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Our haste, however, availed us little, for there was no wind at all. We lay for over two hours under the weird light, over-canopied by the red- brown cloud, while the explosions shook the foundations of the world. Nobody ventured below. The sails flapped idly from the masts: the blocks and spars creaked: the three-cornered waves rose straight up and fell again as though reaching from the deep.
When the men first began to sweat the sails up, evidently in preparation for an immediate departure, I objected vehemently.
“You aren’t going to leave him on the island,” I cried. “He’ll die of starvation.”
They did not answer me; but after a little more, when my expostulations had become more positi ve, Handy Solomon dropped the halliard, and drew me to one side.
“Look here, you,” he snarled, “you’d better just stow your gab. You’re lucky to be here yourself, let alone botherin’ your thick head about anybody else, and you c nike air max 90 an kiss the Book on that! Do you know why you ain’t with them carrion?” He jerked his thumb toward the beach. “It’s because Solomon Anderson’s your friend. Thrackles would have killed you in a minute ‘count of his bit hand. I got you your chance. Now don’t you be a fool, for I ain’t goin’ to stand between you and them another time. Besides, he won’t last long if that volcano keeps at it.”
He left me. Whatever truth lay in his assumption of friendship, and I doubted there existed much of either truth or friendship in him, I saw the common sense of his advice. I was in no position to dictate a course of action.
After the sails were on her we gathered at the starboard rail to watch the shore. There the hills ran into inky blackness, as the horizon sometimes merges into a thunder squall. A dense white steam came from the creek bed within the arroyo nike air max 90 sale . The surges beat on the shore louder than the ordinary, and the foam, even in these day hours, seemed to throw up a faint phosphorescence. Frequent earthquakes oscillated the landscape. nike air max We watched, I do not know for what, our eyes straining into the murk of the island. Nobody thought of the chest, which lay on the cabin table aft. I contributed maliciously my bit to their fear.
“These volcanic islands sometimes sink entirely,” I suggested, “and in that case we’d be carried down by the suct cheap nike air max ion.”
It was intended merely to increase their uneasiness, but, strangely enough, after a few moments it e cheap nike air max 90 nded by imposing itself on my own fears. I began to be afraid the island would sink, began to watch for it, began to share the fascinated terror of these men.
The suspense after a time became unbearable, for while the portent– whether physical or moral we were too far under its influence to distinguish–grew momentarily, our own souls did not expand in due correspondence. We talked of towing, of kedging out, of going to any extreme, even to small boats. Then just as we were about to move toward some accomplishment, a new phenomenon chained our attention to the shore.
In the mouth of the arroyo appeared a red glow. A moment later a wave of lava, white-hot, red, iridescent, cooling to a black crust cracked in incandescence, rolled majestically out over the grassy plain. Each instant it grew in volume, until the ravine must nike air max 1 have been flowing half full.
Before its scorching th cheap nike air max trainers e grasses even at the edge of the sea were smoking, and our camp had already burst into flames. We had to shield our faces against the heat, and the wooden railing under our hands was growing warm.
Pulz turned an ashy countenance toward us.
“My God,” he screamed. “What’s going to happen when she hits the sea?”
She hit the sea, and immediately a great cloud of steam arose, and the hissing as of a thousand serpents. We felt the strong suction under our keel, and staggered under the jerk of the ship’s cable as she swung toward the beach. The paint was beginning to crackle along the rail. We could see nothing for the scalding white veil that enveloped us; we could hear nothing for the roar of steam, the bombardment of explosions, and the crash of thunder; but our nostrils we nike air max classic re assaulted by a most unearthly medley of smells.
“Hell’s loose,” growled Thrackles.
We were clinging hard as the ship reeled. Huge surges were racing in from seaward, growing larger with each successive billow.
Handy Solomon raised his head, listened intently, and struck his forehead.
“Wind,” he screamed at the top of his voice, and jumped for the halliards.
Thra cheap nike air max trainers ckles followed him, but no one else moved. In an instant the two were back, striking and kicking savagely, rousing their companions to the danger. We all laid into the canvas like mad, and in no time had snugged down to a staysail and the peak of our mainsail. Thrackles drew his knife and jumped for the cable, while Handy Solomon, his eyes snapping, seized the wheel.
We finished just in time. I was turning away after tying the last gasket on the foresail, when t cheap nike air max he deck up-ended and tipped me headforemost into the starboard scupper. At the same time a smother of salt water blew over the port rail, now far above me, to d nike air max 95 rench me as thoroughly as though I had fallen overboard. I brushed out my eyes to find the ship smack on her beam ends, and the wind howling by from the sea.
I had company enough in the scuppers. Only Handy Solomon clung desperately to the wheel, jamming his weight to port in the hope she might pay up: Thrackles, too, his eye squinted along some bearing of his own, was waiting for her to drag. Presently it became evident that she was doing so, whereupon he drew his nike air max sale knife across our hawser.
“My God,” chattered Pulz at my ear. “If we go ashore–”
He did not need to finish. Unless the _Laughing Lass_ could recover before the squall had driven her to leeward a scant half mile, we should be cooked alive in the boiling cauldron at the shore’s edge.
For an interminable time, as it seemed to me, we lay absolutely motionless. The scene is stamped indelibly on my memory–the bulwarks high above me, the steep, sleek deck, the piratical figure tense at the wheel, the snarling water racing from beneath us, the lurid glow to landward crawling up on us inch by inch like a hungry wild beast. Then almost imperceptibly the brave schooner righted. The strained lines on Handy Solomon’s carven features relaxed little by little. Thrackles, staring over the side, let out a mighty roar.
“Steerage way,” he shouted, and executed an awkward clog dance on the ree cheap nike air max ling deck.③

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