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Page 161 - ... steering with one of the two oars in the boat, sometimes raised himself suddenly to keep clear of water that swirled in over the stern. It was a thin little oar and it seemed often ready to snap. The correspondent, pulling at the other oar, watched the waves and wondered why he was there. The injured captain, lying in the bow, was at this time buried in that profound dejection and indifference which comes, temporarily at least, to even the bravest and most enduring when, willy-nilly, the firm...
Page 161 - ... of dawn of seven turned faces, and later a stump of a topmast with a white ball on it, that slashed to and fro at the waves, went low and lower, and down. Thereafter there was something strange in his voice. Although steady, it was deep with mourning, and of a quality beyond oration or tears. "Keep 'er a little more south, Billie,
Page 161 - He was naked, naked as a tree in winter, but a halo was about his head, and he shone like a saint. He gave a strong pull, and a long drag, and a bully heave at the correspondent's hand. The correspondent, schooled in the minor formulae, said: 'Thanks, old man.' But suddenly the man cried: 'What's that?' He pointed a swift finger. The correspondent said: 'Go.
Page 162 - Water was swirling to and fro with the roll of the ship, fuming greasily around half-strangled machinery that still attempted to perform its duty. Steam arose from the water, and' through its clouds shone the red glare of the dying fires. As for the stokers, death might have been with silence in this room. One lay in his berth, his hands under his head, staring moodily at the wall. One sat near the foot of the companion, his face hidden in his arms. One leaned against the side, and gazed at the snarling...
Page 236 - He . j lay upon his back staring at the sky. He was dressed in an awkward suit of yellowish brown. The youth could see that the soles of his shoes had been worn to the thinness of writing paper, and from a great rent in one the dead foot projected piteously. And it was as if fate had betrayed the soldier. In . death it exposed to his enemies that poverty which in life he i had perhaps concealed from his friends.
Page 162 - The welcome of the land to the men from the sea was warm and generous, but a still and dripping shape was carried slowly up the beach, and the land 's welcome for it could only be the different and sinister hospitality of the grave.
Page 236 - The ranks opened covertly to avoid the corpse. The invulnerable dead man forced a way for himself. The youth looked keenly at the ashen face. The wind raised the tawny beard. It moved as. if a hand were stroking it. He vaguely desired to walk around and around the body and stare ; the impulse of the living to try to read in dead eyes the answer to the Question.
Page 235 - Whenever the adjutant, Lieutenant Draper, came plunging along through the darkness with an order — such as: "Ask the Marblehead to please shell the woods to the left" — my heart would come into my mouth, for I knew then that one of my pals was going to stand up behind the lanterns and have all Spain shoot at him. The answer was always upon the instant: "Yes, sir.
Page 191 - ... rocked you about with invisible waves. Your ear-drums tingled and strained and seemed to crack. The noise was physical, like a blow from a base-ball bat; the noise itself stung and shook you. The concussions were things apart ; they shook you after a fashion of their own, jumping your field-glasses between the bridge of your nose and the brim of your hat and hammering your eyebrows. With this there were great clouds of hot smoke that swept across the decks and hung for a moment, hiding everything...