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The Red Rover eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 491 pages of information about The Red Rover.
stepping into the boat, however, with a view to be equally careful of his own interests, he took an opportunity to request the publican to make a proper and legal affidavit of all that he knew, “of his own knowledge,” concerning the officer just engaged Honest Joram was liberal of his promises; but, as he saw no motive, now that all was so happily effected, for incurring useless risks, he contrived to evade their fulfilment, finding, no doubt, his apology for this breach of faith in the absolute poverty of his information, when the subject came to be duly considered, and construed literally by the terms required.

It is unnecessary to relate the bustle, the reparation of half-forgotten, and consequently neglected business, the duns, good wishes, injunctions to execute commissions in some distant port, and all the confused, and seemingly interminable, duties that crowd themselves into the last ten minutes that precede the sailing of a merchant vessel, more especially if she is fortunate, or rather unfortunate enough to have passengers.  A certain class of men quit a vessel, in such a situation, with the reluctance that they would part with any other well established means of profit, creeping down her sides as lazily as the leech, filled to repletion, rolls from his bloody repast.  The common seaman, with an attention divided by the orders of the pilot and the adieus of acquaintances, runs in every direction but the right one, and, perhaps at the only time in his life, seems ignorant of the uses of the ropes he has so long been accustomed to handle.  Notwithstanding all these vexatious delays, and customary incumbrances, the “Royal Caroline” finally got rid of all her visitors but one, and Wilder was enabled to indulge in a pleasure that a seaman alone can appreciate—­that clear decks and an orderly ship’s company.

Chapter XII.

  “Good:  Speak to the mariners:  Fall to’t yarely, or we run ourselves
  aground.”—­Tempest.

A good deal of the day had been wasted during the time occupied by the scenes just related.  The breeze had come in steady, but far from fresh.  So soon, however, as Wilder found himself left without the molestation of idlers from the shore, and the busy interposition of the consignee, he cast his eyes about him, with the intention of immediately submitting the ship to its power.  Sending for the pilot, he communicated his determination, and withdrew himself to a part of the deck whence he might take a proper survey of the materials of his new command, and where he might reflect on the unexpected and extraordinary situation in which he found himself.

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