The Missing Ship - The Log of the "Ouzel" Galley
by W. H. G. Kingston
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"Indeed, sir," he said, "we are apt to boast of our virgin city and its quays, a mile long as you will perceive, at which sixty sail of vessels can unload at a time; of our dry dock, lately built by our townsman Mr Congreve; of our conduits, which supply both our houses and the shipping with water; of the privileges enjoyed by our citizens; and of our militia, mustering five hundred men, and capable of giving a good account of any enemy who may dare to invade our shores. You will, I hope, meet some of the officers at dinner to-day."

"By my soul, it is a city you may well be proud of," answered the lieutenant; "and it is to be hoped that no enemy for their own sakes will ever venture within gunshot of your redoubtable militia."

The second lieutenant was introduced as a young Jersey man, Mr Latrobe. He spoke with more French accent than his chief, who accounted for his so doing by remarking that he had not come to sea till he was nearly grown up, and had during peace time served on board a French merchant vessel. "We Jersey men," he added, "though our sympathies are thoroughly English, yet retain, as you know, the language and customs of our Breton ancestors."

"Come, gentlemen, I must conduct you to my humble residence," said Mr Ferris, and, leading his guests up Hanover Street, so called by the loyal inhabitants in compliment to the reigning royal family, they entered King Street, towards the west end of which was situated Mr Ferris's house, overlooking the river. On reaching the house, as there was time to spare, Mr Ferris took them round his grounds, of which they were loud in their compliments. So pleased did they declare themselves that they begged to go round them a second time, when the lieutenant might have been seen narrowly observing the localities. As they paced round the outer circuit on their walk, they met Ellen and Norah, to whom of course Mr Ferris introduced his guests. The officers bowed, and Captain Dupin, addressing Ellen, expressed his admiration of her beautiful garden and the taste with which it was laid out.

"Surely I need not inquire whether you were the chief designer of these lovely terraces and sparkling fountains, and that picturesque rockwork," said the captain, bowing as he spoke.

"No, I can claim no merit for the beauties you admire," answered Ellen; "my father purchased the property from the former owner. I should have liked it better had it been left more to nature."

"Ah, if you could see Jersey! How you would delight in my own native island!" exclaimed Captain Dupin; "it contains just the scenery you would appreciate."

"I can assure you that in Ireland we have most romantic and beautiful scenery," answered Ellen; "and in the county of Kerry are the lovely Lakes of Killarney, such as I believe all strangers consider the most romantic in the world."

"Ah, I know nothing of Ireland, though I may hope some day to be better acquainted with it," said the captain.

The other two stood aloof, as if they did not consider themselves of sufficient consequence to address the young ladies to whom their commander was speaking. Ellen, offering to show Captain Dupin the aviary, led the way along the terrace. Norah followed by herself, leaving the two lieutenants in conversation with Mr Ferris. The elder of the two after a little time stepped forward, and Norah, looking round, found him walking by her side.

"Is this spot as attractive as some of the scenes you have visited in the West Indies, Miss Tracy?" he asked, speaking low.

Norah started as she heard the voice; but looking at the speaker, whose countenance she failed to recognise, she asked, "How do you know that I have been in the West Indies, Mr Macarthy?"

"I heard from a seaman who came on board the Orestes that you had accompanied your father on board the Ouzel Galley," he answered quietly. "Irishmen are wonderfully communicative, you know. It is an unusual thing for young ladies to take such a voyage in time of war."

"I sailed before war had broken out, or I am very sure my father would not have taken me," she replied, banishing the idea which had flashed across her mind. "He probably heard from the seaman that a young lady was staying with Miss Ferris, and thus guessed who I was," she thought to herself.

After again going round the grounds, the party returned to the house, where the other guests had begun to assemble. Captain Dupin and his officers were duly introduced and cordially welcomed to Waterford. Among others, Lieutenant Vinoy was brought up by the host.

"Though you gentlemen would look upon each other as enemies were you to meet on the ocean, here, I trust, you will be friends," said Mr Ferris. The officers bowed politely.

"I ave moche plaisir to meet Monsieur le Capitaine Dupin in dis hospitable maison," said the French lieutenant; "if ve evare encounter vis one anodare on de sea, den ve fight like des braves hommes—n'est-ce pas, Monsieur le Capitaine?"

"I could not desire a greater honour," answered the Jersey man. "Nor, by my faith, could I," exclaimed the first lieutenant of the Orestes.

"Ah, I moche fear I remain prisonare here to do end of de war," sighed Monsieur Vinoy; "but, ma foi, I am too happy in dis charmante ville vid dese aimable young ladies to vish to leave. It was de fortune de la guerre vich brought me here, and I vill not complain."

"You might certainly have been much worse off," observed Captain Dupin. "I have no doubt you fought your ship, like a brave man, till all hope of victory was gone."

"Ve vill not talk of dat," answered the lieutenant, turning away, probably not quite relishing the remark, recollecting how he had been caught napping.

Three of the officers of the city militia were next introduced to the naval guests. Judged by their uniform, they were remarkably fine fellows, for their coats were blue, with scarlet linings and gilt buttons, their waistcoats and breeches being also of scarlet, and their hats richly adorned with gold lace. They had evidently, as was natural, a decidedly good opinion of themselves, and were somewhat inclined to look down upon the more simply dressed tars. The first lieutenant of the Orestes eyed them askance from under his shaggy eyebrows, apparently regarding them, for some reason or other, with no friendly feeling. After exchanging salutations, he at once turned aside and addressed himself to some of the civilians.

"We are expecting a king's ship every day to visit our harbour—the Champion, 18-gun sloop of war, Commander Olding," observed one of the gentlemen. "Contrary winds may have detained her, or perhaps she has fallen in with a Frenchman; and I will venture to say, if such is the case, that she has taken him, for the navy does not possess a more gallant and resolute officer than my friend."

Captain Dupin involuntarily shrugged his shoulders and bowed. "I have no doubt of the gallantry of the officers of the Royal Navy," he observed. An opportunity occurring, he stepped back and spoke a few words to his two lieutenants. The younger of the two looked somewhat agitated; though the elder, whatever thoughts were passing in his mind, retained a perfect composure. He managed to hand in Norah to dinner, and to obtain a seat by her side. He spoke in a low voice, which once or twice, it seemed to her, was unnatural; but he accounted for it as his commander had done to Mr Ferris, by saying that he had received a wound in his mouth. He described many strange places and scenes he had visited, and appeared, notwithstanding the time he had been absent from his native country, to be well acquainted with various parts of Ireland. Altogether, he succeeded in making Norah think him an agreeable person, although ill-favoured and rather rough in his manner. Captain Dupin was equally successful in gaining the good opinion of Ellen, near whom he sat; while he contrived at the same time to ingratiate himself, by his lively conversation and the compliments he paid to Ireland, with most of the guests—and all agreed that he was superior to most of the privateer officers they had met.

The feast need not be described; the viands were in abundance, and claret, followed by whisky punch, flowed freely. A watchful observer would have discovered that neither of the officers drank more than they could help, though they were compelled to take no small quantity, simply in accepting the pledges they received in turn from the rest of the guests. The usual Orange toasts were drunk—especially the chief one, "The glorious and immortal memory!" the whole party standing, although they did not, as was occasionally done, shiver their glasses on the ground—the principal inhabitants of Waterford being great admirers of William of Orange. Soon after this the ladies retired. The officers, to the surprise of the other guests, rose to take their leave, and some were inclined to insist on their stopping.

"It is altogether contra bonos mores, gentlemen, to leave us at this hour with only half a cargo on board," exclaimed Mr Peter Vashan, one of the sheriffs of the city; "we shall suspect you of being no true men. Sit down and help us to finish another dozen of claret."

Similar expressions were uttered by others. Captain Dupin was firm, even though he saw angry and contemptuous glances cast on them by some of those whose rule of good fellowship he was about to infringe.

"To tell you the truth, gentlemen," he said, "I cannot be longer absent with my chief officers from the ship. You know that privateersmen are not the most orderly of characters; I am uncertain how my fellows may behave during my absence, though I can answer for their good conduct when I am among them. Before I left the ship I gave directions to have a slight entertainment provided, and I invite our generous host, with all who favour me with their company, to bring their wives and families with them. The evening is fine, and the moon will be up to light you on your return; and, as an inducement to some who have an eye to business, I may add that we have on board part of the cargo of the last prize we took, rich silks and brocades, and other manufactures of France, and as I am in no hurry to go into port, I shall be glad to dispose of them on moderate terms; while I am anxious to purchase provisions and stores, which I am sure your town will supply of the best quality."

The captain, as he spoke, looked round on the party, and was perfectly satisfied that his invitation would be accepted, and that he would be able to obtain whatever he required for his ship. No further effort was made to detain him; even Mr Ferris promised to come, with his daughter and her friend, and most of the other gentlemen expressed their readiness to take the ladies of their families on board. Captain Dupin and his two lieutenants hurried down to their boats, which were in waiting at the quay, the crews having, according to orders, not even landed or held any communication with the people on shore, notwithstanding the pressing invitations they had received from the tavern-keepers on the quay.

"Begorra, I never knew a Jersey man who couldn't spake dacent English," exclaimed one of the men, who had been trying to induce the sailors to land. "Their captain may be what he says he is; but, shure, it's strange for sailors to come into harbour and not to look out for a dhrop of the crathur."

Similar remarks were made by others, though they ceased when the captain and his officers appeared and hailed the boats, which came to the shore and took them in. They immediately pulled down the river as fast as the crews could lay their backs to the oars. This proceeding began to excite the suspicions of the people on the quays, but they were once more lulled when it was known that they had gone on board to prepare for the reception of visitors from the shore.

When Norah heard of the invitation, she declined accepting it on the plea that her father required her attendance, which indeed was the truth, as he was more unwell than he had been for some days. Having also lately been at sea, to her there was no novelty in a visit to a ship; besides which, she had not entirely recovered from the agitation she had suffered the previous evening. Ellen would have remained to keep her company, pleased though she was at the thought of visiting a man-of-war; but her father wished to have her with him, as several ladies, wives and daughters of the sheriffs and aldermen, were going. The party, consisting of nearly thirty ladies and gentlemen, soon assembled at the quay. Their respective boats having been got in readiness, with civic and private flags flying, the little flotilla proceeded at a rapid rate down the river, the tide being in their favour.

Mr Ferris had invited Lieutenant Vinoy, who had won the good opinion of his captors by his quiet behaviour and amiable manners, to accompany the party. He would probably like to see a British ship of war, and of course there was no fear of his being detained on board. The lieutenant at first hesitated, but finally accepted the invitation, and accordingly formed one of the party.

The boats made good way, and though the pull was a long one, they soon came in sight of the privateer, which lay in mid-channel.

"Why, that craft has a spring on her cable," observed Captain O'Brien, who had accompanied Mr Ferris; "her topsails are loose, as if she was ready to put to sea at a moment's notice."

"So probably she would, should she catch sight of a Frenchman in the offing," observed Mr Ferris; "the enemy's merchant vessels do not hesitate to stand along this coast, as we have so seldom a man-of-war on the look-out for them. Captain Dupin is of course aware of that, and was consequently in a hurry to get us to pay him a visit."

The ex-merchant captain said nothing, but still kept examining the Orestes with a critical eye. "She may be a Jersey privateer, but she has a French cut about her from her truck downwards," he muttered to himself.

The leading boats went alongside, and the officers were seen standing ready to assist the ladies on deck. The other boats followed, and the whole party were soon on board. Hurried arrangements had been made for their reception; the after-part of the main-deck was roofed in with flags, and supper-tables had been rigged on either side, already spread with white cloths, on which several servants were placing dishes of all sorts, while a band of musicians began to play lively airs.

"I must not boast of our music," said the captain, bowing to the ladies; "but finding that some of my men could play on various instruments, I formed them into a band, and perhaps the young ladies may be inclined to walk a minuet or to try a country-dance."

No young ladies of the party were likely to decline such an offer. The captain himself led out Ellen, and two or three of his officers, with Lieutenant Vinoy and some of the young gentlemen from the shore, followed his example. The minuet being voted slow, a country-dance quickly succeeded it. The young ladies who had the officers of the ship for their partners were struck by their extraordinary taciturnity; for, with the exception of the young lieutenant who had visited the shore, not one of them spoke a word. Captain Dupin remarked that they were rough fellows, little accustomed to the society of ladies, and were too bashful to speak—though Miss Kathleen O'Rourke, one of the belles of the party, observed that they seemed anything but bashful from their looks.

"Ah, they are all more accustomed to French; indeed, scarcely one of my crew knows a word of English," said the captain.

While the younger members of the party were dancing away on deck, the captain, requesting another gentleman to take his place, invited the merchants who had honoured him by a visit to come below into his cabin, where they found an elegant supper spread, with an abundance of sparkling wines. He begged them to be seated, remarking that the dancers would be entertained on deck, and would prefer the fresh air to the somewhat confined atmosphere of the cabin.

"We older hands are seasoned, and the quiet we can here enjoy is more to our taste," he said. The party at once set to; the wine flowed freely, and all declared they had never tasted finer claret or Burgundy. The captain apologised for having only French wines on board, but remarked that he liked to have them of the best. After some time, one of the gentlemen reminded him that they had come on business, and begged to see samples of the goods he had to dispose of. Others expressed the same wish.

"As you desire it, gentlemen, I will have them brought," replied Captain Dupin; and he spoke in French to one of the people in attendance, who in a short time returned, accompanied by two other persons bringing in numerous parcels and cases, pieces of cloth, satin and silk. The captain called for a book, and read out the quantities of each, requesting his guests in the mean time to examine them.

"They are sold in good faith, and I believe you will not be disappointed," he observed. "Now, gentlemen," he continued, "I am in want of a considerable amount of fresh provisions and stores for my ship, and with which I feel sure you will be ready to supply me. I have, however, to remark that I require them immediately, and I shall feel obliged to you if you will send on shore and order them to be brought off without delay. From among so many honourable merchants I have no doubt that I can be speedily provided with the whole amount."

"Will you furnish us with a list of your wants?" asked Mr Ferris, "and I and my friends will gladly send them on board as soon as we return on shore."

"I do not mistrust your good intentions," answered Captain Dupin, "but as time is precious to me, and I should be sorry to lose you, I must request you to despatch orders to your managers and clerks to send off the stores while you remain on board."

"I thought so!" exclaimed the old sea-captain, bringing his fist down on the table. "What fools we were to be so caught! May I ask you, Captain Dupin, how long you have carried the British ensign at your peak?"

"Since I came in sight of Waterford harbour," answered Captain Dupin. "To confess the truth, I have practised a slight ruse on you; but be assured that I would not cause you or your friends, who are now so happily amusing themselves on deck, the slightest annoyance beyond the detention of a few hours—indeed, only until the stores you send for arrive."

"Is this vessel, then, not a Jersey privateer, as we were led to suppose?" asked Mr Ferris, with some little trepidation in his voice.

"No, sir; I must own that she is the Coquille, belonging to Dunkirk, and that I am Captain Thurot, of whom you may possibly have heard," answered the captain.

"Thurot! the most daring smuggler that ever crossed the Channel," whispered Captain O'Brien, in a low voice, to his neighbour; "we are caught like rats in a trap. He is as cunning as he is daring, and will keep us in durance till he gets what he wants."



The astonishment and dismay of the worthy burghers of Waterford, who had thus been so unsuspectingly entrapped on board the French privateer, can better be imagined than described. "I am surprised, Captain Thurot, that since you are disposed to act so courteously towards us, you did not when on shore mention your wish, to have the stores sent on board, when I should have had no hesitation in procuring them for you," said Mr Ferris.

"My good sir, I would have done so, but I thought it more than probable that the stores would be stepped on their passage, and therefore, to make sure of getting them, I adopted my present plan," replied Captain Thurot; "besides which, I have enjoyed the opportunity of returning your hospitality, though in a very inadequate manner, I must confess. I have likewise recovered one of my officers, who, as he came on board with your consent, will not break his parole by remaining. I have also to request that you will send the men captured by the Ouzel Galley in exchange for your people, who will be detained on board till their arrival."

"But, sir," exclaimed Captain O'Brien, who was by this time fuming with rage, "how are we to return to Waterford without hands to man our boats?"

"Most of the young gentlemen on deck can pull, as I have no doubt can some of you, my friends," answered Captain Thurot; "and you may land at Passage, from whence you can send over to Waterford for conveyances for the ladies, as we should be sorry to detain them against their will— though we hope that they will continue on board and keep up the dance for some hours to come; it would be a pity to interfere with their amusement by telling them of the little ruse which we have been under the necessity of playing."

Mr Ferris and the other gentlemen consulted as to what was to be done. One thing was very certain, that they could not help themselves; and they finally agreed to send off privately for the stores and provisions which had been demanded without letting those on deck know of what had occurred. Writing materials were produced; each merchant was politely requested to send for what he could supply.

"Be under no apprehension of any loss," said Captain Thurot; "I promise to pay liberally for all the stores I may receive. Though a privateer, I am not a robber; indeed, being your countryman, and loving Ireland as the home of my ancestors, I should be sorry to treat any of you with want of courtesy."

"A countryman of ours!" exclaimed Mr Ferris, looking up.

"Yes, sir," answered the captain. "I took the name of Thurot from my mother; my grandfather's name was O'Farrel—and proud I am of a name which has never been disgraced. But I must not interrupt you, gentlemen. Go on with your writing; I will by-and-by, if you wish it, entertain you with my history. I have nothing to be ashamed of."

The merchants resumed their pens, and having consulted together, their orders were soon made out and despatched by one of the boats which had brought them on board. In the mean time the party on deck were footing it away right merrily, entirely ignorant of what had been taking place below; the officers of militia, notwithstanding their gay uniforms, finding themselves eclipsed by the superior terpsichorean attainments of the Frenchmen. Lieutenant Vinoy seemed in high spirit, and efficiently performed the office of master of the ceremonies, apparently feeling himself quite at home. Some of the merchants, having finished their despatches, were about to go on deck.

"Stay, gentlemen," exclaimed the captain; "we will discuss a few more bottles of claret first. We will not interrupt the amusements of the young people by letting them know the character of my ship, for, depend on it, they will be treated with all due courtesy, and will not, I trust, regret having come on board."

The claret, which had been pronounced first-rate, was a temptation not to be resisted, and the guests, who had risen, making a virtue of necessity, resumed their seats, prepared to do justice to as many bottles as might be placed before them.

"Now, gentlemen," said Captain Thurot, "you shall, if it is your desire, hear my history; it will serve to occupy some of the time till the return of the boat."

"By all means, captain; we shall be glad to have an account of the life of one whom none of us are likely to forget in a hurry," said Mr Ferris. Others also expressed the same wish.

The captain laughed. "It is pleasant to feel that there is no risk of being forgotten by one's friends," he observed; "and you will be still less likely to do so when I have narrated a few of the incidents of my life. I may remark that some of my acts may not be looked upon by you in the same light as that in which I regard them. I must be judged by a different code to yours. I have never owed allegiance to your sovereign, and therefore you must not blame me for breaking his revenue laws in the way which I shall have to tell you I have done. However, to my history. My grandfather, Captain O'Farrel, was an officer in the army of King James the Second, and fought at the battle of the Boyne, so fatal to the royal cause. When the king was compelled to leave the country and retire to France, Captain O'Farrel was among the loyal gentlemen who followed his fortunes and accompanied him to Saint Germain. Here my grandfather, having been appointed one of the gentlemen of the king's household, met with Mademoiselle Thurot, a beautiful and accomplished young lady of ancient lineage, whose uncle, with whom she lived, was at that time a member of the parliament of Paris. A penniless adventurer, as Captain O'Farrel was regarded, was looked upon with distrust by the young lady's relatives, who endeavoured to keep him at a distance. Love scorns difficulties, especially when burning in the breast of an Irishman, and that Irishman a handsome, dashing officer who has seen service. The captain carried off the young lady, and she became his wife. So angry were her uncle and her other wealthy relations in Paris that they discarded her, refusing to contribute a sou to her support. My grandfather had alone the stipend he received from his royal master, and when King James died he was left to his own resources—they were small indeed. He tried by various means to make an income, but the natives had in every way the advantage of him; and at last, with his young wife, and the remnant of his property contained in a valise, he retired to Boulogne, in the hope that some of his wife's relatives who resided in that town would have larger bowels of compassion than those he had left in the city. The once gay and high-spirited officer found himself mistaken: they could not give any encouragement to one who had set so bad an example to the younger members of their families; should they support Madame O'Farrel, their own daughters might be throwing themselves away on some of the Irish adventurers, with whom the country swarmed, and expect to be provided with houses and establishments.

"My poor grandfather, almost broken-hearted, was on the point of starvation, when he received a small pension allowed by the Queen of France to all those who had faithfully served their exiled sovereign. Hard service, wounds, and disappointment soon terminated his life; and three months after he had been laid in his grave my father was born— fatherless before he saw the light—and soon became motherless, for Madame O'Farrel survived her husband scarcely a year. The destitute condition of the orphan at length moved the compassion of some of his relatives of the Thurot family, who adopted him and brought him up under their own name. He was intended for the law, and studied for some years; but he had Irish blood coursing through his veins, and, under the expectation of obtaining a fortune with a wife, he fell in love and married. He was, however, disappointed in his hopes; but the lady soon dying, gave him an opportunity of again trying the lottery of matrimony. His second wife was Mademoiselle Picard, the daughter of a wine-merchant, or, as some people might have called him, a vintner; but if, as I hope was the case, he sold good wines, why should I be ashamed of him? My father's second wife was my mother; but at the moment of my birth my father was deprived of her by death, and I lost the advantage of being nursed by a tender parent. My father was heartbroken, and when he looked at me, a poor frail infant, he believed that I should not survive. He had two duties to perform—to have my mother buried, and to carry me to the baptismal font. While the tears were streaming from his eyes, as he held me in his arms, a dignified and handsomely dressed lady approached, and, having inquired and heard the cause of his grief, offered herself as sponsor to the motherless child. She was Madame Tallard, a lady of high rank and fortune—it being the custom of the country for ladies of distinction to offer themselves at that period of the year as sponsors for the children of the poorer classes. Madame Tallard did more; she sent my father a present for me, and desired that should I survive till her return I might be presented to her. She was as good as her word, and not only contributed to the expenses of my education, but I received much kindness from her and her family. When I was about fifteen, a stranger called on my father, and hearing whose son he was, announced that his name was O'Farrel, and claimed relationship. He stated that he was the commander of an Irish trader, and so worked upon my father and me by the account of the success of his voyages, that he stirred up in my heart a strong desire to join him in his enterprises. As our cousin promised to introduce me to various members of the O'Farrel family, who were, he said, flourishing in Connaught, and would be certain to welcome me cordially, my father, seeing also that there was but little chance of my pushing my fortune in France, consented to my going; but as I at that time could not speak a word of English, I should have had considerable difficulty in making myself understood by my relatives or in understanding them.

"My Irish cousin having fitted me out, I set sail with him for Limerick; but I found him wonderfully addicted to the whisky bottle, and being also of a harsh and tyrannical disposition, I soon quarrelled with him. Instead of proceeding direct to Limerick, we put in to the Isle of Man, where, not wishing to remain longer with my cousin, I took the liberty of deserting the vessel, and, running away inland, I hid myself in the barn of a farmhouse till I thought she would have sailed. On coming out of my place of concealment, the first person I met was the owner of the property. He addressed me in English, of which language I could not, as I have said, then understand a word. On my telling him in French that the vessel to which I belonged had sailed away without me, he spoke to me in my native tongue, and asked if I was hungry—for I suppose I looked so. I replied that I was, and should be thankful for a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. He laughed and said that wine was not the liquor of the country, but that, if I would accompany him, he would give me some bread and cheese and beer. I did not refuse his offer—and, ma foi, very excellent I found his viands. I asked him if he had anything for me to do, as I should be glad to serve him in return for his hospitality. He laughed again, telling me that I was a sharp boy, and that, if I wished it, he would take me into his employment. He did so, when I found that he was the owner of several luggers which ran between France and the English and Irish coasts to land contraband goods. After I had remained on shore for some time, he asked me if I would like to take a trip to sea. I was perfectly ready to do as he proposed, and the next day I went on board one of his vessels. We were never idle; sometimes bringing cargoes from France to the Isle of Man, and at others running the goods across from France to Ireland. I thus gained a fair knowledge of the trade. My employer was pleased with me, and after I had served him for some time he sent me over to Carlingford, where I remained for a year managing his business, which was to dispose of the goods landed from the luggers. It was here that, by constantly associating with the people of the country, and seldom meeting Frenchmen, I learned to speak English with considerable fluency. On my return to the Isle of Man I resolved to put into execution an idea I had long entertained, of discovering my paternal relations. On telling my employer, he advised me, should I fail in my object, to come back to him without delay. Finding a vessel bound for Dublin, I took my passage on board her. Great was my disappointment on my arrival to discover that, although there was no end of O'Farrels, none of them would own me or acknowledge themselves related to the ci-devant captain of King James's army. Still, I was not to be beaten, and with a dozen shillings in my pocket I set off for Galway, where I heard that some of my family resided. I was not disowned—for the reason that I could find no one to disown me—and with my last shilling gone, I returned, footsore and weary, to Dublin.

"Well, gentlemen, I was now in an unfortunate plight, when I had the good luck to meet with the French valet of a certain noble lord whose name I will not mention. He was pleased to fall in with a person who could speak the language of la belle France, and on hearing that I was of gentle birth, he offered to obtain for me the situation of my lord's page. It suited my fancy, and, according to my notion, there was nothing in it derogatory; so I accepted his offer, and for two years enjoyed a pleasant and easy life—especially as her ladyship's waiting-woman was a very amiable and agreeable person. An unfortunate circumstance brought my connection with the family to a close, and I was compelled to take service with a noble earl whose residence was on the sea-coast of Antrim. I accompanied the earl on his shooting excursions, more as a companion than as a servant; but he was frequently absent from home, and I should have found the place very triste had I not fallen in with some of my old smuggling acquaintances. With them I occasionally made trips, to keep up my knowledge of the sea, and by their means I was able to supply my friends with pieces of Indian stuff, a few yards of muslin, or tea, or any other articles in request. As many other persons wished to possess these things, and were willing to pay for them, I commenced a regular commerce, which quickly filled my pockets with gold pieces. Leaving the earl's service, in which I could not conscientiously remain, I again took regularly to the sea, and having so many friends along the coast, I was able without difficulty to dispose of my cargoes. A lady of some consideration in the county was one of my chief purchasers. Some one giving information to the officers of excise that her house was full of smuggled goods, it was searched, and they were discovered, when I was accused of having brought them over. The officers accordingly laid their plans to entrap me. I had come across from the Isle of Man with three other boats in company; they were seized, but I managed to make my escape, and sailed over to the coast of Scotland. Here we landed our cargo, which we hid in a cave— but how to sell it now that we had got it safely on shore was the question. I proposed that three of us should assume the character of pedlars, and dispose of it piecemeal throughout the country. My plan was adopted; a pleasant time I had of it, travelling from place to place and visiting the lord's castle and the farmer's cottage. So successful were we that my share amounted to a hundred and fifty pounds. With this sum in my pocket I travelled across to Edinburgh, where, dressing myself as a gentleman, I took lodgings, intending after seeing the city and enjoying myself for a brief space to return to France. I happened, however, to meet a Frenchman long settled in Edinburgh, and the owner of several vessels which ran between Leith and London. Happening to require a master for one of these vessels, he asked if I would take charge of her. To this I agreed, and carried her safely into the Thames; but, unhappily, a fire breaking out in a large warehouse near which she was moored, she with several other vessels was burnt, and I with some difficulty escaped on shore with the property I possessed. Assuming my Irish name, I took lodgings in Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, for the sake of being near a Mr Donnell, an Irish gentleman famous for his knowledge of mathematics, from whom I received instruction in navigation. Through his recommendation I obtained the command of a vessel, in which I made frequent trips backwards and forwards between the English and French coasts, greatly increasing my nautical knowledge and adding largely to my circle of friends. I conceived a warm admiration for the English, for though they have their faults, they are a brave and generous people, and my wish on all occasions has been to acknowledge their bravery and generosity. It was while I was in London that I used to visit a club held every Monday evening in the Seven Dials, and frequented almost exclusively by foreigners, mostly Frenchmen. One evening, after they had imbibed more than their usual quantity of wine, some of them began to abuse the English and Irish, speaking of them in the most contemptuous manner. I listened without uttering a word for some time, till my patience gradually evaporated, when, jumping up, I seized the two persons seated close to me by their noses, and, holding them fast, dragged them to the door, and then kicking them out, bolted it behind them. Returning to my seat, I said quietly, 'Come, gentlemen, fill your glasses and let us change the subject.' Not one of the rest uttered a word, or ventured again to speak ill of the nation among whom we were living.

"I shortly after this obtained the command of a vessel which ran between Dunkirk and London, occasionally putting part of our cargo on shore in any convenient spot where our agents were ready to receive it without troubling the revenue. For some years I carried on a free trade between various French ports and the English coast, my chief place of residence being London, where I had to go to settle my accounts; and then, wishing once more to see my father, I went to Boulogne, where he still lived. I was now, in consequence of my successful voyages, looked upon as the king of the smugglers. I was proud of the title—but pride is often, as you know, doomed to have a fall. I may venture to say that during that period I did not import and export less than twenty thousand pounds' worth of goods every year. It happened, however, that the French Government did not quite approve of my proceedings, and the president of the province, who happened to be the son of my old friend, Madame Tallard, received orders to put a stop to our commerce. Monsieur Tallard had been my friend and playmate in our youth, but duty compelled him to be vigilant, and I and several of my associates were arrested. Some of them were hanged, but through his interference my life was spared, though I was thrown into prison, where I languished for many a long day. At length, however, the French Government requiring the services of persons well acquainted with the English coast, I was sent for to Paris, where I was desired to give such information as I possessed. I now expected to obtain my liberty, but, instead of that, those official gentlemen considered it prudent to keep me shut up till they wanted me. My friend Monsieur Tallard again interfered, and I was suddenly transferred from prison to the command of a fine sloop of war. It was a pleasant change, I can assure you, gentlemen; but the intention of invading England having been abandoned by the Government, I found that my ship was not likely to be employed. I accordingly obtained leave to resign my commission, and to take the command of the Coquille privateer, the ship on board which I have had the pleasure of receiving you as my guests."

Whatever might have been the opinion held by the Irish merchants as to the career of their host, they did not think fit to express them.

"I congratulate you, Captain Thurot, on having at length attained a position suited to your courage and talents," said Mr Ferris; "and as you have thought fit to play a trick on us, we have to thank you for the courteous way in which you have carried it out. I hope your wants will be supplied, and that we shall stand exonerated with our Government for having furnished an enemy with stores."

"I will give you a certificate to the effect that you are under compulsion," said the captain; "and if you in any way suffer, I will do my best to make good the loss."

"That would be a difficult matter," observed Captain O'Brien, "though I hope that our known loyalty will prevent our being subject to any unjust suspicions. Now, gentlemen," he continued, turning to friends, "we should be wishing our entertainer farewell, or we shall lose the flood."

The party rose. "I am sorry that, if you do go, you will yourselves have to pull the boats up the river, unless some of you gentlemen and Mr Ferris like to remain as hostages instead of your men," said Captain Thurot. "Pray understand that I do not doubt the word of any one of you, but were I to allow all to return, the authorities on shore might not consider themselves bound by your promises, and might withhold the stores I require, as well as the men, I am somewhat anxious also about my first lieutenant, who remained on shore about some business of his own. I will not, however, make you answerable for him, unless he is taken prisoner, and then I shall expect you to return him safe on board; and I must have a promise from you that you will do so. Perhaps, in order to induce those same authorities, who are collectively at times somewhat stubborn, to act more promptly, it might be convenient if Mr Ferris and his daughter and you, Captain O'Brien, would consent to remain on board my ship until my people are sent back. Monsieur Vinoy came on board with your full sanction, so that I consider myself at liberty to detain him. In the case of Mr Ferris and Captain O'Brien complying with my wish, you can take your men to row the boats up the river. The plan will, I should think, greatly facilitate matters."

"Not a bad plan," exclaimed two or three of the other gentlemen who were to obtain their liberty. "Ferris, you will not object to remain? nor you, O'Brien? Without our men we shall be hours getting up to Waterford."

Mr Ferris was always ready to sacrifice himself for the public good, though he would have preferred returning home.

"I must hear what my daughter says on the subject," he answered; "I will not detain her against her wish. At the same time, having perfect confidence in the honour of Captain Thurot, I am ready to remain on board, in order, my friends, to save you and your families from inconvenience or anxiety."

"In that case, so am I," exclaimed Captain O'Brien. "I had my suspicions from the first that all was not right, and I deserve some punishment for allowing myself and you to be entrapped."

"Very kind!"

"Very generous!"

"Very public-spirited!" cried the other gentlemen, who were eager to get out of the scrape as soon as possible. It became necessary at last to let the party on deck know the true state of the case, and to desire them to prepare for their departure. Some would not even now believe that they had been deceived; others were very indignant. The militia officers pulled their moustaches, swearing that they would return with their men and capture the pirate, although they could not help acknowledging that they had been politely treated by the Frenchmen. Ellen was perfectly ready to remain with her father; she had a thorough confidence in sailors of every nation, and as it now wanted but two or three hours only to daylight, she could have the enjoyment of a row up the river in the morning instead of during the night. She sent a message to Norah begging that she would not be anxious on her account.

Nothing could exceed the politeness of Captain Thurot and his officers as they handed their visitors into the boats, now manned by their proper crews, who swore that the Jersey men were broths of boys, and it was just a pity that they couldn't speak a little better Irish. Though still able to pull, the boatmen gave undoubted proofs that they had not been stinted in their liquor.

"Now, bhoys," cried one of the men, standing up and pulling off his hat, "three cheers for the Jerseyman, and may good luck go with her on her cruise—hip! hip! hurrah!" and their voices sounded far and wide across the waters of the harbour. The boats were soon lost to sight in the darkness. Mr Ferris and Ellen, with Captain O'Brien, having stood watching them to the last, Lieutenant Vinoy drew near and expressed a hope that Mr Ferris would not accuse him of breaking his parole. "For had I done so, I should not have been worthy of addressing you," he remarked.

"Certainly not, my friend," said Mr Ferris; "we brought you on board, and your captain tells me that he has detained you."

"Ah, that is indeed a satisfaction," exclaimed the lieutenant. "I may now give a message from the captain, who begs that you will take possession of his cabin, which is entirely at your service; you must consider it yours till the return of the boats with our men. They will soon, I hope, for your sakes, make their appearance."

Mr Ferris felt satisfied at having sacrificed himself for the benefit of his friends. Not that he experienced the slightest apprehension of having to suffer any inconvenience. Ellen declared that she liked the fun, and only hoped that Norah would not be anxious about her. Still the time went by; the grey dawn was breaking, and no boats had appeared. Captain O'Brien, who was much more fidgety than his friend, frequently went on deck to take a look-out. Ellen, who was reclining on a sofa, had fallen asleep, while her father sat by her side. A stream of bright light coming through the cabin windows awoke her. Just then Captain O'Brien came down.

"By my faith, I believe our friend is going to carry us off to sea!" he exclaimed; "I suspected there was something in the wind, and, going aloft, I discovered a large ship in the offing; so did the Frenchmen, and they immediately commenced hauling on their spring and letting fall the canvas ready to make sail in a moment. They don't like going without their men and the promised provisions; but they will have to do it if the boats don't return quickly, for I'm much mistaken if the vessel I saw isn't the Champion, which we have so long been looking for."

Ellen, who had hitherto been asleep, started as she heard Captain O'Brien speak. "The Champion, do you say?" she asked.

"I think it more than probable that she is," said the captain. Ellen did not reply, but the thought—and to her it was an agitating one— immediately occurred to her mind, "The Champion will surely attack the French ship." It was confirmed by the next remark her father made.

"If so, the Frenchman will have to fight for it, for Captain Olding is not likely to let him go without questioning him," said Mr Ferris.

"But where do you think, my friend, we shall be in that case?" asked Captain O'Brien. "Thurot will scarcely send us on shore first in one of his boats, and I see no signs of our own."

"Could we not get him to make a signal for a boat from the shore? He surely will not detain my daughter, with the prospect of having to fight his ship," exclaimed Mr Ferris, becoming anxious. "How mad I was to allow her to remain!"

"Do not be alarmed about me. I trust that we shall have no difficulty in getting on board the Champion should she enter the harbour," said Ellen.

"We may be confident that Thurot will not wait for her here," said Captain O'Brien; "but I will go on deck and get him without delay to make a signal for a boat from the shore, if ours are not in sight. If they are, he will probably wait for them."

On going on deck Captain O'Brien found that the corvette had slipped her cable, that the topsails were set, and that the crew were aloft loosing the other sails. Still, in spite of the wide folds of canvas which were rapidly spread on the ship, the wind was so light that she made but little way. There was yet time for a boat to come off from the shore, and Captain Thurot without hesitation made a signal as he was requested, firing a gun to draw attention. No boat however, appeared.

"Captain Thurot," exclaimed Captain O'Brien, going up to him, "I must beg that you will send Miss Ferris and her father on shore before you leave the harbour. It would be terrible to expose her to all the risks of a battle—and that you will be engaged in one with yonder ship, I have no doubt. She is a British ship of war, and is sure to attack you when she finds out your character."

"But I intend to avoid her if I possibly can, and if compelled to fight, I will place Miss Ferris and you two gentlemen in as safe a position as we can find on board," said Captain Thurot.

"The safest, however, would not be satisfactory under the circumstances," replied Captain O'Brien. Captain Thurot looked greatly annoyed.

"I know that," he said, "but it is necessary to send the boats ahead to tow. Were I to run the risk of losing the ship, the crew, and even the officers, would mutiny—these privateersmen are difficult characters to deal with; as it is, they will be discontented at not obtaining the stores and recovering their shipmates. My first lieutenant, also, is on shore. If I send you away, I have no guarantee that the stores will be delivered, or that my people will be restored to me."

"You shall have the word of honour of two Irish gentlemen," answered Captain O'Brien, "that should yonder vessel not prove to be the Champion, or any other man-of-war, everything shall be arranged as you wish; the stores and men shall be sent off to you, and your first lieutenant restored, if we can find him."

Still Captain Thurot hesitated. "You believe that ship out there to be a British sloop of war?" he asked.

"I feel almost certain that she is the Champion; that she is a large vessel of your own class, and carries eighteen guns of heavy metal; and, moreover, I believe that if you venture to engage her she will take you. If you follow my advice you will do your best to escape from her."

While this conversation was going on, the larger boats were being lowered, and were now sent ahead to tow. There was a light air from the westward; the stranger's courses were rising above the horizon in the south-east, just clear of Hook Tower. Could the Coquille once got out to sea, she might either by running before the wind round the south-eastern point of Ireland, or by keeping close-hauled stand along the southern coast towards Cape Clear.

"I confess that I am unwilling to part with you till the last moment," said Captain Thurot, "but my courtesy will not allow me to detain the young lady and to expose her to the risk she would have to run. I will therefore give you my small boat, if you will take charge of her and convey Miss Ferris and her father to the shore."

"With all my heart, and I am much obliged to you," exclaimed Captain O'Brien. "If you will order the boat to be lowered, I will get them up on deck. The sooner we are off the better; the tide is sweeping out of the harbour, and we shall have a hard pull of it, at all events."

He hurried below, and conveyed the satisfactory intelligence to his friends. By the time that they were on deck the dinghy was alongside, the courses were hauled up, and the men ahead ordered to cease pulling. Captain O'Brien stepped into the boat; Mr and Miss Ferris descended the accommodation ladder. After a brief farewell to Captain Thurot, who with his officers bowed them politely out of the ship, the dinghy shoved off.



The worthy captain had not handled a pair of oars for many a year, but he seized the sculls and pulled away lustily towards the western side of the harbour. As to rowing up it against the strong tide then running out, that, he saw, was hopeless, Mr Ferris being no oarsman. The Coquille's sails were let fall, and the men in the boats giving way, she in a short time was clear of the harbour, and was seen to stand close-hauled towards the south-west, the tide being in her favour. The stranger had by this time made her out, and was steering on the opposite tack towards the harbour's mouth. Being far to leeward, there appeared but little chance, unless the breeze should freshen, of the two ships meeting.

"I only hope they may," said the captain, as he tugged away at the oars. "Thurot is a fine fellow, no doubt about that; but he deserves to be punished for his impudence, and if the Champion gets alongside him, he'll find that he's caught a Tartar. Olding isn't the man to part company with an enemy till she strikes, or one or the other goes to the bottom. His officers are like him, I hear, and I shouldn't be astonished to see the Coquille brought in a prize before many hours are over."

Ellen looked pale and anxious while the captain was speaking.

"We knew Mr Foley, the second lieutenant of the Champion, very well in Dublin, when she lay at Kingstown," observed Mr Ferris—"a fine young fellow. I am sure also that you have described Captain Olding truly."

The captain was all the time pulling away with might and main, now looking ahead to judge of the direction to take, and now watching the two ships.

"Thurot hasn't calculated on getting becalmed under the land; if he does that, he'll find the Champion soon walk up to him," he observed. "Pulling is harder work than I thought for, or my arms have grown stiffer than they used to be. The sooner we can get on shore the better, and we can wait there till the tide turns, when perhaps we shall find some hooker running up to Waterford which will take us in tow. I'll pull in for Portala Bay, which you see just inside Red Head."

"As you please," said Mr Ferris. "By climbing to the top of the Head we shall, I fancy, be able to watch the proceedings of the two ships."

The captain pulling on, the boat soon reached a small bay just to the northward of a headland at the western side of the entrance of Waterford harbour. Ellen was eager at once to climb to the summit of the height. The captain and Mr Ferris having drawn up the boat, they set off, and were not long in gaining it. From thence they could command a view of the whole coast of Waterford as far as Youghal Bay, towards which the Coquille was standing. Her boats had been hoisted up, but she was still, even with a favourable tide, making but slow progress. The ship to the eastward had now come completely into view. The captain took a steady look at her.

"She is a sloop of war—I thought so from the first," he exclaimed, "and from the cut of her canvas I have little doubt that she is English."

As he spoke, the stranger's ensign blew out from her peak.

"Yes, I knew I was right—she is the Champion, depend on it. If the breeze favours her, far as she is to leeward, she'll be up to Captain Thurot before noon," he continued. "If she once gets him within range of her guns, she'll not let him go till he cries peccavi."

Ellen was seated on a rock which formed the highest part of the headland. Even under ordinary circumstances she would have watched the two vessels with much interest, but the intensity of her feelings may be supposed, as she thought of one who was on board the British ship; for although the gallant lieutenant had not yet spoken, she fully believed that he had given her his heart, and she could not avoid confessing to herself that she had bestowed hers in return. In a few short hours he might be engaged in a deadly strife with a ship equal in size and the number of her crew to the Champion; and though she could not doubt that the British would come off victorious, yet she well knew the risk to which each of her gallant crew would be exposed. The Champion had stood within a mile of the mouth of the harbour, when she tacked and steered for the French ship. The breeze, as Captain O'Brien had foretold would be the case, gradually favouring her, enabled her to go much faster through the water than the other. The captain several times pulled his watch, resembling a big turnip in size, out of his fob.

"The tide will soon be on the turn, and if we are to get home to-night we must take advantage of it," he observed, "though I should mightily like to see the end of this."

"Oh, do remain, I pray you," said Ellen; "we can have no difficulty in getting back to Waterford, for the weather promises to be so fine. Do you think it possible that Monsieur Thurot can escape?"

"The chances are against him, Miss Ellen, but it is hard to say what may happen," answered Captain O'Brien. "Captain Olding is not the man, as I have observed before, to let an enemy slip through his fingers; in less than half an hour he will get near enough to the Frenchman to send his shot on board, and he'll stick tightly to him, no fear of that."

Ellen held her breath, as she at length saw the ships approaching each other. A puff of white smoke issued from the starboard bow of the Champion. The Coquille returned it from her stern-chasers, but the shot fell harmlessly into the water. Again and again the Champion fired; it was evident that she could only bring her foremost gun to bear, unless by keeping away and thereby losing ground.

"Thurot knows the coast as well as, or better than, Olding, and is unwilling to lose the advantage of being to windward," exclaimed Captain O'Brien. "See, he keeps his luff, and the Champion is compelled to do the same; I thought it would be so. The Champion is losing the breeze, which has hitherto been in her favour, and if she doesn't manage to wing the Frenchman, the fellow, who has evidently a fast pair of heels, will slip by between her and the land. See, she's not going to let him do that. Hurrah! she's kept away; there go her broadside guns. They'll have told, I hope, with effect on the Frenchman. No, by George! every spar is standing," exclaimed the captain, as the smoke from the Champion's broadside cleared away. She immediately again came to the wind. The ships were still too far apart for the shot to do much damage; they both stood on for some time longer without firing, and were now so greatly increasing their distance from Red Head that the three spectators could but imperfectly discern what took place. Again wreaths of smoke circled above the side of the Champion, and flashes were seen to issue from that of the Coquille, as, imitating the English ship, she put up her helm and kept away across the bows of the latter.

"Thurot has made up his mind to run for it," cried the captain; "he's squaring away his yards, and Olding's after him. The Frenchman has no stomach for a fight, that's very certain; those privateersmen prefer plunder to glory. If Olding doesn't ply him briskly with his guns, the chase will get away after all. I had hopes of seeing the Coquille brought in here as a prize; we could then have afforded to forgive her captain the trick he played us."

In vain the captain and his companions waited for any event to show them which ship was likely to be the victor. They were both at length hull down, their masts and spars standing apparently uninjured. Poor Ellen had watched them with intense interest. How long it might be before her anxiety could be removed, she could not tell; that the Champion would be taken, she did not believe possible. But, alas! many of those on board might be killed or wounded; several days might pass before the Champion could come into Cork harbour. With straining eyes she gazed towards the two ships gradually become less and less distinct.

"Come, Ferris—come, Miss Ellen, my dear—we must be on our homeward voyage, or our friends will become alarmed, and it will be reported that we have been carried off by the Frenchman," said Captain O'Brien.

Very unwillingly Ellen left the height and accompanied her father and the captain to the boat. He had still some distance to pull, though he kept a look-out for a larger boat or a sailing hooker on her way up to Waterford. At length a little high-sterned craft was seen standing out of one of the many small bays which indent the western shore of the harbour. The captain stood up, and shouted and waved, and the hooker, hauling her wind, hove to to await their coming. The skipper, knowing he should be amply recompensed, was delighted to receive them on board and to take their boat in tow; and Ellen, seated on a sail, was wafted up the river in a very different style to that of Cleopatra in her barge, as far as the mouth of the Suir; when, the wind failing, Captain O'Brien, with the assistance of one of the crew of the hooker, pulled up the remainder of the distance to Waterford in the Coquille's dinghy.

It was late in the evening. As they approached the quay they were warmly cheered by a number of the townspeople who had heard of their adventure, information of the departure of the French privateer having already been brought up to Waterford. It was soon evident to Mr Ferris that some other event of importance had occurred.

"What has happened, my friends?" he inquired.

"Shure, yer honour, one of the French officers has been caught hiding away in your garden," answered Dan Connor, who was one of the nearest to him among the crowd. "The thief of the world! he made a mighty fine fight of it; but we ran in on him, after he had cut down three or four of us, two being kilt entirely—but we knocked his sword out of his hand and seized him, and he's lodged comfortably in the Ring Tower, out of which he isn't likely to get in a hurry."

"Of which French officer do you speak?" asked Mr Ferris; "we left our late prisoner on board the Coquille."

"It wasn't him, yer honour, but a big fellow with, a patch on his cheek and another over his eye," answered Dan. "He isn't a Frenchman at all at all, but from the oaths he swore he's Irish all the world over—the thunderin' big villain—no other than Brian O'Harrall, who has a price on his head. It cost us pretty dear to take him too."

Further inquiries convinced Mr Ferris that the supposed French officer was the outlaw who had so long evaded the grasp of justice. The prisoner, he understood, was under a strong guard. Ellen being much fatigued, he accompanied her home before going to ascertain particulars. Norah, who greeted her affectionately, looked pale and agitated.

"I have had a dreadful fright," she said. "My father had insisted on my taking a turn in the garden, and as I reached the rocky walk at the end of the terrace, out of sight of the house, who should appear before me but the first lieutenant of the privateer, who had dined with us yesterday. I had then an undefined suspicion of him, and no sooner did he speak than I was convinced that he was the very person whom we met the other evening, and who attempted to carry me off, and who, notwithstanding his disguise, was, I am sure, the man who was picked up at sea by the Ouzel Galley, and acted as second mate on board her. I knew that I had had the misfortune to excite his admiration, but I hoped when he was taken on board the privateer which captured us that I should never again see him. He, however, it appears, was well known to Captain Thurot, who had appointed him his first lieutenant. He made the most outrageous professions of affection; I, of course, would not listen to him; and dreading his violence, before he was aware of what I was about to do, I darted from him and ran, faster than I had ever run before in my life, towards the house. He pursued, entreating me to stop and hear what he had to say. Feeling that he was not to be trusted, I continued my flight, and providentially just then caught sight of Dan Connor and some of the crew of the Ouzel Galley, who had come up to see my father, and while waiting to do so had been allowed to stroll into the garden. Several of the workmen and two of the gardeners, who happened to be close at hand, joined the seamen, and the whole party rushed at the stranger, who had by this time reached the bottom of the hill and found retreat impossible. On this, I understand, he drew his sword and made a desperate defence, and though unhappily he wounded two of the men, the rest boldly threw themselves upon him, and wrenching his sword from his hand held him fast. During his violent struggles to free himself the patch over his eye fell off, as did his heavy moustache, and some of the men, as they examined his features, recognised the pirate O'Harrall, the very man of whom Mrs Massey gave you the account. I had rushed into my room, too much frightened and agitated to watch what was taking place. He was carried off to prison, and will of course be brought to trial, in which case I fear that I shall have to appear as a witness against him. I was afraid for some time to tell my father, for the same reason that I did not before inform him of the attack made on us. However, he now knows all that has happened, and he tells me that he is well acquainted with O'Harrall's history, and believes him capable of the most desperate acts of violence."

Ellen had forgotten her own anxiety in listening to Norah's recital. She now described to her friend what had occurred, and the feeling which had agitated her while watching the two ships. Norah offered such comfort as one young lady under the circumstances could give another.

"I have heard my father say that ships of war often meet and fire many shot without doing each other any harm," she remarked; "and you know, my dear Ellen, that even though some of the crew of the Champion may be killed or wounded, there is no especial reason that Lieutenant Foley should be among the sufferers; and it is the lot of naval officers to be constantly exposed to the risk of battle in war time."

"I know it too truly," replied Ellen; "but it was dreadful to see the ship on board which I knew him to be sailing away to attack so renowned and skilful a captain as Monsieur Thurot—then, to have to wait so long for the issue of the battle."

"Perhaps we shall have tidings of the arrival of the Champion to-morrow," remarked Norah; "and, from what you tell me, Monsieur Thurot was more anxious to escape than, to fight."

"So I at first thought," said Ellen; "but I heard Captain O'Brien tell my father that he suspected Thurot's object was to draw the English ship away from the Irish coast, that should he come off victorious he might have the better chance of securing his prize. It was a relief to me to hear Captain O'Brien say he did not for a moment believe that the Champion would be beaten; on the contrary, that it would be much more likely that she would take the Coquille. Still, there must inevitably have been a fierce battle; and oh, Norah, if you knew how I feel for Norman Foley, you would understand my anxiety."

"I can fully understand it," said Norah, "and I often think how sad it must be for poor women left at home, to know that those they love are exposed to dangers and hardships of all sorts which they are utterly powerless to relieve. Such must be the lot of all sailors' wives and those who have engaged their hearts to sailors—and yet it would be cruel to the poor men if on that account they could get no one to love them."

"Yes, indeed," said Ellen, sighing; "but then, remember, we can pray for them, and we can do our best to make them happy when they return home."

Norah at length persuaded Ellen, who had had but little rest on the previous night, to lie down and try to forget her anxiety in sleep. Soon afterwards Gerald came in. He had been rather indignant at not having been taken when the party visited the supposed Jersey privateer.

"Had I seen Monsieur Thurot, I should have recognised him at once, for I marked him well when he came on board the Ouzel Galley; and I suspect, too, I should have detected his first lieutenant, in spite of his disguise," he exclaimed. "I wonder you did not find out that he was our mate Carnegan."

"I did more than once fancy that I knew his voice, but it seemed so improbable that he should be on board a Jersey privateer that I banished the idea," answered Norah. "Now, Gerald, I want you to go and inquire after Mrs Massey and Owen; they may hear rumours of what has occurred, and will wish to know the truth. You will have time to go there and be back again before dark."

Gerald, who was always good-natured and anxious to please Norah, undertook to go and deliver any message, written or oral, she might wish to send. She had already a note prepared for Owen, and with it Gerald set off. He found Owen much better, and ready, if the doctor would let him, to walk into Waterford to see Norah; but Mrs Massey was sure that he overrated his strength, and told Gerald that Norah must not expect him for some days. She was much interested at hearing the account which Gerald gave of the various occurrences of the last two days.

"And can that unhappy man have really been captured? What a sad ending to a once respected family!" she exclaimed. "He cannot expect pardon. I bear him no ill-will, though his family has been the ruin of ours; and even now, in the hope that he may have time for repentance, I would thankfully hear that he had escaped rather than suffer the death his crimes deserve."

"I should certainly not have suspected that the Carnegan we had as second mate on board the Ouzel Galley could have been a murderer and pirate," said Gerald. "The men, however, were inclined to believe from the way he was saved that he was in league with the Evil One, and they will now be convinced that such was the case."

"Satan would rather have let him drown," said Mrs Massey, "unless indeed he wished to employ him in some still more wicked deed. He undoubtedly mates use of those who willingly yield to him as his tools to work out his designs."

While Mrs Massey had been talking to Gerald, Owen had been inditing an answer to Norah's note, with which, rather later than he had intended, Gerald set off to return home. It was quite dark before he reached the town. He was proceeding along a narrow lane which offered a shorter cut than the high road, when he heard the footsteps of a person running at full speed, and directly afterwards a man rushed by him whose countenance he could not see; but it struck him at the time that the figure greatly resembled that of Carnegan, the second mate of the Ouzel Galley. He was doubtful for a moment whether he should follow: though brave enough under ordinary circumstances, he felt pretty certain that if such was the case O'Harrall would not scruple to knock him on the head or to blow his brains out; and so he did the next best thing which occurred to him—he ran on, intending to make his way to the Ring Tower to give information that the prisoner had escaped; though he fully expected to meet a party in hot pursuit of the fugitive.

Mrs Massey was at supper with her son, when there came a knock at the door, and a bare-headed damsel appeared.

"Mrs Massey, my mother's taken mighty bad entirely, and will it plaze ye to come and see what ye can do for her?" she exclaimed, in a petitioning tone. Mrs Massey, who was proud of the medical knowledge she exercised for the benefit of her neighbours, immediately arose.

"Indeed, and I'll come, Molly," she answered. "Just wait till I put on my hood and fill my basket with such things as I may require."

She speedily getting ready, told Owen that she would soon be back, and that Mrs Hogan would know that she could not leave him all alone for any length of time; and off she set, with Molly Hogan carrying a lantern before her.

Owen trimmed the lamp which burnt on the table, and sat down to read till his mother's return. He had not long been thus occupied, when hearing the door open he looked up, expecting that Mrs Massey had returned for something she had omitted to take with her. Instead of his mother, he saw standing before him the second mate of the Ouzel Galley. For a moment he thought that he must be dreaming.

"You know me, Owen Massey," exclaimed his visitor, "You saved my life once, when the devil well-nigh had me in his clutches, and I come to throw myself on your generosity—to ask you to render me a further service. Should I be recaptured, I should be doomed to the gallows, and I have no fancy for that fate. Conceal me for a few hours, and I shall be able to get off in safety; refuse to do so, and I shall fall into the hands of my pursuers."

Owen hesitated, not because he was aware that the man before him was O'Harrall, the enemy of his family, but because he was unwilling to expose his mother to the penalty of harbouring a fugitive from justice. He rose from his seat and said, "I now know you to be Brian O'Harrall." His visitor started, and drew back a pace, as if about to leave the cottage, believing that all hope of assistance must be abandoned. "Stay," continued Owen, his generous feelings getting the better of him, "I do not on that account the less desire to save you if I can. Should you not have been traced here, I may yet be able to do so."

"I am not likely to have been traced, for my flight can scarcely yet have been discovered," answered O'Harrall. "You will run no risk, and I will be grateful if I can find an opportunity. I have proved that I am not destitute of gratitude. When on board the Ouzel Galley, I obtained better terms for you from Thurot than you would otherwise have enjoyed."

"Follow me, then," said Owen, "and I will conceal you till you have an opportunity of escaping; but promise me that you will not again return to this part of the country."

"I have no hesitation in doing that, for I intend to do my best to escape from Ireland, never with my own free will to come back," answered O'Harrall.

"That is sufficient," said Owen; and he led the way through the cottage to an outbuilding at some short distance, over which there was a loft, long disused. Owen found a ladder, by which the fugitive mounted to it.

"You can easily leap to the ground when you think fit to continue your flight," said Owen, who had followed him up. "I will bring you some food, to afford you support both for the present and on your journey; and if you want money, I will supply you."

"I give you my thanks, but I have a purse full of gold. Be quick, however, with the food, or my pursuers may be here and prevent you from bringing it to me," replied O'Harrall.

Owen on descending removed the ladder, and, hurrying into the pantry, collected such provisions as he could most easily find, and for the disappearance of which he could account the next day to his mother. He carried them to the fugitive, and then again replaced the ladder in the spot from which he had taken it. Having done this, he returned to the sitting-room and threw himself into a chair, resting his head on his hand. He had performed a generous action, but still he questioned himself whether it was a right one. He was attempting to conceal from justice an undoubted malefactor; it was an act then, as now, too common in Ireland, and was sure to meet with the sympathy of the people should it be discovered. Owen possibly might have partaken somewhat in the feeling general among all classes, that it was a right thing to protect those in distress, whatever their crimes against society. A more generous motive had influenced him, and he might have been less inclined to act as he had done should a person indifferent to him, and equally criminal in the sight of the law, have thrown himself upon his mercy. Owen did not know the full wrong O'Harrall had attempted to inflict upon him; even had he been aware of this, it might not have altered his conduct.

Some time passed before his mother returned; during it, he did his best to calm his feelings, for he had determined not to tell her what had occurred, hoping that before the next morning O'Harrall would have disappeared. Shortly after she entered the cottage the old lady urged Owen to go to bed.

"You look somewhat pale, my son," she said, holding the light to his face, "and late hours do not suit an invalid."

"When you set me the example, I will go and turn in," answered Owen, laughing. As he was speaking, loud shouts were heard, and several people came running up and knocking loudly at the door.

"Who is it?" asked Mrs Massey.

"Shure, it's Pat Magragh. Are ye safe inside, Mrs Massey, honey?" inquired one of the men from the outside.

"And where else should I be?" answered the widow, recognising the voice and going to the door. Owen felt very uncomfortable, for he fully expected that inquiries would be made for the fugitive.

"Shure, it's no matther at all, thin," exclaimed the man. "As we got to Molly Hogan's, she told us that ye'd just left the cottage, and it might be the big villain we were hunting might have fallen in wid ye and done ye harm; but if ye didn't see him, it's all right, and we must be joining the rest of the bhoys who ran after him."

"Whom do you mean?" asked Mrs Massey.

"Brian O'Harrall, to be shure," was the answer; "he's broken out of the Ring Tower, nobody knows how—except he got the help of the devil and his imps."

"Thank Heaven I did not meet him! it would have well-nigh driven me out of my wits," said the widow, trembling at the thoughts of the supposed danger she had escaped.

"Good night, Mrs Massey; keep your door closed, lest he should turn like a fox and bolt in," cried Pat Magragh, as he and his companions hurried away in pursuit, as they believed, of the escaped criminal. Mrs Massey did as she was advised, and sat down, endeavouring to calm her agitation, and feeling but little inclined to go to bed.

"It is useless to sit up, mother," observed Owen, after Mrs Massey had been talking for some time about the escape of O'Harrall. "The man, if he has got away, is certain not to return. At all events, you will be as safe in bed as anywhere else."

After some persuasion Mrs Massey consented to retire to bed, and after listening for some time at last fell asleep. The window of Owen's room looked directly down upon the outbuilding in which the fugitive was concealed. Owen felt much relieved, from believing that those who had gone on were not likely to think of examining the place; still, he could not go to sleep, and putting out his candle he sat down at the window to watch, hoping that O'Harrall would take the opportunity of slipping out and getting off to a distance, no watched in vain. After some hours he heard the tramp of feet along the road and the voices of men shouting to each other. They were the people who had gone in chase of O'Harrall. Could the outlaw have continued his flight and, after all, have been captured? Owen listened attentively, and felt convinced that they were returning to the city without having overtaken the fugitive, he could no longer restrain his wish to ascertain whether O'Harrall was still in the loft, and cautiously descending the stair, he lighted a lantern and went out. To place the ladder so as to reach the trap was the work of a moment. He ascended to the loft, and throwing the light towards the further end, he saw the man he came to look for sleeping soundly.

Before Owen had advanced a step O'Harrall awoke and, springing to his feet, saw who it was.

"I came to tell you," said Owen, "that the men who had gone in pursuit of you have, to the best of my belief, returned to the city, and now would be a favourable time to make your escape."

O'Harrall hesitated. "What o'clock is it?" he asked.

"Just past midnight," refilled Owen.

"Are you certain that the men who are hunting for me have returned to the city?" asked O'Harrall.

"Judging from what I heard, and the direction in which their voices died away, I am confident of it," said Owen.

"Then I will follow your advice," answered O'Harrall. "You have increased the debt of gratitude I owe you. I have no means of showing that I am grateful; but do me one favour more—accept this ring; it belonged to your family. It has a curious device on it, which is its chief value. I wish you to believe that, reckless as I am, I still retain some of the feelings I possessed when you knew me in days gone by. Come, take it; I cannot leave this place till you have done so. There, man, take the ring; it might have been yours by right."

Owen took the ring and placed it on his finger.

"If we ever again meet, however much changed you may be, I shall know you by that," said O'Harrall. "Now, farewell—may a happier fate be yours than will probably be my lot!"

"Stay a moment, and I will ascertain that no one is near," said Owen, as O'Harrall was about to descend the ladder. He hid the lantern, and went out into the open part of the garden and round to the front of the house. Clouds obscured the stars; not a sound was to be heard, except the voice of some bird of night, which came from a distance. By some it might have been thought of ill omen, but Owen was above the superstitions of the ignorant. He returned to the outhouse, and in a low voice called to O'Harrall, who immediately descended the ladder.

"I feel sure that no one is on the watch," said Owen, "and it may be most prudent for you to get away at once."

"You are right," answered O'Harrall. "Again farewell, Massey; though we may never more see each other, I shall always remember that I have met with one honest and generous man."

He did not, however, put out his hand, perhaps supposing that Massey would consider himself contaminated by touching it.

"Go into your house," he continued, "and let me follow my own course, that you may not even know what direction I have taken."

Owen did as he was advised, leaving O'Harrall standing beneath the shelter of the buildings. Closing the door he returned to his room, when on looking out of his window, he found that O'Harrall had disappeared. His mind felt greatly relieved at the thought that he was no longer harbouring a fugitive from justice. On going into the garden the next morning, he could perceive no traces by which it might perchance be discovered that O'Harrall had been there, and he determined that the occurrence should be known only to his mother and himself. He considered that it would be wrong to conceal it from her, and, sitting down, he told her what he had done. She did not speak for a minute or more.

"You acted rightly, my son," she said at length. "The O'Harralls have been our bitter enemies, but our holy religion teaches us that we should not only forgive our foes, but do good to those who most cruelly ill-treat and abuse us; whatever man may say, God will approve of your act, for he knows the motive which prompted you."



"News, Norah! I bring you news, Miss Ellen," cried Gerald, rushing into the drawing-room where his sister and her friend were seated. "I have just heard that a man-of-war has brought up inside the harbour, with her main-topmast gone and her sails riddled with shot. They say that she is the Champion, and that she has had a desperate action with a French ship, which she sent to the bottom, or which got away from her. Which was the case, I can't exactly make out, but she has lost I don't know how many officers and seamen, for there hasn't been such a bloody fight since the war began. The wounded, I hear, are to be sent on shore, and we shall thus, I suppose, know all about the matter."

Ellen turned pale as Gerald was speaking. "Have you heard who the killed and wounded are?" she asked, in a trembling voice.

"No; I could only learn the name of the ship, and that there has been a sharp action there can be no doubt," answered Gerald.

"Perhaps Gerald's account is exaggerated," remarked Norah, observing Ellen's agitation. "If the ship is the Champion, Mr Ferris is sure to go down and visit her; he will ascertain the truth of the report."

"I must—I must go and tell him what has happened, in case he should not have heard it," said Ellen, rising. She found Mr Ferris in his counting-house, on the ground-floor. He immediately ordered his boat, and telling Ellen that, should he find any wounded officers who might require to be cared for on shore, he would bring them up, he desired her to make preparations for their reception. Gerald, who was on the look-out for him, begged that he might accompany him on board. The boat, with six stout hands, rapidly made her way down the river.

Ellen and Norah, like good housewives, lost no time in seeing the spare rooms got ready for their expected guests. The occupation tended to relieve Ellen's mind.

"Perhaps, after all, there may be no wounded officers," said Norah. "Gerald's account was very vague—people nearly always exaggerate disasters."

"But I saw the beginning of the battle, and heard the dreadful guns firing—and some of those on board may have been killed," said Ellen, scarcely able to restrain her feelings.

The young ladies had some time to wait after the rooms had been got ready. Ellen was constantly going to the window, from which she could see the river and watch for the return of the boat. Norah, like a faithful friend, did not quit her.

"There comes the boat," exclaimed Ellen, at length. "Oh, see, Norah! there is a person wrapped up in blankets lying in the stern-sheets; my heart told me that he would be wounded."

"It is better so than had your heart told you he would be killed, and it had proved a true prophet," said Norah, smiling and trying to cheer up her friend. Ellen would have hurried down to the quay, but Norah persuaded her to remain at home. "He may not be Lieutenant Foley, remember," observed Norah, quietly; "and if he is, you are more likely to agitate him than to do him any good by rushing down to the quay. Think how odd it would look were you to exhibit your feelings in public, or, still more so, should the wounded man prove to be a stranger."

Norah's sensible remarks prevailed in inducing Ellen to remain quiet till the arrival of the party in the boat. Mr Ferris was the first person who appeared.

"You must not be alarmed, my dear child," he said. "There has been a fierce engagement, in which two officers and several men were killed—"

"Oh, father, who were they?" cried Ellen.

"A master's mate and a midshipman," answered Mr Ferris; "but I am sorry to say that Mr Foley was among the most severely wounded, and he gladly accepted my offer to take him on shore; so I brought him up here, and you and Norah will, I am sure, do your best to look after him."

While Mr Ferris was speaking, the men bearing the wounded lieutenant arrived. Ellen, restraining her feelings, received him with becoming propriety, though his pale lips and wan cheek made her heart sink. He was forthwith conveyed to the room which, had been prepared for him. Dr Roach, who had been an army surgeon, and knew well how to treat gunshot wounds of every description, was immediately sent for, and the young officer was placed under his charge.

"We'll pull him through, young lady," he observed, after he had visited his patient. "You will naturally wish to know what I think of the case of this fine young officer, who has been bleeding for his country. You need be under no serious apprehensions; he will be fit for duty again shortly. You saw how quickly I doctored up Mr Massey, in whom, if I am not wrongly informed, Miss Norah here takes an interest."

Norah looked conscious. "Young people have hearts, and small blame to them if they fall in love now and then," remarked the doctor; "and now, my pretty maidens, good-bye to you, for I want to hear more about the battle. I could not let my patient tell me. Remember, I leave him under your charge, but I must lay an embargo on your tongues; talking, or listening to talking, isn't good for wounded men, though you may sing him to sleep with your sweet voices."

Owen was well enough to accompany Mrs Massey when she returned Norah's visit, and, moreover, to stroll with her into the garden. He now first heard of O'Harrall's conduct; his brow flushed as she told him, but he restrained his feelings, and did not let even her know that he had assisted his rival's escape.

"Could the fellow have been aware that she was my betrothed wife, and yet, after such conduct, ventured to claim my protection? I am thankful I did not then know of his behaviour; I might have been tempted to refuse him my aid." Such were the thoughts which passed through Owen's mind. "However, bold as he is, he is not likely again to appear in this neighbourhood."

Owen and Norah, having each other's society, forgot how the time went by, till Gerald came hurrying up to call them into the house. He had just returned from his visit to the Champion; he was full of what he had heard of her engagement with the Coquille. Two officers had been killed, and two, besides Mr Foley, wounded; three men had been killed, and several wounded. The Frenchman, instead of being sent to the bottom, having knocked away the Champion's main-topmast and cut up her rigging, had managed to get off and run out of sight before her damages could be repaired. Captain Olding had chased in the direction the Coquille had last been seen, but had failed to come up with her, and was compelled to steer for Waterford.

"And, do you know, Norah," continued Gerald, "I've made up my mind to go on board a man-of-war. They all say that Captain Olding will take me, and place me on the quarter-deck, if Mr Ferris introduces me and would say a word in my favour; so if our father approves of it, I hope to go at once, instead of waiting for the Ouzel Galley."

"If it would better promote your fortune to serve on board a man-of-war, I will not hinder you," said Owen, as they walked towards the house.

"I would rather you should remain on board the dear old ship, to act as Owen's mate," observed Norah; "but if our father allows you to go on board the Champion, neither will I try to alter your determination."

Captain Olding had come up to the house to inquire after his lieutenant. He and Captain Tracy had been shipmates in their younger days. He was well pleased, he said, to be able to forward the views of his friend's son. It was therefore settled that Gerald should join the Champion at once, and Norah was busy from morning till night in preparing his outfit. Captain Tracy was now able to get about, and even to superintend the repairs of the Ouzel Galley. He secretly was somewhat proud of having a son belonging to the Royal Navy. It was the road to honour and fame; Gerald might some day become one of England's admirals. Still, had the captain intended to continue at sea himself, he would have wished to keep his boy with him, and he would also gladly have had him accompany Owen Massey. Gerald himself was in high glee; he made frequent trips down to the Champion, and always came back with some fresh account of what she had done, and of what his future messmates, the midshipmen, fully expected she would do. He described them to Norah as first-rate, jolly fellows, up to all sorts of fun.

"And you may tell Miss Ferris, if you like," he added, "that they all say there isn't a more gallant officer in the service than Lieutenant Foley, and they hope that he'll soon get well and rejoin the ship. They don't speak quite so favourably of her first lieutenant, Jonah Tarwig, who seems as if he had swallowed the mizen-royal-mast as he was looking aloft one stormy night when the ship was taken aback and it was carried away. He is six feet two in height—how he manages to stow himself in his berth it is hard to say, but it is supposed that he doubles his legs back, for as to coiling away his body, that would be impossible. The master, old Billhook, is a rough diamond, but he understands navigation, and spins tough yarns by the score; I'll tell you some of them one of these days. The purser, Simon Cheeseparings—that isn't his real name— was a slopseller in Wapping, but outran his creditors and had to come to sea to escape from Newgate; and the doctor's a Scotchman whose name begins with Mac, and for brevity's sake Mac he is always called. Now you know all about the gun-room officers; but the best fellows, out and out, are in our berth. We've got two old mates, Beater and Crowhurst— at least, they are old compared to the rest of us, and they are always complaining that they are not port-admirals. Their characters answer to their names, for Beater is never without a cob in his hand, and he uses it pretty freely; and Crowhurst is always boasting of his own mighty deeds or those of his ancestors—and if you are to take his word for it, they (his ancestors, I mean) came over with William the Conqueror, and ought to be dukes at the least. However, putting their peculiarities aside, they're capital fellows, and, if they have an opportunity, will show that they have the true metal in them—so my chum, Nat Kiddle, says. He doesn't pretend to be anybody, though I can tell you he's a broth of a boy, and it's a pity he wasn't an Irishman, for he'd do honour to the old country; but he happens to be the tenth son of an English farmer, whose brother was a lieutenant in the navy, and took him to sea, but his uncle having been killed at the end of the last war, Nat has to shift for himself. Though he has tumbled into a good many scrapes, he has always managed to fall on his feet. Then we've got a young lord, Mountstephen; he is always called Molly, but he doesn't at all mind, and declares that he'll some day show the Frenchmen what an English Molly can do. In reality, he is the pet of the mess—not because he's a lord, but because he's a very nice little fellow, who looks as if he ought to be in the nursery instead of knocking about in a sloop of war. But I don't know, Norah, whether you'll care to hear about the rest of us."

"Oh yes," answered Norah; "I am very much interested, especially in the little lord. I hope you'll help to take care of him."

"Yes, that you may depend on it I will," said Gerald; "if I get into scrapes, I'll take care he doesn't—though I don't intend to get into any myself, notwithstanding that they say Irishmen always do. They've dubbed me Paddy already, but of course I'm proud of that, and shall always stick up for old Ireland, and sing 'Erin-go-bragh' on all occasions. Well, I'll tell you about the rest of our mess another day, and something about the warrant officers. We've three of them, the gunner, boatswain, and carpenter—and as chance will have it, the first is a Scotchman, the second an Englishman, and the third an Irishman; and though they're mighty good friends, they are always wrangling about their respective countries, each one declaring his own to be superior to the others in every respect. Barney O'Rourke hailed me at once as a countryman, and was mighty pleased to see one young gentleman, at least, from the Emerald Isle who would stick up for our country's honour. 'And, by my faith, that's what I intend to do,' I answered—and we became sworn friends. There now, Norah, I think you know a good deal about our ship already, and when Lieutenant Foley gets about again, which I hope he'll do in a few days, you will learn a good deal more; and when we're away, you'll be able to fancy me on board among my shipmates."

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