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17. Narrative Continued by the Doctor: The Jolly-
boat’s Last Trip

THIS fifth trip was quite different from any of the others. In
the first place, the little gallipot of a boat that we were in
was gravely overloaded. Five grown men, and three of
them--Trelawney, Redruth, and the captain--over six feet high,
was already more than she was meant to carry. Add to that the
powder, pork, and bread-bags. The gunwale was lipping astern.
Several times we shipped a little water, and my breeches and the
tails of my coat were all soaking wet before we had gone a
hundred yards.

The captain made us trim the boat, and we got her to lie a little
more evenly. All the same, we were afraid to breathe.

In the second place, the ebb was now making--a strong rippling
current running westward through the basin, and then south’ard
and seaward down the straits by which we had entered in the
morning. Even the ripples were a danger to our overloaded craft,
but the worst of it was that we were swept out of our true course
and away from our proper landing-place behind the point. If we let
the current have its way we should come ashore beside the gigs,
where the pirates might appear at any moment.

“I cannot keep her head for the stockade, sir,” said I to the
captain. I was steering, while he and Redruth, two fresh men, were
at the oars. “The tide keeps washing her down. Could you pull a
little stronger?”

“Not without swamping the boat,” said he. “You must bear up,
sir, if you please--bear up until you see you’re gaining.”

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