The Survivors of the Chancellor HTML version

The Cargo Unloaded
NOVEMBER 6 to November 15. -- For the first five days after the Chancellor had run
aground, there was a dense black smoke continually rising from the hold; but it grad-
ually diminished until the 6th of November, when we might consider that the fire was
extinguished. Curtis, neverthe- less, deemed it prudent to persevere in working the
pumps, which he did until the entire hull of the ship, right up to the deck, had been
completely inundated.
The rapidity, however, with which the water, at every re- treat of the tide, drained off to
the level of the sea, was an indication that the leak must be of considerable magnitude;
and such, on investigation, proved to be the case. One of the sailors, named Flaypole,
dived one day at low water to ex- amine the extent of the damage, and found that the hole
was not much less than four feet square, and was situated thirty feet fore of the helm, and
two feet above the rider of the keel; three planks had been stove in by a sharp point of
rock and it was only a wonder that the violence with which the heavily-laden vessel had
been thrown ashore did not result in the smashing in of many parts beside.
As it would be a couple of days or more before the hold would be in a condition for the
bales of cotton to be removed for the carpenter to examine the damage from the interior
of the ship, Curtis employed the interval in having the broken mizzen-mast repaired.
Dowlas the carpenter, with con- siderable skill, contrived to mortise it into its former
stump. and made the junction thoroughly secure by strong iron- belts and bolts. The
shrouds, the stays and backstays, were then carefully refitted, some of the sails were
changed, and the whole of the running rigging was renewed. Injury, to some extent, had
been done to the poop and to the crew's lockers in the front; but time and labor were all
that were wanted to make them good; and with such a will did every- body set to work
that it was not long before all the cabins were again available for use.
On the 8th the unlading of the ship commenced. Pulleys and tackling were put over the
hatches, and passengers and crew together proceeded to haul up the heavy bales which
had been deluged so frequently by water that the cotton was all but spoiled. One by one
the sodden bales were placed in the boat to be transported to the reef. After the first layer
of cotton had been removed it became necessary to drain off part of the water that filled
the hold. For this purpose the leak in the side had somehow or other to be stopped, and
this was an operation which was cleverly accomplished by Dowlas and Flaypole, who
contrived to dive at low tide and nail a sheet of copper over the entire hole. This, how-
ever, of itself would have been utterly inadequate to sustain the pressure that would arise
from the action of the pumps; so Curtis ordered that a number of the bales should be piled
up inside against the broken planks. The scheme succeeded very well, and as the water
got lower and lower in the hold the men were enabled to r‚sum‚ their task of unlading.
Curtis thinks it quite probable that the leaks may be mended from the interior. By far the
best way of repairing the damage would be to careen the ship, and to shift the planking,
but the appliances are wanting for such an un- dertaking; moreover, any bad weather