The Mucker (Chapter 9, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 9

Only four men of the Halfmoon's crew were lost in the wreck of the vessel. All had been crowded in the bow when the ship broke in two, and being far-flung by the forward part of the brigantine as it lunged toward the cove on the wave following the one which had dropped the craft upon the reef, with the exception of the four who had perished beneath the wreckage they had been able to swim safely to the beach.

Larry Divine, who had sat weeping upon the deck of the doomed ship during the time that hope had been at its lowest, had recovered his poise. Skipper Simms, subdued for the moment, soon commenced to regain his bluster. He took Theriere to task for the loss of the Halfmoon.

"An' ever we make a civilized port," he shouted, "I'll prefer charges ag'in' you, you swab you; a-losin' of the finest bark as ever weathered a storm. Ef it hadn't o' been fer you a-mutinyin' agin' me I'd a-brought her through in safety an' never lost a bloomin' soul."

"Stow it!" admonished Theriere at last; "your foolish bluster can't hide the bald fact that you deserted your post in time of danger. We're ashore now, remember, and there is no more ship for you to command, so were I you I'd be mighty careful how I talked to my betters."

"What's that!" screamed the skipper. "My betters! You frog-eatin' greaser you, I'll teach you. Here, some of you, clap this swab into irons. I'll learn him that I'm still captain of this here bunch."

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