“What, my mother?” interrupted Henry, while a shade of displeasure crossed his countenance at what he deemed the insolent familiarity with which Gascoyne mentioned her name.
“The same. On my last visit I promised to get her a man-servant who could do her some service in keeping off the savages when they take a fancy to trouble the settlement; and if Bumpus is willing to try his luck on shore, I promise him he’ll find her a good mistress, and her house pleasant quarters.”
“So,” exclaimed the stout seaman, stopping short in his rolling walk, and gazing earnestly into his captain’s face, “I’m to be sold to a woman?”
“With your own consent entirely, Master Bumpus,” said Gascoyne, with a smile.
“Come, Jo,” cried. Henry, gaily, “I see you like the prospect, and feel assured that you and; I shall be good friends. Give us your flipper, my boy!”
John Bumpus allowed the youth to seize and shake a “flipper,” which would have done credit to a walrus, both in regard to shape and size. After a short pause he said, “Whether you and me shall be good friends, young man, depends entirely on the respect which you show to the family of the Bumpuses—said family havin’ comed over to Ireland with the Conkerer in the year—, ah! I misremember the year, but that don’t matter, bein’ a subject of no consarn wotiver, ’xcept to schoolboys who’ll get their licks if they can’t tell, and sarve ’em right too. But if you’re willin’ I’m agreeable, and there’s an end o’ the whole affair.”
So saying, John Bumpus suffered a bland smile to light up his ruddy countenance, and resumed his march in the “wake,” as he expressed it, of his companions.
Half an hour later they arrived at Sandy Cove, a small native settlement and mission station, and were soon seated at the hospitable board of Widow Stuart.
THE MISSIONARY—SUSPICIONS, SURPRISES, AND SURMISES.
Sandy Cove was a small settlement, inhabited partly by native converts to Christianity, and partly by a few European traders, who, having found that the place was in the usual track of South-Sea whalers, and frequently visited by that class of vessels as well as by other ships, had established several stores or trading-houses, and had taken up their permanent abode there.
The island was one of those the natives of which were early induced to agree to the introduction of the gospel. At the time of which we write, it was in that transition state which renders the work of the missionary one of anxiety, toil, and extreme danger, as well as one of love.
But the Rev. Frederick Mason was a man eminently fitted to fill the post which he had selected as his sphere of labor. Bold and manly in the extreme, he was more like a soldier in outward aspect than a missionary. Yet the gentleness of the lamb dwelt in his breast and beamed in his eye; and to a naturally indomitable and enthusiastic disposition was added burning zeal in the cause of his beloved Master.