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They were joined together as the cypress logs had been, but with lighter chains, probably because no heavy ones were at hand; and, as a further embarrassment to the assailants, their masts were unstepped and allowed to drag astern with the rigging attached, in the hopes that by fouling the screws the ascending vessels might be crippled.

The boat was provided with a light mast, which could be stepped or unstepped at pleasure, and there were two stays of twisted leather, one fastening to each side of the boat. An iron ring with a cord travelled up and down the mast, the halliard running through a small block, as Luka had been able to obtain a sheave at Turukhansk.

The old sailor let the boat off a point or two, so as to get a view of the brig more fully; when they were within twenty cable lengths or so he unstepped the mast and took to the sculls. The little brig floated very low on the water, and presented a mournful enough appearance; her running rigging all slack, shreds of canvas flapping at the yards, and no boats hanging at her davits.

When Big John, aided by Ah Moy and Kwaque, lowered the sail and unstepped the mast, titters and laughter arose from the passengers. It was contrary to all their preconceptions of mid-ocean rescue of ship-wrecked mariners from the open boat.

After the mast had been unstepped, and such preparations as our circumstances permitted were made, for passing the night comfortably, Morton related all that he knew of what had taken place on shore, previous to the alarm which he had given.

The necessary arrangements were soon made, the boat's masts unstepped, the party placed behind their covers, and the females comfortably bestowed in the spare sail, where they might got a little undisturbed sleep after the dreadful night, or morning, they had passed.

The loftier and lighter spars of all the vessels had already been sent ashore, together with all unnecessary encumbrances, several of the gunboats having even unstepped their lower masts; and the various ordinary precautions, known to seamen under the name of "clearing ship for action," had been taken with reference to fighting on anchoring ground.

Then the sail napped idly against the mast as the wind died down, and as they unstepped the mast before depending on the screw, a fire sprang out right ahead, sending up a tall column of flame that flung its reflection far across the waters. "We must make out into the islands again," said Mr.

As we drew closer, the sail was taken in and the mast unstepped. Oars were shipped, and its occupants waited for us to heave to and take them aboard. Smoke, who had descended to the deck and was now standing by my side, began to chuckle in a significant way. I looked at him inquiringly. "Talk of a mess!" he giggled. "What's wrong?" I demanded. Again he chuckled.

Then he saw the dark line of the military bridge, and lowered his sail, and unstepped his little mast. The strength of the tide was almost spent, so that he could deal with this barrier at his leisure, instead of being hurled against it.