“You will please to overlook the fellow’s manners sir,” said Fid, very coolly interposing his own hand, and just as deliberately pocketing the offering “but I needn’t tell as old a seaman as your Honour, that Guinea is no country to scrape down the seams of a man’s behaviour in. Howsomever, I can say this much for him, which is, that he thanks your Honour just as heartily as if you had given him twice the sum. Make a bow to his Honour, boy, and do some credit to the company you have kept. And now, since this little difficulty about the money is gotten over, by my presence of mind, with your Honour’s leave, I’ll just step aloft, and cast loose the lashings of that bit of a tailor on the larboard fore-yard-arm. The chap was never made for a topman as you may see, sir, by the fashion in which he crosses his lower stanchions. That fellow will make a carrick bend with his legs as easily as I could do the same with a yarn of white line!”
The Rover signed for him to retire; and, turning where he stood, he found himself confronted by Wilder. The eyes of the confederates met; and a slight colour bespoke the consciousness of the former Regaining his self-possession on the instant, however, he smilingly alluded to the character of Fid; and then, with an air of authority, he directed his lieutenant to have the “retreat from quarters” beat.
The guns were secured, the stoppers loosened, the magazine closed, the ports lashed, and the crew withdrew to their several ordinary duties, like men whose violence had been completely subdued by the triumphant influence of a master spirit. The Rover then disappeared from the deck, which, for a time, was left to the care of an officer of the proper station.
Thief. “’Tis in the malice
of mankind, that he thus advises us not to
have us thrive in our mystery.”—Timon of Athens.
Throughout the whole of that day, no change occurred in the weather. The sleeping ocean lay like a waving and glittering mirror, smooth and polished on its surface, though, as usual, the long rising and falling of a heavy ground-swell announced the commotion that was in action within some distant horizon. From the time that he left the deck, until the sun laved its burnished orb in the sea, the individual, who so well knew how to keep alive his authority among the untamed tempers that he governed, was seen no more. Satisfied with his victory, he no longer seemed to apprehend that it was possible any should be bold enough to dare to plot the overthrow of his power. This apparent confidence in himself did not fail to impress his people favourably. As no neglect of duty was overlooked, nor any offence left to go unpunished, an eye, that was not seen, was believed by the crew to be ever on them, and an invisible hand was thought to be at all times uplifted, ready to strike or to reward. It was by a similar system of energy in moments of need, and of forbearance when authority was irksome, that this extraordinary man had so long succeeded, as well in keeping down domestic treason, as in eluding the utmost address and industry of his open enemies.