“That’s a fact!” interrupted Hunt. “Americans have always been forbearing at the start; but let them get once thoroughly roused and they make things hot enough for the aggressors.”
“So they do,” said Max, “and so I think they always will; I hope so, anyhow; for I don’t believe it’s right for any nation to allow any of its people to be so dreadfully wronged and ill-treated as thousands of our poor sailors were, by the English, before the war of 1812 taught them better. I don’t believe the mass of the English people approved, but they couldn’t keep their aristocracy—who hated republicanism, and wanted always to continue superior in station and power to the mass of their countrymen and ours—from oppressing and abusing our poor sailors, impressing, flogging, and ill-treating them in various ways, and to such a degree that it makes one’s blood boil in reading or thinking of it. And I think it’s right enough for one to be angry and indignant at such wrongs to others.”
“Of course it is,” said Hunt; “and Americans always will resist oppression—of themselves or their weaker brethren—and I glory in the fact. What a fight that was of Macdonough’s! Do you remember the incident of the gamecock?”
“No; what was it?”
“It seems that one of the shots from the British vessel Linnet demolished a hencoop on the deck of the Saratoga, releasing this gamecock, and that he flew to a gun-slide, where he alighted, then clapped his wings and crowed lustily.
“That delighted our sailors, who accepted the incident as an omen of the victory that crowned their arms before the fight was over. They cheered and felt their courage strengthened.”
“Good!” said Max, “that cock was at better business than the fighting he had doubtless been brought up to.”
“Yes; so say I:
“O Johnny Bull, my
Behold on Lake Champlain,
With more than equal force, John,
You tried your fist again;
But the cock saw how ’twas going.
And cried ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo,’
And Macdonough was victorious,
Johnny Bull, my joe!”
“Pretty good,” laughed Max. “But there are the taps; so good-night.”
Lulu woke early the next morning and was dressed and on deck before any other of the Dolphin’s passengers. Day had dawned and the eastern sky was bright with purple, orange, and gold, heralding the near approach of the sun which, just as she set her foot on the deck, suddenly showed his face above the restless waves, making a golden pathway across them.
“Oh, how beautiful!” was her involuntary exclamation. Then catching sight of her father standing with his back toward her, and apparently absorbed in gazing upon the sunrise, she hastened to his side, caught his hand in hers, and carried it to her lips with a glad, “Good-morning, you dear papa.”
“Ah! good-morning, my darling,” he returned, bending down to press a kiss on the bright, upturned face.