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across the channel until he should find four fathoms' depth.
The pinnace entered among the breakers, but was near being lost, and with difficulty got back to the ship. The captain insisted that Mr Mumford had steered too much to the southward. He now turned to Mr Aiken, an able mariner, destined to command the schooner intended for the coasting-trade, and ordered him, together with John Coles, sail-maker, Stephen Weeks, armourer, and two Sandwich Islanders, to proceed ahead and take soundings, while the ship should follow under easy sail. In this way they proceeded, until Aiken had ascertained the channel, when signal was given from the ship for him to return on board. He was then within pistol-shot, but so furious was the current, and tumultuous the breakers, that the boat became unmanageable, and was hurried away, the crew crying out piteously for assistance. In a few moments, she could not be seen from the ship's deck. Some of the passengers climbed to the mizen-top, and beheld her still struggling to reach the ship; but shortly after she broached broadside to the waves, and her case seemed too desperate. The attention of those on board of the ship was now called to their own safety. They were in shallow water. The vessel struck repeatedly, the waves broke over her, and there was danger of her foundering. At length she got into seven fathoms, and the wind lulling, and the night coming on, she cast anchor. With the darkness, their anxieties increased; the wind whistled, the sea roared, the gloom was only broken by the ghastly glare of the foaming breakers; the minds of the seamen were full of dreary apprehensions, and some of them fancied they heard the cries of their lost
comrades mingling with the uproar of the elements. For a time, too, the rapidly ebbing tide threatened to sweep them from their precarious anchorage. At length the reflux of the tide, and the springing up of the wind, enabled them to quit their dangerous situation, and take shelter in a small bay within Cape Disappointment, where they rode in safety during the residue of a stormy night, and enjoyed a brief interval of refreshing sleep. With the light of day returned their cares and anxieties. They looked out from the mast-head over a wild coast and wilder sea, but could discover no trace of the two boats and their crews that were missing. Several of the natives came on board with peltries, but there was no disposition to trade. They were interrogated by signs after the lost boats, but could not understand the inquiries. Parties now went on shore, and scoured the neighbourhood. One of these was headed by the captain. They had not proceeded far, when they beheld a person at a distance in civilised garb. As he drew near, he proved to be Weeks the armourer, There was a burst of joy, for it was hoped his comrades were near at hand. His story, however, was one of disaster. He and his companions had found it impossible to govern their boat, having no rudder, and being beset by rapid and whirling currents and boisterous surges.
After long struggling, they had let her go at the mercy of the waves, tossing about, sometimes with her bow, sometimes with her broadside to the surges, threatened each instant with destruction, yet repeatedly escaping, until a huge sea broke over, and swamped her. Weeks was overwhelmed by the boiling waves, but emerging above the surface, looked round for his companions.
Aiken and Coles were not to be seen; near him were the two Sandwich Islanders, stripping themselves of their clothing, that they might swim more freely. He did the same, and the boat floating near him, he seized hold of it. The two islanders joined him, and uniting their forces, they succeeded in turning the boat upon her keel ; then bearing down her stern, and rocking her, they forced out so much water that she was able to bear the weight of a man without sinking. One of the islanders now got in, and in a little while baled out the water with his hands. The other swam about and collected the oars, and the three got once more on board.
By this time the wind had swept them beyond the breakers, and Weeks called for his companions to row for land. They were so chilled and benumbed by the cold, however, that they lost all heart, and absolutely refused. Weeks was equally chilled, but had superior sagacity and self-command. He counteracted the tendency to drowsiness and stupor which cold produces, by keeping himself in constant exercise ; and seeing that the vessel was advancing, and that everything depended upon himself, he set to work to scull the boat clear of the bar, into quiet water. Towards midnight, one of the poor islanders expired. His companion threw himself on his corpse, and could not be persuaded to leave him. The dismal night wore away amidst these horrors, and as day dawned, Weeks found himself near land. He steered directly for it, and at length, with the aid of the surf, ran his boat high upon a sandy beach. Finding that one of the Sandwich Islanders yet gave signs of life, he aided him to leave the boat, and set out with him to the adjacent woods. The poor fellow, however, was too feeble to follow him, and Weeks was
soon obliged to abandon him to his fate, and provide for his own safety. Falling upon a beaten-path, he pursued it, and after a few hours came to a part of the coast where, to his surprise and joy, he beheld the ship at anchor, and was met by the captain and his party. After Weeks had related his adventures, the parties were despatched to beat up the coast in search of the unfortunate islander. They returned at night without success, though they had used the utmost diligence. On the following day, the search was resumed, and the poor fellow was at length discovered lying beneath a group of rocks, his legs swollen, his feet torn and bloody from walking through bushes and briers, and himself half-dead with cold, hunger, and fatigue.
Weeks and this islander were the only survivors of the crew of the jolly-boat, and no trace was ever discovered of Fox and his party.
Thus, eight men were lost on the first approach to the coast ; a misfortune that cast a gloom over the spirits of the whole party, and was regarded by some of the superstitious as an omen that boded no good to the enterprise. Towards night, the Sandwich Islanders went on shore, to bury the body of their unfortunate countryman who had perished in the boat. On arriving at the place where it had been left, they dug a grave in the sand, in which they deposited the corpse, with a biscuit under one of the arms, some lard under the chin, and a small quantity of tobacco, as provisions for its journey to the land of spirits.
Having covered the body with sand and flints, they kneeled along the grave in a double row, with their faces turned to the east, while one who officiated as a priest, sprinkled them with water from a hat. In so doing, he
recited a kind of prayer, or invocation, to which, at intervals, the others made responses.
Such were the simple rites performed by these poor savages at the grave of their comrade, on the shore of a strange land ; and
l when these were done, they rose and returned in silence to the ship, without casting a look behind.
THE QUEEN AND THE YOUNG COURTIER. The young
cavalier we have so often mentioned had probably never yet approached so near the person of his sovereign ; and he pressed forward as far as the line of warders permitted, in order to avail himself of the present opportunity. His companion, on the contrary, cursing his impudence, kept pulling him backwards, till Walter shook him off impatiently, letting his rich cloak drop carelessly from one shoulder ; a natural action, which served, however, to display to the best advantage his well-proportioned person. Unbonneting, at the same time, he fixed his eager gaze on the queen's approach, with a mixture of respectful curiosity, and modest yet ardent admiration, which suited so well his fine features, that the warders, struck with his rich attire, and noble countenance, suffered him to approach the ground over which the queen was to pass, somewhat closer than was permitted to ordinary spectators. Thus the adventurous youth stood full in Elizabeth's eye—an eye never indifferent to the admiration which she deservedly excited among her subjects, or to the fair proportions of external form which chanced to distinguish any of her courtiers. Accordingly, she fixed her keen glance