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during a series of railway collisions, but tired nature eventually overcame the mixture of pitch, roll, and vibration.
I awoke with the first dawn, and, going on deck, found we
the “Longships light,
which looked sickly and wan in the growing day.
The dangerous rocks extending to the
right of the lightRACE" OFF PORTLAND,
house, which in
old time made the sun beating on deck makes the cabins the spot a terror to mariners, stood up of these boats like furnaces, the tempera- like giant stepping-stones against the ture at night soon approximates to that of smooth silvery water beyond, contrastthe Polar regions. On deck, too, it was ing weirdly with the boats tossing in decidedly chill for an August night, but the heavy swell outside. At the rate the scenery was more attractive than were steaming they soon became below. The red, green, and white lights small in the distance, finally disappearof our little fleet, some close at hand ing behind the volumes of brown and others far away, gleamed and sparkled purple smoke cast forth by a
boat across the dark heaving water ; while “stoking-up." ever and anon showers of sparks burst An hour or so later,
of the from the funnels and glinted on the long, " seventies” became suddenly enveloped dark hulls cutting like knives through the in a cloud of white steam, looking for all phosphorescent sea.
the world as though she had blown up. By and by it was time to turn in, so I It was merely something gone wrong with crawled below again. Our worthy gunner the machinery, however, and she was was already there, utilising a few spare blowing off steam preparatory to adjusting hours for slumber. The sleeping accom- things a bit. The rest of us slowed down modation is very simple. No one undresses speed to five knots, a welcome relief after in a torpedo-boat ; instead thereof he dons a "lammey-suit,"
the duffle clothing used in Arctic expeditions is termed. Over this overcoat and
a couple of blankets, and the sleeper curls himself up on the leather-covered seat, which runs on either side of the cabin in a railway carriage. Curtains drawn across to a certain extent keep off the draught. I took some time learning to sleep on this narrow bed ; indeed, at first it was like trying to lie still
TURNING A CIRCLE.
the afternoon, and at the same time all the hatchway's were fastened down. This seemed a curious proceeding as
the sea smooth and peaceful, disturbed only by the zig-zag wavelets that broke in our wake and the rainbow-tinted foam curling ove
Suddenly, without warning,
change. High up in
the air rose our stern ;
down, down went eight hours' vibration. We seized the the bow into the bosom of a great opportunity for breakfast; but our respite wave
that swept along the deck, was soon over, and the jumping and jolting foaming and hissing as it came. All began anew, though the sea by this time around us
white-crested waves having gone down somewhat, it was little and sheets of spray.
Our little ship more inconvenient than standing on top seemed a mere plaything to the sea, of an omnibus racing down a stony but bravely she held her way until the road.
waves subsided as quickly as they had Our course had been well out in the risen. We had passed through the Channel, as we were making a bee-line “race” off Portland, a curious phefor Portland, which we sighted early in nomenon caused by the set of the tides
FORMING INTO SINGLE COLUMN.
over a reef. At times this “race” is a evolution, smartly performed. Portpositive danger, as our skipper had found land by this time was close at hand. on a previous occasion when he got and the flotilla slowing down steamed into it in a training-brig. The weather through the opening in the breakwater, was bad and the vessel at once became past the Channel feet, and under the unmanageable, spinning round and round shadow of the great hill on the left, like a top, and in this fashion she was where they came to rest side by side carried-fortunately --right out into the against a high pier. At sunset time Channel.
we resumed our voyage.
What a sunThe hatchways were opened again, and set it was! Gold and purple and scarlet
clouds tossed wildly above in a crimson sky ; on the left the great blue mass of cliff, frowning and pitiless ; around and beneath, a black and inky sea.
On Sunday morning one boat was missing, and No. 26-a Thornycroft was sent back to look for her. In the now glassy sea, 26 came alongside within hailing distance, and then turning a circle almost in her own length went back
the course, leaving a long foaming track in her wake; the circle she had turned plainly marked in the water. The missing boat was soon found; some trifling defect in the machinery had delayed her; and the squadron at increased speed raced past Dover, passing like a flash innumerable ships going in the same direction. At length the Nore and the red-sailed, barges came in view, low-lying Sheerness – Sheernasty,
in naval phraseologyfhendres Seish
hove in sight, and at noon precisely the boats
came alongside the I went below. Queer little holes these dockyard jetty, having been only fortyhatchways are, little more than the four hours on a trip that included three breadth of a man's shoulders in diameter. stoppages, besides a four-hour stay at There is a tale of a stout torpedo-gunner Portland. This performance, conducted who, having sprained his ankle, stayed without a single mishap of importance, below for a while. When, a few days takes the ground from under those who are later, he tried to get on deck he was eternally crying out about break-downs, unable to do so—the lack of exercise had and it must not be forgotten that it was increased his girth beyond the dimensions after five weeks' knocking about and of the hatch way!
rough usage. The ease with which this Our little feet was now formed into one of several) voyage was made shows single column of line ahead-a pretty clearly that a
clearly that a mosquito fleet is quite
capable of taking the offensive in other I have endeavoured in the two illustraplaces than home waters.
tions dealing with this subject to show One question that occurs to everyone what will happen in such a case. The is, How will the torpedo-boat fare in boat steals up until a shot from the war time? We have no actual results ; enemy shows that concealment is no but by putting together the experience longer possible. Then it is full speed gained in manœuvres and the effects of ahead. Flames rise from the funnel, experiments, it is fairly easy to arrive at bullets, shot and shell fall around in a conclusions as to what is most likely to ceaseless hail, darkness, confusion, noise, occur. It is now an axiom that torpedo- and flashes. The tubes are already trained, boats are useless in the daytime - they all the officer in charge of them has to do would be destroyed ere they could get is to wait till the enemy is in line with the within firing distance for torpedoes, and sights of the director. The moment comes. is becoming pretty well established that If he is still alive there is a flash ; the “ a boat expected is a boat destroyed.” torpedo plunges into the sea. There is a Unless boats attack in numbers, unless roar like thunder, dull and muffled. A the enemy bewilder themselves with giant wave rises and envelopes the search-lights, they have little chance doomed enemy in its embrace, and against a prepared foe.
returning, bears away what remains of the Surprise is the element that will beyond torpedo-boat. Then silence and the blackall others pertain to success ; but it will ness of the night. have to be coupled with indomitable The torpedo has got home! pluck and disregard of consequences.
could say was, it was Uncle Wishart's
whim; and Uncle Wishart
to give ; but then gainsaid.
office; and if any about 'em. Look at that ruby, that one ought to know a man, surely they diamond, those sapphires; why! they'd ought--and indeed these best of all ! make the fortune of an Amsterdam But a huge bronze toad studded with merchant ! Rings on all the toes-yes, all ; large ill-cut jewels—a squat, hideous, bracelets round the wrists of him. That misshapen monster that seemed alive, necklace of emeralds, now—ever see such if motionless, as
it flashed in the beauties? Oh! he's a fine fellow, by light and shimmered in the dark-a big Jove! But look here, Julian, this is the. black beast carrying on its shining back king of the lot!” a veritable king's ransom in diamonds He pointed to a large opal in the and rubies, emeralds and sapphires-that middle of the bronze forehead ; and passed given to a nephew as a wedding-present his forefinger over it, caressingly. seemed to mark a stage of queerness even “This,” he said with a sharp sideways beyond those already acknowledged. look to his nephew, “is a talisman, Ju.
Why not money? The toad was worth When things have come to the worst a good round sum as he stood. Why with you—if they ever do—screw out this not have converted those useless excres- stone, and you will be saved. I forbid cences, which were not even beautiful, you to touch it unless you are in the last into solid cash that would have been straits. You would get a tidy sum for useful? Why not indeed! All one the other stones, if dealt with judiciously,