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Our Gunner's Shot

Our Gunner's Shot image
Parent Issue
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Our noble ship lay at anchor io the Bay t if Tuuiger, fortifled city iu the extreme uortbwest part of Alnea. The day liad beeu extremely mild, witli a iciitlo breeae s veeping infroin tho northward and wcstw.rd, hut towaid the cloo uf the afternoon tUe seabrcczu died way, and one of tliose sultry, oven lifce atmogpherio breatlnns oauia up fiom tb gremt suoburnt Sahara. Half au hour before saadown, the captain gave a oheeuog order for thu bostswaia to "c:ill hands to go in swinimiug," and iu 'es.i lliau live minutuü tho tonus of our hardy tar were Betn leaping from tlie gangways, the porta, the nettiog of the bowsprit, and ome of ihe more venturesoaje look their pluDge from the arm of the li wit yards. Om of tbe atuddiag saUi had been lowered oto (he water, witb its corners KUBfteoded f, om the main yard arm and tha Bwinging boom, and into ihis mest of tho su immers made their way. Among thoBe who seemed to bo enjoyiüif the pp rt niost highly were twó of ihe boys, Tim Wailioa aiul lied .Puirbaiiks, the luttel' of wboul was tho soou f our old guuner, and iu o laughiüg mood tbey ïtarttd uut from the studding ta:l on a moe. Thore was a loud ringug shout oí joy opon their lipa as tbey put 'ff, and th.y dartcd throuL'h the water Iike fishes, The surface of tho si-a was as nmooth is glass, though its bofoin roo in long heavy swcllu' that ft in fro.-u ihu broad Atl.intio. ïhe sliip was rnoored with a Jong sweap upon both calles, aod the buny of iho starboard anchor was far awciy ou tin; tarbourd quarter, wbere it roae aud Ml wii h the lazy awella liko u drunkc-ii man. ïowaida this buoy tbetwo lüds made their w y, Fred Fairbaükn taking tlm lead; but wlion th.-y Wi-re within about a duzen fathoms of the buoy Tim shot and promistd to win tho racu. Tho old gunücr had watthcd the proüi-t'ss oí his little son with a vasl degree ot' pride, a d whuu ho saw hiiu dropping behind, ho Ieapod upon ihe puop, and was just upon ihe pomt of urging bim on by a ehont, wbeu a cry reaohed hú ears tliat made hiiu start ;is thougb he liad been struuk by a canuou-bull. "A sliark! a shark !" cume from the captain ni tíie foreonstle, and tit the ound of these terrible words, the men rtiO were in tho water leaped aud plunged toward thc thip. Right ubeaiii, ata distaaae of tbree or four cables' leogth, a siinrp wake was ■ uuti-r, where tiie back fia of he monster was visible. Hiscourse 'or tha loysl For a moment the poor uunr fetood Jike oiio berolt ot' . ut 011 iho next besbouted at the top f r.s voice for bis b..y to turu, bul ittle f rd hiii) not - stoutly tbe no Bwimmors strove for tlia goal, all iDoonsoiouB of tba doatli spirit tbat jvered so near ib mi Their merry augh t-iill rang ovur the waters, and at eng h tli. v tnuclied the buny together. Oh, what drops of agony starled fVoili he brow of 'ourguuner ! A bout had iut off, bu: Fairbacka knuw that itcould iut nuoh hiscbiid o season, for tbe tiark wts too uear its ntei.did victini nd every moment he expeoted to see lie mons'.er sink hvni sight, theo he tnew thut all hope would be gotie. At his íiKinicut a cry reached the ship, that veut ibrongh every beart like a gtrcam f soorching firo - the boys bad discoverd their euetny. That cry started old Fairbanke to his enses, and qurcker than thooght he prang to the quarter deck. The guna vore loudud and .-hutted foro aud aft, md uone know their temper bct'.er than ie. Witb a stiüidy hand, marie streng oy a suddei) hop, the old guimer eciü:d i priming ira aud pricked tbe oartridge of oi, e of tbc ( guus ; then he took rom his pocket a peruliüsioo waf-.r and et it in its place, and set back the dammer of tbe patent look. Witbagiaot'a irengtb the old mau swnycd the breeob of ihu heavy gun to its baring, and then eizicg the btiing of the lock, ho stood Daik and waiied f. r tbs next svvell that liöuld bi ii g the shark within range. Ie had aimtd the piece sume distuneo ahead df bis m'ark, but a single moment would slUIg liis hopea or fars. Every biealh va hushed, ud every ieart iu that old ship was paiofally fttilL The doat tras yet itsome frum the boye, wbile the horrible montiter was frigliifully near. buddcnly the air" was awoke by the roar of a lieavy gun, and as the o!d man kuew bis shot w;is ; toe, he sarik back upon ihe oombinga ol ;re batch nnd buried' bis face in hiïni'l.-i, s ifafraid to see the result of hisown effort, for if he failed, he kuew that his boy was lost. For a moment after the report of the guu had dicd away upon tht ir, there wa-, a dead sileueu ; but a tho impcueirable uanke strose from the surlaoo of ttie vratcr there was, at tirtt, a low murmar bieakiug from the lips of the men - that murmur grow louder and stronger uutil it cwelled to a joyoug, deafeninu shout. Tbe old fiuoner sprang to bis feot nd gazed off upou thu water, and the Crst thing that mot hiw view was the huge varease of ihe shark floutin; witli its white belly uppeimost a manglid lileless tnas. In a few moments the boat had reachcd the daring swimmars, and half dead from fright, ttiey were brought on board. Tho old man clasped his boy in liia arnis, and theu overcotne by the powtrful ex eitemeut, tie leaued back back upon tbi; gun for support. 1 have neen men in all tbe pbases ol exoitement aud suspense; but oever have I üeen three handred homan Icing.. more over:ome by thrillmg emotioo tha at tbat Htartliug moment, vvliei tirst we knew tbc effect of uur gunoer'a bot. A brother editor wants an almanae tbat will loll Lini wlieu " next moiitíi " expires Tlis cause of this " wanl " tho editor says, is bocuuso lie lias a nuraber of accouuts tho püymoDt of whiub v%as promiied ucst nioDtb, and, as tljo prcnnion wera mude in lí'ebruary last, he wants the almunac to ascoi taiu whc he inay expeot lbo fulüliraent of faid prom iac, you know. Wu Ebould liko ono u I tboso almnnacs.


Old News
Michigan Argus