Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/67

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"I think it most likely that we shall die here soon, David, but as some one of us may survive to carry the tidings to our friends, if you have anything to say respecting your family, now is the time."

The young sailor—he was only twenty-six—replied to this: "I have a mother in Saco where I belong—she is a second time a widow. To-morrow, if you can spare a scrap of paper and a pencil, I will write something."

No to-morrow came to him. He passed out in the night, and the skipper thought of his own wife and children in Boston. They dug a grave in the sand, made a coffin of shooks, and stood with bare heads while Captain Lincoln read the funeral prayer from the consolatory compilation of the Rev. Mr. Brooks. One of the Spanish prisoners, an old man named Manuel, made a wooden cross, and with great pains carved upon it the words, "Jesus Christ Hath Him Now," and placed it at the head of the grave. There was the old Puritan strain in Captain Lincoln, who commented, "Although I did not believe in the mysterious influence of the cross, yet I was perfectly willing it should stand there."

Enfeebled and lacking food and water, they stubbornly toiled at building the boat, which was shaped like a flat-iron. When at length they launched the wretched little box, it leaked like a basket, and, to