It has again become necessary to advance the time; and we shall take the occasion thus offered to make a few explanations touching certain events which have been passed over without notice.
The reason why Captain Mull did not chase the yawl of the brig in the Poughkeepsie herself, was the necessity of waiting for his own boats that were endeavouring to regain the sloop-of-war. It would not have done to abandon them, inasmuch as the men were so much exhausted by the pull to windward, that when they reached the vessel all were relieved from duty for the rest of the day. As soon, however, as the other boats were hoisted in, or run up, the ship filled away, stood out of the passage and ran down to join the cutter of Wallace, which was endeavouring to keep its position, as much as possible, by making short tacks under close-reefed luggs.
Spike had been received on board the sloop-of-war, sent into her sick bay, and put under the care of the surgeon and his assistants. From the first, these gentlemen pronounced the hurt mortal. The wounded man was insensible most of the time, until the ship had beat up and gone into Key West, where he was transferred to the regular hospital, as has already been mentioned.
The wreckers went out the moment the news of the calamity of the Swash reached their ears. Some went in quest of the doubloons of the schooner, and others to pick up anything valuable that might be discovered in the neighbourhood of the stranded brig. It may be mentioned here, that not much was ever obtained from the brigantine, with the exception of a few spars, the sails, and a little rigging; but, in the end, the schooner was raised, by means of the chain Spike had placed around her, the cabin was ransacked, and the doubloons were recovered. As there was no one to claim the money, it was quietly divided among the conscientious citizens present at its re-visiting “the glimpses of the moon,” making gold plenty.
The doubloons in the yawl would have been lost but for the sagacity of Mulford. He too well knew the character of Spike to believe he would quit the brig without taking the doubloons with him. Acquainted with the boat, he examined the little locker in the stern-sheets, and found the two bags, one of which was probably the lawful property of Captain Spike, while the other, in truth, belonged to the Mexican government. The last contained the most gold, but the first amounted to a sum that our young mate knew to be very considerable. Rose had made him acquainted with the sex of Jack Tier since their own marriage; and he at once saw that the claims of this uncouth wife, who was so soon to be a widow, to the gold in question, might prove to be as good in law, as they unquestionably were in morals. On representing the facts of the case to Captain Mull and the legal functionaries at Key West, it was determined to relinquish this money to the heirs of Spike, as, indeed, they