Chapter 906824

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Chapter NumberI, II
Chapter TitleON THE ATLANTIC
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article906824
Full Date1883-08-18
Page Number2
Corrections4
Word Count6602
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2018-08-14
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleMisunderstood
article text

FICTION

(From English, American, and other-Periodicals.)

MISUNDERSTOOD.

CHAPTER 1.

ON THE ATLANTIC.

" A Star

Which moves not 'mid the moving heavens alone, A smile among dark frowns-a gentle tone Among rode voices, a beloved light,

A solitude a refuge, a delight."-SHELLEY.

A noble steamer was laboriously ploughing the tur- bulent waters of the great Atlantic, heaving and struggling, and creaking with every revolution of her gigantic screw, for the waves were rolling high -" mountain high" in very truth. The huge dark masses of water would swell and rise up like a great black wall, reaching, it seemed, almost to the angry, leaden sky above, then sweeping down with mighty force, thunder upon the decks of that great vessel, making it shudder to its very centre, sending it down, down into the yawning depths, as if eager, in venomous spite, to blot it out of existence.

There were very few first cabin passengers on board the---as she thus labored on her weary way between Liverpool and New York, for it was late in the year, and the rush of travel was over for that

season.

Fifteen were all they numbered, while there were about twice as many in the steerage ; and well it was that there were no more to share the horrors of that dreadful voyage.

It had been a very gloomy passage, a severe storm arising the second day out, which had increased in violence until now-the fifth day-it appeared as if all the elements had conspired to work destruction upon the stanch ship which was faithfully battling with the cruel waves, and toiling to bear its precious freight of human souls safely into port,

It was a forlorn little company that sat shivering and trembling in the close saloon-only five, all out of the fifteen who had not succumbed to the sea. sickness-and these five had the appearance, with their pale, pinched faces, their heavy eyes and disordered attire, of feeling any thing but comfortable

or well.

An old man of perhaps sixty years, his hair and beard white as snow, his face sallow and wrinkled, his eyes anxious and sunken, sat upon the floor- indeed it was impossible to sit anywhere else- braced against a stationary seat, and clinging to one of the iron posts which supported the roof of the saloon. He was wrapped in a heavy shawl and two elegant rugs ; his soft hat was drawn over his fore- head, and he seemed entirely oblivious of everything

about him.

Two spinsters, companions and sisters, lay upon cushions flat upon the floor, and, also wrapped in their rugs, looked not unlike two huge bags of wool rolling from side to side with every motion of the

boat.

Another man had crept into a corner, where he tried to keep himself from pitching about by clinging to a rope, which he had fastened to an immovable

table.

The only other occupant of the place was a little fair-haired maiden, of perhaps fifteen or sixteen

years.

She was small and delicate, and was sitting, or trying to sit, upon the floor not far from the old gentleman before mentioned.

She was wrapped in a thick woollen shawl, and her head was covered with a crimson hood, so that not much could be seen of her, save the fair, pale face, with its sad, appealing blue eyes, which looked out from beneath masses of shining golden ringlets that had strayed from her hood, and lay upon her white forehead. She had a sensitive mouth, a pretty rounded chin, a small, straight nose, and altogether, had she possessed something of color, and less of sadness in her face, would have been considered wondrously fair to look upon.

This little waif, with her child-like countenance, her pathetic eyes, and her patient, uncomplaining spirit, was traveling alone.

There was not a soul on board that vessel whom she had ever seen before the day of sailing,

An orphan-her father, and the only relative on whom she could depend, had died just three months previous-she was going to the United States, to some distant connections, who had consented to take her until she was of age, and teach her to earn her own living.

She had been put in the care of the captain by the people with whom she had been staying since her father's death, and he was to deliver her to the strangers to whom she was now going.

Some strange magnetism had attracted her toward the old gentleman with the white hair and beard of whom we have spoken, and near to whom she was now sitting.

She had hovered about him ever since the first day of the voyage, not in an obtrusive way, but as if she liked to be near him-as if there were something trustworthy and protective about him.

Perhaps one reason for this was that her seat had been next his at table-while they had been able to sit at the table-and once or twice, when she could not attract the attention of the steward, he had handed her what she wanted, and helped her bounti- fully to fruit when otherwise she would have been

-d.*'"' ?-'«¡ion, m\ ,t. ...

Then the storm came on with such violence that

those not confined to their berths were obliged to

take to the floor of the salon ; for safety, she had crept as near to him as she dared and though she had sat there all day long he had never spoken to her once, or appeared to [he] her presence, but re- mained, instead, wrapped in his own thoughts.

Suddenly the ship rose upon a mighty wave-up, up she went, until every trembling passenger held his breath with awe; then she plunged headlong

down into the raging deep, with a sinking, sicken-

ing sensation that chilled the blood and made the flesh creep with fear.

The next moment another terrific wave struck ber with a noise like the roar of a hundred cannon, and with a force which made her quiver like a frightened creature frem stem to stern, and in the dread pause which followed, and which was fraught with horrible suspense, the little maid clasped^ her small hands, and cast an appealing glance at her gray-haired companion.

He, seeing it, smiled grimly, as be asked in rather a gruff tone :

" Afraid, sis ?"

Before she could answer him the vessel gave

another tremendous lurch, and she was rudely precipitated almost into the arms of her questioner.

He caught her just in time to save her from being dashed against the iron post by which he was sitting, and when she had recovered her breath a little he put her gently down beside bim, keeping one strong arm around ber to save her from a second fall.

"This is pretty rough weather; are you afraid ?" be asked, again, and looking with something of pity down upon her white face.

"It startles me to have the vessel pitch and tremble so, and those dreadful waves seem as if they want to swallow us; but I know that nothing can harm us, unless-"

"Unless what?" the old man queried, as she hesi- tated and glanced shyly up at him, a tinge of color coming into her cheeks.

" Unless it is God's will," she answered, reverently. A sneer curled her companion's lips at this reply, but the sweet eyes looking up into his seemed to touch some tender memory, for it quickly died, and he repressed the sceptical words to which he was about to give utterance.

But she felt it, nevertheless, and with a grave look and serious tone, she asked :

" Don't you believe that God rules the storm, and

that He will take care of us ?"*

" My experience all through life has been that I have had to take care of myself," he returned with

some bitterness.

" And I have been taught to trust 'our Heavenly Father.' I think one would hardly have much faith in one's self at such a time as this," the little maiden said, with a look of awe and an involuntary shudder,

as another wave broke over them.

The man by her side felt the gentle rebuke, but he evaded it by saying:

" I think no harm will come to us. I have crossed the Atlantic many times-I have sailed upon other oceans, and have been in storms equal to, if not worse, than this. I do not fear the elements much in one of these well-built boats. There is only one thing at sea that I really feel afraid of."

"And what is that?" "Fire."

He felt the thrill of fear that went vibrating through her whole frame as he uttered the dread word, and appeared to regret having added to her apprehension, for he continued reassuringly :

"But an accident of that kind rarely happens nowadays, and where everything is so carefully con- ducted as on these large steamers.

" There, sit close beside me," he went on, as still another thundering mass of water swept over them ; " lean against me-so. I will keep my arm about you, and you will be safer than sitting by yourself. But how does it happen that you are traveling

alone ?"

" My father and mother are dead," she answered, with the same appealing look that had touched him before, while her lips quivered over the sad sentence, " I had no friends in England, and so I am going to live with a cousin of my mother's in America,"

" What is your name, little girl ?"

The "little girl" flushed rosily at this question-as what maiden of fifteen or sixteen would not at this slur upon her proudly attained " teens ?"-while she thought he need not have asked if he had taken pains to look at the passenger list ; but she replied

" Star Rosevelt Gladstone."

A startled, almost agonised gleam shot into the old man's eyes, and his face seemed to shrivel until he looked ninety instead of sixty, as the young girl, in her clear, sweet tone uttered his name.

" Star Rosevelt !" he repeated, with pale lips, and his voice sounded weak and far away.

" Yes, sir," she said, not noticing his emotion ; " or rather, my real name is Stella, but mamma called me Star always," and her voice faltered as she spoke of

her dead mother.

Her companion did not answer, and, the roar of the elements increasing, further conversation was out of the question even had they been so disposed which they appeared not to be.

The old man's head dropped upon his broad chest, and he seemed suddenly to have forgotten his com- panion, the angry waters, the rolling vessel, and everything else in his own sad thoughts.

Darkness began to settle down upon them; the storm raged on ; the spinsters moaned and rolled upon their comfortless couches ; the man in the corner swore and raved as he was rudely jostled about with no prospect of rest or sleep ; while the gray-haired man and the fair-haired maid, encircled by his strong arm, sat side by side, silent, yet less forlorn than their comrades by reason of a feeling of companionship, until the young girl's blue eyes closed, her golden head sank unconsciously upon the broad shoulder, and she slept sweetly and tranquilly the whole night through-a smile on her red lips, a sense of comfort and protection in her young heart.

When morning broke and Star Gladstone awoke, she found herself lying upon a heap of rugs, a pillow underneath ber head and a soft robe covering her.

The sun was shining brightly into the saloon, where, only a few hours before, all had been so dark and dismal ; the sky was beautifully clear and blue without a vestage of the angry clouds which had so threatened ship and life a little while ago, and the good vessel was riding the gradually subsiding waves with strong and steady pulsations, which seemed to have almost a sense of victory in their throbbings, while the terrors of the night seemed only a troubled dream of the past.

She arose from her soft couch with a murmured " How kind!" as she realized who had made her so comfortable, and went down to her state-room to make her toilet.

After a refreshing bath she brushed out her long, abundant hair until it shone like strands of finest gold ; then gathering it in her two hands, she plaited it into one massive braid, leaving the ends loose like a great golden tassel, and trying them with a broad

blue ribbon.

Then she substituted a charming little blue hood edged with white for the thick crimson one which she had worn all night, wrapped a short gray shawl about her shoulders, and went up on deck looking as bright and sunny as the morn itself.

She was very lovely. Short fluffy locks of her hair fell like a shining mist over her white forehead ; her great azure eyes gleamed like bluebells after a shower; .her cheeks were tinged with a delicate color, and a smile of joy at the return of fair weather, parted ber red lips, showing two rows of small, white

teeth between.

As she stepped out upon the deck she espied her companion of the night standing aft, looking out

upon the silver-tipped, dancing waves.

She glided to his side, and saluted him with a sweetly spoken "good morning," which fell like

music on his ear,

He turned and looked at her, an involuntary smile parting his lips, which evidently were unaccustomed to such relaxation.

" You are rightly named-you look like a star," be said abruptly, while his keen eyes were fixed intent- ly on her bright face.

She flushed, but answered archly:

"Stars belong to the night; they are of no account in this glorious sunshine," and she lifted her face up to the sun as if in gratitude that its friendly beams were shining on her once more.

" It is a glorious morning," said the old man, tak- ing a long breath of the pure, keen air.

"Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh the morning," Star murmured, in a low tone, but with a thrill in her voice which told how she felt the words.

Again a sneering smile distorted the lips of her companion.

She saw it, and flushed a vivid crimson, and the tears sprang quickly to her eyes.

"Mamma used to repeat those words so often when she lay sick and dying," she said, sadly. " I know that she looked forward to the ' morning' when she should be released from her suffering ; but they never sounded so pleasantly to me as tbey do now on this beautiful morning after our night of terror."

" Anything which was a source of comfort to your mother you doubtless treasure very tenderly,"kindly replied the gentleman, who was a gentleman, and felt sorry that his unbelief or scepticism should have brought a shadow upon that fair young face.

" There is the breakfast-bell," he added, in a light tone, as it rang out its keen notes. "Are you hun- gry?"

"Indeed I am, sir,"Star answered, eagerly, adding,

with a clear, sweet laugh, that fell like music on his ' ear: " Eating have been an impossibility during the last few days, and I have considerable lost time to make up. That bell has a welcome sound,"

" then take my arm, little girl, and we will go down together ; the boat is not quite steady, even yet,"

"Little girl!"

She flushed again and shrugged her graceful

shoulders.

Then she glanced up at him with a serio-comic air, and said with a pretty pout :

" I am sixteen years old, Mr-"

She could not finish, because she did not know his

name.

He laughed.

" And maidens of sixteen don't like to be called little girls, eh !" he said. " Well," he continued, " I feel as if I am privileged to call you that, since I am nearly sixty, and my name is Jacob Rosevelt."

Star stopped short and looked up at him in sur- prise.

" How strange ! " she exclaimed.

"Rather,'' Mr. Rosevelt returned, then asked: "How did you come by your middle name?"'

" My grandmother gave it to me." " Was her name Rosevelt ?"

" No, her maiden name was Stella Winthrope."

Mr. Rosevelt started, then turned suddenly to look out over the sea, and to hide the pallor of his face, He asked no more questions, and all through break- fast he appeared absent-minded and taciturn. He scarcely spoke to Star during the meal, indeed hardly noticed her at all, and she wondered if she could have offended him in any way.

Before she was half through he left the table, and she saw no more of him until late in the afternoon.

About three o'clock she left the saloon, where she had been trying to while away the time by reading, and went on deck.

It was very cold, but the sky was cloudless, the sea calm and beautiful, and, save an occasional call and response from the sailors, the distant thud of the machinery, and the swash of the water as they ploughed the sea, there was scarcely a sound on board

the vessel.

Star found a sheltered spot, and wrapping her shawl close about her, sat down for a little while to watch the white-capped waves and the speeding ship.

She had scarcely settled herself, thinking with a feeling of gratitude how lovely it was after a dread-

ful storm, when there came the noise of a dreadful

explosion from somewhere forward, followed by a a fearful rocking of the vessel ; then the most horrible

shrieks and cries rent the air ; a column of smoke, sparks, and cinders went pouring up from the region of the engine-room, and immediately passengers and sailors began running about in great confusion, and perfectly frantic from fright.

Star was unhurt, but she sprang to her feet and stood as if paralyzed with fear, a look of horror on her young face, a feeling like death at her heart.

"Something dreadful has happened," she mur mured, with white lips. " Have we escaped the storm only to encounter a worse fate ?"

Then, as she saw the sailors getting down the life- boats, a sudden thought seemed to inspire her. She darted from the deck down into her state-room, where, opening a tiny trunk, she seized a package of papers, which she pulled up from beneath her clothing, and thrust it into her bosom. She then took from a pretty box several articles of jewelry, which evidently had belonged to her mother, and fastened them about her clothing, putting some of them into a pocket of a skirt, and pinning it securely together. This done, she darted out and up to the deck again.

CHAPTER II.

SAVED.

Here she found the captain, sailors, and passengers -those of them who were unharmed-hovering around the life-boats, eager to spring into them the moment they were lowered, and gathered, from what she could hear in the confusion, that the boiler had burst, and the accident had caused such serious damage the vessel that she was fast sinking.

As she went nearer the captain she saw Mr, Rose velt.

He looked gloomy and anxious, and very pale, while he was eagerly scanning the faces of the people about him, and holding a life-preserver in his hands. His face lighted as he turned and saw her, and he heaved a long breath of relief.

"I was looking for you," he said, in a hoarse voice, while he immediately proceeded to fasten the preserver about her person.

He then drew her arm within his, led her to the side of the vessel, and stood quietly waiting until the boats were lowered and the captain should bid them enter.

" Have you anything valuable that you wish to save-if we are saved?" he asked, seeming suddenly to remember that she might have something.

"Yes, I have a few important papers, and my mother's jewels. I went down to get them after the explosion. How did it happen ?" she asked.

" No one knows. It was one of those accidents which cannot be accounted for. The whole fore part of the ship is nearly blown to pieces," he re turned gloomily.

Star shuddered, and then turned to watch the men let down the boats.

There were only three of them, the others having been destroyed or blown overboard. These were

quickly filled by the frantic passengers and emi- grants, who scrambled into them in spite of the orders of the captain to await his commands.

They took everything into their own hands, and as soon as the seats were taken, began to push off, regardless of the appealing cries of those remaining on board, the anger of the captain, and the threats

of the sailors.

Mr. Rosevelt and Star were among those left, and the old man pleaded for a place for the young girl, calling them inhuman brutes to seek their own safety and leave a delicate girl to perish.

" The boats will hold no more !" the frantic crea- tures cried. " Every one must look out for himself

in such a time as this."

" Wretches ! have you no feeling ? Are there no fathers and mothers among you ? Will you see this child go down before your very eyes ? You must take her!" he cried, wildly athoritatively.

A feeling of shame seemed to come over them ; there followed a moment of consultation, a counting of those in the different boats, then a reluctant con- sent was gained to take her into one of them.

" Be quick !" they cried as a rush of flame in the

centre of the steamer warned them that a new and terrible danger threatened, and Mr. Rosevelt led her toward the rope ladder swinging from the vessel's

side.

Star was very pale, but her great blue eyes had a strange, determined gleam in them.

Are you afraid to go down the ladder ?" Mr. Rosevelt asked, as he paused before it.

" Not if you will go first, and hold it for me," she

answered.

" But I cannot ; they will not take us both," he

said.

She drew back from the edge of the vessel, and looking up into that aged face, said, tremulously :

"Sir, you have dear friends who are waiting for you, and who would mourn your death ; I have no one who loves me; I was going among strangers, and I should not be missed. You go ; I am not afraid

to die."

He looked at her in mingled awe and admiration, while those brave words, " I am not afraid to die," smote him keenly.

Child," he said, huskily, " it must not be. You are young and beautiful ; there is a long life of hap piness. I trust before you. My days are nearly spent, and I could not accept such a sacrifice. Come, they are clamouring impatiently at the delay. Give me one kiss, such as you would give to your own father if he was living, and then I will help you down ; or, if you are afraid, the sailors shall tie a rope about you and let you down."

He bent his head, his face filled with a yearning tenderness, to hers.

" The captain and the sailors-must they remain and perish, too ?" she asked, breathlessly, while she shuddered as a hot wave of smoke came pouring

over them.

" Yes ; there is room for no one but you. Come- they will not wait longer. One kiss, little Star, and -God bless youl"

She looked up at him in surprise ; he was asking God to bless her, when only last night he had sneered at her trust in Him. But she kissed him, for his lips were almost touching hers as he spoke. Then she leaned over the vessel's side, and said, in loud,

clear tones :

" I shall not go with you ; there are enough in the boat already !"

She turned her back resolutely upon wbat seemed her only hope of safety, and clinging to Mr. Rosevelt

she said:

" I will not leave you, the only one who has spoken kindly to me during all the voyage. They did not want me, for my extra weight would lessen their chances, and I will try to be brave when-when the end comes.".

She was ghastly even to her lips, but there was a clear and steady light in her eye.

Mr. Rosevelt was horror struck at what she had

done.

" Heavens, child ! you shall not do this rash thing ; Hold, there!" he yelled to those in the boat, "she will go !" and he lifted her in his arms and bore her to the spot she had just left, while the captain roared

to the men below to wait.

But even as they were speaking the vessel gave a tremendous lurch and settled far down into the water; smoke and flame were vomited up from below, and, horror of horrors ! the boat into which they bad just been urging-almost forcing Star-was swamped in the commotion of waters caused by that lurch, and its luckless freight were at the mercy of the hungry waves.

It was a fearful moment I

Cries and shrieks for help came up from the cruel depths, and white, upturned faces looked piteously toward the sinking hulk, as if imploring even the brief respite from a horrible death which it could afford.'

Boxes, spars, and anything that was at hand, were cast over to tbem, and several succeeded in reaching and clinging to them, while others went down to their watery grave before the eyes of that watching, agonized group on the burning vessel, who almost forgot their own impending fate in the sufferings of their comrades, '

Suddenly a shout rent the air.

The captain hastened forward to see what it meant, and saw one of the sailors in the water on the other side of the vessel struggling with a boat.

The noble man had spied it at some distance from the ship, and knew that it was one which had been blown overboard. It might be injured so that it would not be safe, but it appeared to ride the waters all right, and he resolved to swim to it and thus save if possible the captain and crew.

He had nearly reached the steamer's side with his trophy, when the other sailors discovered him and sent up that triumphant shout.

"Throw a rope!" shouted the captain, new hope springing in his heart.

It was thrown with a will ; the man caught it, and suspending his own labours, he and the boat were drawn safely to the ship's side.

Nimbly then the faithful crew sprang to obey their commander's orders. A liberal supply of pro- vision and water was put into the boat, with plenty of rugs and what clothing was at hand ; the required number of oars were brought, and in a few minutes all that remained alive on that ill-fated ship were safely seated within it.

Then they set to work to save those who were still struggling in the water. Ten were all that tbey could rescue-the rest went down; and now began the battle for life.

They pulled rapidly away away from the sinking steamer, lest they should share the fate of those who had just been swamped, and the wisdom of this was manifest in less than half and hour, for with another mighty lurch and plunge, which sent forth volumes of smoke and flame, the noble craft went down and the dark waters swept over it, obliterating it forever from the view of man; while the Captain, with a groan of pain, covered his eyes and wept.

It was as if he had looked his last upon the face of some dear friend.

The day waned quickly ; night shut down upon them cold and cheerless, hiding from their sight the other boats, and bringing with it such a sense of loneliness and misery as not one in that frail craft ever experienced before.

Star the only woman in that boat, clung to Mr, Rosevelt as if upon him depended all her hope, and all that long night through he held in his, one small, fair hand, while he pillowed her bright head upon his knees, and kept her covered with blankets and

rugs.

Twice or thrice she awoke and started up, saying: " I weary you, sir, let me sit by myself."

But he only drew her more closely to him, as he said, tenderly :

" No, no, little one, it does me good to have you near me; lie still and get all the sleep you can, for we do not know what the morrow may bring to us.'

When the morrow did come it dawned grandly beautiful. The sun came up from the east like a chariot of fire, turning the sea into waves of gold and bringing cheer and courage once more to the hearts of the lonely little band, who were struggling for life on the mighty deep.

Nothing could be seen of the other boats, although they had been eagerly looking for them ever since the break of day ; but they had no reason to think they were not as safe as themselves, and were there- fore not unduly anxious.

Star awoke much refreshed by her long sleep, and, as her lovely eyes took in all the beauty of the morning, a feeling of thankfulness for it and their safety thrilled her heart, and almost unconsciously she began chanting a hymn of praise.

As she sang the first line, which was exactly like the beginning of the Lord's Prayer-" Our Father who art in heaven "-every oar was suspended ; the captain reverently removed his cap, an act which was imitated by the crew, and all listened with respectful mien as the sweet voice rose upon the still morning air, thanking God for His care through the dangers of the night, and invoking His protec- tion during the day.

"Thank you, Miss Gladstone," the captain said, as her last tone died away ; " it is well for us to begin the day thus. You have a fine voice," he added. " Will you sing something else, and then we'll pull westward with a will for awhile ?"

Star thought a moment, then, with a delicate flush rising in her cheek, an almost holy light glow- ing in her eyes, and a thrill in her tones which touched every heart, she-sang :

" In the harbour safe at home

Zion's stately ship shall come,

And her crew shall proudly tell

Dangers she had braved so well ; Never more to tempt the wave, Never more the storm to brave,

- Safe from rook and breaker's crest

Anchored in eternal rest.

"Courage, then, ye faithful few Weary, weather-beaten crew. Let no hardship be compared

With th' exceeding great reward ; Soon life's tempest will be o'er-

Lo ! we near the promised shore, . And o'er troubled waves afar

Gleameth Bethlehem's welcome star."

There were tears in the eyes of those rough,stern visaged men when the song was ended, and more than one weather-bronzed hand was lifted to dash them aside. There was not a sailor there who would not have fought dearly for the life of this sweet voiced girl, who had thus touched a chord in their hearts which had not vibrated before for many a

year.

A little while after the boatswain called aloud : "A sail! a sail !"

All eyes were instantly turned in the direction to- ward which he pointed, and low on the horizon, very far away, there gleamed a white sail.

The captain brought his glass to bear upon it, and reported a schooner,

A signal of distress was hoisted immediately, and changing their course, they pulled vigorously for the vessel.

But in less than half an hour it had disappeared entirely, and with disappointed faces they again turned their course westward,

The demands of nature now began to assert them- selves, and the captain served out a generous break- fast, treating all alike.

Mr. Rosevelt regarded him anxiously as he did this. " How long will your stores hold out ?" he asked, as the men began to eat hungrily.

" Two or three days," he returned ; " but we are so nearly in the line of the steamers that we shall surely fall in with one before our provisions are gone."

The old man sighed, and bent a wistful look upon the young girl sitting beside him.

Star had noted his anxious tone as he questioned the captain ; she had also seen the look he cast upon

her.

" He fears that we shall be tossed about on the ocean until we starve," she thought, a horrible chill creeping over her; and she quietly slipped all the bread that had been given her into her pocket, and only ate the more perishable food and delicacies which the captain had laid in her lap.

That afternoon Mr. Rosevelt had a violent attack of vertigo, lying insensible for several hours ; and now it was Star's turn to pillow his head upon her lap and minister to his comfort.

She bathed his face and head almost constantly, and with her shawl shielded him from the sun, which during the day was very powerful, while from time to time she fed him with bits of biscuit moistened with port wine, from a bottle which the captain had given her for him, striving in every way to keep up his strength.

He appeared to revive toward evening and said he was better ; but Star saw that he was very weak, and that it was only by great effort that he kept up

at all.

Another night passed, another day came, and still there was no sail to gladden their strained and aching eyes.

The third day the captain said, with a stern brow and pale, compressed lips :

"Our provisions are nearly gone-they will last only one more day," and he shortened every man's ration, giving Star alone a generous portion,

She cast a pitying glance at the brave men toiling so uncomplainingly at their oars, and her heart sank as she thought what might be their fate.

Patiently she munched a single biscuit, while she slipped all the rest out of eight ; hoarding it to fight the grim, gaunt monster which she feared was fast overtaking them,

Mr. Rosevelt had not been so well the day before ; he was even worse this morning, and she was very anxious about him, for he would eat nothing, wav- ing all food away with an expression of disgust, and only sipping a little wine occasionally, while he had become so weak that he could not sit up at all.

" He won't live two days longer," she heard one sailor whisper to another, when a little later he had another attack which utterly prostrated him. " He is failing rapidly and eats nothing to keep up his strength."

" He shall live !" Star said to herself, with an im- pulse bom of despair ; for he seemed her chief de- pendence, and she had grown to regard him with very tender feelings.

All night long she watched over him, every half hour moistening his lips with wine, and forcing bits of biscuit soaked in it between them.

Every time she heard him swallow, her heart leaped for joy, for it told her there was hope even yet.

She had several squares of sea-bread in her pocket, for she had saved something from every meal, and

she was determined, as long as her own strength

held out, that she would faithfully minister to

him,

Sometimes she was very faint herself from want of food, but she would take a little water in her mouth and swallow it gradually, and thus find a relief for a

time.

The fifth day there was no food to give out, and, oh, the hollow eyes, the blanched cheeks, and de- spairing sighs of that ill-fated party!

Mr. Rosevelt was conscious, to Star's great joy,

bul too weak to move hand or foot.

The sixth day the courage and strength of the crew began to fail visibly, and two of the passengers fainted from hunger and weakness.

Star felt wretchedly guilty, with food in her pocket, and those hungry eyes looking so piteously into hers, but she knew there was not enough for a crumb apiece, while the life of her friend depended upon it,

Mr. Rosevelt relapsed into partial unconsciousness quite early in the morning, and she was as pale and wan as a spirit ; but the look of determination never left her face. She worked over the sick man con- stantly, forcing food into his mouth as often as she dared, while all the day long not a morsel passed her own white lips.

Just at sunset a little cloud was visible on the eastern horizon, then it became a line of smoke ; a few minutes later sails were distinguishable, and soon the broadside of a steamer became distinct. A shout went up from the throats of the faithful crew and with renewed courage and strength they bent every nerve to their oars,

It soon became evident that their signal of dis- tress had been seen, for the steamer changed her course, and came proudly ploughing the waters toward the suffering band, and an hour later those starving almost helpless ones were tenderly taken from their peril and every want kindly ministered to.

" What is it-where am I ?" Mr. Rosevelt asked, aroused by the sound of strange voices, a vigorous rubbing, and an extra quantity of wine,

"A steamer homeward bound, and we art saved!" Star whispered in his ear, then bowed her white face upon her hands, and wept for joy.

She would not leave him until the ship's surgeon told her that he would pull through all right with proper care, and commanded that she go below and receive the attention she herself needed.

She staggered to her feet, a great burden rolling from her heart; but her waning strength deserted her entirely, and she fell fainting into the arms of a young, manly looking fellow, who was standing with pitying face just beside her.

He carried her below and gave her into the care of a stewardess, and thought, as he did so, that he

had never in his life looked upon a face so pure and delicately lovely.

The captain and crew of the ill-fated steamer, with the other passengers who had been saved, were shown every kindness and attention which their critical condition demanded, and so ended that season of horror, and they were borne swiftly and safely toward America's hospitable shores.

{To be continued.)