The After House (Chapter 2, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 2

The Ella had been a coasting-vessel, carrying dressed lumber to
South America, and on her return trip bringing a miscellaneous
cargo--hides and wool, sugar from Pernambuco, whatever offered.
The firm of Turner and Sons owned the line of which the Ella was
one of the smallest vessels.

The gradual elimination of sailing ships and the substitution of
steamers in the coasting trade, left the Ella, with others, out of
commission. She was still seaworthy, rather fast, as such vessels
go, and steady. Marshall Turner, the oldest son of old Elias Turner,
the founder of the business, bought it in at a nominal sum, with the
intention of using it as a private yacht. And, since it was a
superstition of the house never to change the name of one of its
vessels, the schooner Ella, odorous of fresh lumber or raw rubber,
as the case might be, dingy gray in color, with slovenly decks on
which lines of seamen's clothing were generally hanging to dry,
remained, in her metamorphosis, still the Ella.

Marshall Turner was a wealthy man, but he equipped his new
pleasure-boat very modestly. As few changes as were possible were
made. He increased the size of the forward house, adding quarters
for the captain and the two mates, and thus kept the after house for
himself and his friends. He fumigated the hold and the forecastle--
a precaution that kept all the crew coughing for two days, and drove
them out of the odor of formaldehyde to the deck to sleep. He
installed an electric lighting and refrigerating plant, put a bath
in the forecastle, to the bewilderment of the men, who were inclined
to think it a reflection on their habits, and almost entirely rebuilt,
inside, the old officers' quarters in the after house.

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