“Rash boy, your life will be the penalty! you must not do it.”
“I will do my duty, though I should die for it! there is the least possibility of his hearing me, and what is one life compared with, it may be, a hundred.”
“Stay, mad boy!” cried Sampson; but he had gone.
Reaching the quarter-deck, upon his knees he implored the captain to return. “Think, if it were your father, brother, or a son, in that hopeless condition, would you not render them all the assistance in your power?”
“I have three brothers and a father upon the ocean,” vociferated the demon; “for aught I know it may be one of them! but were they all aboard that hulk yonder, I would not return! But who are you, sirrah, that dares to usurp my power? Now, upstart, you shall know your place!” and he seized him by the collar, bore him aft, lashed him to a spar, called for the cat, and lifting it high in air,—it falls, but the cursed invention of man’s cruelty falls wide of its mark! Ere its descent had scarred that fair brow, a rush was heard from the main gangway, and old Neptune, with a fierce growl, has fastened his teeth in the monster’s flesh! Quick as thought his master called him off, and every man stood trembling, as they observed the captain feeling for his pistols; but his strength failed him, the dog had met his teeth in the wound received by the mismanagement of the harpoon, tearing the flesh nearly from off his limb. It really was a pitiable sight to behold. Faint from the loss of blood, he was carried below, where his wound was dressed by one of the men, having no regular surgeon aboard, consequently its fatality was not realized. The groans and writhings of the sufferer were heart-rending; all day long did he rave, imploring Sampson, who attended him, to “take the fiend away! that he was being devoured alive!” and thus did he toss upon his bed till toward evening, when a change for the worse came over him. Sampson saw that the seal of death was stamped upon his features, and at set of sun, with an imprecation upon his dying lips, he had breathed his last. O, how fearful to enter that spirit land thus unprepared! to come before our Judge with a soul stained in the deepest sins, trembling with its burden of guilt. Lord, grant that we be not thus found when thou shalt call! Give us strength to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, so that at the last, we shall taste those joys which exist “where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.” They buried him in the deep sea. Perhaps his body lay side by side with those who, through his unfeeling heart, had found a watery grave; but we trust that, unlike him, they had gone to meet the reward of having lived an holy life,—gone to the “sailor’s home,” in the skies.