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THE JOURNAL JUNIOR, MINNEAPOLIS^ MINNESOTA, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1903.
BY CYRUS TOWNSEND BRADY.
(Copyright, 1902, by Charles Scribner's Sons.)
Committed to the Great Deep.
HU/ELL, gentlemen, there isn't anything to be learned
W from that," remarked the captain, thoughtfully,
after a little pause. "I will retain this ring. Now, let's
have a look at the baby."
The infant had been lying peacefully asleep in Lang's
arms for some time, and the captain took it up softly with
that unfamiliar hesitation with which men usually handle
little children. Fortunately it slept soundly all the time.
So far as he could, without undressing it, he looked it over
very carefully. His eyes finally caught the glint of a gold
chain about its neck, and he reached his finger in under
the dress and pulled gently on it.
"Ah," he said, "what have we here?"
As he pulled he discovered a handsome jeweled gold
locket fastened to the chain. His hands sought for a means
of opening it, and finally found a spring. Inside was a
miniature, the face of a woman. It was the face of the
woman lying on the transom there, but how different! The
painter's art had caught the hue of health, and the face
that looked out from the little circle of gold was a thing of
beauty, while that that looked up from the transom was a
thing of sadness. On the back of the locket was a mono
gram in diamonds, composed of the letters "N. E. D."'
" 'N. E. D.,' " said the captain, " 'D.' evidently stands
for his last name and the other two for Christian names.
The woman is undoubtedly his mother. They resemble each
He sought for the catch of the chain, found it, opened
It, drew it from the baby's neck, and put it in his pocket
with the ring.
"See that the finding of this baby and its mother and the
description of both these articles are properly entered in the
ship's log, Mr. Talcott. Find out, too, from Captain Senez,
if he can remember where he picked up the boat with the
woman and child in it and make a note of it, and of every
other fact you can elicit which may serve to identify the
child in full, tho I think 'tis most unlikely that we shall ever
find anything about it. I suppose he must have some clothes,"
"I think I kin rig up somethln' to fit it, yer honor."
said Lang, who Could handle the needle as well as most sail
ors, "if you'll gimme some stuff from the slop chist to work
on, sir." "I don't think we have anything there to make suitable
clothes of. I expect you'd better take some of my spare
linen sheets, and I have a piece of blue broadcloth I got at
Havana. You'll find both in the opposite berth yonder. You
can arrange to keep the infant in there, and don't you dare,
sirrah, to presume on the fact that you are living aft in the
cabin! I want none of your familiarity on the strength of
"Wot, me, sir! Lord, no, sir!" answered Lang, specious
ly. "If yer honor will gimme permission I'll rig up a small
hammock, for the infant to sleep in."
"V|r^ well. Meanwhile, it ought to have a name and
I think*%e'h call it 'Ned' for the present," said the captain.
" *N. E. D.,' you know, Mr. Talcott. It's got to have a name
of some kind. It doesn't seem just right to call it 'it.' "
"Ned's asleep now, sir," answered the glib Lang. "With
yer permission, sir, I'll jest lay him in this berth. He'll be
safe enough in this gentle breeze, an* I'll go forward an'"
"Go, for heaven's sake, and don't talk a- day about it!
Do what you like for it, but keep silent! Efface yourself so
long as you are around where I am. Understand? I don't
want to see you, or hear you, or the infant. Keep it quiet
and yourself, too!"
Lang opened his mouth to say something, but the fierce
glare of the captain warned him that he would better not. He
knuckled his forehead, made a sea scrape and darted out
of the cabin.
Billy Bowline Bears a Hand.
The next morning was bright and sunny. Contrary to
the captain's nervous anticipation, the baby had slept quiet
*ly thruout the night. Lang had rigged up a small hammock
lor it, and, in mortal terror lest his charge might disturb the
captain, he had spent most of the night awake swinging it
gently whenever the chad stirred. The hammock proved a
comfortable bed for the tired little youngster, and, having
had plenty to eat before it went to sleep, it slept like a top.
The pleasant surprise which its seemly conduct gave to the
captain put him in a gentler, more complaisant'mood, and
Lang shrewdly took advantage of it to ask him if he might
not have one of the ship's boys detailed to act as his as
"Ye see, yer honor," he said, "I don't dare to leave this
yere babby alone a minute, an' in course as I can't mess in
the cabin I won't have no way to git my meals onless I has
some one to stan* watch with me, sir." _ ,'^ _
"So you want to introduce another jackie into the cabin,
do you? You want to turn my cabin into a lounging room
lor the crew, do you? Perhaps you think this is the
"No, sir, not on no account, sir. I jist wants to be
helped out a bit, sir."
"And I suppose, if I grant your request, you and he will
be gabbling all day, sir, over this infant and I won't know
my soul's my own betwixt ye!"
"No, yer honor. I knows too well the respect due to
the cabin, siran' the cap'n, too, sir," he added, quickly.
**An' bein' a silent man myself, never sayin' no more'n is
necessary on no account, w'ich my old woman she didn't
never lemme open my mouth ashore, an* I had to larn there*
the wirtue of silence, I won't say nothin' to disturb yer
honor, an' I won't let no one else do it, nuther."
"Lang," said the captain. "I'd back you against the
whole crew for talking. I suppose you could talk them all
down without any trouble. That's one qualification for a
nurse you possess. You'll teach the infant to talk, if any
"Yes, sir, I'll try, sir."
"How is he now?" - ' -
f "Seems werry well, sir." - ~*
- "I didn't hear him during the night."
' "He never opened his mouth the hull time, sir. _ I'm
larnin' him to behave in the cabin." " -
"Is he still asleep?"
I "Yes, sir. Shall I rouse him out?"
1 '""On no account," answered the captain, timorously.
"You may take advantage ol his quietness to go forward
and pick out your boy and bring him here and turn him to.
Then get your breakfast and I'll see what's to be done later."
"I 'spose I won't have to go to quarters so long's I'm
promoted to be bo's'n's mate to this yere young gentleman?"
"Oh, I suppose not," said Captain Little, laughing at
the solemn old man. "The care of one baby ought to be
enough for one able-bodied man and a ship's boy."
"Yes, sir. An' I means to take keer of this yere babby
in fine shape. I didn't bargain for no dooty of this kind,
but since I've been detailed to take keer on him, I've been
dewotm' myself to doin' it, an' I'm goin' to keep on if"
"Get out of the cabin!" said the captain, in a low, fierce
whisper, subdued for fear of waking the baby, "and bear a
When the "old man," as the captain was called, spoke
in that manner, everyone knew that the limit fo his for
bearance had been reached. Lang therefore darted forward
at once and soon found himself on the forecastle in the midst
of the crew. He was an object of the most intense interest
on account of his new duties, his relationship to the baby,
and his place in the cabin. The men could not resist the
opportunity of baiting him a little, and their baiting took
the form of rather coaise jests. Lang bore it all good
humoiedly within Certain limits-, but when they got beyond
his powers of endurance he quietly put down his pannikin
of steaming coffee, rose to his feet, grasped each of the two
most serious offenders by the back of the neck, and knocked
their heads together in a peculiarly effective manner.
"Ye ask wot qualifications I've got fer nussm' that babby,
"messmates," he 1 oared, bringing them together with a vio
lent shake. "This is one of 'em. Ye want to know how
to soothe a baby, do ye? Bless ye, this is the way I'll do it!"
Bang! Crack! The two heads came together again and
again, while the rest of the crew roared. The men struggled
unavailing in the arms of the giant sailor until, having ex
hausted his wrath, he released his grasp on them and they
fell to the deck, almost stunned by the shaking and banging
they had received.
"Look yere," resentfully growled one of them, sitting up
and rubbing his head, "if you're goin' to soothe that young
ster this yere way there won't be nothin' left of him. 'Tain't
no way to treat a man, let alone a babby,' he muttered, rue
"I want ye to know one thing, shipmates," said Lang,
pulling out his pipe and disdaining to notice the objects of
his last experiment, "this yere babby is a born gentleman.
He's no fo'ke'sl lubber like you. I'm proud to nuss him.
Wen he grows up he'll be the biggest man in the United
States. Specially after gettin' such trainings as I'll give him.
I'll make a seaman out of him, me an' the cap'n will."
The sailor smiled good-naturedly as he spoke, and
joined in the general laugh with which this modest assertion
"As fer bein' a nuss fer the child, if anybody's got any
thin' more to say ag'in it let 'em speak out an' we'll settle
it an* have no more fuss about it. I've been tendin' the in
fant all night, an' never felt so much like fightin' in all
Nobody seemed inclined, in the presence of the mighty
sinews of the sailor and the demonstration he had just given
the unlucky pair who had first felt his prowess, to avail him
self of the opportunity to discuss the propriety of his action.
"Besides, it is a promotion. I'm to git a bo's'n's mate's
pay, be let off from watch an' quarters, sleep in fhe cabin
like the other two gentlemen there, the cap'n an' the babby.
I'm to have a fust luff, too. You, Billy Bowline, I guess
I'll take ye."
"Good Lord, sir!" stammered Billy Bowline, one of the
ship's powder boys, in great dismay "don'ttakememe,
sir! IInever had nothin'totodo with babies!"
"Ye won't have nutin' to do with this yere babby nuther,
only obeyin' my orders. Y' ain't to tech the infant, so fer
as that goes. Y' ain't knowin' enough. There's jest one
thing I want to tell ye. Don't ye answer back to nobody, to
me or the cap'n, or I don't know wot'll become of ye! I
don't want no talkative pussens around me, bein' such a
silent man myself ordinarily, an' the cap'n he thinks the
same way as me. Have ye had yer breakfast?"
"Yes, sir," wailed the boy. "I don't want to keer for
no child, Mr. Lang. I don't know how.'*
"I'll larn ye all ye need to know. Now, you come along
aft with me, an' mind yer eye. I've got a Colt handy, an'
I want to tell ye that w'enever that there infant strikes up
a tune an' disturbs me an' the cap'n you gits licked."
"Oh, Lord, sir! Ididn't shipfer this babby!"
"Shut up, ye young imp! Stop argyfyin' an' remember
you've got to larn to call the babby a young gentleman,
w'ich he is, by the cap'n's orders. Now aft with ye!"
roared Lang, grabbing the lad by the back or the neck and
the seat of his trousers and rushing him below to the cap
"Back again, Lang?" asked the captain.
"Yes, sir." /
"Is that the boy?"
"Yes, sir." answered the sailor, swinging young Billy,
who was vainly trying to seek shelter behind his captor,
"Um!" said the captain, looking over him Critically,
"what qualifications has he for a nurse?"
"Sir," said Lang, "a gentle dispersition, a love for chil- -
dren, an' he wants to larn. Ain't that so, Billy?" shaking
him gently but tightening his grasp ominously.
"An* he's the silentest boy on the hull ship, sir. Him an*
me an' you an' the babby'U .get along fine an*"
"No more!" roared the captain, glaring fiercely at him
and turning to the boy. "Remember one thing! Hav
nothing to say to the captain, or the officers, or anybodyV
This talking is the ruination of discipline. If you have any
thing to say, don't say it! It's a safe rule on a ship! Lang,
I want you to set him an example of keeping quiet."
"Yes. sir. Ye kin depend upon me, sir. I never was
"Well, begin now. What are you going to do with the
"I was thinink' it'd be a good thing to give him a wash
down, sir, an' then a feed. I s'pose he hain't had no bath
fer a week. I guess I kin have a division tub, sir?"
"Oh, yes, certainly," responded the captain, sarcastical
ly, "anything you want. Turn this cabin Into a swimming
pool if you like. I'm here only on suffrance. This baby
seems to run the ship with you as.first luff."
".Yes, sir. Billy, bring me a small division tub an' put
it in the berth there. He must have fresh water, of course,
sir," h added, "so long's he's a young gentleman an' messes
"Great heavens!" cried the captain. "Why, I don't get
fresh water myself to take a bath in!"
"Oh, but in course, sir, this yere's such a little babby."
"Oh, well, have it your own way."
Presently the division tub was brought m and filled
. with fresh water tempered to the proper heat by some hot
water Billy fetched from the galley. Master Ned was un
dressed and deftly plunged therein by his nurse, who was.
rapidly-losing his awkwardness,*.while Billy stood watching
him with delight. - *- - " - ik ' - * L* *KL , , #*-*",
"Ye see, Billy," said Lang, as he soused the infant la
the tub, "it's all in havin' confidence in one's self. W.'en I
fust tackled this yere kid I felt mighty strange, but jest as
soon as I lamed the ropes an' canvas of his gearin' an' how
he was tacked and box-hauled, I begun to git confidence
ag'in, an' now I'm jest as much at home with him as I'd be
on a tops'l yard. Pay attention to wot I say, Billy, an' you'll
know a bit. It's a pity I ain't more talkative, but I've alius
been a silent man. Lord, look at the young gentleman a
splashin* round! He's wallerin' an' blowin' like a young ^
w'ale! T'ain't the first time this yere babby's been in the
water. He's-been raised right, an' I knowed it. I tole the
He continued soliloquizing in this strain while he washed
the delighted child. The captain was writing his report In
his cabin beyond. He could not help overhearing some of the
confusion which was made and finally with a look of an
noyance he rose to his feet and stepped toward the berth in
which the ablutions were being performed. Lang detected
his footstep quickly.
"Billy!" he cried to the astonished boy, "wot d'ye mean
by mutterin' to yerself in this way? You'll have our cap'n"
"WhyMr.Mr.Lang!" began the boy. "I
"There, there! Are ye goin' to answer me back? Jest
wait till I git thru with this young gentleman. You'll have
that good kind cap'n of ourn"
At that moment Captain Little stuck nis head in the
doorway, a ferocious expression on his face.
"I'm jest a-ratin' Billy, yer honor. ' I'm afraid he's dis
turbm' the atmosphere aft with his mutterin' here. He's be
gun to talk some "
"Dash my wig!" exclaimed the captain, laughing in spit*
of himself, "the atmosphere of this cabin with you in it would
make anyone talk. How is the infant enjoying his bath?"
"Werry well, sir. Jest look at him a-splashin* round, sir.
He takes to the water as nateral as a duck, sir. We'll makd
an admiral out of him yet, you an' me, sir. '
The captain leaned over the tub and looked kindly at
the baby, who was thoroly enjoying the unwonted luxury ol
his bath. The child was splashing with his hands and laugh
ing and cooing in happy pleasure. The captain's stern fac
softened as he gazed down at the little sea waif. Except that
he was thin from exposure and deprivation he noted that he
was a very well-made child.
"They make quite a pretty picture," thought Midship
man Blakely, timorously Coming into the cabin, after knock
ing several times without attiacting any attention. Nobody
noticed him and he did not know just what to do. Finally
he coughed diplomatically behind his hand, and the captain
looked up. He reddened with confusion at being found in
this position. Mr. Blakely reported that a sail had been
sighted, and was dnrected shortly to return on deck.
"Don't keep him too long in the water. Lang," said Cap
tain Little, as he left the berth and followed the midship
"Now, who'd 'a' thought it," muttered old Lang to him
self, "that the ol' man would take such an int'rest in thin
yere infant. Dash my pigtail, but I s'pose afore we gits thru
this cruise nobody'll know who is ta'iin' care of this baby,
him er me. Take the division tub away, Billy, an' heav
the water overboard. Then tell the'cook to pick me out a
nice fat piece of salt porkcabin pork, too. I think he's old
enough to chew suthin! We can't keep this yere infant
on lobscouse all his life, which is poor stuff for a growin*
man. I take it he must be 'bout a year old now. I wonder
if he's got any teeth? Lemme feel."
He stuck his huge finger into the baby's mouth, much
to the latter's disgust, and counted "one, two, three, four!"
"He must have somethin' to chew on sartain. Wow!" h
exclaimed, as the infant bit fiercely upon the horny finger,
"his jaw tackle's all right. It runs free an easy," he added,
withdrawing his hand and wiping the beginnings of a smil*
from Billy's face with a ferocious glare.
(To be continued.)
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