“I congratulate you, sir, on your escape from the wreck of your ship,” said he. “I thank God most earnestly that we have been able to save all your party. I hope none were lost before we made you out on the wreck.”
“Not one, Captain; and I join with you in reverent gratitude to Him who rules the sea in calm and storm, for our preservation from certain death, which would have been our fate, one and all, but for the care and skill with which you have worked out our salvation. I thank you and the brave and noble officers and crews of your boats with all my mind and heart. I speak not for myself alone, but for all the ship’s company of the Travancore, now gone to the bottom,” replied Lord Tremlyn, again grasping the hand of the commander.
In a short time the saved from the first cutter joined the others on the promenade deck, and the Guardian-Mother proceeded on her course to Bombay.
“Were you the captain of the Travancore, sir?” asked the commander.
“I am only an amateur sailor,” said his lordship; “but I was in command of the unfortunate vessel, which was a steam-yacht of small dimensions, in the service of the Indian government. Ah, Dr. Ferrolan,” he continued as those from the first cutter crossed the deck; and he grasped the hand of the person addressed, “let us thank God first, and then the commander of this ship, that we have been preserved,—all the ship’s company, I am informed.”
“I join you most heartily, my Lord,” replied the doctor. “Captain——”
“Captain Ringgold,” prompted Mr. Boulong, by whose boat he had been saved.
“Captain Ringgold, I am your debtor for life;” and he proceeded to express his obligations more at length. “Permit me to present to you Lord Tremlyn, a gentleman who came to India on semi-official business.”
“I am happy to know you, Lord Tremlyn,” replied the commander; but the title did not appear to make a very profound impression upon him.
“Captain Ringgold, allow me to introduce my particular friend, Sir Modava Rao, a gentleman high in the favor of the Indian government, and I may add of all the native princes.”
“I am very happy to make your acquaintance, Sir Modava,” replied the commander, taking his dusky hand.
The captain then invited the two titled gentlemen and the doctor of the party to the cabin, while the two engineers were turned over to Mr. Sentrick, the chief engineer.
The general introduction in the cabin
It was still early in the morning, and the cabin party were not disposed to remain any longer on the promenade deck; for it was almost impossible for some of them to stand up, even with the aid of the life-lines and the rails, and all of them retreated to the boudoir and music-room. None of them had been introduced to the strangers; for they had asked to be excused, as they were not in a presentable condition.