The Cruise of the Coracle

ItwasbroaddaywhenIawokeandfoundmyselftossingatthesouth-westendofTreasureIsland.ThesunwasupbutwasstillhidfrommebehindthegreatbulkoftheSpy-glass,whichonthissidedescendedalmosttotheseainformidablecliffs.

HaulbowlineHeadandMizzen-mastHillwereatmyelbow,thehillbareanddark,theheadboundwithcliffsfortyorfiftyfeethighandfringedwithgreatmassesoffallenrock.Iwasscarceaquarterofamiletoseaward,anditwasmyfirstthoughttopaddleinandland.

Thatnotionwassoongivenover.Amongthefallenrocksthebreakersspoutedandbellowed;loudreverberations,heavyspraysflyingandfalling,succeededoneanotherfromsecondtosecond;andIsawmyself,ifIventurednearer,dashedtodeathupontheroughshoreorspendingmystrengthinvaintoscalethebeetlingcrags.

Norwasthatall,forcrawlingtogetheronflattablesofrockorlettingthemselvesdropintotheseawithloudreportsIbeheldhugeslimymonsterssoftsnails,asitwere,ofincrediblebignesstwoorthreescoreofthemtogether,makingtherockstoechowiththeirbarkings.

Ihaveunderstoodsincethattheyweresealions,andentirelyharmless.Butthelookofthem,addedtothedifficultyoftheshoreandthehighrunningofthesurf,wasmorethanenoughtodisgustmeofthatlanding-place.Ifeltwillingrathertostarveatseathantoconfrontsuchperils.

InthemeantimeIhadabetterchance,asIsupposed,beforeme.NorthofHaulbowlineHead,thelandrunsinalongway,leavingatlowtidealongstretchofyellowsand.Tothenorthofthat,again,therecomesanothercapeCapeoftheWoods,asitwasmarkeduponthechartburiedintallgreenpines,whichdescendedtothemarginofthesea.

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