Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/365

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THE NOTTINGHAM GALLEY
 

with great earnestness and affection, and expressing their hope that God would interpose for his preservation. They assured him also that although they had never yet been able to catch a single fish, they would again put out their hooks and try whether in that manner any relief could be obtained.

 

There was little comfort for David Flat in this commiseration, and the situation benumbed his mind so that he was in a stupor, which changed to raving madness during the night. At eight o'clock next morning Captain Harrison was thinking of this faithful seaman of his who had only three hours more to live, when two of the others came into the cabin and took hold of his hands. Their agitation was apparent, but they seemed unable to speak and explain themselves, and he surmised that they had concluded to put him to death instead of David Flat. He therefore groped for his pistol, but the sailors snatched it away, and managed to tell him that a sail had been sighted, a large vessel to leeward which had altered her course and was beating up to them as fast as possible.

The men on deck had been similarly affected, losing all power of speech for the moment; but presently they hurried into the cabin, with strength renewed, to shout at the captain that a ship was coming to save them. They tried to make poor David Flat comprehend the tremendous fact, but he was