Page:Ballinger Price--Us and the Bottle Man.djvu/81

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ingly, pressing me close. If they forced me back into the doorway, all hope would be gone. I cut desperately at the fastenings that secured the weights; felt myself rising; felt my legs pull out from the clinging, slimy arms; looked down at them—a sea of bobbing smooth heads, of round, expressionless, black eyes; saw them waving their tentacle-like arms in fury; saw at last the dim, golden crest of the tallest tower below my feet; burst above the blessed sea-level and saw good blue waves slapping the bow of the brigantine drifting lazily down toward me.

I know nothing of the voyage home. I must have been poisoned by the missile, whatever it was, that the sea-creature flung at me. (I bear the scar to this day.) For I have no recollection of much more, until I sat in the library bow-window of my father's house, very tired and stiff and thoroughly thankful that the voyage was over. It was dark, and my mother sat sewing beside a shaded lamp and singing to herself. I fingered the book that lay beside me on the window-seat, and said:

"Mother, did you keep the book just here all the time I was gone because you were sorry I went and wanted to remember me?

She laughed, and said: "Yes, all the time