The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 13

had brought with him, so that my person
might not be easily recognized. Just as we turned the second corner,
after passing Mr. Edmund’s well, who should appear, standing right in
front of me, and looking me full in the face, but old Mr. Peterson, my
grandfather. “Why, bless my soul, Gordon,” said he, after a long pause,
“why, why,--whose dirty cloak is that you have on?” “Sir!” I replied,
assuming, as well as I could, in the exigency of the moment, an air
of offended surprise, and talking in the gruffest of all imaginable
tones--“sir! you are a sum’mat mistaken--my name, in the first place,
bee’nt nothing at all like Goddin, and I’d want you for to know better,
you blackguard, than to call my new obercoat a darty one.” For my life
I could hardly refrain from screaming with laughter at the odd manner in
which the old gentleman received this handsome rebuke. He started back
two or three steps, turned first pale and then excessively red, threw up
his spectacles, then, putting them down, ran full tilt at me, with
his umbrella uplifted. He stopped short, however, in his career, as if
struck with a sudden recollection; and presently, turning round, hobbled
off down the street, shaking all the while with rage, and muttering
between his teeth: “Won’t do--new glasses--thought it was Gordon--d--d
good-for-nothing salt water Long Tom.”

After this narrow escape we proceeded with greater caution, and arrived
at our point of destination in safety. There were only one or two of
the hands on board, and these were busy forward, doing something to the
forecastle combings. Captain Barnard, we knew very well, was engaged
at Lloyd and Vredenburgh’s, and would remain there until late in the
evening, so we had little to apprehend on his account. Augustus went
first up the vessel’s side, and in a short while I followed him, without
being noticed by the men at work. We proceeded at once into the cabin,
and found no person there. It was fitted up in the most comfortable
style--a thing somewhat unusual in a whaling-vessel. There were four
very excellent staterooms, with wide and convenient berths. There was
also a large stove, I took notice, and a remarkably thick and valuable
carpet covering the floor of both the cabin and staterooms. The ceiling
was full seven feet high, and, in short, every thing appeared of a more
roomy and agreeable nature than I had anticipated. Augustus, however,
would allow me but little time for observation, insisting upon the
necessity of my concealing myself as soon as possible. He led the

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enclose the MS.
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Radcliffe.