Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/113

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rascals wore a red waistcoat with white stripes, the landlord exclaimed:

"Jem Turner, by the Lord Harry! Aye, as sure as fate! There is two hundred pounds reward for him, dead or alive. The boldest rascal that rides the Heath!"

Captain Greig concluded, no doubt, that he was safer at sea again. The Blenden Hall was ready to sail, and several of her passengers came on board at Gravesend, while the others were taken on from Deal while the ship tarried in the Downs. Sixteen in all were of a social station which permitted them to meet at the cuddy table for dinner while the ship's band played "The Roast Beef of Old England" and Captain Greig pledged their health in good Madeira. With a most precocious taste for gossip, young Greig managed to portray his fellow-voyagers in an intimate manner that would be hard to match in the true tales of the sea.

It is just as well to let you gain some slight acquaintance with them before the curtain rises on the tragedy of the shipwreck. The most conspicuous figure was Mrs. Lock, wife of a commodore somewhere on foreign service. She was very fat, with a hurricane of a temper, and of mixed blood in which the tar brush was undeniable. Her English