Chapter 52031325

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Chapter NumberXXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1884-09-03
Page Number3
Word Count3118
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleRonald Walton: A Tale of Early Squatting Life in Moreton Bay
article text

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.* LAND."

[All right reirrued.]



" ONE day, your fattier and me was part of a boat's crew that was after A big sperm bull. We had a good long pull before we came up with him. I liarnuouecl him, and down he

went, straight. When'he had nearly run out. oue tub of line, I saw he meant to do the .diyc handsomely, and we bent on the other line, for there's always two tubs in a boat, with al>out.thrcc hundred fathoms of linc in each. Well, he still .kept on going down, so I bent ona drogue-Know what a drogue ÍB, Giovi ? No-Well, it is a flat piece of wood about two feet square, with a loop of rope in the ceutrc, that's fastened to tlic line ; and that is harder for the whale to drag through thc water than a boat full of men, though you mightn't think it to look at it. He kept on running thc line out at a great rate, and thinks I, he'll take

another linc yet, blow'd if he don't ; so I called to thc other lraat, and a few strokes brought them alongside, and just as he'd run out all but a little of our last line, their's was bent to it. Still he went down, till we thought we'd have to bend on another, but he slackened oft", and we took a turu round tho logger-head, ami held on. Your dod was

standing ready with a hatchet to cut the line

in case nc should take us under. He was so

long showing up again, wcthouglithe was dead or had got away ; but he rose about a quarter of a mlle astern, then made straight for us Uko lightning. Just wlieu he was closo to us, we sent two lances into him, and in ten seconds his great jaws opened, and lief ore you could say ' knife,' crash wont thc gunnel plauks and ribs of the boat. Yes, he bit the nose cleon off ber, at the same time killing a poor follow in the bows. Me and two others saw what he meant, and jumped overboard. Thou lie made at the boat next to us, and crushed it in thc same way, but didn't kill any one, and then dived. There was another boat not far off, and he came up near it; whether he saw it or not I don't know, but he turned round and round, and lashed the sea into foam with Jiis flukes, he was so mad. He modo another dive, and went right under

the boat ; and as he came up he struck her , with his tail, and sent her yardB out of the water, but only split some of the planks. She fell, fortunately, on her keel, but with such a

souse that she half filled. Thc captain saw , the moss from the first, and bore towards us ; but before he reached us fie fellows in thc boat had got her bailed out, and us all in ; for wc were all holding on to oars, and bits of the wreckage of the smashed lwnts. That boat was full, I tell you ; and it was as much as wc could do to keep her afloat till the ship came up to us ; but we all got on board safe. As that was the lost boat thc Cross had, Bhe was hauled aboard and repaired roughly. Then we tackled the whalo again, for he had

served himself round with the lines in his fury, till he became quite helpless, so we soon finished him up, and had bim fast alougside the ship. Thc captain kept tho lower jaw of that whale, and sent it to the Museum when wc get to Hobart Town. The scurvy was so bad on board that your dad and mc, and a lot more of us was carried ashore and taken to the hospital, where we stayed eight weeks before wc were able to walk rightly. Your governor wouldn't ship again, and settled in Von Dicmau'8 Laud. I heard he got a grant of laud for something he did there. He saved the lives of some people that got upset out of a boat in the ¿Derwent. It's a plaguey risky bit of water to sail over, there's sucli squalls come down from the big mountain. Well, ho set into fanning, but I don't know anything more about him. He was a tough-looking ola cove, and looked as if he'd live to the age of a

walnut tree.

" We shipped on a Yankee whaler-Snake and mo. Her name was thc Pride of Virginny; and a tiger of a skipper ehe had. My oath ! old Cathead was a devil ! Look herc ; him and his first mate were knuckle-dusters, and there wasn't a man ou board but showd the marks of them somewhere. Then one day you'd eco a poor devil triced np by the thumbs to the rattlins, or to a stay, with his toes just touching the deck. Another time you'd see a fellow tied up by the ankles, so as his finger tips only touched the dock. Wc often talked over our treatment in the forc'sle, and as euro's we did, so sure did the blasted mate find us out. Well, thinks we, ' there's a traitor somewhere, and if wc find him out he'l lose the number of his mess. We dill find him out. He was a young fellow that we noticed got less punishment than the rest. One dark, stormy night, him and mc was on the watch on deck. I was standing by the mainmast, and him and the mate met close to me on the other Bide, and began to talk low. Says the mate, - ' Wall, Obanuiah, what's the talk for'ard now V ' Pedro said he'd knife you if he'd got the chance.' 'But he won't. I'll blunt his white skark's teeth for that, to- morrow 1 What did the rest say to that V ' We'll back yon, bid man. Go Into

him.' .. .*' .

But,' says Pedro, ' him aud thc. skipper .and second mate always carries revolvers, and we haven't any. ' ' Well, Pedro, ' they said, ' you plan it, and we'll bock you up. Let them separate, and we'll make any terms we like with them.' . ' Ho I' said the mate, ' mutiny, eh J" and he swore like-well, like a Yankee ; and says he, ' m make a field day of it to- morrow. If my middle finger was a marlin' spike before, tlic little un'll be a sheet-anchor

stock in. future. Go and"' look up that. murdering Spaniard. I daresay he's, asleep on his watch fpr'-ard somewhere.' With that the two separated. The mate goes aft, and Obadiah sneaks for'ard to spy on me, as he thought. I crept after him. He went along tile low bulwarks round, the foro'sle,. on the lee side. Tho old ship was pitching into the seas, almost bows under. I was close to h'm, und thc next ; pitch I chucked the skunk over. I slipped down below, rouBod ajl thc fellows, ana told them that Obadiah had fallen overboard, aud if they'd stand by mo, I'd put the captain and the mats iii their hands in a little while. They all shook hands with me, and swore they'd stand by me. Says I, ' I'll tell the mate Obadiah's ill ; and if he calls down, one of you groan as if you was bad. If thc mate come down, you be ready to seizo him. If I can't get him to come, I'll call out 'Watch!' Then you be ready for anything.' Soon the mate came for'ard, and says, 'You tamal loafer where's Obadiah?' 'Down below, sir.' ' Down below ! Who Beut him there ? What's

he gone for ?' ' He went down about half an hour ago, sir-said he was ill, and wanted to see you, but I didn't like to leave my past this sort of a night, for you told me to keep a sharp look-out ahead, and all the watch below was asleep.' He goes to thc hatch and shouts ' Obadiah I' Moppy groans like a man ill. (Hoppy laughed at the recollection). Says the mate, * What's up with you?' ' Awful bad, sir,' groans Hoppy. ' Do come and see if you can do anything for us. I can't wake these fellows.' ' The tarnal skunks. I'll wake 'cm,' says he, and down he goes shouting, 'Tuniblo up here you lubbers, and get us a light, or VU trice Some of you up.'

As he ;Wcut down the ladder, I heard his 1 pistol click. Then there was an awful

Struggle, and one shot was fired, He was. a 1 powerful nun, and it took all they could do td secure bini without getting shot, but they did lt, and'took Iiis' pistol away. 'There's no time tolose,'now says I ;andtothemateIsaid, ' W.SWldonltdo aU we tell you, yoa'U follow your spy, Obadiah, overboard.' He began to rave and curse, but we made him shut un.

Saidl7'>l^#iBñkk*lyrH«nd¥"é,aUa:Hop¿y .

Tl go aft* So we did.- I goes to the man at i the who*!, a«* asís*, -ÍAiff a bit, Jonathan. 1 WeVe »jet the mate trapped, nnd'U have the

?kipper next.' ' All right,' says Jonathan, and he luffs. - In two minutes the skipper comes to the cabin door, shouts for the. mate like ' thunder, and roars -to the man at the wheel, ' Who ordered you to alter the Ship's course, you precious pumpkin-headed son of a back-woodsman ?' ' The mate, sir i' Then he roars again for thc mato, and curses every one into cat's meat, and jumps on thc deck in a fury. Th eu we mannell him, and-"

" Jehoshaphat 1 Didn't lie fight like all-fired Virginny snakes ?" said Hoppy.

" Yes, -he was slippery, nut we fixed him. We were afraid the row would wake the second mate. We took the skipper for'ard ; then made the mute trail aft and call the second mate to his watch on deck, then sent him for'ard again. In two minutes the second mate turned out, and we nabhlcd him. He was a youngster, and soon caved in. He toas in a funk !"

"By the eternal stars and stripes he blubbered like a baby !" broke in Hoppy.

" Well, he was the lost of them, and, just to take a rise out of him, we told him he'd have to walk the plank, like the skipper und mate had done before him. That made him worse and a nice hullabaloo he kicked up. We locked bim in au empty cabin, and then searched the ship for arms. There was plenty for all hands. None of us knew how to navigate the ship, and wc hadn't the least idea what we were going to do with her, <bnt we had jolly tunes of it for a bit. Didn't we, Hoppy ?"

" May I be split cf we didn't ! We played up all top-ropes, See, etrangor, said Hoppy, " wc made thc skipper and mate do all the navigating, and a lot of the work too. They cut up rough sometimes, at first, hut we put on their knuckle-dusters and marked their blessed countenances, and they soon hove to. Jehoshaphat ! Didn't wc make smart

foremost hands of 'em ?"

" We lived in thc cabin, und made them sleep aud mess for'ard in thc forc'ele," con- tinued Pedro ; "and kept a watch over them. Wc held a council of war to see what, we should do with tho ship and the prisoners, for wc couldn't keep on thc whaling ground, for fear of getting to close quarters with some other whaler, Tor vc didn't care about company just then. Thc skipper was part owner of the ship, and made us all sorts of offers if we'd only let him have her again. We were not to bc caught with chaff though. I said, 'Mates, my plan is this-go to the Fiji Islands ; land thc skipper and second ?hate, then make tracks forCalifornia ; soil the ship, and get off the best way we can. She isn't known at 'Frisco.' 'No, said one of them. ' Let us take them alf together. Wc can make away with them when they've served our turn. ' We sailed for * Frisco, and made a good many plans on the way. Wc painted the ship and boats a diffe- rent colour ; alter thc rig a bit, and painted a different name on her stern. After about a

fortnight we began to see a good many vessels going in tile same direction. Some spoke us, ' and wc found they were all going to ' Frisco. I couldn't make it out at all. At lost we got into port, There were a sight of skipping there. I'd been there often before, but never saw anything like it. Thc ships seemed. all deserted. I was dressed in the skipper's best, and Hoppy was my first, and Suake my second mate. Thc real skipper and mates were all stowed away in the coal-hole for'ard in the lower hold, with a guard over them, ever since we entered port. Our plan was to sell the ship, divide the money, and every man do as he liked after. But our plans were all thrown out by something I've got to tell you. About sundown the day we Rot in, A boat put off from a ship that was anchored just inside of us-we were tho outside of all with four men in it, and a chap that looked like a skipper steering. They pulled round pur ship. 1 says,' What brings all these ships into port, sir?

' 'Hie wind, for one tiling, sir,' said he. * What next ?' says I.

' Gold.'

' What do you mean by gold ?'

* Why there's mouutaius, rivers, seas of gold found not far from herc. The place Btinks of gold. Where air you from, that you never heard of it ?'

' North Seas, whaling. Fourteen months


4 Did you strike ile?' ' Well, some,' 1 said. ' Who's cap'n ?'

« Mc'

' Oh-say. Did you speak the Pride of Virginny, anywhar ?'

« What is she Y

' Whaler-barque-rigged.'

' Never saw her.'

' Her Cap'n was a great friend of mine. We was ' prentices together.'

" I didn't like the look of thc fellow a bit. He kept looking at the ship BO ; and when he mentioned thc real name, and said he knew the skipper, I funked, I tell you, and 'wished

him off. Says he, .

' Your crew'll bolt ; and your shipll be laid up, like you sec all these scores of ships. They can't sail for want of men. Fellows all skeddaddlc to the diggins.

1 Can you buy a ship here ?' says I.

' Buy a ship herc ! You can get 'em-let me see-seven or eight hundred tonnera, at about twenty thousand dollars a score. But you can't sell ships.'

" He seemed to know what I was thinking about, so I said, ' Don't want to sell, sir.'

' Say-What's the name of the craft agent' ' Thc Retribution. Didn't you sec her naine

astern !'

* Yes, I sec that-but it is so plaguey bad painted. Got a painter a-board!' What's your name, capn'u !'

.,' Smart.'

' Wall, you'll hcv to be smarter than most skippers, if you get out of this port with a full [crew six days this side of doomsday, and then, may bc, you wou't think it worth whik) to shift your berth for the short time you'll hcv to. run. Thc. Retribution. Wall, I thought she was another ship, but I see she isn't, so I'll toddle ashore. Good night, Capn' Smart. Give way lads. ' "

{To he. continued.)

A UEOCNT marriage notice ends with the singular expression, probably added by a waggish fricud : " May their future troubles be Tillie OHM !"

' "Ah,1 said a Sunday school teacher-" abi Caroline Jones, what do you think you would have been without your good father and pious motlier!" " I suppose, mum, as I should ha1 been a liorphau.'

A HAN at a public dinner at Leeds, iii pro- posing the health of thc ladies, happened to refer to them as " thc weaker vessels^" when a voice called out from thc end of the room, " I nobbut wish tliou'd our Sall to deal wi'for a fornight I" J

Two quaker girls were ironing on the same table. One asked thc other which side she would take, the right or left. She answered, promptly, " It would be right for me to taite the left, and then it will be loft for thee to take thc right."

THE meeting of two gentlemen in the theatre lobby is a happy illustration of the confusion a siimkirity of dress occasions. Coming from different points, each in a great hurry, one addressed thc other with, "Pray, are you the box-keeper ?" " No," replied tho other ; *' arc you ?"J;

A BEAR broke into the house of a Nevada miner the other night. The man was away, and his wife thought he bad come home inebria- ted. She did not wait tolightalamp, but began operations at once. When thc bear finally escaped, it is said that he did not stop run- ning till lie had travelled eight miles into the heart of the mountains, and he was such a sight that the other bears would not associate with him.

A CERTAIN Kew York county farmer bought a lot of bees not long ago. Being of an inquisitive accumulative mind, he deterf

mlnedto watch their Ulterior movements. Ho

accordingly looked into one of his hives with that end in view. His . head iras suffi- ciently decreased basile to allow him to weat .> No. 9 hat. The attending physician thinki he Will be «Me to recognise bis youngest (jot!

In two or three months, ': '