Captains Courageous eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 154 pages of information about Captains Courageous.

“Do you mean I’m to clean pots and pans and things?” said Harvey.

“An’ other things.  You’ve no call to shout, young feller.”

“I won’t!  My father will give you enough to buy this dirty little fish-kettle”—­Harvey stamped on the deck—­“ten times over, if you take me to New York safe; and—­and—­you’re in a hundred and thirty by me, anyhow.”

“Haow?” said Troop, the iron face darkening.

“How?  You know how, well enough.  On top of all that, you want me to do menial work”—­Harvey was very proud of that adjective—­“till the Fall.  I tell you I will not.  You hear?”

Troop regarded the top of the mainmast with deep interest for a while, as Harvey harangued fiercely all around him.

“Hsh!” he said at last.  “I’m figurin’ out my responsibilities in my own mind.  It’s a matter o’ jedgment.”

Dan stole up and plucked Harvey by the elbow.  “Don’t go to tamperin’ with Dad any more,” he pleaded.  “You’ve called him a thief two or three times over, an’ he don’t take that from any livin’ bein’.”

“I won’t!” Harvey almost shrieked, disregarding the advice, and still Troop meditated.

“Seems kinder unneighbourly,” he said at last, his eye travelling down to Harvey.  “I —­ don’t blame you, not a mite, young feeler, nor you won’t blame me when the bile’s out o’ your systim.  Be sure you sense what I say?  Ten an’ a ha’af fer second boy on the schooner—­an’ all found—­fer to teach you an’ fer the sake o’ your health.  Yes or no?”

“No!” said Harvey.  “Take me back to New York or I’ll see you—­”

He did not exactly remember what followed.  He was lying in the scuppers, holding on to a nose that bled while Troop looked down on him serenely.

“Dan,” he said to his son, “I was sot agin this young feeler when I first saw him on account o’ hasty jedgments.  Never you be led astray by hasty jedgments, Dan.  Naow I’m sorry for him, because he’s clear distracted in his upper works.  He ain’t responsible fer the names he’s give me, nor fer his other statements—­nor fer jumpin’ overboard, which I’m abaout ha’af convinced he did.  You he gentle with him, Dan, ’r I’ll give you twice what I’ve give him.  Them hemmeridges clears the head.  Let him sluice it off!”

Troop went down solemnly into the cabin, where he and the older men bunked, leaving Dan to comfort the luckless heir to thirty millions.

CHAPTER II

“I warned ye,” said Dan, as the drops fell thick and fast on the dark, oiled planking.  “Dad ain’t noways hasty, but you fair earned it.  Pshaw! there’s no sense takin’ on so.”  Harvey’s shoulders were rising and falling in spasms of dry sobbing.  “I know the feelin’.  First time Dad laid me out was the last—­and that was my first trip.  Makes ye feel sickish an’ lonesome.  I know.”

“It does,” moaned Harvey.  “That man’s either crazy or drunk, and—­and I can’t do anything.”

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Captains Courageous from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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