“Shrimp! Gloucester shrimp! Git aout, you Novy!”
To call a Gloucester man a Nova Scotian is not well received. Dan answered in kind.
“Novy yourself, ye Scrabble-towners! ye Chatham wreckers! Git aout with your brick in your stockin’!” And the forces separated, but Chatharn had the worst of it.
“I knew haow ’twould be,” said Disko. “She’s drawed the wind raound already. Some one oughter put a deesist on thet packet. She’ll snore till midnight, an’ jest when we’re gettin’ our sleep she’ll strike adrift. Good job we ain’t crowded with craft hereaways. But I ain’t goin’ to up anchor fer Chatham. She may hold.”
The wind, which had hauled round, rose at sundown and blew steadily. There was not enough sea, though, to disturb even a dory’s tackle, but the Carrie Pitman was a law unto herself. At the end of the boys’ watch they heard the crack-crack-crack of a huge muzzle-loading revolver aboard her.
“Gory, glory, hallelujah!” sung Dan. “Here she comes, Dad; butt-end first, walkin’ in her sleep same’s she done on ’Queereau.”
Had she been any other boat Disko would have taken his chances, but now he cut the cable as the Carrie Pitman, with all the North Atlantic to play in, lurched down directly upon them. The ’We’re Here’, under jib and riding-sail, gave her no more room than was absolutely necessary,—Disko did not wish to spend a week hunting for his cable,—but scuttled up into the wind as the Carrie passed within easy hail, a silent and angry boat, at the mercy of a raking broadside of Bank chaff.
“Good evenin’,” said Disko, raising his head-gear, “an’ haow does your garden grow?”
“Go to Ohio an’ hire a mule,” said Uncle Salters. “We don’t want no farmers here.”
“Will I lend you my dory-anchor?” cried Long Jack.
“Unship your rudder an’ stick it in the mud,” bawled Tom Platt.
“Say!” Dan’s voice rose shrill and high, as he stood on the wheel-box. “Sa-ay! Is there a strike in the o-ver-all factory; or hev they hired girls, ye Shackamaxons?”
“Veer out the tiller-lines,” cried Harvey, “and nail ’em to the bottom!” That was a salt-flavoured jest he had been put up to by Tom Platt. Manuel leaned over the stern and yelled: “Johanna Morgan play the organ! Ahaaaa!” He flourished his broad thumb with a gesture of unspeakable contempt and derision, while little Penn covered himself with glory by piping up: “Gee a little! Hssh! Come here. Haw!”
They rode on their chain for the rest of the night, a short, snappy, uneasy motion, as Harvey found, and wasted half the forenoon recovering the cable. But the boys agreed the trouble was cheap at the price of triumph and glory, and they thought with grief over all the beautiful things that they might have said to the discomfited Carrie.
Next day they fell in with more sails, all circling slowly from the east northerly towards the west. But just when they expected to make the shoals by the Virgin the fog shut down, and they anchored, surrounded by the tinklings of invisible bells. There was not much fishing, but occasionally dory met dory in the fog and exchanged news.