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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/80

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

open sea. Suddenly there came a gust of wind. The "Matutina," which was still clearly in sight, put on all sail, as if resolved to profit by the hurricane. It was the nor'-wester, a wind sullen and angry. Its weight was felt instantly. The hooker, caught broadside on, staggered, but recovering held her course to sea. This indicated a flight rather than a voyage, less fear of sea than of land, and greater dread of pursuit from man than from the wind. The hooker, passing through every degree of diminution, sank into the horizon. The little star which she carried paled into shadow, then disappeared,—this time for good and all.

At least the child seemed to understand it so, for he ceased to look at the sea. His gaze reverted to the plains, the moor, the hills, where it might be possible to find some living creature. Towards this unknown region he now directed his steps.