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lines in a sea of crimson, and stamping her foot with such energy that her hostess jumped.
There was no reason why she should give an innocent remark such a warm reception; but then, as the reader will no doubt have observed, the reluctance that some young women show to talking of the possibility of their marriage to the man they happen to have set their hearts on is only equalled by the alacrity with which they marry him when the time comes.
Having set Dick and Augusta down to a breakfast of porridge and coffee, which both of them thought delicious, though the fare was really rather coarse, Mrs. Thomas, being unable to restrain her curiosity, rowed off to the land to see the huts and also Mr. Meeson's remains, which, though not a pleasant sight, were undoubtedly an interesting one. With her, too, went most of the crew, bent upon the same errand, and also on obtaining water, of which the Harpoon was short.
As soon as she was left alone, Augusta went back to the cabin, taking Dick with her, and lay down on the berth with a feeling of safety and thankfulness to which she had long been a stranger, where very soon she fell sound asleep.
WHEN Augusta opened her eyes again she became conscious of a violent rolling motion that she could not mistake. They were at sea.
She got up, smoothed her hair, and went on deck, to find that she had slept for many hours, for the sun was setting. She went aft to where Mrs. Thomas was sitting near the wheel with little Dick beside her, and after greeting them, turned to watch the sunset. The sight was a beautiful one enough, for the great waves, driven by the westerly wind, which in these latitudes is nearly always blowing half a gale, were rushing past them wild and free, and the sharp spray of their foaming crests struck upon her forehead like a whip. The sun was setting, and the arrows of the dying light flew fast and far across the billowy bosom of the deep. Fast and far they flew from the stormy glory in the west, lighting up the pale surfaces of cloud, and tinging the gray waters of that majestic sea with a lurid hue of blood. They kissed the bellying sails, and seemed to rest upon the vessel's lofty trucks, and then travelled on and away and away, through the great empyrean of space till they broke and vanished upon the horizon's rounded edge. There behind them—
miles behind-Kerguelen Land reared its fierce cliffs against the twilight sky. Clear and desolate they towered in an unutterable solitude, and on their snowy surfaces the sunbeams beat coldly as the warm breath of some human passion beating on Aphrodite's marble breast.
Augusta gazed upon those drear cliffs that had so nearly proved her monumental pile, and shuddered. It was as a hideous dream.
And then the dark and creeping shadows of the night threw their veils around and over them, and they vanished. They were swallowed up in blackness, and she lost sight of them and of the great seas that forever beat and churn about their stony feet; nor, except in dreams, did she again set her eyes upon their measureless solitude.
The Night arose in strength and shook a golden dew of stars from the tresses of her streaming clouds, till the wonderful deep heavens sparkled with a myriad gemmy points. The West Wind going on his way sang his wild chant among the cordage, and rushed among the sails as with a rush of wings. The ship leaned over like a maiden shrinking from a kiss, then, shivering, fled away; leaping from billow to billow as they rose, and tossed their white arms about her, fain to drag her down and hold her to ocean's heaving breast.
The rigging tautened and the huge sails flapped in thunder as the Harpoon sped upon her course, and all around was greatness and the present majesty of power. Augusta looked aloft and sighed, she knew not why.
The swift blood of youth coursed through her veins, and she rejoiced exceedingly that life and all its possibilities yet lay before her. But a little more of that dreadful place and they would have lain behind. Her days would have been numbered before she scarce had time to strike a blow in the great human struggle that rages ceaselessly from age to age. The voice of her genius would have been hushed just as its notes began to thrill, and her message would never have been spoken in the world. But now time was once more before her, and, oh! the nearness of death had taught her the unspeakable value of that one asset on which we can rely-life. Not, indeed, that life for which so many live-the life led for self, and having for its principle, if not its only end, the gratification of the desires of self; but an altogether higher life-a life devoted to telling that which her keen instinct knew was truth, and, however imperfectly, painting with the pigment of her noble art those visions of beauty which sometimes seemed to rest upon her soul like shadows from the heaven of our hopes.
Three months have passed-three long months of tossing waters and ever-present winds. The Harpoon, shaping her course for Norfolk, in the United States, had made but a poor passage of it. She got into the southeast trades, and all went well till they made St. Paul's Rocks, where they were detained by the doldrums and variable winds. Afterwards she passed into the northeast trades, and then, farther north, met
a series of westerly gales, that ultimately drove her to the Azores, just as her crew were getting very short of water and provisions. And here Augusta bid farewell to her friend the Yankee skipper; for the whaler that had saved her life and Dick's, after refitting once more, set sail upon its almost endless voyage. She stood on the breakwater at Ponta Delgada, and watched the Harpoon drop past. The men recognized her, and cheered lustily, and Captain Thomas took off his hat; for the entire ship's company, down to the cabin-boy, were head over heels in love with Augusta; and the extraordinary offerings that they made her on parting, most of them connected in some way or other with that noble animal the whale, sufficed to fill a goodsized packing-case. Augusta waved her handkerchief to them in answer; but she could not see much of them, because her eyes were full of tears. She had had quite enough of the Harpoon, and yet she was loath to say farewell to her; for her days on board had in many respects been restful and happy ones; they had given her space and time to brace herself up before she plunged once more into the struggle of active life. Besides, she had throughout been treated with that unvarying kindness and consideration for which the American people are justly noted in their dealings with all persons in misfortune.
But Augusta was not the only person who with sorrow watched the departure of the Harpoon. First, there was little Dick, who had acquired a fine Yankee drawl, and grown quite half an inch on board of her,