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48

THE HALLIG.

Idalia's shoulders, and in this way they were drawn
safely in.
  From the delay and excitement occasioned by this
circumstance, it was not now easy to find again the
right direction toward those little points of land, upon
the reaching of which all their hopes of safety de-
pended. Only Godber, who so well knew the position
of the houses, and who, through the whole day, had
scarcely turned his eyes from his beloved home, could
discern through the darkness certain still darker points,
and toward these he steered. A mutual "farewell, and
may God protect you" was exchanged between those
who remained and those who were leaving, and soon
the dark night and rolling sea had so separated them
that reunion would have been impossible even if it
had been desired. Mander sat with Oswald and Idalia
in the bottom of the boat. They uttered an occasional
cry when some huge wave dashed over the frail bark,
and threatened to bury it altogether. The sailors,
though despairing of life, rowed calmly and with strong
and steady strokes as if no peril of death were near.
Godber held the tiller with a powerful arm, skillfully
avoiding the shock of the heaviest waves, and sought
the safety of his little shallop by choosing, with the
acuteness and dexterity of an experienced seaman, the
least perilous path through the waters. In the mean
time he looked about him with the closest scrutiny,
whenever a high wave lifted the boat so as to give
him a wider view. But the darkness was settling
more and more thickly upon the troubled sea, and it
was only by the shortness of the waves that, after two
hours of the severest labor on the part of the oarsmen