leted his investigations forward, came rushing up the poop ladder and, wild with excitement, shouted to the skipper--
"We can't live five minutes, sir! We are cut down from rail to bilge; there is a hole in our side big enough to drive a coach and six through, and the water is pouring into her like a sluice!"
"And where is the steamer?" demanded the skipper.
"She has backed out, and vanished in the fog," answered the mate.
"My God! what an appalling mess," ejaculated the distracted skipper. "And all through the lubberly carelessness of those foreign fellows, who were too lazy to sound their syren until they were aboard of us! Now, Mr Ferris, what is the news of the boats? Hurry up and get them into the water as smartly as possible. Back the main-yard, Mr Pryce."
This mention of the boats, added to the ill-advised candour of the mate's loudly proclaimed statement as to the condition of the ship, took immediate hold upon the mob of anxiously listening people who were crowding