He was not sure that the captain was awake, although this iron man seemed to be always awake. When the party rounded the corner they were fairly blinded by the pelting of the snow. His forehead touched sand that was periodically, between each wave, clear of the sea. The ominous slash of the wind and the water affected them as it would have affected mummies. The five chairs were formed in a crescent about one side of the stove. The room which they entered was small.
Well, have a little one, then. The Swede had adopted the fashion of board-whacking. This individual at times surveyed them from afar with an amused and superior grin. Historically there was supposed to be something infinitely humorous in their situation. There was a splendor of isolation in his situation at this time which the Easterner felt once when, lifting his eyes from the man on the ground, he beheld that mysterious and lonely figure, waiting. Many a man ought to have a bath-tub larger than the boat which here rode upon the sea. There is also a sense that the correspondent has a deeper respect and understanding of the sea.
He was an awful fool. Just giving us a merry hand. He moved a pace backward, and his arm with the revolver dropped to his side. To chime the notes of his emotion, a verse mysteriously entered the correspondent's head. Even as the lighthouse was an upright shadow on the sky, this land seemed but a long black shadow on the sea.
Crane continued to write prolifically until his life was cut short, a victim of tuberculosis at the age of 28. At San Antonio he was like a man hidden in the dark. To the left, miles down a long purple slope, was a little ribbon of mist where moved the keening Rio Grande. After it had been discouraged from the pursuit the captain breathed easier on account of his hair, and others breathed easier because the bird struck their minds at this time as being somehow grewsome and ominous. There was the shore of the populous land, and it was bitter and bitter to them that from it came no sign. A large wave caught him and flung him with ease and supreme speed completely over the boat and far beyond it. These waves were most wrongfully and barbarously abrupt and tall, and each froth-top was a problem in small-boat navigation.
But the Swede here interposed with a grandeur of confidence. Potter's mouth seemed to be merely a grave for his tongue. His eyes, rolling and yet keen for ambush, hunted the still doorways and windows. Then, after scornfully bumping a crest, she would slide, and race, and splash down a long incline, and arrive bobbing and nodding in front of the next menace. He dragged ashore the cook, and then waded towards the captain, but the captain waved him away, and sent him to the correspondent. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.
The Swede poured himself an abnormal portion of whiskey and drank it in three gulps. At last, from the top of each wave the men in the tossing boat could see land. One morning, when a snow-crusted engine dragged its long string of freight cars and its one passenger coach to the station, Scully performed the marvel of catching three men. The oarsman did not dare turn his head, so he was obliged to ask questions. Lean picked the shovel from the ground. Soon there was nothing to be seen but the chalk-blue face. The adjutant suddenly remembered a phrase in the back part of the Spitzbergen burial service, and he exploited it with the triumphant manner of a man who has recalled everything, and can go on.
As soon as the correspondent touched the cold comfortable sea-water in the bottom of the boat, and had huddled close to the cook's life-belt he was deep in sleep, despite the fact that his teeth played all the popular airs. But Potter often laughed the same nervous laugh. Timothy Lean felt as if tons had been swiftly lifted from off his forehead. Scully practically made them prisoners. If we stay out here too long, we'll none of us have strength left to swim after the boat swamps.
There must be a life-saving station up there. It was a wink full of cunning. This is merely the way—often—of the hit and unhit. Afterwards there was a short silence. The other men at the table said nothing.
He ultimately followed Scully across the corridor, but he had the step of one hung in chains. In fact, he collapsed during a party due to a tubercular hemorrhage in December 1899. The men lowered their heads and plunged into the tempest as into a sea. The two combatants leaped forward and crashed together like bullocks. Grey-faced and bowed forward, they mechanically, turn by turn, plied the leaden oars. This oiler, by a series of quick miracles, and fast and steady oarsmanship, turned the boat in the middle of the surf and took her safely to sea again.
His entrance was made theatric. The huge arms of the wind were making attempts—mighty, circular, futile—to embrace the flakes as they sped. The oiler, steering with one of the two oars in the boat, sometimes raised himself suddenly to keep clear of water that swirled in over the stern. He wore a heavy fur cap squeezed tightly down on his head. In the deep shadows of the room their eyes shone as they listened for sounds from the street. They paid strict heed to the game. The monstrous in-shore rollers heaved the boat high until the men were again enabled to see the white sheets of water scudding up the slanted beach.