Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/258

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water. However, got the hatchways all secured, expecting what would be the consequence should the wind shift; placed the carpenters by the mainmast with broad-axes, knowing from experience that at the moment you may want to cut it away to save the ship, an axe may not be found. Went to supper; bread, cheese, and porter. The purser frightened out of his wits about his bread bags, the two marine officers as white as sheets, not understanding the ship's working and groaning in every timber, and the noise of the lower deck guns which by this time made a pretty screeching and straining to people not used to it. It seemed as if the whole ship's side was going at each roll. Old "Wooden-head," our carpenter, was all this time smoking his pipe and laughing at the doctor; the second lieutenant upon deck, and the third in his hammock.

At ten o'clock I thought to get a little sleep; came to look into my cot; it was full of water, for every seam, by the straining of the ship had begun to leak and the sea was also flooding through the closed gun-ports. I stretched myself, therefore, upon the deck between two chests and left orders to be called, should the least thing happen. At twelve a midshipman came up to me:

"Mr. Archer, we are just going to wear ship, sir."

"Oh, very well, I '11 be up directly. What sort of weather have you got?"

"It blows a hurricane, sir, and I think we shall lose the ship."

Went upon deck and found Sir Hyde there. Said he:

"It blows damned hard, Archer."

"It does indeed, sir."

"I don't know that I ever remember it blowing so hard before, Archer, but the ship makes a very good weather