Terry Olcott on deck.
Finding all their pleadings with Mrs.
Hamilton in vain, Fred and Terry began making preparations
for the long trip down to Texas, accompanied only
While regretting to see her leave,
her mother never objected to her going anywhere with
her brother; so, after a few days’ preparations,
they were all ready to start.
Mary accompanied them down to New
York City, where she was to spend a week with Mrs.
They finally decided to take a steamer
from New York to New Orleans, and quite a party of
friends accompanied them down to the wharf. The
very best staterooms in the steamer had been reserved
for them. Evelyn’s cabin was a bank of
flowers, which loving friends and admirers had sent
down for her.
Evelyn was a pretty good sailor, and
had once crossed the Atlantic without the least bit
of seasickness. Among the passengers was a family
of New Orleans people, a father and mother and two
beautiful daughters. The father was a rich New
Orleans merchant whom Fred and Terry knew well by
reputation, and, of course, the merchant and his family
knew them in the same way Evelyn made their acquaintance
before the vessel had actually passed through the
Narrows. The two sisters fell in love with her
at once. The elder sister was about twenty years
of age and of exquisite Creole beauty. She was
very much surprised when she found out that Evelyn
could speak French as fluently as she could.
“Oh,” said Evelyn, “I
spent a most agreeable time in Paris once. My
brother and Mr. Fearnot are both quite good linguists,
Mr. Fearnot particularly. He can learn a foreign
language more easily and rapidly than any one I ever
knew. Brother can learn it easily, too; but not
as much so as Mr. Fearnot.”
Just as the steamer was passing out
of the Narrows both Fred and Terry came up to where
Evelyn was talking with the two French girls, and she
introduced them to the boys.
Both the New Orleans girls looked
at them as though somewhat surprised. “Why,
Mr. Fearnot,” said one of them, “I’ve
heard a great deal about you, but you are much younger
than I expected to find you.”
“Oh, I’m a kid yet,”
he laughed, and Terry proceeded to amuse them with
some funny stories.
The elder of the two Creoles remarked
that she was very fond of the sea.
“Do you ever get seasick?” Terry asked.
“No; do you?”
“Yes, every time I get out on
blue water I have to pay tribute to old King Neptune.
I’ve done my best to make friends with him, but
I always fail. He will have his joke with me.”
“Ladies,” remarked Fred,
“if you want something to laugh at until you
reach New Orleans just manage to see Olcott when he
“Why, what is funny about it?”
“I can’t tell you. He makes funny
remarks and queer noises.”
Evelyn laughed and said:
“Yes, he expresses opinions
about old Father Neptune that I think he really ought
to be ashamed of.”
“Don’t you get seasick?”
“Not unless the water is rough
and the waves come rolling high, and then I have to
retire to my stateroom for at least twenty-four hours;
then I’m all right for the rest of the voyage,
even if it extends all around the world.”
As they were rounding Sandy Hook a
great many of the passengers sought the seclusion
of their staterooms and cabins, for the waves were
rolling very actively.
Evelyn and the two Creole girls, whose
name was Elon, remained on deck longer than any of
the lady passengers on board.
By and by Evelyn and the younger of
the two Elon sisters retired to their rooms.
The elder one laughed and said to Fred:
“Mr. Fearnot, we two seem to
be on quite good terms with the old man of the sea.”
“Yes,” returned Fred.
“When I made up my mind to go South by water
I began to make preparations to remain on good terms
with Father Neptune.
“Why, how in the world did you manage to do
“Why, don’t you know a
remedy for seasickness, or a pallative, at least?”
“Why, no, indeed. What
is it? I have never heard of any except lemons.”
“Well, lemons are very good,
and will be effective if you tackle them twenty-four
hours or more before beginning the voyage. I have
a bottle of acid phosphate in my room, and a teaspoonful
in half a glass of water soon equips one in such a
manner that he can resist the effects of the motion
of the ship.”
“Oh, my! will you give me a
drink of it? I’m not at all seasick, but
if the water gets any rougher I will be.”
“Certainly,” and Fred
went to his room and soon returned with a glass with
about two teaspoonfuls of acid phosphate in it.
He went to the water cooler, filled the glass with
cold water and presented it to the young lady.
“Drink about half of it,”
said he, “and in twenty or thirty minutes drink
the other half.”
She took the glass, tipped it up and
drained every drop of its contents.
“By George,” said he, “you took
a good dose.”
“Oh, I’m used to drinking
phosphates; but never heard of it as an antidote for
seasickness before. Have you had a drink of it?”
“Oh, yes; I’ve had two drinks since I
left the wharf.”
He took the glass to his room, and
when he came out he tendered his arms to the girl
and went promenading up and down the deck.
Her father went to her and asked her
if she felt any seasickness.
“No, father,” said she,
“not the least bit. This gentleman is Mr.
Fearnot, the famous athlete.”
“Well, well, well! I’m
glad to meet you, Mr. Fearnot. I heard of you
several times when you were in New Orleans. What’s
become of your friend Olcott?”
“Oh, he’s on board, and so is his sister
“Well, I’d like to meet him and his sister,”
said the old gentleman.
“Father,” said his daughter,
“she is just the sweetest and prettiest girl
you ever saw in your life. I met her when we first
came on board, but as the sea was a little too rough
for her she had to retire to her room, and I hardly
think that we will have the pleasure of seeing her
again before tomorrow. Mr. Olcott, her brother,
Mr. Fearnot tells me, is an awful victim to seasickness,
and that he says and does funny things while old Neptune
has a grip on him.”
Then she suddenly asked her father how her mother
“Oh, she is in her room actually
groaning and making believe that she is going to die.”
“Oh, she does that every time she sails,”
and the girl laughed merrily.
Mr. Elon remained with her and Fred
for at least a half hour. Then he drew a package
of cigars from his pocket said tendered one to Fred.
“Thank you, sir; but I never smoke.”
“Well you will excuse me, then, if I indulge.”
“Certainly, sir; certainly.”
So he retired to the further side of the deck and
lit a cigar by using a match made in Sweden which the
fiercest wind cannot extinguish.
Then he began puffing furiously.
The girl squeezed Fred’s arm and said:
“Just watch him. You’ll
see him slipping back to his room pretty soon.
He’s no sailor.”
“Well,” said Fred, “you seem to
be a pretty good mariner.”
“Yes; if you have any suspicions that I will
retreat, just stick to me.”
“All right, I’ll keep
an eye on you, for you are beautiful to look at, if
you will pardon the liberty of expression.”
“Mr. Fearnot, did you ever see a girl who didn’t
like such expressions?”
“Yes, I saw one once when she
was struggling with an attack of mal de mer, and she
had to yield to its effect in the presence of all the
crowd, for there was no place for retreat for her.
We were returning from Coney Island. The young
man who was acting as her escort thought that he would
compliment her by mentioning that she was the most
beautiful girl on the ship. She thought it was
spoken sarcastically, for she couldn’t conceive
how a seasick girl could be beautiful, and then just
at that time she was disgorging the dinner which she
had eaten an hour or two before, so she turned on
him and gave him a pretty sharp rebuke.”
Miss Elon laughed heartily at the story, and said:
“Well, I don’t blame her,
for a girl thinks at such a time as that she looks
as ugly as she feels, even if she don’t.
Now, Mr. Fearnot,” she continued, “will
you please go back and bring me another dose of that
and he hurried back to his cabin and returned with
the glass with the phosphate in it. Filling the
glass with water, he presented it to her and suggested
that she take only half the dose.
“All or nothing,” she
laughed, and swallowed the contents of the glass.
She returned the glass to Fred with
thanks, and he took it back to his cabin and took
a dose himself.
To his astonishment the girl kept
her feet admirably, and even when supper was announced
she looked up at him and said:
“Mr. Fearnot, father and mother
and sister have all retired. Will you take me
down to supper?”
“With the greatest of pleasure,”
he replied, with a smile. “You are a strong,
brave girl, and you must pardon me if I give utterance
to my admiration.”
“Thank you. Thank you very
much, Mr. Fearnot,” and, taking his arm, she
accompanied him down into the dining-room, where she
was the only lady passenger present.
She ate rather a light supper, and
so did Fred. The meal over, they went back up on deck,
for all people when seasick want to be out in the fresh
air, and if the wind blows strong and cold they are
all the better for it.
Of course, the air wasn’t cold
at that season of the year, but the wind blew fresh
and strong from over the sea.
They walked about on the deck until
ten o’clock, and then she said:
“Mr. Fearnot, you will excuse me if I retire.”
“All right,” said he, “but tell
me, do you feel the least bit seasick?”
“No, indeed. I did expect
to be, but that acid phosphate seemed to have been
the very thing for me, and I thank you heartily for
suggesting it to me.”
“Perhaps you had better take
another dose before retiring. You may need some,
too, through the night; so you may take the bottle
to the cabin with you,” and he got it and placed
it in her hand.
The next morning the passengers came
straggling into the breakfast-room, some looking very
pale and wearied; but the elder Miss Elon came tripping
down the stairs like a sparrow.
While she and Fred were at the table
her sister and Evelyn came in together.
Fred sprang up to accompany them to seats.
“How are you feeling, dear?” Fred inquired.
“Fred, I confess I haven’t
gotten over old Neptune’s slap yet. Did
he worry you any?”
“Not the least,” and then he told her
about Miss Elon’s sister.
The younger Miss Elon was sitting alongside of Evelyn
“Oh, Josephine never gets seasick.”
“So I found out last night,”
replied Fred, “for we promenaded the deck until
ten o’clock. She drank pretty freely of
acid phosphate, and that removed the feeling entirely.”
“Oh, my, Fred! Why didn’t you offer
me some of it?”
“I did for two days before we came aboard, but
you refused to take it.”
“Yes, but I didn’t need it then.”
“Well, that is the time when
you should have taken it. I see you are looking
a little pale yet, and it isn’t too late to brace
up with a dose of it now, but Miss Josephine has the
bottle in her cabin.”
“Yes,” said her sister;
“she gave me a dose of it, too, and, Mr. Fearnot,
I wish you could have heard the many kind things she
said about you. It’s a wonder your ears
“Well, well, well! Now
I know why my ears did tingle so last night. I
am glad I know what caused it.”
Evelyn laughed with Miss Elon and remarked:
“He is good at that sort of thing.”
The breakfast set the girls all right,
and they went up on deck and promenaded until many
other ladies appeared, some of them still showing
the effects of seasickness, but by noon they were all
out, for the sea was by no means very rough, and the
further south the ship plowed the more quiet the waters
Terry didn’t eat any breakfast
that morning at all, unless sucking two or three whole
lemons might be called by that name.
He came out on deck about ten o’clock,
still entertaining very bad opinions of old Father
He could have abused the old fellow
better without indulging in profanity than any man
living, but along in the middle of the afternoon he
He took charge of Grace Elon, the
younger of the two Elon sisters, and kept her laughing
heartily as they walked to and fro upon the deck.
When they struck Cape Hatteras, where
the water is always rough, it was quite late in the
night, and some of the passengers felt the effect of
it, which spoiled the pleasure of the evening.
The water is nearly always rough at
that point on the Atlantic coast.
The next morning, though, the bosom
of the ocean seemed to be like a vast mirror, so smooth
was it. Seagulls were flying around, following
the ship to pick up such bits of food as the cooks
and waiters cast overboard. Some four or five
gentlemen got out on the stern deck and with revolvers
were shooting at the birds.
Nearly a dozen shots were fired without
a single seagull being hit.
All sailors object to passengers shooting
at Mother Carey’s chickens, as they call the
seagull, but the average passenger has no such superstition.
“It’s a pity,” said
Josie Elon, “to kill such beautiful birds.
How white and clean they seem to be, and what beautiful
white wings they have. Every feather seems to
have been made of snow.”
“They are very hard to hit,”
remarked Terry, “and only a good marksman can
hit one of them on the wing.”
“Mr. Olcott, I have read in
the papers about you and Mr. Fearnot being the best
marksmen in the country. Couldn’t you kill
one of them?”
“Yes, easily, and if you want
a wing to place in your hat I will procure it for
“I would like to have one so
that I could examine the feathers.”
“Wait, then, until I can get
my revolver and I’ll bring one down on deck
here so that you can examine it to your satisfaction.”
So he went to his room and soon returned with his
“Now, let’s get out on
the middle of the deck and wait until one of the gulls
flies over us, then he will drop down on the deck and
he can be your prize.”
He waited for about fifteen minutes
before a gull flew directly overhead, and then he
quickly raised his revolver and fired. The bullet
actually cut the bird’s head off and it fell
fluttering to the deck.
Of course, the marksmanship created
quite a sensation among the passengers every one of
whom exclaimed that it was an accident, and that the
gentleman might fire one hundred times again without
bringing down another bird, but not one of them thought
to ask the name of the gentleman who had fired the
shot, for the ladies gathered around to examine the
beautiful plumage of the gull.
There were two or three ladies on
board who had wing feathers of the same kind in their
hats, and some of them insisted on comparing the wings
of the dead gull with some found on the hats of the
Naturally a dispute arose among them
as to whether or not those on the hat were the same
kind as those of the dead bird. Some, of course,
were larger than others.
Terry suggested that he bring down
another one that the comparison might be made as to
the size and exact color to settle the question as
to whether they were all of the same kind.
“See here, my friend,”
said one of the gentlemen on the deck, “I’ll
lay fifty dollars down here which says that you can’t
bring down another one in fifty shots.”
“What!” Terry exclaimed,
“do you mean to say that I can’t bring
down another with fifty shots?”
“That’s just what I do, sir.”
“Well, you are a very foolish man, if you will
excuse the expression.”
“Oh, I’ll excuse that,”
said the man, “but I mean just what I say.
If you had a shotgun I wouldn’t make the bet,
but with your revolver you couldn’t hit another
bird on the wing in fifty shots, and if you want to
cover the bet I’ll double it with pleasure.”
“Do you mind my asking you another question?”
“No; ask as many as you please.”
“Well, I would like to know how much money you
have with you.”
“Oh, I’ve got enough to
pay all I lose betting on your marksmanship. If
you want to make the bet a hundred, or two hundred,
or five hundred, show your money and I’ll cover
“My friend, I really don’t
want your money, but I will make it five hundred dollars
just to show you how foolish you are to make a bet
of that kind with a stranger. Probably if you
knew me you wouldn’t make such an offer.”
“Never mind who you are, I’m
betting on the marksmanship,” and the fellow
drew a big roll of money from his pocket and began
to count it to the amount of five hundred dollars.
“All right,” and Terry
proceeded to count out five hundred dollars which
he asked the young lady from New Orleans to hold for
him, saying that she would be his stake holder.
“Oh, my! What if I run away with it?”
“Oh, I’ll take the chances of it,”