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of our horizon was not above a mile distant;
and it would, indeed, be a great chance if any
vessel could see us. Our only hope rested in
the whole school of whales keeping near us;
for then, both ship and boats would make for
them, and, consequently, observe us.

A half-hour passed away, and still no
signs of help arrived. What were my
shipmates' thoughts, I know not; mine, I must
confess, were becoming more sombre than
was usual with me; although, boy-like, hope
and a natural flow of lively spirits kept
the blood warm within. Once, a hungry
shark, fancying probably that he had an easy
prey, came full towards us, and I could see
his long white belly, while, turning close to
where I was seated, he prepared himself for
a sumptuous repast; but in this he was
disappointed, for we, making a noise with
our oars, it frightened him, and away he

Another half-hour passed, and we were still
in the same plight; and, although I cannot
say that anything like fear operated upon our
mindsfor sailors, generally, and whalers,
especially, are proverbial for their disregard of
that feeling, no matter how great the danger
yet there was a certain undefinable sensation
creeping over us. The mate tried,
occasionally, to infuse some cheerfulness among
us, though it was plainly evident he
himself did not possess a large share of it to

"Well, lads," he said, "we've got too much
of a cold bath now to be agreeable; but it
might 'ave been worse, and 'fore long we shall
see the old barky bowling down, to pick
us up; even if the other boats a'n't soon

"More like the last than the first, sir,"
said Jim Bant, the bowman. "I see no
chance of the ship getting here in a blazing
hot calm as this. Now, if we'd but a
capful of wind to help her, 'twould be

"Well, Jim," chimed in the man who
was next him, "if the ship don't come,
the boats will. They'll never turn tail and
give up chace, after seeing us run from 'em
out of sight."

Said I, "how can they see us, or know
where to look for us, if we cannot see

"As for that, youngster," said the man
who had last spoken, "it's easy enough done,
if they've only the savvie (sense) to go about
it. Why, here, right away on our starboard
quarter is the sleek (wake) of the whale
which will tell 'em the way to shape a course
towards us."

"To be sure," said the mate; "there's
no fear, lads, but what we'll be picked up
afore long. And see," he added, suddenly
springing on the head-sheets of the boat
and glancing around, "all right, my boys!
I can make the ship out, coming down
towards us, with some wind in her sails.
Look! there away on our starboard

Instantly we all rose to our feet, standing
as tenderly as we could upon the few
remaining bottom boards that had not been
destroyed. In a moment we saw the Japan
standing towards us, bringing with her a
smart breeze, the harbinger of which was
already denoted in some faint catspaws upon
the surface of the water near us. The mate
took off his hat, and waved it on high,
while the rest of us shouted aloud; although,
a little reflection would have told us, that
doing so was vain at the distance we were
off, and being, moreover, to leeward. To
our surprise, however, an answering shout
was given; from an opposite quarter. Turning
round towards the stern, we beheld to our
great joy the third mate's boat not far off,
pulling as lustily as four stout arms and
friendly hearts could pull. As our comrades
approached, the noise made by their oars, and
our united voices, disturbed the monsters who,
without delay, started off to windward,
passing right across the Japan's bows. In
a few minutes more, we were released from
our perilous position, and, forgetting everything
but that we were safe, soon set to
work in clearing the wreck of our own boat.
The Japan immediately made sail to
windward; but the whales had escaped, and we
saw them no more.

A few mornings after this, we rose a shoal
of whales on our lee bow, about four miles
off. As there was a nice breeze blowing, the
moment we had lowered boats, we hoisted
sail; and, throwing our oars apeak, ran
merrily down towards the prize, looking out
a-head to watch for them. The breeze
freshened up, and we were going about seven
knots an hour; when, suddenly, a whale
struck, or rather grazed past, on our
weather quarter, instantly capsizing the boat
before we had time to let go the sheet of the
sail. As soon as we recovered ourselves, we
swam round the boat and tried to right her.
After some time and much laboura labour
which may be conceived when bearing in
mind that it was undertaken by men obliged
to hold themselves afloat in the waterwe
got her on an even keel, only to see her
again capsize, the instant the wind caught
the belly of her sail, as the sheet was still
fast, none of us being able to let it go.
Another effort was then made, and again the
same mishap. No sooner was the boat
righted than the wind filling her sail, and
she each time being half full of water,
it canted her over. At last one of us
managed to get at his knife, and cut the
sheet, which enabled us to right the boat
immediately, though with the loss of all the
loose gear, such as irons, lances, &c., that was
in her.

The other boats seeing our mishap had
hastened towards us, and two speedily came
to our relief; but as we were not stove, and

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