UNDER WAY, OR UNDER WEIGH

Captain Michael Angelo Spickles was delivered to an officer, who
committed him to a cell in the lock-up. The future must have looked very
dark to him, for he was morally sure of spending the next few years in
the State prison. The Nautifelers Club had come to naught. Only the day
before, he had been blackguarding his former friend for not drinking
beer, and for being correct in his moral ideas. To-day he was in
condition to see the folly of his conduct, even from a merely worldly
point of view.

At the Beech Hill Industrial School, as soon as the principal dismissed
the students, the wharf and the boat-house were scenes of intense
activity. Although Captain Gildrock had not the slightest intention of
exposing them to a possible shot from the burglars, many of the pupils
believed they were going out in search of the companions of the chief
who had been exhibited to their wondering gaze in the schoolroom.

The principal was not at all inclined to foster their belligerent
propensities, and he mercilessly ridiculed any thing that looked like a
fight to “see who was the better man.” If it was clearly shown that a
boy had fought purely in self-defence, after he had done nothing to
provoke his opponent to wrath, if he did not commend him, he excused
him.

Mr. Brookbine had reported that Mr. Jepson and Dory were watching the
schooner, which was at anchor off Camp-Meeting Point. Four of the five
members of the Nautifelers Club must still be on board of her. This was
understood by all on the place. The principal hoped that Dory would not
do any thing more than watch the La Motte. If he had known just what his
nephew was about, he would have interposed to prevent him from meddling
with such dangerous characters.

Mrs. Dornwood had been in a fever of excitement all the morning; for her
son was absent, and she did not seem to have as much confidence in his
discretion as her brother had. The news that he was safe and unharmed
had been sent to her, as soon as the master-carpenter arrived with the
prisoner; but this comforted, while it did not satisfy, her.

As soon as he left the schoolroom, the principal had driven rapidly to
the town, and procured two deputy-sheriffs, and brought them to the
wharf, where they went on board of the Sylph, the larger of the two
steamers. If any one was to attack the burglars on board of the La
Motte, one or both of these officers were the proper persons to do it,
in the opinion of Captain Gildrock.

The new steamer was about fifty feet long. She had been built by the
students, both hull and machinery, and had been launched as soon as the
ice went out of Beechwater. There had been a great deal of discussion
over the subject of a name for her, as there had been when the name of
Miss Bristol had been given to the “Lily,” for the sole reason that she
was a remarkably pretty girl.

When the students came to vote on a name for the new steamer they had
built, after a long discussion, in which all the names of localities on
the lake were mentioned, the vote was almost unanimous for the name of
“Marian.” She was goodlooking enough, though not decidedly pretty; but
she was not only the sister of Dory, and the niece of the principal, but
Oscar Chester, the captain of the Sylph, was very partial to her
society.

The new steamer was therefore called the “Marian;” but the act of giving
this name to her robbed the eight-oar barge of her name, or made two
craft at the school with the same name, which would cause confusion. The
name of a river on the other side of the lake, which had been suggested
for the steam-yacht, “Bouquet,” had been given to the barge.

The Marian had a regular ship’s company, and Luke Bennington was her
captain. All the students were assigned to one or the other of the
steamers, though at the same time they belonged to the sailing-craft.
They were all to be instructed in the management of both steam and sail
vessels.

Dory had taken a fancy the year before to change the Goldwing from a
schooner into a sloop; and though he was satisfied that the alteration
had not been for the better, she still remained a one-masted boat,
because he had not had time to change her to her original condition. The
principal had objected to restoring her at present, because he wanted a
sloop as well as a schooner for purposes of instruction. The Goldwing
carried a large mainsail, and spread even more canvas than when she was
a schooner; but she did not sail a particle faster, as Dory had expected
she would.

Thad Glovering was to take the place of Dory in the Goldwing during his
absence. He was a good boatman, though he rather lacked in dignity when
placed in the position of an instructor. The instruction in sailing had
not been regularly begun, though each of the young teachers in this art
had been out in the boats with his class. The pupils assigned the Lily
and the Goldwing were those who had entered the school at the beginning
of the current school-year.

The senior class had, nearly all of them, all who had any taste for it,
picked up a knowledge of the art. Some of the new ones had a little
skill at it; though all of them needed instruction, and especially
practice. The class in the Goldwing consisted of six besides the
instructor. The boats had been brought up to the wharf, and Luke
Bennington was the first to get under way. He gave the order to do so.

“All ready to get under way,” said he.

“I beg your pardon, Captain Glovering”–

“Don’t you do it!” interposed the skipper of the Goldwing, with a very
undignified laugh, while there was something like a blush on his brown
face. “I don’t want to be captained just because I happen to be here for
once to show you fellows how to handle a boat. Call me plain Thad, as
you always do, if you please; and I will guess all the conundrums you
sling at me, if I can.”

“I stand corrected, Thad,” added Ash Burton, who had begun to ask the
question. “You spoke about getting under way. Will you please to tell me
how you spell that word?”

“Spell the word ‘get under way’? I don’t believe I know that word,”
laughed the skipper.

“Excuse me, Mr. Skipper: I meant only the last word in the expression,
though I did not say so.”




“Well, Mr. Ordinary Seaman, or Mr. Green Hand, I always spell it w-a-y;
and I confess I don’t know any other w-a-y to spell it.”

“I do; and I want to know which is the right way, Thad.”

“What’s the other way, Ash?”

“W-e-i-g-h.”

“That’s another word.”

“The two words are pronounced just alike; and I wish to know which is
the right word to use when you mean to start, go ahead, progress, get
along, go forward, advance”–

“Hold on! You needn’t go through the dictionary, for I know what you
mean, Ash.”

“It don’t make any difference how you spell the word when you simply
speak, for the pronunciation is the same; but I have read in books and
newspapers about vessels being ‘under weigh.'”

“That question came up once in the schoolroom, and the principal settled
it for us. There is no dictionary-war on this word; for neither
Worcester nor Webster gives any such definition as making progress to
weigh, while both of them give this as the nautical meaning of way.”

“That settles it; but we weigh anchor,” suggested Ash.

“We weigh a pound of cheese; but that has nothing to do with the
progress the skippers make inside of it.”

“As they weigh the anchor when they are going to start, I suppose that
is where the error comes from,” added Ash.

“They couldn’t very well start without weighing it; but that is no
excuse for the misuse of the word. But there are plenty of words in
nautical phraseology which are not used according to the dictionary and
grammar, as in all the walks of life,” continued Thad.

“Tell us some of them,” said Archie Pinkler.

“If we are going out on the lake to catch those burglars, I haven’t time
for much of that sort of thing,” replied Thad. “The ship was laying to,
though no eggs were found in the water. You lay a book on the table; but
when it is there, it lies, and it don’t lay. When you get tired, it is
not the thing to lay down; better lie down, and it will rest you more.
You may lay a ship to; but when you have done it, she is lying to, as
much as though she was also telling a fib. But, be ready to get under
headway, for that is what we mean; and we won’t lie here any longer, for
the Lily is just getting off.”

“But the Lily lay at the wharf just now,” suggested Ben Sinker, rather
timidly.

“But she don’t now, and never does. Lay is the yesterday of lie; and
that is where you mix things, Ben. Man the mainsail-halyards. Archie and
Con, take the throat-halyards; Syl and Hop, the throat.”

“Ay, ay, sir!” replied Archie.

“Don’t be too nautical, my lad; and remember that two-thirds of the
slang used for salt-talk is never heard on board of a vessel. Where are
you going, if you please, Mr. Ay-ay-sir?” asked the skipper, when he saw
Archie go over to the starboard side of the Goldwing.

“I am going to man the throat-halyards, as you told me,” replied Archie.

“Do you expect to find them over there? Dory Dornwood rigged this sloop,
and he put things in their right places,” added Thad.

“I know about the halyards,” said Archie.

“But the question just now with you relates to throat-halyards; and you
have gone over to the starboard side to look for them.”

“That’s so: I forgot about it.”

“Allow me to inform this crew that the throat-halyards are on the
port-side of the mast. Don’t try to remember where the peak-halyards
are, for that will make two things to recollect. Throat-port. Only this,
and nothing more. If you try to hold on to the other at the same time,
you will mix them.”

“But a fellow wants to know where to find the peak halyards as well as
the throat,” suggested Con Bunker.

“Exactly; so he does. After he has found the throat, he must box the
compass, lay the parallel ruler on the deck, count the anchor three
times to make sure of the number, swing six, and cast out nine, and then
go to the other side of the mast to look for the peak-halyards; but I
will bet half a pint of Champlain water against a hogshead of
New-Orleans molasses that he won’t find them.”

But the two hands designated had found the peak-halyards on the
starboard side of the mast. The sail was set, the bow shoved off, and
the boat began to gather headway. The jib was set; and, as the wind was
still very fresh, the Goldwing heeled over, and darted ahead at a flying
rate. Thad took the helm himself; for Dory had put in a horizontal
wheel, and not one of the class was competent to steer her.

“Now, how many of you fellows know all the ropes in a sloop?” asked the
young instructor, as the boat headed towards the outlet of the little
lake. “There are not a great many things to learn about such a craft as
this, but a fellow has got to know them all over.”

“I know them all,” added Archie.

“Just as you knew where to look for the throat-halyards,” laughed the
skipper.

Thad took a picture of a sloop from his pocket.