Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XV / The Ship of Fire >> Page 338

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 338 SOUTHWARD 1i0!
any resources of their own. But, as usual, in all such cases,
they were far less destitute than they avowed themselves. Our
Palatines, on this occasion, were in rather better condition, in
pecuniary respects, than was commonly the fact with their coun-
trymen. It was only a natural cunning which prompted their
concealment of means which they preferred to keep in reserve
for other uses. Upon their secrecy, on this head, depended their
hope of help from private bounty and the public exchequer. They
kept their secret successfully while on shore. It was their great
error and misfortune that they were less prudent when they put
to sea. They had treasures speaking with due heed to the
usual standards of inferior castes of considerable value ; treas-
ures of gold and silver, jewels and movables ; old family acn-
mulations, little relics of a former prosperity : relics of an affection
which sometimes stinted itself in its daily desires, that it might
provide token and trinket to give pleasure to a beloved one.
The stock, in these things, which had been parsimoniously kept,
and cunningly hidden away by this little community of adven-
turers, was by no means inconsiderable. A treasure of great
value in their own eyes, it was a sufficient bait to lust and cupid-
ity, when beheld by those of others. But I must not anticipate.
These treasures of the precious metals, toys, and trinkets, were
easily concealed in close nooks, among their common luggage,
and, seeming no other than a poor peasantry, and mere destitutes
of society, they went on board of the vessel which had been
chartered for them, and soon after put out to sea..
The voyage was a very tedious one, protracted by bad
weather, and thwarting winds. The bark in which they sailed
was one which would be likely, in our day, to be condemned as
unseaworthy, except when soldiers, doing battle for the country,
needed to be sent to Texas and California. It would answer
even now for such purposes�perhaps find preference."
A good hit, young Turpentine," quoth the Alabamian.
" Our Palatines were pretty well wornout by the tedium of
the voyage, their miserable fare and more miserable accommoda-
tions. The ship was leaky, the stores stale, the storms frequent,
and, our poor adventurers, new to such a progress, were terribly
subdued in spirit long before they made soundings. When
at length they did, when at length the low gray coast of North