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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 502 pages of information about Two Years Before the Mast.

The last night they kept it up in great style, and were getting into a high-go, when the captain called us off to go aboard, for, it being southeaster season, he was afraid to remain on shore long; and it was well he did not, for that night we slipped our cables, as a crowner to our fun ashore, and stood off before a southeaster, which lasted twelve hours, and returned to our anchorage the next day.

CHAPTER XXVIII

Monday, February, 1st.  After having been in port twenty-one days, we sailed for San Pedro, where we arrived on the following day, having gone ``all fluking,’’ with the weather clew of the mainsail hauled up, the yards braced in a little, and the lower studding-sail just drawing; the wind hardly shifting a point during the passage.  Here we found the Ayacucho and the Pilgrim, which last we had not seen since the 11th of September,—­ nearly five months; and I really felt something like an affection for the old brig which had been my first home, and in which I had spent nearly a year, and got the first rough and tumble of a sea life.  She, too, was associated in my mind with Boston, the wharf from which we sailed, anchorage in the stream, leave-taking, and all such matters, which were now to me like small links connecting me with another world, which I had once been in, and which, please God, I might yet see again.  I went on board the first night, after supper; found the old cook in the galley, playing upon the fife which I had given him as a parting present; had a hearty shake of the hand from him; and dove down into the forecastle, where were my old shipmates, the same as ever, glad to see me; for they had nearly given us up as lost, especially when they did not find us in Santa Barbara.  They had been at San Diego last, had been lying at San Pedro nearly a month, and had received three thousand hides from the pueblo.  But—­

``Sic vos non vobis’’

these we took from her the next day, which filled us up, and we both got under way on the 4th, she bound to San Francisco again, and we to San Diego, where we arrived on the 6th.

We were always glad to see San Diego; it being the depot, and a snug little place, and seeming quite like home, especially to me, who had spent a summer there.  There was no vessel in port, the Rosa having sailed for Valparaiso and Cadiz, and the Catalina for Callao, nearly a month before.  We discharged our hides, and in four days were ready to sail again for the windward; and, to our great joy—­ for the last time!  Over thirty thousand hides had been already collected, cured, and stowed away in the house, which, together with what we should collect, and the Pilgrim would bring down from San Francisco, would make out our cargo.  The thought that we were actually going up for the last time, and that the next time we went round San Diego point it would be ``homeward bound,’’ brought things so near a close that we felt as though we were just there, though it must still be the greater part of a year before we could see Boston.

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