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Lost in the Fog   By: (1833-1880)

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LOST IN THE FOG

by

JAMES DE MILLE

1870

I.

Old Acquaintances gather around old Scenes. Antelope, ahoy! How are you, Solomon? Round about Plan of a round about Voyage. The Doctor warns, rebukes, and remonstrates, but, alas! in vain. It must be done. Beginning of a highly eventful Voyage.

It was a beautiful morning, in the month of July, when a crowd of boys assembled on the wharf of Grand Pre. The tide was high, the turbid waters of Mud Creek flowed around, a fresh breeze blew, and if any craft was going to sea she could not have found a better time. The crowd consisted chiefly of boys, though a few men were mingled with them. These boys were from Grand Pre School, and are all old acquaintances. There was the stalwart frame of Bruce, the Roman face of Arthur, the bright eyes of Bart, the slender frame of Phil, and the earnest glance of Tom. There, too, was Pat's merry smile, and the stolid look of Bogud, and the meditative solemnity of Jiggins, not to speak of others whose names need not be mentioned. Amid the crowd the face of Captain Corbet was conspicuous, and the dark visage of Solomon, while that of the mate was distinguishable in the distance. To all these the good schooner Antelope formed the centre of attraction, and also of action. It was on board of her that the chief bustle took place, and towards her that all eyes were turned.

The good schooner Antelope had made several voyages during the past few months, and now presented herself to the eye of the spectator not much changed from her former self. A fine fresh coat of coal tar had but recently ornamented her fair exterior, while a coat of whitewash inside the hold had done much to drive away the odor of the fragrant potato. Rigging and sails had been repaired as well as circumstances would permit, and in the opinion of her gallant captain she was eminently seaworthy.

On the present occasion things bore the appearance of a voyage. Trunks were passed on board and put below, together with coats, cloaks, bedding, and baskets of provisions. The deck was strewn about with the multifarious requisites of a ship's company. The Antelope, at that time, seemed in part an emigrant vessel, with a dash of the yacht and the coasting schooner.

In the midst of all this, two gentlemen worked their way through the crowd to the edge of the wharf.

"Well, boys," said one, "well, captain, what's the meaning of all this?"

Captain Corbet started at this, and looked up from a desperate effort to secure the end of one of the sails.

"Why, Dr. Porter!" said he; "why, doctor! how d'ye do? and Mr. Long, too! why, railly!"

The boys also stopped their work, and looked towards their teachers with a little uneasiness.

"What's all this?" said Dr. Porter, looking around with a smile; "are you getting up another expedition?"

"Wal, no," said Captain Corbet, "not 'xactly; fact is, we're kine o' goin to take a vyge deoun the bay."

"Down the bay?"

"Yes. You see the boys kine o' want to go home by water, rayther than by land."

"By water! Home by water!" repeated Mr. Long, doubtfully.

"Yes," said Captain Corbet; "an bein as the schewner was in good repair, an corked, an coal tarred, an whitewashed up fust rate, I kine o' thought it would redound to our mootooil benefit if we went off on sich a excursion, bein pleasanter, cheaper, comfortabler, an every way preferable to a land tower."

"Hem," said Dr. Porter, looking uneasily about. "I don't altogether like it. Boys, what does it all mean?"

Thus appealed to, Bart became spokesman for the boys.

"Why, sir," said he, "we thought we'd like to go home by water that's all."

"Go home by water!" repeated the doctor once more, with a curious smile.

"Yes, sir."

"What? by the Bay of Fundy?"

"Yes, sir."

"Who are going?"

"Well, sir, there are only a few of us. Bruce, and Arthur, and Tom, and Phil, and Pat, besides myself."

"Bruce and Arthur?" said the doctor; "are they going home by the Bay of Fundy?"

"Yes, sir," said Bart, with a smile... Continue reading book >>




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