Harper's Young People, June 8, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

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Excerpt Chapter II. When Uncle John announced that the Department was satisfied with the ability of the captain and crew to manage the Whitewing, the day for sailing was fixed, and the boys laid in their stores. Each one had a fishing-line and hooks, and Harry and Tom each took a fishing-pole—two poles being as many as were needed, since most of the fishing would probably be done with drop-lines. Uncle John lent Harry his double-barrelled gun, and a supply of ammunition. Each boy took a tin plate, a tin cup, knife, fork, and spoon. For cooking purposes, the boat carried a coffee-pot, two tin cake-pans, which could be used as frying-pans as well as for other purposes, and two small tin pails. Harry's mother lent him several large round tin boxes, in which were stored four pounds of coffee, two pounds of sugar, a pound of Indian meal, a large quantity of crackers, some salt, and a little pepper. The rest of the provisions consisted of two cans of soup, two cans of corned beef, a can of roast beef, two small cans of devilled chicken, four cans of fresh peaches, a little package of condensed beef for making beef tea, and a cold boiled ham. The boat was furnished with an A tent, four rubber blankets and four woollen blankets, a hatchet, a quantity of spare cordage, a little bull's-eye lantern, which burnt olive-oil, and a few copper nails, a pair of pliers, a small piece of zinc, a little white lead, for mending a leak. Of course there was a bottle of oil for the lantern; and Mrs. Schuyler added a box of pills and a bottle of "Hamlin's Mixture" as medical stores. The boys wore blue flannel trousers and shirts, and each one carried an extra pair of trousers, and an extra shirt instead of a coat. These, with a few pairs of stockings and two or three handkerchiefs, were all the clothing that they needed, so Uncle John said; though the boys had imagined that they must take at least two complete suits. He showed them that two flannel shirts worn at the same time, one over the other, would be as warm as one shirt and a coat, and that if their clothing became wet, it could be easily dried. "Flannel and the compass are the two things that are indispensable to navigation," said Uncle John. "If flannel shirts had not been invented, Columbus would never have crossed the Atlantic." Perhaps there was a little exaggeration in this; but when we remember that flannel is the only material that is warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, and that dries almost as soon as it is wrung out and hung in the wind, it is difficult to see how sailors could do without it. The boys agreed very readily to take with them only what Uncle John advised. Tom Schuyler, however, was very anxious to take a heavy iron vise, which, he said, could be screwed on the gunwale of the boat, and might prove to be very useful, although he could not say precisely what he expected to use it for. Joe Sharpe also wanted to take a base-ball and bat, but neither the vise nor the ball and bat were taken. The Whitewing started from the foot of East One-hundred-and-twenty-seventh Street on a Monday morning in the middle of July, at about nine o'clock....
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