You have her thought out to the last ring, block, and halyard, Humphrey would say,
and you never even knew if you could build her. What a dreamer you are!
It takes dreaming to keep a man at his work, Jonathan would answer. How do you think I would have had the patience, all these years,
to drive wooden pins into cross timbers, or to mend the riggings of slow-going coastwise vessels
if I had not been thinking of just such a ship as this, and seen her, in my mind's eye, putting to sea under full sail,
to smash every sailing record that has been known?
The day of the launching came, then the stepping of the giant masts, the completing of the rigging, and the bending of the new sails.
It began to come to Humphrey's ears that sailors and wharfmen and even some naval officers
were all saying that the new ship, the West Wind, would never stand a storm.
They are the kind of men, Humphrey scoffed, who would be sailing vessels like Noah's Ark,
if such people as Jonathan Adams did not have the courage, sometimes, to build something new.
No, the West Wind is going to teach all the shipmasters something they never knew before, once she clears the harbor for Gibraltar.
It is probably only a short paragraph in your history book that tells you how, a little more than a hundred years ago,
the seas swarmed with pirates whose home ports were the North African cities of Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis.
The great nations of Europe and, with them, the young United States,
used to buy safety from these lawless Barbary States by sending them gifts and tribute.
But when, finally, the ruler of Tripoli sent word to our President that his last gift was not large enough and that more gold must be sent,
the answer was a fleet of American warships that bombarded the astonished monarch's seaports.