Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/118

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but there was no answer to the cry from the boat, and the vessel again sailed off, leaving O'Reilly to sadly watch her fade away into the night. He afterward heard from Captain Baker that, strangely enough, the boat was not seen from the ship.

Being refreshed by the dew and the cool night air, O'Reilly bent to the work of rowing back to shore. There was nothing to do but to get to his hiding-place and await Maguire's return. He tugged at the oars pretty steadily through the night, and when morning came he was within sight of the sand-hills on the headland of Geographe Bay. He reached land by noon and then walked on wearily to Johnson's, where he arrived the same night. The fatigue and anxiety which he had gone through had thoroughly exhausted him. He cared for nothing but sleep, and this he could have without stint in the secluded sand valley. There he remained for five days, when he was cheered by the arrival of Maguire and M——, who said that they had come to see him through. This time Maguire brought a brief letter from Father McCabe, asking O'Reilly to remember him. He had arranged with Captain Gifford, of the bark Gazelle, of New Bedford, one of the whalers that were to sail next day, to take O'Reilly on board. In order to insure the fulfillment of this agreement the good Father had paid the captain ten pounds to carry his friend as far as Java. Unfortunately there was one serious danger ahead. This was the presence of a criminal convict, one of the worst characters in the penal colony, Martin Bowman, or Beaumont, a ticket-of-leave man. This fellow had discovered O'Reilly's plan of escape and had threatened to reveal the whole affair to the police if Maguire did not take him on board the whale-ship also. As it was unsafe to refuse this demand, Bowman was unwillingly included in the party.

Soon after daybreak the next morning the men went down to the beach. Old Johnson and his boy were there to see them off. They got afloat without delay, and rowed vigorously toward the headland, according to Captain Gifford's directions. By noon they saw the two whale-ships under full headway. Toward evening they were hailed by one of the vessels, and a voice shouted O'Reilly's name and cried out:

"Come on board!" The men were delighted at this call. They pulled alongside and O'Reilly was helped out of the boat by the strong arms of Henry C. Hathaway, the third mate. He was warmly welcomed by Captain Gifford, who gave him accommodations in his cabin. Martin Bowman, the escaped criminal, was quartered in the forecastle with the crew. As the boat pushed off from the ship, Maguire stood up and cried: "God bless you; don't forget us, and don't mention our names till you know it's all over." M——, also, who had so well proved his courage, shouted a kind farewell, which moved the grateful O'Reilly to tears.