A SEA LAWYER.
Star , Issue 8153, 29 October 1904, Page 7
A SEA LAWYER.
(By W. L. ALDEN.) "I don't hold," said Captain Ta.box, " with the sailor's notion that lawyers, are no better than sharks. I've reason to know better. There is lawyer Twiggs of our town, who had the settling of a dead man's estate worth nigh on two hundred thousand dollars, and when he got through he handed over to the widow pretty near five thousand dqllars, when he might have grabbed tbe whole of it without letting the widow have a share. And I believe that there are a good many other lawyers that are every bit as honest as Twiggs himself. "If you talk of sea lawyers, 111 admit that they are the biggest scoundrels outjside the Legislature. Of course, you know thait a sea lawyer is the sort of chap that spends all his time in talking to his mates about the rights of sailors, and making them believe that a sailor's most precious right is never to do any work. l?or cheek and general cussedness, there is nothing to compare with a sea lawyer. . " I had an experience with one of that sort when I was with Captain Pratt in the Seabiid — or, come to think of it, in the Colchester. We~were coming to the westward, and were well up with the eastern edge of the banks, when we sighted a small boat about three miles on the starboard bow, there being a light breeze from the southward at tho time, and very little sea on. We kept the ship away tui we came up With the boat, and one of the hands jumped into her, and made her fast to the mizzen chains. She was a ship's quarter boat, and was fit to carry thirty men, but she had only one passenger. He was a sailor, by his clothes, and was lying in the stern sheets asleep, or dead, leaving the boat to drift whichever way sho chose. " Finding that the man was insensible, we rigged a whip, and hoisted him aboard. The old man examined him the moment he was over the rail, and said that he was alive, but nearly dead with starvation. ' Carry him below, and lay him on the cabin locker,' says the captain. 'Be mighty careful with the poor chap, for there's very little life left in him. Tell the steward to bear a band and get some beef tea, and some blankets, while I overhaul the medicine-chest.' "I asked the captain if I should hoist in the boat, but he said we hadn't any room for her, and that after I had examined her I should cast her adrift. There was nothing in her except five biscuits, a bottle with about two fingers of brandy, her mast and sail, two pairs of oars, and an empty breaker of Water. I noticed that a name had been scraped, by accident or otherwise, off the bow, Dut I thought I could make out the letters 'gl' and the end of a swallow-tailed flag that had been painted alongside the name. I had her cast adrift, and after we had braced up the yards and put her on her course again- 1 went below to see how things were getting on— the second mate being in charge of the deck. "The captain and the steward were standing over the rescued man, who was lying on his back, and looking pretty red in the face* for a dying man. Pratt had the man's jaws prised open with the handle of his tooth-brush, and was trying to pour sortie medioino down hia ' throat: All at once he choked, - and sab up, and, after coughing a spell, says to the old man, in a good strong voice, ' What's this infernal skylarking? Are you trying to murder me?' " ' Keep quiet, my poor man,' says -Pratt. 'We've rescued you, and if you just take this medicine, and lie still, you'll be all right in a little while.' "The man looked at Pratt for a minute, and then he says to the steward,. 'Who's this putty -faced fool, and what does he mean by his impudence about rescuing me?' '"I'm the master of the ship,' says. the captain, 'and we've just picked you up, and saved you from an awful death.' "Ticked me up, have you?' says the man. ' Who gave you liberty to interfere i with me?' " ' You'll feel better presently,* replied Pratt, who was as patient a man as ever stepped. 'After you're had a sleep, and some food, and sort of generally calmed down, you can go forward and turn to.' -"'Where's my boat V demanded the l chap. 'If you're sober enough to know what you did with her, perhaps you'll tell me.' " ' I've cast her adrift,' says the old man, as patient as ever. 'Ihero wasn't anything of .value in her, and I couldn't have my deck litteied up With .ho mote boats.' "'So,' says the man. 'You've been and stole my boat, and you've been and.kidnapped me, and* then you've the impudence to talk about my turning to, and working your beastly ship for you. I'H see you ahd your ship ■ ■ ■''•■ '"Hold on!' says I. 'Don't you pay Out any more of that. If you haven _ common gratitude, you can keep your mouth shut.* '"And don't you give me any of your lip, M_ Mate,' answers the man^ 'You and that preaching old ass are nothing but ; a couple of pirates. You've stopped my i boat on the high seas, and you've took m_ forcibly out of her, and you've scuttled 1 her, o_ sent her adrift, which is the some 1 thing, and now ypn'je wanting to make a J .
slave of me. If that ain't rank Al piracy I'm a Dutchman and I'll have tjie kw on you.' '"You'd have died if I hadn't picked you up,' says Pratt, and what the fello .r said about piracy started him considerable. "'0! Would* IV said the man. 'Can't a gentleman go a-fishing in Ids own boat without being insulted by being accused of starving? I'm a man that owns his boat arndt takes her v- here he pleases, which i» more than you can do with this rotten old hooker.' " ' Where wereyour fishing lines?' asked, the old man. " You weren't on the Banks, and you didn't have any lines in your boat.' " 'Probably you stole the lines,' replied the man. ' You'll find that you'll have t» payjaredgus_dea._fQi.__ibb.npr and ma]tr*___ing William Burrows, Ksq.' " I Baid to the captain that the man was half drunk, and that the sooner he waa bundled into the fo'c'sle the better. " : Don't you shove your oar in while I'm conversing with this idlot t * says Burrows, addressing him&eft to ma. And then ha turns to Pratt and says: 'You forced me aboard here for your own infamous purposes, and) I calculate to stay here for mine. You'll give me the best stateroom in tbisyer cabin, and the best grub you've got, and see that I get' tho best treatment that any of your passengers ggett t and mebbe when we get to New York I'll be willing to compromise with you, provided you will pay me heavy damages. If you don't do as I say, I'll prosecute yOu for piracy, and if you're not hung, as you deserve, you'll get ten or twenty years. Is anybody in that stateroom?' " With that the man tries the door of thi nearest stateroom, and finding it empty— for we had no passengers that passage—ho . stepped in, telling the steward to oall him in time for dinner, arid to bring him a stiff glass of brandy and water.. He. $__f abut the door, and then he turned round again and said to the steward . 'What's tbe mnii of the pirate who thinks he commends *__t ship?' '"'My noma is Pratt,' say. tbe old _____ 'and I'll ' '"Sprat is it?' says Burrows. 'Thaa'a a name too big for the like. of yon. So___g. Sprat! and remember what I've __id tai you.* " Pratt was by this time about am x___ a. I ever saw him, but he tried not to -ho** it. "'What do you make of __a maa, jlif Tarboxf' says he, alter ha had putted _«____ at his cigar. "Td make a epseadeagla of bk_ tl had mv way,' says I. "'All that yarn eiJSot Iris taring gOMt a-fishing can't be true,' s_ys the G-ptain. "'My notion is,' eays I, 'that the fftttow stole a boat from a ship that oew-t be vcty. far off from ns. He calculated that hA waa near the Newfoundland coast, Mod he _____ ft have time to lay in any provisions to ape-Id of.* '"How's a map- going to steal a_Htf»pVl boat at sea?' asked Pratt. ' Were aU ______ asleep when he lowered her away?* " ' It _in T t my business to explain, the me. tails of crimes,' says I. 'He's a thief a_ well as a liar," aiid, if Tm aot mists-dMo^ he called you Sprat.' i " That (hit the old man where hs ut_& for he was mighty proad of his name. Idon't like the man,' says he, 'but what ha saitt about piracy was a little ahrmang. Tn. a family man, «_d if I get into t-foubta I abajll lose my ah_p.' " ' That tailk about piracy waa all rubbish,' says I. 'Tin boat wasn't hb, io* he stole her, and if he didn't consent t6 come board here, it was because he was too drunk to speak. Leave him to ma, audi ril promise to harve him in the fo*V__» in. side of ten minutes, doing tots' work, aai givin' ns no cheek beyond the owfinfiiry !' "'Wait till after dinner,* says R_rf*, 'perhaps the poof chap is a 1 ____ao, iawt the best thing we can do is to (humour ium. It's a great afflfctian to be a lunatio, s_4 mebbe whea he has had a good darner __#>fl oome to his senses and remember my .mane.' " 'Please yourself,' eaad I. 'This is your ship, and T ll try to keep my hands off th* scoundrel unless he get. too ins_lt__g ttt live.' "When dinner came, Burrows came ___ of his room and sat down. opposite to me,> and began sneering at the victuals. . Neit_«r of us said any thing to him, but when ab ordered l_raiady, Pratt braced, up and said that no wihei no. liquors coijic. be sated to passengers unless thoy were pood for on the spot. The fellow grow__d, __d mad. remark, about old women, but he oouidfc. fc help himself. When he ordered a c_g_f, Pratt handed him one of his own,, for ha ktos that tendei^_*__o*ted that ha couHsi't m a fellow-creature suffering for t_be____ " ' Mind yon send a box of those into my room, Sprat !' says the man after, he had) lit the cigar, and that was all the thanki Pratt got for his kindness. ; "He went on deck after dinner, leaving Burrows below. Pratt was feeling gloomy at having been called ' Sprat ' a . second time, and I took pity on him. " ' See here, sir,' said I. 'Pm going to have that fellow out of the cabin in double quick time, if you will give me permission.' "'But there mustn't be any, violenoa used,' says Pratt. ' He' may be a lunatic, after all.' So I promised not to use any, violence, and I went back to the cabin where Burrows was fitting with his cigar in his mouth and his feet on the table. "Says I: 'You're a smart liar, but yon forgot one thing when you told that yara about going a-fishing!' . '"What did I forgetr says lw. " 'You forgot that I knew the boat w* ' took you out of. That was * quarbe_-bo__ that you stole from tbe Swallow-tail liner Eagle not two days ago.' " ' That's " a lie !' says he. But I could see from tho look of him that I had hit the mark. " ' Tho Eagle will be in port about the same time as ourselves,' says I, 'and PU hand you over to the polio© for stealing the Eagle's boat the min_t__.we ar* berthed. In the meantime you'll go forrard and tttn. tp, and if you don't do your duty,, or il you givo the officers any of your cheek, you'll go to hospital for a spell before yo_ go to gaol!' '"You're a gang of pirates,' aay» -*« ' and I'll have tho law on jm it I H&. it New Yo.k alive.' " • , " 'Which you probably won't do, unless Jou put a stopper on your tongue,' saya Now get up and go forrard, where you belong, or take a /licking right here?" " The fellow glared at me a minute, aid seeing that I xneant business, got up with* out a word and went forrard. Wo didn'jk have much trouble with him during the test of the passage, though he generally did carry a black eye or so that I or the second mate had to give hittu . Se bolted the minute the ship touched the dock, (_.<_ that Was the last of him. " As it turned out* I was light about th. boat having been stolen from the Eagle. Sho lav at tho same pier with tis. while we were in New York, and I saw her port quarter-boat was missing. Naturally, the mates didn't care to admit that a boat had been stolen under thteir eyes, but there wasn't any room to doubt that it had been done. I asked lawyer Twiggs one day, if what the captain and f hod done waa piracy, and he said that there Wasn't any; denying -it, and that if the" fellow had. prosecuted us we would have been in * hole. That Burrows was the smartest sea-lawyer I ever met, and I shouldn't' be surprised if he stole the boat with the full intention of getting «himself picked up while drunk, and then accusing his rescuers of piracy, and g-tting a cabin passage to New York."
The eland has been rightly- termed __»,.. giant species of antelope. F__y grown ho is as larg. as an ordinary ox. At the present time there is speculation as to whether the eland should not bo raised, like the ox, as a meat-supplying animal. Its flesh is superior to beef in delicacy and . flavour, and, as the animal can be bred vrith ease, there would certainly appear to be no rea.on why farmers and r__*ch_ft«i should not add eland, to their live stock. Curiously enough, English naturalists w%re the first to point out that the eland oould be successfully domesticated.-^" G. 8. txfa Magazine."-