Page:Yule Logs.djvu/239

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223
"BY DEFAULT OF THE ENGINEER"

cumstances I do not propose to carry out the intention of the late captain; but I must tell you that entries relating to your conduct have been made in the official log-book of this ship, and that any further steps in the matter will be left to the decision of the managing directors of the Company when we are able to get away from this place. I hope, if you have an opportunity, you will endeavour to redeem your past misconduct, which has entailed such terrible consequences upon the Serampore, and everybody on board of her."

Mr. Williams made no reply, but turned and went below. After he had gone, Mr. Stewart remarked

"He's nae such a bad chiel, I'm thinking, at bottom, but he was mad because he didna get the berth himsel'."

After these occurrences the days began to pass by with a dreary monotony. Every morning when I got up, it was with the expectation that something or other would happen soon, and every night when I turned in, it was with the same uneasy feeling of anticipation or dread hanging about me. Mr. Urquhart ordered the watches to be kept regularly, as if we were at sea, and during the day a look-out man was kept at the mast-head to watch for a passing sail. The mizzen-mast, with most of its gear, and the main-top mast had been carried away by the successive shocks of the ship bumping on the rocks, but everything stood forward.

The second officer was ordered to get up and examine what quantity of powder and ammunition there was in the ship. We had a stand containing a dozen muskets and also a few cutlasses, together with a dozen boarding-pikes. These were all the small-arms belonging to the ship, and there were two nine-pounder guns for signalling purposes mounted on the quarter-deck.

"Don't you think," said I, " 'twould be a good plan to have some cartridges made, in case of anything happening?"

"Happy thought, Hardy," said Sinclair. "We'll get