The stranger--a tall and stately ship of some two hundred and forty tons measurement--was now close aboard of the dismasted lugger; and well was it for the occupants of the latter that such was the case; for as the ship cleverly rounded-to, with her topsails lowered, alongside and to windward of the boat, so near was the latter to foundering that the bow wave of the rescuing craft completed the disaster by surging in over the gunwale in sufficient volume to fill her; and down she went, at the precise moment when some half a dozen ropes, hurled by the sailors above, came whirling down about the shoulders of Dick and Stukely.
"Haul away!" shouted the two, with one accord, each grasping the rope's end that came first to hand as they felt the lugger sinking and themselves going down with her; and the next moment they were dragged, dripping wet, up the lee side of the ship and in over her high bulwarks.
"Better late than never; iss, fegs!" exclaimed a stout, burly man of middle height, clad