“’What the devil do I care about yer Winking Weazels? I’m quite certain you have been fishing inside of the line, or you had obeyed our summons properly,’ he growled out again, like a bear in trouble. ’Blow my buttons, if I warn’t most scared to death when I seed ye comin’! Couldn’t tell what on ’arth ye wanted; and I know’d that if there war’ a chance at all, it was to run. If I’d know’d ye war’ such a clever lookin’ fellow, and that ye warn’t a going to hurt a body, I’d come to quicker nor lightenin.’ Pluck got all the philosophy in his natur’ up. ’Suppose ye step down into the cabin and have a leetle of somethin’ to take, seem’ what a tarnal ugly fog’s comin’ up. Tom Blowers ’ll get all the things clear, so ye can take a look round, and be satisfied how we ain’t been takin’ advantage of the law, while you and me wets t’other eye with a little what won’t taste bad,’ continues Pluck, doing the polite all up. The good natur’ of the chap was a good way down’ in him, but talkin’ of a little drop just dropped into the right place, brought it up all over him. ’Well, seeing it’s you, providing it’s right good, I don’t mind,’ he replied, reflectively. It warmed up the tender spot in his stomach, and, going down below, he wet t’other eye twice. ‘Stonishin’ to see how good the critter got all at once. He was just the best natured Britisher that ever came along. ’Twas just the medicine to cure his disease.
“‘Now! here’s the dockerments’ (Pluck hands him the papers), ’and ye can take a squint into the hold. Hain’t touched a fish for three days. Just so, stranger,’ rejoined Pluck, tellin’ the cook to get the skipper of the Devastation to be kind enough to lend him a keg of water.
“’Schooner Spunk, of Barnstable, 84 tons burden, Jacob Pluck, master, &c., &c. Mighty formidable combination,’ ejaculated the Britisher, lookin’ his eyes almost out, and runnin’ the forefinger of his right hand over the Spunk’s Certificate. Then turning to Pluck, a sort of half-way grin of good nature on his countenance, he continued: ’You Yankees are curious specimens, after all. Pretty generous, good-natured when it’s profitable, hard to understand, and as cute as—’
“‘Don’t say the last!’ interrupts Pluck. ’Seeing it’s you, citizen, we wont argue that point just now. Satisfied on the dockerments, ain’t ye?’
“’Confound the dockerments! I don’t want to bother myself with them. Mind your eye next time; cover when you see the signal,’ says the Britisher, whom Pluck had got nicely smoothed down.
“’Reckon how there won’t be any mistake about it next time. Give us yer hand, captain.’ (Pluck shakes hands with the Britisher). ’They say the Pinkey, Starlight—you know she’s a ripper to fish inside of the line!—got into a monstrous shoal of fresh mackerel day afore yesterday, and is now takin’ on ’em like sixty, inside of the line, down north-east of us.’
“’Do you tell me that? That fellow Smooth at it, again, fishing inside of the line? And inside the point as well, I suppose?’ The Britisher looked surprised, and listened attentively to Pluck as he assumed an air of innocence.