WE ENTERTAIN A JAIL-BIRD
cheap and plenty; we were entirely fit, and—like many another lot of young chaps out for a lark—did not care a tinker’s continental what happened. That, if you think about it, is the high-water mark of happiness—to be perfectly well, strong, twenty-five years of age, and ready for anything that bobs up.
“This time it was a small schooner with a crew of about one hundred men, instead of the customary ten or twelve. A third of them came ashore, bought provisions and water, and were about to shove off to the vessel again, when one of my comrades recognized the mate as an old friend. He offered to take us with them, and in half an hour we had gathered together our duds and had pushed off with the others. The following week we ran into a sheltered cove, where we began landing our cargo. Then it all came out: we were loaded to the scuppers with old muskets in cases, some thousand rounds of ammunition, and two small, muzzle-loading field-guns. There was a revolution in Boccador—one of the small South American republics—they have them every year or so—and we were part of the insurgent navy! If we were caught we were shot; if we got a new flag on top of Government House in the capital