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LIGHT FOR THE MILLION.
because of the resemblance it presents to the schist- Many have imagined the discovery of the jets oil imported from Britain ; but its universal name of petroleum was a fortunate chance, bought at is Seneca oil, from the name of a large and power- the price of small effort ; it was not so. During ful tribe of Indians formerly settled in Canada six years, the seekers arrived at no result, and the states of New York and Pennsylvania. but their perseverance was at length rewarded. These Indians made use of it for many different The flowing wells were reached, and jets of oil, medicinal purposes, and also for sorcery, for which water, and gas, mixed in one inflammable stream, also it was known by the inhabitants of the Medi- spouted out of the earth, often to an immense terranean coasts two thousand years ago. Pliny height. It is, however, with its transmission and describes twenty-seven kinds of remedies drawn refining that this paper has to do, and not to from the liquid bitumen of Babylon and Zante. describe scenes at the oil-wells. It was well when It was employed in the treatment of rheumatism, they had produced the article, but great difficulties asthma, gout, chest affections, to prevent the putre- were to be overcome before it could reach the faction of wounds, and for the cure of epilepsy and markets in the interior and the sea-ports. intermittent fevers. Occasionally it was employed At first, they made use of barrels which were in war, and also as a means of punishment ; Pliny laid on large teams, and thus carried over the himself suggesting that Medea used it to consume roads; but it was found to be both dangerous and her rival. Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, expensive. The barrels, though made on the spot describes a variety of symptoms which the organic with wood from the forest, cost much, and the frame manifests under the influence of amber- return fare must be paid, though they were empty. coloured petroleum.
The owners were under the thumb of the rough The first pioneers on the Ohio are said to have people who undertook the transport ; drivers and burned the crude oil in their lamps, which they owners of horses, recruited from deserters or the found on the little river Muskingunn ; this came scum of large towns, reigned as masters ; they felt no doubt from leakages produced by the filtration that they were essential, and could not be dispensed of rain-water through the ground. The use of with, so their demands threatened to swallow up this matter was, however, so restricted that the the profits of the producers. Now the greater part Virginian miners looked upon it as a real calamity of the petroleum is sent to its destination by means when they met with veins of petroleum running of oil-pipes of small diameter, which cross the through the layers of mineral salt. It was only in runs, are carried under rivers, wind through 1853 that a speculator of New York, a barrister, ravines, and are passed over high hills, laid upon and afterwards known as the Oil-king, noticed a wooden props fixed into the ground. Some of bottle of the liquid, which had come from a valley these lines are four leagues in length ; in many in the county of Venango, to the north-west of cases the difference of level between the point of Pennsylvania, lying in a chemist's laboratory. departure and arrival causes the oil to flow freely ; Struck with the idea that this would replace the in others, it is necessary to employ a steam-engine. Scotch Boghead for the fabrication of mineral oils, Special companies have been organised for this he immediately bought all the land in this valley particular part of the business, which is regularly where its presence had been recognised. The managed without giving rise to any contention. following year, the Pennsylvanian Rock-oil Com- As every one is busily engaged with his own affairs, pany was organised at New York, to be followed no one thinks of injuring the pipes, even when by many other petroleum companies. The next they are filled with the oil of a rival company; they step was to obtain the oil in sufficient quantities to are looked upon as indispensable for the life of the distil it so economically that it could be sold at country. The conductors of the teams too, disa lower price than the schist-oils.
possessed of their monopoly, made no riot or The founders of this new business had to solve objection; when labour can always find its market, two problems, which had hitherto defied the they had no reason to recriminate, but soon started chemist. For the one, they must set to work the for the mines of Nevada or Colorado, to offer their best apparatus for distillation and rectification of services there, leaving the field free to the men of the petroleum ; for the other, they must dig into oil. the earth to reach the lower strata, from whence it From year to year too, it is proved that it is more was supposed that the little rivulets of oil issued. advantageous to distil the oil on the very place No anterior discovery had authorised them to where it issues from the earth. A great movement encourage the hope that they would meet with towards concentration has commenced during the these reservoirs, still less that they would be abun- last three or four years. The distilleries of Liverdant. As for the first, it was a question for science pool, Hamburg, Bremen, Antwerp, Rouen, Paris, to decide. The directors went at once to New- Marseille, and Genoa have gradually extinguished haven, to one of the professors of Yale College, a their fires. America now exports but a very small celebrated institution in Connecticut, where the quantity of the raw material, so that the great highest class of education is given. They pro- number of refiners on this side the Atlantic have posed that he should study in all its bearings the given up the contest, and become importers of oil problem of the transformation of the original sub- distilled by Americans. Even now the refiners of stance into a useful light; they engaged to set up New York, Boston, and Philadelphia are in some a special laboratory, and to pay liberally for the degree superseded by centres nearer to the place expenses of every kind which the nature of the of production. At the present time, Corry, Clevework would necessitate. In order to avoid the land, and Pittsburgh are the three points to which evils in which too hasty speculation might involve the largest quantities of the raw petroleum are the work of science, it was decided that the com- sent to be distilled, put into barrels, and forwarded pany should transfer its office to Newhaven, and to every quarter of the globe. that the professor should be made the president of When the oil issues from the pipes, it is run into the acting council.
tank-cars or bulk-boats, according as it is to be
sent forward by railway or by water. The former three stoves. During the earlier stages of the work, is the framework of a luggage-wagon, a truck on they are heated to a low temperature only, so that which are placed two reservoirs, similar to those the lighter gases alone escape. These, which are used round the oil-wells, and will hold about fifteen well known by the odour of ether which they evolve, tuns of oil. As to the latter, it is a boat resembling are the only explosive element in petroleum, and the coal-lighters made to pass up rivers ; small are altogether different from the oil of lighting, steaners tow thirty or forty of these lighters at properly so called. Under the name of benzole, once, fastened together like long rafts. On one They are used, in addition to that extracted from occasion, one of these rafts dashed against the piles coal, for dissolving resinous substances and fat of the bridge at Oil City: the destruction was bodies. The lighting oil is distilled when the temimmense ; the contents were spread in streams over perature is higher; the vapour produced during the Alleghany river, and it was a happy circum- this second period also passes through the windstance that the oil met with no spark of tire on the ing pipe of the alembic, and is condensed in a way, for the contact of water only serves to increase refrigerator, from which the liquid is sent to be the virulence of the flames of petroleum. It is washed. said that a boatman had the presence of mind to At this time the refining process may be said raise in haste, around the little island where he to commence; it consists in purifying the oil by lived, a rough kind of pier, and thus was enabled submitting it to a treatment of sulphuric acid, and to collect many hundred barrels of oil, which no then to another of some alkali. During this operaone claimed from him. Such accidents are, how- tion, the mixture is powerfully worked together for ever, very rare, and the cargoes generally reach a long time by means of a sort of battledore moved Pittsburgh in safety.
by steam. Thus is obtained a beautiful colourless In consequence of the many advantages afforded Auid, which acquires a slightly opal tint under by a network of navigable rivers, this town, reflected rays of light. Before sending this out situated at the confluence of the Alleghany and into the market, it is submitted in the workshop the Monongahela, which unite at this point to to the trial by fire ;' in other words, the makers form the Ohio, is the largest dépôt for petroleum assure themselves that when warmed to a degree in America. Not only does it supply the market of heat required by law, it emits no inflammable for the interior, but it also takes a foremost place vapour. For this purpose, the bulb of a therin that for exportation. It lies nearer to the mometer is plunged into a porcelain or glass vessel Atlantic Ocean, by way of Baltimore, than those containing the oil
, above which a small spiritmanufacturing centres which export by way of lamp is lighted. As soon as the thermometer Philadelphia and New York. Besides, the oil marks that the temperature has reached the limit
, always maintains there a comparative cheapness, that of a hundred and ten degrees of Fahrenheit, and the refiners find exceptional facilities in a a light is passed over the surface of the liquid: if town of this importance, supplied with every pos- it have allowed any vapour to escape, this imme, sible resource in material, in workmen, in scientific diately takes fire, in which case the oil is returned institutions, and not least in its being situated in to the alembics, to submit to a new distillation. the middle of a basin of coal richer even than that After this oil has been finally removed, that of our own country. Thus, it is not astonishing substance which still remains in the alembies has to that the largest refineries in the whole world be acted upon : the temperature is again raised, and should be found at Pittsburgh. The petroleun a heavy common oil is collected, which is generarrives there by water: from the boats it is ally employed to lubricate many kinds of machines pumped into iron reservoirs safe from fire. One It is during this time that the paraffine is disof these reservoirs has the capacity of holding tilled ; great care is taken that the temperature of twenty thousand barrels, which will weigh two the refrigerator should not descend to so low : thousand five hundred tons-being a load suflicient degree as that this production should coagulate for two or three first-class sailing-vessels. Many in the pipe, as it would cause a sudden stoppage more of these reservoirs are in course of construc- in the circulation of the vapours, and the iron tion, so that two hundred and fifty thousand barrels alembic would burst. The parattine, still fluid, is will be refined in one year in each.
directed into large cellars, where it coagulates after In order to refine the petroleum-that to say, a certain time. Once congealed, it is placed under to extract from it the oil for lighting—the same a hydraulic press ; the liquid which runs from the process is used as that for making spirits of wine. paraffine during this operation is still an oily The petroleum is heated in a vessel similar to the matter ; it lies under the press in a flat rectangular alembic in which the liquid of fermented grapes mass, dry and white, recalling the white part of is placed ; the oil vapour is condensed like the the whale. It is sold for the most part into Kenvapour of alcohol, by cooling as it passes through tucky, where some manufactories of wax-lights are a winding tube surrounded by cold water. Those established. The last of the products contained who have to do with these petroleum vapours in the raw petroleum is a kind of coke, heavier must necessarily use the greatest precaution ; in than that made from coal, and of a bright shining the great distillery of Pittsburgh each department black colour ; it attaches itself to the bottom of is under special regulations, and occupies a separate the alembics, and burns very well in the stores building ; that for distilling is built entirely of like charcoal. iron. There are ten alembics, each capable of In those manufactories where the distillation is holding three thousand five hundred barrels at carried on by the direct action of fire, the most
Instead of being exposed to the direct frequent accidents arise from the escape of the action of fire, they are warned by a current of vapour from the petroleum. By covering the tubes dry vapour, which has previously circulated in with a thick layer of bricks, the chances of a ruppipes of three or four hundred feet in length, and ture of the metallic pipes are much diminished ;
these are surrounded on all sides by the flames of but it is important to be ready to extinguish is e
A FLEETING FORTUNE.
an instant any conflagration that may occur. For on or near strata impregnated with salt, sulphur, and this purpose, each of the furnaces has a large room bitumen. At present, no alarm need be felt at the in front of it, which can be hermetically closed by exhaustion of the stores of petroleum; the quantity an arrangement of thick iron doors: two large extracted each year being small indeed compared pipes issuing from the stoves permit those outside even with the springs already known, and others to extinguish the flames by inundating this room, will doubtless be discovered. the stove, the conduits, and the chimney with steam. The effect of the vapour is instantaneous,
A FLEETING FORTUNE. but safety lies in the promptitude of the application; the men must be ready in a few seconds to flee CovETOUSNESS is supposed to be the favourite vice out of the room, close the doors, and turn the taps. of age, which seems to me strange. I am old, and
To manage all these operations on the large no longer hunger after wealth. What good would scale adopted at Pittsburgh requires an able chemist. it do me now? My habits are settled, my passions He is indeed the very life and soul of the busi- are extinct : quiet, freedom from pain and care, ness, and the real director; so the shareholders and the preservation of my eyesight, are the only have built him a splendid house in a very pic- blessings I crave. I have enough for food and turesque part of the valley. When looking at clothing; not enough to tempt others to flatter, that, the homes of the oil princes in the Fifth cajole, and deceive me. But early in life I longed Avenue at New York may be imagined. As they for riches with an unwholesome yearning ; money have the whole world for their customers, their seemed to me the greatest good, yet even money fortunes rest upon a more solid basis than is ordin- was not worth toiling for. When I indulged in airy arily supposed. The follies of some, and the dis- castle-building-which was very often-I always picorder caused at first by impatient and covetous tured myself as finding a treasure ; landing a double gamblers, were only accidents of the early period, | event at tremendous odds; having a fortune left and simply affected the outside of things.
me; or becoming suddenly rich in some equally The prodigalities of one of the early proprietors facile manner-never slowly, by hard work. In are still spoken of. He went by the name of Coal- many novels, the hero, poor, determines to achieve oil Johnny, and was for some time a very fashion- wealth and fame at the end of one chapter; and able person, as he found the means of dissipating when the next opens, he has done so. The interabout thirty thousand pounds in twenty months. vening years of humdrum are jumped. I wanted On the borders of Oil Creek was a farm belonging to jump them too. I was quite willing to be ten to the Widow M'Clintock, which produced a very years older and ten thousand times richer, could valuable stream of oil; those who worked it paid such a bargain have been made. But it couldn't ; a royalty of two thousand dollars a day to her. and I dawdled the ten years away, and was just as She adopted the dangerous habit of rousing up her poor as at the commencement. And yet I was once wood-fire by pouring the raw petroleum upon it, for a few hours, actually and literally, a rich man; the result of which was, that one day she was and it happened in a way which my fancy had not burned to death in a frightful manner, leaving the pictured. farm and all her personalty to her adopted son, I was fond of travelling about, and my small John Steele. The heir was twenty years old, of means caused me to seek inexpensive modes of conan easy disposition, rather low in his tastes, and veyance. My legs were the cheapest; and I walked poorly educated. Parasites were only too ready to all over England, Scotland, and Wales ; but the Hock around him, when it was known how much coast stopped me, for I could not swim the Channel. ready money had been found in the coffers of the Pay for my passage I must, but I would pay as little departed lady; and from that time he began a as I could help ; so I chose a long sea-route from course of boundless extravagance. To pay his London to Holland. As the boat started in the Christmas visits, Steele bought the most splendid small-hours of the night, I passed the evening in equipage in New York, and in the evening dis- mild dissipation. Dined off a chop and cheese with missed the coachman, giving him as a fce the a pint of cooper,' followed by a pipe and glass carriage and pair. On another occasion, he set up of rack-punch. "Sat in the pit of a theatre from a troupe of Christy Minstrels, each of whom ap- curtain-rise to curtain-set, only leaving when the peared with a magnificent diamond pin. He now brown holland appeared. Then a potato at a singfills the post of porter at the very theatre which ing-tavern brought me to half-past twelve, and it he organised. As to the farm, it was sold by was time to go to my inn in Holborn for my auction to pay his debts, and in 1868 was still luggage. This was not extensive, consisting merely giving out three hundred barrels of oil in a day. of a leathern bag, which could be worn when I liked
There have been many hypotheses advanced as a knapsack; and with this in my left hand, and as to the origin of petroleum. Most American a stout oak stick tipped with a formidable ferrule savants believe its origin to be organic. The de- in my right, I sought the Docks. This must seem composition of marine plants or gelatinous animals so very eccentric to young people of the present which lived in early times on the shores of primi- day, that I think it better to mention that it was tive seas, would produce mineral oil by a process upwards of thirty years ago : cabs and habits of of distillation, when excluded from the air, just as luxury have considerably increased since then. In inflammable gas is found in marshes. This would the neighbourhood of the Tower, the streets were explain the presence of salt water which is in all quite deserted, and it was a curious experience to the American oil-wells ; the cavities of the rocks hear one's footsteps re-echoing in the very centre which have served as a tomb for these rudimentary of the capital of Bustle. The traffic, rolling dockorganisms imprisoned the waters of the sea as well. wards by the main arteries of the city, only reached In Europe, a country much shaken by eruptive the ear as a faint, muffled murmur, like that of forces, illustrious geologists and chemists attribute the distant sea. Turning into a small Place—a a volcanic origin to petroleum, as it generally rests triangle of houses, with a paved court in its centre-
however, I came upon a group of three men, who morning, when his berth was chosen. The latter seemed to be engaged in a scuflle, and supposing it precaution I had neglected, but found no diffito be a drunken row, I was passing on without | culty in securing sleeping accommodation, for the notice, when one of them called out. Murder !' vessel was not crowded ; indeed, there were but
What a fine old English word that is—how three passengers besides myself and the old man. expressive ! The sight of it in large print gives Not being used to five hours of theatre, followed the blood a pleasant curdle, and forces the pur- by a walk and an encounter with street-thieves
, chase of an evening paper upon the man whose I was tired, and turned in soon after we started. coppers would never be charmed out of him by When I awoke, there was no vibration, no din any simple . assassination. But heard in the still- of revolving paddles. Had I slept through the ness of night there is a muttered horror in the
we at our journey's end? word which is appalling.
Hardly, for in that case we should be in still water, I am not a chivalrous man; I shrink instinctively not swaying to this side and that, bending backfrom incurring danger or even discomfort on behalf wards, pitching forwards, and bringing ourselves of a friend, let alone a stranger ; but there was an up with a jerk, like a sleepy man during a long earnestness about that cry which arrested my steps. sermon, as we were doing. I sat up and looked Again, in a more stifled tone : 'Murder! Help!' over the side of my berth, which was on the upper
I advanced towards the group, and saw, by the tier, and saw the head of my rescued old man light of a dim lamp, that two of the men were peering out from the sleeping-place below. stooping over a third, who lay on the ground. Do you think there is anything the matter ? he One of these rose on hearing my footsteps, and asked. Why are we not going on? Why does warned me with an oath to go my way and mind that bell keep on ringing ?' my own business; and as I did not heed him, he Roused by this unpleasant suggestion of peril
, raised his right arın and ran at me. Knowing I wriggled off my shelt, managed, after several bar something of fencing, I lunged as he came up, shots, to get my feet into giddy boots and my arms catching him low in the chest with the ferule of into intoxicated coat-sleeves, reeled up to the deck, my stick, and he rolled over into the road with and found a fog. a gasp and a groan, and lay there, doubled up. It was one of the densest I have ever been in ; His mate stood up, hesitated a moment, irresolute, you could not see across the deck, and a man and then turned to flee ; I struck him over the standing a couple of yards off resembled a figure head as he went, but failed to bring him down, in one of Turner's later pictures. The effect was and he got away. Glad enough to be rid of him, the more confusing from the mist not being I went to the assistance of his victim, who still stationary, for a stiilish breeze sent rolling masses lay on the pavement; but he was not seriously of it sweeping over us. The waves of fog mingled injured ; and when I had loosened his neckcloth, with the waves of water, and the eye could not and poured some of the contents of my travelling distinguish which was which, while the large bell flask down his throat, he was able to get up. For- forward kept up a continual tinkle, tinkle, in tunately for him, garrotting had not been yet culti- multled tones, as though the fog were composel of vated as a science, and he was only quarter-ihrottled. wool, pulled out very fine, particles of which had
His first care was to feel a pocket inside his clogged the clapper. waistcoat, having done which, he said in a tone I am happy to be able to boast that I did not of intense relief: They have not got it! Thanks worry the captain, as passengers are so foolishi to you, young man, they have not got it! You apt to do when things look a little awkward. But won't leave me? You will see me to the boat ? I got near him, and listened and observed, anul I can walk. O yes, I am better now.'
made out by degrees that we were somewhere in * Don't be afraid,' said I; ‘I will not leave you the channels about the Nore, and in momentary till you are safe. What boat do you mean?' expectation of being run into, or grounding on the “The Rotterdam.
sands, and that, when we revolved our pailles
, "Why, I am going by that myself. I am glad you which we did at intervals, the chance of running can walk, for we have not got overmuch time to lose.' into somebody else was added. The lead was con
We were not more than a quarter of a mile stantly being heaved, and at one time when the from the wharf, and had half an hour to do it water shoaled very much, the mate suggested in; but I did not think it incumbent upon me to anchoring, but the captain ruled that this would go to the assistance of the man who had served increase our risk of being run down, and preferred me as a plastron, and who still lay in the road; keeping loose and able to dodge about-of course,
we went our way, and left him there ; and using nautical expressions, wlrich I cannot pretend whether he came round presently, or received any to repeat. permanent injury to his constitution from that Directly the state of affairs became obvious to poke in the stomach, I know not.
me, I went below and brought up my old man, for The inan I had rescued was gray-haired, with in case of some other ship's beak suddenly crushing a wizened face deeply scored by wrinkles, and a into our sides, the prospects of those who were frame which did not seem capable of making the under water-mark seemed—if you will pardon : stubborn resistance which he must have done in slang term in consideration of its extraordinary defence of his property. The cab in which he aptriess--- very fishy. And he was grateful, for the started for the Docks hảd broken down, and afraid danger of a collision was very real. Probably the of being late, he had taken a short-cut through mouth of the Thames is familiar to you, but if not, the by-streets on foot, and had been set upon by know that vessels enter it by a number of nuads, the rascals with whom I found him. That was duly buoyed out and light-housed. These roads of the simple account he gave me on our way to the channels being narrow, and the number of our wari wharf, which we reached in time. As for his and homeward bound ships very great, a thick in luggage, that had been taken on board in the or a snow-storm is a serious peril.
A FLEETING FORTUNE.
About noon the wind increased in violence, and captain had helped each of us to the everlasting blew the fog away, so that we were able to go on boiled mutton twice, we had a right to his good fearlessly; and by and by, when the excitement opinion. So he came up to us, and told the had calmed down, my old man grew pleasant and diamond-merchant that he thought there was going chatty.
to be a little wind, and he would be more comThe sea ran rather high ; but as neither of us fortable below. On the old man acquiescing, he suffered from sea-sickness, this tended to raise our took him in tow, and guided him safely to the spirits, as the strong air sharpened our appetites ; cabin-stairs, to my great relief, for I feared that and though every now and then a big wave would duty would devolve on me; and my legs not shiver itself against our weather-bow, and send a being so nautical as my stomach, we should inshower of its fragments sweeping across the deck, fallibly have rolled together in the lee-scuppers we got well under the shelter of the paddle-box, (whatever they may be), or overboard. The capand enjoyed it.
tain came back presently; and as he passed me, To my surprise, on one occasion when he wanted he shouted in my ear: “I'd go too, if I were you.' to draw my attention to something, I happening Presently,' I roared in reply. "This is a new to be looking another way, my companion spoke sight to me. Just five minutes more.' to me by name.
‘Hold on tight, then.' "You know me?' I asked.
No need to bid me 'hold tight.' I was clinging Certainly, he replied; "you sold me some to the rope I grasped with great tenacity, for every jewels five years ago. I even remember the cir- now and then the deck became so steep that my cumstances. A property had to be divided amongst feet slipped from under me, and the wave-tops the various members of your family, and the that left their own element and came flying across diamonds were too valuable to be allotted to any us, struck me with a force which I had not hitherto individual, so that it was necessary to turn them attributed to water, unless shot out of the hose of into money; and you had the management of the an engine. transaction, which was carried out through my It was a grand scene. I had never witnessed agency?
anything like it before. I had indeed seen more He was perfectly accurate in the account which than one storm on a bold coast, but there is all the he gave me, even recalling to my mind certain difference between a wave breaking on the shore minutiae which I had forgotten, though surely they and a wave in the open sea that there is between ought to have impressed me more strongly than a caged lion and a lion in the desert. It is a great him. I presently remembered his face, however; thing in these nil admirari days to be able to feel indeed, it had struck me as familiar when the awe, and I experienced that sensation. Nature lamp-light first fell upon it the night before. But seemed so vast, so irresistible ; man, so puny and his hair had turned from black to white, and the weak. I had read many descriptions, both in prose loss of his teeth had caused his cheeks to fall in- and verse, of storms at sea, but had never caught changes that alter the physiognomy more radically an idea of the truth from them, so that I despair than any other which leave the eyes untouched. of being able to express what I felt. It was so I
suppose that he had made inquiries about me at absurd that I had ever reckoned the little lives the time when the business alluded to was trans- and histories of my kind so highly. I caught a acted, and that their result was such as to inspire glimpse of the fact that we men, who give ourhim with confidence, for he talked to me about his selves such airs, are but as mites in a cheese. present affairs with a freedom which surprised me, Doubtless, there may be good mites and bad, wise though I had done him a good turn. For, in mites and foolish, but when they are mashed up truth, he had that on him which it was as well together with a lump of butter, at the point of a not to blab about. He carried in an inner pocket knife, they are merged in equal insignificance. of his waistcoat no fewer than twenty-five rough As an individual mite, however, I began to feel diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires, which he was cold, wet, and uncomfortable, and commenced a taking to Holland to be cut. 'I am too old for series of acrobatic performances having for their such business now,' he said. “If you had not object the attainment, first of the cabin-stairs, and come to my rescue last night, and those rascals had then of my berth. In time all this was accomgot hold of the stones, I should have been ruined, plished, though not without some bruises ; then, ruined !!
perched on my shelf, I succeeded in getting rid of Whether they were his own, or he had but a my wet outer garments, and rolling myself up in a share in them, or whether they were merely blanket, was soon rocked to sleep. intrusted to him, I cannot say; he did not tell I was awaked by a violent concussion. Have you me; but from the hints he threw out of their value, ever, when going up-stairs in the dark, expected which, if the diamonds were at all worthy of the another step when you were on the level, and got expense he was prepared to incur for cutting them, a jerk which tried every nerve in your body? must have been enormous—enormous in the ordi- | Well, that was the effect. Whether I was thrown nary, not the Monte Cristo or Lothair sense—it is out of my berth, or jumped down in a panic, I not probable that they were entirely the property don't know. I remember trampling on something, of one man.
which must have been the diamond merchant; While we were conversing, the wind was grow- stumbling into the saloon, catching a glimpse of ing in violence, till at length we could not make three wild-eyed passengers, prostrate hitherto with ourselves heard without difficulty, and the paddle- sea-sickness, but now cured by fear ; struggling up boxes no longer afforded much protection against the cabin-stairs against a torrent of water which the spray, which searched the whole deck.
came pouring down them; and at last reaching The skipper of a passage-boat always takes the the deck. freedom of a passenger from sickness at dinner- The day was breaking. The wind had gone time as a personal compliment; and as our present down somewhat. A low line of coast was visible