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from the watery depths and look upon the skies with eyes that could not see, and then vanish for ever.
Turning from this awful and most moving sight, they rowed slowly through quantities of floating wreckage-barrels, hencoops (in one of these they found two drowned fowls, which they secured), and many other articles, such as oars and wicker deck-chairs—and began to shout vigorously in the hope of attracting the attention of the survivors in the other boat, which they imagined could not be far off. Their efforts, however, proved fruitless, since owing to the thickness of the fog, and in the considerable sea which was running, it was impossible to see more than twenty yards or so. Also, what between the wind, and the wash and turmoil of the water, the sound of their voices did not travel far. The ocean is a large place, and a rowing boat is easily lost sight of upon its furrowed surface; therefore it is not wonderful that, although the two boats were at the moment within half a mile of each other, they never met, and each took its separate course in the hope of escaping the fate of the vessel. The boat in which were Lady Holmhurst and some twenty other passengers, together with the second officer and a crew of six men, after seeing the Kangaroo sink and picking up one survivor, shaped a course for Kerguelen Land, believing that they, and they, alone, remained to tell the tale of that awful shipwreck. And here it may be convenient to state that before nightfall they were picked up by a sealing-whaler, that sailed with them to Albany, on the
coast of Australia. Thence an account of the disaster, which, as the reader will remember, created a deep impression, was telegraphed home, and thence, in due course, the widowed Lady Holmhurst and most of the other women who escaped were taken back to England. To return to our heroine and Mr. Meeson.
The occupants of the little boat sat looking at each other with white scared faces, till at last the man called Johnnie, who, by the way, was not a tar of a very amiable cast of countenance, possibly owing to the fact that his nose was knocked almost flat against the side of his face, swore violently, and said "It was no good stopping there all the etceteraed day." Thereupon Bill, who was a more jovial-looking man, remarked "that he, Johnnie, was etceteraed well right, so they had better hoist the foresail."
At this point Augusta interposed, and told them that the captain, just as the vessel came into collision, had informed her that he was making Kerguelen Land, which was not more than sixty or seventy miles away. They had a compass in the boat, and they knew the course the Kangaroo was steering when she sank. Accordingly, without wasting further time, they got as much sail up as the little boat could carry in the stiff breeze, and ran nearly due east before the steady westerly wind. All day long they ran across the misty ocean, the little boat behaving splendidly, without sighting any living thing, till, at last, the night closed in again. There were, fortunately, a bag of biscuits in
the boat, and a breaker of water; also there was, unfortunately, a breaker of rum, from which the two sailors, Bill and Johnnie, were already taking quite as much as was good for them. Consequently, though they were cold and wet with the spray, they had not to face the added horrors of starvation and thirst. At sundown they shortened sail considerably, only leaving enough canvas up to keep the boat ahead of the sea.
Somehow the long night wore away. Augusta scarcely closed her eyes; but little Dick slept like a top upon her bosom, sheltered by her arms and the blanket from the cold and penetrating spray. In the bottom of the boat lay Mr. Meeson, to whom Augusta, pitying his condition-for he was shivering dreadfully-had given the other blanket, keeping nothing for herself except the woollen shawl.
At last, however, there came a faint glow in the east, and the daylight began to break over the stormy sea. Augusta turned her head and stared through the mist.
"What is that?" she said, in a voice trembling with excitement, to the sailor Bill, who was taking his turn at the tiller; and she pointed to a dark mass that loomed up almost over them.
The man looked, looked again; and then halloaed out joyfully, "Land-land ahead!"
Up struggled Mr. Meeson on to his knees-his legs. were so stiff that he could not stand-and began to stare wildly about him.
"Thank God!" he cried. "Where is it? Is it New Zealand? If ever I get there, I'll stop there. I'll never go on a ship again!"
"New Zealand!" growled the sailor. "Are you a fool? It's Kerguelen Land, that's what it is-where it rains all day, and nobody lives--not even a nigger. It's like enough that you'll stop there, though; for I don't reckon that anybody will come to take you off in a hurry."
Mr. Meeson collapsed with a groan, and a few minutes afterwards the sun rose, while the mist grew less and less, till at last it almost disappeared, revealing a grand panorama to the occupants of the boat. For before them were line upon line of jagged and lofty peaks, stretching as far as the eye could reach, till far away they gradually melted into the cold white gleam of snow.
Bill slightly altered the boat's course to the southward, and, sailing round a point, she came into comparatively calm water. Then, due north of them, running into the land, they saw the mouth of a great fjord, bounded on either side by towering mountain banks, so steep as to be almost precipitous, around whose lofty cliffs thousands of sea-fowl wheeled, awaking the echoes with their clamour. Right into this beautiful fjord they sailed, past a line of flat rocks on which sat huge fantastic monsters that the sailors said were sealions, along the line of beetling cliff, till they came to a spot where the shore, on which grew a rank, soddenlooking grass, shelved gently up from the water's edge.
to the frowning and precipitous background. And here, to their delight, they discovered two huts roughly built of old ship's timbers placed within a score of yards of each other, and at a distance of some fifty paces from the water's edge.
"Well, there's a house, anyway," said the flat-nosed Johnnie, "though it don't look as though it had paid rates and taxes lately."
“Let us land, and get out of this horrible boat," said Mr. Meeson feebly: a proposition that Augusta seconded heartily enough. Accordingly, the sail was lowered, and, getting out the oars, the two sailors rowed the boat into a little natural harbour that opened out of the main creek. In ten minutes her occupants were once more stretching their legs upon dry land; that is, if any land in Kerguelen Island, that region of perpetual wet, could be said to be dry.
Their first care was to go up to the huts and examine them, with a result that could scarcely be called encouraging. The huts had been built some years— whether by the expedition which, in 1874, came thither to observe the transit of Venus, or by former parties of shipwrecked mariners, they never discovered—and were now in a state of ruin. Mosses and lichens grew plentifully upon the beams, and even on the floor; while great holes in the roof let in the wet, which lay in little slimy puddles beneath. Still, with all their drawbacks, they were decidedly better than the open beach; a very short experience of which, in that inclement