With Lee in Virginia: A Story Of The American Civil War, by G. A. Henty, Chapter 3

With Lee in Virginia: A Story Of The American Civil War.

Chapter III.
Aiding A Runaway.

“Well, you are an extraordinary boy, Vincent,” Mrs. Wingfield said as her son told her the story, while his sisters burst into fits of laughter at the idea of Vincent owning a female slave with a baby. “Why did you not tell me that you wanted the money instead of going to Mr. Renfrew? I shall tell him I am very angry with him for letting you have it for such a purpose.”

“I was not sure whether you would let me have it, mother; and if you had refused, and I had got it afterward from Mr. Renfrew, I should not have liked to bring her home here.”

“That would have been fun,” Annie said. “Fancy Vincent’s troubles with a female slave on his hands and nowhere to put her. What would you have done, Vincent?”

“I suppose I could have got a home for her somewhere,” Vincent said quietly. “I don’t think there would have been any difficulty about that. Still I am glad I didn’t have to do so, and one slave more or less can make no difference here.”

“Not at all,” Mrs. Wingfield said; “I dare say Chloe will find something for her to do in the way of washing, and such other light work that she is fit for about the house. It is not that, but it is years since a slave was brought into the Orangery; never since I can remember. We raise more than we want ourselves; and when I see all those children about, I wonder sometimes what on earth we are to find for them all to do. Still, it was a scandalous thing of that man Jackson selling the girl to punish her husband; and as you say it was your foolish interference in the matter that brought it about, so I do not know that I can blame you for doing what you can to set the matter straight. Still, except that the knowledge that she is here and will be well treated will be a comfort to the man, I do not see that he will be much the better off, unless indeed the Jacksons should try to sell him also, in which case I suppose you would want to buy him.”

“I am afraid they won’t do that, mother. Still, somehow or other, in time they may come together again.”

“I don’t see how they can, Vincent. However we need not think of that now. At any rate I hope there will be no further opportunity for your mixing yourself up in this business. You have made two bitter enemies now, and although I do not see that such people as these can do you any harm, it is always well not to make enemies, especially in times like these when no one can foresee exactly what may occur.”

And so Dinah Moore became an inmate of the Orangery; and though the girls had laughed at their brother, they were very kind to her when she arrived with Dan, and made much of her and of her baby. The same night Dan went over to the Cedars, and managed to have an interview with Tony, and to tell him that his wife had been bought by Vincent. The joy of the negro was extreme. The previous message had raised his hopes that Vincent would succeed in getting her bought by some one who would be kind to her, but he knew well that she might nevertheless fall to the lot of some higher bidder and be taken hundreds of miles away, and that he might never again get news of her whereabouts. He had then suffered terrible anxiety all day, and the relief of learning that Vincent himself had bought her, and that she was now installed as a house servant at the Orangery, but a few miles away, was quite overpowering, and for some minutes he could only gasp out his joy and thankfulness. He could hope now that when better times came he might be able to steal away some night and meet her, and that some day er other, though how he could not see, they might be reunited. The Jacksons remained in ignorance that their former slave was located so near to them.

It was for this reason that Mr. Renfrew had instructed his agent to buy her in his own name instead of that of Vincent; and the Jacksons, having no idea of the transfer that had subsequently taken place, took no further interest in the matter, believing that they had achieved their object of torturing Tony, and avenging upon him the humiliation that Andrew had suffered at Vincent’s hands. Had they questioned their slaves, and had these answered them truly, they would have discovered the facts. For although Tony himself said no word to any one of what he had learned from Dan, the fact that Dinah was at the Orangery was speedily known among the slaves; for the doings at one plantation were soon conveyed to the negroes on the others by the occasional visits which they paid at night to each other’s quarters, or to some common rendezvous far removed from interruption.

Occasionally Tony and Dinah met. Dan would come up late in the evening to the house, and a nod to Dinah would be sufficient to send her flying down the garden to a clump of shrubs, where he would be waiting for her. At these stolen meetings they were perfectly happy; for Tony said no word to her of the misery of his life—how he was always put to the hardest work and beaten on the smallest pretext, how in fact his life was made so unendurable that the idea of running away and taking to the swamps was constantly present to him.

As to making his way north, it did not enter his mind as possible. Slaves did indeed at times succeed in traveling through the Northern States and making their way to Canada, but this was only possible by means of the organization known as the underground railway, an association consisting of a number of good people who devoted themselves to the purpose, giving shelter to fugitive slaves during the day, and then passing them on to the next refuge during the night. For in the Northern States as well as the Southern any negro unprovided with papers showing that he was a free man was liable to be arrested and sent back to the South a prisoner, large rewards being given to those who arrested them.

As he was returning from one of these interviews with his wife, Tony was detected by the overseer, who was strolling about round the slaves’ quarters, and was next morning flogged until he became insensible. So terrible was the punishment that for some days he was unable to walk. As soon as he could get about he was again set to work, but the following morning he was found to be missing. Andrew Jackson at once rode into Richmond, and in half an hour placards and handbills were printed offering a reward for his capture. These were not only circulated in the neighborhood, but were sent off to all the towns and villages through which Tony might be expected to pass in the endeavor to make his way north. Vincent soon learned from Dan what had taken place.

“You have no idea, I suppose, Dan, as to which way he is likely to go?”

Dan shook his bead.

“Me suppose, massa, dat most likely he gone and hidden in de great woods by de James River. Berry difficult to find him dere.”

“Difficult to find him, no doubt,” Vincent agreed. “But he could not stop there long—he would find nothing to eat in the woods; and though he might perhaps support himself for a time on corn or roots from the clearings scattered about through the James Peninsula, he must sooner or later be caught.”

“Dar are runaways in de woods now, Massa Vincent,” Dan said; “some ob dem hab been dar for month.”

“But how do they live, Dan?”

“Well, sar, you see dey hab friends on de plantations, and sometimes at night one of de slaves will steal away wid a basket ob yams and corn-cakes and oder things and put dem down in a certain place in de forest, and next morning, sure enough, dey will be gone. Dangerous work dat, massa; because if dey caught with food, it known for sure dat dey carry it to runaway, and den you know dey pretty well flog the life out of dem.”

“Yes, I know, Dan; it is a very serious matter hiding a runaway slave, and even a white man would be very heavily punished, and perhaps lynched, if caught in the act. Well, make what inquiries you can among the slaves, and find out if you can whether any of those Jacksons have an idea which way Tony has gone. But do not go yourself on to Jackson’s place; if you were caught there now it would be an awkward matter for both of us.”

“I will find out, Massa Vincent; but I don’t s’pose Tony said a word to any of the others. He know well enough dat de Jacksons question ebery one pretty sharp, and perhaps flog dem all round to find out if dey know anything. He keep it to himself about going away for suah.”

The Jacksons kept up a vigorous hunt after their slave and day after day parties of men ranged through the woods but without discovering any traces of him. Bloodhounds were employed the first day, but before these could be fetched from Richmond the scent had grown cold; for Tony had gone off as soon as the slaves had been shut up for the night and had, directly he left the hut, wrapped leaves round his feet, therefore the hounds, when they arrived from Richmond, were unable to take up the scent.

A week after Tony’s escape, Vincent returned late one evening from a visit to some friends. Dan, as he took his horse, whispered to him: “Stop a little on your way to house, Massa Vincent; me hab something to tell you.”

“What is it, Dan?” Vincent asked, as the lad, after putting up his horse in the stable, came running up to him.

“Me have seen Tony, sah. He in de shrubs ober dar. He want to see Dinah, but me no take message till me tell you about him. He half starved, sah; me give him some yams.”

“That’s right, Dan.”

“He pretty nigh desperate, sah; he say dey hunt him like wild beast.”

“I will see him, Dan. If I can help him in any way I will do so. Unfortunately I do not know any of the people who help to get slaves away, so I can give him no advice as to the best way to proceed. Still I might talk it over with him. When I have joined him, do you go up to the house and tell Chloe from me to give you a pile of corn-cake—it’s no use giving him flour, for he would be afraid to light a fire to cook it. Tell her to give you, too, any cold meat there may be in the house. Don’t tell Dinah her husband is here till we have talked the matter over.”

Dan led Vincent up to a clump of bushes.

“It am all right, Tony,” he said; “here is Massa Vincent come to see you.”

The bushes parted and Tony came out into the full moonlight. He looked haggard and worn; his clothes were torn into strips by the bushes.

“My poor fellow,” Vincent said kindly, “I am sorry to see you in such a state.”

A great sob broke from the black

“De Lord bress you, sah, for your goodness and for saving Dinah from de hands of dose debils! Now she safe wid you and de child, Tony no care berry much what come to him—de sooner he dead de better. He wish dat one day when dey flog him dey had kill him altogether; den all de trouble at an end. Dey hunt him ebery day with dogs and guns, and soon dey catch him. No can go on much longer like dis. To-day me nearly gib myself up. Den me thought me like to see Dinah once more to say good-by, so make great effort and ran a bit furder.”

“I have been thinking whether it would be possible to plan some way for your escape, Tony.”

The negro shook his head.

“Dar never escape, sah, but to get to Canada; dat too far any way. Not possible to walk all dat way and get food by de road. Suah to be caught.”

“No, I do not think it will be possible to escape that way, Tony. The only possible plan would be to get you on board some ship going to England.”

“Ships not dare take negro on board,” Tony said. “Me heard dat said many times—dat against de law.”

“Yes, I know it’s against the law,” Vincent said, “and it’s against the law my talking to you here, Tony; but you see it’s done. The difficulty is how to do it. All vessels are searched before they start, and an officer goes down with them past Fortress Monroe to see that they take no one on board. Still it is possible. Of course there is risk in the matter; but there is risk in everything. I will think it over. Do not lose heart. Dan will be back directly with enough food to last you for some days. If I were you I would take refuge this time in White Oak Swamp. It is much nearer, and I hear it has already been searched from end to end, so they are not likely to try again; and if yon hear them you can, if you are pressed, cross the Chickahominy and make down through the woods. Do you come again on Saturday evening—that will give me four days to see what I can do. I may not succeed, you know; for the penalty is so severe against taking negroes on board that I may not be able to find any one willing to risk it. But it is worth trying.”

“De Lord bless you, sah!” Tony said. “I will do juss what you tole me; but don’t you run no risks for me, my life ain’t worth dat.”

“I will take care, Tony. And now here comes Dan with the provisions.”

“Can I see Dinah, sah?” Tony pleaded.

“I think you had better not,” Vincent replied. “You see the Jacksons might at any moment learn that she is here, and then she might be questioned whether she had seen you since your escape; and it would be much better for her to be able to deny having done so. But you shall see her next time you come, whether I am able to make any arrangements for your escape or not. I will let her know to-morrow morning that I have seen you, and that you are safe at present.”

The next morning Vincent rode over to City Point, where ships with a large draught of water generally brought up, either transferring their goods into smaller craft to be sent up by river to Richmond, or to be carried on by rail through the town of Petersburg. Leaving his horse at a house near the river, he crossed the James in a boat to City Point. There were several vessels lying here, and for some hours he hung about the wharf watching the process of discharging. By the end of that time he had obtained a view of all the captains, and had watched them as they gave their orders, and had at last come to the conclusion as to which would be the most likely to suit his purpose. Having made up his mind, he waited until the one he had fixed upon came ashore. He was a man of some five-and-thirty years old, with a pleasant face and good-natured smile. He first went into some offices on the wharf, and half an hour later came out and walked toward the railway-station. Vincent at once followed him, and as he overtook him said:

“I want very much to speak to you, sir, if you could spare me a minute or two.”

“Certainly,” the sailor said with some surprise. “The train for Petersburg does not go for another half hour. What can I do for you?”

“My name is Vincent Wingfield. My father was an English officer, and my mother is the owner of some large estates near Richmond. I am most anxious to get a person in whom I am interested on board ship, and I do not know how to set about it.”

“There’s no difficulty about that,” the captain said smiling; “you have only to go to an office and pay for his passage to where he wants to go.”

“I can’t do that,” Vincent replied; “for unfortunately it is against the law for any captain to take him.”

“You mean he is a negro?” the captain asked, stopping short in his walk and looking sharply at Vincent.

“Yes, that is what I mean,” Vincent said. “He is a negro who has been brutally ill-treated and has run away from his master, and I would willingly give five hundred dollars to get him safely away.”

This is a very serious business in which you are meddling, young sir,” the sailor said. “Putting aside the consequences to yourself, you are asking me to break the law and to run the risk of the confiscation of my ship. Even if I were willing to do what you propose it would be impossible, for the ship will be searched from end to end before the hatches are closed, and an official will be on board until we discharge the pilot after getting well beyond the mouth of the river.”

“Yes, I know that,” Vincent replied; “but my plan was to take a boat and go out beyond the sight of land, and then to put him on board after you have got well away.”

“That might be managed, certainly,” the captain said. “It would be contrary to my duty to do anything that would risk the property of my employers; but if when I am out at sea a boat came alongside, and a passenger came on board, it would be another matter. I suppose, young gentleman, that you would not interfere in such a business, and run the risk that you certainly would run if detected, unless you were certain that this was a deserving case, and that the man has committed no sort of crime; for I would not receive on board my ship a fugitive from justice, whether he was black or white.”

“It is indeed a deserving case,” Vincent said earnestly. “The poor fellow has the misfortune of belonging to one of the worst masters in the State. He has been cruelly flogged on many occasions, and was finally driven to run away by their selling his wife and child.”

“The brutes!” the sailor said. “How you people can allow such things to be done is a mystery to me. Well, lad, under those circumstances I will agree to do what you ask me, and if your boat comes alongside when I am so far away from land that it cannot be seen, I will take the man to England.”

“Thank you very much indeed,” Vincent said; “you will be doing a good action. Upon what day do you sail?”

“I shall drop down on Monday into Hampton Roads, and shall get up sail at daylight next morning. I shall pass Fortress Monroe at about seven in the morning, and shall sail straight out.”

“And how shall I know your ship?” Vincent asked. “There may be others starting just about the same time.”

The sailor thought for a moment. “When I am four or five miles out I will hoist my owner’s flag at the foremast-head. It is a red flag with a white ball, so you will be able to make it out a considerable distance away. Yon must not be less than ten or twelve miles out, for the pilot often does not leave the ship till she is some miles past Fortress Monroe, and the official will not leave the ship till he does. I will keep a sharp lookout for you, but I cannot lose my time in waiting. If you do not come alongside I shall suppose that you have met with some interruption to your plans.”

“Thank you very much, sir. Unless something goes wrong I shall be alongside on Tuesday.”

“That’s settled, then,” the captain said, “and I must be off, or else I shall lose my train. By the way, when you come alongside do not make any sign that you have met me before. It is just as well that none of my crew should know that it is a planned thing, for if we ever happened to put in here again they might blab about it, and it is just as well not to give them the chance. Good-by, my lad; I hope that all will go well. But, you know, you are doing a very risky thing; for the assisting of a runaway slave to escape is about as serious an offense as you can commit in these parts. You might shoot half a dozen men and get off scot free, but if you were caught aiding a runaway to escape there is no saying what might come of it.”

After taking leave of the captain, Vincent recrossed the river and rode home. He had friends whose fathers’ estates bordered some on the James and others on the York River, and all of these had pleasure-boats. It was obviously better to go down the York River, and thence round to the mouth of the James at Fortress Monroe, as the traffic on the York was comparatively small, and it was improbable that he would be noticed either going down or returning. He had at first thought of hiring a fishing-boat from some of the free negroes who made their living on the river. But he finally decided against this; for the fact of the boat being absent so long would attract its owner’s attention, and in case any suspicion arose that the fugitive had escaped by water, the hiring of a boat by one who had already befriended the slave, and its absence for so long a time, would be almost certain to cause suspicion to be directed toward him. He therefore decided upon borrowing a boat from a friend, and next morning rode to the plantation of the father of Harry Furniss, this being situated on a convenient position on the Pamunkey, one of the branches of the York River.

“Are you using that sailing-boat of yours at present, Harry? Because, if not, I wish you would let me have the use of it for a week or so.”

“With pleasure, Vincent; and my fishing-lines and nets as well, if you like. We very seldom use the boat. Do you mean to keep it here or move it higher up the river, where it would be more handy for you, perhaps?”

“I think I would rather leave it here, Furniss. A mile or two extra to ride makes no difference. I suppose it’s in the water?”

“Yes; at the foot of the boathouse stairs. There is a padlock and chain. I will give you the key, so you can go off whenever you like without bothering to come up to the house. If you just call in at the stable as you ride by, one of the boys will go down with you and take your horse and put him up till you come back again.”

“That will do capitally,” Vincent replied. “It is some time since I was on the water, and I seem to have a fancy for a change at present. One is sick of riding into Richmond and hearing nothing but politics talked of all day. Don’t be alarmed if you hear at any time that the boat has not come back at night, for if tide and wind are unfavorable at any time I might stop at Cumberland for the night.”

“I have often had to do that,” Furniss said. “Besides, if you took it away for a week, I don’t suppose any one would notice it; for no one goes down to the boathouse unless to get the boat ready for a trip.”

The next day Vincent rode over to his friend’s plantation, sending Dan off an hour beforehand to bail out the boat and get the masts and sails into her from the boathouse. The greater part of the next two days was spent on the water, sometimes sailing, sometimes fishing. The evening of the second of these days was that upon which Vincent had arranged to meet Tony again, and an hour after dark he went down through the garden to the stable; for that was the time the fugitive was to meet him, for he could not leave his place of concealment until night fell. After looking at the horses, and giving some instructions to the negroes in charge, he returned to the shrubbery, and, sending Dan up to summon Dinah, he went to the bushes where he had before met Tony. The negro came out as he approached.

“How are you, Tony?”

“Much better dan I was, massa. I hab not been disturbed since I saw you, and, thanks to dat and to de good food and to massa’s kind words, I’m stronger and better now, and ready to do whatever massa think best.”

“Well, Tony, I am glad to say that I think I have arranged a plan by which you will be got safely out of the country. Of course, it may fail; but there is every hope of success. I have arranged for a boat, and shall take you down the river, and put you on board a ship bound for England.”

The black clapped his hands in delight at the news.

“When you get there you will take another ship out to Canada, and as soon as I learn from you that you are there, and what is your address, I will give Dinah her papers of freedom and send her on to you.”

“Oh,! massa, it is too much,” Tony said, with the tears running down his cheeks; “too much joy altogeder.”

“Well, I hope it will all come right, Tony. Dinah will be here in a minute or two. Do not keep her long, for I do not wish her absence from the house to be observed just now. Now, listen to my instructions. Do you know the plantation of Mr. Furniss, on the Pamunkeyunky, near Coal harbor?”

“No, sir; but me can find out.”

“No, you can’t; because you can’t see any one or ask questions. Very well, then, you must be here again to-morrow night at the same hour. Dan will meet you here, and act as your guide. He will presently bring you provisions for to-morrow. Be sure you be careful, Tony, and get back to your hiding-place as soon as you can, and be very quiet to-morrow until it is time to start. It would be terrible if you were to be caught now, just as we have arranged for you to get away.”

On the following afternoon Vincent told his mother that he was going over that evening to his friend Furniss, as an early start was to be made next morning; they intended to go down the river as far as Yorktown, if not further; that be certainly should not be back for two days, and probably might be even longer.

“This new boating freak of yours, Vincent, seems to occupy all your thoughts. I wonder how long it will last.”

“I don’t suppose it will last much longer, mother,” Vincent said with a laugh. “Anyhow, it will make a jolly change for a week. One had got so sick of hearing nothing talked about but secession that a week without hearing the word mentioned will do one lots of good, and I am sure I felt that if one had much more of it, one would be almost driven to take up the Northern side just for the sake of a change.”

“We should all disown you, Vin,” Annie said, laughing; “we should have nothing to say to you, and you would be cut by all your friends.”

“Well, you see, a week’s sailing and fishing will save me from all that, Annie; and I be all be able to begin again with a fresh stock of patience.”

“I believe you are only half in earnest in the cause, Vincent,” his mother said gravely.

“I am not indeed, mother. I quite agree with what you and every one say as to the rights of the State of Virginia, and if the North should really try to force us and the other Southern States to remain with them, I shall be just as ready to do everything I can as any one else; but I can’t see the good of always talking about it, and I think it’s very wrong to ill-treat and abuse those who think the other way. In England in the Civil War the people of the towns almost all thought one way, and almost all those of the counties the other, and even now opinions differ almost as widely as to which was right. I hate to hear people always laying down the law as if there could not possibly be two sides of the case, and as if every one who differed from them must be a rascal and a traitor. Almost all the fellows I know say that if it comes to fighting they shall go into the State army, and I should be quite willing, if they would really take fellows of my age for soldiers, to enlist too; but that is no reason why one should not get sick of hearing nothing but one subject talked of for weeks.”

It was nearly dark when Vincent started for his walk of ten miles; for he had decided not to take his horse with him, as he had no means of sending it back, and its stay for three days in his friend’s stables would attract attention to the fact of his long absence.

After about three hours’ walking he reached the boat house, having seen no one as he passed through the plantation. He took the oars and sails from the boathouse and placed them in the boat, and then sat down in the stern to await the coming of the negroes. In an hour they arrived; Tony carrying a bundle of clothes that Dan had by Vincent’s orders bought for him in Richmond, while Dan carried a large basket of provisions. Vincent gave an exclamation of thankfulness as he saw the two figures appear, for the day having been Sunday he knew that a good many men would be likely to join the search parties in hopes of having a share in the reward offered for Tony’s capture, and he had felt very anxious all day.

“You sit in the bottom of the boat, Tony, and do you steer, Dan. You make such a splashing with your oar that we should be heard a mile away. Keep us close in shore in the shadow of the trees; the less we are noticed the better at this time of night.”

Taking the sculls, Vincent rowed quietly away. He had often been out on boating excursions with his friends, and had learned to row fairly. During the last two days he had diligently instructed Dan, and after two long days’ work the young negro had got over the first difficulties, but he was still clumsy and awkward. Vincent did not exert himself. He knew he had a long night’s row before him, and he paddled quietly along with the stream. The boat was a good-sized one, and when not under sail was generally rowed by two strong negroes accustomed to the work.

Sometimes for half an hour at a time Vincent ceased rowing, and let the boat drift along quietly. There was no hurry, for he had a day and two nights to get down to the month of the river, a distance of some seventy miles, and out to sea far enough to intercept the vessel. At four o’clock they arrived at Cumberland, where the Pamunkey and Mattapony Rivers unite and form the York River. Here they were in tidal waters; and as the tide, though not strong, was flowing up, Vincent tied the boat to the branch of a tree, and lay down in the bottom for an hour’s sleep, telling Dan to wake him when the tide turned, or if he heard any noise. Day had broken when the boat drifted round, and Dan aroused him.

The boat was rowed off to the middle of the river, as there could be no longer any attempt at concealment. Dan now took the bow oar, and they rowed until a light breeze sprang up. Vincent then put up the mast, and, having hoisted the sail, took his place at the helm, while Dan went forward into the bow. They passed several fishing-boats, and the smoke was seen curling up from the huts in the clearings scattered here and there along the shore. The sun had now risen, and its heat was pleasant after the damp night air.

Although the breeze was light, the boat made fair way with the tide, and when the ebb ceased at about ten o’clock the mouth of the river was but a few miles away. The mast was lowered and the sails stowed. The boat was then rowed into a little creek and tied up to the bushes. The basket of provisions was opened, and a hearty meal enjoyed, Tony being now permitted for the first time to sit up in the boat. After the meal Vincent and Dan lay down for a long sleep, while Tony, who had slept some hours during the night, kept watch.

At four in the afternoon tide again slackened, and as soon as it had fairly turned they pushed out from the creek and again set sail. In three hours they were at the mouth of the river. A short distance out they saw several boats fishing, and dropping anchor a short distance away from these, they lowered their sail, and taking the fishing-lines from the locker of the boat, set to to fish. As soon as it was quite dark the anchor was hauled up, and Vincent and Dan took the oars, the wind having now completely dropped. For some time they rowed steadily, keeping the land in sight on their right hand.

Tony was most anxious to help, but as he had never had an oar in his hand in his life, Vincent thought that he would do more harm than good. It was, he knew, some ten miles from the mouth of the York River to Fortress Monroe, at the entrance to Hampton Roads, and after rowing for three hours he thought that he could not be far from that point, and therefore turned the boat’s head out toward the sea. They rowed until they could no longer make out the land astern, and then laying in their oars waited till the morning, Vincent sitting in the stern and often nodding off to sleep, while the two negroes kept up a constant conversation in the bow.

As soon as it was daylight the oars were again got out. They could clearly make out the outline of the coast, and saw the break in the shore that marked the entrance to Hampton Roads. There was a light breeze now, but Vincent would not hoist the sail lest it might attract the attention of some one on shore. He did not think the boat itself could be seen, as they were some eight or nine miles from the land. They rowed for a quarter of an hour, when Vincent saw the white sails of a ship coming out from the entrance.

The breeze was so light that she would, he thought, be nearly three hours before she reached the spot where they were now, and whether she headed to the right or left of it he would have plenty of time to cut her off. For another two hours he and Dan rowed steadily. The wind had freshened a good deal, and the ship was now coming up fast to them. Two others had come out after her, but were some miles astern. They had already made out that the ship was flying a flag at her masthead, and although they had not been able to distinguish its colors, Vincent felt sure that it was the right ship; for he felt certain that the captain would get up sail as soon as possible, so as to come up with them before any other vessels came out. They had somewhat altered their course, to put themselves in line with the vessel. When she was within a distance of about a mile and a half Vincent was able to make out the flag, and knew that it was the right one.

“There’s the ship, Tony,” he said; “it is all right, and in a few minutes you will be on your way to England.”

Tony had already changed his tattered garments for the suit of sailor’s clothes that at Dan had bought for him. Vincent had given him full instructions as to the course he was to pursue. The ship was bound for Liverpool; on his arrival there he was at once to go round the docks and take a passage in the steerage of the next steamer going to Canada.

“The fare will be about twenty-five dollars,” he said. “When you get to Canada you will land at Quebec, and you had better go on by rail to Montreal, where you will, I think, find it easier to get work than at Quebec. As soon as you get a place you are likely to stop in, get somebody to write for you to me, giving me your address. Here are a hundred dollars, which will be sufficient to pay your expenses to Montreal and leave you about fifty dollars to keep you till you can get something to do.”

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