The Coxswain's Bride
"Now, madam, make haste," cried the mate, pushing his way towards the widow.
"Come, father," she said, holding out her hand; but the old man did not move.
"There are more women and little ones," he said, "than the boat can hold. Good-bye, darling. We shall meet again--up yonder. Go."
"Never!" exclaimed the widow, springing to his side. "I will die with you, father! But here, boatman, save, oh, save my child!"
No one attended to her. At such terrible moments men cannot afford to wait on indecision. Other women were ready and only too glad to go. With a sense almost of relief at the thought that separation was now impossible, the widow strained the child to her bosom and clung to her old father.
At that moment the report of a pistol was heard, and a man fell dead upon the deck. At the last moment he had resolved to risk all and rushed to the side, intending to jump into the boat.
"Shove off," was shouted. The boat shot f