Seite:Marsh Hallig 1856.djvu/46

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46

THE HALLIG.

Should they wait to see how the conflict would end,
which the winds and waves were carrying on around
the dismasted vessel, these constantly pressing in and
seeking to draw her down into their depths, those
driving her before them with ever-increasing force, and
threatening to dash her to pieces on the shoals ? The
long-boat, which was lying at the foot of the mast, had
been crushed by its fall, and was there any probability
that they could get to the shore in the small boat, and
in the darkness reach one of the wharves on the over-
flowed hallig ? The passengers earnestly begged that
this experiment might be tried. Any change was to
them a hope of life ; to remain on the ship seemed cer-
tain death. The captain's sense of duty would not al-
low him to leave his post so long as a plank remained.
But he would not oppose his passengers, and permitted
his pilot to take them into the boat if he considered
the attempt to reach the land in that way safer than
remaining on board the ship. Godber, trusting to his
precise knowledge of the channel and the hallig, con-
sented to this, and two sailors, who, like the rest, de-
spairing of escape, still preferred to venture a final
struggle for their lives, and to go down resisting, rather
than to remain paisive and helpless on the sinking
wreck, joined themselves to him. If there had still re-
mained the faintest hope of saving the ship from com-
plete destruction, it must have died away at the mo-
ment when Godber, who alone was familiar with the
channels and shoals of these waters, left the wreck.
This thought passed through his own mind. Already
he was about to relinquish the undertaking ; but, the
weeping, imploring Idalia stood before him, and every