Much as the captain disliked to do so, he was in the power of the brutal Englishman and forced to do his bidding. As the sailors passed slowly before him, the Briton eyed each carefully. Suddenly he pointed to a stout young sailor named Tom, and cried:
“Stop sir, you are an Englishman!”
“I am not, capen, ye’s mistaken, I was born at Plymouth, Massachusetts.”
“Don’t dispute my word, sir. I know you, seize him!”
Though three of Tom’s messmates offered to swear that he was a native of Massachusetts, he was seized, ironed and hurried away. Two more were selected, despite the protests of Captain Parson, who was raging like a madman, and hurried aboard the frigate. The fourth man halted in the procession was Job, the colored cook.
“Stop, sir, I want you!” said the English officer.
[Illustration: “DO YOU THINK DAR IS ANY ANGLER SAXUN BLOOD IN DESE VEINS?”]
“Want me, Capen? oh, golly! I ain’t a Britisher!” cried Job, gesticulating wildly. “Do I look like I war a Britisher? Do you think dar is any Angler Sacksun blood in dese veins?”
Job howled and appealed in vain. The commander of the Sea Wing declared him to be an English negro, and he was hurried away to try the hard service on board a British war vessel.
Having culled the crew of the Dover to his heart’s content, the haughty Briton went aboard his own ship and continued his cruise, leaving Captain Parson expressing his ideas in such language as no parson should use.
FERNANDO’S JOURNEY EAST. HE MEETS WITH QUEER PEOPLE.
From the day Fernando Stevens began to read and learn of the great world beyond the narrow confines of his western home, he was filled with the laudable ambition to know more about it. The solitude of the wilderness may be congenial for meditation; but it is in the moving whirl of humanity that ideas are brightened. Fernando was promised that if he would master the common school studies taught in their log schoolhouse, he should be sent to one of the eastern cities to have his education completed. Albert Stevens, the lad’s father, was becoming one of the most prosperous farmers of the west. He had purchased several tracts of land which rapidly increased in value, and his flocks and herds multiplied marvelously. He was in fact regarded as “rich” in those days of simplicity. He had sent several flatboats loaded with grain down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans and sold the cargoes at great profit, so that, in addition to his fields, his stock and houses, he had between three and four thousand dollars in money.
Fernando grew to be a tall, slender youth, and in 1806 having finished his education, so far as the west could afford, his father determined to send him to the East, where it was hoped he would develop into a lawyer or a preacher. The mother hoped the latter. His brother and sister had grown up, married and were settled on farms in the neighborhood, taking on the same existence of their parents; living honest, peaceful and unambitious lives.