The Survivors of the Chancellor HTML version
While There's Life There's Hope
NIGHT of December 4. -- Curtis caught young Letourneur again in his arms, and,
running with him across the flooded deck, deposited him safely in the starboard shrouds,
whither his father and I climbed up beside him.
I now had time to look about me. The night was not very dark, and I could see that Curtis
had returned to his post upon the poop; while in the extreme aft near the taff- rail, which
was still above water, I could distinguish the forms of Mr. and Mrs. Kear, Miss Herbey,
and Mr. Fal- sten. The lieutenant and the boatswain were on the far end of the forecastle;
the remainder of the crew in the shrouds and top-masts.
By the assistance of his father, who carefully guided his feet up the rigging, Andre was
hoisted into the main-top. Mrs. Kear could not be induced to join him in his elevated
position, in spite of being told that if the wind were to freshen she would inevitably be
washed overboard by the waves; nothing could induce her to listen to remonstrances, and
she insisted upon remaining on the poop -- Miss Herbey, of course, staying by her side.
As soon as the captain saw the Chancellor was no longer sinking, he set to work to take
down all the sails -- yards and all -- and the top-gallants, in the hope that by removing
everything that could compromise the equilibrium of the ship he might diminish the
chance of her capsizing alto- gether.
"But may she not founder at any moment?" I said to Curtis, when I had joined him for a
while upon the poop.
"Everything depends upon the weather," he replied, in his calmest manner; "that, of
course, may change at any hour. One thing, however, is certain, the Chancellor pre-
serves her equilibrium for the present."
"But do you mean to say," I further asked, "that she can sail with two feet of water over
"No, Mr. Kazallon, she can't sail, but she can drift with the wind; and if the wind remains
in its present quarter, in the course of a few days we might possibly sight the coast.
Besides, we shall have our raft as a last resource; in a few hours it will be ready, and at
daybreak we can embark."
"You have not, then," I added, "abandoned all hope even yet?" I marveled at his
"While there's life there's hope, you know, Mr. Kazallon; out of a hundred chances,
ninety-nine may be against us, but perhaps the odd one may be in our favor. Besides, I
believe that our case is not without precedent. In the year 1795, a three-master, the Juno,
was precisely in the same half-sunk, water-logged condition as ourselves; and yet, with