« 上一頁繼續 »
for they probably supposed us tò be members of some boat's crew, who had landed upon the coast, and who had strolled thither from motives of curiosity. At length, however, we succeeded in informing them by signs, that we were deserters,—that we had been severely beaten, and otherwise maltreated on board our ship, to which we dared not return, and that we desired to return with them to their settlement in the interior, and claim their protection until the following season, when we hoped to obtain a berth on board some whale ship, in which we might return to our own country.
Upon this, they held a consultation in their own language, during which it was evident to us, that some were in favor of granting our request, while others opposed it; but, at length, they decided to allow us to accompany them; whereupon we expressed our gratitude, by signs, and a most friendly feeling was soon established between us. We spent the night in one of their tents; and
; on the following morning, the encampment was broken up, and the whole party, ourselves included, took up their line of march for the interior.
At this point, I shall be compelled to make a brief digression from the regular course of my narrative, for the purpose of informing the reader of the means which my father employed upon learning that I had deserted the ship upon the coast of Siberia, to ascertain my whereabouts if living, or the place, time and manner of my death, if otherwise.
I shall devote the following chapter to this purpose, which seems necessary to the proper arrangement of this work; after which I shall resume the thread of my narrative, and follow it, uninterruptedly, to a conclusion.
A PARENT'S ANXIETY.
Return of the Condor to the Sandwich Islands Condemn
ation and sale at Honolulu-Return of the Captain and Mate to the United States-Rumors of my abandonment circulated at New Bedford-Interview between my Father and Captain Whiteside-The Arrest-Sympathy of the Community.
Shortly after my desertion, the Condor, with one thousand barrels of oil, and sixteen thousand pound of bone on board the result of her second season's fishery-left the Okotsk Sea, for the Sandwich Islands.
The passage thither was long and tedious; for she leaked badly, and was, altogether, in a most unseaworthy condition. Immediately, upon her arrival at Honolulu, she was condemned and sold. Her crew, being paid off, dispersed in various directions. Some went north again, others remained among the Sandwich Islands, but none, with the exception of the Captain and Mate, returned to the United States.
In the meantime, my father had begun to feel considerable anxiety in regard to me, as I had found no opportunity of writing him since our departure from Honolulu, previous to our second season in the Okotsk Sea. His first intelligence in regard to the Condor, after the reception of
my letters, was the news of her condemnation at Honolulu ; which, together with a report to the effect that Captain Whiteside had sailed for home, was briefly given among the marine intelligence in the public newspapers.
Upon this, he concluded that he should receive letters from me by the Captain ; unless, indeed, I was already on my way home; and this conclusion had the effect to relieve his mind of all farther anxiety in regard to me. In the course of time, he learned that Captain Whiteside had arrived in New York, and he awaited with impatience the news which he expected to receive from him ; but in this respect, he was doomed to disappointment.
Previous to this, however, a report had been put in circulation at New Bedford, to the effect that I had been left upon the coast of Siberia. This coming to the cars of my father, he set about tracing it to its source, and soon discovered that it had originated with a lady who
had received the intelligence in a letter from her son, written in the Sandwich Islands.
Shortly after this, Captain Whiteside and his mate arrived at New Bedford ; when my father immediately, had an interview with them, demanding an explanation of the circumstances attending my abandonment upon the coast of an Arctic region, at the commencement of winter.
Although, at this interview, both the captain and mate declared that they knew of no sufficient cause for my desertion, that I had always been faithful in the performance of my duty on shipboard, and that I had been kindly treated, .they subsequently prevaricated; and my father, after due investigation, became satisfied that I had been maltreated on board the Condor. It did not appear reasonable to him, that a boy, only seventeen years of age, with strong home attachments, and a large circle of affectionate relatives, anxiously awaiting his return, should have deserted his ship upon the eve of her homeward passage, particularly, in that remote corner of the globe. My father was ever a man of action; and, in
; this case, instead of wasting time in useless repinings, he immediately proceeded to take all