer rang out as they stepped over the gang way, and many eager hands were stretched forth to grasp theirs. Harry Adams was in the front row, and he simply went into ecstasies of delight. The honest, good-na tured lad could not refrain from exhibiting a few tears of joy, but they were evidences of a loyal heart. Paul glanced around tlie decks and saw neither Dick Haslett nor John Potter. "I miss two of the most interesting faces," he whis-

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112 On a Visit. pered to Stubbs, with an expressive face. "You know whom I mean; they are in the cockpit, I guess. Sup pose we run down and give them a glad surprise." The master's mate ' s funeral-like face expanded with the ghost of a smile, and he signified his willingness to proceed below at once. Jabez and Harry accom panied themt and the four filed down the forward hatch. CHAPTER XVII. 0 N A VISIT. "I wonder why they were not on deck with the crew?" asked Paul. "Up to some mischief, I sup pose." "No doubt," replied Adams. "Cricky I I am glad you fellows have returned, for more reasons than one. Haslett and his chums have been simply running affairs on board. When that revenue boat went ashore, all hands thought you were lost. Dick and Potter couldn't conceal their joy, and the first thing they did was to lick Jezzy and me." "They did, eh?" growled Stubbs. "Well, we'll have a little fun ourselves before the day is • over. What became of my rope's end?" "Haslett burnt it in the galley fire. Then he and his chums cabbaged a lot of your clothing, which they are we aring now. Dick took Paul's best coat, too." Stubbs jumped from the fourth step in his wrath and darted into the cockpit, closely followed by his com panions. Seated at the table, deeply engaged in dis-

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On a Visit. 113 posing of a jar of preserves, were Dick Haslett and John Potter. They sprang to their feet on catching sight of Paul and the master's mate. Both lads paled to the lips and stared at the party with startled eyes. Dick shrank back as if he had seen a ghost, and John shivered with evident fear. "Paul Jones!" gasped the first. "Joyful Home Stubbs I" whispered the latter. "Yes, and we are very much alive, too,'' said Stubbs, angrily. "Thought you would have a gay time, eh, with us under the blooming waves? What are you doing with my shirt on, you confounded thief?" As he spoke he made a snatch at Potter, and soon had him wriggling upon the deck. A moment later the frightened lad scrambled to his feet minus the most of his clothing. In the meantime Paul had not been idle. He had quickly observed that Dick was clad in his best uniform coat, one given him by Capt. Jones, and it aroused his ire in a second. Catching the garment by the collar with one hand he shoved the other under Haslett's nose. "Take it off, you miserable thief!" he exclaimed, hotly. "Pretty thing for an American middy to do, wearing dead men's clothing before they have reached Davy Jones' locker. Take it off, I say!" Haslett made a brief resistance, then seeing Harry and Jabez in the rear as reinforcements, he submitted with bad grace and pulled off the coat. Then he and Potter attempted to slip from the room, but they were stopped by Stubbs, whose anger had grown apace. "Don't be in a hurry, my lads," he said , grimly. "I intend to have a little settlement with you about matters

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On a Visit. in general. As my old gran'ther used to say: 'Wipe off the old scores before you begin new ones.' That's what I'm going to do, as sure as my name is Joyful Home Stubbs. Dick Haslett, I understand that you burnt my rope's end. It was my badge of office, you young rascal, and by the act you are guilty, according to naval regulations, of mutiny. You deserve to be hanged, but I'll commute your sentence to an everlast ing licking. Come here and strip." During this speech Haslett had slyly edged toward the closed door. At its conclusion he made a desperate break, and succeeded in wriggling past Adams and Jabez. He was followed by Potter, and both lads made good their escape. They were heard to scramble up the ladder, and then the faint sounds of their retreating footsteps indicated that they were scurrying aft to the sacred precincts of the quarter-deck. "We'll fix 'em before night,'' muttered Stubbs, with a dry chuckle. "In the meantime anticipation will add to their punishment. Fancy the young rascals thinking we were dead. Humph I they'll wish they were before many hours.'' At Harry Adams' request, Paul and the master's mate remained below and went into an extended de scription of their wonderful adventures ashore. Just as they finished, a call came down the hatch for our hero. "You are wanted aft in the captain's cabin," bawled the voice. "Shake a leg; the old man is waiting for ye.'' "He wants you to give him an account of the trip, I suppose,'' remarked the master's mate. "Don't forget that sailor, Paul.''

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On a Visit. "Not much; that is the most important part of it." Paul found the captain poring over a chart as usual. He continued his task for several moments after the middy had entered the cabin, then turned to him with a friendly greeting. "I see that you are none the worse for your involuntary journey through the enemy's country," he said, pleasantly. "I have a half hour to spare now, and I would like to hear your story. Did you discover anything of importance?" "Something of great importance to me, sir. I met a man who must have known me before I was rescued from the floating spar." "You don't say. This is interesting, indeed. Did you have word with him ?" In reply, Paul related the chance meeting with the strange sailor in Roxboro, and the fight in the forest near the castle. He spoke with natural eloquence, and held his listener's attention for a full half hour. "What a great pity you did not have a chance to talk with him," finally said Capt. Jones. "You say he died before he could tell you your name?" "He swooned, sir ; I do not think he died from the sword thrust,'' replied Paul, pensively. "It is a ter rible disappointment to me. You do not know how anxious I am to discover the secret of my past life. As it is, I have a home through your kindness, sir, but my father and mother-my people, who are they? Even my nationality is unknown to me." "You are an American, lad-I would stake my com mission on that," exclaimed the commander, emphat ically. "Your every action proves it. Take heart, my boy. Do your duty and bide patiently. It will all

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116 On a Visit. come out in time. When this war is over and we can return home, I will make it my first task to solve this mystery. Tut! tut! no thanks; I understand your gratitude. That will do now. Send the first lieuten ant to me when you reach the quarter-deck, and, by the way, tell Master's Mate Stubbs to be ready to join a landing party at daybreak." Paul walked to the door, hesitated a moment, and then asked, wistfully: "I beg your pardon, sir, but can--can I go also?" Capt. Jones laughed, and nodded assent. Highly delighted, our middy executed his errands, and then hurried forward to talk over the news with his friend Stubbs. "Something is in the wind sure," replied that worthy, wagging his head. "I think the old man contemplates a bold move of some sort. Going to land to-morrow, eh? It must be at some point on the English coast, as we are again heading in toward the land." It soon became noised about the frigate that another descent was to be made on British soil, and active prep arations were inaugurated. Word came aft during the afternoon that it was Capt. Jones' intention to land a party on St. Mary's Island, in Kirkcudbright Bay. "I'll wager a pewter shilling I know what he is after," said Stubbs, when the news reached his ears. "He is looking for a hostage." "What do you me an?" asked Harry Adams. He, Paul, Jabez and Stubbs had met near the forecastle head, and all being off duty, were at liberty to enjoy themselves for the time being. "It is this way, lads," replied the master's mate. "You see, the enemy are carrying on matters with a

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On a Visit. 117 high hand in dear old America. They are shutting up our best men in the hulks of prison ships, and treating them with a barbarity that would disgrace savages. They refuse to consider us as honorable foes, and when we offer to exchange the men we have captured they simply laugh at us. Now, I know it is the old man's idea to seize some distinguished Englishman, and hold him to secure the better treatment of our own people who have been unfortunate enough to fall into their hands." "Is he after any particular person?" asked Paul. "Yes; Lord Selkirk, who lives on St. Mary's Island. He is a well-known nobleman, and on intimate terms with the king. If we can capture him it will be a great stroke for us. Death and wounds; what a feather it will be for the old man's cap!" "I'll get a keen edge upon my sword this night," ex claimed Paul, with boyish enthusiasm. "I hardly think you will need the weapon," replied Stubbs. "The island is not defended, and we'll only have a couple of dozen servants against us." The middies looked their disappointment at the poor prospect for a scrimmage. Either would have given a year's prize money if the morning sun would have brought with it a sanguinary battle. Paul was neither better nor worse than his youthful shipmates. From his first hour of consciousness after being res cued from the floating spar, he had entered into the spirit prevalent on board the Continental war ship, and no more patriotic lad than he could be found under Capt. Jones' command. His adventures ashore had only whetted his appetite for more, and he had hailed the promise of a landing

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118 On a Visit. party with great glee. Stubbs, however, had taken all the zest from the impending event by stating that little opposition need be expected. "One thing certain,'' he remarked, with a brightening face ; "we ought to get a little fun from Dick and his cronies this evening. What do you intend to do with the scamps, Stubbs ? Going to whack them, I hope?" Which goes to show that Paul was hardly an angel in spirit. The dastardly treatment accorded him by Haslett had aroused that vengeful feeling which the best of us have at times. He bore Dick no malicious ill will, but he considered the youth in need of a salu tary punishment, and he also desired a little sport to pass the long evening hours away. Paul was a boy, pure and simple---what more can be said? The master's mate pondered a while before answering the question. Then he bade one of the boatswains bring him a short length of rope. With this he skill fully constructed a very supple implement, having a generous supply of knots at one end. "A dozen apiece would about suit the case, I think," he muttered. "If they object, the number can always be increased, you know. Burn my rope's end, will they? I'll show 'em that more can be had if need be." That Paul and his companions hailed the master's mate's resolution with glee need hardly be said. When evening came and supper was announced in the cock pit, they ran below in joyful anticipation.

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CHAPTER XVIII. MUTINY. Stubbs had preceded them, and they found him in his accustomed seat wearing an air of silent expectancy. Neither Dick Haslett or John Potter had arrived, but Thorpe and Harmer were in their usual places. Paul and Harry quietly took their seats and proceeded with the supper. In the course of a few moments Jabez arrived. He was followed by the two other middies, who, on catching sight of Stubbs' face, acted as if they meditated a retreat. The master's mate said nothing until the boatswain's whistle gave the signal for supper, then he calmly bade the negro serving as waiter to bring on the main dish of the meal. The black; man's countenance expanded with a broad grin as he placed a covered platter in front of the senior officer. Gravely lifting the lid, Stubbs exposed to view a nicely coiled rope's end. At sight of it both Dick and Potter attemHted to make their escape, but they were preventied by Paul and his friends. A short tussle followed, but despite their resistance, Haslett and John were thrown across the lower end of the table in readiness to receive their promised dose of punishment. The master's mate grimly bared his arm and gavie each a half dozen sound whacks. "Now you take a hand," he said, to Paul, handing him the rope's end. "Don't spare your muscle, lad. Give it to 'em hot and heavy."

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uo Mutiny. Nothing loath, the middy did as he was commanded. The last three or four strokes were bestowed to the accompaniment of lusty shouts from the victims, who were beginning to feel the sting of the whip. Whe n the ceremony was over, Dick Haslett turned to Paul with a look of fierce vindictiveness. "I'll have revenge for this if it takes murder to bring it!" he howled. "Why not commence right now?" coolly replied t he middy. "I am ready any time you are, my dear fellow. Actions talk, not empty threats." "You say that when you have your friends around you," sneered John Potter, "but you wouldn't be so anxious if you were alone." Paul flushed with anger at the taunt, and started toward the speaker with clinched fists. He was stopped by the master's mate, however, who said , sternly: "Potter, stow that tackle of yours, or I'll send you aft to the first luff. If any of you say another word there will be trouble. Sit down and eat your supper or clear out." His words had an instant effect, and the meal pro ceeded quietly. Dick ano John glowered at Paul now and then, but he contemptuously ignored them. The balance of the evening passed without friction, and when morning dawned internal discord was forgott e n in the excitement of the impending landing upon St. Mary's Island. It was hardly daybreak when the Argus-eyed lookout in the foretop sighted the Scottish shore. Paul had the early mo!ning watch, and from his station on the fore castle he saw the island looming darkly against the light background of chalky cliffs.

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Mutiny. 121 The entrance to Kirkcudbright Bay was threaded, and presently the Ranger dropped her anchor within a stone's throw of the shore. A besmocked servant near the beach lazily eyed the strange craft for a few mo ments, and then, totally unsuspicious of danger, wended his way back to the mansion. The latter was of spacious dimensions and pro claimed by its appearance the ample wealth of the owner. The sailors and even some of the officers cast longing glances shoreward, as if impatient to begin the looting. Shortly after the frigate's way was stopped Stubbs joined Paul. The master's mate seemed more down cast than usual, and he heaved such a deep sigh that our middy instantly asked the reason. "Cause enough, lad," was the reply. "Here's a chance for which I have been waiting lo! these many months. It has been the dream of my career to sack some rich English house and to transfer sundry coins of the realm from their plethoric money bags to my yearning purse, but now-alas and alack !" "What's the matter with you?" asked Harry Adams, who had sauntered up during this speech. "Got the grips?" "No, but you will have the backache if you don't quit asking foolish questions,'' retorted Stubbs. "Lord Selkirk's house seems wealthy enough to sat isfy any reasonable man," remarked Paul, pointing ashore. "Did you want a king's palace, you greedy pirate?" "No ; that bounteous mansion would be good enough at present, but it seems that we will not be allowed to

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122. Mutiny. touch a blooming thing except the corpus of the nobleman himself." A cry of dismay, not unmixed with anger, came from a crowd of sailors standing near by. Paul and Harry Adams looked their disappointment, and the latter said, quickly: "You are surely joking, Joyful; the old man couldn't have given such an order as that. Why, it is simply outrageous." "Outrageous or not, it is the truth. He said that he would not have any freebooting work ashore to-day. He simply wishes to capture Lord Selkirk as hostage, but he won't touch his property." "But the English in America haven't been so squeamish." "I know that, lad. They never failed to take every thing movable in their raids along the coast. They have set fire to towns and to the houses of the rich and poor without distinction. Still that can't be helped. Duty is duty, and we must obey orders. There goes the call to man the boats. Get your arms and tumble in." By the time the landing force was in readiness the news mentioned by Stubbs had spread like wildfire. The sailors looked discontented, and some of them grumbled openly. One or two of the officers also seemed disturbed, and cast rebeUious glances at their commander. Supi-emely unconscious of the disaffection among his crew, Capt. Jones led them from the beach to the man sion, and' after seeing it surrounded, he boldly ap proached the front entrance. He had selected Paul as

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Mutiny. 123 his aide before leaving the frigate. The middy was very proud of the honor, as can be imagined. A loud and peremptory knock brought three or four lackeys in haste. At sight of the armed force they retreated with equal speed. Catching the last one by the collar, the commander asked, sternly: "Where is your master, my man? Is he yet awake?" "My lord is not here, sir," tremblingly replied the servant. "He is in London town with his majesty, the king." Jones' face expressed his keen disappointment. Be fore he could again speak, a thin, high-pitched voice came from the top of the stairs, asking the cause of the disturbance. Striding through the hall, the commander politely re moved his hat and replied, suavely : "Pray be not alarmed, good lady. We seek his lord ship on affairs of state." "On affairs of state?" echoed the voice, suspiciously. "Has his majesty changed his manners so abruptly? Does he now employ bodies of armed men and send his messages by vessels such as that anchored in the bay? Tell me the truth; what is the motive of this early visit?" "Am I addressing Lady Selkirk?" "Yes." "Well, madam, we are Americans from yon frigate , and we are come to capture his lordship. I am sorry to cause you trouble, but if he does not surrender at once, we will be compelled to search the house." "Americans I Is it possible? Word reached me that a ship belonging to the misguided colon ists had been sight'ed off the coast, and that the crew

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Mutiny. landed in Whitehaven, but I did not believe the tale. You seek my husband to murder him in cold blood, I suppose? Thank Heaven that he is now absent, and in safety. You have only a few servants and myself to wage war upon, but the prey is not beneath you. Do your worst, pirates." Capt. Jones' mobile face flushed redly at this tirade, but he did not lose his temper. He bade Paul convey word to the forces in the rear to carefully guard all ap proaches, then at the head of several men, he started to search the mansion. The middy sped away on his errand. He found a young lieutenant named Marvel, and Master's Mate Stubbs in command of the rear guard. The former received the news of Lord Selkirk's absence with angry impatience. _ "I suppose we will be marched aboard empty handed," he growled. "Pretty pass this, not being per mitted to pay the English back in their own coin." "So it is," spoke up Dick Haslett, who was one of the party. "If the British sailors were landed on American soil like this they would fill their pockets and burn the rest. I for one, say it is a shame." A murmur of approval came from the knot of seamen in attendance. One of the boldest , openly avowed his intention of carrying something back for his pains. "What's the matter with the plate?" asked another. "This lord must have a fortune in gold and silver. Suppose we tackle it?" "Avast there, lads!" exclaimed Stubbs, angrily. "This is rank mutiny. The old man has given his orders, and we must obey them. For shame!" The sailors glanced from him to the lieutenant, and

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Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. 12 5 seeing signs of approval upon the latter's face, they started through the kitchen with the evident intention of carrying out their plan of robbing the house. "This must be prevented," Paul whispered to Stubbs. "I will hurry around the house and notify Capt. Jones." "Right you are, lad," replied the master's mate, ap provingly. "Make haste. While you are gone I will try to persuade the mutineers to desist." Paul started from the rear yard on a run, but bad barely reached the side of the mansion when he was confronted by Dick Haslett. The latter was armed with a bare sword, and his menacing actions proclaimed trouble. CHAPTER XIX. PAUL SURPRISES DICK HASLETT. At sight of Haslett and his weapon, Paul halted. Then, with the quickness of a flash, he drew his own sword. For a brief moment the lads confronted each other without a word. Finally, Dick slowly advanced, saying, threateningly: "You shall not pass me, you nameless dog. I know your game. You are looking for Capt. Jones, to notify him of our actions." The epithet fell upon our hero's ears like a blow. Wild with rage, he d a rted forward with his sword up lifted. Haslett met him h a lf way, and in much less time than it takes to describe it, the boys were thrusting and parrying with all their skill.

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126 Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. Paul said not a word, but devoted all his energies to defeat his antagonist. The clashing of steel mingling with Dick's wrathful cries, created a pandemonium that must have been heard in the nearby mansion. Still none came to interfere. Back and forth over the greensward, clashing, beat ing, thrusting and evading went the fighters, first one retreating, and then the other. Haslett's face was a study at this stage of the combat. It was evident that he had not expected a foe skilled in the use of the small sword, but he had erred decidedly. Paul had def ended himself with the greatest ease, possibly to his own amazement. Still fresh himself, he saw that Dick was almost exhausted. Warily watching his opportunity, he gave his weapon a sudden twist, sending Haslett's flying to the ground. For a second, the victorious middy hesitated. He knew that by all rights of law he should follow up his advantage, but the thought of his errand caused him to again start in search of Capt. Jones. As he moved away, he could not refrain from calling out, taunt ingly: "The next time you wish to fight a duel, be sure of your antagonist. This should teach you a lesson, Dick Haslett. It is bad policy to call names without being able to back them up." Dick sullenly picked up his sword and slunk back to the rear of the mansion. As Paul gained the front entrance his quick ear overheard the sound of an alter cation in a distant part of the house. "The mutineers have found the plate !" he muttered. "Confoun!i it! where is Capt. Jones?" Darting up the stairs three steps at a time, he

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Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. I 2 7 plumped into the commander himself at the head of the last flight. "What is the matter, Paul r• asked Jones. "Why this haste ?" "The sailors under Lieut. Marvel-they are taking the plate!" gasped the middy. "Mr. Stubbs tried to stop them, but they insisted." A door close at hand suddenly opened, and an elderly lady clad in a rich silken costume appeared. Her countenance wore an expression of cold contempt, and she swept toward them with quiet dignity. "I judged you rightly, sir, when I termed you pi rates," she said, with cutting sarcasm. "You steal my plate with no better grace than the highwaymen infesting our country roads. If I were a man, you would do so only over my dead body. Go, cowards I rid my house of your presence !" "My lady, you forget yourself," replied Capt. Jones, but with the utmost courtesy. "If you understood mat ters better you would not call us by such an undeserving name. If my men should burn this house and a thousand more, they would not do one-half the damage created by your countrymen in America. I will do what I can to save your plate, but if the crew insists, as they have some moral right to do, I will see that it is restored to you in time."* Lady Selkirk made no reply to this generous offer, but retired to her room at once. Followed by Paul, the commander hurried to the rear o"f the mansion, ar riving there just in time to see the guard leaving the pantry with several bulky packages. *This is historical. Capt. John Paul Jones did restore the plate, purchasing it from the prize court with his owa money. /

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128 Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. At sight of the captain they halted confusedly. Lieut. Marvel and Midshipman Haslett exchanged guilty glances, but the former seemed determined to carry out his plan. "What does this mean, sir?" demanded Jones, se verely. "We wished something for our pains, sir,'' replied the young officer. "We heard that Lord Selkirk was absent, so we thought the rights of war would permit us to seize these articles. Our shipmates aboard are of the same mind.'' "Yes, and it is no more than the British are doing to our people at home," spoke up Haslett. " 'Tis true," murmured the commander, thoughtfully; then he added, aside, to Stubbs and Paul: "The men are right in a sense. They have the memory of great wrongs to sustain them. I will carry out my plan of restoring the plate to Lord Selkirk at some future time. It is but justice.'' Turning on his heel, the gallant officer quickly wended his way to the beach, followed by the sailors. Dick Haslett leered at in a triumphant manner as he entered the boat, but our hero paid no attention to the implied sneer. Immediately after the party had regained the frigate, the anchor was weighed, the sails spread, and a course shaped for the coast of Ireland. The packages of valuable plate were greeted with hearty cheers by the crew, and after they had been in spected by all hands, the articles were stored aft for safe keeping. This closed the incident for the time beiug, as Capt. Jones refrained from giving the mutiny any further notice. Discipline was not as strict in the early days of our

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Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. I 29 navy as it is at this period. The naval forces at that time were made up of men fresh from the merchant marine who carried an independence of their own, and who were far less under control than the machine-like seaman of to-day. Knowing this full well, the astute commander of the Ranger discreetly forgot the incipi ent mutiny. Not so Paul and his boon companion, Stubbs. They were unsparing in their condemnation of the robbery of the plate, and the master's mate made known his inten tion of punishing Dick Haslett. The latter soon caught wind of his danger, and he remained aft during the day, relying upon an occasional biscuit for his dinner. It presently became noised about the decks that the frigate was bound in search of an English cruiser reported to be at anchor in the Bay of Carrickfergus, at the extreme end of which lies the flourishing town of Belfast, Ireland. The news was received with great delight by the crew. As yet, the Continental ship had not met with a vessel worthy of her steel, and all on board were eager for an engagement in which they could show their fighting qualities. "If we should sail home without tackling one of the Britishers, they could well call us pirates," remarked Stubbs. Paul, who was turning a little hand grindstone, at which his companion was sharpening a cutlass, chuckled to himself. "Hard names hurt no one," he replied, sagely. "You should have seen the old man's face when Lady Selkirk raked him, though. It turned red and white and blue --our national colors, you know. We're pirates, eh?

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130 Paul Surprises Dick Haslett. The English will think we are worse than buccaneers before we are through with them.'" "I say, Paul, did the skipper ask you about our trip ashore?" queried the master's mate, grinding away. "Yes; I told him the whole story, including our meeting with that strange sailor-the one you wounded in the forest near the castle." Stubbs ceased work and glanced thoughtfully at the middy. His lank face lengthened, and he heaved a deep sigh. "What a blooming shame that happened, lad," he re marked. "It was just my blamed luck to step between you and the probable solution of the mystery of your birth. That mariner knew you beyond a doubt. He must have been a member of the crew of your ship. Well, what's done can't be helped. But if you ever clap your peepers on that sailor again, don't let him get away before he answers some questions." "Do you think he was fatally wounded ?" asked Paul, wistfully. "No, I don't, lad. I pinked him in the shoulder, and the injury was sufficient to make him swoon . , but he must have recovered all right enough. I would wager a year's pay that he is hobbling about now." "If I ever get a chance to run ashore in disguise, I'll return to that town and try to trace him. It'll be worth the risk, Stubbs, as I would like to learn something of my past life. Fancy it I I am totally ignorant of my own name. I probably have a dear mother and father somewhere, who think that I am dead. Why can't I remember? Merciful heavens I why can't I recall something?" Walking slowly to the rail, Paul leaned his arms

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A Bitter Disappointment. 13 I upon it and gazed seaward with tear-dimmed eyes. Stubbs silently watched him for a while, then he crossed over and threw one stalwart arm around the lad's shoulder. Nothing was said, but the action proved to Paul that he was not alone in the world after all . . CHAPTER XX. A BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT. Contrary winds retarded the frigate's progress to such an extent that the Irish coast was not sighted until the following morning. Shortly after daybreak the middy on the lookout in the foretop-who chanced to be our hero-discovered a rowboat pulling from behind a point of land. Paul instantly hailed the deck with the news, and a few moments later Capt. Jones ordered the vessel put about. Armed with a powerful telescope, Master's Mate Stubbs climbed up the fore-rigging. After making a careful scrutiny, he said, gleefully: "It's a man-o' -war boat , lad. Hurrah! there'll be lashings of fun before you are three hours older. If there ain't a British cruiser in that bay I'm a nigger." "Perhaps there are more than one," replied Paul. "What would we do with this wind if a fleet should sail out in chase of us?" "Fight 'em, of course." "Humph I that would be sheer folly. No doubt you would like to tackle a dozen seventy-fours, you fire cater, but the old man knows too much for that. How

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132 A Bitter Disappointment. did he learn that a war ship was in Carrickfergus Bay?" "I'm blamed if I know, Paul. He has some queer means of gaining information. I guess he must have heard this while we were ashore on St. Mary's Island. The first luff says it is the Drake, which carries about twenty guns, if I am not mistaken. Ah I they are hailing us from the deck." A hoarse shout came from aft bidding them de scend. On reaching the quarter-deck they found that preparations were under way to disguise the appear ance of the Ranger. The stem of the frigate was kept toward the boat so that those in her could not distin guish the double row of gun ports. The ruse proved successful, and in the course of an hour the man-o' -war cutter pulled alongside. A young officer clad in the undress uniform of the English navy stood up in the boat and calmly surveyed the frigate. "Who are you?" he presently called out, addressing Capt. Jones, who had donned a suit of civilian clothing. "The Hope of Portsmouth,'' coolly replied the American commander. "Won't ye come aboard, young fel low?" "No, thanks; we liaven't time. I say, have you seen anything of a strange sail standing up the Channel? She is full-rigged and American built, and is supposed to be a Yankee man-of-war." During this speech Capt. Jones had stooped down and whispered a few words to the first lieutenant. As the British officer concluded , a port was thrown open opposite the cutter, displa y ing to his astonished gaze a group of sailors armed with pistols.

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A Bitter Disappointment. 133 "I asked you to step aboard a moment ago," said Jones, with grim humor. "Suppose you accept my kind invitation. It won't do you any good to fume and fret, my dear sir. You might as well know that you have found that strange sail, full-rigged and American built, that you mentioned a while back. This is the Continental frigate Ranger , and we are in search of a certain cruiser called the Drake." "You will find her soon enough," gallantly replied the young officer, directing his crew to pull alongside the frigate. By the commander's directions, Paul met the Eng lishmen at the gangway. The lieutenant-for such his rank proved to be-was escorted aft, and the sailors turned over to the safe keeping of the master's mate. And now a most singular thing happened. When the young officer gained the Ranger's deck he did not even vouchsafe Paul a glance, but stalked toward the quarter-deck with great dignity. On reaching that part of the ship, he turned to look at his escort for the first time. An express i on of the most profound amazement flashed into his face, and he stag g ered back as if struck a violent blow. Dropping his sword , which he had been carr y ing in his right hand, he grasped Paul by the shoulder and gasped, in a choked voice : "You here? Heavens and earth I am I dreaming? Speak , lad; how did y ou leave the Cal3•psof" The middy stared at the young officer as if dum found e d. Where they had halted was near the main ma s t , a nd within a few feet of the group of the Ranger' s officers . Standing near by, and awaiting the

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134 A Bitter Disappointment. English lieutenant's approach, was the gallant com mander of the frigate. The peculiar words uttered by the prisoner caused Capt. Jones to step forward at once. He was followed by all on the quarter-deck, and in the space of a moment Paul and his companion were surrounded by a wondering crowd. By that time our hero had r _ ecovered sufficiently to grasp the real meaning of the Englishman's speech. He realized at once that he had again stumbled upon one having knowledge of his past history. It was enough. "Oh, sir, do you know me?" he asked, brokenly. "What is my name? Who am I?" It was the lieutenant's tum to stare in surprise. He glanced from one to another of the American officers, and then his eyes wandered back to Paul's face. "What in the king's name do you mean?" he said, slowly. "Are you crazy?" "Permit me to explain," spoke up Capt. Jones. "The youth has a strange history, sir. He was picked up at sea by us a short time ago, and owing to a severe cut he had unfortunately received upon the head, he was rendered unconscious of his name or people. I adopted him, and he is now a midshipman aboard this vessel. If you know au g ht, sir, of his history, I pray you tell us, and thus relieve the lad of much anxiety and dis comfort." While the commander was speaking, Paul had closely scanned the countenance of the British officer. What he saw there caused him to dutch the lieutenant's hands in a frenzy of eagerness.

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A Bitter Disappointment. 135 "You know me-you know me !" he exclaimed. "Will you tell me my name? Will you help me to solve this mystery? I will reward you, sir ; I'll pay you every shilling that may be left my portion--" "And you can have half of mine,'' came from the group of officers in the high-pitched tones of Joyful Home Stubbs. "You say that you don't know your own name?" queried the lieutenant. "No, sir," sadly replied Paul. "You are now a Yankee midshipman?" was the next question. "Yes, thanks to the kind heart of Capt. Paul Jones." "Then you will never learn the truth from me, you young pirate," sneered the British officer, turning on his heel. A chorus of angry cries came from the group of Americans, and more than one hastily advanced with drawn sword. Before they could do more than threaten the daring lieutenant, the commander raised his hand and exclaimed in an authoritative tone: "Back I What would you do, men? Remember that he is a prisoner in our hands, and should be treated with the utmost courtesy." "Yes ; like his countrymen treat our people !" replied the first lieutenant, with bitter sarcasm. Disregarding the insinuation, Capt. Jones abruptly demanded the Englishman's sword, adding, contemptu ously: "Of a truth, you deserve no mercy at our hands. You have it in your power to clear up the mystery of this youth's life and to relieve him of many sorrowing hours ; but you refuse, simply because he is a midship-

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In Great Peril. man in our service. So be it. Your own conscience will repay you in time. Now I will ask you several questions on another subject. Do you belong to the British cruiser Drake?" "I do," was the quick response. "Where is she?" Taking a few steps toward a nearby gun port, the lieutenant glanced toward the adjacent coast. Then wheeling rapidly, he exclaimed, proudly: "She is there, if you wish to know. Look to your safety now." CHAPTER XXI. IN GREAT PERIL. With a bound, Capt. Jones gained the top of the lee rail. The frigate's officers crowded the different ports, and just in time to see a lofty, stanch-appearing manof-war emerge from behind the nearest cape. It was the Drake. In an instant all was confusion on board the Con tinental ship. Men ran hither and yon to their various stations; then discipline asserted its sway, and quick preparations were made to meet the foe. Paul had not taken part in the hubbub. He had listened to the British lieutenant's refusal to enlighten • him as if in a dream, and then, when the commander had uttered his rebuke, the lad awakened to a sense of his position. The sudden appearance of the English cruiser had drawn the attention of all, and Paul was left alone with . the prisoner. He resolved to make one last plea.

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In Great Peril. 137 "Is it possible you refuse to tell what you know about me simply because I am an American midshipman?" he asked, rather proudly. "That is what I said, youngster," was the cool re ply. "And I wish to add that I am only too glad to be able to inflict punishment upon an enemy of his majesty. I know you, boy. I know your name; I know your parents, and the city whence you came, but that knowledge I will keep. I am only sorry that I have unwittingly told you the name of the vessel from which you were lost." _"The CaJ,ypso!" "Yes, the good ship Calypso. Ha! ha I This is a splendid comedy, don't you know. It is worthy of Drury Lane at its best. Fancy my meeting you on this rebel ship. And under what peculiar circumstances I last saw you." "You can spare yourself further words, sir," said Paul, coldly. "I now see that the fact of my being an officer on board the Ranger is not the only reason for your silence. There is something else behind it. I have the name of the ship, and much can be learned from that; and, by the way, I think you will be present when Capt. Jones and I commence the search." This significant reminder of his position caused the lieutenant to flush hotly, and he made a menacing gesture with his hand. The next moment he smiled in a conciliatory manner, and leaning over, whispered: "I have changed my mind. I will give you full in formation concerning yourself on one condition." "What is it?" Paul asked, suspiciously. "You would like to know your real name?"

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In Great Peril. "Yes." "YOU wish to learn your nationality r• "Yes, yes, man. For Heaven's sake, yes I" "And your mother and father?" continued the lieu tenant, glancing from side to side. "You would like to find them; to know that they are living and in sor row at your supposed loss ?" Paul nodded his head. The emotions called forth by the last sentence were too much for him. Clasping his hands, he awaited his companion's next words. "Then I will tell you all upon one condition," added the officer, impressively. "The impending battle with the Drake may result in your favor. The ships are evenly matched. I am not minded to remain a prisoner in the hands of your commander. Promise to do your utmost to enable me to escape, and I--" He was interrupted by a sudden action on Paul's part. Giving the speaker a look of scorn, the middy turned on his heel and walked forward without a word. It was a case where actions speak louder than sonorous sentences. There were tears of disappointment in Paul's eyes, but he repressed his emotion and quietly joined Stubbs upon the forecastle. The lieutenant stared after the lad with a baffled expression for a moment, then he walked to a gun port and turned his attention to the approaching cruiser. As he did so, he muttered, beneath his breath: "Wonders will never cease. John Broadhead, you have seen strange things and met with many surprises during your career in his majesty's navy, but this caps the climax. Fancy meeting his son here, of all others. The lad inherits the father's spirit, but I think I can

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In Great Peril. 139 bring him to terms. Once away from this rebel ves sel, and many a golden coin can be justly earned through this discovery. What a queer case this loss of memory is. Humph I it is almost incredible. Ah I the gallant Drake is firing her challenge." The sharp report of a heavy piece of ordnance placed a period to his monologue, and he watched the succeeding events with absorbing interest. During the con versation between the lieutenant and Paul, the Ranger had been cleared for action. The master's mate and our hero were stationed as usual upon the forecastle in charge of the forward guns. To assist them came Jabez Preble, and the three friends eyed the oncoming foe with delightful antici pations. The wind was off shore, but it was light, and the Drake approached very slowly. Capt. Jones awaited her arrival, laying to with courses up and maintopsail to the mast. At length, the British cruiser having reached the mid-channel, came within hailing distance, and ran up the flag of England. At the same instant the Stars and Stripes were un furled at the topmast of the Ranger. Notwithstanding this, an officer called out from the quarter-deck of the Drake in stentorian tones : "What ship is that?" "No fooling now, I'll wager," Stubbs grimly re marked to his companions. "The old man will soon let .the Britisher know who we are. Look I he is mounting the rail now." Aft on the quarter-deck, the American commander coolly surveyed the enemy through a glass, then folding his arms, he proudly replied : "You wish to know the name of this ship, eh? It

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In Great Peril. is an unnecessary question, sir. The inhabitants of Whitehaven can tell you with but little effort. This is that despised Yankee frigate Ranger you have doubt less heard about. I have a lieutenant on board from your ship. He tells me that you are searching for the so-called pirate. We are here, and in readiness for the fight. It is time to begin, as the sun is but little more than an hour from setting. What say you?" The answer was not long in coming. \Vith incred ible swiftness, the English cruiser was luffed, and part of the forward broadside was fired forthwith. At that moment the Drake was astern of the Ranger, and the shots worked little damage to the latter craft. Before the thunderous roar had died away, Capt. Jones gave a signal with his hand, and the frigate rounded to in obedience to a quick movement of the rudder. With the port side presented to the enemy, the guns were discharged point-blank into the thronged decks of the Drake. The iron storm crashed through timbers and bones and quivering nerves with terrible destruction, but the gunners stood at their posts with lighted torches, and the fire was instantly returned. This time the aim of the British was better, and a full score of the American crew were swept to their death. Forward, on the forecastle, Paul and his two friends, Stubbs and Preble, were hard at work at the battery of eighteen-pounders. As it happened, the last broad side from the Drake had created greater havoc in that part of the frigate than in any other. This left the guns partly unmanned. During the thicK of the combat the third piece was abandoned by its crew, who were called away to clear some wreck-

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Capture of the "Drake." 141 age from the bowsprit. Jabez, and the two lads on the English cruiser. Seeing this, Paul called to endeavored to train the gun "That's the idea, my boys!" suddenly shouted the master's mate from the opposite side of the deck. "Wait a second and I'll give you a hand." Running across, he was just in the act of grasping the training tackle when a smoking shrapnel crashed through the frail wooden bulwarks and landed in the midst of the little groYp I CHAPTER XXII. CAPTURE OF THE "DRAKE." For one brief moment the two middies and the mas ter's mate stood staring at the cylindrical messenger of death as if transfixed. Then with an inarticulate cry, Stufibs sprang toward the still smoking shrapnel. He was not alone. At almost the same instant Paui darted in the same direction. Each mind bore a similar idea-an inten tion daring in the extreme. It was nothing less than to rid the ship of the shell before it could explode. Unfortunately for the outcome of their brave efforts, both reached the spot at the same time, and with an inevitable result-Stubbs stooped over to grasp the did Paul. Their heads came in violent contact, and each was sent staggering backward to the deck. A cry of horror came from a member of a gun's crew, then all those standing near-with one exception

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142 Capture of the "Drake." -retreated from the dread spot. That exception was a slim-built lad, who darted upon the shell, and, snatching it from the deck, gave it a toss over the side. A couple of seconds passed, then a loud report sounded from close to the water's edge, and immedi ately following came a series of hissing splashes. Jabez Preble had acted in the nick of time. All this had occurred in a very brief period, and when Stubbs and Paul scrambled erect they found the danger past, and Jabez coolly working the eighteen pounder. The actions of the master's mate were char acteristic of the man. Slapping young Preble upon the back with hearty commendation, he drawled: "Good for you, lad! If I live through this little affair I'll see that you get a double portion of molasses for the balance of the cruise, blamed if I don't." Paul took time to cordially shake his brother middy's hand, then all three proceeded with their task of placing the abandoned gun in action once more. They finally succeeded, and, for the course of a half hour, the piece of ordnance played a conspicuous part .in the combat. At the close of an hour and four minutes of as obstinate a naval battle as could be fought, the Drake dropped her flag and cried for quarter. Her fore and main topsail yards were both cut away and hung down on the cap. The top-gallant yard and mizzen gaff were also torn from their fastenings and were dangling against the mast. The British had fou ght w ith the greatest bravery, but it availed them not. Their first flag had been shot away. They had raised a second. That also had

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Capture of the "Drake." 143 fallen before the incessant storm of iron hail, and was . draggling in the water. Her masts and yards were dreadfully shattered, while the mainmast was so seriously wounded as to be in danger of falling. The hull was pierced in many places, shivered and splintered by the shot rained upon it by the Continental frigate. The small amount of damage received by the latter vessel was remarkable. Whether the aim of the English gunners was bad, or whether luck was with the Ranger, the fact remains that only a few broken spars . and a couple of stays and running tackle remained to. be repaired on Capt. Jones' craft. At the first signs of surrender Stubbs hastened aft with Paul, leaving Jabez in charge of the forecastle . . The reason for this movement was tersely expressed by the master's mate in the following words : "There's glory for the prize officers that takes her to France, my boy, and we want to be around when the old man makes his selection. Quick ! get withinrange of his peepers." While hurrying toward the quarter-deck Paul came upon the British officer, Lieut. Broadhead. The pris oner was leaning against the fife rail surrounding the mainmast. His face wore an expression of keen dis appointment, not unmixed with anxiety. As the middy drew near him he beckoned with one finger, calling out, persuasively: "One moment, please; I wish to speak with you, my dear lad." "Oh, ho! my dear lad, eh?" quoth Paul, coldly, but obeying the summons. "You were not so friendly a.

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144 Capture of the "Drake." while back, before the tide of battle was settled. What do you wish with me, sir?" Broadhead glanced cautiously around to see if any one was within earshot. "Lad, do not be a fool," he whispered. "Why throw a chance awa y when it is within your grasp? The { forward deck of this pirate is no place for you. You were born to other spheres, as I know full well. The excitement is great now ; darkness will soon fall ; secure a boat and accompany me ashore and I will speedily restore you to the arms of your sorrowing parents." Paul attempted to speak, but his companion interrupted him. "Do not answer such a momentous question without due thought. Reflect! I hold the key for which you would give your life and--" "But not my honor, sir , " the middy proudly inter posed. "Further talk is useless; I will not do it. And, furthermore, if you again try to tempt me, I will in form Capt. Jones." "Good for you, Paul, " suddenly exclaimed a voice behind them. " You are true blue. That was spoken like an American, and I glory in your spirit." They wheeled quickly, and saw the master's mate standing a few feet away. He had slipped up unob served, and had evidently overheard the whole conver sation. "As for you,' ' continued Stubbs, shaking his clinched fist within an inch of the lieutenant's nose; "as for you, sir , I have a good notion to fix you for your despicable efforts to tempt this lad. All I have to do is to tell the -0ld man, and he'll give you a short shrift."

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Capture of the "Drake." 145 The officer scowled, but did not attempt to reply. After glowering at him for a moment the master's mate called to Paul, and hurried with him to where Capt. Jones was standing surrounded by the quarter-deck officers. The commander was evidently selecting the prize crew. He glanced about from face to face-all bent eagerly in his direction-then he said, authoritatively: "Lieut. Simpson, you can take command of the Drake, with Master's Mate Stubbs as your second. For midshipmen you had better take-er--" Just then Paul, in his anxiety to accompany his friend, coughed significantly. Capt. Jones gave him a quick look, laughed heartily, and bade him join the prize crew. Dick Haslett was also selected, and before many minutes had passed, three boats filled with Amer ican sailors left the Ranger for the English cruiser. At the last moment the commander resolved to send the captive lieutenant back to the Drake to be confined with the rest of the officers, and he was a passenger in the same cutter as Paul and Stubbs, greatly to the lat ter's disgust. "I wonder where the Drake's captain can be?" asked our hero, while the boats were en route to the prize. "That's a fact; he hasn't made an appearance yet to surrender his sword," replied the master's mate. "Perhaps. he is badly injured, or perhaps dead." The latter proved to be true. On reaching the Drake's deck, the very first body seen was that of the unfortunate commander of the British cruiser. In the excitement and confusion he had been left where he had fallen, close to the gangway. He had died at his post, fighting to the last.

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146 Capture of the "Drake." Upon entering the captured ship an appalling spec tacle met Paul's eye, and he turned faint with horror at the sight. The loss of life on board the Ranger was scarcely a score, but of the Drake's crew of full two hundred men fully one-fourth had been either killed or wounded. This included the captain and the first lieutenant. The prize crew were met by the surviving officers, the senior of whom formally surrendered the ship. Paul saw that Lieut. Broadhead was greeted with great surprise, but not with much cordiality. There was little time for sight-seeing or conjecture. Lieut. Simpson speedily put the American crew to work repairing the damages, and Paul soon found him self fully occupied. The prisoners were bundled down in the forward hold and a guard under command of Midshipman Haslett placed over them. Darkness fell long before the repairs were completed, and it was nearly midnight when a signal was given the Ranger that all was in readiness to proceed. Fol lowing the orders of Capt. Jones, both vessels cruised in company until daybreak. The watches had been divided with Lieut. Simpson and Dick Haslett in charge of the starboard, and Stubbs and our hero in command of the larboard. This arrangement was very satisfactory to Paul, and, as it subsequently proved, to Dick Haslett also.

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CHAPTER XXIII. A DESPERATE VENTURE. Sunrise found the Ranger and her prize standing down the Channel with a fair wind. It was the master's mate ' s watch on deck, and he and Paul exchanged signals with the frigate. Shortly after breakfast a sail was sighted near the English coast. "I wonder if it is another man-of-war," remarked Paul, hopefully. "If we could only capture two or three more, our prize money would amount to something." Stubbs ascended the mizzen rigging with a tele scope, and after a long and careful scrutiny announced that the stranger was a merchant vessel, probably homeward bound from the Indies. As this meant a rich prize, Paul immediately notified Lieut. Simpson, who was asleep in the cabin. Before the latter reported on deck a signal was made from the frigate for the Dra k e to lay to while she chased the Englishman. This was a great disappoint ment to our hero, as he wished, as he expressed it, "to be i n at the death." The lieutenant and Dick Haslett appeared at the same moment. Since his l i ttle discomfiture on St. Mary's Island t he la t ter had fou ght shy of Paul. The duel near Lord Selkirk's re s idence had taught the bully that his enem y was well a ble to take c a re of himself . This mornin g, howeve r, Dick revealed a surprising chan g e. He appe a r e d t o b e on good terms with the

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A Desperate Venture. lieutenant, who, on board the frigate, was not liked by either officers or crew. As a matter of fact the lieutenant was a man whose nature, not over-scrupulous at best, had been warped by disappointment and thwarted ambition . When the Ranger sailed from the United States it was understood that Capt. Jones was to command her until France was reached, then he was to be made captain of a larger vessel, and the command of the frigate turned over to his executive officer, Lieut. Simpson. The new craft not being ready, Jones sailed at once from Brest on his memorable voyage along the English coast. This was by the advice of the American commissioner in France, Benjamin Franklin, but greatly to the disappointment of Lieut. Simpson. For some unknown reason, the latter blamed Capt. Jones, and conducted himself so badly that the com mander was often obliged to reprove him. He was guilty of several acts of insubordination, which was very annoying to his superior officer. In the kindliness of his heart Capt. Jones gave the command of the Drake to the lieutenant, but it was an evil move, as subsequent results will clearly show. When Stubbs and Paul noticed the familiarity with which Dick Haslett was treated by Simpson, they ex changed glances of surprise. There was a meaning to it which neither could fathom as yet. On reaching the deck, the lieutenant crossed to where the master's mate was standing. "The frigate is off after that stranger, I see," re marked the former . "Well, good luck to the old man." "He has signaled us to lay to and await the result

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A Desperate Venture. of the chase, " replied Stubbs. " Shall I order the main yard backed, sir?" "When I am ready to heave the prize to, I will let you know," was the curt response. "I did not see the signal you mention." The master' s mate gave a gasp of astonishment. "You-you were below, sir," he stammered. "I saw the si g nal , and so did Paul here. This is most extrao rdinar y , sir. " Simpson favored him with an insolent stare, then turning to Dick Haslett, he bade him order the watch to take an extra pull on the lee braces. As this meant an increased speed, and in a direction away from the course steered by the Ranger, the astonishment of Paul and Stubbs can be imagined. While walking forward Dick passed close to our hero . Slyly shaking his fist at the latter, the bully whispered: "Old scores will soon be settled, you picked-up out cast I Something will soon happen that'll open your eyes, my brave duck." The slur and the impudent tone caused Paul's face to flush hotly. Striding up to the speaker, he boldly grasped him by the arm and asked, sharply: "What do you mean, Dick Haslett? Take back that name or I'll knock you down . " Dick p a led to the lips. He made no reply, but glanced toward the lieutenant. It was a mute appeal, and brou ght immediate results. Simpson advanced with a scowl , calling out: "Here, here! what does this mean? How dare you interfere with Haslett in the discharge of his duties, you young whelp? The first thing you know I'll have

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A Desperate Venture. you hanging at the yardarm for mutiny. Dick, go forward and carry out my orders.'' Paul was on the point of defending himself when he received a significant signal from Stubbs. It meant as plainly as words could explain, to keep silent for the time being. With a look of triumph, Haslett walked forward, and a moment later the watch were lustily hauling at the lee braces. Picking up the telescope, Simpson watched the pro gress of the Ranger for a while ; then he sauntered aft, for the evident purpose of giving instructions to the man at the wheel. "For Heaven's sake I what does this mean?" whis pered Paul, seizing the opportunity of communicating with Stubbs. "I hardly know. My brain is in a whirl," replied the master's mate, anxiously watching the lieutenant's movements. "Lad, there is some dreadful conspiracy on foot, and if we don't look out we will get the worst of it." "Surely, Mr. Simpson does not intend to run away with the prize?" "That is just about what he is up to." "It must be prevented. Why, it is mutiny of the worst kind." "Death and wounds ! what under the sun can we do?" groaned Stubbs. "The lieutenant is my superior officer, and the crew will surely side with him." "Can't we signal the Ranger!" eagerly asked Paul. "Not now; they are watching us. See I here comes the young ras . cal, Dick Haslett, and the lieutenant is eying us also. This is dreadful, lad. If the scoundrel

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A Desperate Venture. succeeds in his scheme and gets away with the Drake, they'll perhaps murder us." "And what will Capt. Jones think? He'll believe we were in league with Mr. Simpson. We must do something to stop it if the effort costs us our lives. Why, it would be better to release the prisoners than allow--" "Hush I the lieutenant is calling me," interrupted Stubbs. "Keep your wits about you, but don't try to do anything until I have another chance to speak with you." After the master's mate had left him, Paul glanced toward the distant frigate. She was bowling along under a full spread of canvas in chase of the merchant vessel. The latter had long since altered her course, and was standing in toward the English coast like a fri g htened sea gull. "If I could only hoist a signal , " muttered Paul, wist fully. "If I could manage to smuggle the red pen nant from the flag chest and run it up to the main truck , Capt. Jones would know that something was the matter. He must think it queer even now that we haven't obeyed his orders to heave to." The longer the middy thought of the matter the more inclined he was to signal the frigate at all haz ards . He knew full well that a plot had been con cocted between Simpson and Dick to run away with the prize , and he was also fully aware of the great peril he and Stubbs would be placed in. The master's mate and the lieutenant were not friends. Stubbs' honest, loyal soul would not permit him to curry favor with a man of Simpson's character, and the latter knew and resented it. As for Paul and

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A Desperate Venture. Dick, the reader is doubtless aware that little love was lost between them. Loud voices suddenly called our hero's attention inboard. He glanced aft and saw that the master's mate and Simpson were engaged in an altercation. The latter was gesticulating violently, and in a threatening manner. Dick Haslett left his post on the quarter deck, and hastened toward the two men. "That is my plan, and I don't care whether you like it or not," came to Paul's ears in the lieutenant's deep voice. "But, sir, you surely do not mean to take the prize to another port without Capt. Jones' permission?" Stubbs pleaded. "I will do as I please in the matter. I am in com mand here," thundered Simpson; then he added, sig nificantly: "If you will take my advice, you and that young whelp of a midshipman will obey orders and ask no questions. If not, you'll rue it, mark my words." The master's mate made some reply which Paul did not catch, but it aroused the lieutenant's ire, and the altercation continued. Finally Haslett joined in, and the three soon attracted the attention of the whole watch. It was an opportunity Paul was not slow in seizing. Cautiously slipping over to the flag chest, which was lashed amidships near the mainmast, he quickly raised the lid and selected a red square from the collec tion of signals. To close the chest and gain the outer pin rail was but the work of a moment. "Heaven help me to succeed in balking this foul plot," murmured the lad, working with nimble fingers

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In the Maintop. 153 at the signal halyard. "If I can get it aloft without attracting attention, it will not be noticed from the deck for some time." Slowly and with infinite care, he hoisted the piece of bunting. Up, up it went, until at last he had the satis faction of seeing it float proudly from the main truck. Then just as he was on the point of fastening the end of the slender rope, a hoarse shout of rage came from aft. CHAPTER XXIV. IN THE MAINTOP. Paul instantly realized that he had been discovered. The voice was that of Lieut. Simpson, and the shout was promptly followed by the sound of footsteps running across the hard deck. "What are you doing there, you villain? Lower that signal, or I'll cut you down !" cried the enraged officer. Notwithstanding the dire threat, Paul hurriedly fast ened the halyard. Then he turned to see the lieutenant and Dick Haslett running toward him. They were closely followed by Stubbs, whose long-drawn face proclaimed the excitement under which he was laboring. Simpson had drawn his sword, and he flourished the weapon above his head as he advanced upon the defenseless lad. For a second the middy stood irreso lute. He knew that he would be attacked if he re mained where he stood, and if he retreated, the signal would be lowered.

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In the Maintop. He gave one swift glance toward the Ranger. She was still standing away in pursuit of the merchant ves sel. The signal had not been seen, apparently. It might fie observed at any moment. Five minute might be sufficient. "Quick as a flash, Paul formed a resolution. "I'll do it, come what may," he murmured; then swinging into the main rigging, he darted aloft with the agility of a cat. Passing under the maintop, he reached out and grasped the signal halyards. He was just in time. At almost the same instant the rope was severed by the lieutenant. Skillfully fastening the halyard to a stay, Paul crawled over the edge of the massive top, and peered below. He was startled to see Dick Haslett climbing up the ratlines as fast as his feet could carry him. It was plainly evident the bully was in hot pursuit. Our hero smiled grimly, and prepared to give the fellow a warm reception. A moment later he observed Stubbs slip across the deck and start aloft by way of the lee shrouds. "Good for him !" Paul exclaimed, aloud; "I thought he wouldn't desert me. Now for a scrimmage." The lieutenant was running around wild with rage. Gesticulating frantically, he issued order after order to the watch. Suddenly, three or four sailors began to ascend the rigging with cutlasses, and made every effort to catch the fugitive. Paul recognized in them several of the most vicious members of the Ranger's crew-men with whom Capt. Jones had had continual trouble. The readiness with which they had obeye9 Lieut. Simpson's orders to pur-

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In the Maintop. 15) sue the master's mate, their superior officer, showed the middy that a previous understanding must have existed. "That miserable scoundrel must have arranged this scheme during the middle watch,'' muttered the lad. "I wouldn't be surprised if almost the whole prize crew should prove to be in it. I wonder what Simp son has promised them." A peep on the other side of the top showed that Dick Haslett was rapidly nearing it. His hoarse breathing was now plainly audible. Paul grasped a spare block and prepared to defend himself. A moment later the bully's red face was thrust above the edge. He saw Paul just in time to dodge the blow which the middy instantly aimed at him. The heavy piece of wood and iron struck the deck of the top with a re sounding whack. There was a moment of suspense, and then our hero heard a peculiar noise. It was cre ated by the cowardly bully as he slipped down the rigging to a place of safety. "One enemy scared into retreat," muttered Paul, with a grim laugh. In the meantime Stubbs was climbing for dear life. He had the start of the sailors, and managed to keep out of their reach until the maintop was gained. Then just as he drew his lank body to a position beside Paul, one of the mariners contrived to give him a sharp blow. It was with the flat of the weapon, however, and only served to increase the master's mate's anger. Snatching the block from Paul's hand he reached over, and with one swoop sent two of the pursuers flying head over heels into the water. They struck the surface with a prodigious splash, and disappeared from

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In the Maintop. view. Their fate served as a warning to the remain ing sailor, and he swung downward half a dozen rat lines at a time. The two defenders of the lofty fortress shook hands. "That was a telling blow," quoth our hero, chuc kling. "You have killed two very dirty birds with one stone." Stubbs' melancholy face relaxed with a shadowy grin. Then, after giving a cautious glance deckward, he said, with a shake of his head: "We are victorious now, lad; but it won't last long. They have guns below there, you know. All they have to do is to run up the fore or mizzen and pot us at their leisure. We're in a bad box." "You don't blame me for trying to signal the frigate, do you? I had the chance, and I couldn't let it slip." "Blame you? Not much. You are a brave boy, and if we ever get out of this alive, I'll take care to let the old man know about it." Paul flushed with pleasure. "I am only trying to do my duty by Capt. Jones as I understand it," he replied, simply. The red signal was still floating from the main truck, but it was evidently unnoticed on board the frigate. She was in hot pursuit of the merchantman, and as our . hero an _ d his companion watched her, a puff of white smoke came from one of her bow guns. A few moments later the chase was seen to back her main yard as a token of surrender. By this time both vessels were almost hull down in the distance, and it soon became plainly evident that but little help need be expected from the Continental war ship.

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In the Maintop. 157 "The old man was too eager to overhaul that Indiaman !" groaned Stubbs. "You can hardly blame him," replied the middy. "He hadn't any reason to suspect this scoundrelly pair of conspiring against him." "No, that's true enough. Well , here we are, and we will have to fight our own battles. Wonder what they are doing down below." The master's mate leaned over to catch a view of the deck. As he did so a sharp report sounded, and a pis tol bullet whizzed past his head. He dodged with ludicrous alacrity. "Humph ! looks as if we are targets. Death and wounds ! I don ' t like the idea of remaining up here like two crows on a limb waiting for the gunners." Suddenl y a loud hail came from below. The voice was Simpson's. "Maintop aho y !" "Well, what is it?" replied Stubbs, grimly. "Look do w n ; I wish to speak with you." "Not much. You're too handy with that blamed pis tol. What do you want?" "You had better come below and surrender. You are a pair of fools, thinking you can fight thirty men. That signal hasn ' t helped you any , as you can see. If you'll give up without any further trouble, ' I'll com promise with you. What do you sa y?" The master ' s mate and Paul exchanged glances. "I guess he's right , " said the former, finally. "What do you think ?" "He evidently wishes to secure your help in navigating the Drak e," replied the middy, thoughtfully. "Otherwise, he would send a lot of men to the foretop

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Dick Haslett's Plot. and pick us off. I guess we will have to trust him, as--" He was suddenly interrupted by a shrill cry from Stubbs. "The frigate! Whoop! She's gone about and is heading this way. Ohl if we can only hold out up here for a couple of hours we'll be safe !" CHAPTER XXV. DICK HASLETT'S PLOT. Stubbs was right. While Paul was speaking, the master's mate's keen eyes had wandered toward the frigate. Although the distance was great, yet he speedily saw that she had put about, and was now standing toward the Drake under a press of canvas. It could mean one of two things: Those on board the Ran g er had either caught sight of the blood-red signal at the maintruck of the prize, or else a crew had been sent aboard the captured merchantman, and the frigate had resumed her previous course. There was little time for comment. A chorus of cries from below indicated that Simpson and his fol low e rs had made the same discovery. A moment later a whole volley of pistol balls struck the wooden plat form forming the top. "They are firing on account of the bunting above us, " quoth Stubbs, grasping the halyard. "It has served its purpose, so we may as well remove one reason for their wrath." While speaking, he hauled the flag down and cast it

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Dick Haslett's Plot. into the sea. Presently a rattling of blocks proclaimed that additonal sail was being made. Forward the hal yards were tautened, the lee braces given an extra pull, and a couple of spare jibs run up. Presently Paul espied a couple of men ascending the fore-rigging. At the same time Stubbs saw three oth ers climbing the mizzen. The meani .ng was plain. An attempt was to be made to dislodge them. The sail ors were armed with pistols, and one carried a gun lashed to his back. "I guess we are done for," muttered Stubbs. "Those scoundrels will soon have a swarm of bullets a-whiz zing about our--" "Maintop ahoy !" The master's mate eagerly leaned over the edge of the top. Down at the foot of the mainmast stood Lieut. Simpson and Dick Haslett. The former beckoned with one hand, and added : "Will you surrender now? If you are not on this deck before I can count twenty, I'll order the men to fire." "Come on, lad," groaned Stubbs; "no use holding out any longer. They can't do no more than murder us down there, and they'll surely do it if we remain. Come on." The middy nodded assent, and long before the threat ened number was counted, they reached the deck. Haslett greeted Paul with a malicious grin, and muttered an uncomplimentary remark. Suddenly, at a sign from the lieutenant, a couple of sailors, who were standing near, seized Paul and quickly bound his arms. "Hold on there!" exclaimed Stubbs, starting to his assistance. "Release that lad, you scoundrels."

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160 Dick Haslett's Plot. Before he could reach the middy's side, Simpson and Haslett barred his way. Throwing themselves upon the struggling man, they forced him some distance down the deck. Paul saw the lieutenant arguing with Stubbs for a moment, then the sailors who had bound him hurried him forward to the forecastle. "Just you keep quiet, youngster, and nothing will happen to ye," said one, gruffly. "Take an old mari ner's advice, and lay low for a while. It won't do ye any good to run athwart the leftenant ' s hawse." "How dare you lay your hands upon me?" stormed the middy. "Release me, or I will have you punished by Capt. Jones." "When we meet him," spoke up another sailor, with a grim laugh. "If ye can't threaten us with any worse harm than that, youngster, you might as well save your breath." Seeing the utter futility of further remonstrance, Paul wisely held his tongue, and awaited develop ments. He glanced down the deck, and saw that Stubbs had grown somewhat calmer, and was now listening to the lieutenant with some show of patience. Presently Dick Haslett left them and hurried for ward. Passing by Paul, he disappeared into the fore castle, reappearing in a couple of minutes with several articles of clothing thrown across his arm. The bully's face wore a grin of malicious pleasure. "Here you go , my bold castaway," he said, with a sneer, tossing the clothing to the deck; "just take off that good American uniform and shift into those." By the "those," he indicated a suit of English man of-war's-man clothes. Paul looked his astonishment, but he quietly obeyed. The transformation was speed-

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Dick Haslett's Plot. ily accomplished, and at its conclusion the middy was led to the hatch leading to the deck upon which the prisoners were confined. "I suppose y ou would like to know what this means?" chuckled Dick, following at his heels. "When I desire any information I will ask for it," coldl y replied Paul. "Well, I'll tell you anyway," retorted the bully, com placently. "This is getting even for old scores, my buck. I told you in the Ranger's cockpit that I'd settle affairs before long. That's what I am doing now. We need Stubbs' services, but we can get along without yours, d' y e understand? From now on you will be one of the Drake ' s former crew, and I'll have the satis faction of turning you over to the French as an English prisoner of war. What d ' ye think of the prospect?" " I am satisfied," was the cool reply. "They are gentlemen down there , even if they are our foes, and that is more than I can say of you and your rascally brother conspirator." Dick paled with rage, and started forward as with the intention of striking the daring lad , but he changed his mind and hoarsely bade the sailors open the hatch. Despite his unconcerned words , Paul looked blank at the prospect thus unexpectedly opened up. That i t would be an easy matter to identify him with the British prisoners he knew full well. Even if they should g ood-naturedly den y him to the French authori ties, the word of Lieut . Simpson would have far greater wei ght. It was a diabolical plot, and one promising success. While the sailors were opening the hatch, the midd y g lanced wistfully toward Stubbs. The master's mate was still in conversation with

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Dick Haslett's Plot. the lieutenant, and the pair seemed to be on the best of terms with each other, laughing and talking like two friends. Dick Haslett caught the direction of Paul's eyes, and chuckled triumphantly. "No hope there," he said. "Stubbs has agreed to join us in this venture." "You are lying," hotly retorted Paul. "Stubbs would die before becoming a mutineer." "Is that so? Well, does that look it?" Just then the master ' s mate left his companions, and crossing the deck, began to hasten the labors of a party of sailors who were stretching the maintack. The evi dence was convincing, and our hero turned away with a sigh of despair. While stepping over the hatch coaming he cast a rapid glance seaward. The frigate was still standing after the Drake , but she had not gained much ground. The distance separating the two vessels was at least six miles-an overwhelming start for the British prize. The middy's heart was heavy with sorrow ns he de scended the ladder leading to the lower deck , but his melancholy thoughts were suddenly interrupted. The wooden hatch cover had been clapped on after he had passed through the opening, rendering the 'tween decks rather dark. There was still light enough, however, for him to distinguish a group of men at the foot of the ladder. t He noticed that some were sailors and others officers, and then his eyes fell upon the unpleasant countenance of Lieut. John Broadhead. The fellow was in the front rank , and stared upward at the middy in surprise. Paul slowly descended until

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Paul Shows His Temper. 163 he reached the deck, where he was greeted with a chorus of threatening comments. "It is a middy of the Yankee vessel's prize crew," called out one of the officers, wonderingly. "So it is !" cried another. "What does the traitorous whelp want down here?" "Wait; I know the lad," spoke up Broadhead, with a sneering smile. "I'll soon find out what this mas querading means." CHAPTER XXVI. PAUL SHOWS HIS TEMPER. While he was being assailed with these uncompli mentary remarks, Paul had made up his mind regarding his future actions. He realized that his best course would be to tell the Englishmen the truth, so when Broadhead presently put a question to him, the middy promptly replied: "I am down here because of a mutiny on deck." "A mutiny?" echoed his hearers. "Good !" added the lieutenant, exultantly. "If the dogs are fighting among themselves, we'll doubtless have a show of escaping. Quick! explain yourself." "Don't build your hopes too highly," replied Paul, coolly. "I am afraid the mutiny will not bring much to you. The case stands in this manner: The officer in charge of the prize crew has changed his mind about accompanying the Ranger , and is sailing for a French port on his own venture." "And you?''

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164 Paul Shows His Temper. "I didn't agree with him, so he has changed my nationality by clothing me in this uniform. I am now to take pot luck with you as a British prisoner." A murmur of surprise ran through the group. "What about the lanky fellow with the lantern jaws? Has he sided with the senior officer?" "No ; I don't think so." "Then why wasn't he sent down also?" Paul did not reply. He had loyal faith in his friend , but the latter ' s actions on deck were certainly suspicious. The last seen of him, Stubbs, was surely assisting in the navigation of the Drake. Had he really turned traitor to his commander? "This is some trick of the blamed Yankee," spoke up an officer. "Let's send the whelp on deck again." "That's a good idea,'' calmly replied the middy. "Nothing would suit me better. Shall I beat upon the hatch and tell them that you are afraid to have me down here?" His contemptuous words brought a growl of anger from the crowd of prisoners , and several stepped for ward with their hands uplifted threateningly. In all probabilit y , Paul would have received summary pun ishment if one of the officers had not interfered. It was Broadhead. "Leave the lad alone , shipmates," he said, authori tatively. "I will answer for his story . He tells the truth-can't ye see that? He has doubtless incurred the enmity of his comrades , and they have sent him below as the best manner of ge tting rid of him. Well, the more the merrier! Johnny Crapaud will not object to one more prisoner I" Paul eyed the speaker as if undecided whether to be

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Paul Shows His Temper. I 6 5 grateful to him or not. The mocking tone in which the lieutenant spoke indicated that it was through no good will that he had saved him. Still it was best under such circumstances to placate even him. "I thank you, sir," he exclaimed, politely. "I am glad to see that I am believed by one person, anyway. As for your comrades, if they can see by what means a poor midshipman could endanger them; or what good it would do the prize crew to send a spy below here, I will be pleased to acknowledge that they have grounds to be suspicious of me." This convincing speech was received in silence at first, then several of the Drake's late officers actually offered to shake hands with the middy, and some even expressed their sorrow that he had been doomed to a like fate. "Never mind, youngster," spoke up one, kindly. "I speak French like a native, and I'll do what I can to convince the officials of the port to which we are bound that you are not one of us." "I am afraid it will not do much good." replied Paul, rather sadly. "They are bound to take Lieut. Simp son's word first, and he'll testify against me." Lieut. Broadhead slipped his arm through the mid dy's, and led him to the other side of the deck. "Now, my dear lad, tell me the truth about this very peculiar move , " he said, when they were alone. "I have told the truth," replied Paul, sharply. "The senior officer in char g e has won over the crew, and we are now running away from the frigate. She is almost out of sight astern." "Jove! it is a queer action on his part. What can he hope to gain ?"

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166 Paul Shows His Temper. "The command of the Drake when she is refitted, I suppose. He probably reli e s on gaining the good graces of the French by turning over to them such a valuable prize." "He may be right, but it is taking desperate chances. I suppose he is bound for Cherbourg. At which port will your frigate report?" "Brest, I believe." "Then this mutineer will make for Dunkirk. Cher bourg is too near Brest for him. Now, for yourself, lad ; what do you think will be your fate?" Paul smiled grimly. "The same as yours, I suppose, if--" He hesitated. What he had meant to say was that he would have little chance of escaping if Stubbs did not aid him. The recollections led to a new train of thought. Was it possible that the daring, true-hearted Stubbs had basely exchanged his loy alty for a tem porary freedom? "What is it?" asked Broadhead, suavely . "You were going to add something." "If nothing turns up in the meantime," replied Paul, evasively. The lieutenant chuckled softly. "Do you think you can fool me, my boy?" he said. "I know what you really meant to sa y . You still have hopes that the lantern-jawed Yankee officer will come to your assistance. Is it not so?" The middy nodded in a half hearted manner. It mattered little to him what his companion said. He was rapidly becoming downcast in spirits. He had reasoo to be. Homeless, friendless, a prisoner destined

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Paul Shows His Temper. 167 for the French galleys ; nothing more was needed to set his cup of bitterness running over. "You are losing your courage, eh ?" sneered the lieu tenant. "Well, I would not expect it of your father's son." The sudden allusion to his parent sent the young blood tingling through Paul's veins. He forgot his situation-forgot the peril in which he was placed, and thought only of that wonderful mystery of his past life. Before him was a man who knew the secret. A scntence--a few words from him, and that dense veil would be drawn aside. He turned and clutched the lieutenant's arm. "Why do you act in this manner, sir?" he asked, imploringly . "What have you against me? Have I, or mine done you an injury? Can not you relieve my anxiety? It will not cost you anything, sir; please tell me my rightful name." The appeal had little effect. Broadhead laughed as if he had heard a good joke, then replied: "The secret is too valuable to be given away hap hazard, my dear lad. You plead well and would per c:hance grovel at my feet, but it would avail you not. My lips are sealed until such time as you can furnish the rightful key to the lock." "What can I do to move you, man?" "You had a chance yesterday, but you refused it with scorn." "And I am now glad that I did, if you care to know." "Don't anger me if you value your health," scowled the lieutenant. "I was minded to enlighten you a little, but now you can remain in darkness, confound you !" The last word had barely left his lips when, with a

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168 New Developments. spring like a tiger, Paul leaped upon him. The two fell to the deck, but when they reached it, the middy's hand was clutching Broadhead's throat! "Now tell me what I wish to know!" breathed Paul, "or, by heavens! I will strangle you where you lie ! What is my name, you scoundrel?" CHAPTER XXVII. NEW DEVELOPMENTS. It was a rash move. If Paul had not been fairly be side himself with worry and anxiety, he never would have attacked the lieutenant in the midst of his own countrymen. Nor would he, boy that he was, have been able to knock Broadhead down if it had not been for the suddenness of the onslaught. As it was, the lieutenant easily threw him off, then the enraged man fell to kicking and beating him until even the hardened sailors cried out in protest. "You would lay your hands on me, you young whelp!" shouted the British officer. "I am minded to run you through for this outrage. 'Sdeath ! it is a pretty pass when a gentleman has to guard against attacks from a boy. Get up and apologize." At last, permitted to gain his feet, Paul faced his antagonist. His eyes still blazed, and his hands twitched ominously. The lieutenant stood watching him, and rubbing his throat, which had suffered somewhat from the middy's strong hands. "Are you going to apologize?" demanded Broad head.

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New Developments. "Better do as he says, lad," muttered one of the by standers, pityingly. "He is a hard man when aroused. Better do it and save trouble." "I will not." The words were uttered with quiet determination. Folding his arms, the middy awaited the punishment. Instead of carrying out his threat, the lieutenant smiled grimly, and said, in an indifferent tone: "Let it pass. He has been amply punished already. Anyway, I think I can make him suffer for this affair without rusting my sword. 'Sdeath ! the boy has his father's spirit of a verity." The last sentence was uttered so that only Paul heard it. This second reference to his unknown parent passed unheeded. The middy knew now that he could hope for nothing from the officer without he had something of equal worth to exchange. The excitement caused by the affair soon disap peared, and the occupants of the 'tween decks again settled down to a melancholy waiting for the next event. The heavy lurching of the ship to leeward indi cated that she was under an enormous press of canvas. After a while the middy was left to himself, even Broadhead abandoning him for the nonce. As the day passed, the monotony became almost unbearable. At stated intervals the hatch was thrown back, and a couple of the English sailors were permitted to pass up to the galley for the prisoners' food. They were care fully guarded, however, and could ascertain nothing of moment. Night came, and after it the dawning of another day. That ebbed wiFhout aught occurring. In the evening

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N cw Developments. the men sent up for the food reported signs of rejoicing on deck. "The blasted Yankees er havin' a jolly good time above," said one to the assembled crowd. "From what I 'eard drop, th ' Yankee frigate is out o' sight, an' the blooming land clus aboard ahead." "That means a transfer to the French prison by morning," groaned an officer . Watching his chance , Paul drew the sailor aside. "Did you see the junior American officer on deck?" he asked, . anxiously. "What? Him with a face like er funeral mute?" "Yes." "I saw him. He was in charge of th' blooming deck. He and the leftenant was jokin' an' talkin' aft near the cabin hatch." "Stubbs, Stubbs, have you forsaken me?" murmured the lad, disconsolately . "Is it possible you have aban doned your honor and joined this mob of mutineers?" It certainly looked as if the master's mate had cast his lot with Simpson. The readiness with which he had been persuaded to again assist in working the prize was ample proof that he was not acting in the interests of Capt. Jones. Notwithstanding the fact , Paul could not bring him self to an utter condemnation of his friend. He felt that he should think of him with scorn , but something -he knew not what-made him regard the master's mate with more sorrow than It might have been an intuition that alt would yet be welt-such things are not unknown to the human mind, and it may have been the great friendship existing between the tad with the mysterious past and the

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N cw Developments. naval officer. Be that as it may, Paul still held faith, and was the happier for it. Shortly after daybreak the prisoners heard the hoarse rattling of the anchor cable as it passed through the hawse pipe. The Drake had finally reached her desti nation. An hour later the hatches were thrown open, and all hands ordered on deck. The middy was one of the first to leave the 'tween decks. As he emerged into the open air he glanced eagerly from side to side. The entire prize crew were gathered under arms as a precautionary guard. Standing near the larboard bulwarks was a group of gayly uniformed officers, evidently French. Paul saw the recreant lieutenant, Simpson, con versing with them, and not far from him was Stubbs. The lad gave a great sigh and waited for some signs of recognition. The master's mate stared directly at him, but his face was as mute as that of the Sphinx. Not a smile, not the sli g htest movement of his features; simply an expression of g reat sternness and that peculiar melan chol y cast habitual to him. At last the middy began to lose faith. Proudly up holding his head , he marched down the deck with the Eng-lish prisoners and descended into a government galley alongside . As he did so , a mocking voice called out from above: "Farewell , no name! Ma y y ou sleep well on French soil. Your adopted father'll have a hard time findin g you in the g alle ys. Farewell! Ha! ha!" " 'Those who laugh last laugh best,' Dick Haslett,'' retorted P a ul , g rimly. "You have not heard the last of me. I think the main-yard of the Ranger will bear

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J 72 New Developments. you as foul fruit before many months. If not, some other craft will have the doubtful honor." At that moment the boat left the Drake's side, and was pulled toward the nearest wharf. The harbor was capacious, and contained many vessels. A large threedecker lay at anchor in the path of the craft. A jeering mol:i on the forecastle cast slurs at the miserable party of prisoners as they passed. Following came a smaller boat bearing the French officers. They landed first, and arranged for the trans portation of the party through the town. Paul cast a lingering glance at the Drake's lofty spars, and then the view was shut out by huge warehouses. " 'Sdeath ! I had hopes that your lanky friend on board would be able to assist us at the last moment," quoth Broadhead, who was walking side by side with Paul. "Us?" echoed Paul, in surprise. "Did you expect him to help you?" "Of course, my dear lad,'' replied the lieutenant, with a chuckle. "Where you go, I go. Ha ! ha ! You are too valuable a prize to let slip without an effort. I like you too well to lose sight of you, Paul." The middy gave a start of amazement. How had the speaker learned his adopted name? It surely had not been mentioned before him. "You call me Paul," he said, eagerly. "That is the name given me by Capt. Jones. It can not be--" "It is also your real name," replied Broadhead, quietly. "I have no objection to your knowing that much. Paul you were christened, and Paul you are. Would you like to learn more?" The pleading expression upon the middy's face was

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A Pleasurable Disappointment. T 7 3 a sufficient answer. Before he could find out whether his companion really meant to enlighten him, the party arrived in front of a gloomy building having the appearance of a jail. A halt was called at the entrance ; then amid the shouts and execrations of the populace, the prisoners were conducted inside. As it happened, Paul and the lieutenant were the last in the column. While step ping across the threshold, the middy heard the hoof beats of a galloping horse. A moment later a foaming steed was reined up in front of the door, and its rider-a sub-officer of the city guard-rapidly dismounted, waving a paper. He mut tered a few woros to the captain in charge of the pris oners' escort ; then the latter called out, in broken English: "Paul Jones I Which ees him? Step forth I" CHAPTER XXVIII. A PLEASURABLE DISAPPOINTMENT. Paul mechanically stepped from the column at the summons, and advanced toward the officer of the guard. The latter silently looked him over, and then waved his hand as a signal that he should accompany the new comer. Just then Lieut. Broadhead, who had been watching the proceedings in amazement, hurried to Paul's side. "What does this mean, youngster?" he asked, hurriedly. "What are they g-oing to do with you?" The middy shrugged his shoulders indifferently.

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I 74 A Pleasurable Disappointment. "I don't know," he replied. "Guess they intend to take me somewhere else." "You go back to de sheep," spoke up the captain. "Sacre! what for you here?" The last was addressed to Broadhead, and was accompanied by a menacing gesture. At the same mo ment the officer beckoned to several soldiers of the guard. "Cannot I go with him?" begged the lieutenant, in excellent French. "We are brothers, and do not like to be separated. Can't you--" He was suddenly seized and forced through the open door. Paul saw him struggle fiercely, but he was soon overpowered, and the iron gratings closed behind him with a bang. It was the last the middy saw of the British lieutenant for many days. The gendarme who had brought the order now assumed charge of the youthful prisoner, and escorted him back to the docks, leaving his horse in the care of a comrade. Paul tried to question the man as they passed through the town, but received to all his ques tions a simple shrug. A boat was in waiting for them at the landing place, and four sturdy oarsmen soon put them alongside the massive prize. While en route Paul tried to fathom the meaning of the new development, but he could see no reason for it. He had given up all hope of assistance from the mas ter's mate. Under the circumstances he was com pelled to believe, though much against his will, that Stubbs had joined Simpson in the mutiny. "I guess this is the work of Dick Haslett,'' mur-

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A Pleasurable Disappointment. I 7 S mured Paul, ruefully. "He probably thinks that he can secure worse punishment for me on board." His escort followed him up the side to the main deck. Here a sailor--one of those who had mutinied against Capt. Jones-met them. A few words were e x changed, and then Paul was ordered to enter the after cabin. The cruiser seemed almost deserted. A few seamen lounging about decks and a couple of French harbor police were all that could be seen. Neither Lieut. Simpson nor Dick Haslett were visible . Fully expecting to find them inside, the middy opened the door and entered. At first he thought the apartment was vacant, then the figure of a man became apparent. The solitary occupant was seated at a table at the far end where the shadows were deepest. Paul gave the man one then he drew himself up stiffly. It was Stubbs. There was a moment of silence, then a low chuckle broke the quiet. "Hello, Paul, " said the master' s mate, rising to his feet and advancing toward the middy. The latter made no reply. "What' s the matter? Ain't ye glad to see your old friend?" "I would be glad to see an old friend, but not one who has sold his honor,'' Paul replied, with emphasis . Stubbs chuckled anew, and rubbed his thin hands as if highly amused. "The sentiment does you credit, my boy ; but it isn ' t applicable in this case," he said, good-humoredly. "If the truth is known, I'm not the villain you take me to

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I 76 A Pleasurable Disappointment. be. Paul, Paul, is it possible you have so little faith in me?" The last words were uttered in such a rL,t>roachful tone that the middy instinctively reached out his hand. He now saw that he had made a great mistake, and felt extremely ashamed. The master's mate threw one arm around the lad's shoulder. "I don't blame you, my boy," he said, slowly. "Appearances were certainly against me, but I was simply playing a part, ye know. I did it to save both of us. During the few seconds between the time when you were bound by Simpson's orders and my own little struggle, I formed a plan. I knew that we could not cope with the entire prize crew, and I felt that one of us should remain in that scoundrel's favor. He wanted me to help navigate the prize, and I did so. I pretended to enter heart and soul in his rascally plans, but all the time I was scheming to free both of us. The opportunity did not arrive until an hour ago." It can be imagined that Paul heard the above expla nation with burning cheeks. He had lost faith in his friend, and now the very thought filled him with keen humiliation. Stubbs saw it, and he talked on to divert his young companion's thoughts. "Both Simpson and Haslett are ashore. They went up to the military headquarters to arrange mat ters about the prize, leaving me in charge of the ship. Yesterday we overhauled the purser's stateroom, and found a lot of money, almost five thousand pounds. Simpson took the most of it, but I got a whack also. As soon as they left the ship I approached one of the

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A Pleasurable Disappointment. I 77 French officers left in possession, and-well, you are here, ain't you?" "You bribed him?" "Yes ; and it almost took every penny. I don't care if it had taken my life, I was bound to see you free once more, lad." The tears came into Paul's eyes. Such devotion affected him greatly, and he bitterly regretted his loss of faith in the honest, good-hearted master's mate. "You will forgive me for doubting you," he began. "I am thoroughly--" "Tut! tut! Not a word," interrupted Stubbs, cheer ily. "We haven't time, my boy, for excuses or apolo gie5. Simpson and that snake, Haslett, are liable to return at any moment. We must get away at once." "How do you propose to escape? And wlitere will we go?" "I have arranged for the first. As to your last question, I have one word to say-Paris. It will be easier to cross the country than to go down the coast, else we would go to Brest." "And rejoin Capt. Jones?" "Exactly." "But what can we do in Paris?" "State our case to the American Commissioner, Ben jamin Franklin. He is a good man, and will help us to rejoin Capt. Jones. By the time we reach the city the old man will have arrived at Brest, and probably we may meet him in Paris." Paul had one more question to ask. It had surprised him greatly that the Drake-the Ranger's prize-could be thus boldly taken into a French port and offered to the authorities as a bribe for Lieut. Simpson's promo-

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I 78 A Pleasurable Disappointment. tion. He did not know how fragile were the relations between the new republic and France. He did not know how corrupt the court was, nor to what extremes the authorities would go to secure a fine ship for their own navy. Stubbs explained this briefly; then, entering a stateroom, he presently emerged with two suits of clothing such as were worn by French peasants. "Quick! shift that uniform for this blouse and panta loons," he said, hastily. "We'll disguise ourselves and slip ashore at once." After the transformation had been made, Stubbs led the way to the large window overlooking the stern, and pointed down to where a small boat rode easily under the counter. It was only the work of a moment for both to slip down; then, entirely unobserved, the aock was gained. Making their way through the crowds thronging the wharves, they boldly entered a main street leading through the center of Dunkirk. Their costumes, con sisting of rough blouses, short leathern pantaloons and woolen caps, permitted them to traverse the thorough fare without attracting attention. Block after block was covered in silence. Finally a small square set with trees was reached. While crossing it the fugitives came upon a youth in naval uni form, who had suddenly turned a nearby corner. The encounter could not be avoided, and a moment later Dick Haslett stood before them with his eyes almost bursting from his head in astonishment.

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CHAPTER. XIII. THE ESCAPE FROM THE CASTLE. The commander of the castle guard made the sition as coolly as if it were simply an ordinary sen tence. He faced Paul as he spoke, but his words were addressed to Stubbs. The latter's face changed not the slightest, but his eyes gleamed with an ominous light. "Please repeat that?" he said, softly. "If you will give me information by which we can capture the Yankee frigate, I'll set you free ; but if you refuse, you will be hanged before morning. Take your choice. What do you say? Will you furnish the key by which yon door can be unlocked?" "No ! a thousand times no !" cried Paul, striking his clinched fists together. "For my part, I would rather hang this very hour than even hint at anything that would imperil my shipmates." "Rightly said, lad," spoke up the master's mate. "You mean well, but you haven't made it strong enough." As he spoke, he strode up to the officer and shook both hands in his face. The latter started back and attempted to draw his sword, but ere he could produce the blade Stubbs had him by the throat. The attack was so sudden and unexpected that Paul stared at the struggling pair in amazement for a brief period. Then he recovered, and sprang to his companion's aid. The officer fought desperately, and made the walls

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180 Caught. dodging under the whirling blade, sent its owner to an inglorious resting place in the gutter. By this time the excitement was intense. Men, chil dren, gendarmes, women and dogs made up the tail of an immense flying comet of which Paul and the mas ter's mate were the glittering stars. Four blocks had been covered with frantic haste, and still no loophole of escape revealed itself. "Got to get cover somewhere, lad," Stubbs managed to gasp ; "or else we'll soon see the inside of a French prison." The words were unheard by the middy. At that moment he had espied an inclosed yard at one side, the wall of which was not over six feet in height. If this could be scaled, there might be a chance to dodge the howling crowd. A brief sentence placed Stubbs in possession of the plan. Turning swiftly, both made a rush for the earthem wall, and over they went haphazard. Paul landed head first in a flower bed, from which he emerged with his features decorated with bulbs. Stubbs was more fortu nate, having fallen, catlike, upon his feet. The fugitives stopped long enough to see that they were in the rear yard of a private residence ; then, with out further hesitation, they past the house and out upon another street. Fearing to alarm the occa sional passer-by with inexcusable running, Paul con cocted a plan with ready wit. "You hurry ahead laughing loudly, and I will pur sue you as if angry at some uncouth joke," he said. "Then people will not notice us. Hurry; take the next corner, and then turn again when you have covered a block."

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Caught. 181 The master's mate instantly obeyed, and both fortu nately reached the corner before the pursuing mob entered the yard they had just left. Twisting and dodging, doubling back and forth, running when possi ble, and walking sedately when in a suspicious neigh borhood, Paul and his companions managed to gain the suburbs of Dunkirk in safety. It was still too close for comfort, so the fugitives walked steadily until the noon hour. By that time they were some two leagues from the city. At last Stubbs called a halt near a grove of small trees. Throwing themselves upon the ground, the tired travelers rested blissfully for many minutes. "Narrow escape," the master's mate finally grunted. "At one time I thought we were gone up. Fancy meeting that young rascal in a public square like that. Humph!" "I would like to meet him around here somewhere," Paul replied, vindictively. "I would give him the warmest half hour he ever experienced." Stubbs chuckled dryly. "I have a notion we'll see him again, lad," he said, meditatively, chewing a twig. "And when we do, there will be old scores galore to settle. He won't dare to show his face around the old man , and neither will Lieut. Simpson. But the world is small at best, and our time will come. By the way, how did you fare be low with the English prisoners? Did they receive you all right?" Paul explained his experiences, not forgetting the admission Broadhead had made regarding his first name. The master's mate looked his astonishment. "That's almighty queer, isn't it?" he asked. "It's

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Caught. what learned people call a coincidence. So your name is Paul after all, eh? Pity he wouldn't tell you the rest of it." "Luck seems against me," sighed the middy. "Some times I believe that I'll neyer discover the secret of my past life. I have been on the very threshold twice, but the chance of learning something was snatched away from me at the last moment." "Keep up your heart, lad. I'm a man of presenti ments, and I firmly believe--in fact, I know-that you are destined to come out all right in the end. It may be months, and it may be years, but, sooner or later, you'll find out everything. Now we'll be moving." At the end of another league, Stubbs visited an out lying farmhouse and pm:chased enough food to satisfy their hunger. The master's mate could speak French fairly well, but Paul was entirely ignorant of the lan guage. To avoid suspicion it was arranged that the middy should pretend to be deaf and dumb while in the company of strangers. It was rather a hard task at first, but in the course of a couple of days he played his part to perfection. The first city of any size encountered was St. Omer. In their disguise as peasants, they passed through the place in safety. "We are now about one-quarter of the way to our destination," remarked Stubbs, as the spires of the town disappeared in the distance. "So far we have done re markably well; but something tells me that will not be so fortunate from now on." His words were prophetic. The peril did not come to them until Amiens was reached. That renowned city marked the halfway

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An Eventful Meeting. post of their journey. They had thus far consumed five days-five days for half the trip; but stern fate willed it that the gates of Paris, the beautiful, would not greet their eyes for many a weary month. It was night when the fugitives passed through the suburbs of Amiens. The weather had grown chill, and a keen wind blowing from the north caused them to hasten to a place of shelter. Stubbs had spent his last franc the day before. "We are now penniless, lad, but we'll get along," quoth he, with a snap of his fingers. "We will seek the seclusion of some barn containing plenty of straw. We can burrow like rabbits and sleep the sleep of the just." A half hour later they found the object of their de sires. Cautiously prying open the door, they crept in -and ran plump into the waiting arms of two gen darmes, or city police I \ CHAPTER XXX. AN EVENTFUL MEETING. Too startled and dismayed to offer resistance, Paul and Stubbs were speedily made prisoners. The mas ter's mate demanded, in a loud the meaning of the outrage, but the police maintained a grim silence. The whole party soon left the barn and went to the city jail. There our disconsolate fugitives were taken before a sergeant, who promptly committed them to a cell until

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An Eventful Meeting. the following morning. The night was passed in vain conjectures as to the cause of the arrest. "We were not taken up as mere vagabonds," de cided Stubbs. "Footsore and weary travelers are not treated so scurvily in sunny France. There is something behind it, you can rest assured." "The mere fact that the gendarmes were in waiting in that particular barn proves that," replied Paul. "Perhaps the good man has been robbed and feared a second attack?" "That is very probable. I hope, for our own safety, that it is not so, lad. The penalty for housebreaking in this country is death. If, through perverse fate, we are adjudged guilty, our lives will end right here." The conversation had assumed such a melancholy tum that both remained silent for a while. At nine o'clock on the following morning the prisoners were escorted to court. Paul still played the role of a deaf and dumb youth, but Stubbs talked freely with all. The judge-a bewigged man, with a sour face-called the case without delay. There was an array of lawyers , the usual multitude of spectators, and a little old man who finally proved to be the complainant. He examined the prisoners closely and then held a brief conversation with the judge. At its completion the trial was brought to a sudden close. Paul and Stubbs were taken back to the jail at once. The master's mate seemed almost overcome with joy, and he chuckled hugely when the cell was reached. ''We have had the escape of our lives, lad," he said. "What is it? For goodness' sake! enlighten a fel low!" exclaimed the middy. "Ho I ho! ho! We have been sentenced to four

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An Eventful Meeting. months' imprisonment at hard labor. Just think of it. Isn't it glorious?" Paul glanced at his companion as if he feared the latter had become insane. "Isn't it glorious?" he echoed. "Well, I should say not. What is the matter with you? Four months of hard labor, and you call it glorious? Stubbs, your troubles have turned your head." "I guess you don't understand it, lad." "No, I do not ; nor I won't until I am told by you." "Well. I'll enlighten you, and I think that when you know all you will be as delighted as I am," replied the master's mate, grimly. "That dried-up little chap you saw in the courtroom lives in the house to which the barn is attached. He was warned yesterday that a couple of footpads would attempt to rob his house last night. He notified the authorities, and they had the place watched." "And that led to our capture?" "Exactly. The fact of our being caught did not pre vent the old man from continuing the watch all night, and along about three o'clock he was rewarded by espying two rascals in his yard. They were chased, but managed to make their escape. This raised a doubt as to our being connected with the proposed robbery, so we were let off with four months' imprisonment." "If those fellows had not appeared, we might have been considered the guilty ones." "And executed with neatness and dispatch. See how lucky we are? We'll do our time, and then pro ceed on our journey." "Would it do any good to tell the authorities that we are Americans?"

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186 An Eventful Meeting. "Not a bit. They simply wouldn ' t believe us, and it might make them think that we were English, which wouldn't help our cause, I can assure you. I thought of trying to send word to Commissioner Benjamin Franklin, but it would take a long time for him to do anything, and by that time we would have served our term . No; we have it before us, and we'll have to grin and bear it." And they did. For four long and weary months Paul and Stubbs toiled from daylight to dark in the Amiens prison, and then they were released . and escorted beyond the city limits by a squad of gen darmes. It is needless to say that neither stood upon the order of their going. They traveled hot-foot until the place of their discomfiture was dim in the It seemed as if all their troubles were left in Amiens, as nothing further occurred to mar their journey to the French capital. One bright morning the outer fortifications of Paris became visible in front of them. Hurrying their footsteps, they entered the wonderful city and set about finding the residence of Commis sioner Franklin. Three or four citizens were asked, but none seemed to know the address. At last, Stubbs--discouraged by his failure--boldly put the question to a handsome young man, who, by his costume and general appear ance, seemed to be of the nobility. "Do I know where the estimable American, Ben jamin Franklin, lives?" the gallant replied, with a quizzical smile. "I, faith , none in all Paris knows better . What would you with him? Persons of your stamp," here he eyed the twain with a gold-rimmed glass, "do not pay him calls of state as a rule."

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An Eventful Meeting. "We are Americans," replied Paul, abruptly. "We desire to see him on business of great importance. Would you kindly direct us?" "That I will, with great pleasure. Americans, eh? Now I can see that you do not resemble mine own countrymen. I admire your people, friends. The Marquis de Lafayette has great sympathy for the op pressed, whether by English king or other ruler." "Lafayette I" echoed Stubbs. Quickly removing his cap, he made a profound bow, and added, respectfully: "I salute you, sir. We_ Americans are not ungrateful. Your name is honored at home, and even we poor naval men revere you, from Capt. Paul Jones to the newest powder boy." "Capt. Jones! What, do you know of my dear friend ?" exclaimed the marquis, with increased in terest. "We have the honor to serve under him, sir. This lad is a midshipman on board the Ranger, and I am a master's mate in the United States service." "But what are you doing in Paris, and in these cos tumes ?" Stubbs gave the chevalier a brief description of the mutiny of the Drake ' s prize crew, and their adventures on the road from Dunkirk. Lafayette listened intently, and when the story was completed, hastily ordered a conveyance. When the lumbering carriage with its four horses arrived, the party entered and were . driven off at a rapid pace. All this time the marquis had remained silent with the exception of brief ejaculations of won der. Neither did he say a word until the suburban residence of the American Commissioner was reached.

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188 Two Old Shipmates. "Now, my friends," he remarked, smilingly, "I have an agreeable surprise in store for you. Your brave commander--" "Is here!" broke out the master's mate, eagerly. "'Tis true. He arrived from L'Orient yesterday." "And the Ranger, sir?" "She is still in port, but no longer under command of the dear captain. My government has supplied him with a much larger vessel, which Capt. Jones has named the Bon Homme Richard. If I mistake not, he sails within the week for -another cruise along the English coast. Ah I I see the genial Franklin at the win dow. Hasten I I am all eagerness to give him this grand surprise." Lafayette descended, followed by our fugitives. They were ushered into a spacious salon, and a moment later Benjamin Franklin appeared, accompanied by Capt. Paul Jones. On seeing Paul and Stubbs, the latter paused in profound amazement, and then ad vanced with an exclamation of joy. CHAPTER XXXI. T W 0 0 L D S H I P M A T E S. The greeting between Capt. Jones and his protege was extremely cordial. The gallant American officer lost his habitual dignity and fairly wrung Paul's hand. Stubbs also received a sh a re of his beloved command er's welcome. The Marquis de Lafayette and the aged commissioner stood by and marveled at the friend liness between senior and junior.

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Two Old Shipmates. Explanations were speedily in order. All took seats, and for half an hour the middy had the floor, describing in detail the mutiny aboard the Drake, their escape and the adventure in Amiens. At this point the cheva lier b e came convulsed with laughter, declaring it was the greatest joke of the season. "I was dull this morning, dear friends," he re marked; "but then I did not know the fun in store for me." Capt. Jones listened to the tale of Lieut. Simpson's perfidy and the traitorous conduct of Midshipman Dick Haslett with lowering brow. When Paul had finally concluded, the commander said, gravely: "I have long distrusted that man, but I did not think he would fall so low as to forget the nature of his commission. I care nothing for his actions as regards myself, but it is the fact of his forgetting his country. America has too few friends and supporters to be able to spare even one. I feel in my heart that Simpson and that misguided lad will meet their just deserts." "They will if we run across them," Paul whispered to Stubbs, with a significant wink . "I have tried to learn what had become of the Drake, but your government," here Capt. J nodded mean in g ly to the marquis, "has kept arrival in Dun kirk a profound secret. Well, in exchange they have placed me in command of the Dttras, or Bon Homme R i chard, to give her the new name. Paul, you and Master Stubbs have arrived just in time to embark once more. We sail from L ' Orient within ten days." "May I ask aft e r m y friends , Jabez Pre ble and Harry Adams?" quoth the middy, modestly. "Ha I ha I you have not forgotten your shipmates.

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Two Old Shipmates. They are both as lively as eels a hook. The mis chief is in both, but they are great-hearted lads, and a credit to the ship. They are aboard the new vessel." "Prithee tell me if I am mistaken in seeing a re semblance between thee and this lad?" suddenly asked Commissioner Franklin, addressing the commander. During the conversation, the aged statesman had been watching Paul and his benefactor with puzzled eyes. From his youth, Benjamin Franklin had been a close observer, and very little escaped his shrewd glances. While the rest were talking he had, as was his wont, closely examined the faces of the new comers. He had been attracted by Paul's frank, open countenance, and his manly air, and it required but little effort to make a discovery which astounded both the commander and our hero. "The lad resembles me?" slowly echoed Capt. Jones. " 'Tis strange. I fancied that I had found some traces of some former friend in his features. The mystery deepens." "Then there is a mystery connected with the lad?'' queried the chevalier, curiously. In reply, Capt. Jones explained the finding of Paul adrift upon the floating topmast, and his subsequent adoption on board the Ranger. He also stated that he had given him the name of Paul Jones at the sug gestion of the frigate's surgeon. "And, strange to relate, it seems that my real first name is Paul," spoke up the middy. He then explained his conversation with the British officer, Lieut. Broadhead, in the 'tween decks of the Drake. "He resembles me and his name is Paul," mused

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Two Old Shipmates. Capt _ Jones. "It approaches the marvelous of a verity. I would give a great deal to clear away this mystery. I feel strangely drawn to the lad, and have since mine eyes first beheld his face." "It will probably be thy good fortune to fall upon a solution of the secret some day," said Franklin, _ . kindly. "I myself would like to restore the youth to his parents' arms. And, if I mistake not, young Paul himself would hail the hour with joy. This total oblivion of the past is a wonderful manifestation of Providence in some mysterious movement. Be of good heart, friends; all will turn out rightly." The party remained in conversation for several hours. At Capt. Jones' suggestion, the commissioner sent forth servants with instructions to purchase proper clothing for the middy and Stubbs. While waiting for the garments, the commander explained his movements since the Drake had disappeared in the Channel. "We captured three prizes that day and then sailed into Brest,'' he said. "I found instructions awaiting me to send the Ranger home under a small crew, and to place myself in readiness to take command of a frigate loaned to America by the French Government. I am very glad you arrived in Paris to-day, as I in tend to proceed to L'Orient by morning, and it is my wish that you accompany me. The Alliance, a very fine frigate, is in port, having recently arrived from home. She is commanded by a French officer named Landais. By the time I am ready to sail I hope to have a fleet of at least five vessels." During the evening Paul and Stubbs took a long walk through the streets of Paris. They marveled greatly at the strange sights, and paused in reverence

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Two Old Shipmates. before the massive Cathedral of Notre Dame. The narrow ways illy lighted by scattered oil lamps, and the rows of old-fashioned houses, with here and there a much frequented cabaret, or wine shop, as found near the Seine, drove them toward the parks and open squares. While passing along a brilliantly lighted boulevard near the center of the city, they were attracted by the sounds of loud talking in front of them. A man and a youth were walking slowly along the path, engaged in an animated conversation. The elder of the two was costumed in an undress naval uniform, while the lad appeared to be clad in the garb of a midshipman. At sight of them, Paul instantly halted and grasped his companion's arm. "By all that's wonderful I" he ejaculated. "What is the matter?" hurriedly asked Stubbs. "The two officers in front of us---don't they seem familiar to you?" The master's mate leaned forward and shaded his eyes. He stood thus for a brief moment, then with an exclamation deep down in his throat, he started toward the objects of his scrutiny. Paul caught up with him before he had taken ten steps. "What are you going to do?" he asked, hastily. "Death and wounds! It is Lieut. Simpson and that cub Dick Haslett!" replied the master's mate, endeav oring to release himself from the middy's detaining hand. "Let me go, lad; we must capture them before they get away." "It will not help us to create a row in this public

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Two Old Shipmates. 193 place, Stubbs," urged Paul. "If we attack them, it will bring a crowd, and in the excitement they may escape. The best plan is to follow them to their hotel, or wherever they are living, and then notify Capt. Jones and Dr. Franklin." "I guess you are right, lad,'' finally agreed Stubbs. " We'll follow your idea, although my fingers itch to clutch their throats. Come on; watch carefully, and don't let them give us the slip." Both unloosened their swords-which they now wore-and quietly walked after the unsuspecting pair. The evening was young, and the boulevard was plenti fully occupied by the elite of the city. Gorgeous equipages passed back and forth, filled with gallant chevaliers and fair dames. Crowds of foot passengers thronged the walks or stood in idle converse in the numerous parks lining the way. At first Paul and his companion found little diffi culty in following their prey, but the boulevard became so crowded at last that the pursuit became exciting. At one of the main street corners, Simpson and Haslett disappeared. After much running about they were espied some distance away, and just in the act of turning down a narrow thoroughfare. The middy and the master's mate immediately gave chase. Suddenly Dick turned and glanced back. Then he cried out to the lieutenant, and the two started off at a run, with our hero and his redoubtable friend in close pursuit.

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CHAPTER XXXII. THE JOURNEY TO L'ORIENT. "Don't let them escape I Gird ttp your loins, lad, and capture the rogues,'' breathed Stubbs. "Get your sword ready, as they may turn on us. Ah I we are overhauling them. Look out !" By speed of foot, Paul and the master's mate had quickly caught up with the fugitives. The warning cry was ca11ed forth by a sudden action on the part of Simpson and Haslett. Seeing that flight would not avail, they stopped short in a shadowy spot and pre pared to give battle to their pursuers. The thoroughfare was a mere lane in width, and on both sides ranged houses of shabby exterior. Here and there a faint light gleaming through windows be grimed with dust, indicated that the occupants of the disreputable row had not yet retired. At a nearby corner a huge lantern creaked disma11y from an iron holder, but the oil had long since given out. The night was fairly dark, only the occasional rays of a quarter moon dispelling the shadows. As the /lieutenant and his companion halted, a shutter was cautiously thrown open just above them. A head was thrust out and the owner thereof watched the scene below with intentness. Drawing their swords, Paul and Stubbs boldly ad vanced. The former singled out Dick, and the mas ter's mate rushed headlong at Simpson. There was a clash of swords, and then the strife began.

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The Journey to L'Orient. 195 "Traitor, I have you now," gritted Paul, making a shrewd lunge at Haslett's breast. The thrust was parried, but with great difficulty. The bully's face was pale in the moon's rays, and great beads of perspiration rolled down his cheeks. It was plainly evident that he had little stomach for the fight. Stubbs and his antagonist remained silent. Sharp and shrill came the clang of their weapons. They were fairly matched; but one fought with a desire for re venge, and the other was spurred on from sheer des peration. By an unlooked-for move the master's mate succeeded in grazing the lieutenant's shoulder. The pain drew a muttered curse from Simpson, and he fought more furiously than ever. Making a daring rush, he forced Stubbs against a wall, and would probably have defeated him if a sud den and most curious interruption had not occurred. The head protruding from the upper window had dis appeared, but in its stead came an arm grasping a peculiar instrument. A second later a prodigious noise burst out above the combatants. It was the whir of a watchman's rattle, and the echoes from it resounded through the narrow street like the rat-tat of threescore drummers beating for dear life. At the same time an adjacent window opened, and several buckets of dirty water were emptied upon the heads of the fighters. The result was immediate and decisive. Spluttering with rage, all four hurried out of reach. The hubbub still continued, however, and added to it were half a dozen lusty voices calling for the gendarmes. Taking advantage of the disturbance, Simpson and

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196 The Journey to L'Orient. Haslett crept to the nearest corner, and then dashed from sight. "After them!" roared the master's mate. "Confound the gendarmes! If they catch us we can call upon Dr. Franklin for aid. Run, lad, or those scoundrels will escape !" Paul shook the water from his shoulders and has tened after his comrade. As they left the street a couple of city police, followed by a crowd of citizens, ap peared at the other end. Luckily, the newcomers were too excited to distinguish the fleeing figures, and the twain disappeared down the next thoroughfare. They turned the corner to make the unwelcome dis covery, however, that both Simpson and Haslett had vanished. The narrow street was entirely empty. A run to the next corner ended with the same result. Wild with rage and disappointment, Paul and Stubbs made a hurried search through the vicinity. They peered into doorways, probed the deeper shadows, and were at last compelled to acknowledge that the two rascals had made good their escape. A tumult sounding behind them, they discreetly withdrew and made the best of their way back to the commis sioner's house. It had been arranged that the middy and his com panion should sleep that night in one of Dr. Franklin's spare rooms. Capt. Jones also accepted his aged friend's hospitality, as he had resolved to make an early start for L'Orient. A light was seen in the smaller salon, so Paul and the master's mate lost no time in visiting the apart ment, where they found their commander and his host engaged in a game of chess. The Marquis de Lafay-

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The Journey to L'Orient. 197 ette had long since retired to his own residence in another part of the city. Their appearance, with clothing disordered and stained, elicited an immediate query from the com mander. Paul explained their meeting with the rec reant lieutenant and midshipman, in detail, not for getting their own discomfiture. " 'Sdeath I is it possible that they are bold enough to enter Paris, knowing that I am here?" exclaimed Capt. Jones, starting to his feet. "I will notify the chief of the gendarmes and have the city searched for the traitors." He started for the door, but a word from the com missioner caused him to return. "It will not pay thee to do this, Friend Paul,'' said the statesman, mildly. "Thou knowest that thy former officers are supposed to be in the employ of France now. If it be so, thee will only meet with rebuff." The commander saw the truth of Franklin's remark at once. He sighed impotently and shook his head. " 'Tis true. I must let the rascals go until by good fortune I meet them myself. What uniforms did they wear, lad?" "I cannot say positively, sir,'' replied Paul; "but they seemed to me to be clad in American uniforms." " 'Tis impossible. They would not dare. What say you, Master Stubbs?" "Paul is right, if I am not mistaken, sir. The elder rogue surely wore a coat like mine, and, moreover, car ried a regulation cap a-top his head." '"Well, 'tis passing strange, the whole affair. Alas I they have escaped us for the time being. If I ever

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198 The Journey to L'Orient have the good fortune to run across them at sea, their punishment will be swift and certain." Paul and Stubbs soon retired, leaving the commis sioner and their commander in deep conversation. The following morning found them early abroad. Three stout horses had been provided by Dr. Franklin, and after a hearty breakfast the little party set out on their trip to L'Orient. The aged statesman stood in his doorway and bid them Godspeed with benevolent emphasis. He waved his hand to Paul and called forth : "Keep up thy heart, my son. Thou art sorely afflicted, but surely the time will come when thy parents will find their lost child. Let me hear from you when it comes to pass, as I confess to a pardonable curi osity on the subject." The morning of the fourth day found the travelers in sight of the bustling port of L'Orient. Twoscore vessels flying the French colors occupied the main portion of the harbor, but over at one side five men of-war were huddled together, riding easily at anchor. Indicating them with his whip, Capt. Jones an nounced the presence of his fleet. "Yon frigate with the painted ports is my new flag ship, the Bon Homme Richard, and the sturdy vessel next to her is the Alliance, fresh from the hands of our skillful shipbuilders at home. The others are the PaUas, the Cerf and the Vengeance. The latter three have been placed under my command through the generosity of France. The Alliance is the largest and fastest frigate in the fleet, but her commander, Pierre Landais, is not to my liking. Ah I here comes the gen tleman now."

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CHAPTER XXXIII. PAUL MAKES A DISCOVERY. Paul and Stubbs glanced in the direction indicated by their commander's finger. A thin, sallow-visaged man clad in a captain's uniform was approaching from the other side of the quay. He gave a start on seeing the little party, then advanced with hesitating steps. Capt. Jones' confession that he did not like the man was sufficient to arouse the middy's curiosity. He well knew that any one incurring the dislike of the gener ous-hearted patriot must be degraded indeed. "Good-morrow, sir," coldly exclaimed the newcomer. "We did not expect you so soon." "A busy man need must change his schedule at times, Capt. Landais," was the calm reply. "True; but I thought the pleasures of gay Paris would detain you until the hour of departure, sir," said Landais, with a sneer. "It might in your case," retorted Capt. Jones, biting his lips; "but I have much to do, fitting out my fleet. We sail to-morrow." The commander of the Alliance gave a start of sur prise. "So soon? Why--" "To-morrow at full tide, sir," interrupted Jones, sternly. "The fleet will be in readiness at that hour. Good-day, sir." Turning his horse, he rode up the quay at a dig nified trot. Paul and Stubbs followed closely. When

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200 Paul Makes a Discovery. they had taken a dozen paces, the former glanced back. Capt. Landais was standing as they had left him, but the lad imagined he could see a vindictive fist shaken after them. As the commander did not offer to explain the cause of his dislike for Landais the subject was dropped. Capt. Jones did not recover his calmness of manner until the Bon Homme Richard was reached. The lit tle party found a cutter waiting at the landing, and were speedily placed alongside the frigate. Paul kept an eye out for Jabez Preble and Harry Adams, and finally caught sight of the former at one of the gun ports. The slim middy glanced into the boat with wide-open eyes, and then disappeared, leaving behind him a shrill cry of delight. Before the commander and his companions had reached the deck, Jabez and Harry Adams appeared at the gangway. After respectfully saluting their su perior officer, they seized Paul and Stubbs, and tri umphantly carried them forward, where they imme diately held a levee in the cockpit. "John Potter, you owe me ten shillings!" exclaimed Harry Adams, cutting a caper on the mess table. "You bet they wouldn't turn up again, and I said we woul.d see them within six months at the latest. Pay up, or I'll go to the purser." Potter's face looked very unpleasant, but he re luctantly handed over the silver. It was evident his wager was more the reflection of his desire than the result of common sense. "The fellow is a fool to make such a bet," spoke up Jabez Preble, shaking Paul's hand for the tenth time. "He should have known that both of you bear charmed

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Paul Makes a Discovery. 201 lives. Why, old Davy Jones wouldn't have Joyful Home as a gift." "Still up to your little tricks, eh?" quoth the mas ter's mate, grimly. "I suppose I'll have to bring out my rope's end and commence operations before the day is over. You'll find that your uncle's right arm hath not lost its cunning." To appease the curiosity of his audience Paul was compelled to relate their adventures in detail. He painted the treacherous conduct of Lieut. Simpson and Dick Haslett in glowing colors, and his hearers gave free rein to their wrath. If the mutineers had been present at that moment, their fate would have been sudden. By the time Paul's story was concluded dinner was placed on the table. Stubbs took his accustomed seat at the head, and it was plainly evident that he felt over joyed at his home-coming. He actually smiled. Reaching for the molasses jug, he poured out a double por tion for Jabez, and remarked, gravely : "Remember that shrapnel you threw overboard, my boy? Yes. Well, I promised you something for it, didn't I? But if you don't eat every drop of that mo lasses I'll break your head." The feast was a merry one, and long before it was finished Paul and Stubbs felt themselves thoroughly at home on board the new frigate. After dinner they were shown over the ship by Jabez and Harry. The Bon Homme Richard was adapted for a bat tery of eighteen-pounders, but Capt. Jones had been unable to scrape together more than six of that caliber. The rest of the armament consisted of thirty-four

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202 Paul Makes a Discovery. twelve-pounders. There were three hundred and twenty-nine officers and men on the muster roll. The crew had been hastily gathered from American prisoners rescued from English prisons, from French peasants, and from vagabond English sailors, who were ready to enlist under any flag for the money. There were not more than fifty Americans among the crew, and the majority of these were formerly on board the Ranger. It was with this ship-which really had been con verted from a merchant vessel-that the intrepid Jones proposed to sally forth to do battle against England's powerful fleet. True, the Bon Homme Richard had four consorts, but, as the reader will soon learn, little aid could be expected from them. The Alliance was a stanch American built frigate of great s peed, but she was commanded by a bitter enemy of Capt. Jones; while the other three were under the French flag, and officered by men extremely jealous of the gallant patriot's fame. The state of affairs aboard the Alli ance was such that the frigate was no help, but rather a hindrance to that enterprise. The crew were in a state bordering on open mutiny, while the majority of the officers were almost as bad. The Vengeance was also a merchant vessel, very poorly equipped for battle. The Cerf, however, was a fine cutter, and the only vessel in the squadron which was well fitted and manned. All this was learned by Paul and his faithful friend before they had been on board twenty-four hours. Stubbs-who had expected to find a gallant fleetwas heart-broken at the prospect. "The old man will have a hard time of it with this

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Paul Makes a Discovery. 203 outfit," he said to Paul, as they were inspecting the frigate. "To tell the truth, I'd rather take chances with the little Ranger. What do you think Capt. Jones means to do ?" "I know,'' spoke up Harry Adams, importantly. "He intends to capture the city of Liverpool, or did until news came that the Marquis de Lafayette and his land forces have been withdrawn by order of the French king." "Has the expedition been withdrawn?" eagerly asked Stubbs. "Yes. I learned it from the first lieutenant. That is the reason the old man is going to sail so soon. We get under way at daybreak." Both Paul and the master's mate were sorry to hear the news, as they had formed a great liking for the gallant young Frenchman. The following morning found the fleet in readiness, and the five vessels set sail from the harbor of L'Orient amid the thunderous salutes of the French war ships. The squadron was first employed in convoying a fleet of merchant vessels up the coast to Brest. After seeing their charges in sight of the harbor, the war ships hauled their tacks aboard, and stood away for the English coast. On the second night after leaving Brest an accident occurred which nearly put an end to the cruise. Paul had the forecastle watch until eight. After being re lieved, he joined Stubbs, who was pacing up and down on the other side of the deck. Before the friends had time to exchange greetings a man standing close by suddenly called out, in fright ened tones:

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A Famous Battle. "Look out! Port your helm I port your helm I My heavens I she is aboard of us!" At the first word Paul and Stubbs jumped back, and they wheeled around just in time to see the huge hulk of the Alliance crash into the Bon Homme Richard's bow. The shock knocked Paul from his feet, but he speedily scrambled erect. Just then the mizzen mast fell with a deafening re port, and immediately following came a rending sound, as the long bowsprit of the Richard was torn away. Unable to do aught for the moment, Paul glanced toward the Alliance. As he did so a light flared up neat the waist, revealing to his startled eyes the familiar features of the two mutineers, Simpson and Dick Haslett I CHAPTER XXXIV. A FAMOUS BATTLE. Within a few minutes after making the discovery recorded in the last chapter, Paul espied Stubbs standing near the broken stump of the bowsprit. He in stantly told the master's mate of Simpson's and Haslett's presence on board the Alliance. ''What! those confounded traitors in the fleet?" shouted Stubbs. "Glory to goodness! we've got them now. Just wait until we clear away this wreckage and we'll have a bushel of fun." Shortly after the collision occurred the two vessels separated and an instant search was made for damages. The loss of the bowsprit was easily made good, as the

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A Famous Battle. 2.05 Richard carried a spare one. Before morning a signal was given from the Alliance that she was able to pro ceed. Paul and Stubbs worked all night, and it was day light before they had an opportunity to talk over the news. They finally agreed that Capt. Jones should be made acquainted with the discovery at once, and the middy started aft to find him. It was destined that the commander was not to re ceive the important information until later, however, as a lookout aloft sighted a couple of vessels just as Paul reached the quarter-deck. By order of the captain the Cerf and Vengeance were immediately dispatched after the strangers. An hour later all four were out of sight beyond the horizon, leaving the Alliance and the flagship in com pany. For some unexplained reason the former ves sel refused to obey the signals of the Richard, but kept on her course regardless of Capt. Jones' orders. Finally Paul approached the commander with the intention of reporting the presence of Simpson and Haslett on . board the Alliance, but he was again inter rupted by a shout from the lookout : "Convoy dead ahead with two frigates!" The Richard's decks were speedily cleared for ac tion, and all sail spread. A signal was hoisted ordering Capt. Landais to fol low, and the chase began. It proved to be a long one, and it was nearly dark before the American vessels caught up with the enemy. Before that time the Pallas, one of the other vessels of the little . fleet, ap peared in sight and joined the flagship. When within three miles of the Englishmen, they

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A Famous Battle. were recognized as being the Countess of Scarborough and the Serapis. Both were sturdy, well-built frig ates, with powerful armaments. Steering straight for the latter, Capt. Jones ordered the Alliance to give bat t le to the Countess, and for the Pallas to look after the merchant fleet. To the surprise of all on board the flagship, the Alliance stood sullenly aloof from the conflict; but the Pallas, commanded by a gallant French officer, plunged into the fray, and ultimately compelled the white cross of St. George to bow to the Stars and Stripes. The Countess of Scarborough was an easy prisoner, but not so the S erapis. The Serapis had the advantage in that famous con flict. She carried forty-one guns, and of these twenty were eighteen-pounders. There were three hundred and twenty-five British seamen in the crew, and the whole weight of the metal the frigate could throw at one discharge was six hundred pounds. The Richard had forty guns. Six of these were eighteen-pounders, and the whole weight of metal she could throw at one discharge was but four hundred and seventy-1ive pounds. The S erapis was one of the finest of British vessels, agile and very obedient to her helm. The Richard was an old and clumsy merchantman, very unwielcUy and poorly fitted for warfare. Take these facts into con sideration and read carefully of that memorable bat tle fought in the moonlight of an October evening within sight of the English shore. The breeze was so light that the vessels approached each other slowly. When within hailing distance, and

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A Famous Battle. abreast, bow to bow, the Serapis hailed the Richard with the question : "What ship is that?" The answer came back: "What is it you say?" Again the shout from the Serapis: "What ship is that? Answer immediately, or I shall fire into you." Simultaneously both vessels opened their broadsides. Fired at such short range, the carnage was terrific on both frigates. The iron hail tore through the timbers, scattering death-dealing splinters in all directions and strewing the decks with the mangled bodies of the dead and dying. At the first discharge two of the Richard's eighteen pounders burst, killing almost every man who served them, and so blowing up the deck and creating such havoc as to render the remaining four useless. Thus Capt. Jones' battery of six eighteen-pounders was ren dered entirely useless, while his adversary had twenty eighteen-pounders to hurl destruction upon the Richard. Broadside followed broadside in such swift succes sion that there was a continuous thunder of artillery. Ashore on the heights of Flamborough, not three miles away, the very ground was black with spectators who had hurried to witness the strange, yet awful sight. Presently, however, both ships were enveloped in such a cloud of smoke as to be quite invisible. Very slowly this cloud moved along, the maneuvers of the warring ships being entirely concealed from those on the shore. Each was constantly endeavoring to cross the other's track so that a broadside could be fired to rake the decks.

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208 A Famous Battle. Suddenly several of the Richard's braces were shot away; she would not readily answer to the helm, and the bowsprit of the Serapis was thrust across the quar t e r-de c k of the Richard, near the mizzen mast. At that moment Paul chanced to be standing near the commander, having hurried aft for orders. The middy saw his superior officer raise his speaking trumpet, then came the stirring words : "Grapple the enemy! Quick! throw the grappling irons." Espying one of the peculiar hook-like grapplers in the scuppers Paul darted toward it. Exerting all of his strength, he cast the heavy iron over the bulwarks and had the satisfaction of seeing it take a secure hold in the main rigging of the Serapis. Just as he was in the act of fastening the chain to a bitt on the Richard's deck, an officer sprang into the enemy's shrouds and endeavored to free the grappler. Paul gave the newcomer one glance, then he cried out in amazement : "Lieut. Broadhead by all that's wonderful!" The Englishman turned quickly, his face expanded with a smile of joyful surprise, then he coolly resumed the task of clearing the iron. Snatching up a mus ket, Paul aimed rapidly and fired. The bullet barely grazed the lieutenant's body, but it severed a ratline and caused him to lose his grasp. He swayed outward, and then fell from sight behind the Serapis' high bulwarks. During the progress of this little tragedy the crews of both vessels had been fighting furiously. The stern of the British frigate had swung around to the bows of the Richard. Thus the ships were brought square

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A Cowardly Attack. alongside of each other. Their yards were all en tangled and the muzzles of their guns often touched. In the meantime the gunners were pouring into each other broadside after broadside, creating terrible de struction. CHAPTER XXXV. A COWARDLY ATTACK. Several eighteen-pound shots had pierced the Conti nental vessel at the water's edge, and the water was rushing in torrents through the openings. A party of twenty men had been placed on the quarter-deck of the Richard, to pick off the gunners of the enemy with their muskets. But they were assailed by such a murderous storm of grapeshot that, torn and bleeding, and leaving many dead upon the decks, they retreated below. Men were stationed high in the rigging of both ships and they acted as sharpshooters, picking off the officers. After the incident of the grappling iron, Paul ran back to his station on the forecastle. He saw Stubbs, stripped to the waist and hatless, directing the firing of his battery, which bore upon the Serapis' after cabin. The middy realized that it was not the time to explain matters concerning the reappearance of Broadhead, so he held his tongue and set to work at one of the twelve pounders. The two vessels, sometimes touching each other and again separated by but a few feet, moved slowly along, side by side, dealing such terrific blows as to cause each

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A Cowardly Attack. to stagger. They often crossed each other's tracks, now passing the bow and again the stern. It was a sublime struggle, fought bravely on both sides. A half hour had elapsed in this Titanic battle, but the victory was not yet. Of the two, the Richard had received the most damage, but there was no sign of surrendering on board the sorely battered craft. The Pallas was still engaged with the Countess of Scarborough. During their combat they had edged some distance away and were now almost out of sight. The Alliance hovered near the flagship, but her com mander, Pierre Landais, had not shown any intention of going to the Richard's assistance. On board the latter vessel the state of affairs was truly deplorable. Capt. Jones' battery of twelve pounders, upon which he had placed his main reliance, was soon silenced. It therefore speedily became evident that the superiority of the enemy in weight of metal would inevitably give him the victory, if that mode of warfare was continued; especially as the Bon Homme Richard was old and easily torn to pieces by the Serapis' round shot. In view of this fact tlie brave commander resolved to change his mode of warfare at once, and to board his antagonist with the entire crew ! During a lull in the cannonading the word was passed fore and aft to prepare for boarding. When it reached the forecastle, Paul, Stubbs, and Jabez Preble were hard at work attempting to retain a couple of the twelve-pounders. A powder monkey brought the order. The lad-he was not over thirteen--scrambled over scattered heaps

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A Cowardly Attack. 211 of dead and wounded, and, gaining the master's mate's side, shouted, in a piping voice : "All hands board the-the enemy. When yer men is ready, report to th' old man." With that the diminutive messenger turned and dis appeared in the dense smoke resting like a pall over the frigate. Stubbs quickly issued his commands and the forecastle was soon crowded with determined men eager to carry the war to the enemy's stronghold. "It's a last chance, my boy," the master's mate bawled in Paul's ear. "If we don't succeed we're good as lost. Fight as you never fought before. Keep your mind on your flag, and remember the glorious country you are battling for." The middy nodded assent and grasped his sword with fierce determination. For one supposed to be unaccustomed to the excitement of war he was cool enough. That was to be changed, however. When, a few moments later, the order came to board, he lost all sense of calmness in the mad rush for the Sera pis, and shrieked aloud in the very delirium of battle. The two vessels being lashed together, it was easy enough to gain the bulwarks of the enemy. But then came the tug of war. A full two hundred men left the Richard's deck headed by no less a personage than the intrepid commander. Shouting, cutting right and left, discharging their pistols haphazard they went, only to be met with a more than equal number of Britishers. The fight was short, the advantage was on the side of the resisting force, and in much less time than it takes to describe it the Americans were driven back with dreadful loss. As they retreated a hail came from Capt. Pearson,

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A Cowardly Attack. the gallant commander of the Serapis. He stood upon his quarter-deck within a dozen feet of Capt. Jones, who was upon his own vessel. In the darkness the flags could not be seen. Thinking the American frigate had surrendered, Pearson asked, exultantly: "Richard ahoy! Have you struck your flag?" With six feet of water in the hold ; with his battery useless; with his men discouraged and faltering, Capt. Paul Jones replied, in a firm voice : "No. I have not yet begun to fight!" A loud cheer came from the remaining members of the Richard's crew, and they resumed the fray with unabated power. With his own hands the captain worked, serving a six-pounder. He had been wounded by a splinter early in the fight, the blood was staining his uniform, but he contrived to set an example to his men which they were quick to follow. The fearful cannonading the Bon Homme Richard had received had forced her side open in many places, and the water poured into the hold in streams. The ship was apparently sinking. At that awful mo ment one of the officers rushed below and with humane intention ordered the surgeons to bring on deck all the injured. There were twenty under the knife at the time, and the whole medical staff were soon engaged carrying the poor wretches into the open air. Instead of helping matters this served to embarrass the com batants all the more. The Richard was on fire in several places. The rud der was cut off the stern frame, and the transoms shot away. The timbers on the side, from the mainmast aft, were destroyed so that the cannon balls of the Serapis passed directly through, meeting with no obstruction

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A Cowardly Attack. 213 save the piled up bodies of the dead. A few blackened posts alone prevented the upper deck from falling. To add to the horror of the scene, the flames soon began eating their way toward the magazines, which contained many kegs of powder. In the midst of this awful confusion Paul, from his post on the forecastle, heard a frantic voice calling for quarter. At the sound both he and Stubbs leaped to the main deck and ran aft. "It can ' t be the old man," groaned the master's mate. "He would never surrender the ship as long as there's a plank afloat." They reached the quarter-deck just in time to hear Capt. Jones hail the Serapis in a clear voice, denying the call. It proved to be the carpenter of the Richard, who, in his excitement and horror, had adopted that means to save his own life. As the forecastle battery was completely ruined, the middy and his inseparable companion remained aft. Having no other weapons to fight with, they began to throw hand grenades through the open ports of the ship. One tossed by Paul chanced to fall upon a mass of powder spilled upon the deck of the Serapis. It instantly exploded and tore to pieces an entire gun's crew. The flames licked up the dry timbers of the deck and spread to where a pile of cartridges had been placed. These went off with a crash that shook the stout ship from stem to stern. A moment later the middy felt a hand upon his shoulder. Turning, he saw the blackened, smoke begrimed face of Capt. Jones near his. "Well done, lad," exclaimed the gallant officer. "A few more attempts like that and the day is ours." He had hardly spoken when the thunderous report

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Paul Jones, Junior. of a broadside battery came from the side opposite to that occupied by the Serapis. As one man the Bon Homme Richard's crew turned to see whence had come the unexpected attack. To the horror of all they saw the familiar outlines of their sister ship, the Alliance, standing toward them, firing as she came I CHAPTER xxxvr. PAUL JONES, JUNIOR. A cry of consternation came from the Richard's crew. A hundred voices shouted hoarsely for the Alliance to cease firing. By Capt. Jones' orders, three lanterns were placed in position as a signal that it was the Richard into which the frigate was pourtng her broadsides, but without avail. Sailing past with taut sheets, the Alliance raked her sister ship fore and aft, killing and wounding a score. Even the British seamen on board the Serapis were shocked at Capt. Landais' perfidious conduct, and an excited marine in the maintop fired his musket after the Continental ship. All on board the Richard knew that it could not be a mistake, there being the most essential difference be tween the combating vessels. Besides, it was moon light, and the sides of the Richard were black, while the Serapis was painted a bright yellow. After working as much damage as she could, the 'Alliance passed on into the darkness. Several of her shots had struck Capt. Jones' ship under water, and three of his officers begged him to surrender. In spite

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Paul Jones, Junior. of these facts, the intrepid patriot firmly refused, and directed the combat to be resumed. The fire from the Richard's tops had cut down every man on the quarter-deck of the Serapis. The heavy guns had also damaged the foe's mainmast so severely that it tottered and fell with a terrible crash, tearing down with it spars and rigging, and leaving the ship almost a perfect wreck. Flames were sweeping fore and aft, threatening with destruction those still alive of the English crew. Seeing this, Captain Pearson hastene _ d aft, and with his own hands hauled down the British flag. The victory was won, but at what a fearful cost! Paul was the first to discover that the enemy had struck her col ors. Seeking out Capt. Jones, he told him the welcome news with a voice faltering with emotion. Then what a cheer rang out from the worn-out crew of the Bon Homme Richard. Shout after shout, huzza upon huzza rent the air, and even some of the injured -ay, those wounded unto death, feebly waved their hands in patriotic joy. Word was sent below to cease firing. When the heated guns were at last silenced, one of the most obsti nate of naval conflicts came to an end, and one more victory was added to America's glorious list. Little time was lost in taking possession of the prize. The carpenters had made a hurried examination of the Bon Homme Richard. She was found to be in a sinking condition, with the possibility of not floating three hours longer. After ordering the wounded removed to the Serapis, Capt. Jones crossed over to the latter ship, followed by Paul and Stubbs. The scene of carnage on the Englishman's deck was

PAGE 217

216 Paul Jones, Junior. frightful. Fully one hundred men had perished, and double that number were under the surgeon's care. Capt. Pearson met the victorious commander at the gang way. He was weeping, not with regret of the loss of his ship, but because so many of his crew had met their death. Drawing him aside, Capt. Jones conversed with him regarding the surrender, receiving his sword in token. The mid . dy and the master's mate stood near by waiting for orders. Suddenly a man whose blood-stained hands and uniform proclaimed him a surgeon's assistant, hur riedly approached the group. Saluting respectfully, he said to Capt. Pearson : "Lieut. Broadhead is below dying, sir. He wishes to see an American midshipman named Paul Jones, if he can be found." There was a moment of silence, then, with a low cry of excitement, Paul sprang forward. "I am Paul Jones," he cried, grasping the man's arm. "Where is the lieutenant? Quick ! Lead me to him. He knows the mystery of my past life. Oh, sir, where can I find him? It may be too late." Without stopping to explain matters to the captain of the Serapis, Capt. Jones hurried forward with Paul and Stubbs. Descending a ladder, they found the 'tween decks crowded with the wounded. Threading their way between rows of ghastly figures, they came to a spread-out hammock, upon which rested an officer with crimson-dyed uniform. One glance told Paul that it was indeed Lieut. Broadhead. Silently kneeling by the officer's side he turned to him with an appealing look. The sufferer was almost unconscious. Finally reviving, he held out

PAGE 218

Paul Jones, Junior. 217 one hand to the middy, and with a feeble smile, said, brokenly: "You escaped, lad? It is well. I am not so lucky, and in this gallant fight I have met my end. I have ' n o t led an altogether blameless life, and before the last hour comes I am minded to do some one a favor. Why n ot y ou? You wish to know the secret of your past life?" "Ye s , yes," murmured the middy. Broadhead glanced from one to another of those surrounding him until his eyes fell upon Capt. Jones' grave face. Beckoning him to approach more closely, he continued, slowly: "What I am about to say interests you, sir. You have won a brave fight this day, but there is more joy in store for you. A good many months ago the Amer ican ship Calypso left the harbor of Boston, bound for Havre, France. I was a passenger on board, having come from Halifax for that purpose. Among others on the clipper were two, father and son. The former's name was William Jones and--" He was interrupted by an exclamation of amazement from Capt. Jones. With features convulsed with emo tion , the commander cried : "William! My brother, my brother I I have not heard from him for more than twenty years. And this lad is--" "His son, Paul Jones, named after you," replied Broadhead, faintly. Without a word, the gallant patriot folded the middy to his arms. Those standing near averted their heads. There were tears in the eyes of all when the dying lieutenant resumed his story.

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218 Paul Jones, Junior. "When almost within sight of the French coast, a terrible gale sprang up. The masts were carried away, and the ship foundered, but not before many escaped in the boats. Among the saved were myself and Wil liam Jones. During the storm your brother had man aged to lash his son to the top of the mizzen mast, meaning to secure the same refuge for himself. "In the excitement they were separated, and the lad ultimately found himself on board the Yankee frigate, Ranger. The boat containing William Jones and my self, finally reached the English coast. I passed the ordeal all right, but your brother , weak from exposure, and heart broken at the supposed loss of his son, took to his bed, where he now lies in the city of London, a confirmed invalid. "In the course of time I was ordered to the Drake, and during the combat between her and the Ranger, was made a prisoner. Managing to make my escape from the prison in Dunkirk, I reported on board the and-here I am dy--dy--" With a convulsive gasp the speaker fell back, over taken by grim death just as he made the last restitu tion in his power for the evils of his life. With sad dened faces, Paul and the rest left him, and returned to the upper deck. Stubbs, who had been closely watch ing his friend, noticed that he moved as if dazed. "Something is going to happen soon, or my name is not Joyful Home , " muttered the faithful fellow. "This wonderful story is working on the lad's mind andDeath and wounds I There he goes !" With a bound, the master's mate reached Paul's side just as the latter fell to the deck in a swoon. He was carried aft to the cabin and placed under the care of

PAGE 220

Paul Jones, Junior. Dr. Pryle, the surgeon of the Richard. After working over him for a half hour, the leech reported that he was in the first throes of brain fever. "It promises to be a long siege,'' added the worthy surgeon ; "but if he recovers-and may God grant itthe lad will be restored to his full senses ; I will stake my reputation on that. 'Tis wonderful, the workings of the human brain." AU that day the middy wrestled with the delirium of a high fever. Many important things happened, but he knew not of them. The Bon Homme Richard, tom and sorely buffeted, plunged to her last grave beneath the waves before night. With the Serapis, patched up and feeble, Capt. Jones sternly purmed the recreant Alliance. After a long chase, she was overhauled near the English shore. On boarding her, it was found that Pierre Landais, Lieut. Simpson and Midshipman Haslett had managed to make their escape in a small boat. It may be stated right here that a well-deserved fate overtook them. On landing they were captured by a number of English yeomen, who, in their rage at the result of the naval battle, wreaked summary vengeance upon their prisoners. All three were shot down, and their bodies cast into the sea. The Alliance and the prize sailed for Brest at once. Paul was still suffering from the fever when they reached port. After. attending to his most pressing business, Capt. Jones chartered a small vessel, and with Stubbs to assist him, managed to convey the middy to London. A brief search resulted in the finding of William Jones, still an invalid. The meeting between father, son and brothers had

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Paul Jones, Junior. the longed-for result. The first glance at his parent's face brought back to Paul his lost memory. Stubbshonest-hearted man that he was-wept copious tears at the scene. With mind fully cleared, our hero explained to his faithful friend how he and his father, after the death of wife and mother, had sailed forth in search of their sole remaining relative, the famous Paul Jones. The story of the wrecked ship Calypso, and the subse quent results, are known to the reader. The meeting between father and son speedily led to the recovery of both, and within a week the entire party made their way to France. Leaving his first lieutenant to attend to affairs, Capt. Jones took his newly found brother and nephew to Paris. Of course, Stubbs accompanied them as companion and friend. The delight of Dr. Franklin on hearing the happy story can be imagined. The gallant commander found himself doubly famous. The description of the naval engagement be came the talk of Paris-ay, and of the entire world. It was a marvel to all to see an English ship-of-war, hitherto generally supposed to be invincible, surrender to a frigate of the feeble Colonies of America, which had, as yet, scarcely a national name, and whose flag was unknown. It was not the only wonderful victory gained by our untried seamen in the face of fearful odds, as history can well prove. There still remains a short word regarding the after life of our characters. Some we will part from with out regret ; but there are others we would fain keep with us yet a while longer. Potter, Dick Haslett's crony, deserted after the death of his chum, and it is supposed he returned to America.

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Paul Jones, Junior. 221 Harry Adams and the genial J ezzy Preble remained in the navy and won for themselves fair fame. Capt. John Paul Jones secured the command of another frigate before many months had ela psed. Both Paul junior and his father accompanied him, the latter serving in the caJlacity of purser. As for Stubbsfaithful soul-he attained the rank of lieutenant, but his higher honors did not separate him from his youth ful friend. When the war of the Revolution came to an end it found all our friends in the service, and so we will leave them, as it is not of their private life that we treat, but of that fateful period when they were Fighting for Freedom I THE END.

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THE CREAM OF JUVENILE FICTION THE BOYS' OWN T LIBRARY.$ A Selection of the Best Books for Boys by the Most Popular Authors XHE titles in this splendid juvenile series have been selected with care, and as a result all the stories ean be relied upon for their excellence. They are bright and sparkling; not over-burdened with lengthy descriptions, but brimful of adventure from the first page to the last-in fact they are just the kind of yarns that appeal strongly to the healthy J>gy who is fond of thrilling exploits and deeds of heroism. Among the authors whose names are included in the Boys' Own Library are Horatio Alger, ]r., Edward S. Ellis, James Otis, Capt. Ralph Bonebill, Burt L. Standish, Gilbert Patten and Frank H. Convl:rse. SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY JI. JI. All the books in this series are copyrighted, printed on good paper, large type, illustrated, printed wrappers, handsome cloth covera stamped in inks and gold-fifteen special cover designs. J50 Titles-Price, per Volume, 75 cents For sale by all booksellers, or sent, postpaid, on receipt of price by the publisher, DAVID McKAY, 6JO so. 'WASHINGTON SQUARE, PHILADELPHIA, PA. (i)

PAGE 224

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f . &-fqf)3 ( 1: , y _/ _. .

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