Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/128

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ing the fugitive to his countryman; all the ready money that he had in his possession he put into O'Reilly's hands at parting, and when the young man, deeply touched by such generous confidence, would have remonstrated, saying: "I may never reach America; I may never be able to repay you"—the big-hearted sailor merely replied:

"If you never reach America, I shall be very sorry for you; if you are never able to repay me, I shall not be much the poorer; but I hope you will reach America, and I am sure you will pay me if you can." His confidence was not misplaced. Four years later O'Reilly' s first book of poems was published, and bore this dedication:

Of the whaling bark Gazelle, of New Bedford,

In February, 1869, I left the coast of Western Australia in a small boat without a sail. Peculiar circumstances rendered it impossible that I should return. My only path lay across the Indian Ocean. It pleased God that my boat was seen from the masthead of the Gazelle, commanded by Captain Gifford, who picked me up and treated me with all kindness during a seven months' whaling cruise. On parting with me at the Cape of Good Hope he lent me twenty guineas to help me on my way to America. One of the greatest pleasures this little book can ever afford me is the writing of this dedication.

Captain Gifford never saw this grateful tribute. He died ere the volume could reach him, but not ere his trust in the author's gratitude had been amply justified.

O'Reilly found it even a harder task to part with his warm friend and messmate Hathaway. The two were almost equal in years, with kindred buoyancy of spirits, and a deeper undercurrent of earnestness which made each respect and love the other. Between them existed that love, "passing the love of women," which only men of noblest mould may feel or understand.

In the poet's well stocked library were many volumes, the gifts of admiring friends of all degrees of life. Some