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189
Camp Laurence.

"Dance a hornpipe," cut in Fred, as Jo paused for breath; "and, as they danced, the rubbishy old castle turned to a man-of-war in full sail. “Up with the jib, reef the tops'l halliards, helm hard a lee, and man the guns,” roared the captain, as a Portuguese pirate hove in sight, with a flag black as ink flying from her foremast. “Go in and win my hearties,” says the captain; and a tremendous fight begun. Of course the British beat — they always do; and, having taken the pirate captain prisoner, sailed slap over the schooner, whose decks were piled with dead, and whose leescuppers ran blood, for the order had been “Cutlasses, and die hard.” “Bosen's mate, take a bight of the flying jib sheet, and start this villain if he don't confess his sins double quick,” said the British captain. The Portuguese held his tongue like a brick, and walked the plank, while the jolly tars cheered like mad. But the sly dog dived, came up under the man-of-war, scuttled her, and down she went, with all sail set, “To the bottom of the sea, sea, sea,” where —"

"Oh, gracious! what shall I say?" cried Sallie, as Fred ended his rigmarole, in which he had jumbled together, pell-mell, nautical phrases and facts, out of one of his favorite books. "Well, they went to the bottom, and a nice mermaid welcomed them, but was much grieved on finding the box of headless knights, and kindly pickled them in brine, hoping to discover the mystery about them; for, being a woman, she was curious. By and by a diver came down, and the mermaid said, “I'll give you this box of pearls if you can take it up;” for she wanted to restore the poor things to life, and couldn't raise the heavy load