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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3855 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2009, 11:33:56 pm »

in the morning. He took in this way twenty or thirty score of the birds, besides quantities of their large eggs, which were found in deep clefts in the rock; and these he carried with him when his friends came in the morning to haul him up. It was a good school of courage, for sometimes boys missed their footing and were dashed to pieces. At other times he fished in his father's boat, or drove calves for sale on the mainland, or cured salt after high tide in the caverns, or collected kelp for the farmers. But he was always looking forward to a time when he might get a glimpse of the island of Hy-Brasail, and make his way to it.

One day when all the fleet of fishing-boats was out for the herring fishery, and Kirwan among them, the fog came in closer and closer, and he was shut apart from all others. His companion in the boat--or dory-mate, as it would be called in New England--had gone to cut bait on board another boat, but Kirwan could manage the boat well enough alone. Long he toiled with his oars toward the west, where he fancied the rest of the fleet to be; and

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sometimes he spread his little sprit-sail, steering with an oar--a thing which was, in a heavy sea, almost as hard as rowing. At last the fog lifted, and he found himself alone upon the ocean. He had lost his bearings and could not tell the points of the compass. Presently out of a heavy bank of fog which rose against the horizon he saw what seemed land. It gave him new strength, and he worked hard to reach it; but it was long since he had eaten, his head was dizzy, and he lay down on the thwart of the boat, rather heedless of what might come. Growing weaker and weaker, he did not clearly know what he was doing. Suddenly he started up, for a voice hailed him from above his head. He saw above him the high stern of a small vessel, and with the aid of a sailor he was helped on board.

He found himself on the deck of a sloop of about seventy tons, John Nisbet, master, with a crew of seven men. They had sailed from Killebegs (County Donegal), in Ireland, for the coast of France, laden with butter, tallow, and hides, and were now returning from France with French

p. 129

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