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Meanwhile the wind had been steadily dropping, the sea going down at the same time, and when, just before sunset, the glorious orb burst through and dispersed the curtain of storm-tattered clouds which had for so long a time overspread the sky, his golden rays fell upon the Princess Royal, now no longer rolling gunwale-under, but swinging with a slow stately motion over the long swell, and still drifting lazily to the eastward; her bows heading now this way, now that; her fore-mast burned through and towing over the side; and the flames in complete possession of her as far aft as the main-mast.

Then there was the huge bulk of the disabled ship, surging madly forward like a hunted creature dizzy and reeling with terror, her spacious decks knee-deep in the water which was incessantly pouring in over her bulwarks as she rolled gunwale-under; and for a background the mountainous seas careering swiftly past, with their lofty crests towering high and menacingly all round the ship, and the leaden-hued, stormy sky.

Then it would drop once more; and nothing would be heard but the heavy flap of the canvas, the creak of the spars, the swish of the water as it lapped in over our bulwarks the craft rolling gunwale-under and a low weird moaning of pent-up wind, which teemed to be imprisoned in a heavy cloud-bank rapidly piling itself up on the north-western horizon.