George the secessionist, and his father’s ships.
As we have said, the second mate and little Tommy remained to seek new voyages. Such was the fact with the second mate; but Tommy had contracted a violent cold on the night he was locked up in the guard-house, and had been a subject for the medicine-chest for some time; and this, with his ardent attachment for Manuel, and hopes to join him again as a sailing companion, was the chief inducement for his remaining. The Captain gave them accommodations in the cabin so long as he had possession of the ship, which afforded the means of saving their money, of which Tommy had much need; for notwithstanding he received a nice present from the consul, and another from the Captain, which, added to the few dollars that were coming to him for wages, made him feel purse-proud, though it was far from being adequate to sustain him any length of time, or to protect him against any sudden adversity.
The Captain had not seen little George, the secessionist, since his assurance that he would make every thing right with Mr. Grimshaw, and have Manuel out in less than twenty-four hours. It was now the fourteenth of April, and the signs of his getting out were not so good as they were on the first day he was committed, for the vessel being condemned, if the law was carried to the strictest literal construction, Manuel would be tied up among the human things that are articles of merchandise in South Carolina. He was passing from the wharf to the consul’s office about ten o’clock in the morning, when he was suddenly surprised in the street by little George, who shook his hand as if he had been an old friend just returned after a long absence. He made all the apologies in the world for being called away suddenly, and consequently, unable to render that attention to his business which his feelings had prompted. Like all secessionists, George was very fiery and transitory in his feelings. He expressed unmeasurable surprise when the Captain told him the condition of his man in the old jail. “You don’t say that men are restricted like that in Charleston? Well, now, I never was in that jail, but it’s unsuited to the hospitality of our society,” said he.
“Your prison groans with abuses, and yet your people never hear them,” replied the Captain.
George seemed anxious to change the subject, and commenced giving the Captain a description of his journey to the plantation, his hunting and fishing, his enjoyments, and the fat, saucy, slick niggers, the fine corn and bacon they had, and what they said about massa, ending with an endless encomium of the “old man’s” old whiskey, and how he ripened it to give it smoothness and flavor. His description of the plantation and the niggers was truly wonderful, tantalizing the Captain’s imagination with the beauties of a growing principality in itself. “We have just got a new vessel added to our ships, and she sails for the Pedee this afternoon. We got the right stripe of a captain, but we have made him adopt conditions to be true to the secession party. As soon as I get another man, we’ll despatch her in grand style, and no mistake.”