Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/405

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
359
THE SPEEDWELL PRIVATEER

Then the seams were calked as tight as possible, and water poured in to test them. Alas! there were leaks from stem to stern, and the discouraged seamen swore to one another that she was no better than a damned sieve. They were ready to abandon the enterprise, but Captain Shelvocke bullied and coaxed them into picking up their tools again.

They patched and calked and tinkered until it was agreed that the bark might possibly be kept afloat. The cooper made wooden buckets enough for every man to have one to bale with, and one of the ship's pumps was mended and fitted into the hold. Two masts were set up and rigged, canvas patched for sails, and a launching day set to catch the spring tide of October. Meanwhile the cooper was getting casks ready for provisions. These consisted of two thousand conger-eels which had been dried in smoke, seal-oil to fry them in, one cask of beef, five or six of flour, and half a dozen live hogs.

When they tried to launch the bark, the blocks gave way, and she fell upon her side and stuck fast. Again the faint-hearted seamen were for giving up the game as lost, but the competent armorer rigged purchases and tackles and lifted the craft, and she slid into the water on the next tide. Captain Shelvocke duly christening her the Recovery. For an anchor and cable they had to use a large stone and