Pathfinder; or, the inland sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 536 pages of information about Pathfinder; or, the inland sea.

“Fine talking, fine talking!” said Cap; “all fine talking, Master Pathfinder, but d——­d little logic.  In the first place, the king’s majesty cannot lend his crown, it being contrary to the laws of the realm, which require him to wear it at all times, in order that his sacred person may be known, just as the silver oar is necessary to a sheriff’s officer afloat.  In the next place, it’s high treason, by law, for the eldest son of his majesty ever to covet the crown, or to have a child, except in lawful wedlock, as either would derange the succession.  Thus you see, friend Pathfinder that in order to reason truly, one must get under way, as it might be, on the right tack.  Law is reason, and reason is philosophy, and philosophy is a steady drag; whence it follows that crowns are regulated by law, reason, and philosophy.”

“I know little of all this; Master Cap; but nothing short of seeing and feeling will make me think Jasper Western a traitor.”

“There you are wrong again, Pathfinder; for there is a way of proving a thing much more conclusively than either seeing or feeling, or by both together; and that is by a circumstance.”

“It may be so in the settlements; but it is not so here on the lines.”

“It is so in nature, which is monarch over all.  There was a circumstance, just after we came on board this evening, that is extremely suspicious, and which may be set down at once as a makeweight against this lad.  Jasper bent on the king’s ensign with his own hands; and, while he pretended to be looking at Mabel and the soldier’s wife, giving directions about showing them below here, and a that, he got the flag union down!”

“That might have been accident,” returned the Sergeant, “for such a thing has happened to myself; besides, the halyards lead to a pulley, and the flag would have come right, or not, according to the manner in which the lad hoisted it.”

“A pulley!” exclaimed Cap, with strong disgust; “I wish, Sergeant Dunham, I could prevail on you to use proper terms.  An ensign-halyard-block is no more a pulley than your halberd is a boarding-pike.  It is true that by hoisting on one part, another part would go uppermost; but I look upon that affair of the ensign, now you have mentioned your suspicions, as a circumstance, and shall bear it in mind.  I trust supper is not to be overlooked, however, even if we have a hold full of traitors.”

“It will be duly attended to, brother Cap; but I shall count on you for aid in managing the Scud, should anything occur to induce me to arrest Jasper.”

“I’ll not fail you, Sergeant; and in such an event you’ll probably learn what this cutter can really perform; for, as yet, I fancy it is pretty much matter of guesswork.”

“Well, for my part,” said Pathfinder, drawing a heavy sigh, “I shall cling to the hope of Jasper’s innocence, and recommend plain dealing, by asking the lad himself, without further delay, whether he is or is not a traitor.  I’ll put Jasper Western against all the presentiments and circumstances in the colony.”

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Pathfinder; or, the inland sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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