“It is the last of your going to sea, Wort. You will have to be a land-lubber,” said Sid.
This last remark touched Wort.
“No, sir! See if I don’t go to sea.” And go he did. Skipper Wentworth thought it would be pleasant to have Wort’s company the first voyage, which would terminate the latter part of the year.
Mrs. Wentworth had every thing in readiness for her boy’s comfort by the time the vessel sailed.
“What is her name?” he asked his father.
He only replied, “I want to surprise the club you belong to.” One day, to the delight of the boys, he showed them the name painted in conspicuous letters on the stern, “White Shield.” It was a mild autumn day when the “White Shield” went to sea. The club boys gathered on a wharf at the foot of the lane, and watched the vessel drifting down the river. They waved their handkerchiefs to Wort, who waved his in return. Then they stood and followed with their eyes the vessel in its flight. She passed Forbes’ Island, passed the light-house, passed Rocky Reef, passed—out of sight.
That day, at twilight, Charlie went to Mr. Walton’s house. The clergyman’s mother received a message which Charlie brought from Aunt Stanshy, and asked him to come in.
“Sit down here,” she said, and placed a chair before the open fire kindled on the edge of the autumn evening. “Sit down, and rest.”
“’The ‘White Shield’ has gone to sea,” he remarked, anxious to give the latest news.
“The ’White Shield’?”
“Haven’t you heard about her?”
“Why, I thought every body knew about the ‘White Shield.’”
And did she know that Wort Wentworth had gone to sea in the “White Shield?” No; she was ignorant of that important fact. How narrow the circle of her knowledge was!
“I know one thing, though, little boy,” said the old lady, “that the sea, which fascinates so many young people, may prove to be a very hard master. O, I don’t like to hear it roar on stormy nights!”
Then the old lady went to a picture of a ship at sea hanging on the wall. There she stood and sighed. Charlie wondered what it all meant.
“But there is one thing we can do on stormy nights,” she added. “We can pray. And I sometimes think, nights when the winds are roaring, how many souls all along the coast must be kneeling while the sailors at sea are up in the rigging, climbing, or furling the sails.”
SETTING A TRAP.
Ring, ring, ring!
The bell of St. John’s was busily swinging, flinging notes of gold and silver down upon the town, and in response, how many people came out into the streets as if to pick up the gold and silver shower. The bell was ringing for a temperance meeting. Many were immediately interested in the subject of temperance; but whether all would go, was a question. It was a serious doubt whether those that the meeting wanted would feel that they needed the meeting. There were several very important cases.