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You may guess how amazed was Barnaby True when, coming upon deck one morning, he found the brigantine riding upon an even keel, at anchor off Staten Island, a small village on the shore, and the well-known roofs and chimneys of New York town in plain sight across the water. 'Twas the last place in the world he had expected to see.

Suddenly, from almost directly under the boat, Tom's head appeared within reach. Grabbing him, they tried to drag him up on to the keel. Rolling in the wake of the breakers which still followed them with vicious pertinacity, they twice lost their hold of the boy, their now numbed limbs scarcely giving them strength to grasp anything. It seemed of little account at the time either way.

Fifteen minutes later Hal shouted up: "All electric connections appear safe, Captain. And all the air compressors are working." "Are you ready to shut off the gasoline motors?" "Yes, sir." "Go ahead, then, and we'll take a dive." Down they shot below the surface, the boat going on a diving keel.

Yet I had heard of vessels thus modelled for the sake of securing speed, and fitted with a very deep keel to ensure weatherliness, where light draught of water was not a consideration; and it remained to be seen whether the brigantine was a craft of this class.

The old wooden vessel, as we have seen, had a frame looking like the skeleton of a man's body, with the keel for a backbone and multitudinous ribs at right angles to it. But the new steel vessel, especially if built on the excellent Isherwood principle, looks entirely different. The transverse ribs are there, of course, but in a modified form.

The four went down as soon as Ready had sawed the ends of the spars which had been cut off, into three rollers, to fix under the keel; with the help afforded by them, the boat was soon hauled up high into the brushwood, where it was considered by Ready to be perfectly safe.

There was a clear road from the bay up into the interior, and while one party prepared the spot where the vessel was to be built, levelling the ground, and fixing logs on which the keel was to be placed, under Mr Thudicumb's directions another started to select the timber. We were not long before we came to a tall tree, fully eighty feet in height, and as straight as an arrow.

Occasionally I had a haunting sense of a day of reckoning, but I held my peace and forebore to disquiet my pretty hostess, who was the life and soul of the whole party aboard, and whose silvery laughter chimed in so sweetly with the tropic night and the rippling gurgle of water along our keel. It was past three o'clock when we picked up the Mission light and ran back to our moorings off the Firm.

She rested safely now upon an even keel; nor did she leak, for she was well calked with fiber and tarry pitch. We rigged up a single short mast and light sail, fastened planking down over the ballast to form a deck, worked her out into midstream with a couple of sweeps, and dropped our primitive stone anchor to await the turn of the tide that would bear us out to sea.

In return Meares set his workmen to help clean the keel of the Lady Washington from barnacles; but the Englishman was a true fur trader to the core. In after-dinner talks, on the day of the launch, he tried to frighten the Americans away from the coast. Not fifty skins in a year were to be had, he said.