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44

THE HALLIG.

ble with its help to work out the ship against a head
wind. The purpose, therefore, of Godber, who had
selected precisely this anchorage because the current at
ebb-tide was usually particularly strong there, was de-
feated. And now the ship left in shoal water by the
retreating tide, and held fast by her anchors, thumped
often and heavily upon the bottom. And when, after
many anxious hours, the flood returned, and the storm
came on with still greater violence, it soon became evi-
dent that the water was pouring in through the seams
which had been opened by the shock. The darkness
greatly increased the danger, and it now became neces-
sary to take some decisive resolution. But the con-
sultation begun between the captain and pilot was
suddenly and involuntarily terminated. A fearful con-
cussion, which shook the ship in every part, as if it
were on the point of going to pieces, announced some
new accident.
  "The chain-cable has broken !" This cry of terror
explained the mystery. "The cables, too ?" shouted
the captain. Those, indeed, weaker but more flexible
than the chain, still held fast two small anchors, but it
might be expected that the next blast would carry off
these last stays.
  "Slip the cables ! set all sail ! every rag out !" was,
after a brief consultation between the officers, the next
order. Then receiving the whole force of the gale in
her canvas, and dashing through the foaming billows
as if they had been but snow clouds, the ship flew
toward the strand. The flood-tide had already covered
it, but the experienced steersman would not have
missed it, although the darkness no longer permitted