Newton Forster eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 397 pages of information about Newton Forster.
see that bluff?—­keep her right for it.  Tom, you and the boy rouse the cable up—­get about ten fathoms on deck, and bend it.—­You’ll find a bit of seizing and a marling-spike in the locker abaft.”  The sloop scuddled before the gale, and in less than two hours was close to the headland pointed out by the master.  “Now, Newton, we must hug the point or we shall not fetch—­clap on the main sheet here, all of us.  Luff, you may, handsomely.—­That’s all right; we are past the Sand-head and shall be in smooth water in a jiffy.—­Steady, so-o.—­Now for a drop of swizzle," cried Thompson, who considered that he had kept sober quite long enough, and proceeded to the cask of rum lashed to leeward.  As he knelt down to pull out the spile, the sloop which had been brought to the wind, was struck on her broadside by a heavy sea, which careened her to her gunnel:  the lashings of the weather cask gave way, and it flew across the deck, jamming the unfortunate Thompson, who knelt against the one to leeward, and then bounding overboard.  The old man gave a heavy groan, and fell upon his back; the man and boy ran to his assistance, and by the directions of Newton, who could not quit the helm, carried him below, and placed him on his bed.  In a few minutes the sloop was safe at anchor, in smooth water, and Newton ran down into the cabin.  Thompson’s head had been crushed against the chime of the cask; for an hour or two he breathed heavily; and then—­he was no more!

Chapter VI

          “The Indian weed, unknown to ancient times,
  Nature’s choice gift, whose acrimonious fume
  Extracts superfluous juices, and refines
  The blood distemper’d from its noxious salts;
  Friend to the spirits, which with vapours bland
  It gently mitigates—­companion fit
  Of ’a good pot of porter.’” PHILLIPS.

          “There a pot of good double beer, neighbour. 
  Drink—­” SHAKESPEARE.

The next day the remains of old Thompson were carried on shore in the long-boat, and buried in the churchyard of the small fishing town that was within a mile of the port where the sloop had anchored.  Newton shipped another man, and when the gale was over, continued his voyage; which was accomplished without further adventure.

Finding no cargo ready for him, and anxious to deliver up the vessel to the owner, who resided at Overton, he returned in ballast, and communicated the intelligence of Thompson’s death; which, in so small a town, was long the theme of conversation, and the food of gossips.

Newton consulted with his father relative to the disposal of the trunk; but Nicholas could assist him but little with his advice.  After many pros and cons, like all other difficult matters, it was postponed.—­“Really, Newton, I can’t say.  The property certainly is not yours, but still we are not likely to find out the lawful owner.  Bring the trunk on shore; we’ll nail it up, and perhaps we may hear something about it by-and-bye.  We’ll make some inquiries—­by-and-bye—­when your mother—­”

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Newton Forster from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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