Page:Yule Logs.djvu/235

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219
"BY DEFAULT OF THE ENGINEER"

ship. The captain then summoned all of us officers to his cabin.

I could see that he had not even yet recovered from the exasperation caused him by what had taken place.

"I have sent for you all," he said, "to ask your opinions on the situation. It's no use to attempt to work the ship to Aden under canvas. I propose, therefore, to heave-to till daylight, and then run into one of the bays on the coast to leeward of us. I see there is one marked on the chart between Seger and Kalfat, near the town of Doan, and if I can make that without running up against any rocks I shall anchor the ship there. Has any one anything better to propose?"

We all said no, and the council broke up.

In accordance with the decision arrived at, the Serampore was hove-to for the night. At daylight next morning all sail was made on her, and with wind abaft the beam she ran in for the spot which Captain Skeed had indicated as suitable for his purpose.

The coast stood out barren and rocky, but there was a break in it visible right ahead. With the lead going, and a sharp look-out for rocks, we sailed into a small bight or bay under the lee of Seger Point, and let go her anchor in thirteen fathoms. As the cable was veered out she swung round head to wind and sea with her stern inland; but as she tautened her cable a crash sounded from aft, and we felt her stern bump upon a sunken rock.

"My God!" exclaimed Captain Skeed, "the ship is lost," and he fell upon the deck insensible. We carried him into his cabin, and the doctor was immediately summoned, but all his efforts to restore animation were unavailing. Captain Skeed was dead.