se around me exclaim, "Snagged!" "We are sinking!" A snag is a log of timber stuck sloping in the mud. Against one of these snags we had run. Down, down sank the huge machine. "Aunt Becky forgot to mention this, among the other modes of losing my life which she enumerated," I thought to myself. "She forgot that Mississippi steamers could sink as well as blow up." However, I had no intention of going out of the world just then, if I could help it.
The river was at that part very wide and shallow; but I observed an island not far off, and I hoped to reach it. If there were any boats round the vessel, there was no time to lower them. The awful plunge came. Some hundred human beings were hurled amid the turbid waters. Many were carried down with the vessel; others were shrieking piteously, and struggling for life. The weather was intensely hot. I had on but little clothing. I struck out towards the island. As I did so, the thought occurred to me, "For what purpose was my great strength given me? Surely to