The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 569 pages of information about The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas.
case of floating lights or false beacons, but a manifestation that others, besides those who had been regularly trained to the sea, were occasionally to be found on the waters.  If Captain Ludlow thought differently, he saw no sufficient reason to enter into an explanation with those who were bound silently to obey.  He paced the quarter-deck, for many minutes; and then issued his orders to the equally-disappointed lieutenants.  The light canvas of the Coquette was taken in, the studding-sail-gear unrove, and the booms secured.  The ship was then brought to the wind, and her courses having been hauled up, the fore-top-sail was thrown to the mast.  In this position the cruiser lay, waiting for the morning light, in order to give greater certainty to her movements.

Chapter XIX.

“I, John Turner, Am master and owner Of a high-deck’d schooner.  That’s bound to Carolina—­” etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Coasting Song.

It is not necessary to say, with how much interest Alderman Van Beverout, and his friend the Patroon, had witnessed all the proceedings on hoard the Coquette.  Something very like an exclamation of pleasure escaped the former, when it was known that the ship had missed the brigantine, and that there was now little probability of overtaking her that night.

“Of what use is it to chase your fire-flies, about the ocean, Patroon?” muttered the Alderman, in the ear of Oloff Van Staats.  “I have no further knowledge of this ‘Skimmer of the Seas,’ than is decent in the principal of a commercial house,—­but reputation is like a sky-rocket, that may be seen from afar!  Her Majesty has no ship that can overtake the free-trader, and why fatigue the innocent vessel for no thing?”

“Captain Ludlow has other desires than the mere capture of the brigantine;” returned the laconic and sententious Patroon.  “The opinion that Alida de Barberie is in her, has great influence with that gentleman.”

“This is strange apathy, Mr. Van Staats, in one who is as good as engaged to my niece, if he be not actually married, Alida Barberie has great influence with that gentleman!  And pray, with whom, that knows her, has she not influence?”

“The sentiment in favor of the young lady, in general, is favorable.”

“Sentiment and favors!  Am I to understand, Sir by this coolness, that our bargain is broken?—­that the two fortunes are not to be brought together, and that the lady is not to be your wife?”

“Harkee, Mr. Van Beverout; one who is saving of his income and sparing of his words, can have no pressing necessity for the money of others; and, on occasion, he may afford to speak plainly.  Your niece has shown so decided a preference for another, that it has materially lessened the liveliness of my regard.”

“It were a pity that so much animation should fail of its object!  It would be a sort of stoppage in the affairs of Cupid!  Men should deal candidly, in all business transactions, Mr. Van Staats; and you will permit me to ask, as for a final settlement, if your mind is changed in regard to the daughter of old Etienne de Barberie, or not?”

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The Water-Witch or, the Skimmer of the Seas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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