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The Errand Boy by Horatio Alger

Part 6 out of 6

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rolled in with ever increasing impetuosity.

He looked all around for a place of refuge, and
saw nothing except the rock which arose at the
extremity of the place, at the foot of the overhanging
cliffs. It was about five feet high, and was
the only place that afforded anything like safety.

Up this he clambered, and from this he could
survey the scene, but only to perceive the full extent
of his danger. For the tide rushed in more and
more swiftly, the surf grew higher and higher and
he saw plainly that before long the water would
reach the summit of the rock, and that even before
then the surf in its violence would sweep him

The moments passed slowly. Minutes seemed in
his suspense to be transformed to hours. The sky
was overspread now with black clouds; and the
gloom increased. At length the waves rolled in
until they covered all the beach in front, and began
to dash against the rock on which he had taken

The precious moments passed. Higher and
higher grew the waters. They came rolling into
the cave, urged on by the fury of the billows outside,
and heaping themselves up as they were compressed
into this narrow gorge. They dashed up
around the rock. The spray was tossed in his face.
Already he felt their inexorable grasp. Death
seemed so near that hope left him. He fell upon
his knees with his hands clasped, and his white face
upturned. Just then a great wave rolled up and
flung itself over the rock, and over his knees as he
knelt, and over his hands as he clasped them in
prayer. A few more moments and all would be

As hope left a calmness came--the calmness
that is born of despair. Face to face with death,
he had tasted the bitterness of death, but now he
flung aside the agony of his fear and rose to his
feet, and his soul prepared itself for the end. Just
then, in the midst of the uproar of wind and wave,
there came a sudden sound, which roused to quick,
feverish throbs the young lad's heart. It was a
voice--and sounded just above him:


He looked up.

There far above him, in the gloom, he saw faces
projecting over the edge of the cliff. The cry came
again; he recognized the voice of his father.

For a moment Hubert could not speak. Hope
returned. He threw up his arms wildly, and cried:

"Make haste! Oh, make haste!"

A rope was made fast about Hubert's father, and
he was let down over the edge of the cliff. He
would allow no other than himself to undertake this

He had hurried away and gathered a number of
fishermen, whose stout arms and sinewy hands now
held the rope by which he descended to save his

It was a perilous journey. The wind blew and
the rope swayed more and more as it was let down,
and sometimes he was dashed against the rocky
sides of the precipice; but still he descended, and
at last stood on the rock and clasped his son in his

But there was no time to lose. Hubert mounted
on his father's shoulders, holding the rope while his
father bound his boy close to him. Then the word
was given, and they were slowly pulled up.

They reached the summit in safety, and as they
reached it those who looked down through the
gloom saw the white foam of the surf as it boiled in
fury over the rock where Hubert had been standing.

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