Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/127

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

thought it was his ghost. Then he wrung O'Reilly's hand, and burst out crying, just like a baby.

"Pretty soon he looked at me. I never said a word.

"'Did that fellow have anything to do with it?' says he."

Capt. Frederick Hussey, who was first officer of the Gazelle at the time, expresses his belief that the Governor was "not so badly fooled as we thought. When Bowman was arraigned in court, he commenced to tell the story of O'Reilly, when the Governor commanded: 'Be silent, sir.' Again he attempted to speak, when the Governor arose and said: 'If you speak again, I'll have you gagged.' When he saw our flag at half-mast, he inquired the reason for it, and ordered it down. I believe he wished to prevent diving or dragging for the body, for I have since heard that his wife was a loyal Irish woman."

The much-abused word "loyal" is for once well applied, if Capt. Hussey's information was correct as to the nationality of the Governor's wife.

The Gazelle's next landfall was to be made at the Island of St. Helena, the prison-rock on which the British nation chained, and tortured, and fretted to death the great soldier who had weakly trusted to their magnanimity. It was not to be expected that the secret of O'Reilly's identity could be kept by the whole ship's crew, especially after the Roderique episode; so Captain Gifford reluctantly determined to part with his passenger ere reaching that port. The American bark Sapphire, of Boston, bound from Bombay to Liverpool, commanded by Captain E. J. Seiders, was spoken on July 29, off the Cape of Good Hope, and agreed to give a passage home to seaman "John Soule," O'Reilly having adopted for the nonce the name and papers of a man who had deserted from the Gazelle. Honest sailors soon learn to trust one another, and Captain Seiders was taken into the confidence of his countryman, repaying it by giving O'Reilly a state-room in his cabin and treating him with every kindness.

The generosity of Gifford did not stop with commend-