Page 70 - Adventures of Capt. David A. MacLeod
ISSUE : Issue 39
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/6/1
them at sea. I had very li.ttle clothes, and the sailors on the ship had little for themselves and none to spare, but I was very thankful that I was getting plenty to eat. Mr. Porter, our mate, was a young man, strong and quite fleshy, but was all in when picked up. I don't think any of us would have held out for another 24 hours. A North Sea pilot landed us shipwrecked sailors at Flushing, Holland. We were from May 6th till June 3rd on board the Hendrick Fish. The weather was bad. Easterly wind and fog, but I was feeling fine, took watch and watch with the men. I offered to do it; the mate of the Hendrick Fish never asked me. Simpson's legs were still bad. Dick and Kelly just did as little as possible. The mate, Mr. Porter, was mending sails most all the time. I was thank? ful when I got ashore in Flushing, but it is a small place--no American consul there. The mate, Mr. Porter, got us a boarding place to stay in and said, "You must wait for a week for the next boat from Liverpool to Antwerp, 120 miles up the river." "Well," I said, "I'll not wait a week here. I lost too much time already. I'll walk to Antwerp." "I'd go too, only my legs are all gone from sitting in the water so long," said the mate. "If you will walk, Dave, I'll go with you," said Dick, the Cockney. Then Pat Kelly, the New? foundlander, said, "I'll go too." So on the 5th of June, 1876, we started for Antwerp. We had grub enough for one meal given us from the boarding-house woman, but the Dutch people would not let us in their houses, so the night of June 5th, 1876, we slept outside without cover, the rain pelting down from above and the mud oozing up from below, and that on an empty belly, but I had on a red haver shirt that kept out the rain, and I was very unconcerned about the past, present or fu? ture. About daylight I called the boys saying, "Get up, so we can get off." Kelly turned on me at once for a cursed fool to be talking of going on in the rain and to starve outside. "Only for you we would be warm and snug in Flushing." "You bet? ter come back," says Dick (the Cockney), "for you will be starved and lost in this cursed place. You will never be heard from again." "Well, all right, boys, please yourselves. I am going on." It was early in the morning and I said to myself, "The people will soon be making their morning meal, and I'll watch for smoke from the houses." I tried several times to get in, but they kept the door locked. I saw a man drawing water and I was after him so close that he could not shut the door, for I was alongside of him in the house. Nilini! |Capt. David A. McLeod • 1 m I asked for something to eat, pointing to my mouth, but they huddled together as if I were his satanic majesty, horns, hoofs, and tail, and made no move to give me a bite. I then went up to the table that had been set for the family of 6 or 7 of them, and I cleaned it all off. Bread, sausages, and cheese--I pocketed it all in side of my red haver shirt. I then went outside and had a hearty meal watching the door like a crow in a cornfield watch? ing for the farmer to come out with his gun, but nothing happened. I got to Antwerp about 10 o'clock the 8th day of June--the country being so level, I thought I was there before I was halfway there, as I could see the churches. And then a long way off I came in on a fine promenade shaded with trees on all sides, but I could see no ships at all. I was asking ques? tions, but no one would stop to answer me. I guess I looked tough in my bare feet, no cap, red haver shirt, belt and sheave knife. Where were the ships at? When a coach driven by a gentleman and some la? dies inside pulled up and said, "Hello, John, what is the trouble. Where did you come from and when?" I told him the ship I left. He at once said he be? longed to the firm of Flint & Dearborn of New York. "Get right in here with the driver, and I will take you down to the American consul," which he did. He came into the American consul office. The consul got all particulars and then I signed my name to the report. He said, "Scotch, Scotch, the only breed of a man that would walk 120 miles in his bare feet on an empty stomach." I got an order for a suit of clothes and working clothes and 2 pounds in cash, had a shave and my dinner, and I then went down to the dock to look for a ship. For more stories by Capt. McLeod, Cleveland, see Issue 33, "Capt. David A. McLeod: My Early Years." Alteen's Jewellers Ltd. "THE DIAMOND PEOPLE" 5 Stores to Serve You: SYDNEY GLACE BAY NORTH SYDNEY PORT HAWKESBURY ANTIGONISH Dooley's Pharmacy '=f Box 323 E=R 226-3133 ' V Box 323 ARICHAT BestVfestern Claymore Inn 0. Box 1720, Antigonish, Nova Scotia B26 2Mf Phone 863-1050 - Teiex'019-36567 Licensed Dining Room and'~Lomge 52 Modern Rooms (70)
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