This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 over the side of a coal schooner and hid themselves in the hold. The vessel was going out light, bound for Havana, a haven of safety for the prisoners. At the appointed time a shuffling of feet on deck told the men below that the ship was under way. Until far out at sea, they remained in the hold, stifled with the odor of bilge and dust of coal. Their friend from the outside had shipped as mate. When darkness came he opened the hatch and the men were released. Stealthily creeping to the cabin occupied by the master, they opened the door and walked in. The captain was a German and all of his Teutonic wrath blazed up at the sight of the dust-begrimed stowaways. He demanded their story. Very frankly they admitted that they were escaping prisoners of war and wanted to go to Havana. With a great Prussian oath the master rushed toward the door with the intention of giving the order to 'bout ship. Coolly producing a revolver, Captain Austin pointed the muzzle in the German's face. “Stay where you are,” came the hoarse command. Obedience seemed necessary. The stowaways agreed to pay their passage if allowed the freedom of the vessel as passengers to Cuba. In the face of the circumstances the demand was complied with and the ship sailed on its course. But it was not for long. Morning dawned, and with the light a ship of war bearing the stars and stripes appeared in the distance. The captain rushed to the rail and made an attempt to signal the vessel. Suddenly he felt himself held in a grasp of steel. He was forced hastily back in his cabin, the door was locked on him, and Captain Austin took command. A week later the schooner was tied up at the Havana wharves and Captain Austin was still in charge. Turned over to the Cuban authorities, his further immunity from captivity was avoided by virtue of a previous meeting with the captain general of the island. How this was brought about is another story.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.