網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

and I realized the truth of this sentiment, in this case, as I had never done before. It afforded me much gratification to be able to minister to the wants of my ship-wrecked countrymen, to share with them my scanty allowance, and perform for them every kind office that humanity could suggest.

[ocr errors][merged small]

All things earthly must have an end at last, according to the immutable laws which govern the universe; and, although protracted ten-fold by sorrow, sickness, hardship and privation, the long Arctic winter wore slowly away, and the light of hope began to glow with renewed brilliancy in my bosom, as the time approached for the whaling fleet to return to the Okotsk sea, when, perchance, I should be rescued from my dreary place of exile.

At length, the month of June, which is the first month of the whaling season, arrived ; and in company with my friend Tolman, and the crew of the Phoenix, with the exception of Capt. Handy, I set out for the coast.

By this time the snow and ice had nearly all disappeared; and, meeting no adventures to delay us, we accomplished the journey in less than two days.

[ocr errors]

66

Shortly before noon on the second day, we came in sight of the coast and the broad expanse of the Okotsk sea. To our indescribable delight the deep blue surface of the sea was thickly studded with white winged ships, with the "starry ensign” of our own dear native land, floating gracefully from their peaks.

No words of mine can adequately describe the scene of wild and joyful excitement which ensued, as our eyes took in the welcome sight. We shouted, we laughed, we cried, we shook each other by the hand, and pointed to the ships, and sobbed like children; and anon, we threw ourselves upon the ground in an extacy of joy; while from every heart, I doubt not, went up a fervent, though unspoken, prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving to the infinite Creator and Preserver.

Presently, one of the ships which had been heading up the coast, close hauled on the starboard tack, and under full sail, was hove suddenly in stays, and rapidly approached the shore. When within a mile of the land, her main yard was laid aback, and a boat was lowered and pulled directly toward the beach.

The eminonce from which we had observed this being at some distance from the beach, we

1

a

[ocr errors]

started thither upon a run, as soon as the boat had been lowered, for the purpose of meeting the crew as they landed. As the boat glided up to the shore, impelled by the lusty strokes of the stalwart oarsmen, we greeted her crew with three rousing cheers, which were promptly echoed from the boat; and, as her keel grated upon the beach, the oflicer in charge of the boat sprang ashore, followed by his crew, and inquired in a loud voice, if “ Daniel Hall, of New Bedford was among the company ?"

Upon this, I stepped forward and informed him that I was the person whom he sought; whereupon, he grasped me

grasped me by the hand, declaring that “ It did his eyes good to see me!” He then informed me that he was the mate of the ship Daniel Wood, of New Bedford, commanded by Capt. Thomas Morrison, and that he had been sent ashore every day since the arrival of the ship in the Sea, to search for me!

Capt. Morrison had scen my father's advertisement in the New Bedford Shipping List, and being a humane and noble-hearted man, and, withal, a friend to my father, had resolved to rescue me, if possible, from exile, and enable me to return to my native land.

The officer concluded by inviting me to take a seat in the boat, saying that there were comfortable quarters reserved for me on board the Daniel Wood, and that he would be glad to take my companions also, if he had authority to do so; but that as he had not, he would take pains to find some other ship or ships which were in need of hands, and that they should soon be relieved from their unpleasant situation.

This promise was faithfully kept ; and, in the course of twenty-four hours, the whole party had been shipped on board vessels which chanced to be short handed.

Upon my arrival on board the Daniel Wood, I was greeted with cheers by the crew, and received by Captain Morrison in the most friendly manner. Taking me by the hand the captain led me into the cabin, and showed me the advertisement inserted by my father, in the New Bedford Shipping List, saying that he had sent his boats ashore several times, to search for me, and that he thanked God he had been able to find me, and rescue me from that barren shore.

His kind manner and words affected me to such an extent that I could not refrain from shedding tears, and was scarcely able to express in fitting words, the gratitude which I felt;

1

whereupon he badle me say no more upon that subject, declaring that he had only done as he would wish another to do by his own son, shoull he ever be placed in a similar position; and that the pleasure of having relieved my distress, was, of itself, a sufficient reward for what he had done.

He then ordered the steward to supply me with a comfortable outfit, and told me that I might, from that time forward, consider myself a member of the ship’s crew, upon equal terms with the others.

Blessed be God that I fell into the hands of a generous, noble-hearted, honorable man, like Thomas Morrison, of the ship Daniel Wood!

The whaling season having but just commenced, three months must necessarily elapse before 'we should sail for home; and shortly after I had become a member of the Daniel Wood's

crew, the labor of capturing the monsters of the deep began in good earnest.

We had a most successful season, but as I have already, in these pages, given the reader a

peep at the whale fishery,” I will not waste time, or weary his patience with a repetition. Fearing, however, that some of my landsmen

, readers would be disappointed, did I not give them a brief description of the different varie

« 上一頁繼續 »