The Crew of the Water Wagtail
"You're right, my man. Before another hour goes by, she will have wagged her tail for the last time," said Master Trench, somewhat bitterly.
They were both right. In less than an hour after that the ship was hurled upon the outlying rocks of a low island. Shaken and strained as she had been during her disastrous voyage, it took but a short time to break her up, but the bow had been thrust high between two rocks and remained fast.
Circumstances do not change character, but they often bring it to the front. Heroes and poltroons may remain unknown until a sudden incident or change of condition reveals them. As the crew of the wrecked ship clustered on the fragment of the bow, and gazed on the tumultuous flood of foaming water that seethed between them and the shore, their hearts failed them for fear. Some sternly compressed their lips, and looked like men who had made up their minds to "die game.