Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/45

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23
FATE OF THE BRIG POLLY

and smartly handled, and presently they lay hove to. The captain of the nearest one shouted a hail through his brass trumpet, but the skipper of the Polly had no voice to answer back. He sat weeping upon the coaming of a hatch. Although not given to emotion, he would have told you that it had been a hard voyage. A boat was dropped from the davits of this nearest ship, which flew the red ensign from her spanker-gaff. A few minutes later Captain Cazneau and Samuel Badger, able seaman, were alongside the good ship Fame of Hull, Captain Featherstone, and lusty arms pulled them up the ladder. It was six months to a day since the Polly had been thrown on her beam-ends and dismasted.

The three ships had been near together in light winds for several days, it seemed, and it occurred to their captains to dine together on board the Fame. And so the three skippers were there to give the survivors of the Polly a welcome and to marvel at the yarn they spun. The Fame was homeward bound from Rio Janeiro. It is pleasant to learn that Captain Cazneau and Samuel Badger "were received by these humane Englishmen with expressions of the most exalted sensibility." The musty old narrative concludes:

 
Thus was ended the most shocking catastrophe which our seafaring history has recorded for many years, after