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whole of the ship’s starboard side being completely encumbered with wreck; and there was far too much sea to permit of our running alongside to windward.

I took a careful glance at the gear aloft, and then made up my mind what to do.

The ship's fore-yard was lying nearly square, the yard-arms projecting several feet beyond the ship's sides, and I decided to board, by means of the fore-brace, to windward.

I hailed the young girl, telling her what to do to assist me, and then set about making preparations for leaving the Water Lily in Bob's sole charge for a while.

We took a double reef in the mainsail, and took the jib in altogether, running in the jib-boom also. This placed the craft under handy canvas for one man to work, and, at the same time, prevented the possibility of the jib-boom being carried away.

We also got our cork-fenders upon deck, in case of unavoidably dropping alongside, and were then ready to make the proposed experiment.

The young girl had, meantime, made the lee

fore-brace fast, and had then gone over to windward and cast off the running part of the weatherbrace, which she threw overboard.

I now hailed again, telling her what we were about to do, and then signed to Bob to put the

helm up.

The cutter fell off until she was dead before the wind, when we gibed her and hauled again to the wind on the starboard tack, so as to cross the ship’s stern at a sufficient distance to insure the success of our contemplated manœuvre.

Bob was a splendid helmsman, cr I should have hesitated about attempting the feat we were now going to put in practice, as the slightest nervousness or want of tact on his part would have resulted in very serious damage to the Lily, if it did not actually cause her total destruction. But I had full confidence in his skill ; and, moreover, was there not a woman to be rescued from a position which might at any moment become one of the most imminent peril, even if it were not so already?

So, as soon as we were far enough to windward, I signed to Bob to put down the helm, and round the little craft came like a top, and away we flew down towards the ship's weather-side, going well free, but with the sheets flattened in, all ready to luff and claw off to windward the moment I had got hold of the brace.

Down we swept direct for the ship's weatherquarter, the fair girl standing again upon the poop and watching our motions with the most overwhelming anxiety.

At exactly the right instant, Bob eased his helm gently down, and the cutter shot along the ship's lofty side within ten feet of it. I stood just forward of the rigging, ready to seize the brace the moment it came within reach, and in another instant I had it.

Shouting to Bob to luff, I swung myself off into the air, and made the best of my way aloft hand over hand.

It had been my original intention to ascend to the yard-arm, and, laying in from thence, descend the fore-rigging to the deck; but, pausing for a moment, in my anxiety to see whether Bob would scrape clear—which he very cleverly did, having kept good way on the boat-I found that, aided by the roll of the vessel, I might easily swing myself in upon her rail.

This I soon managed, landing upon the deck to find myself confronted by the most lovely little creature you can imagine, who extended both her hands impulsively to me as she exclaimed :

“Oh, welcome, sir, welcome! and a thousand thousand thanks for coming to my help! and at such danger too!

How can

I ever repay



“I am more than repaid already,” replied I, “ for the very slight trouble I have taken, by the happiness of finding it in my power rescue you from your present situation. The first thing to be done,” I continued, “is to provide for the safety of my little craft, after which we shall have ample time, I hope, to make suitable arrangements for transferring you on board her. Ah! a lucky thought,” continued I, as I saw the sounding-rod and line attached to the fiferail, “let us see what water the craft has in


I sounded, and found there was barely two feet of water in the hold, so it was evident


that the vessel was perfectly tight and seaworthy, except as to the damage aloft.

Bob had by this time passed ahead and to leeward, and was now approaching on our lee quarter once

I waited until he was within hail, and then told him to heave-to well clear of the ship, as I proposed to cut adrift all the wreck, a task which I thought I could manage without very much difficulty, and which when done would enable the Water Lily to come alongside to leeward.

He waved his hand in reply, and the foresheet being already to windward, he left the cutter to take care of herself, while he seated himself composedly in a deck-chair to smoke his pipe and watch my proceedings.

I soon found a tomahawk, and, armed with this, I went up the mizzen-rigging, intending to work my way forward. It was hard work single-handed; but by noon I had succeeded in clearing the whole mass away, and the ship soon drifted free of it, leaving her upper spars a confused floating mass upon the water.

As soon as this was done, I got an eight

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