[From Recollections of an old Manxman, 1906]
After we got home to Castletown I took the boy George Pink with me to my own house and kept him for a time. I then sent him to Whitehaven with Clague-Rose in the " Thomas," and he got a berth for him in a brig. He served his time out, and got to be mate ; and now he is in the pits this 20 years.
My brother Joseph has given up going to sea for 10 years. He has turned coal merchant ; and the people have raised him so high that they have made him a Town Commissioner. He is doing well for the life that now is, and for that which is to come. As for myself, I have got the bread that perisheth. I have trusted the Lord for it, and I have never wanted, from my memory, up to to-day ; and I am persuaded that I never shall want as long as I am in this vale of tears ; for the Lords promise is : " Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, and all other things will be added unto you."
I next joined the old " Eleanor," of Douglas, Cæsar Quine, master. She was in Port St. Mary, bound to Bradda Head with coals for the mines. We loosed off one day and went up to Bradda Head, but when we got there it was not fit for the boat to land ; so we bore off to Peel.
When we were at Peel, I shipped in the " Mary," a new smack built there for Mr. Quiggin, of Douglas. She was partly rigged, and I left the " Eleanor," and went with Neddy Corrin and Jack Quane. We got ready and sailed for Troon, where we got a cargo of iron for Runcorn, and took in salt for Fort William. We had to call at Douglas for carpenters, as she was making lots of water, and we had her inspected from the. keel to the gunwale ; but she was no better
We sailed for Runcorn. The wind was north-east, so we put into Ramsey and stopped there till the next days tide the wind went round to the south-west, and it was a fine day ; but before 10 oclock that night it was blowing a whole gale, and we had to double-reef her squaresail and big jib, and reef the foresail and third jib. I was at the helm all night, and when daylight came we could see no land. We were wide of the land. Cantyre land was covered with snow. She was brought by the wind, and at last we saw land, but she would not look at it. The skipper went up and I went down. It came on to blow stronger, and she was lying down till the sheer pole was in the water. The skipper came forard and shouted to me, and said, " Come up, boy, it is blowing a gale of wind." There she was, with the water up at the hatches. There was an empty barrel on deck, and it was floating from fore to aft. I got up to the weather quarter and stood there.. The skipper said, " What is best to do, boy ?" I said to Jack, " Sail her close, or else thou will drown the boat." He lightened her, and then she went bravely. I then said to the skipper, " Its a flood tide." The sea was very heavy, and the tide was coming up the Sound of the Raghlins. I said to him, " If you go down there, you wont tell what hurted you." I added, " Keep her tight by the wind, and she will fetch Larne Lough." From the time the captain asked my advice until she was in Larne Lough there was not a man spoke to me, and then I got cheek enough.
We lay three weeks there before we got out. When we did get out, we only got as far as Jiga. I cant remember, how long we were there, before we put to sea again.
When we did get out, we started in the morning, and it was night before we got to Oban Loch. We wanted to go into the Horseshoe, but we could not see it. I got up in the mast-head to look out for the buoy, but I could not see it, as there was a great hailstorm. The first.thing I saw was a big hulk for coaling steamers, and I shouted " A vessel!" The two anchors were let go under foot together, and there we lay till morning.
In the morning there was a great fall of snow. We got under weigh, and got down to Fort William that day all right, and got discharged.
We sailed again on Christmas Day. We were bound up to Corrin Ferry to load propwood for Barrow-in-Furness. We had for our Christmas dinner a big hake on the fire on the way up. The beach was only about a mile from the Ferry, so we were not long reaching it. When we got loaded we started, and had a good passage to Barrow. We made the lights of Barrow in the night., and when we came to them we didnt know them, because of the furnaces. When I was there before, there were no furnaces in the place, and I could not make them out. We had to wait until daylight, and then we found the way. When we got in, we got a pilot, who brought us to the bridge, and we had to go through. There were no docks there then.
We got discharged, and took in pig iron for Runcorn. But when we were going up Liverpool river, along the Birkenhead side, we. had no wind, and we were going up under a large American ships yards. I let go the anchor, and when she was brought up she lay down until her deck was in the water, and we didnt touch him. But. our anchor was fast in his chain, and we waited two tides to see if we could get clear. But we could not ; so we unshackled our chain at the first shackle and gave him the chain. He was to take it on board when he was going to dock. But he went and hove up the ship by our chain, and broke it in the middle, and so we lost our anchor. We went up to Runcorn.
Our captain went home to die. He had been failing for years, and at last he had to give up and go home. He was only three weeks at home when he died. Before he went home, be asked me twice to take charge of the" Mary." But I refused ; for I couldnt fight with the Quiggins ; because in those days they were pretty coarse, and besides I wasnt willing. When he went home, he sent another man once in Barrow. The day he went home from Runcorn I still told him no, because I could not fight with the Quiggins, who were the owners.
The day he went home he sent another man out in his stead. But he was fond of the " stuff," and Jack Quane was made master. But Quiggin was mad because I would not take her. The Castletown coachman was carrying my money home to the wife every week, and Quiggin had said to him, " What is amiss with the man that he wont take her?"
But I must go back to Runcorn. We loaded salt for Larne, in Ireland, and we got towed down on Saturday evening on the north side, for there. was no wind. On Sunday morning we went to heave up to go down to the Sloyne. We hove her short., but we could get no anchor. We seemed caught in something very heavy ; for the more we hoisted, the heavier it got, till at last we could get none, and we had to give it up. The skipper was going to unshackle, but we had no other anchor ; so we had to hold on. I said to the skipper that he had better go to some of the anchor-lifters and bring one ot them up. So we put him ashore on the other side of the river, and he got to Liverpool somehowI dont know ; but, anyway, he came back in a. boat with four men and a new anchor with them, and the master of one of the anchor-lifting flats. As soon as he got on deck, he said, "Hold on, boys, we.have been looking for this this long time." So we had to stop where we were until next morning, which was Monday morning. It was very calm, and they got up and let go their lockspur (as they called it) down on our chain and got hold of the chain. It was an old lazarettes moorings. So we unshackled our chain and gave them the anchor, and we hoisted sail and went to the Sloyne. We were not long there before the boat came with our anchor, and the skipper gave them five shillings for " allowance."
We lay there for more than a fortnight. When we went to heave up, the chain was warped round the anchor in a ball, so that he could not get it to us. I was so much out of temper that I did not know what to do. If I could have got ashore, I would have gone.
After two hours we got it. clear, and put to sea. We arrived at Larne after a good passage, and discharged the salt. We then went up to the quarries to load stones for Glasgow. We got up to Glasgow all right, and got the stones out. While we were waitiing for coals, we gave her a coat of coal tarthe first coat she got since she left Peel. It was here I found the leak. It was in the round of the quarter. The plank was splintered, and I filled it full of coal tar, and after that she was as tight as could be. We loaded coal for Derry city.
Once, when we were in Lame Lough at anchor, the " Catherine," of Cambrie, came across our bows and broke our jibboom, and we looked after her ; but we got nothing for it, because there was no one on deck. So I had to turn to and splice it, and I believe it was that way all the time I was in her.
The new captain and I did not hit it. He was suspicious that I was sending letters home about him, but I never did. He was fond of the drink.
We loaded potatoes in Derry for Carmarthen, but I made the excuse that I wanted to go home to the herrings for I was afraid of him. We got a fine northerly wind, and he put her into Peel, and I got clear of him. As soon as she arrived in Peel, they put him out of her. That is all I know about her.
Jack went into the schooner " Maria" after that. He was in Castletown, and he came to me on the Bridge, and he told me that he suspected me of sending news home, but he had found out that I never did, and he could have eaten me then. He was the man whose hair turned grey in a night.
I went in the old "Charlotte," better known by the name of "Old Collagh Muck." I heard my father saying, when I was a little boy, that the youngsters in Whitehaven were calling her the " Smithy Bellows ; " for she was as broad as long ; she was 30 feet on the keel, and she was more than 20 feet beam, and carried 50 tons. The first time I went with her I could not get a man to go with me by the shares ; so I had to pay them by the run.
We went to Troon for a cargo of cannel coal for Mr. Moore to burn lime. We put into Donaghadee on the way back. We got out the next day and got home, and discharged ; and when all was paid, I only had eightpence for my share.
But the next time I got men by the shares. I went to Workington and got good coals and handy turn, and got discharged in quick time. There were no coals in the harbour. Then we took lime from Ramsey, and we got to Ramsey all right, and got clear of the lime, and then took in some flour for Mr. Whiteside in Whitehaven.
One of the boys left to go to drive for Harry Quilliam, and I engaged another man in his stead ; and, while we were hoisting the sails, the other fellow stole ashore with his bag. So I says to old Philip, " We will go ourselves ; " and the boat came and took us away. Poor Tom Locum made all the disturbance he could, but he did not get us stopped.
We had a fine passage ; it was in the night we started. When I was in Whitehaven, I got an order to take 2½ tons of large slates for Mr. Crellin, the collector. I left a waggon out I didnt pay for ; but the complement was put in, though I didnt know.
As soon as we were ready we put to sea. The wind was all south-west. The old "Glenfaba," of Peel, went out with us, and we fetched the Point of Ayr. Within a mile we stayed, and we came up Ramsey Bay spanking. Our topsail sheet broke, and we had to lower the sail and reeve it again. I hoisted the sail up again myself with the single winchthere was no double winch in her. We went on up as far as Cornah, and retreated, for it had come on to blow, and we went into Ramsey and stopped till the next days tide.. We started again, the wind being the same way, but moderated a little. We got up to Castletown, anyway.
Philip Crowe got his money, and went on his way home to Ramsey. While at Douglas, he met with another berth.
There was an Irish smack brought to Ramsey,, and she was to be repaired in Douglas. I got a man by the day, and she was clear in the week ; and when the moneyi was gathered, I went to Cain, the grocer, to get the settlement made, and there was so much money on the table he could not tell whose it was. Anyway, they lifted their share, and I gathered up the rest. They were looking at each other, and then at me. There was the stock and profit in it, and none of us knew it. That was the last settlement I had with them. The time I only got the eightpence they didnt give me a penny. I got the full complement of coals, the same as if it had been paid for, and I had the stock and profit of the waggon of coals.
I left her, but went to Whitehaven with her to join the " Britannia," and brought a mate with me to take her home. We got up as far as Douglas Bay, and it was coming on to blow. It was not fit to go any further, but the anchor was not ready. All the herring fleet was lying in the bay, and there was no room to make a tack. I was coming along their sterns looking for an opening. At. last I came to a straight road, and hove her up in it, and she went up the harbour flying. Joe Hogg was standing on the Pierhead when we went up, and as we passed him I heard him say, " I never saw the like of that done before." Neither did I.
We got out of that in a day or two and arrived at Castletown ; and mad enough they were to see her come in, for she was an eyesore to them. Some of them were so embittered, that they cast the stern rope and the breastfast off in the night, and landed her on the slip.
When I came down in the morning I had to block her up. I believe the men who did it are living on the bank. They were the same company that took the bird off the " Nimrods" deck. However, she was not harmed. This occurred some time after she came home
I was in Troon in her getting coals for Mr. Jefferson. On that occasion I came from Troon in l0½ hours. I was in Troon another time, and I came to Port Erin Bay in 15 hours. The distance is 119 miles.
I was at Dundrum with lime for Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. Fargher, Derbyhaven, gave me orders to carry some seed potatoes home to him, and I bought as far as I had money; I think I had over seven tons. When I came home, he came to look at them, and. said they were too small. Mr. Blythe was to take part with him, but, when he wouldnt take them, Mr. Blythe wouldnt either. Mr. Turnbull took a load of them, and I sent a load home to my wife to sell. Mr. Turnbull told me afterwards that he had never had such a crop.
I did not know what to do, and I put them all in the one end of the vessel, and got as much turnips as filled her up, and went to Liverpool with them. When I got to Liverpool, the deck was full, so that I could not get a berth for eight days. When I got up the next morning, I went across to Birkenhead, and sold the potatoes and turnips to one man. When the gates were opened, I went across to Birkenhead with the vessel ; and I was there at the time when the big ram was launched. She was 375 feet long. It was the same one that turned over at sea., and all hands were lost. I forget is there were any saved or not.
After I got the turnips and potatoes out, I went across to the Clarence Dock to load manure for Douglas, for Mr. Bell, my old fisherman teacher. Little did I know at that time that he was to transform me into a fisherman. But for him this would not have been done . He was the first man I went fishing with, and in the very boat I was carrying the manure from Liverpool for him.
It was in the spring when I was carrying the manure from Liverpool for him, and when the summer came we went one day out of Port Erin and we stopped out all night. We came to Castletown the next day, and we had more than a ton of fish. We had conger, lung, carp, skate, and bluet, and lots of other fish. There were six of us. A cartload went to Ballasalla. There were three men from Ballasalla.
I went the second time to Liverpool for more manure for Douglas. While lying at the Tongue, I caulked every bit of the docks, and they were as tight as possible.
Some time that fall we took a cargo of lime for Dundrum, and it was evening when we arrived, and coming on dark. The pilots did not see us, and we sailed back and forwards three or four times, but we could not see any boat coming. We could do no better, for the wind caine in from the south-east, and it was coining on to blow. Then we had to run her in. Old Jimmy Lawson was at the helm, and Willie was standing by him. I went up forard myself, and shouted to him how to keep her ; but he never heeded what I said, but ran her on the Bulla big sandbank on the starboard side of the Channeland there she stopped and there she ebbed. The pilots came down when she was dry, when they could walk to her. We took a lot of things ant of herour clothes and eatables. Next morning I went down with the pilots, but they wouldnt go near her ; for, some time before that, they got capsized, and were very near drowned, and I could not prevail on them to put me on board.
So, when the tide went away, we took all out of hersails, ropes, spars, and everything we could carry away ; and I sent word to the owner, who replied directing me to sell her, and all belonging to her. The pilots were Lloyds agents. I dont know whether she was insured or not.
There was a day fixed for the auction, and a man came from Belfast. I forget what she fetched ; but she had to be sold. The mainsail was my own ; I bought it in Liverpool. The decks were blown off her, and the mast fell down over the stern, but there was nothing burned.
I think I told you before that Jimmy Lawson and my wife were my ruination. But for her this would not have been done. He was the instigation of that loss, too. He was also the means of losing the "Village Girl." The "Britannia" ie the last of them.
I used to go by the run in the "Bessy." I was in Whitehaven with the " Bessy" onceit will be 25 years sinceand I dreamed that I saw two young women slapping each others cheeks ; I was hearing the smacks as plain as possible. When I got up in the morning, I says to the boys at breakfast that we were going to get ahead wind to go home. When we got our breakfast. we went down to the beach to. get a load each of sill. When we were there, I said to the boys, " It is a shame for us to be lyitig in the harbour, and the weather so fine. " No one said anything, but every man got his load on his back and away he went. I was left behind, and when I got up the covers were off the sails.
My brother Joe had the " Reaper." She was new, and the first time for her to be loaded. The both of us put to sea, with the wind south-west, We beat all day, tack for tack, and all that night, and in the morning we met ; he came from the north, and we from the south ; and we beat all that night again before we got up to the head. The Reaper" had gone to the southward, and we were not near the head. I said to George. "Where is the Reaper ?" He said, "He is gone south." I said that he would lose the race. We beat all that night, and the breeze was beginning to get stronger. The third morning we were up at Clay Head, and we had the first of an ebb going witli us, so we were not very long going up.
We could have went in to Derbyhaven. George spoke of going in. I was at the helm, and I said, " No, if we go in, we wont get to Castletown next tide," and I kept her going. Going round Dressick, I wanted them to take the topsail off her, hut no man stirred : so I dodged as easy as I could, and when I got past the Point., I up helm and ran her out of the tide. George was sitting on the companion, and he shook like a leaf. I brought her up again, and went to Port St. Mary Bay. We were to an anchor an hour when the " Reaper" came in.
The " Lydia" was loading her first cargo. She loaded part in Castletown, and then went to Port St. Mary to load out; and when we were going past the bay Bill Corlett was getting up, and he saw us, and he came over in his best bibs and tuck-ems, but he got them wet before we got home.
If we had gone into Derbyhaven, we would not have got to Castletown for a week. That was the last tide when there was water up through the Bridge ; and, as I was by the run, I did not want to be so long over it. But it came to blow a whole gale that day ; I think we had to be double-reefed. Bill told me after that was the day the jib boom was broken.
I didnt tell you the interpretation of the dream of the two young women slapping each others cheeks. The inter-pretation was the sea hitting the vessels cheeks, and the young women was fine, good weather.
I see sometimes in my dreamsand it isnt dreaming either, but seeing, and I awake, with my eyes shut.
I was one day lying in Castletown Bay waiting for water, and I saw a wild man, with his hair all flying with the wind. He looked like a man beside himself. In a few moments there was a squall of wind came that would have blown the mast out of her.
Last summer I was out at Langness fishing, and I saw the dust rising in and about the station. Just then a little boat was coining out to Languess, and the squall caught her and capsized her, and the occupant would have been drowned, only that two soldiers jumped in a boat and gripped him when he was going down the last time, and thus saved his life. But it did not come as far as I was. It was a whirlwind. The dust went up in the air about 50 yards.
The poor man got a new boat through it, which he needed bad enough. When my boat got broken in Whitehaven, they did not give me a new boat, which the Harbour Commissioners ought to have done ; for it was the harbour works that broke her, and the storm broke the rest of them. They all got recompensed, excepting me. If they had served me at home the same as they served me there, I would have had no boat. They would not let me mend the old one ; they thought they would keep me at home if I wouldnt have her ; but they found themselves mistaken.
To make things worse, I took six hundredweight of pig iron off the beach ; and, because he wanted to know whose it was, he sent four or five men with the handcart and carried it up to the yard ; and then he uses it for putting on the stuff he is barking. If I had done that, I would have been sent to Douglas to gaol. But, because he was a step higher than I was, he could do as he liked with the poor. Ill make him pay dear for that iron yet, as soon as I get some money gathered; and, more than that, the world will know about his action. David sent Uriah in the front of the battle, and then he took his wife unto him. All the Davids are not dead yet. If he had not been a Methodist, I would not have thought it so bad. But if you want a clean trick done, get a Methodist to do it. Now, for his injustice, Ill let the world know about what he has done.
The way he took it was because the nickey lay on it ; the men had pulled her over it. Before I had time to take it away, after I put it out, she was five or six yards away from it. I told the Chief of Police about it, and he said that he had nine points of the law. So that there is no chance for a poor man now.
It is getting like when the farmers used to drink their farms. They were drinking on " strap," and the landlady used to draw a chalk with a cut in it, and it made two strokes at once. She then gave that to the brewer ; and when the brewer thought that the farmer had plenty, the landlady was told to stop, when he had only got drink to about one quarter value ; and between the landlady and the brewer there were scores of farms swindled from the poor men.
I knew a man named Collister who drank his farm over in Dalby, near Peel. I worked with him 22 years ago, when the railroad was being made. We quarried stones for the bridges together ; and he died only about two years agohe drank himself to death.
I knew another man whose farm went the same way. He was my godfather. I saw him every day in the year, for he lived closed by, when it was going from him. Gawnes are the owners of it now, and have been for the last 50 years to my own knowledge. He drank himself to death. Mrs Beedon also drank her little place. They were going together like man and wife when I went away and left the neighbourhood. They are both gone now more than 40 years. They never stopped as long as they could get a drop.
This is the way that big Gawne got most of the land he has, what should have reared many fine farmers sons and daughters, who were compelled to go out in the world, when their farms would have done them good.
My cousin and myself have been getting ale at the brewery and taking it up the country. I was not more than nine years at that time. But I do not know of any farmers that she done out of their farms, though it might have been the case, if I could think of all the wrecks I have seen drink doing.
There was a young man named John Wilson. He was a sailor. He was brought up in Castletown. I lived in the same street as them. His father was doing the same thing. Many a time my wife filled their bellies. He is now a respectable, sober man. He is a coach-builder by trade. At that time he was fond of the accursed drink. The son I speak of got to be station master at Ballasalla, and returned to the drink, until he was discharged, and soon after died. After him a young man named Gawne got the place, and he began to drink, and he, too, was put out ; but he is living yet. The third was from Rushen. He occupied the position for a long time, but at last he also turned to drink, and never stopped until it killed him. He is about a year buried. There is three that I knew myself.
There was in the same town a grocerthe strongest in it. He drank himself to the grave, and other people are reaping the benefit of his money.
There was anothera cabinet-makerhe turned draper afterwards, and he fell to drink, and never stopped until it took him away.
There was anothera watchmakerit took him away; and also three publicans whom I knew well in the town.
There is another grocer ; he is in it yet. He. was very near going three or four times, but he has cheated the usurper so that he has not got fingers on him yet.
When I was a fool, like so many more, I used to go to Brines always, and, if I was going home after dark, as I was going up the quay, I would be going under the Castle still. n4x When I was coming to that narrow place at the corner, I felt as though something was pushing me towards it, and it took use all my time to keep myself from going into the harbour. Whether I was very drunk or not, it was all the same. When I got past. that place I could walk right enough. But, as long. as I live, I wont believe but that it was the old devil that was trying to push me over in the harbour. Another thing, I believe there are many men found in harbours whom the hand of man never touchedthe old usurper pushed them over. Many a time he has tried to push me over, but he will pevem get the chance again. There are people in the world who are better kept poor ; for when fools and money meet they dont stay long togetherthey soon part.
One day I went to Port St. Mary. We were fresh-buying herrings, and the season was very nearly finished. I went over to see what was to be done. Our smack and the. "Sarah Ann" were lying beside each other, and, as the tide was out, I walked alongside. The boys were on board, and when they saw me coming, Tom Clague sent them to bring me on board. So I had to go like a prisoner. When I got down in the cabin, he was pretty well drunk, and there was a horn handed to me, and I had to take it, I got two or three horns, and I had plenty. I was afraid that he wanted to ill-use me, for we had a fight when we went to school together. He was far bigger and stronger than I, and I was afraid of him ; but he had no animosity towards me. But he had not forgotten it, and mentioned it to me, saying, " If thou had not licked us, we would have licked thee" (for there were two of them).
In the boyish fight I mentioned I thrashed the both of them. Toms nose was bleeding, and the other got a running ear. One lay one side of the road, and the other lay on the other side, and I was going from one to the other ; and when I thought they had plenty, I went home for my dinner. That was in Colby. It wasnt good at that time, but it is not so bad now. At that time I dared not go past his house any more, for his mother was going to kill me. It was a big boy in the school who made us fight, for I knew nothing about it. As soon as I got outside the door he turned to thrash me, and I had to fight for myself ; and it was a good job for me that I beat both of them.
But I must go back to the cabin where the drink was flowing. He gave me so much that I could not carry it home. I had to walk to Castletown and we left the harbour together. I did not get very far. I got over the first style in Balla.cregga.n field. It was shorn, and the stooks were on it. After I got over the stile, I made a run, and did not stop until I was in the middle of a stook, and there I lay. Somebody had built a wall of sheaves around me, and I lay there until dayight on Sunday morning. I got home without meetmg any-body, and my head was like to split. He told me in the cabin that I had done it well"Jf thou hadnt licked us, we had licked thee." So you see that he had not forgotten it, and more than 20 years had gone by since then.
It happened that on my next passage home it. came on to blow very hard. The " Cruiser" was going before us, and had sprung hem mast, and they had to double-reef the sail, and we had to double-reef ours also. The " Mermaid" was in company with us, but she managed with one reef. My brother Joe was in the " Mermaid," and he was keeping to windward of us. He told me afterwards that he was seeing our keel. From the time that we left the dock at six oclock in the morning I wasnt from the helm for more than ten minutes. They had coffee for dinner, and big Thomas Nickey took the helm from me, as long as I would be getting a basin of coffee. I was not a moment below when she ship-ped a sea over the quarter and wet the boys, and they came running down to me shaking themselves ; and I didnt get my coffee, for I had to go up there and then. When I put my head up the scuttle, he shouted to me, " Come and take her, I cant manage her at all," and I had to go and take her. I did not get from her any more until she.. was to an anchor in Derbyhaven Harbour.
The " Laurel" was coming with us, and we kept company all the way ; but we were in the harbour, with sails furled, the legs out, and the boat out and in on the beach, when they got in.
From the time that we left the dock I never saw the skip-pers facenot until we were ready to go ashore. From the time we left the dock until I was. in Castletown, and done my tea, was only 12 hoursfrom six in the morning until six in the evening. There were three of the boys going to Port St. Mary and one to the country. There were five of us in her.
Big Thomas never put his foot on the deck of that vessel again. He came to Derbyhaven to take her round, but I never saw him again ; for he went home that day, and was dead and buried before the. fortnight was up.
I was coming from Liverpool another time in the " Orion," and the " Parrot," of Douglas, was coming with us. We got towed out with a pilot boat. We were first, and kept first. The " Parrot" was coming so straight after us that her jib-boom was very nearly touching our mizen. Our rigging was slack, and the mast was like to fall in two every lurch she made. We kept before her for 50 miles, until our chain plate broke. I happened to be getting a basin of coffee exactly as in the last tale and I didnt get anything to eat that time either. I jumped on deck and shoved the helm up, and ran her dead away and thus saved the mast, or else it would have went over the side. Jimmy Molly got a piece of ratline, and it stood until we got home.
I was by the run in Tom Corrins place. That. was the time we got clear of the " Parrot." I was going down Douglas quay, when the skipper saw me, and shouted to me. I went to him, and he said that he had never got such a beating as we gave him. She was nearly new at that time, and was the fastest thing in the Isle of Man.
I was in Liverpool in the same " Orion" another time in Tommy Bridsons place. We were laden with herrings, and we took in 100 barrels of oil for Mr. Taggart, who was the largest merchant in the town. But he got foolish, like so many more in the world who have too much money and too little sense, and, for want of a little common-sense, destroy themselves. If they would only leave what God gave them, it would be better for them. But they drive it away, and wont let it stop with them, and they let the evil spirit do his work ; for, as soon as a man begins to drink, the wit goes out, and quite another spirit takes hold of the man.
Even the infidelI wonder what kind of a mind he must have. They are something like the publican. The mind that God gave them they have let the roaring lion take away, for if they didnt let him do his work, they never would come to what they do ; for both the infidel and the publican are the devils best agents. I put it down for granted that every public-house is a gate to hell, as I told Mr. Quayle, the brewer, that every public-house was a gate to hell, and he was the father of them. The people said afterwards that he was going to take an action for libel. But he could not deny it. It is better to be a wise poor man than to be a rich fool.
I had been at Whitehaven with the " Orion," and we started for home. The wind was south-east, but we kept too high a course. It was a dark night, and we didnt see any-thing on the wayno light, no vessel, nor anything else ; and when the morning caine, no land was to be seen. At last I said to the captain, and part-owner, that we would see Ireland before we would see the Isle of Man, and I persuaded them to keep her away north, or else we would not get home; so they let me do as I thought fit. I did as I thought right. We were about two hours running when we made the Island, and we were going right for it. We came sailing down along the shore. We were 12 hours longer than we ought to have been.
The sailing master of that boat was the man that went with me in the " Kitty and Peggy"-the man that I gave the shilling to to get the brandy and catachouc to cure his bowels. Now he is getting jealous of me, so that I cannot do anything to please him, and I am forced to leave him.
But I must not leave him before I tell about another trip to Whitehaven with Charlie Watterson in the "Mary Grace." We both left with single reefs tied, and we had nothing on but the mainsail and second jib. We went on until we got to Douglas, and then we gave her the foresail, but the "Mary Grace" was going away and leaving us all the time. When we got to Maughold Head, we hauled the mizen-sheet out and hauled her closer to the wind. By the time the " Mary Grace" was at the lightship the wind went to N.N.E., and we hauled our sheets in more. When the " Mary Grace" got to the lightship she took down the spenser to dodge awhile; and at that moment the wind came ahead of him. He put up the spenser again and hauled her by the wind, and she was going for the Black Combe. He had stayed and was coming back again when we passed her about a mile to windward. I held her tight by the wind, and she made Fleshwick, then we stayed to the north and she fetched the harbour.
There were 10 or 12 vessels more with the " Mary Grace," and we left them all like a steamboat. We were in the harbour an hour before her ; so that we gained on her an hour from the Head to the lightship.
It was not. long before that Charlie was bragging that he would sail any lugger ; and when we got in, Tommy Bridson went on board. Charlie began to curse and swear awfully. One of his men came on board our vessel, and I jumped into bed ; for I was afraid to say a word for fear that I would catch it, too. So we didn't speak about the race. I never heard Charlie bragging any more about his sailing ; his mouth got shut.