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covered up with sheet-iron and tin. Of the property thus hermetically sealed up no effectual devise was made. This extraordinary will was disputed in the Probate Court, but probate was eventually granted. Then the parties who were dissatisfied took the case into Chancery, and no fewer than eight counsel learned in the law appeared before the Vice-Chancellor, those who supported the validity of the deviso quoting Pope's well-known lines, in which the poet says that a testator may “endow & col. lege or a cat,” and seeking to draw therefrom the inference that Mrs. Burdett vas entitled to dispose of her own precisely as she liked, even though her testamentary injunctions were of the most capriciously grotesque nature. Sir James Bacon, however, very cogently pointed out that, in the case before him, the testator had endowed neither a cat nor a college ; and he directed the trustees to unseal and release all this hitherto useless property, and distribute it as the undisposed residue of real and personal estate.
AN ESCAPE FOR LIFE FROM A FIJIAN
AN ESCAPE FOR LIFE.—"I CLUTCHED AT IT IN A HELPLESS KIND
OF WAY, AND, MOST MERCIFULLY, THREE FINGERS OF EACH 15th December, 1881.
HAND STUCK IN TWO SMALL NICHES IN THE ROCK." MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER-I arrived here only This man, —, was formerly captain in some merchant yesterday morning from Levuka, and very, very glad I am service, a very rough
diamond, but at bottom a very good to get safe home at last, for we were shipwrecked on the way, and had to swim
for our lives; it was a terrible time. fellow; he came to Fiji about ten years ago, and is now a I suffered all the awful horrors of a death by drowning, 1 is in partnership with — in Sava Savu Bay,
old fellow, with a wife and a large family of children, but my life has been preserved, I may truly say, in a brother to the one you know. They bought this cutter a wonderful manner . I don't know how to write about it; few months ago,
and have been running her regularly ever I am so full of thankfulness that you have been spared
since, what I know would have been a great sorrow to you all; just simply rejoice that I am still to the fore, a good deal
We left Levuka, as I have said, at daylight last Tuesday, battered about, but safe and sound, and as well in health with a very light breeze. We made very little way that as ever, thank God for that. But I had better begin at the day, and anchored for the night close to an island. Next beginning, and give an account of the whole affair. I left morning at daylight we started again ; what little breeze Levuka last Tuesday morning, the 9tb, at daylight, in a there was, was in our favor, but by evening it had died away, cutter of nine tons, the owner and captain in charge, bis and left us out in the open sea. All that night we kept name –, a man of few words, a quiet, honest, trust bobbing on. As soon, however
, as day dawned, we saw at worthy fellow, for whom I have a great liking, thoroughly heavy squall was coming on-so we took in all our extra
once we were in for something hot—at all events, a very up to his work. As crew we had a half-caste and two strong Fijians, only one other passenger besides myself. sails, and reefed close down, not a bit too soon. A terrific
storm of wind and rain struck us, sending the cutter almost over on to her beam-ends; we feared our two small sails would be blown clean away, but being now and strong, they held, to our great relief. At first we thought we were only in for a very heavy squall, which would not last more than two or three hours, but instead of that, it increased in fury, and so rapidly, that within half an hour it was blowing a perfect hurricane, and as we have since found out, a regular cyclone, I have seldom seen such a sight; I never wish to experience it again in such a small craft. Our cutter of nine tons, in ordinary sailing weather, always boasted of five sails—a mainsail, square sail, gaff topsail, stay sail, and jib. We took in everything except the mainsail and jib, both of which we shortened as much as possible, and yet we lay over with our lee gunwale under water the whole time. At first the sea was comparatively smooth, for the wind was so strong that it literally prevented the sea from rising; it seemed at first that it was impossible for the waves to lift, or if one attempted to do so the wind caught it and sent it hissing along in spray ; we were almost blinded with the heavy rain and spray; and although seven o'clock in the morning, it became quite
dark, and we were enveloped in a thick fog, and could AN ESCAPE FOR LIFE.—" I HEARD I-PLUNGE INTO THE
only see a few yards ahead. SEA BEHIND ME."
The storm came up from the eastward, but soon shifted
round to the N.E., right dead ahead in our teeth ; we then I made some remark, I think, that it was very grand ; and decided to try and make for the shelter of a small rocky H— said, “Yes, old man, but I pity the poor fellows barren islet, for we were out in the open sea, and this was who get dashed up against those rocks." our only refuge. We steered by compass, for we could not Meanwhile, the storm was increasing rapidly in fury, see any distance ahead. — stecred, A — went to the cutter dipping bows under to every wave, the spray the masthead, and Lui, the half-caste, and the two Fijians flying clean over us. We went down below into the little stood ready. As there were plenty of men to do what was cabin and had something to eat, a biscuit and salt beef, wanted, I remained close to H — to lend him a hand if It was impossible for the boat to come out to us ; nothing necessary. We were of course drenched all the time with could bave lived in the heavy sea, so we were obliged to the heavy rain and spray, but that was nothing. To reach remain on board, the storm raging worse and worse. A the island we had to pass through some dangerous reef little before three o'clock in the afternoon I went down patches, lying a mile and a half from it, the passage below, for I was very cold and wet. I was down but a through the reef only a very narrow one, being but a few few minutes, when — called to me, “Old man, stand yards wide. Not one of us spoke a word; I knew after- by to swim; one chain has parted I” ward that we were all thinking the same thing, that it was The tone of his voice was quite enough. I did not say indeed very doubtful whether any of us would see land a word ; I felt the worst had come; I went on deck at again. We were close-hauled to endeavor to get as much once; there was — with nothing but his shirt on, his as possible to windward of the passage, and we were face very white, and with the same look on it that I had anxious to get through before the wind shisted round any noticed when we were on the reef. I went to the bows, more. After a long time, A- cried out that we were and, of course, saw at once that one chain had gone. I close upon the reef; there it was, a white seething mass said to H-, “Let us lash two oars together and get of huge waves and foam. I looked at H-, his honest ashore on them.” He said, “Not a bit of use; you will brown face as white as a sheet, and with such a desperate only be drifted upon those rocks ; your only chance is to look upon it; we all saw at once that it was impossible to swim, and try and make for that bit of sandy beach. It make the passage, close-hauled though we were, on that is your only chance, old man ; if you get upon those rocks tack. There was not a second to be lost; we were almost you will be dashed to pieces." Now, in order to reach on the reef; H — tried to put the cutter about; she that sandy beach we had to swim in a great measure missed stays; we could not get her round; and the next against wind, waves and tide. I merely said, “I suppose moment we were broadside on, among the huge waves and we had better go before the other chain parts." He said, white foam right on the reef, which here is some fifty to “Yes, if you wait till then you will have less chance." I sixty yards wide; an awful sea was running, and we were did not say another word. I stripped my clothes off. As tossed up and down like a cockleshell. A- at the mast- I was taking my shirt oft, H- said, “You had better head roared out his orders in a hoarse voice of agony,“Luff, keep that on; you will want something on shore,” But I luff! keep her full !” and in that way we literally dodged took it off, for I knew I could not swim in it; I, however, between the huge rocks until we reached the deep water kept my jersey on, and there I stood ready. beyond. Our escape was a most miraculous one; at one We both stood together hanging on to the shrouds, both time if we had been in the trough of the sea instead of on of us silent, for a minute or two, very quiet, and our facesthe top of a huge wave, we must have all lost our lives. for mine must have been the same as —'s-very white. When we were safe in the open sea again, A- came I looked at the huge breakers, at the rocks, at the distance down from the masthead, his face very white, and said to from the strip of beach, and I felt my heart sink terribly. me, "Sonny, I would not have given five cents for I did not say a word, but I felt I could not reach the any of our lives a minute ago." I looked on old H —; he shore; there was no time for any cowardice. H- told was nearly crying with thankfulness.
afterward that I did not show the slightest fear, that he That danger over, we had another dificulty before us- never saw any one behave in such a cool manner as I did. how to reach the island ; for the wind was gradually Just before I jumped into the sea I turned round to Hhauling round, and was again blowing dead ahead, and a and said, “Old man, I can't do it.” The next moment I tremendous sea was running. After tacking and tacking was among the waves, swimming for the shore. I kept with the greatest difficulty, we reached holding-ground on up my presence of mind grandly. I swam slowly and dethe lee side of our barren island, and threw out both liberately, for I know I stood a poor chance if I flurried anchors and sixty-five fathoms of chaio. Lui and the myself. Fijians went ashore in the boat to cook ; she returned for I heard — plunge into the sea behind me; he soon A— who also went ashore. H- and I remained on passed me, swimming with far greater ease than I did ; board, not anticipating any danger. This was at nine he is much more powerfully built than I am, stronger in o'clock in the morning. Soon after A— left us the wind every way, and has led a very rough life since his boywent round to the northward, and instead of our being on hood; he stood a far better chance of reaching the shore the lee side of the island, we were now on the windward than I did. It was terrible work amongst those hage side, exposed to the full fury of the gale; it was impossible breakers; they followed each other in such quick succesthen for the boat to return to as; the sight was a grand sion, that when you did manage to rise to the eurface after one, and believing that our chains would hold, and not being overwhelmed with one, you had not time even to dreaming that there was any danger, I thoroughly en- breathe before the next huge wave was upon you. I was joyed it.
getting very exhausted, my arms and legs so tired that I Where the boat had gone ashore was a narrow strip of could scarcely move them, and I found it more difficolt to white sand, with a blackground of trees, the rest of the rise from under the waves. I saw A-(who cannot island nothing but bluff barren rocks, rising straight out swim a stroke) on the beach, gesticulating and running of the water ; a tremendous sea was rolling in, and dash- about frantically. I saw H— far ahead of me, still ing fariously against these rocks, striking them and rising making good way; then I saw Lui, the half-caste, a perhigh in the air a mass of white foam ; the trees on the fect Hercules in strength, and a splendid swimmer, dash island in their new Spring foliage forming a beantiful con- into the water followed by the two Fijians. I saw them traste H-said to me, “What an iron-bound coast." | reach —; one Fijian remained with him to help him,
and Lai and the other came on toward me. It seemed | which had in the meantime parted the remaining chain, ohild's play to them; the breakers were rolling in toward was dashed against the rocks, her topmast striking the the shore ; as they met each
one they dived under it, and rocks within a few feet of me. Well, they dragged me up so they came on to me. I was afraid they would not from ledge to ledge, until we got to a safe place, and there reach me in time, for I was completely exhausted. I had I lay and vomited bucketsful. The Fijians, seeing I was no strength left in me, and I gave an awful yell, and sank numb with cold, lay upon me with their naked bodies like before they reached me. When I came to the surface I blankets until I had got some warmth into me; they then, found myself almost unconsciously between them, my left between them, carried me down to the beach, into a sort hand on Lui's shoulder, my right arm held up by the of cave. A— came up, and never shall I forget the Fijian. We made for the shore ; in a second a huge rough fellow's tender kindness to me. “Old man, old breaker was opon us, and separated us.
man, I never thought I should see you again. I told A—, who was watching from the beach, says he I— long ago that you 'were cooked. Lui and the thought none of us would come to the surface again, we Fijians when they came ashore said it was impossible to were so long beneath the waves; however, we came to the save you, that you were a drowned man, that it was writsurface again, and Lui and the Fijian grasped me again ; ten on your face ; that they themselves were nearly a huge wave separated us again, again we came together, drowned ; that the sharks were already at you." and made a vain attempt. . Lui said, Sa oti (“It is fin A-fortunately had brougit a rug ashore with him ished "), shook me off and made for the shore, followed by in the boat; he stripped off my wet jersey, took off his the Fijian. I then heard a yell from H-, the Fijian own dry fisherman's blue jersey, made me put it on, and who came out to help him had deserted him also. When wrapped me in his rog, and made the Fijians light a fire, Lui said Sa oti, and the two men left me, the agony of and I lay close alongside. It was quite dark then-just mind I suffered is something indescribable ; I gave up all think how awful it would have been if the storm had come hope of life, 1 was utterly exhausted, and down I sank. I upon us during the night. The shake of the hand old heard the breakers roaring above me, I could just see my A — gave me when he first saw me I shall never forget. arms moving feebly about, my stomach began to swell Soon — came limping up; we said nothing at first, most painfully with the amount of salt water I was swal- but just looked at each other in quiet thankfulness. He lowing, and then, in the most unaccountable manner, I then told me he had never had such a narrow squeak for came to the surface again, and saw them dragging — his life before, that he also gave up all hope, and yet I saw ashore.
him dragged ashore. A- told me that they all rushed Down I sank again, and so on, until at last I felt dashed into the water and dragged him ashore, and that when he against the rocks. I grasped at them, but they were saw his face he gave up all hops of ever seeing me again, smooth and slippery, and back I was sucked again by for H-'8 face was like a corpse's, his lips livid. the waves; the next wave threw me up again, and I felt & That night, when the tide went down, A- Lui, and hand clutch hold of me and drag me higher op ; I fully the Fijians went to the cutter to get some food and realized then how a drowning man grasps at every straw; water, for we were on a barren island without either ; the wave flattened both of us against the rock, which rose although the waves were dashing over the cutter, they sheer above us; I clutched at it in a helpless kind of way, pluckily dived into her hold and brought up a box of and most mercifully three fingers of each hand stuck in tinned meats and a bag of flour belonging to me; they two small niches in the rock ; I could only get them in as also secured a keg of water, so we were fortunately profar as the first joint, no more ; how I held on is a marvel vided with provisions for a week. This was all that could to me, a marvel to every one who saw the place afterward. be done then; the seas had broken open the hatches, and The next wave lifted me clean off my feet, and towered were washing the cargo out in the most merciless way. high above us; how my fingers retained their hold 1 That night the wind went right round to the southward, cannot tell, it was pure desperation ; as the wave receded and then gradually to the eastward, proving that we had the suction was very great; it washed the Fijian, who had experienced a regular cyclone. The gale raged all night, saved me, back again, amongst the breakerg. I looked and we never expected to see the cutter in the morning. rjund for an instant, and saw him struggling in the None of us slept that night, but we all lay down ; an oar water, but the next wave was upon me, a huge body of served us three for a pillow. A- and — put me water, and I held on again like grim death; my strength between them ; no clothes had been saved from the wreck. was gone, my arms and legs numb, but I did not leave go. A-had fortunately his rng; we lay as close to each The wave washed the Fijian into a small hole in the rock other as we possibly could, I close up to 1—'s back, hollowed ont by the action of the water ; into this the and A— close up to mine with his arm round me. How waves swept with fearful force, but the Fijian was fresh bitterly cold it was, how the wind did roar! I could not and stuck there.
sleep, my chest was paining me too much ; I said, “I After a while he clambered round the rocks, how I don't can't breathe.” — said, “I am just the same, every know, and went for help; he saw — and shouted to breath I take pains me." I suppose this was the result of him for a rope, he (A) chopped off the boat's painter the quantity of salt water we had swallowed. We were with an ax, and sent Lui and the Fijians over the rocks to very thankful when morning at last dawned. Hand me. They came down from above, and let the rope down I could not move; his legs were much cut about, but I to me in a noose ; it was too short-they called and yelled was in a far worse state. When they hauled me over the to me to catch hold of it, but I could not, I had no rooks I was bleeding, I may truly say, all over ; it was a strength left; they let it down a little lower, it was pow great meroy no limbs were broken. I was cut all over, about two feet above me; I waited for the next wave, it my feet and legs terribly ; when H—and Alooked lifted me up, I made one desperate effort and caught hold over me next morning they said, “By Jove, old man, you of the rope; they dragged me up to a small ledge, where would make a splendid zebra.” I was afraid at first that there was just room for me to stand ; they seized me by my left knee was seriously damaged, for I could not move the wrists and legs, and there I vomited a quantity of it; my feet were much swollen, and I had an ugly out in blood and water; after a while they dragged me up my groin. My wounds were all full of dirt ; there was no higher to another ledge; as they were doing so the cutter, / water to wash in, for we had but very little for drinking
leaves were all black and withered. I was bringing up a large stock of stores and necessaries for the plantation ; remnants only saved, a quantity of silver for plantation use gone, my good heavy coats that are invaluable on these voyages all washed away, cases broken by the waves, and some of the contents washed ashore ; even tinned meats
strewn about on the reefs; sulus (cloth for plantation use) 10
found in strips all over the reef; my belt was picked up three days afterward. I cannot tell the extent of my loss at present, but I look upon it as nothing when I think how wonderfully my life has been spared.
The third day the sea was almost calm. On Saturday a schooner came in sight; we bailed her and she lent us men. All ballast was taken out of the catter, two strong tackles rove to the reef, the holes in her were then patched up, and at high tide she was hauled into deep water, and by constant pumping kept afloat. The schooner lent her an anchor and chain. Then it was decided that I should go on in the schooner to Savu Bay to break the news to 1—'s partner, and send down a letter to A—'s wife to tell her that her husband was all right, for we knew that
everybody would be very anxious about us. So I came on AN ESCAPE FOR LIFE.—“THE FIJIANS, SEEING I WAS NOMB WITH in the schooner and reached this fall of thankfulness.
THE COLD, LAY UPON ME WITH THEIR NAKED BODIES, UNTIL I My wounds are showing no signs of festering; they HAD GOT SOME WARMTH INTO JE."
cannot look more healtby. How I relished my first wash ! purposes, and it was necessary to husband that very care- My feet are so much cut about that I cannot do much fully, for we did not know when we might be rescued. walking at present, but I am in perfect health ; the However, I bore all with the greatest cheerfulness-every difficulty I suffered at first in breathing has entirely left thing seemed so utterly trivial when I thought how me, so do not be in the least alarmed about me. mercifully my life had been spared. That night as I lay I shall give the Fijian who saved my life a handsome awake, a feeling of utter horror came over me when I thought present; he indeed deserves one, although he did not come of what I had gone through, and then it would change with the intention of saving my life; he said to A-, to intense thankfulness that I was still safe and sound in “I must go and see the white man die,” and ran to the limb. A- told me that I was at least three-quarters of top of the rooks to get a good view. He saw I had life in an hour in the water, and two hours upon the rocks, so me yet, and pluckily clambered down the rocks. How he you can imagine what I endured.
found a footing I don't know, but Fijians are as sureWhen I gave up all hope in the water, I did not suffer one footed as goats ; but at all events he got down in time to pang of remorse about my past life. I have always been seize my hand and save my life. told that when a man is drowning all his past life comes I have written this letter in a great hurry, and at one before him, and he suffers horrors of conscience ; it was sitting, so I am pretty well tired out; but I have a chance not so with me. I thought of you, my dear father and of sending to Lovuka to-morrow; possibly I may not have mother, and of you all at home, and what a sorrow the another before the mail leaves. news of my death would be to you all, and then, strange
YOUR AFFECTIONATE Son. to say, I thought how people do lie; I have always been told that death by drowning is the easiest death, and yet here I am suffering agonies of pain, and I remember wishing, If I am to be drowned, let it be done quickly. Then I thought, I am about to solve the problem about the future world, and I felt the same feeling of shyness and dread come over me that I have felt so often, and never could conquer, when I was outside a drawing-room door, and about to be ushered into the presence of a crowd of ladies and men. I have been asked if I never thought about the sharks which infest the place. I am thankful to say that they never entered my head ; if I had remembered them I feel sure I should have gone down like a stone.
Next morning the cutter, to our great surprise, was still there; when she had drifted ashore it was high tide, and the waves wedged her in between the rocks most securely; twenty yards beyond the place where she struck, and she would have missed the island altogether, and been driven clean away ; she came ashore at the very place where I did, thus showing how helplessly the wind and waves had driven me; twenty yards more and I should have been lost.
Daring the day the wind and waves went down ; the AN ESCAPE FOR LIPB. -"ALTHOUGH THE WAVES WERE DASHING trees, whose tender foliage I had admired the day before, OVER THE CUTTER, THEY PLUCKILY DIVED INTO THE HOLD
AND BROUGHT UP A BOX OF TINNED MEATS AND A BAG OF looked as if a severe fire had passed through them, the PLOUR BELONGING TO ME."