"Shove off, my boy, shove off! there's not an instant to be lost!" he exclaimed; and he and Walter, seizing the oars, pulled away on their former raft, towing the one they had just formed after them. As it floated lightly, they managed to make fair way, though by this time the sea had somewhat increased, the wind having suddenly got up.
There came a faint light on the surface of the water; they could dimly see the stakes in the river, and could hear the beat of the oars in the other boat. It was a race for the Italian settlement, where they would be safe, and where the pursuing boat, seeing the lights from the houses, would probably fall behind.
They were in capital spirits, and bent well to their oars, sending the boat surging through the water, and chattering and laughing like so many boys as soon as they were out of hearing. No wonder, for there is something exceedingly monotonous in being cooped up day after day on board ship, especially if it be a very small one; and there is no wonder at Jack's being fond of a run ashore.
Almighty Providence! it was in Thee alone I put my trust. After we had a little recovered from the fainting and fatigue of our getting on shore, our fellow-sufferers told us they had landed in the forenoon, and cleared the breakers by the strength of their oars and sails; but they had not all been so lucky as we were.
Where the dove dipped her wing and the oars won their way, Where the narrowing Symplègades whiten the straits of Propontis with spray. At Osipovka, where I spent a whole long summer day sitting on a log on the seashore, I saw a vision of the sea and nymphs a party of peasant girls came down and bathed.
Then the cousins of the dead man got ready two oars and some pieces of rope the men of his own family seemed too broken with grief to know what they were doing the coffin was tied up, and the procession began. The old woman walked close behind the coffin, and I happened to take a place just after them, among the first of the men.
But I had no more time for such thoughts. Jarette just then rose up in the stern of the boat he was in, and hailed us. "Ahoy, there! Open that gangway," he shouted, "and let down the roped steps." Mr Brymer stepped to the bulwarks just opposite the boat. "Throw up your oars there," he cried, and the men obeyed, so used were they to his orders.
At first, and for a little while, the motion of the dancing stream, which broadens as it runs, and bears us past fields each brighter and more enamelled with flowers than the one before it, is joyous; but the slow current becomes awful as we are swept along when we would fain moor and land and to some of us it comes to be tragic and dreadful at last, as we sit helpless, and see the shore rush past and hear the roar of the falls in our ears, like some poor wretch caught in the glassy smoothness above Niagara, who has flung down the oars, and, clutching the gunwale with idle hands, sits effortless and breathless till the plunge comes.
'They are doing what I thought they would, Lancelot whispered to me. Lancelot's voice had this rare quality, that when he whispered every syllable was as clear as if he were crying from the housetops. 'They have chosen this dark night to attack us, and they are rowing with muffled oars. We must do our best to give them a wild welcome.
Presently, however, she was conscious of another sound the soft clip of oars, joined to the guttural, explosive song of native rowers; and, leaning over the rail, she saw a boat draw alongside the Nefert. From it came the figure of Nahoum Pasha, who stepped briskly on deck, in his handsome face a light which flashed an instant meaning to her. "I know I know!