The Ranger is a naval vessel, employed largely as a troopship, carrying men to India and other areas in which the British strove to maintain Pax Britannica, while the Crusader is being used as an emigrant ship, carrying people to New Zealand. Both vessels run into difficult situations, and the story is about how the passengers and crews managed to pull through them.
respective duties. Night came on, but neither Commander Newcombe nor any of his officers went below. They were anxiously looking out for a breeze which might enable the ship to stand off from the dangerous coast. The night was passing by, and still the anchor held; at length, in the morning watch, some time before daylight, a breeze sprang up from the eastward, and the order was given to get under weigh. As the men went stamping round the capstan, a loud crash was heard.
"The messenger has given way, sir," cried Mr Tobin, the first-lieutenant. Out ran the cable to the clench, carrying away the stoppers, and passing through both compressors. At length the messenger was again shackled, and the anchor hove up, when it was found that both flukes had been carried away.
Not, however, for some hours did the ship succeed in reaching Waterloo Bay, where she brought up, about a mile and a-half from the landing-place. A signal was made:--"Can troops land?" which was answered from the shore, "Not until the
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