Excerpt: ...somewhat of the steering on previous excursions, and the three fishermen tugged at the oars. It was a cross sea, for although the wind now blew nearly in their teeth, it had until the last half hour been from the west, and the waves were rolling in from the Atlantic. The boat, however, made fair progress, and Archie began to think that ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...somewhat of the steering on previous excursions, and the three fishermen tugged at the oars. It was a cross sea, for although the wind now blew nearly in their teeth, it had until the last half hour been from the west, and the waves were rolling in from the Atlantic. The boat, however, made fair progress, and Archie began to think that the doubts of the fishermen as to their making the shore were in no wise justified, when suddenly a gust, far stronger than those they had hitherto met, struck the boat. "Keep her head straight!" the fisherman shouted. "Don't let the wind take it one side or the other. Stick to it, boys; row your hardest; it is on us now and in earnest, I fear." The three men bent to their oars, but Archie felt that they were no longer making headway. The boat was wide and high out of the water; a good sea boat, but very hard to row against the wind. Although the men strained at the oars, till Archie expected to see the tough staves crack under their efforts, the boat did not seem to move. Indeed it appeared to Archie that in the brief space when the oars were out of the water the wind drove her further back than the distance she had gained in the last stroke. He hoped, however, that the squall was merely temporary, and that when it subsided there would still be no difficulty in gaining the land. His hope was not realized. Instead of abating, the wind appeared each moment to increase in force. Clouds of spray were blown on the top of the waves, so that at times Archie could not see the shore before him. For nearly half an hour the fishermen struggled on, but Archie saw with dismay that the boat was receding from the shore, and that they had already lost the distance they had gained before the squall struck them. The old fisherman looked several times over his shoulder. "It is of no use," he said at last; "we shall never make Rathlin, and must even run before the gale. Put up the helm, young sir, and take her round. Wait a moment till...Read Less
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