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212
THE HALLIG.

nearer and nearer the fearful thunder roll, "Lost !
lost !"
  Might not similar questions trouble your soul, dear
reader, if the Almighty should have such a fearful hour
in store for you ?
  The final struggle seemed now to have come, for they
were well-nigh covered by the waves.
  "Lord, into thy hands," said Hold, thinking that he
was uttering the last words for himself and his com-
panions, when lo ! a loud halloo came over the waters,
and penetrated, like a resurrection call, the souls of
those who had given up the last hope of life. But a
long moment of rapture and of agony passed away be-
fore they could gather strength to answer. The first
sound was scarcely more than a deep sigh, and served
only to waken the fear that their voices could not pos-
sibly be heard. At the same time, that hard-won resig-
nation to the will of God was suddenly swept away
from them by that call, and the full consciousness of
their terrible situation, the memory of dear friends,
whom their death would plunge in grief and anguish of
heart, came back in all their strength. At last, with a
fearful effort, a cry broke forth from all, which echoed
far over the sea, and which, now that their tongues were
once loosed, continued almost uninterrupted, and even
became stronger as the answers drew nearer. A boat
now appeared in sight, rolling on like a dark wave, and
impelled by vigorous strokes of oars, the spray from
which sparkled in the starlight like a shower of fire. A
shout of joy was exchanged. A thrill of delight trem-
bled through the frames of the drowning men. In long-
ing expectation, they already stretched out their arms