Paying Devoirs

Tuesday 28th
The weather continued fine until yesterday
at about 7 o’clk P.M. when it grew cloudy
& commenced raining; it rained all night. This
morning the wind shifted to the N.E. Orders
were rapidly given to the men. The “ailes” or
studding sails brought down & the square sails
hauled close to the wind. We are now running
along finely. The mate came out of his state
room this morning in a very picturesque cos-
tume. He wore a round yellow sou’wester, blue
frock, white duck trousers & long boots reaching
above his knees & with his ferocious beard &
moustache, presented quite a picture. I put on
his great yellow “capote” & went on deck. His
spirits seemed in no-wise affected by
the weather, but he went trudging back &
forth, on the “dunnette” or quarter-deck, accomoda-
ting his gait to the roll of the vessel sing-
ing merrily – Last night he performed a very
interesting trick with cards. Throwing out the [sevens]
& all below, he took them all together & af[ter]
allowing them to be cut several times, he took off
the four from the bottom & then told every
remaining card. The mode wa consisted in
associating a each card with certain words.
He afterwards told my fortune, as follows.
He said that I was paying my devoirs to
a married lady of dark appearance, & that
a blonde lady who was unmarried, & w[ho]
came often to my house was jealous of
her, also that I was shortly to be made
fortunate by a present of money.
(to be continued…)

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