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expect of seamen, that they would refuse a glass of grog when offered to them.'
"Now, Short and the others had a parley together, and they had agreed how to act; they knew that the captain could not bear flogging, and was a very kind-hearted man. So Bill Short steps out, and says, touching his forelock to the captain, 'If you please, sir, if all must be flogged, if nobody will peach, I think it better to tell the truth at once. It was I who took the liquor.'
Very well, then,' said the captain; strip, sir.' So Bill Short pulls off his shirt, and is "Boatswain's mate,' said the cap
tain, give him a dozen.'
"Beg your honour's pardon,' said Jack Holmes, stepping out of the row of men brought out for punishment; but I can't bear to see an innocent man punished, and since one must be flogged, it must be the right one. It
warn't Bill Short that took the liquor: it was I.'
"Why how's this?' said the captain; 'didn't you own that you took the liquor, Mr. Short?" Why, yes, I did say so, 'cause I didn't wish to see every body flogged-but the truth's the truth, and I had no hand in it.'
"Cast him loose-Holmes, you'll strip, sir.' Holmes stripped and was tied up, • Give him a dozen,' said the captain; when out steps M'Alpine, and swore it was him, and not Holmes; and axed leave to be flogged in his stead. At which the captain bit his lips to prevent laughing, and then they knew all was right. So another came forward, and says it was him, and not M'Alpine; and another contradicts him again, and so on. At last the captain says, One would think flogging was a very pleasant affair, you are all so eager to be tied up; but, however, I sha'n't flog, to please you.
I shall find out who the real culprit is, and then
punish him severely. In the mean time, you
keep them all on the report, Mr. P——,' speakP.
ing to the first lieutenant. Depend upon it, I'll not let you off, although I do not choose to flog innocent men.' So they piped down, and the first lieutenant, who knew that the captain never meant to take any more notice of it, never made no inquiries, and the thing blew over. One day, a month or two after, I told the officers how it was managed, and they laughed heartily.”
We continued our carouse till a late hour, old Tom constantly amusing us with his long yarns; and that night, for the first time, I went to bed intoxicated. Old Tom and his son assisted me into my bed-place, old Tom observing, "Poor Jacob, it will do him good; his heart was heavy, and now he'll forget it all, for a little time, at all events."
"Well but, father, I don't like to see Jacob
drunk," replied young Tom.
"It's not like
him-it's not worthy of him; as for you or me, it's nothing at all; but I feel Jacob was never meant to be a toper. I never saw a lad so altered in a short time, and I expect bad will come of it, when he leaves us."
I awoke, as might be supposed, after my first debauch, with a violent headache, but I had also a fever, brought on by my previous anxiety of mind. I rose, dressed, and went on deck, where the snow was nearly a foot deep. It now froze hard, and the river was covered with small pieces of floating ice. I rubbed my burning forehead with the snow, and felt relief. For some time I assisted Tom to heave it overboard, but the fever pressed upon me, and in less than half an hour I could no longer stand the exertion. I sat down on the water cask, and pressed my hands to my throbbing temples.
"You are not well, Jacob ?" inquired Tom,
coming up to me with the shovel in his hand, and glowing with health and exercise.
"I am not, indeed, Tom," replied I; "feel
how hot I am."
Tom went to his father, who was in the cabin, padding, with extra flannel, his stumps, to defend them from the cold, which always made him suffer much, and then led me into the cabin. It was with difficulty I could walk; my knees trembled, and my eyesight was defective. Old Tom took my hand as I sank on the locker.
"Do you think that it was taking too much last night ?" inquired Tom of his father.
"There's more here than a gallon of liquor would have brought about," replied old Tom. “No, no-I see it all. Go to bed again, Jacob.”
They put me into bed, and I was soon in a
state of stupor, in which I remained until the lighter had arrived at the Brentford Wharf, and for many days afterwards.