The Iconoclast

The wrecking-sloop _Sea-Horse_ came smashing the seas headlong past Fowey Rocks, heading for the channel over the reef into Bay Biscayne. She had left Nassau the day before, and had made a record run across the Gulf Stream, carrying sail through a heavy head sea, which flew in a storm of white water over her bows and weather-rail all day, making the deck almost uninhabitable. Bahama Bill, otherwise known as…

The Survivor

“Light dead ahead and close aboard, sir,” said the mate in a tone of anxiety, as he poked his streaming sou’wester down the companionway. Captain Johnson was bending over his chart, his parallel ruler placed firmly on east by south. The droning roar of the gale overhead and the booming of the storm canvas and taut standing rigging made the officer’s voice sound strangely expressionless. The slight nervousness evident in…

The Trimming of Mr. Dunn

Mrs. Dunn sat under the awning stretched over the quarter-deck of the yacht _Sayonara_ lying in the stream, off the government coal-dock, at Key West. It was winter, but the air was warm, and white linen duck was the most comfortable clothing. Even the six men who composed the crew of the trim little schooner showed nothing but white in their garments, save the black silk ties knotted rakishly, drawing…

When the Light Failed at Carysfort

The United States Lighthouse Establishment organized by Thornton Jenkins, Rear-Admiral, United States Navy, had built many important lighthouses upon the coast of the States. The appropriations admitted the lighting of the dangerous coral banks of the Florida Reef, which rose from the blue Gulf Stream many miles offshore and stretched away from Cape Florida to Tortugas. From Fowey Rocks to Sand Key the high, long-legged towers, built of iron piling…

The Sanctified Man

When Mr. Leonard Holbrook bought the fine yawl _Dartmoor_, he did so with the clear understanding that his wife would accompany him on a voyage through the inland waters of the eastern coast of the States to Florida. The vessel was something over sixty feet on the water-line and fitted up with as much magnificence as a small craft of that size could well be. She had many trophies in…

At the End of the Reef

The light-keeper at Fowey Rocks had been given a new assistant, and the new man was Bahama Bill, the giant wrecker and mate of a sponging sloop. He was a negro Conch, so-called on account of the diet upon which many of the native Bankers were supposed to live, the Conch proving an easy and nourishing meal for the lazy and incompetent reefer. But the name soon applied to all…

Barnegat Macreary

“Put that fellow in the lee rigging and let him chuck the lead awhile,” said Captain Sanders. “Sink me, but he is a queer one. Where did ye say he hailed from?” “Hey, Peter, where did yo’ hatch?” asked the big black mate in a voice deep and loud enough to be heard half a mile. The man he addressed was standing near the mast explaining to the wrecking crew…

The Mate of the “Sea-Horse”

He stalked in behind the captain of the _Caliban_ to the desk in the consul’s office at Key West, where the clerk signed on the men. His six feet three inches of solid frame almost filled the doorway as he entered, and he scowled sourly at the group already there. His black face was lined and wrinkled and bore traces of a debauch, but in spite of his sinister expression…

The Wrecker’s Reward

“Ef I wassent er lady, I’d knock yo’ blamed haid off, yo’ black rascal!” cried Julia. The big mate smiled at her softly, and made another pass to seize her; but she struggled free, for he would not hold her fast enough. “Don’t yo’ come ’round heah no mo’; I don’t want no dealin’s wif no sailor man.” “What’ the good o’ gettin’ mad over a little squeeze, Sugar-plum?” grinned…

Beneath the “Bulldog’s” Bilge

The brig lay in four fathoms of water on the edge of the Great Bahama Bank. She had been a solid little vessel, built for the fruit trade, and she was about two hundred tons register. Her master had tried to sight the “Isaacs,” but owing to the darkness and the drift of the Gulf Stream, he had miscalculated his distance in trying for the New Providence channel. A “nigger-head,”…