“Lor’! Misser Fid,” cried the black, “here masser Harry, wid a head out of port-hole, up dereaway in a light-house, singing-out like a marine in a boat wid a plug out!”
“Ay, ay, let him alone for hailing a top-gallant yard, or a flying-jib-boom! The lad has a voice like a French horn, when he has a mind to tune it! And what the devil is he manning the guns of that weather-beaten wreck for? At all events, if he has to fight his craft alone, there is no one to blame but himself, since he has gone to quarters without beat of drum, or without, in any other manner, seeing fit to muster his people.”
As Dick and the negro had both been making the best of their way towards the ruin, from the moment they discovered the situation of their friend, by this time they were within speaking distance of the spot itself. Wilder, in those brief, pithy tones that distinguish the manner in which a sea officer issues his orders, directed them to raise the ladder. When he was liberated, he demanded, with a sufficiently significant air, if they had observed the direction in which the stranger in green had made his retreat?
“Do you mean the chap in boots, who was for shoving his oar into another man’s rullock, a bit ago, on the small matter of wharf, hereaway, in a range, over yonder house, bringing the north-east chimney to hear in a line, with the mizen-top-gallant-mast-head of that ship they are warping into the stream?”
“The very same.”
“He made a slant on the wind until he had weathered yonder bit of a barn, and then he tacked and stretched away off here to the east-and-by-south, going large, and with studding sails alow and aloft, as I think, for he made a devil of a head-way.”
“Follow,” cried Wilder, starting forward in the direction indicated by Fid, without waiting to hear any more of the other’s characteristic explanations.
The search, however, was vain. Although they continued their inquiries until long after the sun had set, no one could give them the smallest tidings of what had become of the stranger in green. Some had seen him, and marvelled at his singular costume, and bold and wandering look; but, by all accounts, he had disappeared from the town as strangely and mysteriously as he had entered it.
“Are you so brave! I’ll have you talked with anon.” Coriolanus.
The good people of the town of Newport sought their rest at an early hour. They were remarkable for that temperance and discretion which, even to this day, distinguish the manners of the inhabitants of New-England. By ten, the door of every house in the place was closed for the night; and it is quite probable, that, before another hour had passed, scarcely an eye was open, among all those which, throughout the day, had been sufficiently alert, not only to superintend the interests of their proper-owners, but to spare some wholesome glances at the concerns of the rest of the neighbourhood.