Page:Yule Logs.djvu/73

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57
VENTURE OF THE "BERTHA" WHALER

But the look-out man—always on the look-out for "footing"—assured him that all was true and distinct and real. When he had carefully pocketed the "tip," he permitted himself a long look across the ice, muttering something, looking and again muttering.

"Ship ahoy!" he cried suddenly, hailing the deck.

"Where away!" came the response.

"Broad on the starboard beam: lying low on the ice, under the lee of a berg. Looks dismantled."

"Can you make it out? " asked Arthur, when his brother had found him on deck some minutes later.

"No; not likely from here. We are heading for it now, and expect we shall pick her up. Did you like the 'crow's nest'?"

"Not much," replied Arthur. "I didn't like playing 'Cherub aloft.' Felt as if I had a body, and that my wings were making my head giddy!"

"I say, Artie," suggested Reginald, "when we reach the vessel yonder shall we go aboard?"

"Rather!" was the reply. "Listen! what does Esau say? Derelict?—that means stranded or abandoned, doesn't it?"

"Chucked up, I think. But the beast won't let us go, never fear! We and the doctor are his pet foes."

"We can try, any way. Come and see Mr. Halbrake."

The surgeon was in his cabin reading and smoking. He heard the report, and guessed the anxiety of the boys. They were most desirous to go.

"Wait until we hear the order to lower the boat," he said after a while. "Then wrap up well, and let us all go and ask the commander. Be ready, mind!"

The lads went out, dressed and made all necessary preparations for the trip, then they came into the doctor's berth again and waited, chatting at intervals, and proposing all kinds of future expeditions.

At last the anticipated order came. The three friends