‘At last,’ he cried, in a hoarse, strained voice, and in a foreign tongue; ‘freedom at last.’
The other man made no comment on this outburst of his companion, but kept his eyes steadfastly on the bottom of the boat, where lay a small barrel and a bag of mouldy biscuits, the remnants of their provisions on the voyage.
The man who had spoken evidently did not expect an answer from his companion, for he did not even turn his head to look at him, but stood with folded arms gazing eagerly ahead, until, with a sudden rush, the boat drove up high and dry on the shore, sending him head-over-heels into the wet sand. He struggled to his feet quickly, and, running up the beach a little way, turned to see how his companion had fared. The other had fallen into the sea, but had picked himself up, and was busily engaged in wringing the water from his coarse clothing. There was a smooth water-worn boulder on the beach, and, seeing this, the man who had spoken went up to it and sat down thereon, while his companion, evidently of a more practical turn of mind, collected the stale biscuits which had fallen out of the bag, then, taking the barrel carefully on his shoulder, walked up to where the other was sitting, and threw both biscuits and barrel at his feet.
He then flung himself wearily on the sand, and picking up a biscuit began to munch it steadily. The other drew a tin pannikin from the bosom of his shirt, and nodded his head towards the barrel, upon which the eater laid down his biscuit, and, taking up the barrel, drew the bung, and let a few drops of water trickle into the tin dish. The man on the boulder drank every drop, then threw the pannikin down on the sand, while his companion, who had exhausted the contents of the barrel, looked wolfishly at him. The other, however, did not take the slightest notice of his friend’s lowering looks, but began to eat a biscuit and look around him. There was a strong contrast between these two waifs of the sea which the ocean had just thrown up on the desolate