“What do you mean?”
“I don’t believe you will be elected.”
“I know I shall, if we manage it right. Let us look at it,” continued Shuffles, as he took a pencil from his pocket. “Got a piece of paper?”
Monroe gave him a piece of paper, and the wire-puller began to make his calculations.
“Eighty-seven votes,” said he, writing the number on the paper. “Necessary to a choice, forty-four. Here are six votes to start with.”
“For whom?” asked Monroe.
“For me, for captain, first, and for each of the others for whatever place he wants; say for Wilton for first lieutenant; Howe for second, Sanborn for third, Monroe for fourth, and Adler for first master. What do you say to that, fellows?”
As with the political “slate,” there was some difference of opinion in regard to the minor officers, even after Shuffles’ claim to the captaincy had been conceded But this disposition of the spoils was finally agreed to.
“Now we want thirty-eight more votes,” Shuffles proceeded.
“Just so; and you might as well attempt to jump over the main royal yard as to get them,” added Adler, who, having been assigned to the office lowest in rank, was least satisfied with the “slate.”
“Hold on; we haven’t done yet. There are nine more offices. Now we will pick out some good fellow that will work for us, for each of these places; then we will promise him six votes if he will go our ticket, and do what he can for us.”
“That will give us only fifteen votes,” said Adler.
“I think that will be doing very well to start with. Then you five fellows can electioneer for me, and I’ll do the same for you.”
“I think we have made one mistake,” added Sanborn. “Most of the fellows will go for Carnes for captain. He is an old salt, and has more influence than any other student in the ship. We ought to offer him some place.”
“Make him purser, if you like,” said Shuffles, contemptuously.
“That won’t go down. Make him first lieutenant.”
“And shove me out?” demanded Wilton, indignantly. “I don’t see it!”
“Nor I,” added Shuffles. “I won’t vote for Carnes, any how. He’s a snob and a flunky.”
It was useless to resist the fiat of the chief wire-puller; the ticket remained as it had been originally prepared; and the young gentlemen proceeded to distribute the rest of the offices.
THE ENSIGN AT THE PEAK.
The students on board of the Young America were between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. By the regulations, no boy under fourteen or over seventeen could be admitted, and they averaged about fifteen. They had, therefore, reached the years of discretion. Among them were a great many who were disposed to be wild boys, and not a few who had found it difficult to remain in similar institutions on shore. They were not criminal or depraved, but simply wild; with a tendency to break through reasonable restraint; with a taste for mad pranks, and a contempt for authority.