“We can carry one more.”
But those who were still on board were huddled up in the bow, waiting their turn for the rope.
“There is a big un coming now,” Larry exclaimed. “That will finish her.”
A wave, towering far above its fellows, was indeed approaching. Higher and higher it rose. There was a wild cry from the wreck as it surged over it. When it had passed, the sea was covered with floating timbers, but the vessel was gone.
“We can do nothing now,” Walter said. “We daren’t go in among that wreckage, and any who get hold of floating planks will drift ashore.
“Now, Larry, back quietly, and let her drift down round the Nose. We must keep her head to the waves.”
Ten minutes, and they were abreast of the reef. As soon as they were past it, Walter gave the word, and they rowed along, under its shelter, to the point where they had embarked.
“Now, sir,” Walter said, “we will back her up to that rock. When we are close enough, you must jump.”
This was safely accomplished.
“Now, Larry, row alongside when the next wave comes. We must both scramble out as well as we can.”
But by this time help was at hand. The boat had been anxiously watched from the shore, and when, on the disappearance of the wreck, she was seen to be making her way back to the Nose, Mr. Davenant, with Considine and the priest, and the boys who had assisted in getting her afloat, hurried along the shore to meet her, the rest of the fishermen remaining behind, to aid any who might be washed up from the wreck.
As soon as it was seen that they intended to land at the spot where they had started, Considine and Mr. Davenant made their way along the rock, and joined the officer just as he leapt ashore. The boat came alongside on the top of the wave, and as this sank it grazed the rock and capsized, but Walter and Larry grasped the hands stretched out to them, and were hauled on to the rock, while the next wave dashed the curragh in fragments on the beach.
Chapter 2: For James Or William.
“My dear Walter,” his father exclaimed as he embraced his son, as he scrambled on shore, “you have behaved like a hero, indeed, but you oughtn’t to have done it.
“And you too, Larry. You both deserve a sound thrashing for the fright you have given us.”
“They may have frightened you, sir,” the officer said; “but assuredly, I owe my life to these brave lads. I have scarcely thanked them yet, for indeed, until I felt my foot on the rock, I had but small hopes of reaching shore safely in that cock boat of theirs. After feeling that great ship so helpless against the waves, it seemed impossible that a mere eggshell could float over them.
“My name, sir, is Colonel L’Estrange, at your service.”
“My name is Davenant, colonel, and I am truly glad that my son has rescued you; but the sooner you are up at my place, the better, sir. This is no weather for standing talking in shirtsleeves.”