But the boy in the water had gained a good footing on the rocks and he held fast. "Come in here and help me!" he panted, and Ham and Carl prepared to do so. All had a good hold of the rope when something unexpected happened. Taking out his pocketknife Shep leaned over the rear of the canoe and severed the rope that had been dragging the raft.
But this time the Frenchmen had made a raft, and upon this they were preparing to cross the water when the Spaniards came upon them. The Frenchmen were in such misery that many of them greeted the appearance of their enemies with joy. But others were filled with misgiving. Still they resolved to try to make terms with the Spaniards.
Don't be a fool, Jacques; is not there the small boat left for them?" Chapeau still listened. "Stop a moment, M. Arthur, for heaven's sake stop one moment," and then jumping on to the raft, he clung hold of the rope, and moored it fast to the shore. "They're friends of my own, M. Arthur; most particular friends, or I wouldn't ask to keep you.
They remained at peace as long as their provisions lasted. Twelve embarked on board a raft, for Sahara, and were never more heard of. Another put to sea on a hen-coop, and sunk immediately. Four remained behind, one of whom, exhausted with hunger and fatigue, perished. The other three lived in separate corners of the wreck, and never met but to run at each other with drawn knives.
They had already got ashore on the raft, which was dry and firm, and would have served their purpose well enough; when, all at once, Guapo was heard uttering one of those exclamations, which showed that all was not right. The rest looked towards him for an explanation.
Signing to his companion to cease his efforts to set the logs in motion, he advanced to the end of the raft which was nearest to the platform, and spoke. "Why should Rivenoak and his brother leave any cloud between them," he said. "They are both wise, both brave, and both generous; they ought to part friends. One beast shall be the price of one prisoner."
"Why, I never heard of such a thing!" said Joy, looking shocked. "Well, it's splendid; you ought to come up to Yorkbury, and go out with me. Tom would make you a raft." "What do the people say?" said Joy, looking at her mother. "Oh, there aren't any people there to see. If there were, they wouldn't say anything. I have just the nicest times.
But the breeze continued steady and fresh, and they were now crossing the Bight of Benin; the weather was fine and the sea smooth; the flying-fish rose in shoals and dropped down into the raft, which still forced its way through the water to the northward. Thus did Francisco and his negro crew remain for a fortnight floating on the wide ocean, without any object meeting their view.
There goes the raft that Homer made for Helen. I saw a workman fall with his scaffolding right from the summit of some vast hotel. And as he came down I saw him holding a knife and trying to cut his name on the scaffolding. He had time to try and do this for he must have had nearly three hundred feet to fall.
As his frail raft swept under a cottonwood he caught at one of the overhanging limbs, and, working his way desperately along the bough, at last reached a secure position in the fork of the tree. Here he was for the moment safe. But the devastation viewed from this height was only the more appalling. Every sign of his clearing, all evidence of his past year's industry, had disappeared.