"All over! Don't tell me! Look out now as you drift under our stern, and we'll lower you the four-inch hawser."
"Lord bless you, sir, do, pray!" cried Thompson, losing his recklessness with the chance of life.
By this time the shore was black with people, and a boat was brought down to the beach, but to attempt to launch it was to be sucked out to sea.
At present all eyes were fixed on Thompson drifting to destruction.
Dodd cut the four-inch hawser, and Vespasian, on deck, lowered it with a line, so that Thompson presently drifted right athwart it. "All right, sir!" said he, grasping it, and, amidst thundering acclamations, was drawn to land full of salt water and all but insensible. The piano landed at Dunkirk three weeks later.
In the bustle of this good and smart action the tide retired perceptibly.
By-and-bye the sea struck lower and with less weight.
At 9 P. M. Dodd took his little party down on deck again, being now the safest place; for the mast might go.