Abbildungen der Seite

an iron frame, which could be removed to be swung to the davits at the jægt's at pleasure. The oaken huil was painted stern, and a parting gun to be fired. One a sea-green color, relieved by a single of the two small bronze signal guns, fixed narrow gold band extending round the on swivels on the pawl-windlass bitts, vessel, about a foot below the gunwale. was promptly fired, and the pram hoisted Her single dark-varnished mast was of red chock-a-block to the davits, and then pine, clear of a single knot, and rose turned bottom upwards, and secured in straight as an arrow, and exactly perpen- such a position as to be ready for immedicular, to a great hight, terminating diately launching again, and yet to lie above the “ eyes” of the shrouds and the without obstructing the movements of “collar” of the stay in a “crown,” five or the tiller, or obscuring the light from the six feet in length, which curved forward cabin stern windows. Vonved next orand tapered to a point sustaining a dered the belm to be put up, and the small vane. Although carrying no upper jægt to be kept away as near the wind sails, she yet could spread a large mass as suited her best point of sailing; his of canvas, comprising gaff and boom object being to increase her distance mainsail, square foresail, staysail, jib, and from the Camperdown as rapidly as flying-jib. One very extraordinary pe- possible. culiarity was the fact that all the sails The bonny little jægt was handled by were dyed black, and the spars and her powerful and experienced crew as blocks were also of that somber hue. On easily as a mimic cock-boat is turned and board all was as neat as could possibly guided by a schoolboy. She bowed over be. The low bulwarks were painted blue to the freshening breeze that whistled inside, with a bright crimson stripe down merrily through the rigging, until her their middle; the deck was holystoned lee-gangway dipped in the surging flood, white as snow; every loose rope was and then she rushed steadily ahead, dashcarefully coiled down; the nicest order ing aside the creamy spray from the and arrangement prevailed. Just abaft crests of the waves which harmlessly the mast was a large hatchway, covered broke against her bows, or when an ocwith a handsome grating, painted white, casionally heavier gust of wind jerked at and aft there was a little poop-deck about her tacks and stays, she would shake her seven feet in length, with a companion in head saucily, uplift her bows with a snort front to afford ingress to the cabin. and gurgle of the water eddying round There was a low skylight to this poop- her stem, and leap bodily over the addeck, and the long tiller with which the vancing waves. vessel was steered only just cleared it. Vonved's eyes glistened with keen On the whole, the pretty little jægt was pleasure as he saw how quickly his jægt evidently not engaged in the ordinary would be “hull down” to the bark, and pursuits of honest gainful commerce, but as he stood on the weather quarter gang. either was a pleasure-boat, or a craft of a way, he struck the palm of his right hand very questionable character.

smartly on the top of the bulwark, and When the pram which received Lars apostrophizing the vessel as though she Vonved from the Camperdown, came were a living creature, ejaculated : alongside the jægt, he lightly swung him "Ah! my own sweet little Amalia! thus self on deck, and was received by the dost thou ever serve me in the hour of skipper, who bowed low and gracefully, need! A faithful craft hast thou been, exclaiming :

and so thou wilt ever be unto me! Verily, “Velbecommen hjem, Capitain Von. I have need of thee.” ved!” (Welcome back!)

As though his little Amalia (as the The seamen on board, and those in the craft was named, after one wbom he depram, also doffed their caps, and echoed votedly loved) were really the sentient the national expression of welcome-na- being he almost seemed to believe her, tional, at least, as concerns the maritime she bounded forward more vigorously people—“velbecommen hjem'!” in hearty than ever, sending up the spray from her tones.

weather-bow high above the bulwarks in “Mange taks, min vens !” (many showers that sparkled brilliantly in the thanks, my friends,) was Vonved's an- sun ere falling far to leeward. swer, and he hastily shook hands with The crew of the jægt consisted of four the skipper, and then directed the pram men and a skipper. The men were all


middle-aged, grave, steady-looking sea- | the deeply attentive crew, who of course men, and when they had made such alter- heard every word of the conversation, ations as were necessary in the disposition “ you are old seamen, and would know of the sails, three of them — the fourth that bark again by her build and rig having the tiller in hand — clustered to- among a thousand-is it not so ?” gether, and stood with folded arms a little The men raised their caps in the ready, abaft the mast, gazing curiously, yet re- courteous manner, common even to the spectfully, at “Capitain Vonved," as they poorest and lowliest seamen of Scandicalled him. Near to the latter stood navia, and promptly answered in the af: their own" skipper,” who merits a more firmative. particular description. His age did not “Then, one and all, will bear in mind exceed two-and-twenty, and he was tall, that the good old captain of that bark slim, and decidedly gentlemanly in his is my friend ; I owe my life to that ship appearance and manners. His fair com- and her crew; and I order you at all plexion, light-blue eyes, flaxen hair, and times to aid that captain and ship at the the general contour of his features, bore peril of your lives should there ever be testimony to his Scandinavian lineage. occasion, and opportunity serve.” He was a handsome, intelligent-looking “Ja, ja! Capitain Vonved;" gravely young man, and his dress set off his figure responded they, and their looks betokento advantage. It consisted of wide blue ed how much they desired to know in trowsers of fine cloth, a vest of dark velvet, what manner his life had been jeoparbuttoned closely up to the throat, and a dized and saved. He perceived this, and blae cloth surtout confined round the with an air in which kindness and author. waist with a simple belt of black varnished ity were singularly blended, he said: leather. His neck was bare, the white “I know your faithful affection for me, collar of his shirt being turned down, and my brave men, for you have all been oft tied with a little bow of black ribbon. tried and never yet found wanting, and On his head he wore an ordinary undress at the proper time you shall know what navy cap, with the usual anchor-buttons, has befallen me since we last parted. but the gold band was merely a narrow Herr Lundt, let the man who acts as stripe. This young man, after his first your steward serve to them a couple of greeting, had only spoken to Lars Von- bottles of your best wine to drink my sate ved in answer to one or two questions return.” the latter put, but stood with an air of The young officer-as he may not imdeference, yet friendly familiarity, await. properly be called-bowed, and beckoning the further pleasure of the redoubted ing to the seaman who acted as steward, Rover of the Baltic.

gave him an order. The man dived into Suddenly Vonved turned towards him, the cabin, and quickly reäppeared with and said :

the wine; when Vonved said, in a smiling, “You little anticipated seeing a signal friendly way: of mine from yonder bark, Herr “Go forward, my Vikings, and enjoy Lundt?

yourselves; but neglect not to keep a “I did not, Captain Vonved, and at good look-out and report to us when nefirst I rather feared it was an enemy's cessary. Herr Lundt, we will now retire ruse, but thanks to a good glass, I recog. to the cabin.” nized you, and, therefore had no hesita The officer again bowed, descended tion in answering the signal and bearing first, and was followed by the extraorwn."

dinary man whose will appeared to be “ You did well sir, and right glad was law on board. I to see the Little Amalia dashing to my

The cabin of the Amalia was, of course, resciie."

small, and yet it was considerably larger “Rescue! Captain Vonved ?"

than would have been supposed by one “So I may phrase it, sir, although I was who judged of its size merely by that of in no danger so far as the good-will of the entire hull. It had been skillfully the captain and crew of the Camperdown fitted up so as to make the most of the was concerned. You would know her circumscribed space; and as the little jægt again ?"

was not intended to carry cargo, except “I should, Captain Vonved.”

of a certain kind which occupied very “And you, my Vikings ?” addressing small bulk, the cabin included all that

part of the vessel beneath the poop-deck, through either of the stern windows, and and two neat little state rooms were sit- motioned to Herr Lundt to seat himself uated forward of it, in what in a large opposite, but the latter hesitated, and vessel would be called the steerage. They remarked in a whisper : communicated with the cabin through “ Had I not better close the companion. doors in the bulkhead of the latter. The way, Captain Vonved, if you wish to concabin itself was nine feet in breadth by verse without risk of being overheard ?” seven feet in length. In the center stood “Yes, do so.” an oblong table covered by a snow-white Lundt first spoke to the steersman, and damask cloth, and all round were lockers bade him keep the course which had been provided with crimson silk cushions, to given, and immediately report any sail serve as seats. The front of these lockers which hove in sight, or any material and all the paneling of the cabin was of change of wind, and then carefully closed rich mahogany, polished so brightly that the two little foldirg-doors forming the the pier-glass suspended on one side was front of the companion, and drew the almost superfluous. The moulding filling slide closely over. up the angle between the paneling and “Now for a bottle of your best !” cried the deck overhead was gilt, and the deck Vonved cheerfully. itself (forming the ceiling) was beautifully “What wine will you prefer, Captain painted with fanciful and allegorical de Vonved ?" vices and figures, wreaths of flowers, etc. “Champagne, let it be, for my heart is From the deck was suspended a large an- light and grateful now that I once more tique bronze oil lamb, of peculiar forma- feel myself afloat in my first love-the tion, having three projecting dragons' dainty Little Amalia!” heads, the mouths of which each con The young man hastened to raise a trap tained a wick for burning. Between the door in the flooring of the cabin, beneath two windows at the stern was a semi-cir- which the runs of the vessel formed a cular zebra-wood locker, the front of cool and capital wine cellar, and from which was inlaid with various precious thence he extracted a couple of bottles woods in the most elaborate manner, so of champagne, which, with the proper as to represent the mariner's compass, and glasses, he placed on the table. in a small shield in the center of this fan “Would you take any repast also, ciful compass was painted an exact fac- Captain Vonved? I can give you some simile of the mysterious symbols and fine fresh lax, and some motto of Vonved's signet-ring-an eagle "No, sir, I require nothing at present; flying with a double-edged sword in its and I must apologize,” added Vonved, beak above a ship in full sail. This locker with an air of high and courtly breeding, was ostensibly supported by a species of " for permitting you to act as steward, bracket, a solid piece of Danish oak ex- but I have reason to wish for our interquisitely carved in the semblance of the view to be private.” conventional head and flowing beard of “O Captain Vonved !” eagerly cried old father Neptune. Along the paneling Lundt, blushing and bowing, “ how can on each side of the cabin were arranged you say that? You know that it is a several weapons offensive and defensive. pleasure and a privilege for me!” The little cabin was excellently lighted, Lars Vonved gazed half-mournfully and not only by the two stern windows, but half-affectionately at the flushed ingenuous also by the large skylight overhead, features of his young officer, and sighing which being composed of richly-stained deeply, he slowly echoed: glass, cast a warm and varied light below. “A pleasure and a privilege! And do A small stove of polished steel, with brass you esteem it such to be the companion, fittings, and a bright copper flue, stood the familiar friend of an outlaw, a doomed on one side the vessel against the bulk- man, one denounced as an arch-miscreant, head, and may be said to complete the one upon whose head a heavy price is set chief fittings of the snug and tasteful by the government of his country ?” little cabin, in which a man of ordinary “I do!” answered the young man stature could just stand upright.

energetically. “You have saved my life On entering, Vonved sat down at the - you have honored me with your conend of the table in a position which ena- fidence—and I know that he whom men bled him to command a view of the sea I call the Rover of the Baltic is one whose

qualities are worthy of friendship and “Ah !” said he, very quietly, “I have admiration. Yes, I am linked to your myself undergone a somewhat similar fortunes, be it for good or for evil, and I adventure, although, in my case, a burnam proud of the friendship of the Count ing tropical sun did not increase my sufof Els

ferings." “Hold !” interrupted Vonved, raising “Indeed, sir; where was that ?” his forefinger significantly. “I am only “Here, in the Baltic; and it occurred Lars Vonved, Captain Vonved! But as only yesterday.” for what you assert—be it so; all I can " Yesterday, Captain Vonved ? Imsay is, that I trust that if your friendship possible !" and connection with me does not operate “Why impossible, Herr Lundt?” drily to your weal, it may not be to your woe! demanded the Rover. “ The bark And now let us drink !"

which is yet in sight picked me up yesterThe glasses were brimmed with the day evening, clinging to a spar, almost at cool sparkling vintage of the sunny South, my last gasp, and, as I believe, the solitary and silently bowing to each other, the survivor of a terrible catastrophe.” two friends quaffed.

The young man started, became deadly "Truly, wine gladdens the heart of pale, and faintly cried : man, as was said of old,” exclaimed the “O Captain Vonved ! can it indeed Rover; " and yet I have been refreshed be that the Skildpadde and all her brave and gladdened more in my time by a crew have perished ?” stinted draught of water-neither pure “Not so, my young friend, no calamity nor sparkling—than by any wine I ever has happened to her, I trust. It is the drunk."

Falk that has perished, and every soul “ That would be in the tropins, sir ?” on board, myself excepted.” “ In the tropics—and elsewbere."

“The Falk! the brig-of-war cruising “I, also, Captain Vorved. know by off Bornholm! And you were on board fearful experience the value of a draught her ?” of water !" Lundt observed, seeing that Vonved calmly nodded. Vonved was not indisposed to prolong “ As a prisoner, Captain Vonved ?” a desultory conversation ere discussing “ As a prisoner, sir; what else should matters of present and weighty interest. I be?”

“ You, 'Herr Lundt! When and “Then you were betrayed ?" where ?"

“I should not otherwise have been cap“ Off the coast of Africa."

tured, as you may well believe,” answered “I was not aware that you had ever Vonved, with a bitter smile. sailed on the main ocean ?"

“ And who was the traitor-do you “I believe I never mentioned to you know ?” before, Captain Vonved, that in my "I do know, Herr Lundt, and fearfully twentieth year, I, for the first and only shall he expiate his treachery.” As Vontime, sailed on the Atlantic, and very ved uttered these words, his usual calm (lisastrous the outward voyage proved. imperturbability instantly disappeared, To my dying day I shall never forget the and his lips quivered, revealing his broad sufferings I underwent-for more than white teeth closely clenched, his features the ordinary anguish which befalls a man writhed with passion, and his eyes flashed in many years was condensed, as it were, with a fire all the more terrible because in the space of a few hours."

90 rarely evinced. “The ship was becalmed and short of This emotion, however uncontrollable water ?"

it might be at the moment, was merely “Not so, Captain Vonved. The suffer- transient in duration, for in a few seconds ings from thirst to which I alluded were Vonved's countenance resumed its gentle experienced only by myself—a solitary yet thoughtful expression. wretch, tossed helplessly about, the sport Then Vonved, in a low impressive tone, of every wave.”

calmly narrated to his astonished companThese words caused Vonved to steadily ion the story of his betrayal, capture, regard his companion with a look of sur- and ultimate escape. prise and suddenly aroused interest.

[blocks in formation]

Most if not all our readers have heard | my lad: dost think thou could'st find for this proverb applied, when some one has me a book I left lying in such and such a attempted what was out of his province. part of the park? thou’lt get two'zwanziBut assuredly none of them ever saw it gers* for bringing it to me.” so royally exemplified as it was in the The boy, who had never before seen true history I am about to relate, the the king, cast a most incredulous look on principal actor in which was no less a per- the corpulent gentleman who made him sonage than Maximilian Joseph of Ba- so astounding a proffer, and then turned varia, the grandfather of the present king away, saying, with an air of comical re. of that country, and one of the most lov: sentment: "I am not so stupid as you ing, as well as one of the most beloved take me for.” monarchs, that ever wielded a scepter. 'Why do you think I consider you On one hot summer day, King Maximil

. stupid ? asked the monarch. ian, clad in very plain habiliments, had Because

you offer me two zwanzigers gone out alone, (as was his wont,) to walk for so trifling a service; so much money in the fine park which surrounds his castle can not be earned so easily,” was tho of Tegernue,* and after a 'time, drew a sturdy reply. volume from his pocket, and seated him “Now, indeed,” said the king, smiling self on a bench to read. The sultriness of good - humoredly, “I must think thee a the air, and the perfect stillness of the simpleton ! why do you thus doubt my place, made his eyes heavy, and laying word ?” down his book on the bench beside him, “ Those up yonder,” replied the boy, the monarch fell into a doze. His slum- pointing in the direction of the distant ber did not last long, however, and on castle, "are ready enough to make sport awaking, he rose to continue his walk, but of the like of us, and ye're one of them, forgot his book, and left it lying on the I'm thinking.” bench. Wandering onwards, from one “And suppose I were” said the king; division of the extensive park to another,“ but see, here are the two zwanzigers ; he at length passed beyond its limits, and take them, and fetch me the book.”' entered on those


downs which The herd-boy's eyes sparkled as he held stretch down to the margin of the lake. actually in his hand a sum of money near

All at once, the king remembered his ly equal to the hard coin of his summer's book, and the possibility that it might be herding, and yet he hesitated. seen and appropriated by some stranger “How now,” cried the king; "why passing by. Unwilling to lose a book don't you set off at once ?" he valued, and equally unwilling to re “I would fain to do it-but I dare not," trace the way he had come, while the lake said the poor fellow; “ for if the villagers path to the castle lay temptingly before hear I have left the plaguy geese, they him, the king looked round in every di- will turn me off, and how shall I earn my rection, for some one whom he could send bread then ?» for the volume; but the only human be “Simpleton !” exclaimed the king, “I ing within view was a boy, tending a will herd the geese till

you return." large flock of geese. The monarch, there “ You !" said the rustic, with a most fore, went up to him, and said : “ Hearken, contemptuous elongation of the pronoun;

you would make a pretty goose-herd;

you are much too fat, and much too stiff: The same romantic residence to which the still suffering King of Prussia resorted last summer. * An Austrian coin, value 7d. or 8d. sterling.

« ZurückWeiter »