shall never forget the efforts we made to launch the boat, but she was
immovable, and every moment the tide was rising, the little ripples
expending themselves in bubbly foam against the thirsty sand. We strained,
we tugged, we prised with levers, but unavailingly, the boat seemed as if
she had taken root there and would not budge an inch. A happy thought
struck me all of a sudden, as a reminiscence of a similar case that I had
seen in years gone by came back in full vigour.
"Give me a tomahawk," I said.
One was produced in a minute from under the stern-sheets. Meanwhile I had
got out a couple of the oars.
"Now, Jim, you're the best axeman, off with them here!"
Half a dozen strokes to each, and the blades were severed from the looms.
"Now boys, lay aft and lift her stern."
It was done, and one of the oars placed under as a roller.
"Now, launch together."
"Heave with a will."
"Again so. Keep her going."
"Hurrah!" and a loud cheer broke forth, as, through the medium of the
friendly rollers, the heavy boat trundled into the water.
The pull was long, at least it seemed to us long, for we had to round the
sandy spit before we could head towards the rock, and nearly got on shore
in trying to make too close a shave.