The negroes were perfectly content. They were accustomed to the sea, and did not mind the motion of the vessel. They had but little money in their pockets, and had no reason to expect they would ever have much more, but they knew that as long as they lived they would have everything that they wanted, that the captain thought was good for them, and to a higher earthly paradise their souls did not aspire. Cheditafa would serve his mistress, Maka would serve the captain, and Mok would wear fine clothes and serve his young master Ralph, whenever, haply, he should have the chance.
As for Inkspot, he doubted whether or not he should ever have all the whiskey he wanted, but he had heard that in the United States that delectable fluid was very plentiful, and he thought that perhaps in that blessed country that blessed beverage might not produce the undesirable effects which followed its unrestricted use in other lands.
A LITTLE GLEAM AFAR
It was late in the autumn of that year, and upon a lonely moor in Scotland, that a poor old woman stood shivering in the cold wind. She was outside of a miserable little hut, in the doorway of which stood two men.
For five or six years she had lived alone in that little hut.
It was a very poor place, but it kept out the wind and the rain and the snow, and it was a home to her, and for the greater part of these years in which she had lived there alone, she had received, at irregular and sometimes long intervals, sums of money, often very small and never large, from her son, who was a sailorman upon seas of which she did not even know the name.
But for many months no money had come from this wandering son, and it was very little that she had been able to earn. Sometimes she might have starved, had it not been for the charity of others almost as poor as she. As for rent, it had been due for a long time, and at last it had been due so long that her landlord felt that further forbearance would be not only unprofitable, but that it would serve as a bad example to his other tenants. Consequently, he had given orders to eject the old woman from her hut. She was now a pauper, and there were places where paupers would be taken care of.
The old woman stood sadly shivering. Her poor old eyes, a little dimmed with tears, were directed southward toward the far-away vanishing-point of the rough and narrow road which meandered over the moor and lost itself among the hills.
She was waiting for the arrival of a cart which a poor neighbor had promised to borrow, to take her and her few belongings to the nearest village, where there was a good road over which she might walk to a place where paupers were taken care of. A narrow stream, which roared and rushed around or over many a rock, ran at several points close to the road, and, swelled by heavy rains, had overflowed it to the depth of a foot or more. The old woman and the two men in the doorway of the hut stood and waited for the cart to come.