Jack Tier eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 536 pages of information about Jack Tier.
same thing.  By that time, the Swash was five-and-twenty miles to the eastward, and consequently but just discernible in her loftiest sails, from the ship’s royal yards.  Still, the latter continued the chase; and that evening both vessels were beating down along the southern margin of the Florida Reef, against the trades, but favoured by a three or four knot current, the brig out of sight to windward.  Our narrative leads us to lose sight of both these vessels, for a time, in order to return to the islets of the Gulf.  Eight-and-forty hours had made some changes in and around the haven of the Dry Tortugas.  The tent still stood, and a small fire that was boiling its pot and its kettle, at no great distance from it, proved that the tent was still inhabited.  The schooner also rode at her anchors, very much as she had been abandoned by Spike.  The bag of doubloons, however, had been found, and there it lay, tied but totally unguarded, in the canvas verandah of Rose Budd’s habitation.  Jack Tier passed and repassed it with apparent indifference, as he went to and fro, between his pantry and kitchen, busy as a bee in preparing his noontide meal for the day.  This man seemed to have the islet all to himself, however, no one else being visible on any part of it.  He sang his song, in a cracked, contre alto voice, and appeared to be happy in his solitude.  Occasionally he talked to himself aloud, most probably because he had no one else to speak to.  We shall record one of his recitatives, which came in between the strains of a very inharmonious air, the words of which treated of the seas, while the steward’s assistant was stirring an exceedingly savoury mess that he had concocted of the ingredients to be found in the united larders of the Swash and the Mexican schooner.

“Stephen Spike is a capital willian!” exclaimed Jack, smelling at a ladle filled with his soup—­“a capital willian, I call him.  To think, at his time of life, of such a handsome and pleasant young thing as this Rose Budd; and then to try to get her by underhand means, and by making a fool of her silly old aunt.  It ’s wonderful what fools some old aunts be!  Quite wonderful!  If I was as great a simpleton as this Mrs. Budd, I’d never cross my threshhold.  Yes, Stephen Spike is a prodigious willian, as his best friend must own!  Well, I gave him a thump on the head that he’ll not forget this v’y’ge.  To think of carryin’ off that pretty Rose Budd in his very arms, in so indecent a manner!  Yet, the man has his good p’ints, if a body could only forget his bad ones.  He’s a first-rate seaman.  How he worked the brig till he doubled the reef, a’ter she got into open water; and how he made her walk off afore the wind, with stun’sails alow and aloft, as soon as ever he could make ’em draw!  My life for it, he ’ll tire the legs of Uncle Sam’s man, afore he can fetch up with him.  For running away, when hard chased, Stephen Spike has n’t his equal on ’arth.  But, he’s a great willian—­a prodigious willian! 

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Jack Tier from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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