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Lost in the Fog by James De Mille

Part 2 out of 5

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"Wal, not much, to tell the truth. Thar's no use of buo-oyin of
ourselves up with false hopes; not a mite. Thar's a better chance
of his bein picked up. That thar's likely now, an not unnatooral.
Let's all don't give up. If thar's no fog outside, I'd say his
chances air good."

"But it may be foggy."

"Then, in that case, he'll have to drift a while--sure."

"Then there's no hope."

"Hope? Who's a sayin thar's no hope? Why, look here; he's got
provisions on board, an needn't starve; so if he does float for a
day or two, whar's the harm? He's sure to be picked up

At this moment their conversation was interrupted by a loud call
from the promontory. It was the voice of Bruce.

While these events had been taking place on board the schooner,
Bruce and Bart had been ashore. At first they had waited patiently
for the return of the boat, but finally they wondered at her delay.
They had called, but the schooner was too far off to hear them.
Then they waited for what seemed to them an unreasonably long time,
wondering what kept the boat, until at length Bruce determined to
try and get nearer. Burt was to stay behind in case the boat
should come ashore in his absence. With this in view he had walked
down the promontory until he had reached the extreme point, and
there he found himself within easy hail of the Antelope.

"Schooner ahoy!" he cried.

"A-ho-o-o-o-y!" cried Captain Corbet.

"Why don't you come and take us off?" he cried.

After this there was silence for some time. At last Captain Corbet
shouted out,--

"The boat's lost."


"The boat's adrift."

Captain Corbet said nothing about Tom, from a desire to spare him
for the present. So Bruce thought that the empty boat had drifted
off, and as he had been prepared to hear of some accident, he was
not much surprised.

But he was not to remain long in ignorance. In a few moments he
heard Arthur's voice.



"The boat's gone."

"All right."


"What!" shouted Bruce.


At this appalling intelligence Bruce's heart seemed to stop beating.

"How long?" he dried, after a pause.

"Half an hour," cried Arthur.

"Why don't you go after him?" cried Bruce again.

"We're aground," cried Arthur.

The whole situation was now explained, and Bruce was filled with
his own share of that dismay which prevailed on board of the
schooner; for a long time nothing more was said. At length
Arthur's voice sounded again.



"Get a boat, and come aboard as soon as you can after the tide

"All right. How early will the tide suit?"

"Eight o'clock."

"Not before?"


After this nothing more was said. Bruce could see for himself that
the tide was falling, and that he would have to wait for the
returning tide before a boat could be launched. He waited for some
time, full of despair, and hesitating to return to Bart with his
mournful intelligence. At length he turned, and walked slowly back
to his friend.

"Well, Bruce?" asked Bart, who by this time was sure that some
accident had happened.

"The boat's adrift."

"The boat!"

"Yes; and what's worse, poor Tom!"

"Tom!" cried Bart, in a horror of apprehension.

"Yes, Tom's adrift in her."

At this Bart said not a word, but stood for some time staring at
Bruce in utter dismay.

A few words served to explain to Bart the situation of the
schooner, and the need of getting a boat.

"Well," said Bart, "we'd better see about it at once. It's eleven
o'clock, but we'll find some people up; if not, we'll knock them

And with these words the two lads walked up from the river bank.

On reaching the houses attached to the shipyard, they found that
most of the people were up. There was a good deal of singing and
laughter going on, which the boys interpreted to arise from a
desire to celebrate the launching of the ship. They went first to
Mrs. Watson's house, where they found that good lady up. She
listened to their story with undisguised uneasiness, and afterwards
called in a number of men, to whom she told the sad news. These
men listened to it with very serious faces.

"It's no joke," said one, shaking his head. The others said
nothing, but their faces spoke volumes.

"What had we better do?" asked Bruce.

"Of course ye'll be off as soon as ye can get off," said one.

"The lad might have a chance," said another. "The return tide may
drift him back, but he may be carried too far down for that."

"He'll be carried below Cape Chignecto unless he gets to the land,"
said another.

"Isn't there a chance that he'll be picked up?" asked Bart.

The man to whom he spoke shook his head.

"There's a deal of fog in the bay this night," said he.

"Fog? Why, it's clear enough here."

"So it is; but this place and the Bay of Fundy are two different

"A regular sou-wester out there," said another man.

"An a pooty heavy sea by this time," said another.

And in this way they all contributed to increase the anxiety of the
two boys, until at last scarce a ray of hope was left.

"You'd better prepare yourselves for the worst," said one of the
men. "If he had an oar he would be all right; but, as it is--well,
I don't care about sayin what I think."

"O, you're all too despondent," said Mrs. Watson. "What is the use
of looking on the dark side? Come, Bart, cheer up. I'll look on
the bright side. Hope for the best. Set out on the search with
hope, and a good heart. I'm confident that he will be safe. You
will pick him up yourselves, or else you will hear of his escape
somewhere. I remember two men, a few years ago, that went adrift
and were saved."

"Ay," said one of the men, "I mind that well. They were Tom
Furlong and Jim Spencer. But that there boat was a good-sized
fishing boat; an such a boat as that might ride out a gale."

"Nonsense," said Mrs. Watson. "You're all a set of confirmed
croakers. Why, Bart, you've read enough shipwreck books to know
that little boats have floated in safety for hundreds of miles. So
hope for the best; don't be down-hearted. I'll send two or three
men down now to get the boat ready for you. You can't do anything
till the morning, you know. Won't you stay here? You had better
go to bed at once."

But Bart and Bruce could not think of bed.

"Well, come back any time, and a bed will be ready for you," said
Mrs. Watson. "If you want to see about the boat now, the men are
ready to go with you."

With those words she led the way out to the kitchen, where a couple
of men were waiting. Bart and Bruce followed them down to a boat-
house on the river bank, and saw the boat there which Mrs. Watson
had offered them. This boat could be launched at any time, and as
there was nothing more to be done, the boys strolled disconsolately
about, and finally went to the end of the promontory, and spent a
long time looking out over the water, and conversing sadly about
poor Tom's chances.

There they sat late in the night, until midnight came, and so on
into the morning. At last the scene before them changed from a
sheet of water to a broad expanse of mud. The water had all
retired, leaving the bed of the river exposed.

Of all the rivers that flow into the Bay of Fundy none is more
remarkable than the Petitcodiac. At high tide it is full--a mighty
stream; at low tide it is empty--a channel of mud forty miles long;
and the intervening periods are marked by the furious flow of
ascending or descending waters.

And now, as the boys sat there looking out upon the expanse of mud
before them, they became aware of a dull, low, booming sound, that
came up from a far distant point, and seemed like the voice of many
waters sounding from the storm-vexed bay outside. There was no
moon, but the light was sufficient to enable them to see the
exposed riverbed, far over to the shadowy outline of the opposite
shore. Here, where in the morning a mighty ship had floated,
nothing could now float; but the noise that broke upon their ears
told them of the return of the waters that now were about to pour
onward with resistless might into the empty channel, and send
successive waves far along into the heart of the land.

"What is that noise?" asked Bruce. "It grows louder and louder."

"That," said bart, "is the Bore of the Petitcodiac."

"Have you ever seen it?"

"Never. I've heard of it often, but have never seen it."

But their words were interrupted now by the deepening thunder of
the approaching waters. Towards the quarter whence the sound arose
they turned their heads involuntarily. At first they could see
nothing through the gloom of night; but at length, as they strained
their eyes looking down the river, they saw in the distance a
faint, white, phosphorescent gleam, and as it appeared the roar
grew louder, and rounder, and more all-pervading. On it came,
carrying with it the hoarse cadence of some vast surf flung ashore
from the workings of a distant storm, or the thunder of some mighty
cataract tumbling over a rocky precipice.

And now, as they looked, the white, phosphorescent glow grew
brighter, and then whiter, like snow; every minute it approached
nearer, until at last, full before them and beneath them, there
rolled a giant wave, extending across the bed of the river,
crescent-shaped, with its convex side advancing forwards, and its
ends following after within short distance from the shore. The
great wave rolled on, one mass of snow-white foam, behind which
gleamed a broad line of phosphorescent lustre from the agitated
waters, which, in the gloom of night, had a certain baleful
radiance. As it passed on its path, the roar came up more
majestically from the foremost wave; and behind that came the roar
of other billows that followed in its wake. By daylight the scene
would have been grand and impressive; but now, amid the gloom, the
grandeur became indescribable. The force of those mighty waters
seemed indeed resistless, and it was with a feeling of relief that
the boys reflected that the schooner was out of the reach of its
sweep. Its passage was swift, and soon it had passed beyond them;
and afar up the river, long after it had passed from sight, they
heard the distant thunder of its mighty march.

By the time the wave had passed, the boys found themselves
excessively weary with their long wakefulness.

"Bart, my boy," said Bruce, "we must get some rest, or we won't be
worth anything to-morrow. What do you say? Shall we go back to
Mrs. Watson's?"

"It's too late--isn't it?"

"Well, it's pretty late, no doubt. I dare say it's half past two;
but that's all the more reason why we should go to bed."


"What do you say? Do you think we had better disturb Mrs. Watson,
or not?"

"O, no; let's go into the barn, and lie down in the hay."

"Very well. Hay makes a capital bed. For my part, I could sleep
on stones."

"So could I."

"I'm determined to hope for the best about Tom," said Bruce, rising
and walking off, followed by Bart. "Mrs. Watson was right.
There's no use letting ourselves be downcast by a lot of croakers--
is there?"

"No," said Bart.

The boys then walked on, and in a few minutes reached the ship-

Here a man came up to them.

"We've been looking for you everywhere," said the man. "Mrs.
Watson is anxious about you."

"Mrs. Watson?"

"Yes. She won't go to bed till you get back to the house. There's
another man out for you, up the river."

"O, I'm sorry we have given you all so much trouble," said Bart;
"but we didn't think that anybody would bother themselves about

"Well, you don't know Mrs. Watson that's all," said the man,
walking along with them. "She's been a worrytin herself to death
about you; and the sooner she sees you, the better for her and for

On reaching the house the boys were received by Mrs. Watson. One
look at her was enough to show them that the man's account of her
was true. Her face was pale, her manner was agitated, and her
voice trembled as she spoke to them, and asked them where they had

Bart expressed sorrow at having been the cause of so much trouble,
and assured her he thought that she had gone to bed.

"No," said she; "I've been too excited and agitated about your
friend and about you. But I'm glad that you've been found; and as
it's too late to talk now, you had better go to bed, and try to

With these words she gently urged them to their bedroom; and the
boys, utterly worn out, did not attempt to withstand her. They
went to bed, and scarcely had their heads touched the pillows
before they were fast asleep.

Meanwhile the boys on board the Antelope had been no less anxious;
and, unable to sleep, they had talked solemnly with each other over
the possible fate of poor Tom. Chafing from their forced inaction,
they looked impatiently upon the ebbing water, which was leaving
them aground, when they were longing to be floating on its bosom
after their friend, and could scarcely endure the thought of the
suspense to which they would be condemned while waiting for the
following morning.

Captain Corbet also was no less anxious, though much less agitated.
He acknowledged, with pain, that it was all his fault, but,
appealed to all the boys, one by one, asking them how he should
know that the rope was rotten. He informed them that the rope was
an old favorite of his, and that he would have willingly risked his
life on it. He blamed himself chiefly, however, for not staying in
the boat himself, instead of leaving Tom in it. To all his remarks
the boys said but little, and contented themselves with putting
questions to him about the coast, the tides, the wind, the
currents, and the fog.

The boys on board went to sleep about one o'clock, and waked at
sunrise. Then they watched the shore wistfully, and wondered why
Bart and Bruce did not make their appearance. But Bart and Bruce,
worn out by their long watch, did not wake till nearly eight
o'clock. Then they hastily dressed themselves, and after a very
hurried breakfast they bade good by to good Mrs. Watson.

"I shall be dreadfully anxious about that poor boy," said she,
sadly. "Promise me to telegraph as soon as you can about the

Bart promised.

Then they hurried down to the beach. The tide was yet a
considerable distance out; but a half dozen stout fellows, whose
sympathies were fully enlisted in their favor, shoved the boat down
over the mud, and launched her.

Then Bart and Bruce took the oars, and soon reached the schooner,
where the boys awaited their arrival in mournful silence.


Tom adrift.--The receding Shores.--The Paddle.--The Roar of Surf--
The Fog Horn.--The Thunder of the unseen Breakers.--A Horror of
great Darkness.--Adrift in Fog and Night.

When the boat in which Tom was darted down the stream, he at first
felt paralyzed by utter terror; but at length rousing himself, he
looked around. As the boat drifted on, his first impulse was to
stop it; and in order to do this it was necessary to find an oar.
The oar which Captain Corbet had used to scull the boat to the
schooner had been thrown on board of the latter, so that the
contents of the boat might be passed up the more conveniently. Tom
knew this, but he thought that there might be another oar on board.
A brief examination sufficed to show him that there was nothing of
the kind. A few loose articles lay at the bottom; over these was
the sail which Captain Corbet had bought in the ship-yard, and on
this was the box of pilot-bread. That was all. There was not a
sign of an oar, or a board, or anything of the kind.

No sooner had he found out this than he tried to tear off one of
the seats of the boat, in the hope of using this as a paddle. But
the seats were too firmly fixed to be loosened by his hands, and,
after a few frantic but ineffectual efforts, he gave up the

But he could not so quickly give up his efforts to save himself.
There was the box of biscuit yet. Taking his knife from his
pocket, he succeeded in detaching the cover of the box, and then,
using this as a paddle, he sought with frantic efforts to force the
boat nearer to the shore. But the tide was running very swiftly,
and the cover was only a small bit of board, so that his efforts
seemed to have but little result. He did indeed succeed in turning
the boat's head around; but this act, which was not accomplished
without the severest labor, did not seem to bring her nearer to the
shore to any perceptible extent. What he sought to do was to
achieve some definite motion to the boat, which might drag her out
of the grasp of the swift current; but that was the very thing
which he could not do, for so strong was that grasp, and so swift
was that current, that even an oar would have scarcely accomplished
what he wished. The bit of board, small, and thin, and frail, and
wielded with great difficulty and at a fearful disadvantage, was
almost useless.

But, though he saw that he was accomplishing little or nothing, he
could not bring himself to give up this work. It seemed his only
hope; and so he labored on, sometimes working with both hands at
the board, sometimes plying his frail paddle with one hand, and
using the other hand at a vain endeavor to paddle in the water. In
his desperation he kept on, and thought that if he gained ever so
little, still, by keeping hard at work, the little that he gained
might finally tell upon the direction of the boat--at any rate, so
long as it might be in the river. He knew that the river ran for
some miles yet, and that some time still remained before he would
reach the bay.

Thus Tom toiled on, half despairing, and nearly fainting with his
frenzied exertion, yet still refusing to give up, but plying his
frail paddle until his nerveless arms seemed like weights of lead,
and could scarce carry the board through the water. But the
result, which at the outset, and in the very freshness of his
strength, had been but trifling, grew less and less against the
advance of his own weakness and the force of that tremendous tide,
until at last his feeble exertions ceased to have any appreciable
effect whatever.

There was no moon, but it was light enough for him to see the
shores--to see that he was in the very centre of that rapid
current, and to perceive that he was being borne past those dim
shores with fearful velocity. The sight filled him with despair,
but his arms gained a fresh energy, from time to time, out of the
very desperation of his soul. He was one of those natures which
are too obstinate to give up even in the presence of despair
itself; and which, even when hope is dead, still forces hope to
linger, and struggles on while a particle of life or of strength
remains. So, as he toiled on, and fought on, against this fate
which had suddenly fixed itself upon him, he saw the shores on
either side recede, and knew that every passing moment was bearing
him on to a wide, a cruel, and a perilous sea. He took one hasty
glance behind him, and saw what he knew to be the mouth of the
river close at hand; and beyond this a waste of waters was hidden
in the gloom of night. The sight lent new energy to his fainting
limbs. He called aloud for help. Shriek after shriek burst from
him, and rang wildly, piercingly, thrillingly upon the air of
night. But those despairing shrieks came to no human ear, and met
with no response. They died away upon the wind and the waters; and
the fierce tide, with swifter flow, bore him onward.

The last headland swept past him; the river and the river bank were
now lost to him. Around him the expanse of water grew darker, and
broader, and more terrible. Above him the stars glimmered more
faintly from the sky. But the very habit of exertion still
remained, and his faint plunges still dipped the little board into
the water; and a vague idea of saving himself was still uppermost
in his mind. Deep down in that stout heart of his was a desperate
resolution never to give up while strength lasted; and well he
sustained that determination. Over him the mist came floating,
borne along by the wind which sighed around him; and that mist
gradually overspread the scene upon which his straining eyes were
fastened. It shut out the overhanging sky. It extinguished the
glimmering stars. It threw a veil over the receding shores. It
drew its folds around him closer and closer, until at last
everything was hidden from view. Closer and still closer came the
mist, and thicker and ever thicker grew its dense folds, until at
last even the water, into which he still thrust his frail paddle,
was invisible. At length his strength failed utterly. His hands
refused any longer to perform their duty. The strong, indomitable
will remained, but the power of performing the dictates of that
will was gone. He fell back upon the sail that lay in the bottom
of the boat, and the board fell from his hands.

And now there gathered around the prostrate figure of the lost boy
all the terrors of thickest darkness. The fog came, together with
the night, shrouding all things from view, and he was floating over
a wide sea, with an impenetrable wall of thickest darkness closing
him in on all sides.

As he thus lay there helpless, he had leisure to reflect for the
first time upon the full bitterness of his situation. Adrift in
the fog, and in the night, and borne onward swiftly down into the
Bay of Fundy--that was his position. And what could he do? That
was the one question which he could not answer. Giving way now to
the rush of despair, he lay for some time motionless, feeling the
rocking of the waves, and the breath of the wind, and the chill
damp of the fog, yet unable to do anything against these enemies.
For nearly an hour he lay thus inactive, and at the end of that
time his lost energies began to return. He rose and looked around.
The scene had not changed at all; in fact, there was no scene to
change. There was nothing but black darkness all around. Suddenly
something knocked against the boat. He reached out his hand, and
touched a piece of wood, which the next instant slipped from his
grasp. But the disappointment was not without its alleviation, for
he thought that he might come across some bits of drift wood, with
which he could do something, perhaps, for his escape. And so
buoyant was his soul, and so obstinate his courage, that this
little incident of itself served to revive his faculties. He went
to the stern of the boat, and sitting there, he tried to think upon
what might be best to be done.

What could be done in such a situation? He could swim, but of what
avail was that? In what direction could he swim, or what progress
could he make, with such a tide? As to paddling, he thought of
that no more; paddling was exhausted, and his board was useless.
Nothing remained, apparently, but inaction. Inaction was indeed
hard, and it was the worst condition in which he could be placed,
for in such a state the mind always preys upon itself; in such a
state trouble is always magnified, and the slow time passes more
slowly. Yet to this inaction he found himself doomed.

He floated on now for hours, motionless and filled with despair,
listening to the dash of the waves, which were the only sounds that
came to his ears. And so it came to pass, in process of time, that
by incessant attention to these monotonous sounds, they ceased to
be altogether monotonous, but seemed to assume various cadences and
intonations. His sharpened ears learned at last to distinguish
between the dash of large waves and the plash of small ones, the
sighing of the wind, the pressure of the waters against the boat's
bows, and the ripple of eddies under its stern. Worn out by
excitement and fatigue, he lay motionless, listening to sounds like
these, and taking in them a mournful interest, when suddenly, in
the midst of them, his ears caught a different cadence. It was a
long, measured sound, not an unfamiliar one, but one which he had
often heard--the gathering sound which breaks out, rising and
accumulating upon the ear, as the long line of surf falls upon some
rocky shore. He knew at once what this was, and understood by it
that he was near some shore; but what shore it might be he could
not know. The sound came up from his right, and therefore might be
the New Brunswick coast, if the boat had preserved its proper
position. But the position of the boat had been constantly
changing as she drifted along, so that it was impossible to tell
whether he was drifting stern foremost or bow foremost. The water
moved as the boat moved, and there was no means by which to judge.
He listened to the surf, therefore, but made no attempt to draw
nearer to it. He now knew perfectly well that with his present
resources no efforts of his could avail anything, and that his only
course would be to wait. Besides, this shore, whatever it was,
must be very different, he thought, from the banks of the
Petitcodiac. It was, as he thought, an iron-bound shore. And the
surf which he heard broke in thunder a mile away, at the foot of
giant precipices, which could only offer death to the hapless
wretch who might be thrown among them. He lay, therefore,
inactive, listening to this rolling surf for hours. At first it
grew gradually louder, as though he was approaching it; but
afterwards it grew fainter quite as gradually, until at length it
could no longer be heard.

During all these lonely hours, one thing afforded a certain
consolation, and that was, the discovery that the sea did not grow
rougher. The wind that blew was the sou-wester, the dreaded wind
of fog and, storm; but on this occasion its strength was not put
forth; it blew but moderately, and the water was not very greatly
disturbed. The sea tossed the little boat, but was not high enough
to dash over her, or to endanger her in any way. None of its spray
ever came upon the recumbent form in the boat, nor did any moisture
come near him, save that which was deposited by the fog. At first,
in his terror, he had counted upon meeting a tempestuous sea; but,
as the hours passed, he saw that thus far there had been nothing of
the kind, and, if he were destined to be exposed to such a danger,
it lay as yet in the future. As long as the wind continued
moderate, so long would he toss over the little waves without being
endangered in any way. And thus, with all these thoughts,
sometimes depressing, at other times rather encouraging, he drifted

Hours passed away.

At length his fatigue overpowered him more and more, and as he sat
there in the stern, his eyes closed, and his head fell heavily
forward. He laid it upon the sail which was in front of him, so as
to get an easier position, and was just closing his eyes again,
when a sound came to his ears which in an instant drove every
thought of sleep and of fatigue away, and made him start up and
listen with intense eagerness.

It was the sound of a fog horn, such as is used by coasting
vessels, and blown during a fog, at intervals, to give warning of
their presence. The sound was a familiar one to a boy who had been
brought up on the fog-encircled and fish-haunted shores of
Newfoundland; and Tom's hearing, which had been almost hushed in
slumber, caught it at once. It was like the voice of a friend
calling to him. But for a moment he thought it was only a fancy,
or a dream, and he sat listening and quivering with excitement. He
waited and listened for some time, and was just about to conclude
that it was a dream, when suddenly it came again. There was no
mistake this time. It was a fog horn. Some schooner was sailing
these waters. O for day-light, and O for clear weather, so that he
might see it, and make himself seen! The sound, though clear, was
faint, and the schooner was evidently at a considerable distance;
but Tom, in his eagerness, did not think of that. He shouted with
all his strength. He waited for an answer, and then shouted again.
Once more he waited, and listened, and then again and again his
screams went forth over the water. But still no response came. At
last, after some interval, the fog horn again sounded. Again Tom
screamed, and yelled, and uttered every sound that could possibly
convey to human ears an idea of his presence, and of his distress.

The sounds of the fog horn, however, did not correspond with his
cries. It was blown at regular intervals, which seemed painfully
long to Tom, and did not seem to sound as if in answer to him. At
first his hope was sustained by the discovery that the sounds were
louder, and therefore nearer; but scarcely had he assured himself
of this, when he perceived that they were growing fainter again, as
though the schooner had approached him, and then sailed away. This
discovery only stimulated him to more frantic exertions. He yelled
more and more loudly, and was compelled, at last, to cease from
pure exhaustion. But even then he did not cease till long after
the last notes of the departing fog horn had faintly sounded in his

It was a disappointment bitter indeed, since it came after a
reviving hope. What made it all the worse was a fixed idea which
he had, that the schooner was no other than the Antelope. He felt
confident that she had come at once after him, and was now
traversing the waters in search of him, and sounding the horn so as
to send it to his ears and get his response. And his response had
been given with this result! This was the end of his hopes. He
could bear it no longer. The stout heart and the resolute
obstinacy which had so long struggled against fate now gave way
utterly. He buried his face in his hands, and burst into a passion
of tears.

He wept for a long time, and roused himself, at last, with
difficulty, to a dull despair. What was the use of hoping, or
thinking, or listening? Hope was useless. It was better to let
himself go wherever the waters might take him. He reached out his
hand and drew the sail forward, and then settling himself down in
the stern of the boat, he again shut his eyes and tried to sleep.
But sleep, which a short time before had been so easy, was now
difficult. His ears took in once more the different sounds of the
sea, and soon became aware of a deeper, drearer sound than any
which had hitherto come to him. It was the hoarse roar of a great
surf, far more formidable than the one which he had heard before.
The tumult and the din grew rapidly louder, and at length became
so terrific that he sat upright, and strained his eyes in the
direction from which it came. Peering thus through the darkness,
he saw the glow of phosphorescent waves wrought out of the strife
of many waters; and they threw towards him, amid the darkness, a
baleful gleam which fascinated his eyes. A feeling came to him now
that all was over. He felt, as though he were being sucked into
some vortex, where Death lay in wait for him. He trembled. A
prayer started to his lips, and burst from him. Suddenly his boat
seemed caught by some resistless force, and jerked to one side; the
next instant it rose on some swelling wave, and was shot swiftly
forward. Tom closed his eyes, and a thrill of horror passed
through every nerve. All at once a rude shock was felt, and the
boat shook, and Tom thought he was going down. It seemed like the
blow of a rock, and he could think only of the ingulfing waters.
But the waters hesitated to claim their prey; the rushing motion
ceased; and soon the boat was tossing lightly, as before, over the
waves, while the hoarse and thunderous roar of those dread unseen
breakers, from which he had been so wondrously saved, arose
wrathfully behind, as though they were howling after their escaped
victim. A cry of gratitude escaped Tom, and with trembling lips he
offered a heart-felt prayer to that divine Power whose mighty hand
had just rescued him from a terrible doom.

Tom's agitation had been so great that it was long before he could
regain his former calm. At last, however, his trembling subsided.
He heard no longer the howling surf. All was calm and quiet. The
wind ceased, the boat's motion was less violent, the long-resisted
slumber came once more to his eyes. Still his terror kept off
sleep, and as his eyes would close, they would every moment open
again, and he would start in terror and look around.

At length he saw that the darkness was less profound. Light was
coming, and that light was increasing. He could see the dark
waters, and the gloomy folds of the enclosing mist became apparent.
He gave a heavy sigh, partly of terror at the thought of all that
he had gone through, and partly of relief at the approach of light.

Well might he sigh, for this light was the dawn of a new day, and
showed him that he had been a whole night upon the waters.

And now he could no longer struggle against sleep. His eyes closed
for the last time. His head fell forward on the wet sail.

He was sound asleep.


Lost in the Fog.--The Shoal and its Rocks.--Is it a Reef?--The
Truth.--Hoisting Sail.--A forlorn Hope.--Wild Steering.--Where am
I?--Land, ho!

Tom slept for many hours; and when he at length awoke, he was
stiffened in every limb, and wet to the skin. It was his
constrained position and the heavy fog which had done this. He sat
up and looked around with a bewildered air; but it did not take a
long time for him to collect his wandering faculties, and arrive at
the full recollection of his situation. Gradually it all came
before him--the night of horror, the long drift, the frantic
struggles, the boom of the surf, the shrill, penetrating tone of
the fog horn, his own wild screams for help, the thunder of the
breakers, and the grasp of the giant wave; all these, and many
more, came back to his mind; and he was all too soon enabled to
connect his present situation with the desperate position of the
preceding night.

In spite of all these gloomy thoughts, which thus rushed in one
accumulated mass over his soul, his first impulse had nothing to do
with these things, but was concerned with something very different
from useless retrospect, and something far more essential. He
found himself ravenously hungry; and his one idea was to satisfy
the cravings of his appetite.

He thought at once of the box of biscuit.

The sail which he had pulled forward had very fortunately covered
it up, else the contents might have been somewhat damaged. As it
was, the upper edges of the biscuits, which had been exposed before
being covered by the sail, were somewhat damp and soft, but
otherwise they were not harmed; and Tom ate his frugal repast with
extreme relish. Satisfying his appetite had the natural effect of
cheering his spirits, and led him to reflect with thankfulness on
the very fortunate presence of that box of biscuit in the boat.
Had it not been for that, how terrible would his situation be! But
with that he could afford to entertain hope, and might reasonably
expect to endure the hardships of his situation. Strange to say,
he was not at all thirsty; which probably arose from the fact that
he was wet to the skin.

Immersing one's self in water is often resorted to by shipwrecked
mariners, when they cannot get a drink, and with successful
results. As for Tom, his whole night had been one long bath, in
which he had been exposed to the penetrating effects of the sea air
and the fog.

He had no idea whatever of the time. The sun could not be seen,
and so thick was the fog that he could not even make out in what
part of the sky it might be. He had a general impression, however,
that it was midday; and this impression was not very much out of
the way. His breakfast refreshed him, and he learned now to attach
so much value to his box of biscuit, that his chief desire was to
save it from further injury. So he hunted about for the cover, and
finding it underneath the other end of the sail, he put it on the
box, and then covered it all up. In this position the precious
contents of the box were safe.

The hour of the day was a subject of uncertainty, and so was the
state of the tide. Whether he was drifting up or down the bay he
could not tell for certain. His recollection of the state of the
tide at Petitcodiac, was but vague. He reckoned, however, from the
ship launch of the preceding day, and then, allowing sufficient
time for the difference in the tide, he approximated to a correct
conclusion. If it were midday, he thought that the tide would be
about half way down on the ebb.

These thoughts, and acts, and calculations took up some time, and
he now began to look around him. Suddenly his eye caught sight of
something not far away, dimly visible through the mist. It looked
like a rock. A farther examination showed him that such was the
case. It was a rock, and he was drifting towards it. No sooner
had he ascertained this, than all his excitement once more
awakened. Trembling from head to foot at this sudden prospect of
escape, he started to his feet, and watched most eagerly the
progress of the boat. It was drifting nearer to the rock. Soon
another appeared, and then another. The rocks were black, and
covered with masses of sea-weed, as though they were submerged at
high tide. A little nearer, and he saw a gravelly strand lying
just beyond the rocks. His excitement grew stronger and stronger,
until at last it was quite uncontrollable. He began to fear that
he would drift past this place, into the deep water again. He
sprang into the bows, and grasping the rope in his hand, stood
ready to leap ashore. He saw that he was drawing nearer, and so
delayed for a while. Nearer he came and nearer. At length the
boat seemed to pass along by the gravelly beach, and move by it as
though it would go no nearer. This Tom could not endure. He
determined to wait no longer. He sprang.

He sank into the water up to his armpits, but he did not lose his
hold of the rope. Clutching this in a convulsive grasp, he
regained his foothold, which he had almost lost, and struggled
forward. For a few moments he made no headway, for the boat, at
the pressure of the current, pulled so hard that he could not drag
it nearer. A terrible fear came to him that the rope might break.
Fortunately it did not, and, after a short but violent struggle,
Tom conquered the resistance of the tide, and pulled the boat
slowly towards the shore. He then towed it near to the rocks,
dragged its bows up as far as he could, and fastened it securely.

Then he looked around.

A few rocks were near him, about six feet high, jutting out of the
gravel; and beyond these were others, which rose out of the water.
Most of them were covered with sea-weed. A few sticks of timber
were wedged in the interstices of the nearest rocks. As to the
rest, he saw only a rocky ledge of small extent, which was
surrounded by water. Beyond this nothing was visible but fog.

At first he had thought that this was a beach, but now he began to
doubt this. He walked all around, and went into the water on every
side, but found no signs of any neighboring shore. The place
seemed rather like some isolated ledge. But where was it, and how
far away was the shore? If he could only tell that! He stopped,
and listened intently; he walked all around, and listened more
intently still, in hopes of hearing the sound of some neighboring
surf. In vain. Nothing of the kind came to his ears. All was
still. The water was not rough, nor was there very much wind.
There was only a brisk breeze, which threw up light waves on the

After a time he noticed that the tide was going down, and the area
of the ledge was evidently enlarging. This inspired hope, for he
thought that perhaps some long shoal might be disclosed by the
retreating tide, which might communicate with the main land. For
this he now watched intently, and occupied himself with measuring
the distance from the rock where his boat was tied. Doing this
from time to time, he found that every little while the number of
paces between the rock and the water's edge increased. This
occupation made the time pass rapidly; and at last Tom found his
stopping-place extending over an area of about a hundred yards in
length, and half as many in breadth. The rocks at one end had
increased in apparent size, and in number; but the ledge itself
remained unchanged in its general character.

This, he saw, was its extreme limit, beyond which it did not
extend. There was no communication with any shore. There was no
more indication now of land than when he had first arrived. This
discovery was a gradual one. It had been heralded by many fears
and suspicions, so that at last, when it forced itself on his
convictions, he was not altogether unprepared. Still, the shock
was terrible, and once more poor Tom had to struggle with his
despair--a despair, too, that was all the more profound from the
hopes that he had been entertaining. He found, at length, in
addition to this, that the tide was rising, that it was advancing
towards his resting-place, and that it would, no doubt, overflow it
all before long. It had been half tide when he landed, and but a
little was uncovered; at full tide he saw that it would all be
covered up by the water,--sea weed, rocks, and all,--and concealed
from human eye.

In the midst of these painful discoveries there suddenly occurred
to him the true name and nature of this place.

Quaco Ledge!

That was the place which Captain Corbet had described. He recalled
now the full description. Here it lay before him; upon it he
stood; and he found that it corresponded in every respect with the
description that the captain had given. If this were indeed so,
and the description were true,--and he could not doubt this,--how
desperate his situation was, and how he had been deceived in his
false hopes! Far, far away was he from any shore!--in the middle
of the bay; on a place avoided by all--a place which he should shun
above all other places if he hoped for final escape!

And now he was as eager to quit this ill-omened place as he had
once been to reach it. The tide was yet low. He tried to push the
boat down, but could not. He saw that he would have to wait. So
he got inside the boat, and, sitting down, he waited patiently.
The time passed slowly, and Tom looked despairingly out over the
water. Something attracted his attention. It was a long pole,
which had struck against the edge of the shoal. He got out of the
boat, and, securing it, he walked back again. It was some waif
that had been drifting about till it was thus cast at his feet. He
thought of taking it for a mast, and making use of the sail. The
idea was an attractive one. He pulled the sail out, unfolded it,
and found it to be the jib of some schooner. He cut off one end of
this, and then with his knife began to make a hole in the seat for
his mast. It was very slow work, but he succeeded at last in doing
it, and inserted the pole. Then he fastened the sail to it. He
was rather ignorant of navigation, but he had a general idea of the
science, and thought he would learn by experience. By cutting off
the rope from the edge of the sail he obtained a sheet, and taking
off the cover of the biscuit box a second time, he put this aside
to use as a rudder.

But now, in what direction ought he to steer?

This was an insoluble problem. He could tell now by the flow of
the current the points of the compass, but could not tell in which
direction he ought to go. The New Brunswick coast he thought was
nearest, but he dreaded it. It seemed perilous and unapproachable.
He did not think much better of the Nova Scotia coast. He thought
rather of Cape d'Or, as a promising place of refuge, or the
Petitcodiac. So, after long deliberation, he decided on steering
back again, especially as the wind was blowing directly up the bay.

By the time that he had finished these preparations and deliberations
the boat was afloat. Eagerly Tom pushed it away from the shoal;
eagerly, and with trembling hands, he let the sail unfold, and
thrust the board into the water astern. The boat followed the
impulse of the wind, and the young sailor saw with delight that his
experiment was successful, and before long the dark rocks of Quaco
Ledge were lost to view.

Now, where there is a definite object to steer by, or a compass to
guide one, and a decent rudder, even an inexperienced hand can
manage to come somewhere near the point that he aims at. But take
a boat like Tom's, and a rude and suddenly extemporized sail, with
no other rudder than a bit of board, with no compass, and a
surrounding of thick fog, and it would puzzle even an experienced
sailor to guide himself aright. Tom soon suspected that his course
was rather a wild one; his board in particular became quite
unmanageable, and he was fatigued with trying to hold it in the
water. So he threw it aside, and boldly trusted to his sail alone.

The boat seemed to him to be making very respectable progress. The
wind was fresh, and the sea only moderate. The little waves beat
over the bows, and there was quite a commotion astern. Tom thought
he was doing very well, and heading as near as possible towards the
Petitcodiac. Besides, in his excitement at being thus saved from
mere blind drifting, he did not much care where he went, for he
felt assured that he was now on the way out of his difficulties.

In an hour or two after leaving the ledge it grew quite dark, and
Tom saw that it would be necessary to prepare for the night. His
preparations were simple, consisting in eating a half dozen
biscuit. He now began to feel a little thirsty, but manfully
struggled against this feeling. Gradually the darkness grew
deeper, until at last it assumed the intense character of the
preceding night. But still Tom sat up, and the boat went on. The
wind did not slacken, nor did the boat's progress cease. Hours
passed by in this way. As to the tides, Tom could not tell now
very well whether they were rising or falling, and, in fact, he was
quite indifferent, being satisfied fully with his progress. As
long as the wind distended his sail, and bore the boat onward, he
cared not whether the tide favored or opposed.

Hours passed, but such was Tom's excitement that he still bore up,
and thought nothing of rest or of sleep. His attention was needed,
too, and so he kept wide awake, and his ears were ever on the
stretch to hear the slightest sound. But at last the intense
excitement and the long fatigue began to overpower him. Still he
struggled against his weakness, and still he watched and listened.

Hours passed on, and the wind never ceased to fill the sail, and
the boat never ceased to go onward in a course of which Tom could
have no idea. It was a course totally different from the one which
be intended--a course which depended on the chance of the wind; and
one, too, which was varied by the sweep of the tide as it rose or
fell; but the course, such as it was, continued on, and Tom watched
and waited until, at last, from sheer exhaustion, he fell sound

His dreams were much disturbed, but he slept on soundly, and when
he awaked it was broad day. He looked around in deep disappointment.
Fog was everywhere, as before, and nothing could be seen. Whether
he was near any shore or not he could not tell. Suddenly he noticed
that the wind was blowing from an opposite direction. How to
account for this was at first a mystery, for the fog still
prevailed, and the opposite wind could not bring fog. Was it
possible that the boat had turned during his sleep? He knew that it
was quite possible. Indeed, he believed that this was the case.
With this impression he determined to act on the theory that the
boat had turned, and not that the wind had changed. The latter idea
seemed impossible. The wind was the chill, damp fog wind--the
sou-wester. Convinced of this, Tom turned the boat, and felt
satisfied that he had resumed his true course.

After a time the wind went down, and the sail flapped idly against
the mast. Tom was in a fever of impatience, but could do nothing.
He felt himself to be once more at the mercy of the tides. The
wind had failed him, and nothing was left but to drift. All that
day he drifted, and night came on. Still it continued calm. Tom
was weary and worn out, but so intense was his excitement that he
could not think of sleep. At midnight the wind sprung up a little;
and now Tom determined to keep awake, so that the boat might not
again double on her track. He blamed himself for sleeping on the
previous night, and losing so much progress. Now he was determined
to keep awake.

His resolution was carried out. His intense eagerness to reach
some shore, no matter where, and his fear of again losing what he
had gained, kept sleep from his eyes. All that night he watched
his boat. The wind blew fitfully, sometimes carrying the boat on
rapidly, again dying down.

So the next morning came.

It was Thursday.

It was Monday night when he had drifted out, and all that time he
had been on the deep, lost in the fog.

And now, wearied, dejected, and utterly worn out, he looked around
in despair, and wondered where this would end. Fog was everywhere,
as before, and, as before, not a thing could be seen.

Hours passed on; the wind had sprang up fresh, and the boat went on

Suddenly Tom sprang upright, and uttered a loud cry.

There full before him he saw a giant cliff, towering far overhead,
towards which the boat was sailing. At its base the waves were
dashing. Over its brow trees were bending. In the air far above
he heard the hoarse cries of sea-gulls.

In his madness he let the boat drive straight on, and was close to
it before he thought of his danger. He could not avoid it now,
however, for he did not know how to turn the boat. On it went, and
in a few moments struck the beach at the base of the cliff.

The tide was high; the breeze was moderate, and there was but
little sun. The boat was not injured by running ashore there. Tom
jumped out, and, taking the rope in his hands, walked along the
rough and stony beach for about a hundred yards, pulling the boat
after him. There the cliff was succeeded by a steep slope, beyond
which was a gentle, grass-grown declivity. Towards this he bent
his now feeble steps, still tugging at the boat, and drawing it
after him.

At length he reached the grassy slope, and found here a rough
beach. He fastened the boat securely to the trunk of a tree that
grew near.

Then he lifted out the box of biscuit, and over this he threw the

He stood for a few moments on the bank, and looked all around for
signs of some human habitation; but no signs appeared. Tom was too
exhausted to go in search of one. He had not slept for more than
thirty hours. The country that he saw was cleared. Hills were at
a little distance, but the fog which hung all around concealed
everything from view. One look was enough.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, he fell upon his knees, and offered up
a fervent prayer of thankfulness for his astonishing escape.

Then fatigue overpowered him, and, rolling himself up in the sail,
he went to sleep.


Off in Search.--Eager Outlook.--Nothing but Fog.--Speaking a
Schooner.--Pleasant Anecdotes.--Cheer up.--The Heart of Corbet.

After the arrival of Bruce and Bart, Captain Corbet did not delay
his departure much longer. The vessel was already afloat, and
though the tide was still rising, yet the wind was sufficiently
favorable to enable her to go on her way. The sails were soon set,
and, with the new boat in tow, the Antelope weighed anchor, and
took her departure. For about two hours but little progress was
made against the strong opposing current; yet they had the
satisfaction of reaching the mouth of the river, and by ten
o'clock, when the tide turned and began to fall, they were fairly
in the bay. The wind here was ahead, but the strong tide was now
in their favor, and they hoped for some hours to make respectable

During this time they had all kept an anxious lookout, but without
any result. No floating craft of any kind appeared upon the
surface of the water. Coming down the river, the sky was
unclouded, and all the surrounding scene was fully visible; but on
reaching the bay, they saw before them, a few miles down, a lofty
wall of light-gray cloud. Captain Corbet waved his hand towards

"We're in for it," said he, "or we precious soon will be."

"What's that?" asked Phil.

"Our old friend--a fog bank. You'd ought to know it by this time,

There it lay, a few miles off, and every minute brought them
nearer. The appearance of the fog threw an additional gloom over
the minds of all, for they saw the hopeless character of their
search. Of what avail would it be to traverse the seas if they
were all covered by such thick mists? Still nothing else was to be
done, and they tried to hope for the best.

"Any how," said Captain Corbet, "thar's one comfort. That thar fog
may go as quick as it come. It ony needs a change of wind. Why,
I've knowed it all vanish in half an hour, an the fog as thick as
it is now."

"But sometimes it lasts long--don't it?"

"I should think it did. I've knowed it hang on for weeks."

At this gloomy statement the boys said not a word.

Soon after the schooner approached the fog bank, and in a little
while it had plunged into the midst of its misty folds. The chill
of the damp clouds, as they enveloped them, struck additional chill
to their hearts. It was into the midst of this that poor Tom had
drifted, they thought, and over these seas, amidst this impenetrable
atmosphere, he might even now be drifting. In the midst of the deep
dejection consequent upon such thoughts, it was difficult for them
to find any solid ground for hope.

The wind was moderate, yet adverse, and the schooner had to beat
against it. As she went on each tack, they came in sight of the
shores; but as time passed, the bay widened, and Captain Corbet
kept away from the land as much as possible. All the time the boys
never ceased to maintain their forlorn lookout, and watched over
the sides, and peered anxiously through the mist, in the hope that
the gloomy waters might suddenly disclose to their longing eyes the
form of the drifting boat and their lost companion.

"I tell you what it is, boys," said Captain Corbet, after a long
and thoughtful silence; "the best plan of acting in a biz of this
kind is to pluck up sperrit an go on. Why, look at me. You mind
the time when that boat, that thar i-dentical, individdle boat,
drifted away onst afore, with youns in it. You remember all about
that,--course. Well, look at me. Did I mourn? Did I fret? Was I
cast down? Nary down; not me. I cheered up. I cheered up Mr.
Long. I kep everybody in good sperrits. An what was the result?
Result was, you all turned up in prime order and condition, a
enjyin of yourselves like all possessed, along with old O'Rafferty.

"Again, my friends," he continued, as the boys made no remark,
"consider this life air short an full of vycissitoods. Ups an
downs air the lot of pore fallen hoomanity. But if at the fust
blast of misforten we give up an throw up the game, what's the good
of us? The question now, an the chief pint, is this--Who air we,
an whar air we goin, an what air we purposin to do? Fust, we air
hooman beins; secondly, we air a traversin the vast an briny main;
and thirdly, we hope to find a certain friend of ourn, who was
borne away from us by the swellin tide. Thar's a aim for us--a
high an holy aim; an now I ask you, as feller-critters, how had we
ought to go about it? Had we ought to peek, an pine, an fret, an
whine? Had we ought to snivel, and give it up at the fust? Or had
we ought, rayther, to be up an doin,--pluck up our sperrits like
men, and go about our important work with energy? Which of these
two, my friends? I pause for a reply."

This was quite a speech for Captain Corbet, and the effort seemed
quite an exhaustive one. He paused some time for a reply; but as
no reply was forthcoming, he continued his remarks.

"Now, see here," said he; "this here whole business reminds me of a
story I once read in a noospaper, about a man up in this here
identical river, the Petticoat Jack, who, like a fool, pulled up
his boat on the bank, and wont off to sleep in her. Wal, as a
matter of course, he floated off,--for the tide happened to be
risin,--an when he woke up out of his cool an refreshin slumbers,
he found himself afar on the briny deep, a boundin like 'a thing of
life,' o'er the deep heavin sea. Besides, it was precious foggy,--
jest as it is now,--an the man couldn't see any more'n we can.
Wal, the story went on to say, how that thar man, in that thar
boat, went a driftin in that thar fashion, in that thar fog; an he
drifted, an drifted, an derifted, for days an days, up an down, on
one side an t'other side, an round every way,--an, mind you, he
hadn't a bit to eat, or to drink either, for that matter,--'t any
rate, the paper didn't mention no such thing; an so, you know, he
drifted, an d-e-e-e-rifted,--until at last he druv ashore. An now,
whar d'ye think he druv?"

The boys couldn't think.

"Guess, now."

The boys couldn't guess.

"D'ye guv it up?"

They did.

"Wal, the paper said, he druv ashore at Grand Manan; but I've my
doubts about it."

The captain paused, looked all around through the fog, and stood
for a moment as though listening to some sound.

"I kine o' thought," said he, "that I detected the dash of water on
the shore. I rayther think it's time to bring her round."

The vessel was brought round on another tack, and the captain
resumed his conversation.

"What I was jest sayin," he continued, "reminds me of a story I
onst heard, or read, I forget which (all the same, though), about
two boys which went adrift on a raft. It took place up in Scott's
Bay, I think, at a ship-yard in that thar locality.

"These two unfortunate children, it seems, had made a raft in a
playful mude, an embarkin on it they had been amoosin theirselves
with paddlin about by pushin it with poles. At length they came to
a pint where poles were useless; the tide got holt of the raft, an
the ferrail structoor was speedily swept onward by the foorus
current. Very well. Time rolled on, an that thar raft rolled on
too,--far over the deep bellew sea,--beaten by the howlin storm, an
acted upon by the remorseless tides. I leave you to pictoor to
yourselves the sorrow of them thar two infant unfortunits, thus
severed from their hum an parients, an borne afar, an scarce enough
close on to keep 'em from the inclemency of the weather. So they
drifted, an drifted, an de-e-rifted, until at last they druv
ashore; an now, whar do you think it was that they druv?"

The boys couldn't say.

"Guess now."

The boys declined.


They couldn't.

"Name some place."

They couldn't think of any.

"D'ye guv it up?" asked the captain, excitedly.

They did.

"Well, then," said he, in a triumphant tone, "they druv ashore on
Brier Island; an ef that thar ain't pooty tall driftin, then I'm a

To this the boys had no reply to make.

"From all this," continued the captain, "you must perceive that
this here driftin is very much more commoner than you hev ben
inclined to bleeve it to be. You also must see that thar's every
reason for hope. So up with your gizzards! Pluck up your
sperrits! Rise and look fortin an the footoor squar in the face.
Squar off at fortin, an hav it out with her on the spot. I don't
want to hev you go mopin an whinin about this way. Hello!"

Captain Corbet suddenly interrupted his remarks by an exclamation.
The exclamation was caused by the sudden appearance of a sail
immediately to windward. She was coming up the bay before the
wind, and came swiftly through the fog towards them. In passing on
her way, she came astern of the Antelope.

"Schooner, ahoy!" cried Captain Corbet; and some conversation took
place, in which they learned that the stranger was the schooner
Wave, from St. John, and that she had not seen any signs whatever
of any drifting boat.

This news was received sadly by the boys, and Captain Corbet had to
exert his utmost to rouse them from their depression, but without
much effect.

"I don't know how it is," said he, plaintively, "but somehow your
blues air contiguous, an I feel as ef I was descendin into a
depression as deep as yourn. I don't remember when I felt so
depressed, cept last May--time I had to go off in the Antelope with
taters, arter I thought I'd done with seafarin for the rest of my
life. But that thar vessel war wonderously resussutated, an the
speouse of my buzzum druv me away to traverse the sea. An I had to
tar myself away from the clingin gerasp of my weepin infant,--the
tender bud an bulossum of an old man's life--tar myself away, an
feel myself a outcast. Over me hovered contennooly the image of
the pinin infant, an my heart quivered with responsive sympathy.
An I yearned--an I pined--an I groaned--an I felt that life would
be intoll'ble till I got back to the babby. An so it was that I
passed away, an had scace the heart to acknowledge your youthful
cheers. Wal, time rolled on, an what's the result? Here I air.
Do I pine now? Do I peek? Not a pine! Not a peek! As tender a
heart as ever bet still beats in this aged frame; but I am no
longer a purray to sich tender reminiscinsuz of the babby as onst
used to consume my vitals."

Thus it was that the venerable captain talked with the boys, and it
was thus that he sought, by every possible means, to cheer them up.
In this way the day passed on, and after five or six hours they
began to look for a turn of tide. During this time the schooner
had been beating; and as the fog was as thick as ever, it was
impossible for the boys to tell where they were. Indeed, it did
not seem as though they had been making any progress.

"We'll have to anchor soon," said the captain, closing his eyes and
turning his face meditatively to the quarter whence the wind came.



"What for?"

"Wal, you see it'll soon be dead low tide, an we can't go on any
further when it turns. We'll have wind an tide both agin us."

"How far have we come now?"

"Wal, we've come a pooty considerable of a lick now--mind I tell
you. 'Tain't, of course, as good as ef the wind had ben favorable,
but arter all, that thar tide was a pooty considerable of a tide,

"How long will you anchor?"

"Why, till the next tarn of tide,--course."

"When will that be?"

"Wal, somewhar about eleven o'clock."

"Eleven o'clock?"


"Why, that's almost midnight."

"Course it is."

"Wouldn't it be better to cruise off in the bay? It seems to me
anything is better than keeping still."

"No, young sir; it seems to me that jest now anythin is better than
tryin to cruise in the bay, with a flood tide a comin up. Why,
whar d'ye think we'd be? It would ony take an hour or two to put
us on Cape Chignecto, or Cape d'Or, onto a place that we wouldn't
git away from in a hurry,--mind I tell you."

To this, of course, the boys had nothing to say. So, after a half
hour's further sail, the anchor was dropped, and the Antelope
stopped her wanderings for a time.

Tedious as the day had been, it was now worse. The fog was as
thick as ever, the scene was monotonous, and there was nothing to
do. Even Solomon's repasts had, in a great measure, lost their
attractions. He had spread a dinner for them, which at other
times, and under happier circumstances, would have been greeted
with uproarious enthusiasm; but at the present time it was viewed
with comparative indifference. It was the fog that threw this
gloom over them. Had the sky been clear, and the sun shining, they
would have viewed the situation with comparative equanimity; but
the fog threw terror all its own around Tom's position; and by
shutting them in on every side, it forced them to think of him who
was imprisoned in the same way--their lost companion, who now was
drifting in the dark. Besides, as long as they were in motion,
they had the consciousness that they were doing something, and that
of itself was a comfort; but now, even that consolation was taken
away from them, and in their forced inaction they fell back again
into the same despondency which they had felt at Petitcodiac.

"It's all this fog, I do believe," said Captain Corbet. "If it
want for this you'd all cheer up, an be as merry as crickets."

"Is there any prospect of its going away?"

"Wal, not jest yet. You can't reckon on it. When it chooses to go
away, it does so. It may hang on for weeks, an p'aps months.
Thar's no tellin. I don't mind it, bein as I've passed my hull
life in the middle of fog banks; but I dare say it's a leetle tryin
to youns."

The repast that Solomon spread for them on that evening was scarce
tasted, and to all his coaxings and remonstrances the boys made no
reply. After the tea was over, they went on deck, and stared
silently into the surrounding gloom. The sight gave them no
relief, and gave no hope. In that dense fog twilight came on soon,
and with the twilight came the shadows of the night more rapidly.
At last it grew quite dark, and finally there arose all around them
the very blackness of darkness.

"The best thing to do," said Captain Corbet, "is to go to sleep.
In all kinds of darkness, whether intunnel or extunnel, I've allus
found the best plan to be to sleep it off. An I've knowed great
men who war of my opinion. Sleep, then, young sirs, while yet you
may, while yer young blood is warm, an life is fresh an fair, an
don't put it off to old age, like me, for you mayn't be able to do
it. Look at me! How much d'ye think I've slep sence I left Mud
Creek? Precious little. I don't know how it is, but bein alone
with you, an havin the respons'bility of you all, I kine o' don't
feel altogether able to sleep as I used to do; an sence our late
loss--I--wal, I feel as though I'd never sleep agin. I'm talkin an
talkin, boys, but it's a solemn time with me. On me, boys, rests
the fate of that lad, an I'll scour these here seas till he turns
up, ef I hev to do it till I die. Anxious? Yes, I am. I'm that
anxious that the diskivery of the lost boy is now the one idee of
my life, for which I forget all else; but allow me to say, at the
same time, that I fully, furmly, an conshuentiously bleve an affum,
that my conviction is, that that thar lad is bound to turn up all
right in the end--right side up--with care--sound in every respect,
in good order an condition, jest as when fust shipped on board the
good schooner Antelope, Corbet master, for Petticoat Jack, as per
bill ladin."

The captain's tones were mournful. He heaved a deep sigh as he
concluded, and relapsed into a profound and melancholy silence.

The boys waited on deck for some time longer, and finally followed
his advice, and sought refuge below. They were young and strong,
and the fatigue which they felt brought on drowsiness, which, in
spite of their anxiety, soon deepened into sleep. All slept, and
at length Captain Corbet only was awake. It was true enough, as he
had said, the fate of the lost boy rested upon him, and he felt it.
His exhortations to the boys about keeping up their courage, and
his stories about lost men who had drifted to a final rescue, were
all spoken more with reference to himself than to them. He sought
to keep up his own courage by these words. Yet, in spite of his
efforts, a profound depression came over him, and well nigh subdued
him. No one knew better than he the many perils which beset the
drifting boat in these dangerous waters--the perils of storm, the
perils of fog, the perils of thick darkness, the perils of furious
tides, the perils of sunken rocks, of shoals, and of iron-bound
coasts. The boys had gone to sleep, but there was no sleep for
him. He wandered restlessly about, and heavy sighs escaped him.
Thus the time passed with him until near midnight. Then he roused
the mate, and they raised the anchor and hoisted the sails. It was
now the turn of tide, and the waters were falling again, and the
current once more ran down the bay. To this current he trusted the
vessel again, beating, as before, against the head wind, which was
still blowing; and thus the Antelope worked her way onward through
all that dark and dismal night, until at last the faint streaks of
light in the east proclaimed the dawn of another day.

Through all that night the boys slept soundly. The wind blew, the
waves dashed, but they did not awake. The anchor was hoisted, and
the sails were set, but the noise failed to rouse them. Weariness
of body and anxiety of mind both conspired to make their sleep
profound. Yet in that profound sleep the anxiety of their minds
made itself manifest; and in their dreams their thoughts turned to
their lost companion. They saw him drifting over the stormy
waters, enveloped in midnight darkness, chilled through with the
damp night air, pierced to the bone by the cold night wind;
drifting on amid a thousand dangers, now swept on by furious tides
towards rocky shores, and again drawn back by refluent currents
over vast sunken sea-ledges, white with foam. Thus through all the
night they slept, and as they slept the Antelope dashed on through
the waters, whose foaming waves, as they tumbled against her sides
and over her bows, sent forth sounds that mingled with their
dreams, and became intermingled with poor Tom's mournful cries.


Awake once more.--Where are we?--The giant cliff.--Out to Sea.--
Anchoring and Drifting.--The Harbor.--The Search.--No Answer.--
Where's Solomon?

Scarce had the streaks of light greeted Captain Corbet's eyes, and
given him the grateful prospect of another day, when the boys
awaked and hurried up on deck. Their first act was to take a
hurried look all around. The same gloomy and dismal prospect
appeared--black water and thick, impenetrable fog.

"Where are we now, Captain?" asked Bruce.

"Wal, a con-siderable distance down the bay."

"What are you going to do?"

"Wal--I've about made up my mind whar to go."


"I'm thinkin of puttin into Quaco."



"How far is it from here?"

"Not very fur, 'cordin to my calc'lations. My idee is, that the
boat may have drifted down along here and got ashore. Ef so, he
may have made for Quaco, an its jest possible that we may hear
about him."

"Is this the most likely place for a boat to go ashore?"

"Wal, all things considered, a boat is more likely to go ashore on
the New Brunswick side, driftin from Petticoat Jack; but at the
same time 'tain't at all certain. Thar's ony a ghost of a chance,
mind. I don't feel over certain about it."

"Will we get to Quaco this tide?"


"Do you intend to anchor again?"

"Wal, I rayther think I'll hev to do it. But we'd ought to get to
Quaco by noon, I calc'late. I'm a thinkin--Hello! Good

The captain's sudden exclamation interrupted his words, and made
all turn to look at the object that had called it forth. One
glance showed an object which might well have elicited even a
stronger expression of amazement and alarm.

Immediately in front of them arose a vast cliff,--black, rocky,
frowning,--that ascended straight up from the deep water, its
summit lost in the thick fog, its base white with the foaming waves
that thundered there. A hoarse roar came up from those breaking
waves, which blended fearfully with the whistle of the wind through
the rigging, and seemed like the warning sound of some dark, drear
fate. The cliff was close by, and the schooner had been steering
straight towards it. So near was it that it seemed as though one
could have easily tossed a biscuit ashore.

But though surprised, Captain Corbet was not in the least confused,
and did not lose his presence of mind for a moment. Putting the
helm hard up, he issued the necessary commands in a cool, quiet
manner; the vessel went round, and in a few moments the danger was
passed. Yet so close were they, that in wearing round it seemed as
though one could almost have jumped from the stern upon the rocky
shelves which appeared in the face of the lofty cliff.

Captain Corbet drew a long breath.

"That's about the nighest scratch I remember ever havin had," was
his remark, as the Antelope went away from the land. "Cur'ous,
too; I don't see how it happened. I lost my reckonin a little.
I'm a mile further down than I calc'lated on bein."

"Do you know that place?" asked Bart.

"Course I know it."

"It's lucky for us we didn't go there at night."

"Yes, it is rayther lucky; but then there wan't any danger o' that,
cos, you see, I kep the vessel off by night, an the danger couldn't
hev riz. I thought we were a mile further up the bay; we've been a
doin better than I thought for."

"Shall we be able to get into Quaco any sooner?"

"Wal, not much."

"I thought from what you said that we were a mile nearer."

"So we air, but that don't make any very great difference."

"Why, we ought to get in all the sooner, I should think."

"No; not much."

"Why not? I don't understand that."

"Wal, you see it's low tide now."

"The tides again!"

"Yes; it's allus the tides that you must consider here. Wal, it's
low tide now, an the tide's already on the turn, an risin. We've
got to anchor."



"What, again?"

"Yes, agin. Even so. Ef we didn't anchor we'd only be drifted up
again, ever so far, an lose all that we've ben a gainin. We're not
more'n a mile above Quaco Harbor, but we can't fetch it with wind
an tide agin us; so we've got to put out some distance an anchor.
It's my firm belief that we'll be in Quaco by noon. The next
fallin tide will carry us thar as slick as a whistle, an then we
can pursue our investigations."

The schooner now held on her course for about a mile away from the
shore, and then came to anchor. The boys had for a moment lost
sight of this unpleasant necessity, and had forgotten that they had
been using up the hours of the ebb tide while asleep. There was no
help for it, however, and they found, to their disgust, another day
of fog, and of inaction.

Time passed, and breakfast came. Solomon now had the satisfaction
of seeing them eat more, and gave manifest signs of that
satisfaction by the twinkle of his eye and the lustre of his ebony
brow. After this the time passed on slowly and heavily; but at
length eleven o'clock came, and passed, and in a short time they
were once more under way.

"We're going to Quaco now--arn't we?" asked Phil.

"Yes; right straight on into Quaco Harbor, fair an squar."

"I don't see how it's possible for you to know so perfectly where
you are."

"Young sir, there ain't a nook, nor a corner, nor a hole, nor a
stun, in all the outlinin an configoortion of this here bay but
what's mapped out an laid down all c'rect in this here brain. I'd
undertake to navigate these waters from year's end to year's end,
ef I was never to see the sun at all, an even ef I was to be
perpetooly surrounded by all the fogs that ever riz. Yea, verily,
and moreover, not only this here bay, but the hull coast all along
to Bosting. Why, I'm at home here on the rollin biller. I'm the
man for Mount Desert, an Quoddy Head, an Grand Manan, an all other
places that air ticklish to the ginrality of seafarin men. Why,
young sir, you see before you, in the humble an unassumin person of
the aged Corbet, a livin, muvin, and sea-goin edition of Blunt's
Coast Pilot, revised and improved to a precious sight better
condition than it's ever possible for them fellers in Bosting to
get out. By Blunt's Coast Pilot, young sir, I allude to a
celebrated book, as big as a pork bar'l, that every skipper has in
his locker, to guide him on his wanderin way--ony me. I don't have
no call to use sech, being myself a edition of useful information
techin all coastin matters."

The Antelope now proceeded quickly on her way. Several miles were

"Now, boys, look sharp," said the captain; "you'll soon see the

They looked sharp.

For a few moments they went onward through the water, and at length
there was visible just before them what seemed like a dark cloud
extending all along. A few minutes further progress made the dark
cloud still darker, and, advancing further, the dark cloud finally
disclosed itself as a line of coast. It was close by them, and,
even while they were recognizing it as land, they saw before them
the outline of a wharf.

"Good agin!" cried the captain. "I didn't come to the wharf I
wanted, but this here'll do as well as any other, an I don't know
but what it'll do better. Here we air, boys. Stand by thar, mate,
to let fall the jib."

On they went, and in a few minutes more the Antelope wore round,
and her side just grazed the wharf. The mate jumped ashore, lines
were secured, and the Antelope lay in safety.

"An now, boys, we may all go ashore, an see if we can hear anything
about the boat."

With these words Captain Corbet stepped upon the wharf, followed by
all the boys, and they all went up together, till they found
themselves on a road. There they saw a shop, and into this they
entered. No time was to be lost; the captain at once told his
story, and asked his question.

The answer was soon made.

Nothing whatever was known there about any boat. Two or three
schooners had arrived within two days, and the shopkeeper had seen
the skippers, but they had not mentioned any boat. No boat had
drifted ashore anywhere near, nor had any strange lad arrived at
the settlement.

This intelligence depressed them all.

"Wal, wal," said the captain, "I didn't have much hopes; it's jest
as I feared; but, at the same time, I'll ask further. An first and
foremost I'll go an see them schooners."

He then went off with the boys in search of the schooners just
mentioned. These were found without difficulty. One had come from
up the bay, another from St. John, and a third from Eastport. None
of them had encountered anything like a drilling boat. The one
from up the bay afforded them the greatest puzzle. She must have
come down the very night of Tom's accident. If he did drift down
the bay in his boat, he must have been not very far from the
schooner. In clear weather he could not have escaped notice; but
the skipper had seen nothing, and heard nothing. He had to beat
down against the wind, and anchor when the tide was rising; but,
though he thus traversed so great an extent of water, nothing
whatever attracted his attention.

"This sets me thinkin," said the captain, "that, perhaps, he mayn't
have drifted down at all. He may have run ashore up thar. Thar's
a chance of it, an we must all try to think of that, and cheer up,
as long as we can."

Leaving the schooners, the captain now went through the settlement,
and made a few inquiries, with no further result. Nothing had been
heard by any one about any drifting boat, and they were at last
compelled to see that in Quaco there was no further hope of gaining
any information whatever about Tom.

After this, the captain informed the boys that he was going back to
the schooner to sleep.

"I haven't slep a wink," said he, "sence we left Grand Pre, and
that's more'n human natur can ginrally stand; so now I'm bound to
have my sleep out, an prepare for the next trip. You boys had
better emply yourselves in inspectin this here village."

"When shall we leave Quaco?"

"Wal, I'll think that over. I haven't yet made up my mind as to
what's best to be done next. One thing seems certain. There ain't
no use goin out in this fog, an I've half a mind to wait here till


"Yes,--an then go down to St. John."

"But what'll poor Tom be doing?"

"It's my firm belief that he's all right," said Captain Corbet,
confidently. "At any rate, you'd better walk about now, an I'll
try an git some sleep."

As there was nothing better to be done, the boys did as he
proposed, and wandered about the village. It was about two miles
long, with houses scattered at intervals along the single street of
which it was composed, with here, and there a ship-yard. At one
end was a long, projecting ledge, with a light-house; at the other
there was a romantic valley, through which a stream ran into the
bay. On the other side of this stream were cliffs of sandstone
rocks, in which were deep, cavernous hollows, worn by the waves;
beyond this, again, was a long line of a precipitous shore, in
whose sides were curious shelves, along which it was possible to
walk for a great distance, with the sea thundering on the rocks
beneath. At any other time they would have taken an intense
enjoyment in a place like this, where there were so many varied
scenes; but now their sense of enjoyment was blunted, for they
carried in their minds a perpetual anxiety. None the less, however,
did they wander about, penetrating up the valley, exploring the
caverns, and traversing the cliffs.

They did not return to the schooner till dusk. It would not be
high tide till midnight, and so they prolonged their excursion
purposely, so as to use up the time. On reaching the schooner they
were welcomed by Captain Corbet.

"I declar, boys," said he, "I'm getting to be a leetle the biggest
old fool that ever lived. It's all this accident. It's onmanned
me. I had a nap for two or three hours, but waked at six, an ever
sence I've been a worretin an a frettin about youns. Sence that
thar accident, I can't bar to have you out of my sight, for I fear
all the time that you ar gettin into mischief. An now I've been
skeart for two mortal hours, a fancyin you all tumblin down from
the cliffs, or a strugglin in the waters."

"O, we can take care of ourselves, captain," said Bart

"No, you can't--not you. I wouldn't trust one of you. I'm getting
to be a feeble creetur too,--so don't go away agin."

"Well, I don't think we'll have a chance in Quaco. Arn't we going
to leave to-night?"

"Wal, that thar is jest the pint that I've been moosin on. You see
it's thick; the fog's as bad as ever. What's the use of going out
to-night? Now, ef we wait till to-morrow, it may be clear, an then
we can decide what to do."

At this proposal, the boys were silent for a time. The experience
which they had formed of the bay and its fogs showed them how
useless would be any search by night, and the prospect of a clear
day, and, possibly, a more favorable wind on the morrow, was very
attractive. The question was debated by all, and considered in all
its bearings, and the discussion went on until late, when it was
finally decided that it would be, on the whole, the wisest course
to wait until the following day. Not the least influential of the
many considerations that occurred was their regard for Captain
Corbet. They saw that he was utterly worn out for want of sleep,
and perceived how much he needed one night's rest. This finally
decided them.

Early on the following morning they were all up, and eager to see
if there was any change in the weather. The first glance around
elicited a cry of admiration from all of them. Above, all was
clear and bright. The sun was shining with dazzling lustre; the
sky was of a deep blue, and without a cloud on its whole expanse;
while the wide extent of the bay spread out before them, blue like
the sky above, which it mirrored, and throwing up its waves to
catch the sunlight. A fresh north wind was blowing, and all the
air and all the sea was full of light and joy.

The scene around was in every respect magnificent. The tide was
low, and the broad beach, which now was uncovered by the waters,
spread afar to the right and left in a long crescent that extended
for miles. On its lower extremity it was terminated by a ledge of
black rocks, with the light-house before spoken of, while its upper
end was bounded by cavernous cliffs of red sandstone, which were
crowned with tufted trees. Behind them were the white houses of
the village, straggling irregularly on the borders of the long
road, with here and there the unfinished fabric of some huge ship;
while in the background were wooded hills and green sloping fields.
Out on the bay a grander scene appeared. Far down arose a white
wall, which marked the place where the fog clouds were sullenly
retreating; immediately opposite, and forty miles away over the
water, arose the long line of the Nova Scotia coast, which bounded
the horizon; while far up arose Cape Chignecto, and beside it
towered up the dark form of a lonely island, which they knew, in
spite of the evident distortion of its shape, to be no other than
Ile Haute.

The wondrous effects which can be produced by the atmosphere were
never more visible to their eyes than now. The coast of Nova
Scotia rose high in the air, dark in color, apparently only half
its actual distance away, while the summit of that coast seemed as
level as a table. It seemed like some vast structure which had
been raised out of the water during the night by some magic power.
Ile Haute arose to an extraordinary height, its summit perfectly
level, its sides perfectly perpendicular, and its color a dark
purple hue. Nor was Cape Chignecto less changed. The rugged cliff
arose with magnified proportions to a majestic height, and took
upon itself the same sombre color, which pervaded the whole of the
opposite coast.

Another discussion was now begun as to their best plan of action.
After talking it all over, it was finally decided to go to St.
John. There they would have a better opportunity of hearing about
Tom; and there, too, if they did hear, they could send messages to
him, or receive them from him. So it was decided to leave at about
eleven o'clock, without waiting for high tide; for, as the wind was
fair, they could go on without difficulty. After coming to this
conclusion, and learning that the tide would not be high enough to
float the schooner until eleven, they all took breakfast, and
stimulated by the exhilarating atmosphere and the bright sunshine,
they dispersed down the village towards the light-house.

By ten o'clock they were back again. The tide was not yet up, and
they waited patiently.

"By the way, captain," asked Bart, "what's become of Solomon?"

"Solomon? O, he took a basket an went off on a kine o' foragin


"Yes. He said he'd go along the shore, and hunt for lobsters."

"The shore? What shore?"

"Why, away up thar," said the captain, pointing towards the
headland at the upper end of the village.

"How long since?"

"Wal, jest arter breakfast. It must hev ben afore seven."

"It's strange that he hasn't got back."

"Yes; he'd ought to be back by this time."

"He can't get any lobsters now; the tide is too high."

"That's a fact."

They waited half an hour. The rising tide already touched the
Antelope's keel.

"Solomon ought to be back," cried Bart, starting up.

"That's so," said Captain Corbet.

"I'm afraid something's happened. He's been gone too long. Two
hours were enough."

The boys all looked at one another with anxious faces.

"If he went up that shore," said Bart, "he may have got caught by
the tide. It's a very dangerous place for anybody--let alone an
old man like him."

"Wal, he did go up thar; he said partic'lar that he wanted to find
somethin of a relish, an would hunt up thar. He said, too, he'd be
back by nine."

"I'm certain something's happened," cried Bart, more anxiously
than before. "If he's gone up there, he's been caught by the

Captain Corbet stared, and looked uneasy.

"Wal, I must say, that thar's not onlikely. It's a bad place, a
dreadful bad place,--an him an old man,--a dreadful bad place.
He'd be down here by this time, ef he was alive."

"I won't wait any longer," cried Bart. "I must go and see. Come
along, boys. Don't let's leave poor old Solomon in danger. Depend
upon it, he's caught up there somewhere."

"Wal, I think you're right," said Captain Corbet, "an I'll go too.
But ef we do go, we'd better go with some preparations."

"Preparations? What kind of preparations?"

"O, ony a rope or two," said Captain Corbet; and taking a coil of
rope over his arm, he stepped ashore, and all the boys hurried
after him.

"I feel kine o' safer with a kile o' rope,--bein a seafarin man,"
he remarked. "Give a seafarin man a rope, an he'll go anywhar an
do anythin. He's like a spider onto a web."


Tom ashore.--Storm at Night.--Up in the Morning.--The Cliffs and
the Beach.--A startling Discovery.--A desert Island.--A desperate
Effort.--Afloat again.

Tom slept soundly for a long time in the spot where he had flung
himself. The sense of security came to the assistance of his
wearied limbs, and lulled him into profounder slumbers. There was
nothing here that might rudely awaken him--no sudden boat shocks,
no tossings and heavings of waves, no hoarse, menacing thunders of
wrathful surges from rocky shores; nor were there distressing
dreams to harass him, or any anxieties carried from his waking
hours into the land of slumbers to annoy and to arouse. From
Monday night until this time on Thursday, he had known but little
sleep, and much fatigue and sorrow. Now the fatigue and the sorrow
were all forgotten, and the sleep was all his own. Not a thought
had he given to the land which he had reached so strangely. It was
enough for him that he felt the solid ground beneath his feet.

For hours he slept there, lying there like a log, wrapped in the
old sail, moving not a limb, but given up altogether to his
refreshing slumber. At length he waked, and, uncovering his head,
looked around. At first he thought that he was in the boat, then
he grew bewildered, and it was only after a persistent effort of
memory that he could recollect his position.

He looked all around, but nothing was visible. There was nothing
around him but darkness, intense and utter. It was like the
impenetrable veil that had enshrouded him during the night of his
memorable voyage. He could not see where his boat was. A vague
idea which he had of examining its fastening was dismissed. He
felt hungry, and found the biscuit box lying under one corner of
the sail. A few of these were sufficient to gratify his hunger.
Nothing more could be done, and he saw plainly that it would be
necessary for him to wait there patiently until morning. Once
more, therefore, he rolled himself up in the sail, and tried to go
to sleep. But at first his efforts were vain. The first fatigue
had passed away, and now that he had been refreshed by sleep, his
mind was too much occupied by thoughts of his past voyage to be
readily lulled to sleep again. He could not help wondering what
Captain Corbet and the boys were doing. That they were searching
for him everywhere he well knew, but which direction they had
chosen he could not tell. And what was the place whither he had
drifted? He felt confident that it was the mouth of the
Petitcodiac, and could not help wondering at the accuracy of his
course; yet, while wondering, he modestly refrained from taking the
credit of it to himself, and rather chose to attribute it to the
wind and tide. It was by committing himself so completely to their
guidance, he thought, that he had done so well.

In the midst of such thoughts as these, Tom became aware of the
howling of the wind and the dash of the waters. Putting forth his
head, he found that there was quite a storm arising; and this only
added to his contentment. No fear had he now, on this solid
ground, of rising wind or swelling wave. Even the fog had lost its
terrors. It was with feelings like these that he once more covered
up his head from the night blast; and not long after he was once
more asleep.

When he next awaked, it was day. Starting to his feet, he looked
around him, and shouted for joy. The sky was clear. The sun was
rising, and its rays, coming from over the distant hills, were

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