followed the others over the side, stitched up in a piece of canvas. Poor Ephraim How had lost his crew as by a visitation of God, and it seems as though some contagious disease must have ravaged the little ketch. The passenger, Mr. Augur, was no sailor at all, and Mr. How lashed himself to the helm for thirty-six hours at a stretch.
In this situation the two men cast lots whether to try to struggle back to the New England coast or to bear away with the wind and hope to reach the West Indies. The gambler's choice decreed New England, but the weather decided otherwise. For more than two months the distressed ketch tossed about and drifted, and was beaten to and fro without a glimpse of landfall. It was late in November when she was wrecked on a ledge of rock, but Ephraim How had not the slightest idea of where it was. He later learned that he had driven as far to the eastward as Nova Scotia, and the ketch had smashed herself upon a desolate island near Cape Sable. For Ephraim How it was a long, long way from Boston to New Haven.
Cape Sable in the winter time is even now a wicked refuge for shipwrecked mariners. Fortunately, there drifted ashore from the ketch the following list of essentials:
"A cask of gunpowder, which received no damage