xt7r7s7hr10k https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7r7s7hr10k/data/mets.xml Ellis, Edward Sylvester, 1840-1916. 1887  books b92-211-30910069 English A.L. Burt, : New York : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Adrift in the wilds, or, The adventures of two shipwrecked boys  / by Edward S. Ellis. text Adrift in the wilds, or, The adventures of two shipwrecked boys  / by Edward S. Ellis. 1887 2002 true xt7r7s7hr10k section xt7r7s7hr10k 






















































































X MAY THE GOOD L)RD PRESARVE rs! THEM ARE TNjuxs, RATD TTw.'1

 





Adrift in the Wilds;

               OR,


The AdMveltures of Twvo Sldiiwp cl-d Boys,



BY EDWARD S. ELLIS.



    ILLUSTRATED.







    NEW YORK:
A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER.

 

















































OOPYRXGFITED 1887, isy A. L. nutT.


 













   ADRIFT IN THE WILDS;

                       OR,

The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys.


                  CHAPTER I.
               HO, FOR CALIFORNIA.
       NE BEAUTIFUL midsummer night in 18-
         a large, heavily laden steamer was making
         her way swiftly up the Pacific coast, in the
direction of San Francisco. She was opposite the Cali-
fornia shore, only a day's sail distant from the City of
the Golden Gate, and many of the passengers had
already begun making preparations for landing, even
though a whole night and the better part of a day
was to intervene ere they could expect to set their
feet upon solid land.
  She was one of those magnificent steamers that ply
regularly between Panama and California. She had
rather more than her full cargo of freight and passen-
gers; but, among the hundreds of the latter, we' have to
do with but three.
  On this moonlight night, there were gathered by

 





ADRIFT IN THE WILDS.



themselves these three personages, consisting of Tim
O'Rooney, Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence.
The first was a burly, good-natured Irishman, and the
two latter were cousins, their ages differing by less than
i month, and both being in their sixteenth year.
  The financial storm that swept over the country in
18-, toppling down merchants and banking-houses
like so many ten-pins, carried with it in the general
wreck and ruin, that of Brandon, Herman  Co., and the
senior partner, Sylvanus Brandon, returned to his home
in Brooklyn, New York, one evening worse than pen-
niless. While he was meditating, dejected and gloomy,
as to the means by which he was to keep the wolf from
the door, his clerk brought him a letter which had been
overlooked in the afternoon's mail, postmarked, " San
Francisco, Cal." At once he recognized the bold,
handsome superscription as that of his kind-hearted
brother-in-law, Thomas Lawrence. His heart beat
with a strong hope as he broke the envelope, and his
eyes glistened ere he had read one-half.
  In short, it stated that M1r. Lawrence had established
himself successfully in business, and was doing so well
that he felt the imperative need of a partner, and ended
by urging Mr. Brandon to accept the position. The
bankrupt merchant laid the epistle in his lap, removed
his spectacles and looked smilingly toward his wife. They
held a long discussion, and both decided to accept the
offer at once, as there was no other recourse left to
them.
  It was evident from the letter that Mr. Lawrence had



6

 





HO, FOR CALIFORNIA.



some apprehensions regarding Mr. Brandon's ability to
weather the storm, but he could not be aware of his
financial crash, as it had only become known on the
street within the last twenty-four hours. Mr. Brandon
deemed it proper, therefore, before closing with the
offer, to acquaint his brother-in-law with his circum-
stances, that he might fully understand the disadvantage
under which he would be placed by the new partner-
ship.
  The letter was written and duly posted, and our
friends rather anxiously awaited the answer. It came
in the gratifying form of a draft for 1,000 to defray
"his necessary expenses," and an urgent entreaty to
start without delay.
  The advice was acted upon, and within two weeks of
the reception of the second letter, Mr. Brandon and his
wife were on board the steamer at New York, with
their state-rooms engaged for California. They had but
one child, Elwood, whom they had placed at a private
school where he was to prepare himself for college, in
company with his cousin, Howard Lawrence, who had
been sent from California by his father and had entered
the school at the same time.
  Mr. Brandon learned that Mr. Lawrence was a brother
indeed. The position in which the two men were placed
proved so favorable to the former that in a few years he
found himself almost as wealthy as in his palmiest days,
when his name was such a power in Wall Street. He
had come to like the young and growing State of Cali-
fornia, and ere he had been there two years both him-



7

 





ADRIFT IX THE WILDS.



self and wife had lost all longings for the metropolis of
the New World.
  In the meanwhile, Elwood and Howard were doing
well at their studies in Brooklyn. They had been in-
separable friends from infancy, and as their years in-
creased the bonds of affection seemed to strengthen
between them. They were the only children of twin
sisters, and bore a remarkable resemblance in person,
character and disposition. Both had dark, curling,
chestnut hair, hazel eyes, and an active muscular
organization that made them leaders in boyish pastimes
and sports. If there was any perceptible difference
between the two, it was that Elwood Brandon was a
little more daring and impetuous than his companion;
he was apt to follow out his first impulses and venture
upon schemes without deliberating fully enough. Both
were generous, unselfish, and either would have willingly
risked his life for the other.
  Thus matters stood until the summer when our young
heroes had completed their preparatory course, and were
ready to enter college. It was decided by their parents
that this should be done in the autumn, and that the
summer of this year should be spent by the boys with
their parents in California. They had been separated
from them for five years, during which they had met
but once, when the parents made a journey to New
York for that purpose, spending several months with
them. That visit, it may be said, was now to be returned,
and the boys meant that it should be returned with
interest.



8

 





HO, FOR C.4ALFORA-A.          9



  And so Tim O'Rooney, a good-natured, trustworthy
Irishman, who had been in the employ of Mr. Lawrence
for eight years, almost ever since his arrival in America,
was sent to New York to accompany the boys on their
visit home.
  Howard and Elwood were standing one afternoon on
the corner of Montague Street, in Brooklyn, chatting
with each other about their expected trip to California.
They had closed their school studies a week before, and
boy-like were now anxious to be off upon their journey.
Suddenly an Irishman came in sight, smoking furiously
at a short black pipe. The first glance showed them
that it was no other than Tim O'Rooney, the expected
messenger.
  "Isn't that good" exclaimed Elwood, "the steamer
sails oil Saturday, and we'll go in it. Here he comes, as
though he was in a great hurry!"
  " Don't say anything, and see whether he will know
us!"
  "Why shouldn't he"
  " You know we've grown a good deal since he was
here, and the beard is getting so stiff on my chin that it
scratches my hand every time I touch it."
  "Yes; that mustache, too, is making you look as
fierce as a Bluebeard; but here he is!"
  At this instant Tim O'Rooney came opposite them.
He merely glanced up, puffed harder than ever aad was
passing on, when both burst out in a loud laugh.
  "Be the powers! what's the mather with ye spal-
peens" he angrily demanded. "Can't a dacent man be



9

 





10            ADkIF    LVdo TILE WVILDS.

passing the sthrats widout being insulted- Howly
mother! is it yerselves or is it your grandfathers"
  He had recognized them, and a hearty hand-shaking
followed. Tim grinned a great deal over his mistake,
and answered their questions in his dry, witty way, and
assured therm that his instructions were to bring them
home as soon as possible. Accordingly, they embarked
on the steamer on the following Saturday; and, passing
over the unimportant incidents of their voyage, we come
back to our starting point, where all three were within
a day's journey of their deatination.


 













CHAPTER II.



                       FIRE.

         0-MORROW wve shall he home," said Elwood
         X 3raiidon, addressing his companion, although
         at the tinme he was looking out on the moon-
lit sea, in the direction of California.
    Yes; if nothing unexpected happens," replied his
cousin, who was pushing and drawing a large Newfound-
land dogf that lav at his feet.
   And what can happen " asked his cousin, turning
abruptly toward him.
  "A hundred things. Suppose the boiler should blow
up, we run oIn a rock, take fire, or get struck by a
squall    :
  " Or be carried away in a balloon," was the impatient
exclamation. " One is just as likely to happen as the
other."
  " Hardly-heigh-ho!"
  Howard at that moment had twined his feet around
the neck of Terror, the Newfoundland, and the mis-
chievolls dog, spriaging suddenly to his feet, brought his
master from his seat to the deck, which, as a matter of
course, made both of the cousins latugh.
  "He did that oIn purpose," said Howard, recovering
his position.

 





ADRIFT IN THE WILDS.



  " Of course he did. You have been pestering him for
the last half-hour, and he is getting tired of it; but I
may say, Howard, I shall hardly be able to sleep to-
night, I am so anxious to see father and mother."
  " So am I; a few years makes such a difference in us,
while I can't detect the least change in them."
  "Except a few more gray hairs, or perhaps an addi-
tional wrinkle or two. What's the matter with Tim"
  "Tim! 0 nothing, he seems to be meditating and
smoking. Fact is that is about all he has done since lie
has been with us."
  "It's been a grand time for Tim, and I have no doubt
he has enjoyed the trip to and from California as much
as either of us."
  The subject of these remarks was seated a few feet
away, his arms folded, while he was looking with a
vague, dreamy expression otit upon the great Pacific,
stretching so many thousand miles beyond them, rolling
far off in each direction, until sky and ocean blended in
great gloom.
  "Maybe he is looking for Asia," laughed Elwood in
an undertone.
  "More likely he is hoping to get a glimpse of Ireland,
for he would be as likely to look in that direction as any
other. I say, Tim!"
  The Irishman did not heed the call until he was
addressed the second time in a louder tone than before,
when he suddenly raised his head.
  "Whisht! what is it "
  "What are you thinking about F'



12

 






FIRE.



  "Nothin', I was dreaming."
  "Dreaming! what about"
  "Begorrah but that was a qua'r dream, was that same
one."
  "TLet's hear it."
  "But it's onplaiBant."
  "Never mind, out with it."
  "Well, thin, if I must tell yees, I was thinking that
this owld staamer was all on fire, and all of us passengers
was jumping around in the wather, pulling each other
down, away miles into the sea, till we was gone so long
there wasn't a chance iver to git up agin."
  A strange fear thrilled both of the boys at the men-
tion of this, and they looked at each other a moment in
silence.
  " What put that into your head, Tim"
  "And it's just the question I was axing meself, for I
never draamed of such a thing in my life before, and
it's mighty qua'r that I should take a notion to do it
now. "
  " It ain't worth talking about," said Elwood, showing
an anxiety to change the subject.
  " Be yees going to bed to-night"
  " I don't feel a bit sleepy," replied Elwood. "I'd
just as soon sit up half the ilight as not."
  "And so would I; it must be after eleven o'clock,
isn't it"
  "It's near 'levin," replied Tim.  'I'm not able to
examine me watch; and if I was, I couldn't tell very
well, as it hasn't run for a few months."



is

 





ADRIFT IV THE WILDS.



  Howard took out his watch, but the moonlight was
too faint for him to distinguish the hands, and the three
were content to let the precise time remain a matter of
conjecture.
  "Tim, how close are we to land" asked Elwood.
  "I should say about the same distance that the land
is from us, and begorrah that's the best information I
can give vees."
  "I could see the mountains very plainly when the sun
was setting," said Howard, "and it cannot be many
miles away."
  " What sort of a country is it off here" pursued El-
wood, pointing in the direction of the land.
  " It is wild and rocky, and there are plenty of Indians
and wild animals there."
  " How do you know" asked Elwood, in some amaze-
ment.
  "I have taken the trouble to learn all about Cali-
fornia that I couldl before corning.'
  "I believe they have gold there" said Elwood, in
rather a bantering vein.
  "Tim can tell vou more about that than I can, as he
came to California to hunt gold."
  "How is that, Tim"
  "Begorrah, but he shpakes the truth. I wint up
among the mountains to hunt gowld."
  "And what luck had you"
  "Luck, is it" repeated the Irishman, with an ex-
pression of ludicrous disgust. " Luck, does ye call it,
to have your head cracked and your shins smashed by



14

 





FIRE.



the copper-skins, chawed up by the b'ars, froze to death
in the mountains, drowned in the rivers-that run into
the top of yer shanty when yer sound asleep-your feet
gnawed off by wolverines, as they call-and-but whisht!
don't talk to me of luck, and all the time ye never gets
a sight of a particle of gowl(l."
  The boys laughed. Howard said:
  "But your luck is not every one's, Tim; there have
been plenty who have made fortunes at the business."
  "Yis, but they wasn't Tim O'Rooneys. He's not the
man that was born to be rich!"
  " You're better satisfied where you are."
  " Yis, thank God, that I've such a good home, and an
ongrateful dog would I baa if I should ask more."
  "But, Elwood, it's getting late, and this night air
begins to feel chilly. It can't be far from midnight."
  " I am willing; where's Terror Ah! here he is; old
fellow, come along and keel faithful watch over your
f riends. "
  "Boys," said Tim O'Rooney,. with a stranger husky
intonation, "'you remember my draAm     about this
staamer burning"
  "Yes; what of it"
  " It is coming thrue!"
  He spoke thze frulk!



15


 












OHAPTER III.



                     AFLOAT.

        S TIM  O'ROONEY spoke, he pointed to the
        bow of the steamer, where, in the bright
        moonlight, some smoke could be seen rising
-where, too, the next instant, they caught sight of a
gleam of fire.
  "Oh, heaven! what shall we do" exclaimed Elwood,
struck with a panic.
  " Wait and trust to Providence."
  "Let us jump overboard; I'd rather be drowned than
burned to death. Come, Howard, let's jump over this
minute!"
  He made a move toward the stern of the steamer,
near which they had been seated, as if he intended to
spring overboard, when his arm was sternly caught by
the Irishman, who said in an indignant tone:
  "K aap cool! kaap cool! don't make a fool of yoursilf.
Can ye swim"
  " Yes," answered Howard, "we can both swim very
well. Can you"
  " Indaad, I can Swim like a stone."
  "But good heavens!" exclaimed Elwood, who had
not entirely recovered from his excitement, "the land
is miles off, and we can't swim there, not taking into
account the heavy sea.

 






AFLOA T.fi



  "I What does that mean"
  As Howard spoke, the bow of the steamer made a
sweeping bend to the right.
  "They've headed toward shore," said Elwood.
  This snatch of conversation had occupied the shortest
possible space of time. The fire had been discovered
by the officials on board fully as soon as by our friend.
and the men could be seen running hurriedly to aiid
fro, all quiet and still, for they knew too well what the
result would be if the alarm was communicated to the
sleeping passengers. The pilot had headed the vast
craft toward land, and by the furious throbbing of the
engines it could be seen that the doomed vessel was
straining to the utmost, like some affrighted, faithful
horse striving to carry his master as nearly as possible
to the port of safety ere he dropped down and died.
  It was fully midnight, and, as a matter of course,
very nearly all the passengers were in their berths.
There were a few, however, who were lingering on the
.promenade deck, some smoking-here and there a couple
of lovers all unconscious of everything else-one or two
avaricious speculators; and but a few minutes could
elapse before the startling danger should become
known.
  The last words, which we have given as spoken by
our friends, had scarcely been said, when a man, who
apparently had been stretched out sound asleep, sud-
denly sprung up, wild with terror. "The boat is on
fire! fire! fire!"
  lie darted hither and thither like some wild animal



17

 






ADRZFT IN THE WILDS.



compassed on every hand by death, and then suddenly
made a leap overboard, and was swallowed up in the
sea.
  The alarm spread with fearful rapidity, and was soon
ringing through every part of the steamer, and now
began that fearful confusion and panic which no pen
can clearly picture, and which, once seen, can never be
forgotten to the dying day.
  Our three friends were gathered at the stern of the
steamer, earnestly and anxiously discussing the best
course to pursue.
  "Let's stay here," said Howard, "for every second is
taking us nearer land."
  " That is what nearly all will do," said Elwood, "but
we can never reach the shore, and when the time comes
we shall all be in the sea together, struggling and sinking,
and we shall then be sure to go down."
  "Yez are right," said Tim, addressing the last
speaker. "Our only chance is to jump overboard this
very minute, before the sea is full of the poor fellows.
They'll begin to go over the ship's side and will kaap it
up until the ching is burned up."
  " It's time then that we hunted our life-preservers,"
said Howard.
  " Git out wid yer life-presarvers!" impatiently ex-
claimed Tim. " Didn't me uncle wear one of 'em for
six months, and then die with the faver! I'll heave over
one of these settaas, and that'll kaap up afloat."
  "Be quick about it, Tim," urged Elwood, who was
beginning to get nervous.  " See, the fire is spreading,



is

 







AFLOA T.



and everybody seems to have found out what the mat-
ter is."
  There was indeed no time to be lost. The steamer
was doomed beyond all possibility of salvation, and
must soon become unmanageable, when everything
would be turned into a pandemonium. One of the
large settees was wrenched loose and lifted over the
stern of the steamer.
  "Now," said Tim, "the minute it goes over yez must
follow. The owld staamer is going like a straak of
lightning, and if aither of yez wait, he'll be lift
behind. "
  " All right, no danger, go ahead!"
  They now clambered up, and sat poised on the stern.
In this fearful position Tim O'Rooney held the settee
balanced for a few minutes.
    Be yez riddy"
  "Yes.."
  "IDo yez jump a little to the right, Elwood, and yez
a little to the left, Howard, so as not to hit the owld
thing. All riddy; here we go!"
  The next moment the three were spinning down
through the air, and struck the water. They went be-
low the surface, the boys sinking quite a distance; but
almost instantly they arose and struck bravely out.
  " Tim, where are you" called out Elwood, not seeing
his friend.
  " Here, to the left," responded the Irishman, as lie
rose on a huge swell. "' Can ye swim to me"
  " T hope so, but my clothes bother me like creation,"



19

 





ADRIFT LIV THE WILDS.



  Strange! that not one of the three had once thought
of removing their superfluous clothing before jumping
into the ocean. But Elwood was a fine swimmer, and
he struggled bravely, although at a great disadvantage,
until his outstretched band was seized by the Irishman,
and he then caught hold of the settee and rested him-
self.
  " Where is Howard" he asked, panting from his
exertions.
  - here he is," responded Howard himself. " I
struck the water so close that when I came up my hand
hit the settee."
  " I tell you what it is," said Elwood. "W e ought to
have brought something else with us beside this. We
have got to keep all of our bodies underwater for this to
bear us."
  "An-d what oi it"
  "Suppose some poor fellow claims a part. Gracious!
here comes a man this minute!"
  " We can't turn him off," said Tim. " but this owid
horse has all the grist he can carry."
  A dark body could be seen struggling and rapidly
approaching them.
  "Whoever lie is, he is a good swimmer," remarked
Howard, watching the stranger.
  "Of course lie is, for it comes natural; don't you see
it isn't a man, but old Terror."
  "Thank heaven for that! we never thought about
him. I am glad lie is with us."
  The next moment the Newfoundland placed his paw



20

 






                    AFLOA T.                     21

on the settee and gave a low bark to announce his joy
at being among his friends. The sagacious brute seemed
to understand how frail the tenure was that held them
all suspended over eternity; for he did nothing more
thun rest the top of his paw on the precious raft.


 












CHAPTER IV.



                 A PASSENGER.
         Y THIS time our friends were a quarter of a
         mile in the rear of the burning steamer.
         The furious pulsations of the engines had
stopped, and from stem to stern the great ship was one
mass of seething flame. The light threw a glare upon
the clouds above, and made it so bright where our
friends were floating in the water that they could have
read the pages of a printed book. The illumination
must have been seen for many and many a mile in
every direction upon the Pacific.
  " Yes, the steamer has stopped," said Howard; "the
fire has reached the engines, and now they must do as
we have done."
  "But they have boats and may escape."
  "Not half enough of them; and then what they
have got will be seized by the crew, as they always do a+
such times."
  "Look! you can see them jumping over. The poor
wretches hang fast till they are so scorched that they
have to let go."
  -It's mighty lucky yees are'here," said Tim, "for
every mother's son that can swim will be hugged by a
half-dozen that can't, which would be bad for me."
  "Why so; can't you swim"

 






A PA SSENGER.



  " Not a bit of it."
  "And nothing but this bench to keep us from
sinking."
  " And be the same towken isn't that good enough, if
it only kaaps us afloat Can't ye be satisfied"
  " Look! how grand!"
  It was indeed a fearful sight, the steamer being one
pyramid of roaring, blazing fire, sweeping upward in
great fan-like rifts, then blowing outward, horizontally
across the deep, as if greedy for the poor beings who
had sprung in agony from its embrace. Millions of
sparks were floating and drifting overhead and falling
all around. The shrieks of the despairing passengers,
as with their clothes all aflame they sprung blindly
into the ocean, could be heard by our friends, and must
indeed have extended a far greater distance.
  For an hour the conflagration raged with apparently
unabated violence, the wreck drifting quite rapidly;
but the fire soon tired of its work, large pieces of burn-
ing timber could be seen floating in the water, and
finally the charred hull made a plunge downward into
the sea, and our friendi were left alone upon. their frail
support.
  " Now, it's time to decide what we are going to do,"
said Howard.
  " You are right, and what shall it be Shall we drift
about here until morning, when some vessel will pick
us up I have no doubt this fire has drawn a half-dozen
toward it."
  "No; let's make for shore."



23

 






ADRIFT IN THE WILDS.



  "That is the best plan," said Tinm.
  "But it is a good way off," remarked Howard; "and
I have little hope of reaching it."
  "Never mind; it will keep us busy, and that will
make the time pass faster than if we do nothing but
float."
  "We mav need our strength; but it is the best plan."
  "But do we know the direction"
  "I can tell you that," said Elwood; "for the moon
was directly over the shore; so all we've got to do is to
aim for the moon."
  "Begorrah! we can walk and talk, as the owld lady
said when her husband stopped on the way to the gal-
lows to bid her good-by. So paddle away!"
  It being a warin summer night, the water was quite
pleasant, although our friends were sure to get enough
of it long before they could hope to place their feet
upon the earth. Having now aln object, they began
working with a will, the boys swimming as lustily as
possible straight for the shore, while Tim assisted mate-
rially in pushing forward the craft.
  The intelligent Newfoundland appeared to compre-
hend what was wanted, and contributed not a little to
the momentum.
  -Do you think we are making any progress  
  "0, save me! save me! I'm drowning!"
  The voice sounded close by them, and caused an in-
voluntary start from all three.
  "Where is he" asked Howard, in a terrified whis-
per.



24

 






A PA SSENGER.



   ' There! "
   At that moment they caught sight of a man fiercely
buffeting the waves, as he rose on an immense swell,
and then sunk down again in the trough of the sea.
  "Can we do anything for him" asked Elwood. "It's
too bad to see the poor fellow sink when we may save
him."
  " I'm afeared the owld bench won't bear another hand
oin it."
  But Terror had heard that cry and anticipated the
wishes of his friends. Leaving them with their raft,
he struck powerfully out toward the drowning man, and
they both went down in the vast sea chasm together.
When they came in view again upon the crest of the
swell, the Newfoundland had the hair of the man's head
in his teeth and had begun his return. A moment later
the gasping maln threw out his hands and caught the
settee with such eagerness that it instantly sunk.
  "Be careful!" admonished Howard, " or you'll drown
us all. One of us can't swim!"
  " Won't your raft bear us"
  "Yes, if you keep only your head above water and
bear very lightly upon it. Don't attempt to rise up."
  ''All right!"
  The buoyant raft came to the surface, and was in-
stantly grasped firmly but carefully by all. Poor Tim
O'Rooney had come very near drowning. A man when
suddenly cast into the water for the first time has been
known'to swim long and well; and the Irishman, by the
most furious effort, had saved himself from strangling



25

 






2  DRIFT IN THE WILDS.



and sinking, although he had swallowed a good deal of
the nauseating sea-water, and was now ejecting it.
  " Worrah! I took an overdose that time, and it
wouldn't sthay on my stomach!" he said. " I'm think-
ing there'll be no necessity of me swallowing any salts
for some time to coom, be the towken that I've enough
to last me me life-time."
  "We are all right now!" said the stranger. " I can
swim, but I was just about used up when your dog took
me in tow. May I inquire who my friends are"
  Howard gave their names and destination, and he in-
stantly said:
  "My name is Manuel Yard, and my place of business
is next door to that of your fathers."
  " You know them then."
  "I have known them both very well for years, and
now that you have given me your names I remember
you both."
  After a few more words, our friends recognized him
as a tall, pale-looking man, with whom they had ex-
changed greetings more than once on their passage from
Panama.
  "I've been down to the Isthmus," he added, "and
was on my way home when the steamer took fire."
  " Where were you when you heard the alarm"
  "Sound asleep in my berth; I had no time even to
put on my clothes; but, thank God, if I can escape in
any way."
  " Stick to us, and help shove this craft, and I'm in
hopes we'll fetch up somewhere by morning."



26


 













CHAPTER V.



                       L tArs .
        INDEER the united propulsion of three men
        X   and a large Newfoundland dog, the small raft
          moved shoreward with no insignificant speed.
It was found amply sufficient to preserve themn all from
drowning had none known how to swini, provided they
managed the matter prudently. There is so little dif-
ference in the quantity of water and the human body,
that a slight effort, if properly made, will keep it afloat.
The trouble with new beginners is that when they first
go beyond their depth their blind struggles tend to
carrv them downward more tlian upward.
  "This is rather pleasant,;' remarked Mr. Yard.
"There is little doubt, I think, of reaching land.
There is only one thing that makes the shivers run
over me. "
  "W hat is that"
  " The thought of sharks!"
  "Ugh! Why did you spake of them'" asked Tim,
withi a strong exl)ression of dlisgust. " I've been think-
ing of 'em ever since I've been in the water, but I didn't
want to skeer the boys."'
  "Thev never once entered nmv head," said Howard.
  "Nor mine either," added Elwood. "Are they in
this part of the ocean"

 






28ADRI1F' IX TIfE WILDS.



  " You will find them in almost every part of the sea,
I was going to say. They abound off the coast of Cali-
fornia. "
  "But it is night, and they will not be apt to see!"
  "This fire and the numbers of drowning people will
draw hundreds of the finny inhabitants toward us.
You know a fire at night is sure to attract fish."
  "You seem determined to frighten us," said Howard,
"but I shall continue to think that God who has so
mercifully saved us intends to save us to the end."
  "Perhaps so, too, but it does no harm to understand
all the dangers to which we are subject."
  "I believe with Howard," said Elwood. "I aini
afraid of sharks, but for all that, they are ugly creatures.
They swim under you and the first thing you know
clip goes one of your legs off, just the same as a pair of
snuffers would clip off a piece of wick."
  " They are the hyenas of the sea," said Howard, "alt
though I believe some kinds are stupid and harmless.
I think I have heard them called that by somebody, I
don't remember who. They will snap up anything
that is thrown to them."
  " Wouldn't it make their eyes water to come this way
then Jis' to think of their saaing four pair of legs
dancing over their hids, not to spake of the dog that
could come in by way of dessart."
  " 0 Tim! keep still, it is too dreadful!"
  "Worrah! it wasn't meself that introduced the sub-
ject, but as yez have got started, I've no objection to
continue the same."



28

 






LAND.



  "Let us try and talk about something more pleas-
ant-"
  "A  shark! a shark!" suddenly screamed Elwood,
springing half his length out of the water in his excite-
ment.
  " W\here" demanded Air. Yard, while the others
were speechless with terror.
  " He has hold of my leg! 0, save me, for he is pull-
ing me under!"
  There was danger for a moment that all would go to
the bottom, but Air. Yard displayed a remarkable cool-
ness that saved them all.
  " It is not a shark," said lhe, "or he would have had
your leg off before this."
  "What is it then  What call it be"
  "It is a drowning man that has caught your foot as
he was going down. You inust kick him off or he will
drown you. Has he one foot or both"
  "My left ankle is grasped by something."
    That is good; if he had hold of both feet it would
be bad for you. Use your free foot and force his grasp
loose."
  Elwood did so with such vigor that he soon had the
inexpressible relief of announcing that the drag WNeight
was loosed and his limbs were free again.
  "That is terrible," said he, as they rcsumed their
progress. " Just to think of being seized in that way
by some poor fellow who, I don't suppose, really knew
what he was doing."
  "' How came he there" asked Howard.



29

 






ADRIFT ZN TILE WILDS.



  " You see, we ain't far from where the steamer sunk,
and there may be more near us. This man has gone
down just as we were passing by him, and in his blind
struggles has cauglht your ankle."
    If a drowning man will catch at a straw, wouldn't
he be aft