DOINGS ON BOARD THE “FOAM.”
The nature of this part of our story requires that we should turn back, repeatedly, in order to trace the movements of the different parties which cooeperated with each other.
While the warlike demonstrations we have described were being made by the British cruiser, the crew of the Foam were not idle.
In consequence of the capture of Bumpus by the savages, Gascoyne’s message was, of course, not delivered to Manton, and the first mate of the sandal-wood trader would have known nothing about the fight that raged on the other side of the island on the Sunday but for the three shots, fired by the first lieutenant of the Talisman, which decided the fate of the day.
Being curious to know the cause of the firing, Manton climbed the mountains until he gained the dividing ridge,—which, however, he did not succeed in doing till late in the afternoon, the way being rugged as well as long. Here he almost walked into the midst of a flying party of the beaten savages; but dropping suddenly behind a rock, he escaped their notice. The haste with which they ran, and the wounds visible on the persons of many of them, were sufficient to acquaint the mate of the Foam with the fact that a fight had taken place in which the savages had been beaten; and his knowledge of the state of affairs on the island enabled him to jump at once to the correct conclusion that the Christian village had been attacked.
A satanic smile played on the countenance of the mate as he watched the savages until they were out of sight; then, quitting his place of concealment, he hurried back to the schooner, which he reached some time after nightfall.
Immediately on gaining the deck he gave orders to haul the chain of the anchor short, to shake out the sails, and to make other preparations to avail himself without delay of the light breeze off the land which his knowledge of the weather and the locality taught him to look for before morning.
While his orders were being executed, a boat came alongside with that part of the crew which had been sent ashore by Gascoyne to escape the eye of the British commander. It was in charge of the second mate,—a short, but thick-set, and extremely powerful man, of the name of Scraggs,—who walked up to his superior the moment he came on board, and, in a tone somewhat disrespectful, asked what was going to be done.
“Don’t you see?” growled Manton; “we’re getting ready to sail.”
“Of course I see that,” retorted Scraggs, between whom and his superior officer there existed a feeling of jealousy as well as of mutual antipathy, for reasons which will be seen hereafter; “but I should like to know where we are going, and why we are going anywhere without the captain. I suppose I am entitled to ask that much.”
“It’s your business to obey orders,” said Manton, angrily.