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the best quartermaster of your ship in those chains, and let an officer stand by him, and see that he gives us the right water.”

“ I will take that office on myself,” said the captain ; “pass a light into the weather main chains.”

“Stand by your braces!” exclaimed the pilot, with startling quickness. “ Heave away that lead.”

These preparations taught the crew to expect the crisis, and every officer and man stood in fearful silence, at his assigned station, awaiting the issue of the trial. Even the quartermaster gave out his orders to the men at the wheel, in deeper and hoarser tones than usual, as if anxious not to disturb the quiet and order of the vessel.

While this deep expectation pervaded the frigate, the piercing cry of the leadsman, as he called, “ By the mark seven,” rose above the tempest, crossed over the decks, and appeared to pass away to leeward, borne on the blast like the warnings of some water spirit.

66 'Tis well,” returned the pilot, calmly; " try it again.”

The short pause was succeeded by another cry,“ and a halffive!

“ She shoals! she shoals !” exclaimed Griffith ; “keep her a good full."

“ Ay! you must hold the vessel in command now," said the pilot, with those cool tones that are most appalling in critical moments, because they seem to denote most preparation and


The third call of “ By the deep four!” was followed by a prompt direction from the stranger to tack.

Griffith seemed to emulate the coolness of the pilot in issuing the necessary orders to execute this manæuvre.

The vessel rose slowly from the inclined position into which she had been forced by the tempest, and the sails were shaking violently, as if to release themselves from their confinement, while the ship stemmed the billows, when the well-known voice of the sailing master was heard shouting from the forecastle,

- Breakers ! breakers, dead ahead !”


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This appalling sound seemed yet to be lingering about the ship, when a second voice cried,

“ Breakers on our lee bow !”

“We are in a bight of the shoals, Mr. Gray,” said the commander. “She loses her way; perhaps an anchor might hold her."

“ Clear away that best bower,” shouted Griffith through his trumpet.

“ Hold on!”. cried the pilot, in a voice that reached the very hearts of all who heard him; “hold on every thing.”

The young man turned fiercely to the daring stranger, who thus defied the discipline of his vessel, and at once demanded,

“ Who is it that dares to countermand my orders? Is it not enough that you run the ship into danger, but you must interfere to keep her there? If another word

“ Peace, Mr. Griffith,” interrupted the captain, bending from the rigging, his gray locks blowing about in the wind, and adding a look of wildness to the haggard care that he exhibited by the light of his lantern; "yield the trumpet to Mr. Gray; he alone can save us.”

Griffith threw his speaking trumpet on the deck, and as he walked proudly away, muttered, in bitterness of feeling,

“ Then all is lost indeed; and among the rest, the foolish hopes with which I visited this coast."

There was, however, no time for reply; the ship had been rapidly running into the wind, and as the efforts of the crew were paralyzed by the contradictory orders they had heard, she gradually lost her way, and in a few seconds all her sails were taken aback.

Before the crew understood their situation, the pilot had applied the trumpet to his mouth, and in a voice that rose above the tempest, he thundered forth his orders. Each command was given distinctly, and with a precision that showed him to be master of his profession. The helm was kept fast, the head yards swung up heavily against the wind, and the vessel was soon whirling round on her heel, with a retrograde movement.


Griffith was too much of a seaman not to perceive that the pilot had seized, with a perception almost intuitive, the only method that promised to extricate the vessel from her situation. He was young, impetuous, and proud — but he was also gen

Forgetting his resentment and his mortification, he rushed forward among the men, and, by his presence and example, added certainty to the experiment. The ship fell off slowly before the gale, and bowed her yards nearly to the water, as she felt the blast pouring its fury on her broadside, while, the surly waves beat violently against her stern, as if in reproach at departing from her usual manner of moving.

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The voice of the pilot, however, was still heard, steady and calm, and yet so clear and high as to reach every ear; and the obedient seamen whirled the yards at his bidding, in despite of the tempest, as if they handled the toys of their childhood. When the ship had fallen off dead before the wind, her head sails were shaken, her after yards trimmed, and her helm shifted, before she had time to run upon the danger that had threatened, as well to leeward as to windward. The beautiful fabric, obedient to her government, threw her bows up gracefully towards the wind again, and as her sails were trimmed, moved out from amongst the dangerous shoals, in which she had been embayed, as steadily and swiftly as she had approached them.

A moment of breathless astonishment succeeded the accomplishment of this nice manœuvre, but there was no time for the usual expressions of surprise. The stranger still held the trumpet, and continued to lift his voice amid the howlings of the blast, whenever prudence or skill directed any change in the management of the ship. For an hour longer there was a fearful struggle for their preservation, the channel becoming, at each step, more complicated, and the shoals thickening

around the mariners, on every

side. The lead was cast rapidly, and the quick eye of the pilot seemed to pierce the darkness with a keenness of vision that exceeded human power. It was apparent to all in the vessel that they were under the guidance of one who understood the navigation thoroughly, and their exertions kept pace with their reviving confidence. Again and again the frigate appeared to be rushing blindly on shoals, where the sea was covered with foam, and where destruction would have been as sudden as it was certain, when the clear voice of the stranger was heard warning them of the danger, and inciting them to their duty. The vessel was implicitly yielded to his government, and during those anxious moments when she was dashing the waters aside, throwing the spray over her enormous yards, each ear would listen eagerly for those sounds that had obtained a command over the crew, that can only be acquired, under such circumstances, by great steadiness and consummate skill. The ship was recovering from the inaction of changing her course, in one of those critical tacks that she had made so often, when the pilot, for the first time, addressed the commander of the frigate, who still continued to superintend the all-important duty of the leads


“ Now is the pinch,” he said, “and if the ship behaves well, we are safe; but if otherwise, all we have yet done will be useless."

The veteran seaman whom he addressed left the chains at this portentous notice, and calling to his first lieutenant, required of the stranger an explanation of his warning.

“See you yon light on the southern headland ?” returned the pilot; "you may know it from the star near it by its sinking, at times, in the ocean. Now observe the hom-moc, * a little north of it, looking like a shadow in the horizon: 'tis a hill far inland. If we keep that light open from the hill, we shall do well; but if not, we surely go to pieces."

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The hom-moc is the elevation in the horizon, marking the land.

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“Let us tack again!” exclaimed the lieutenant. The pilot shook his head, as he replied,

“ There is no more tacking or box-hauling to be done to night. We have barely room to pass out of the shoals on this course, and if we can weather the · Devil's Grip,' we clear their outermost point; but if not, as I said before, there is but an alternative.”

“If we had beaten out the way we entered,” exclaimed Griffith, “we should have done well.”

Say, also, if the tide would have let us do so," returned the pilot, calmly. “ Gentlemen, we must be prompt; we have but a mile to go, and the ship appears to fly. That topsail is not enough to keep her up to the wind; we want both jib and mainsail."

“ 'Tis a perilous thing to loosen canvas in such a tempest," observed the doubtful captain.

“ It must be done,” returned the collected stranger; perish without it. See! the light already touches the edge of the hom-moc; the sea casts us to leeward.”

“ It shall be done,” cried Griffith, seizing the trumpet from the hand of the pilot.

The orders of the lieutenant were executed almost as soon as issued, and every thing being ready, the enormous folds of the mainsail were trusted, loose, to the blast. There was an instant when the result was doubtful, the tremendous threshing of the heavy sails, seeming to bid defiance to all restraint, shaking the ship to her centre; but art and strength prevailed, and gradually the canvas was distended, and as it filled, was drawn down to its usual place by the power of a hundred men. The vessel yielded to this immense addition of force, and bowed before it like a reed bending to a breeze. But the suc cess of the measure was announced by a joyful cry from the stranger, that seemed to burst from his inmost soul.

“She feels it! she springs her luff!* Observe,” he said, “the

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* To iuff is to turn the ship nearer towards the direction of the wind, or to sail nearer the wind. A ship is said to spring her luff when she yields to the helm by sailing nearer the wind.

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