Elsie at Nantucket eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 212 pages of information about Elsie at Nantucket.

Arrived at the spot from where the very best view of the conflict could be had, they stood long gazing upon it, awestruck and fascinated by the terrific grandeur of the scene.  I can best describe it in the words of a fellow-author far more gifted in that line than I.

“Yonder comes shoreward a great wave, towering above all its brethren.  Onward it comes, swift as a race-horse, graceful as a great ship, bearing right down upon us.  It strikes ‘The Rips,’ and is there itself struck by a wave approaching from another direction.  The two converge in their advance, and are dashed together—­embrace each other like two angry giants, each striving to mount upon the shoulder of the other and crush its antagonist with its ponderous bulk.  Swift as thought they mount higher and higher, in fierce, mad struggle, until their force is expended; their tops quiver, tremble, and burst into one great mass of white, gleaming foam; and the whole body of the united wave, with a mighty bound, hurls itself upon the shore and is broken into a flood of seething waters—­crushed to death in its own fury.

“All over the shoal the waves leap up in pinnacles, in volcanic points, sharp as stalagmites, and in this form run hither and yon in all possible directions, colliding with and crashing against others of equal fury and greatness—­a very carnival of wild and drunken waves; the waters hurled upward in huge masses of white.  Sometimes they unite more gently, and together sweep grandly and gracefully along parallel with the shore; and the cavernous hollows stretch out from the shore so that you look into the trough of the sea and realize what a terrible depth it is.  The roar, meanwhile, is horrible.  You are stunned by it as by the roar of a great waterfall.  You see a wave of unusual magnitude rolling in from far beyond the wild revelry of waters on ‘The Rips.’  It leaps into the arena as if fresh and eager for the fray, clutches another Bacchanal like itself, and the two towering floods rush swiftly toward the shore.  Instinctively you run backward to escape what seems an impending destruction.  Very likely a sheet of foam is dashed all around you, shoe-deep, but you are safe—­only the foam hisses away in impotent rage.  The sea has its bounds; ’hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther.’"[A]

[Footnote A:  A. Judd Northrup, in “Sconset Cottage Life.”]

CHAPTER VI.

She is peevish, sullen, froward,
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty;
Neither regarding that she is my child,
Nor fearing me as If I were her father.

—­Shakespeare.

A day or two of bright, breezy weather had succeeded the storm, and another “squantum” had been arranged for; it was to be a more pretentious affair than the former one, other summer visitors uniting with our party; and a different spot had been selected for it.

By Violet’s direction the maid had laid out, the night before, the dresses the two little girls were to wear to the picnic, and they appeared at the breakfast-table already attired in them; for the start was to be made shortly after the conclusion of the meal.

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Elsie at Nantucket from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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