A Sailor Boy with Dewey/Chapter 32
GOOD-BY TO THE PHILIPPINES.
"We must be careful," I said to my chum, as he began to mount the steps. "Remember poor Gory's rashness."
"I'll be careful enough," he replied, and peered over the combing to see if the coast was clear.
To his gratification every Celestial had fled, taking the wounded along.
"They are gone, Oliver!"
"I'm glad of it," I said, and scrambled out on the deck with him.
"What of the junk?"
"She is making up the coast with all speed. And there is a warship, true enough!"
"We can fly that flag of distress now," I continued, and ran back for the article. Soon I was on my way to the top, where I placed the glorious Stars and Stripes with the Stars downward.
A shot from the warship told us that our signal was seen, and through the glasses we saw a boat put off in command of one of the officers. Feeling that we were now safe I turned my attention to Watt Brown, while Dan went to look after Matt Gory.
I found the second mate lying close to where he had fallen. He was now conscious, but it was easy to see that death was hovering close to his soul. He tried to smile as I took his hand, but the effort was a failure.
"We whipped 'em," he gasped. "I'm glad—of—it."
"You had better not talk, Brown," I returned. "You are too weak. Let me bind up your wounds and give you a drink of something."
"It aint no use, Raymond, I'm knocked out and I know it. But we whipped 'em," and he tried to smile again. A second later he fainted once more.
I bound up his wound and tried to force some liquor down his throat. I was in the midst of these labors when the small boat from the warship came alongside and the officer and several others hurried to the deck.
"Tom Dawson!" I cried joyfully, and caught the first mate by the hand.
"Poor Brown!" were his first words. "Is it serious?" and as I nodded in the affirmative he looked very sober.
It took some little time to explain the situation and hear what the officer from the Concord and Tom Dawson had to say, and in the meantime Watt Brown and Matt Gory were taken below and made as comfortable as circumstances permitted. There was hope for the Irish sailor, but none for poor Watt Brown, much to the sorrow of all of us, for everyone loved the open-hearted second mate.
Soon a second boatload of sailors came to the Dart and I was asked to go ashore with them, to point out the direction the fleeing Celestials had taken. I went, and at the rock came upon Captain Kenny's body, terribly mutilated by knife-cuts. The Chinamen had fallen upon him, and in their rage over the failure of the expedition had literally hacked him to death. We buried him where he had fallen.
The search for the fleeing pirates, for I can call them nothing less, lasted far into the night, but availed nothing. At last I returned to the Dart, utterly fagged out. A surgeon had been sent for and he was attending the wounded ones, and I asked him about both.
"The Irish sailor will live," was the answer, "but Brown is mortally wounded."
On the Concord were the two men who had owned the Dart in company with Captain Kenny. Their stock in the craft was in the majority, and they turned her over to the government, Uncle Sam to keep the money which was coming to the late captain's heirs, until it was properly claimed.
Our tales were listened to with keen interest the next day by the warm-hearted commander of the Concord.
"We will do our best for you," he said to Dan and me. "I imagine you have nothing to fear so long as you are on board with me."
Watt Brown's death occurred the following afternoon and was a most affecting scene. He and I had got to know each other pretty well since we had been cast ashore, and he called me to him before he breathed his last.
"Good-by to you, Raymond," he whispered. "I am alone in the world, and that being so I leave my father's legacy to you. It relates to a treasure said to be buried somewhere on the Hawaiian Islands. I hope you find it. Goodby," and he died in my arms as peacefully as a child. They buried him on the shore, and I nailed together a rude cross for a headstone.
During the day following I made another search of the stateroom and the cabin in quest of my missing money belt and the documents belonging to Raymond, Holbrook & Smith. For a long while I discovered nothing, but at last I turned over some clothing lying in an out-of-the-way corner, and there the articles lay revealed, along with Dan's pocketbook and belt and a number of other things of lesser importance.
"They are found at last!" I cried, and a great weight was lifted from my shoulders. "Now let those Spaniards confiscate that land in Manila if they dare!"
"It was worth coming to the Dart after all," smiled Dan. "Our mission is now ended."
And he spoke the truth.
Here I think I can properly bring to a close my tale of adventures while serving in the navy and battling for my rights in the Philippines.
The Dart was turned over to the government as before mentioned, and the proper parties raised and repaired her and gave her an equipment for coast service.
How Manila fell into the hands of Uncle Sam at last is a matter of history. Dan, I, and several of our old friends were present when this event occurred, and at the first opportunity my chum and I went ashore to learn how Harry Longley was faring.
We found him sitting up and glad to learn that everything had turned out so well. With the United States authorities in the city to protect him, Longley unearthed the money belonging to our firm and placed it in the safe, along with the documents I had rescued. To-day business is booming with Raymond, Holbrook & Smith, and no more is heard of disputing our claim to the land upon which our offices in Manila stand.
As soon as we could do so, we sent a cablegram to Mr. Holbrook, telling him of what had occurred. Later on we took passage back to Hong Kong on the Starlight, in company with Tom Dawson and several other of our friends, including Matt Gory, who was now almost well.
Both Dan and I had seen enough of war, and instead of thinking about going back to the Philippines, I took passage on a steamer for San Francisco, and Dan accompanied me.
When I reached the Golden Gate I found that my father was still in Cuba, and with the war going on, I grew very anxious concerning him. But, as my friends who have read "When Santiago Fell" know, he escaped from grave perils without injury, and he soon came on to the West, followed, a month later, by Mark Carter, a first-rate young fellow who had shared his adventures. Mark, Dan, and I soon became warm friends, and it was while making a tour of California that we concocted a plan for going to the Hawaiian Islands, so recently annexed to the United States, in quest of the treasure mentioned in the strange document left by Watt Brown's father. What our future adventures were Mark will tell, in another volume, to be called "Off for Hawaii; Or, The Mystery of a Great Volcano."
And now let me say good-by, kind reader, with the hope that if you ever have such stirring adventures as have fallen to my lot, they will end in equal good fortune.