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In his last conscious moment as he faced the tidal wave that he hoped would claim him fully into sleep instead of those smaller waves whose prehensile inundations formed such an ineffective grasp he wondered if, as a wave or waves, whether their undertow led to fathoms of heretofore unknown reefs, whether sleep was formed of waves at all, and whether, as a jammed clock, it jammed so that something in the subconscious more worthy than a record of time or mere sentient essences of the present could be measured or expressed.

A blazing polar star! From which you couldn't head away no more than you could fly Gypsy one of Zanzy! For you who wouldn't die!" It was one of those fine days in the Gulf of Mexico. Abreast of the ship the Florida reefs, low-crested, ragged, and white, loomed above the smooth sea.

As we neared the Cape another fog bank rolled over and enveloped us for a couple of hours. At 2.30, boarded an English barque. At 3, let the steam go down, and raised the propeller. Weather threatening. Barometer 29.80. Took single reefs in the topsails. At 11 P.M. a steamer passed close, to leeward of us.

About noon the next day, the gale so moderated that we shook two reefs out of the top-sails, set new courses, and stood due east, with the wind astern. Thus, all the fine weather we encountered after first weighing anchor on the pleasant Spanish coast, was but the prelude to this one terrific night; more especially, that treacherous calm immediately preceding it.

A few reefs form a far from safe anchorage, fit for small craft only, and remarkable for the extraordinary clearness of the water in it. The smallest details of submarine life are easily followed in a depth of ten to twelve fathoms.

And as by our theory the areas including atolls and barrier-reefs are subsiding, we ought occasionally to find reefs both dead and submerged.

Marah was leaning over our lee rail, looking at the coast of France, still several miles away. "White water," he cried suddenly. "Here's the Green Stones. We shall do them yet." I could see no green stones, but a quarter of a mile away, on our port-hand, the sea was all a cream of foam above reefs and sands just covered by the tide.

The savages probably reckoned on our not knowing the shortest passages through the reefs, but Medley and I kept a bright look-out, I making a good use of my telescope. Now we had the coral rocks rising close to us. Several times I could see the bottom as we dashed on. Occasionally we had to turn either to the east or west, but still we were rapidly nearing the ship.

"Oh, we know something of such talk," said Alice with a laugh. "We haven't been out West among the cowboys for nothing!" "Well, some of th' hands laid it to the grub, an' others t' th' hard work of sailing th' craft," went on Jack. "She was a mighty poor schooner in ballast, an' owing t' storms an' rough weather we had t' be takin' in or lettin' out reefs all th' while.

He was charming in conversation, and he set forth at length his theory as to the work of the coral insects, formed after long study of the barrier reefs and atolls of remote seas. His ideas were subversive of those of Darwin, with whom he disputed the matter before Darwin died. They are now well-known and I think accepted, though unfortunately he died before setting them forth in due order.

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