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It was on the third morning after they sailed, that Vanslyperken walked the deck: there was no one but the man at the helm abaft. The weather was extremely sultry, for the cutter had run with a fair wind for the first eight-and-forty hours, and had then been becalmed for the last twenty-four, and had drifted to the back of the Isle of Wight, when she was not three leagues from St Helen's.

No particularly tropical heat was felt, at any rate by us men; and as a rule the heat is not severely felt on board ship in open sea so long as the vessel is moving. On a sailing-ship, lying becalmed with the sun in the zenith, it might be warmer than one would wish; but in case of calms we had the engine to help us, so that there was always a little breeze that is, on deck.

Anyhow, a philosophical turn of thought now was not amiss, else one's patience would have given out almost at the harbor entrance. The term of her probation was eight days. Evening after evening during this time I read by the light of a candle on deck. There was no wind at all, and the sea became smooth and monotonous. For three days I saw a full-rigged ship on the horizon, also becalmed.

The abundance of food contributed much to tranquillise the minds of the crew, and also, I suspect, to prevent them from carrying their plans into execution. One day when we were becalmed, several of the crew who could swim jumped overboard to take a bathe, and as I was a good swimmer I did the same, and got farther than the rest from the ship.

She was then hull-down, and to the non-professional eye there was nothing at all unusual in her appearance; she was simply a becalmed ship under topsails and topgallantsails, with her courses clewed up but not furled. A cloud of minute spots which could only be birds hovering round her, bore no significance to any one save Mildmay; and even he was not sure that he knew quite what it meant.

As late as it was Ramon hurried to the Harpers' home and found the Negroes standing about at a distance from the house, discussing the sudden reappearance and disappearance of Bud Harper, when there, all agreed, lay Bud before their very eyes. Ramon returned to his home strangely becalmed, and though late in the night he sat down and wrote the following letter to his home in the North.

So that, perhaps, there was truth in the man's last vaunting word to me, uttered on the second day of July, when our long voyage was at last brought almost to an end, and we lay becalmed at the sea end of the vast harbour of New York, in a gasping heat, which was presently exchanged for a surprising waterfall of rain.

Well, he'd sailed one acrost the bay and got becalmed, and then the tide took him in amongst the shoals at the mouth of Wellmouth Crick, and there, owing to a mixup of tide, shoals, dark, and an overdose of foolishness, the boat had upset and foundered and the Lamonts had waded half a mile or so to shore.

Continuance of high temperature in daytime is a sure proof that we have been carried far to the south, and here, on this illimitable ocean, we have long ceased even to look for land; it might almost seem as though this globe of ours had veritably become a liquid sphere! To-day we are still becalmed, and the temperature is as high as ever.

The next day, giving them a salute of five guns at parting, we set sail, and arrived at the bay of All Saints in the Brazils in about twenty-two days, meeting nothing remarkable in our passage but this: that about three days after we had sailed, being becalmed, and the current setting strong to the ENE., running, as it were, into a bay or gulf on the land side, we were driven something out of our course, and once or twice our men cried out, "Land to the eastward!" but whether it was the continent or islands we could not tell by any means.

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