Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/116

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"Come, little Painter, let me see this fine cabin of yours."

It was soon perceived that the vigorous Mrs. Painter was not a lady. The dreadful truth was not revealed, however, until a grizzled Deal boatman was discovered lingering at the gangway. When one of the mates asked him his errand, he answered:

"Why, I only want to say goodbye to my gel. Bet, but I suppose the gold-buttoned swab of a leftenant has turned her 'ead. Blowed if I reckoned my own darter 'ud forget me."

Hiding in her cabin, the daughter wished to avoid such a farewell scene, but she could hear the old man ramble on:

"She 'as no occasion to feel ashamed of her father. I've been a Deal boatman these fifty years and brought up a large family respectably, as Captain Greig well knows."

At this the emotional Mrs. Painter rushed on deck to embrace her humble sire and weep in his gray whiskers, a scene which the fastidious passengers found too painful to witness. Henceforth, through varied scenes of shipwreck and suffering, the dominant figures were to be the youthful, upstanding Mrs. Painter and the dusky and corpulent Mrs. Lock, heroines of two rash marriages, and