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“Well, gentlemen,” said Locus, in reply to a unanimous call for a story—the relics of supper having been removed, all to the big stone medicine jug, —"I'll go ahead, if you say so. Here's the story. It is true, upon my honor, from beginning to end—every word of it. I once crossed over to Faulkner's island, to fish for tautaugs, as the north side people call black fish, on the reefs hard by, in the Long Island Sound. Tim Titus, —who died of the dropsy, down at Shinnecock point, last spring --lived there then. Tim was a right good fellow, only he drank rather too much.

It was during the latter part of July; the sharks and the dog-fish had just begun to spoil sport. When Tim told me about the sharks, I resolved to go prepared to entertain these aquatic savages with all becoming attention and regard, if there should chance to be any interloping about our fishing ground. So we rigged out a set of extra large hooks, and shipped some rope-yarn and steel chain, an axe, a couple of clubs, and an old harpoon, in addition to our ordinary equipments, and off we started. We threw out our anchor at half ebb tide, and took some thumping large fish ;-two of them weighed thirteen pounds-so you may judge. The reef where we lay, was about half a mile from the island, and, perhaps, a mile from the Connecticut shore. We floated there, very quietly, throwing out and hauling in, until the breaking of my line, with a sudden and severe jerk, informed us that the sea attorneys were in waiting, down stairs; and we accordingly prepared

Vol. 1.-4

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to give them a retainer. A salt pork cloak upon one of our
magnum hooks, forth with engaged one of the gentlemen in
our service. We got him along side, and by dint of piercing,
and thrusting, and banging, we accomplished a most exciting
and
merry

murder. We had business enough of the kind to keep us employed until near low water. By this time, the sharks had all cleared out, and the black fish were biting again; the rock began to make its appearance above the water, and in a little while its hard bald head was entirely dry. Tim now proposed to set me out upon the rock, while he rowed ashore to get the jug, which, strange to say, we had left at the house. I assented to this proposition ; first, because I began to feel the effects of the sun upon my tongue, and needed something to take, by way of medicine ; and secondly, because the rock was a favorite spot for a rod and reel, and fainous for luck ; so I took my traps, and a box of bait, and jumped upon my new station. Tim made for the island.

Not many men would willingly have been left upon a little barren reef, that was covered by every flow of the tide, in the midst of a waste of waters, at such a distance from the shore, even with an assurance from a companion more to be depended upon, than mine, to return immediately, and lie by to take him off. But some how or other, the excitement of my sport was so high, and the romance of the situation was so delightful, that I thought of nothing else but the prosecution of my fun, and the contemplation of the novelty and beauty of the scene. It was a mild pleasant afternoon in harvest time. The sky was clear and pure. The deep blue sound, heaving all around me, was studded with craft of all descriptions and dimensions, from the dipping sail boat, to the rolling merchantman, sinking and rising like sea-birds sporting with their white

wings in the surge. The grain and grass, on the neighboring farms, were gold and green, and gracefully they bent obeisance to a gentle breathing southwester. Farther off, the high upland, and the distant coast gave a dim relief to the prominent features of the landscape, and seemed the rich but dusky frame of a brilliant fairy picture. Then, how still it was! not a sound could be heard, except the occasional rustling of my own motion, and the water beating against the sides, or gurgling in the fissures of the rock, or except now and then the cry of a solitary saucy gull, who would come out of his way in the firmamemt, to see what I was doing without a boat, all alone, in the middle of the sound; and who would hover, and cry, and chatter, and make two or three circling swoops and dashes at me, and then, after having satisfied his curiosity, glide away

in search of some other fool to scream at. I soon became half indolent, and quite indifferent about fishing; so I stretched myself out, at full length, upon the rock, and gave myself up to the luxury of looking, and thinking. The divine exercise soon put me fast asleep. I dreamed away a couple of hours, and longer might have dreamed, but for a tired fish-hawk, who chose to make my head his resting place, and who waked and started me to my feet.

“Where is Tim Titus ?" I muttered to myself, as I strained my eyes over the now darkened water. But none was near me, to answer that interesting question, and nothing was to be seen of either Tim or his boat. “ He should have been here long ere this,” thought I, “ and he promised faithfully not to stay long—could he have forgotten? or has he paid too much devotion to the jug ?"

I began to feel uneasy, for the tide was rising fast, and soon would cover the top of the rock, and high water mark was at least a foot above my head. I buttoned up my coat, for either the coming coolness of the evening, or else my growing apprehensions, had set me trembling and chattering most painfully. I braced my nerves, and set my teeth, and tried to hum“ begone dull care,” keeping time with my fists upon my thighs. But what music! whal melancholy merriment! I started and shuddered at the doleful sound of my own voice. I am not naturally a coward, but I should like to know the man who would not, in such a situation, be alarmed. It is a a cruel death to die, to be merely drowned, and to go through the ordinary common places of suffocation, but to see your death gradually rising to your eyes, to feel the water mounting, inch by inch, upon your shivering sides, and to anticipate the certainly coming, choking struggle for your last breath, when, with the gurgling sound of an overflowing brook taking a new direction, the cold brine pours into mouth, ears, and nostrils, usurping the seat and avenues of health and life, and, with gradual flow, stifling-smothering—suffocating!—It were better to die a thousand common deaths.

This is one of the instances, in which, it must be admitted, salt water is not a pleasant subject of contemplation. However, the rock was not yet covered, and hope, blessed hope, stuck faithfully by me. To beguile, if possible, the weary time, I put on a bait, and threw out for a fish. I was sooner successful than I could have wished to be, for hardly had my line struck the water, before the hook was swallowed, and my rod was bent with the dead hard pull of a twelve foot shark. I let it run about fifty yards, and then reeled up. He appeared not at all alarmed, and I could scarcely feel him bear upon my fine hair line. He followed the pull gently, and unresisting, came up to the rock, laid his nose upon its side, and looked up into my face, not as if utterly unconcerned, but with a sort of quizzical impudence, as though he perfectly understood the precarious nature of my situation The conduct of my captive renewed and increased my alarm. And well it might ; for the tide was now running over a corner of the rock behind me, and a small stream rushed through a clest, or fissure, by my side, and formed a puddle at my very feet. I broke my hook out of the monster's mouth, and leaned upon my rod for support.

6 Where is Tim Titus ?"-I cried aloud" Curse on the drunken vagabond! will he never come ?"

My ejaculations did no good. No Timothy appeared. It became evident, that I must prepare for drowning, or sor action. The reef was completely covered, and the water was above the soles of my feet. I was not much of a swimmer, and as to ever reaching the Island, I could not even hope for that. However, there was no alternative, and I tried to encourage myself, by reflecting that necessity was the mother of invention and that desperation will sometimes ensure success. Besides , too, I considered and took comfort, from the thought that I could wait for Tim, so long as I had a foothold, and then commit myself to the uncertain strength of my arms, and legs, for salvation. So I turned my bait box upside down, and mounting upon that, endeavored to comfort my spirits, and to be courageous, but submissive to my fate. I thought of death, and what it might bring with it, and I tried to repent of the multiplied iniquities of my almost wasted life; but I found that that was no place for a sinner to settle his accounts. Wretched soul ! pray, I could not.

The water had now got above my ankles, when, to my inexpressible joy, I saw a sloop bending down towards me, with the evident intention of picking me up. No man can imagine what were the sensations of gratitude which filled my bosom at that moment,

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