The life of a midshipman of the vessel Europa, in the late eighteenth century -- Britain is hostile to the French and to the Dutch, and an excursion to the West Indies is made to patrol for pirates.
that, instead of starting for home the next morning, as he had talked of doing, he crossed over to Gosport the first thing after breakfast, walked to Haslar, and stationed himself on the beach at Gilkicker Point, watching the frigate until she had got under way and passed out of sight to the southward and eastward.
The next morning, at daylight, Blue Peter was hoisted at the fore-royal masthead and a gun fired as a signal that the ship was about to sail; boats were hoisted in and stowed, stock was brought alongside, and the order was given to clear the ship of strangers--sailors' wives and sweethearts who had come off to say a last good-bye, bumboat women who were making a final desperate effort to obtain a settlement of their accounts, and tradesmen of all kinds engaged upon the same errand or intent upon palming off upon the men otherwise unsaleable stock.
Shortly after ten o'clock Captain Vavassour came on board, immediately after which the hands were piped to "up anchor"; and within half-an
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