Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on May 16, 1891 · Page 2
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 2

Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 16, 1891
Page 2
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MARINE YAHNS. Strange Things Seen at Sea Told by a Sailor. as No matter what queer, strange things ft sailor may see during a voyage—what queer, strange experiences may happen to him in distant seas—he will seldom or never talk to you about them if he suspects tho particulars are desired for publication. Jack is no friend to the newspaper. He has been held up to ridicule and contempt as a story-teller, •until he is afraid to relate truths which can be backed by affidavits. During tho last year, according to my newspaper clippings, no less than seventeen instances have occurred where portions of shipwrecked crews have been picked up at sea after voyages in small boats from one to fifteen days, In all these instances the particulars related do not, in any one - case, make half a column of, newspaper print, •though enough roust have occurred to make a book Jack simply wouldn't talk. Captain or mate gave the particulars of the disaster as briefly as possible, and then got ashore to be lost sight of. During the years I served before the mast and as second and chief mates 1 met with some things beyond my power to explain or unravel, and at the risk of 'being criticised I shall relate some of them here. The queerest thing of all, perhaps, occurred in the Indian ocean, to the south of Madagascar. I was in an English brig called the Helpmate, bound up the Mozambique channel, but driven to the east by a furious gale. Wo were working back to our course, and the weather had become pleasant. One night, as I came on watch at midnight, I .found we were only making steerage way, there being only a faint breeze from the east. It was bright moonlight, and about three miles away was a large ship headed to the south. The course we were both steering would bring us almost within speaking distance. While I covdd see the strange ship •well enongh with the naked eye, as could all the men in my watch, when I came to put the glass on her I saw her lookouts on the bow and noted all the particulars of her rig. I took her for an English ship bound around the cape, and one which had come down from the gulf of Bengal to the east of Madagascar. The sea was so calm that we could 'have launched a canoe, and when the stranger was a mile away every rope stood out in the moonlight like a silver ' thread. She was a pretty sight, and every rman in the watch kept his eyes on her. She was almost opposite and not more .than forty rods away—to give a landsman's "measurement—when she suddenly settled away in the water and was gone in a minute. 1 thought my eyes .were full of "sticks," and that I had ibeen the victim of an optical illusion, 'but while I rubbed them two or three of the men cried out in chorus: "She's struck a rock and gone to the 'bottom with every soul on board!" "Men, have we been looking at z. ship out there?" I asked. "Of course, sir." ""Was her hull painted black?" "It was." "A new fore topsail?" - "Yes." ~"A gilded figure of a mermaid or an, . angel?" "Something o' that, sir." "And she went down?" "Aye, like a stone flung overboard!" I ordered the brig hove up to.check her headway, and the captain came on deck to see what it meant The other watch was called, two boats lowered, and away we pulled for the spot, never ' 'doubting that we should find men clinging to some of the wreckage. I can show you in the British museum - to-day what we found and all we ifound. A sailor's bag marked "P.," •two ship's buckets, unmarked, two '•oars marked "M.," a sailor's oilskin -coat, not marked, a cage with a dead ,parrot in it. Of all the thousand 'articles aboard of that ship which .'would float we found nothing else, though we lay by until noon next day. 'NOW° what sent her to the bottom? We, of course, expected to find a rock not charted, but though we made .soundings for two miles around we ' Ifound nothing. Later on a man-of- war spent a week in that locality, but !with no better success. It was two '- 'yeaxs before the lost vessel was ascer- f 'tained to be the French merchantman - 'Mignon, As no rock oould be found it 1 ;wa"s generally supposed that she was v .struck by a whale—that a monster of ' -the deep probably came up directly under her and smashed out half her > planking. A French novel writer has j made use of this incident to dispose of r some of the characters in his pages. Suppose a landsman knew that when. ever he left his house he was under ! surveillance—shadowed by some one * f -who meant him evil, -and was only '* -waiting a favorable opportunity to stab '* -him in-the back! His feelings need not 'be envied. Take the same instance on '' the broad ocean—one craft shadowing ; another day and night with evil intent, '" and you can imagine Jack Tar's feel- 1 ings—no law to appeal to—no chance to 'evade the grim pursuer. Such a case lappenedto me when second mate of an Australian trading schooner, and some of the queer points about it will never be cleared up. We had picked up A cargo among the spice islands .of • the -Banda sea, and the intention was to proceed to Singapore for a market. At au Island called Wetta, where we stopped to take on the last of our hard wood,, we "were offered a big price to take a band of about fifty natives—men, women and children—to the island of Timor, lying to the south. This charter was made, and we had a pleasant run and no trouble. Oddly enough there •were about a dozen natives at Coepang, "f'-'- -which is the chief seaport of Timor, v -who wanted to go to the east end of f the island of Java. They were, as we ^j'f Afterward knew, conspirators who were T* planning against the government of Java, but they paid us a trood crice. and we carried out our part of the contract. The difference it made to us was fhat we must now coast along the big island to ""inda Straits, a mattrtr of seven hundred miles, instead of voyaging through the landlocked Flores and Java seas. While open piracy was unknown, there were many suspicious craft in those seas, and at brief inter- Tals traders were plundered or captured outright. We had no cannon,' but our crew of eight men had muskets and cutlasses, and could be depended on to fight. We stood off the coast under the land breeze after landing our men at night, and by daylight had an offing to twenty-five miles. Then we headed fo the west We had just done so when we noticed a craft rigged like an Arab dhow coming up astern of us. She was nearly of our size, but could sail three feet to our two in, any sort of wind. Such craft confine themselves to the coasting trade, and seldom make long voyages. We could not see why this fellow should be so far from the coast unless on our trail, and we soon felt assured that his business was with us. He shortened sail to keep about a mile astern of us, and hung right there all day. "His plan is to creep up to us and lay us aboard at night," said the captain, as we talked the matter over. "While I can't make out over four or five men on his decks, I am satisfied that he has twenty or thirty hidden away." We should have been prepared as well as we could when night came, but late in the afternoon a gale came up from the northwest, driving us out to sea, and we knew he'd have all he could do to manage his craft, even if he dared keep up the pursuit. That he dared was soon settled. Indeed, his craft was as seaworthy as ours, but the natives of those islands are not looked upon as efficient navigators. We were driven away into the darkness, the seas pitching us like a cork, and when we lost sight of him astern we sheltered our lights, broke a point off the course we were heading and felicitated ourselves that he would not be in sight when morning came. What was our astonishment and disprust to fi?d him holding his old position as daylight came. It did not seem as if he had changed by ten feet How he could have kept it was a marvel to us, as the night was so thick from the time it shut in that our night-glass could not locate him. The gale still held, an& we still drifted away into the Indian ocean, and if he meant us harm we had plenty of time to prepare for him. The second night came on bright and clear, and we could not have evaded him by any trick at midnight The gale had blown itself out, and an hour later we had sail on the schooner and were heading up to the northwest under a change of wind. The dhow followed our example as promptly as if signaled to, but as there was still a heavy sea running, we had no fear of her for several hours to come. When morning came she was sticking like a burr in the same old spot, and her grim persistency began to unnerve us. Some oi the men insisted that she was a "spirit ship," sailed by dead men, and that her hanging 1 in our wake was an omen of disaster and death. It was a real relief to see her, about nine o'clock in the forenoon, forge ahead to windward of us. This move was doubtless made to enable them to inspect us. We could make out four or five men aboard of her, but no more, and she did not sit low enough in the water to prove the presence of much cargo in her hold. A glass or two was no doubt levelled in our direction, and anxious to make a big showing of strength we kept the men dodging about as briskly as possible. The stranger must have concluded that we had from fifteen to twenty men to defend our decks, and after running a parallel course of two or three hours he dropped back into our wake -and hung there like a wolf in chase. The breeze died out with the sun, so that when night had fairly come we were not making over a knot an hour, with a full moon to light up the sea until you could have made out a ship's yawl a mile away. There was no use trying to dodge the stranger on such a night, and both watches were kept on deck, with guns and cutlasses at hand for instant use. At about midnight the dhow crept up on us until his bowsprit was not more than two hundred feet from our rudder post, and every man knelt at the bulwarks with musket in hand. We tried our best now to make out how many men he had on his decks, but we could see no one, not even, one figure. They were either hidden by the sails or sheltered by the bulwarks. He had a better sight of us, and, perhaps, seeing that we were ready, he gradually dropped back to his old position, and there we found him again at daylight. To show you how the presence of this unknown told on the nerve of the men, let me say that after breakfast the men sent a spokesman aft to request the captain to luff up and have it out with him, and if we were all to have our throats cut to have it over and done with. This he refused to do, however, telling the men that we were heading straight for Sunda, and the nearer we got to the coast the less danger there was of an attack. We had only a.mod- erate breeze during the day, and the dhow kept her place as on the previous one. If she meant us evil she would De pretty certain to attack us that night, as the morrow would bring us almost in sight of the coast' Darkness did not affect the breeze, which was about a four-knot one, and we had -the same moonlight after ten o'clock. The bi silver orb was hardly finger high out of the sea when the dhow began-to close up on us, and now we felt certair that the climax had come. Nearer and nearer she came, creeping like a shadow of evil, and she was only a cable's length off our port quarter, and evi dently all ready to sheer down upon us and lay us aboard when she suddenly luffed up into the wind, bung for a moment while her sails slatted and slapped, and then went off to the southeast anc was soon out of sight, and that without our seeing a sou^ except the man at the wheel. H was q*»er enough, as we all igrced, and it wajs a - mystery we were never tired of discussing, but her object and identity we never ' ascertained. _Jvery man forward will believe to the day of his death that she was a spirit ihip.—N Y Sun. CHICAGO'S NEW MAYOR. He Comes of a. Family Noted for Success. ful Politician*. The new mayor of Chicago bears a distinguished patronymic. The Wash- burnes, like the Adamses, the Van Burens, the Harrisons and several other noted American families, have stamped their individuality on several generations. The Washburnes originated in Maine, whence several of its fraternal branches gravitated west and "grew up with the country." For several congressional terms before and succeeding the war, Maine, Minnesota and ADVICE TO WOMEJST If you would protect yourself from Painful, Profuse, Scanty, Suppressed or Irregular Menstruation you must use BRADFIELD'S FEMALE REGULATOR tE, April 20,1830. This Till certify that two members ot my Immediate family, nl'tor bavins suiler&l for ye:"-s from MenHtrual Irrctrularlly, beim? treated without heaelit by physicians, were at length completely cured by one bottle of Brndllcld'M 1/emalo I'»<:2;ulat«r. Its effect is truly wonderful. J. W. SritASO E. Book to " WOMAN" " mailed FREE, which contain!) vuluablo Uflonnatloii «n ull^omalu dlsuusoa. BRADFIELD REGULATOR CO., ATLANTA, GA. . jojJ s-izu ur A Sold by Ben fisher 4th street. HEMPSTEAD WASHBXJKSfE. Illinois were represented by the brothers Israel, Cadwallader and Elihu simultaneously. HempsteadWashburnE,the new mayor, is a son of the lats Elibu B. Washburne, and was fitted for college at Kents Hill, Me., near the ancestral home of the family, and in 1S71 he went abroad with his father, who had been appointed minister to Paris, Then he entered the university at Bonn, Germany, where he spent tWo years, and then returned to the United States, to prosecute his studies in the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. He graduated in 1S74, and the same year came to Chicago, being the first one of his family to settle in this city, his father following him. In 1876, after graduating from the Union college of law, Mr. Washburne entered upon the practice of that profession, and when Elliot Anthony was first elected judge he appointed him master-in-chancery. That office Mr. Washburne held until 1SS5, when the republicans nominated him for city attorney on the ticket which •was headed by Sidney Smith as a candidate for mayor. Judge Smith was beaten, but Mr. Washburne was elected by a good round majority, as he was again two years afterward when he was renominated. Au Unique Book for a Queen. Julian McKair Wright, the famous novelist, formerly of London, but now of Fulton, Mo., has had a copy of her latest novjsl, "Fru Dagmar's Son," elegantly boned as a present for the Queen of Denmark. It is finished in white corded silk, the title in gold across the front cover; the name of the authoress and the monogram of the National Temperance society at the back; edges full gilt; on back cover Danish arms, hand- painted; under title, Danish flag, hand- painted; the whole folded in fringed blue silk, laid in a satin-lined box. It is a, perfect gem, both in the artistic and literary sense of the word. —Mrs. Henn Peck—"The paper tells about a man who ran away with his neighbor's wife and a sum of money." Mr. Henn Peck—"Too bad. Was the amount large?"—Yankee Blade. GSLD MBDAL, PA3IS, 1878. W. BAKER &Co.'s 'Breakfast Cocoa , from -which tho excess of oil has been removed, is \Absolutely JPure I and it is Soluble. No Chemicals are used in its preparation. It has more than Ihret times the strength of Cocoa mixed with Starch, Arrowroot or Sugar, and is therefore far more economical, costing less than one cent a cup. It is delicious, nourishing, strengthening, EASILY DIGESTED, and admirably adapted for invalids as well as for persons in health. Sold by Grocers everywhere. W. BAKER & CO., Dorchester, Mass. DO YOU WANT TO BE Chicago Lots For Sale. "Wliy not buy a lot tit BELLEWOOD with GRADED STREETS. CLEVELAND STONE SIDEWALKS AND FINE CATALPA TKEES, lot $175.00, on payments ol $7 DOWN AND $7 PER MONTH. 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