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In the Sargasso Sea

by Thomas A. Janvier

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As there was no hurry in one way, the ships being so bedded fast there that they were certain not to move more than a few feet at the utmost, I hunted up some food before setting myself to what I knew would be a heavy task; finding cold victuals of a coarse sort in the galley--left from the last meal that the two men had made there--and fairly fresh water in the tank. It was hard work eating, on board that foul ship and thinking of the foul hands which had made the food ready; but going without eating would have been harder, for I had the healthy appetite of a sound young fellow three-and-twenty years old.

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Captain Luke Chilton counted over the five-dollar notes with a greater care than I thought was necessary, considering that there were only ten of them; and cautiously examined each separate one, as though he feared that I might be trying to pay for my passage in bad money. His show of distrust set my back up, and I came near to damning him right out for his impudence - until I reflected that a West Coast trader must pretty well divide his time between cheating people and seeing to it that he isn't cheated, and so held my tongue.



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