Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
of the man who had killed him and the quick fishes steering to and
fro over both.
I was now alone upon the ship; the tide had just turned. The
sun was within so few degrees of setting that already the shadow
of the pines upon the western shore began to reach right across
the anchorage and fall in patterns on the deck. The evening breeze
had sprung up, and though it was well warded off by the hill with
the two peaks upon the east, the cordage had begun to sing a little
softly to itself and the idle sails to rattle to and fro.
I began to see a danger to the ship. The jibs I speedily doused
and brought tumbling to the deck, but the main-sail was a harder
matter. Of course, when the schooner canted over, the boom had
swung out-board, and the cap of it and a foot or two of sail hung
even under water. I thought this made it still more dangerous; yet
the strain was so heavy that I half feared to meddle. At last I got
my knife and cut the halyards. The peak dropped instantly, a great
belly of loose canvas floated broad upon the water, and since, pull
as I liked, I could not budge the downhall, that was the extent of
what I could accomplish. For the rest, the Hispaniola must trust to
luck, like myself.
By this time the whole anchorage had fallen into shadow--the
last rays, I remember, falling through a glade of the wood and
shining bright as jewels on the flowery mantle of the wreck. It
began to be chill; the tide was rapidly fleeting seaward, the
schooner settling more and more on her beam-ends.
I scrambled forward and looked over. It seemed shallow
enough, and holding the cut hawser in both hands for a last
security, I let myself drop softly overboard. The water scarcely
reached my waist; the sand was firm and covered with ripple