Tracks Of A Rolling Stone By Henry J. Coke

 -   In a few minutes the boat was nearly swamped.  The 
Maltese prayed and blasphemed in language which no one 
understood - Page 240
Tracks Of A Rolling Stone By Henry J. Coke - Page 240 of 404 - First - Home

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In A Few Minutes The Boat Was Nearly Swamped.

The Maltese prayed and blasphemed in language which no one understood.

The oaths of the soldier were intelligible enough. The 'heavy,' now alarmed, nervously asked what had better be done. My advice was to grease the bowsprit, let go the mast, and splice the main brace. 'In another minute or two,' I added, 'you'll steer us all to the bottom.'

Fred, who thought it no time for joking, called the rifleman a 'damned fool,' and authoritatively bade him give up the tiller; saying that I had been in Her Majesty's Navy, and perhaps knew a little more about boats than he did. To this the other replied that 'he didn't want anyone to learn him; he reckon'd he'd been raised to boating as well as the next man, and he'd be derned if he was going to trust his life to anybody!' Samson, thinking no doubt of his own, took his pipe out of his mouth, and towering over the steersman, flung him like a child on one side. In an instant I was in his place.

It was a minute or two before the boat had way enough to answer the helm. By that time we were within a dozen yards of a reef. Having noticed, however, that the little craft was quick in her stays, I kept her full till the last, put the helm down, and round she spun in a moment. Before I could thank my stars, the pintle, or hook on which the rudder hangs, broke off.

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