Towards midnight there was a little commotion on the Havre to Southampton packet boat Columbia, which was drawn up against the quay of the French port, and already preparing for its journey across the channel. A passenger--one of three, two men and a boy, who had lately come aboard--had been taken so alarmingly ill with a hemorrhage from the lungs that, in the circumstances of stiff weather which prevailed, it seemed impossible for him to make the passage and survive. Consequently it was resolved, after the first violence of the attack had subsided, to re-transfer him, to the shore, where at no great distance quarters more meet to his condition might be found. He was assisted over the gangway by his companion, while the little boy trotted beside, sobbing noisily between grief and terror.
The invalid, all stained and shaken as he was, looked down on, the child with an expression which, in its anguished struggle to reassure, was as pathetic as it was ghastly.
"All right, Bobo," he whispered; "daddy's all right really."
The effort brought a thread of new scarlet from his lips.
"Hold your silly tongue!" said the man who supported him. "I'm here to look after you both, am I not?"