Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/123

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Large sums of money were offered the sailors to forage for provisions, but I am firmly persuaded that the man who accepted such an offer would have been murdered by his comrades. Mrs. Lock, for instance, incensed a seaman by telling him,—"You common sailor, why you no wait on lady? You ought to wait on officer's lady! You refuse me, captain will flog you plenty."

Inaccessible Island was properly named, and one week after another passed without the sight of a sail or any tangible hope of rescue. Flimsy shelters were contrived, and nobody died of cold or hunger, but they were a gaunt, unkempt company, with much illness among them. Arrayed in their makeshift garments of crimson broadcloth, the camp was more like a travesty than a tragedy. No hardship could dull the militant spirits of Mrs. Commodore Lock and that young and handsome virago, Mrs. Lieutenant Painter. During one of their clashes, which was about to come to blows, the little lieutenant was trying to drag his strapping spouse into their tent while several passengers laid hold of the ponderous Mrs. Lock. Poor Captain Greig was heard to murmur:

"Thank God we have almost no respectable ladies with us to witness such scenes as these!"

Mrs. Lock had two small children with her, and it pleased the fancy of Mrs. Painter to say that, in her opinion, the paternity of the offspring would