"Aren't we going to put on our diving suits?" I asked. "Not yet. I haven't let the Nautilus pull too near the coast, and we're fairly well out from the Mannar oysterbank. But I have the skiff ready, and it will take us to the exact spot where we'll disembark, which will save us a pretty long trek. It's carrying our diving equipment, and we'll suit up just before we begin our underwater exploring."
Sometimes it was the baccalaureates that displayed their talents to the unbidden visitor, flashing out of sight, cutting through the water like a ray of light, striking a young trout on the bottom with the rapidity and certainty almost of the teacher. It was marvelous, the diving and swimming; and mother bird looked on and quacked her approval of the young graduates.
"Suppose we try the diving exhibit," said Walter. "It is something I should like to see." They found it on the south side of Midway Plaisance in a small building surrounding a huge tank of water. On the balcony of its second story stood a man turning a force-pump, which seemed to attract a good deal of attention from the passers-by.
Recognizing that to remain in the way of the jam was to court certain death, the foreman chose the desperate alternative of diving beneath the logs, and allowing them to pass over him before he rose to the surface. Great was the relief of Frank and the others when, amid the foaming water, Johnston's head appeared, and he struck out to keep himself afloat.
"Nothing, sir," rejoined Harding, diving out of the bushes once more, and standing erect on the hillside; "that cave was quite deep, and it took me some time to make sure it was empty." "Empty! By chowder, them wuz horses, I hearn up ther canyon, then," ejaculated the lanky Rafter. "You found no traces of those lads there, señor?"
He waved my abnegation aside and continued, 'I have a great responsibility in watching over this city. My friend the mayor and I have a great responsibility. And then an extraordinary thing happened. Suddenly diving his hand into his breast-pocket, he flashed something before my eyes like a hand-mirror; something which disappeared again almost as soon as it appeared.
He was first seen at a distance of several hundred yards, coming full speed for the ship. Diving, he rose again to the surface about a ship's length away, and then surged forward on the surface, striking the vessel just forward of the fore-chains. "The ship brought up as suddenly and violently as if she had struck a rock," said the mate afterward, "and trembled for few seconds like a leaf."
Tom accomplished the feat in a strong breeze and with a turtle diving and tugging, when he might have cut the line at any moment and paddled home comfortably. He is as much at home on the top of a bloodwood tree, hanging round a swaying limb while cutting out a "bee nest," as in a frail bark canoe among the sharks on the skirts of a shoal of bonito.
Many are struck, and several of the canoes are knocked to pieces. The greater number of the people swim to the shore with the greatest ease, diving when they see the guns fired, or the levelling of the muskets. We make sail and stand out of the harbour to the west, intending to bury our chief mate and boatswain in deep water, out of sight of these cannibal regions.
This opossum, which is black and white, swims in the streams like a muskrat or otter, catching fish and living in burrows which open under water. Miller and Cherrie were puzzled to know why the young throve, leading such an existence of constant immersion; one of them once found a female swimming and diving freely with four quite well-grown young in her pouch.