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24. The Cruise of the Coracle

IT was broad day when I awoke and found myself tossing at
the south-west end of Treasure Island. The sun was up but
was still hid from me behind the great bulk of the Spy-glass,
which on this side descended almost to the sea in formidable cliffs.

Haulbowline Head and Mizzen-mast Hill were at my elbow, the
hill bare and dark, the head bound with cliffs forty or fifty feet
high and fringed with great masses of fallen rock. I was scarce a
quarter of a mile to seaward, and it was my first thought to paddle
in and land.

That notion was soon given over. Among the fallen rocks the
breakers spouted and bellowed; loud reverberations, heavy sprays
flying and falling, succeeded one another from second to second;
and I saw myself, if I ventured nearer, dashed to death upon the
rough shore or spending my strength in vain to scale the beetling

Nor was that all, for crawling together on flat tables of rock or
letting themselves drop into the sea with loud reports I beheld
huge slimy monsters--soft snails, as it were, of incredible bigness--
two or three score of them together, making the rocks to echo with
their barkings.

I have understood since that they were sea lions, and entirely
harmless. But the look of them, added to the difficulty of the shore
and the high running of the surf, was more than enough to disgust
me of that landing-place. I felt willing rather to starve at sea than
to confront such perils.

In the meantime I had a better chance, as I supposed, before

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