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came she would have gone to join little Jeannie. And then, being a good and religious girl, Augusta rose to her knees and prayed to Heaven with all her heart and soul to rescue them from their terrible position, or, if she was doomed to perish, at least to save the child.
And so the long cold night wore away in thought and vigil, till at last, some two hours before the dawn, she got to sleep. When she opened her eyes again it was broad daylight, and little Dick, who had been awake some time beside her, was sitting up playing with the shell which Bill and Johnnie had used to drink rum out of. She rose and put the child's things a little to rights, and then, as it was not raining, told him to run outside while she went through the form of dressing by taking off such garments as she had, shaking them, and putting them on again. She was slowly going through this process, and wondering how long it would be before her shoulders ceased to smart from the effects of the tattooing, when Dick came running in without going through the formality of knocking.
"Oh, auntie! auntie!" he sang out in high glee, "here's a big ship coming sailing along. Is it mummy and daddie coming to fetch Dick?"
Augusta sank back faint with the sudden revulsion of feeling. If there was a ship, they were saved-snatched from the very jaws of death. But perhaps it was the child's fancy. She threw on the body of her dress; and her long yellow hair-which she had in default of better means been trying to comb out with a bit of wood-streaming behind her, she took
the child by the hand, and flew as fast as she could go down the little rocky promontory off which Bill and Johnnie had met their end. Before she got half-way down it, she saw that the child's tale was true-for there, sailing right up the fjord from the open sea, was a large vessel. She was not two hundred yards from where she stood, and her canvas was being rapidly furled preparatory to the anchor being dropped.
Thanking Providence for the sight as she never thanked anything before, Augusta sped on till she got to the extreme point of the promontory, and stood there waving Dick's little cap towards the vessel, which moved slowly and majestically on, till presently, across the clear water, came the splash of the anchor, followed by the sound of the fierce rattle of the chain through the hawse-pipes. Then there came another sound-the glad sound of human voices cheering. She had been seen.
Five minutes passed, and then she saw a boat lowered and manned. The oars were got out, and presently it was backing-water within ten paces of her.
"Go round there,” she called, pointing to the little bay, "and I will meet you."
By the time that she had got to the spot the boat was already beached, and a tall, thin, kindly-faced man was addressing her in an unmistakable Yankee accent, "Cast away, miss?" he said, interrogatively.
"Yes," gasped Augusta; "we are the survivors of the Kangaroo, which sank in a collision with a whaler about a week ago."
"Ah!" said the captain, "with a whaler? Then I guess that's where my consort has gone to. She's been missing about a week, and I put in here to see if I could get upon her tracks-also to fill up with water. Wall, she was well insured, any way; and when last we spoke her, she had made a very poor catch. But perhaps, miss, you will, at your convenience, favor me with a few particulars?"
Accordingly, Augusta sketched the history of their terrible adventure in as few words as possible; and the tale was one that made even the phlegmatic Yankee captain stare. Then she took him, followed by the crew, to the hut where Meeson lay dead, and to the other hut, where she and Dick had slept upon the previous night.
"Wall, miss," said the captain, whose name was Thomas, "I guess that you and the youngster will be about ready to vacate these apartments; so, if you please, I will send you off to the ship, the Harpoon— that's her name-of Norfolk, in the United States. You will find her well flavored with oil, for we are about full to the hatches; but, perhaps, under the circumstances, you will not mind that. Any way, my missus, who is aboard-having come the cruise for her health-and who is an Englishwoman like you, will do all she can to make you comfortable. And I tell you what it is, miss; if I was in any way pious, I should just thank the Almighty that I happened to see that there bit of a flag with my spyglass as I was sailing along the coast at sun-up this morning, for I had no in
tention of putting in at this creek, but at one twenty miles along. And now, miss, if you'll go aboard, some of us will stop and just tuck up the dead gentleman as well as we can."
Augusta thanked him from her heart, and, going into the hut, got her hat and the roll of sovereigns which had been Mr. Meeson's, but which he had told her to take, leaving the blankets to be brought by the
Then two of the sailors got into the little boat belonging to the Kangaroo, in which Augusta had escaped, and rowed her and Dick away from that hate ful shore to where the whaler-a fore-and-aft schooner-was lying at anchor. As they drew near, she saw the rest of the crew of the Harpoon, among whom was a woman, watching their advent from the deck, who, when she got her foot upon the companion-ladder, one and all set up a hearty cheer. In another moment she was on deck-which, notwithstanding its abominable smell of oil, seemed to her the fairest and most delightful place that her eyes had ever rested on-and being almost hugged by Mrs. Thomas, a pleasant-looking woman of about thirty, the daughter of a Suffolk farmer who had emigrated to the States. And then, of course, she had to tell her story all over again; after which she was led off to the cabin occupied by the captain and his wife (and which thenceforth was occupied by Augusta, Mrs. Thomas, and little Dick), the captain shaking down where he could. And here, for the first time for nearly a week, she was able to wash and dress
herself properly. And oh, the luxury of it! Nobody knows what the delights of clean linen really mean till he or she has had to dispense with it under circumstances of privation; nor have they the slightest idea of what a difference to one's well-being and comfort is made by the possession or non-possession of an article so common as a comb. While Augusta was still combing out her hair with sighs of delight, Mrs. Thomas knocked at the door and was admitted.
'My, miss, what beautiful hair you have, now that it is combed out!" she said in admiration; "and arms, too-I never saw such arms!-why, whatever is that upon your shoulders?"
Then Augusta had to tell the tale of the tattooing, which by the way, it struck her, it was wise to do, seeing that she thus secured a witness to the fact that she was already tattooed on leaving Kerguelen Land, and that the operation had been of such recent infliction that the flesh was still inflamed with it. the more necessary as the tattooing was undated.
Mrs. Thomas listened to the story with her mouth open, lost between admiration at Augusta's courage, and regret that her beautiful white shoulders should have been ruined in that fashion.
"Well, the least that he" (alluding to Eustace) "can do is to marry you after you have spoiled yourself in that fashion for his benefit," said the practical Mrs. Thomas.
"Nonsense! Mrs. Thomas," said Augusta, blushing till the tattoo marks on her shoulders looked like blue