Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/633

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
620
[June 23, 1860.
ONCE A WEEK.

and sulky as a chained bear. I’m told t’was dhreadful, to hear the oaths he swore about the revenge he’d take on Donald Blair.

“Clement Lorimer, to make up wid him like, gev him the command uv one uv his best ships, an’ to show that there was no ill-will betwixt nor between them, he sent Donald Blair out as chief mate: she was as fine a barque as ever yer honer clapped eyes on, oh! a raale beauty, called the Carlo Zeno: that was a woful vy’ige for Donald, poor, light-hearted, gay, Donald Blair, he never kem back; he was logged as washed overboord in a squall off the Great Piton Rocks, near the island of Saint Lucia; there was whisperins uv foul play, but Will Gardiner challenged ’em all, an’ as the log was found all square, an’ the crew spoke up, why there the thing ended.

“Not wid poor Letty, though; the poor craythur! she never lifted her head from that day; an’ the poor ould masther, too, wid all Donald’s wild ways was fond uv him, for who wouldn’t; the poor lad was as honest an’ open-hearted as the light uv day, only fond uv his joke, an’ his divarshun, small blame to him, ids a sorry sowl that goes through the world without rubbing a few bright spots in id.

The Lots Upon the Raft.png

“In the coorse of time the widow Blair became a mother; an’ if ever the dead came to life again the father did in that boy, only he had the mother’s beauty an’ all her winnin’ ways to the back of all poor Donald’s dash an’ bravery; he grew fast, an’ ould Clement began to regard him as the apple uv his eye, couldn’t bear him out uv his sight for a minit; bud the dark times wor at hand, things began to go cross wid the poor ould masther,—first one ship was wracked, thin another, until, at last, the only one he had left was the Carlo Zeno.

“Well, the time kem when something must be done, wid young Donald—he’d no longer his grandfather to look to, so bedad the heritage uv his poor drowned father was bestowed upon him—and he was sint to sarve his time wid Will Gardiner: oh! but that was a sorry partin’, for Clement Lorimer had parted wid his last ship to him, an’ in sending his darlin’ grandson wid him id seemed like a last hope that he’d bring back the fortune that was gone. Many, many was the requests he made uv Will that he’d behave to his poor boy, an’ do by him what he had done for Will Gardiner to make him an honest sailor, an’ a Christian man. That same night Black Will, as we always called him, had a long talk with Mrs. Blair, an’ he asked her the question that had been the aim an’ object of his life; he asked her to be his wife, an’ to forget all she had ever loved as only a woman can love—once; but he spoke uv him that was dead and gone, of the man with whom he’d broken the same bread, and drunk the same cup as a ne’er-do-well that desarved to be forgotten: little knowin’, the black-hearted villain! the woman he had to dale with. Oh, my jewel! it was Letty that up an’ gev him her mind, and he