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Dracula

"As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean."
Shortly before ten o'clock the stillness of the air grew quite oppressive,and the
silence was so marked that the bleating of a sheep inland or the barking of a dog
in the town was distinctly heard, and the band on the pier, with its lively French
air, was like a dischord in the great harmony of nature's silence. A little after
midnight came a strange sound from over the sea, and high overhead the air
began to carry a strange, faint, hollow booming.
Then without warning the tempest broke. With a rapidity which, at the time,
seemed incredible,and even afterwards is impossible to realize, the whole aspect
of nature at once became convulsed. The waves rose in growing fury, each over-
topping its fellow, till in a very few minutes the lately glassy sea was like a roaring
and devouring monster. White-crested waves beat madly on the level sands and
rushed up the shelving cliffs. Others broke over the piers, and with their spume
swept the lanthorns of the lighthouses which rise from the end of either pier of
Whitby Harbour.
The wind roared like thunder, and blew with such force that it was with difficulty
that even strong men kept their feet, or clung with grim clasp to the iron
stanchions. It was found necessary to clear the entire pier from the mass of
onlookers, or else the fatalities of the night would have increased manifold. To
add to the difficulties and dangers of the time, masses of sea-fog came drifting
inland. White, wet clouds, which swept by in ghostly fashion, so dank and damp
and cold that it needed but little effort of imagination to think that the spirits of
those lost at sea were touching their living brethren with the clammy hands of
death, and many a one shuddered at the wreaths of sea-mist swept by.
At times the mist cleared, and the sea for some distance could be seen in the
glare of the lightning, which came thick and fast, followed by such peals of
thunder that the whole sky overhead seemed trembling under the shock of the
footsteps of the storm.
Some of the scenes thus revealed were of immeasurable grandeur and of
absorbing interest. The sea, running mountains high, threw skywards with each
wave mighty masses of white foam, which the tempest seemed to snatch at and
whirl away into space. Here and there a fishing boat, with a rag of sail, running
madly for shelter before the blast, now and again the white wings of a storm-
tossed seabird. On the summit of the East Cliff the new searchlight was ready for
experiment, but had not yet been tried. The officers in charge of it got it into
working order, and in the pauses of onrushing mist swept with it the surface of
the sea. Once or twice its service was most effective, as when a fishing boat,
with gunwale under water, rushed into the harbour, able, by the guidance of the
sheltering light, to avoid the danger of dashing against the piers. As each boat
achieved the safety of the port there was a shout of joy from the mass of people
on the shore,a shout which for a moment seemed to cleave the gale and was
then swept away in its rush.
Before long the searchlight discovered some distance away a schooner with all
sails set, apparently the same vessel which had been noticed earlier in the
evening. The wind had by this time backed to the east, and there was a shudder
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