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It is a notched stick of a peculiar form, some two feet in length, which is perpendicularly inserted into the starboard gunwale near the bow, for the purpose of furnishing a rest for the wooden extremity of the harpoon, whose other naked, barbed end slopingly projects from the prow.

The excitement was the more intense because none dared move, and all were in a state of expectancy that made the suspense of the most trying nature. It seemed to the whites as they peeped cautiously over the low gunwale of the scow, that the moon threw double the light that it did when they were in the middle of the river and anxious to gain a view of the land they were seeking to reach.

'I don't know, said I; 'I felt and heard a great many things, but there was no time to think what they were. 'Oh, it was not thinking that I was, answered Donald; 'but the water came squirting up in my face through her ribs, and I held on by both bows, expecting at every stroke to see them open and let me through. We got up and examined the boat's bottom; there was a yawning rent from the stem to the centre, and part of the torn planks lapped one over the other by the twist, the bows being only held together by the iron band which bound the gunwale.

The girl, meantime, had moved slowly from her position. The two boats were close together. Suddenly, after a swift glance from Orme, the girl stepped to the gunwale and leaped across the gap. Orme reached forward and caught her, drawing her for a brief instant close into his arms before she found her footing in the cockpit.

"You were picked up in a boat, starving. The name on the boat was the 'Lady Vain, and there were spots of blood on the gunwale." At the same time my eye caught my hand, so thin that it looked like a dirty skin-purse full of loose bones, and all the business of the boat came back to me. "Have some of this," said he, and gave me a dose of some scarlet stuff, iced.

I'll leave my coat to cover her." A sailor obeyed, and with difficulty Robert wrenched free his hand. Very deliberately he pressed Benita to his breast and kissed her on the forehead, then let her gently slide on to the bottom of the boat. Next he slipped off his overcoat and slowly rolled himself over the gunwale into the sea. "Now," he said, "pull Mrs. Jeffreys in."

It was transported back on the shoulders of the crowd in triumphal procession. Perry Purtett carried round the hat for a contribution to new paint it, new rib it, new gunwale it, give it new sculls and a new boat-hook, indeed, to make a new vessel of the brave little bowl.

When laid hold of, he screamed with so much energy that, to escape a visit from the enraged mother, we steamed off, and dragged him through the water by the proboscis. As the men were holding his trunk over the gunwale, Monga, a brave Makololo elephant-hunter, rushed aft, and drew his knife across it in a sort of frenzy peculiar to the chase.

But, while Will and Percy held the gunwale of their boat close to that of the half-sunken one, the girls carefully crawled out and soon, rather wet, considerably dismayed, but, withal, calmer than might have been expected, the quartette was safe in the larger craft. "Oh, what a relief!" exclaimed Mollie, wringing some water from the bottom of her skirt.

Bigley and I, who were now rowing, or rather dipping our oars from time to time, slowly threw them in, and the boat lay tossing up and down at the mercy of the waves; but no water dashed in over the gunwale, and Bob Chowne's hand with the baler rested helplessly by his side.