THE COLCHESTER CLUB CHANGES ITZ NAME
“What in the world are you doing
over here, fellows?” asked Dory Dornwood, as
the four passengers of the Missisquoi tumbled in over
the stern of the Goldwing.
“And what under the breezes
of Lake Champlain are you doing in this boat?”
shouted Thad Glovering, who was the first to get a
footing in the standing-room of the Goldwing.
“What boat is it?” asked Nat Long in a
“What are you going to do with her, Dory?”
demanded Dick Short.
“Can’t you take us over to Burlington
in her?” queried Corny Minkfield.
“How many questions do you think
I can answer at once, fellows?” replied Dory.
“I am going over to Burlington as soon as the
weather is fit; and you can go with me if you like.”
“All right, Dory! Hurrah
for Dory Dornwood! You are all right, and so
are we: only we are half starved, for we haven’t
had any breakfast this morning,” said Thad Glovering.
It must be confessed that the party
that arrived in the Missisquoi were not very promising-looking
boys. They had a wild, harum-scarum appearance
and manner, which fully justified the description Captain
Vesey had given of them. In a word, they were
evidently wild boys; and in this respect they did
not differ much from Dory himself.
They are the boat-builders whose exploits
and achievements are to be recorded, and they may
as well be introduced at this as at any other time.
Thad Glovering was an orphan, who lived with his uncle.
As this relative had several children of his own,
the added one was a burden to him, for he had but
small wages. Thad declared that he was willing
to work; but up to this time nothing had been found
for him to do. The worst that could be said of
him was that he was wild.
Nat Long’s father was a deck-hand
on a steamer; and, as he was away most of the time,
Nat was permitted to have his own way. His mother
was dead; and his older sister, who had the care of
the family, found herself unable to control him.
He was not a confirmed bad boy, and had worked for
a year in one place, and done very well. A change
in the business had thrown him out of work, and he
had been unable to find another situation. Idleness
led him into mischief; and, without some kind of control,
it was only a question of time when he got into the
hands of the law for some crime.
Dick Short and Corny Minkfield were
the sons of widows, both of whom had some property.
Their mothers were able to support them without work;
but work was the one thing they needed, whether it
was with the head or the hands.
These five boys lived near together,
and they had been cronies from their earliest school-days.
Two of them were usually well dressed; and the others
were somewhat ragged, and considerably patched, showing
the efforts of their protectors to keep them decent.
They had all been to school up to the present time,
and now it was vacation; and the next thing to be
decided by their friends was what should be done with
them. Dick and Corny were to go to the high school;
but the others must go to work, and earn their own
living,-do something for the support of
Dory had gone to work before the school
closed for the summer, and all the boys talked as
though they intended to do something. But they
did not feel like going to work in vacation time.
They had always had great larks on the lake when school
did not keep, and they were not disposed to dispense
with the good time the present year.
It could not be said that one of these
boys was really bad. But they kept all kinds
of company; and, in the absence of any strong controlling
force, they were in great danger of becoming “hard
boys.” Sometimes they assisted about the
steamers and other vessels; and, by making themselves
useful, they obtained the privilege of sailing on the
lake. Their associations were not always of the
best character. They were all “smart boys;”
and wise and steady people who knew them wished they
might be put to some useful labor, or be subjected
to some salutary control. Mrs. Short and Mrs.
Minkfield had both been warned of the peril of their
sons; and both had considered the means of redeeming
them from the bad company into which their habits
threw them. But they had not done any thing beyond
reasoning with the boys, who always promised to mend
Assisted by his four cronies, Dory
Dornwood had built a sort of bateau, a flat-bottomed
craft, in which they used to row about the lake near
the shore. It was a rude boat; for the young
boat-builders had few tools, and very inferior lumber
for the construction of the bateau. But it would
carry them all, and Dory was the captain of the craft.
She was called the Colchester; and the boys formed
a club for aquatic sports, to which they gave the
name of the boat.
Doubtless the Colchester Club gave
a great deal of satisfaction to its members.
Unfortunately the Colchester broke adrift in a September
squall, and went to pieces on Colchester Reef, as reported
by the light-keeper. No other boat could be obtained;
but the members all said that as soon as they got
to work they should give a portion of their earnings
for the purchase of a suitable craft for the association.
Up to this time they had not gone to work, and the
successor of the Colchester did not appear.
Dory proceeded to answer the questions
of his fellow-members of the Colchester Club.
The boat in which they found him belonged to him; and
this was the most astounding statement he made in the
course of the interview. They opened their eyes,
and stared at Captain Dory, as they called him, in
silent wonder. Then they looked the boat over
with renewed interest, and seemed to be unable to
believe the statement of their companion.
“The Colchester Club shall have
the use of her when I am on board,” added Dory
“That’s handsome; and
we shall have the biggest kind of times,” added
Thad Glovering. “I’ll tell you what
we’ll do, fellows. We will change the name
of the club, and call it after this boat. What
is her name, Dory?”
“You will find it on the stern,
and also on the bowsprit,” replied the skipper
of the Goldwing. “It isn’t a bad name
Two of the members of the club looked
over the stern, and two others rushed to the bow.
The name was of the utmost consequence, and Dory thought
it was better for them to read it for themselves than
for him to tell it. Besides, there was a good
deal of style in the way the name was put on in the
“Goldwing!” shouted Corny
Minkfield, who was the first to read the name on the
stern. “And there is a gold wing under it.”
“Goldwing!” repeated Dick
Short, as he read the name on the heel of the bowsprit.
“And there is a gold wing here too.”
“Isn’t that a splendid
name for a boat! Goldwing!” exclaimed Nat
Long. “I don’t think you could find
any thing better than that if you should study for
“Or any thing better for a club,”
added Thad Glovering. “The Goldwing Club!
How do you think that sounds, fellows?”
“I don’t believe any thing
could sound any better,” added Dick Short.
“But we haven’t looked the boat over yet.”
All hands proceeded to attend to this
duty at once. The Colchester had been a rough,
flat-bottomed craft, with neither shape nor comeliness
about her. Whatever first-class sailboats the
members of the club had seen had been only at a distance;
and consequently their ideal of beauty, symmetry,
comfort, and convenience in a boat was not very high.
The Goldwing was perfection itself to them, though
it might not have been to more experienced observers.
They were ecstatic in their praises of the Goldwing,
and did not believe there was a finer sailboat on the
lake than she was.
“You don’t mean to say
that you own this craft, Dory Dornwood!” said
Thad when the party had exhausted their vocabulary
of fine words applicable to a beautiful sailboat.
“I have said it once, and I
will say it again if it will do any good,” replied
Dory. “The Goldwing is mine, and she don’t
belong to anybody else. You can go the last cent
you’ve got on that.”
“Get out, Dory!” exclaimed
Dick Short, punching the skipper in the ribs.
“You are selling us too cheap, Dory.”
“I’m not selling you at
all!” protested Dory. “I wouldn’t
take twenty-five cents apiece for you, though that
would make a dollar.”
“You can’t expect us to
believe that you own such a magnificent boat as this,
Dory, unless you tell us where you got her,”
said Corny Minkfield very seriously.
“I can expect it, and I do expect
it,” added Dory, taking the auctioneer’s
receipt from his pocket. “I shall prove
to you that she is mine, and without saying another
Dory handed the receipt to Corny,
and said nothing more. The sceptic read the paper
out loud, and of course that settled the question.
There was no room for a doubt after the reading of
“Forty-two dollars!” exclaimed
Corny, as he handed the receipt back to the skipper.
“Judging by the cost of the Letitia, she ought
to be worth four or five hundred dollars.”
“Forty-two dollars is nothing
for a boat like this,” added Dick Short, whose
mother was worth money, and therefore he had less respect
for forty-two dollars than most of the other members.
“But where did you get the forty-two
dollars?” asked Thad, who had hardly ever possessed
even half a dime at one time.
“Haven’t I proved that
the Goldwing is mine?” demanded Dory rather
warmly; for he did not want his fellow-members of the
Goldwing Club skirmishing about in the region of the
great secret of his lifetime. “All I have
to say about it is, that I came honestly by the money,
and I don’t want any more questions asked.”
Dory Dornwood, though he was rather
wild, scorned to invent a lie to explain where the
money came from, as perhaps some of his companions
might have done under similar circumstances.
The other members of the Goldwing
Club looked at one another; and Nat Long winked at
Corny Minkfield, as much as to say “There is
a cat in the meal somewhere.” After the
imperative warning from the skipper that nothing more
was to be said about the forty-two dollars, no more
questions were asked; but it was evident that the members
all kept up a tremendous thinking on the subject.
But even this matter became stale in a few minutes
in the excitement of the hour.
“Forty-two dollars is dirt cheap
for a boat like the Goldwing,” said Dory, breaking
the silence. “I have no doubt she cost four
or five hundred dollars; but I ought to tell you that
she has a bad name.”
“A bad name! The Goldwing?”
exclaimed Thad; and all of the party seemed to think
it quite impossible that such a splendid boat as the
Goldwing could have any thing but a first-class reputation.
“She drowned the man that owned
her. She upset, and then went to the bottom.
Now, if any of you want to go on shore, you can.”
The members of the Goldwing Club looked
aghast at one another.