The Wounded Sailor
When Admiral Benbow was a common sailor, his messmate,
who was stationed with him at the same gun, lost his leg by a cannon shot.
The poor fellow instantly called out to his friend, who immediately took
him up on his shoulder, and began with great care to descend with him into
the cockpit; but it happened that just as the poor fellow's head came upon
a level with the deck, another ball carried that off also. Benbow,
new nothing of the matter, but carried the body down to the
surgeon, and when he came to the bottom of the ladder, called out that he
had brought him a patient, desiring some one to bear a hand, and help him
easily down. The surgeon turned about, but instead of giving any
assistance, exclaimed, "You blockhead, what do you do here with a man that
has lost his head?" "Lost his head!" says Benbow; "the lying fellow, why he
told me it was his leg; but I never in my life believed what he said
without being sorry for it afterwards."
When Lieutenant O'Brien (who was called Skyrocket Jack) was blown up at
Spithead, in the _Edgar_, he was on the carriage of a gun, and when brought
to the admiral, all black and wet, he said with pleasantry, "I hope, sir,
you will excuse my dirty appearance, for I came out of the ship in so great
a hurry, that I had not time to shift myself."
A painter was employed in painting a West India ship in the river,
suspended on a stage under the ship's stern. The captain, who had just got
into the boat alongside, for the purpose of going ashore, ordered the boy
to let go the painter (the rope which makes fast the boat); the boy
instantly went aft, and let go the rope by which the painter's stage was
held. The captain, surprised at the boy's delay, cried out, "Heigh-ho,
there, you lazy lubber, why don't you let go the painter?" The boy replied,
"He's gone, sir, pots and all."