ships of the Grand Fleet, at Rosyth or Scapa Flow, you might have seen these bantam midshipmen standing a deck watch with all the dignity of a four-starred admiral.
Midshipman Byron of the Wager built himself a tiny hut in which he lived alone after the captain killed his messmate Cozens, and his companion was a strayed Indian cur, which adored him. The dog faithfully guarded the hut when Byron was absent from it, and they shared together such food as could be found, mostly mussels and limpets. At length a deputation of seamen called to announce that they must eat the dog or starve. Byron made a gallant fight to save his four-legged friend, but was subdued by force, and for once during the long and terrible experience he wept and was in a hopeless state of mind.
Among the minor characters who commend themselves to our approval was a reckless devil of a boatswain's mate, who noticed that the seabirds roosted and nested on reefs and islets out to seaward. In the words of one of his shipmates: