Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/368

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the master promising to send aboard what provisions he could spare. Then the wind chopped around to the westward, and, precisely as had happened to the sloop Peggy, the brig hauled her braces, sheeted her topsails home, and went driving away on her course.

Mr. MacCloud, the mate of the Barrett, was a hardy young Scot with the endurance of iron and the soul of a hero. Day after day the ship wallowed in the wicked winter weather of the Western Ocean, and only the timber in the flooded hold kept her afloat. Cold and hunger laid the crew low until only the mate and three men were able to stand a watch on deck; but he kept a little canvas on her and tended the tiller and somehow jammed her along until they had sailed six hundred miles toward the Irish coast.

Every eatable was consumed: candles, oil—all were gone, and they passed the long, dreary, stormy nights of sixteen and seventeen hours in utter darkness, huddled together in the steerage, imploring the Almighty to help them, yet feeling reckless of existence. Such was their condition about the middle of January, and no one but the mate paid the slightest attention to the vessel.

Captain Faragar succumbed to the strain, and died with a farewell message to his wife and children. The time came at length when one of the