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The Cruise of the Coracle

IrememberedwhatSilverhadsaidaboutthecurrentthatsetsnorthwardalongthewholewestcoastofTreasureIsland,andseeingfrommypositionthatIwasalreadyunderitsinfluence,IpreferredtoleaveHaulbowlineHeadbehindmeandreservemystrengthforanattempttolanduponthekindlier-lookingCapeoftheWoods.

Therewasagreat,smoothswelluponthesea.Thewindblowingsteadyandgentlefromthesouth,therewasnocontrarietybetweenthatandthecurrent,andthebillowsroseandfellunbroken.

Haditbeenotherwise,Imustlongagohaveperished;butasitwas,itissurprisinghoweasilyandsecurelymylittleandlightboatcouldride.Often,asIstilllayatthebottomandkeptnomorethananeyeabovethegunwale,Iwouldseeabigbluesummitheavingcloseaboveme;yetthecoraclewouldbutbouncealittle,danceasifonsprings,andsubsideontheothersideintothetroughaslightlyasabird.

Ibeganafteralittletogrowveryboldandsatuptotrymyskillatpaddling.Butevenasmallchangeinthedispositionoftheweightwillproduceviolentchangesinthebehaviourofacoracle.AndIhadhardlymovedbeforetheboat,givingupatoncehergentledancingmovement,ranstraightdownaslopeofwatersosteepthatitmademegiddy,andstruckhernose,withaspoutofspray,deepintothesideofthenextwave.

Iwasdrenchedandterrified,andfellinstantlybackintomyoldposition,whereuponthecoracleseemedtofindherheadagainandledmeassoftlyasbeforeamongthebillows.Itwasplainshewasnottobeinterferedwith,andatthatrate,sinceIcouldinnowayinfluencehercourse,whathopehadIleftofreachingland?

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