The Sacrifice of the Shannon

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General Books, 2009 - 154 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1903. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VI. THE Shannon still ran up and down in front of the field. There was a crack, and a clumpet that had been frozen to the edge of the pack broke off and turned over with a crash, sending a wave rolling across the short seas. Wilson watched the edge of the ice as a few loose pieces slowly rose and fell. He looked at me meaningly, and stepping into the wheel-house, took the wheel and rang "Full speed ahead." The ice-crusher rushed around in a quadrant and went boiling down on a low place in the field, doing her eighteen knots and with her nose high in the air. It was a great sight the way she ploughed into that pack and hurled aside the clumpets. Her stem would go up as though she were going to climb out on top of the ice, and then with a great hissing of water she would break her way down through. There she'd stick, and Wilson would back her up and go at it again. After an hour or so of this work, two small pans closed in suddenly while she was backing, and she shook from stem to stern. "Propeller broken, sir," came through the engine-room speaking-tube, and we had to empty all the after tanks, and open the sea cocks into all the forward ones, until the boat's bow sank and her stern came up far enough to throw the big wheel out of water and allow us to lag on a new blade in place of one of which only a stump was left. The men worked hard, but it was after noon before we were ready to go on. In the meantime snow-clouds began to fly over the ice, and before the Shannon's nose was again up in the air we could no longer see the Duncrieff. Wilson had noted that the direction had changed but little. Evidently the pack was not turning. All afternoon the Shannon banged at the heavy ice, making a few yards at a time, then backing off and charging again like a bull...

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