The Adventures of a Forty-niner eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 121 pages of information about The Adventures of a Forty-niner.
to return East in sixty days, and if he would keep straight, and drive one of their wagons for them, they would take him home with them.  When they went ashore the first day they left him in charge of their baggage, and promised him that he could go ashore the next.  They had their private store of wines and brandy.  He had found it and tried it and got full, and treated all the sailors and everybody on board that would drink with him, and was the most popular man on board with the sailors.  He repented the next day and begged their forgiveness, and they took him home with them.  Like a bad penny, he returned as he was before.  Distance did not reform him.

Well, our next port was Relago my destination.  Just after dark one day we got opposite to what, according to the charts, was that port.  It was necessary for them to wait until morning before they could undertake to enter it, as they had never been there before, and there were no pilots, and they decided not to let the steam go down, and they concluded that they would sail slowly around in a circle, so as to be opposite to the port in the morning.  When morning came it was foggy, and we could not see the land.  But they had such confidence in the correctness of their chart that they determined to enter it.  Instead of the port, we came to the white caps, dashing against the rocks almost mountains high, and we came within an ace of being dashed to pieces against them.  If the engineer had not reversed the movement of the engine the instant he did, we would have been wrecked.  The captain was now completely befogged.  In a short time he came to me with a paper to sign agreeing to go to Panama.  It should cost me nothing extra for my passage there; that the few other passengers for that port had signed it.  I thought I had better sign to go anywhere than to take any more chances in that steamer.  Come to find out afterward, instead of being opposite the port that morning, we were twenty miles from it, the currents of the ocean having carried us that distance while we were sailing around in a circle, which they had not ciphered on, and thus came so near wrecking us.  By chance we saw a sailing vessel.  The captain gave orders for the steamer to follow it, and, when we overtook it, we found it was bound for Relago.  There was a man on board of it who was acquainted with the port.  They got him to come on our steamer and had him pilot us to that port, so I expected to go ashore, and got my baggage in readiness, and, when the time came, had it brought up on deck.  They did not enter the port, but came to outside.  There were two passengers, it seems, that would not sign the paper to go to Panama, and it was to land them he had come to, and when I went to have my baggage put in the small boat the captain informed me I had signed to go to Panama, and some of the other passengers said I was very foolish to risk my life in that sea in so small a boat.  Before I scarcely knew it the boat had pushed off without me, and, consequently, the whole current and course of my life was changed.  Upon such little incidents often do the events of human life depend.  It may have been fortunate for me that I did not land there.

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The Adventures of a Forty-niner from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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