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The Golden Magnet
written by "Fenn, George Manville, 1831-1909"
...ul in spite of its heat after our dull, cheerless, hazy home in the winter season. I took no note of how the time went, and this part of the voyage, though in a slow clumsy boat, seemed far the quickest portion of the journey, so that I was quite surprised when one morning I came on deck, and found not only that we were in sight of land, but in sight of port—my landing port—the end of my sea journey, for we were right across the Gulf of Mexico, abreast of La Guayra, where the orders were given, and anchor was dropped in the open roadstead, where, calm as it was, we could still feel the great swell that came softly sweeping in, making the great steamer rock and roll first to this side then to that, till, heavily laden though she was, she careened over so that her copper glistened in the sun. I was beginning to feast my eyes upon the beauty of the place, when Tom, who was right forward, shouted to me to come, and as I glanced at him I saw that he was waving his hands so excitedly that there must be something worth seeing, and I ran forward. “Here’s something for you to have a look at, Mas’r Harry,” he cried. “You recollect that big pike the sea-serpent sailor told us about—ugh! four feet long didn’t he say?” “Yes, Tom; but there are no pike here.” “No pike, Mas’r Harry! Why, here’s a couple of ’em cruising about just under the bows here, and you can see ’em as plain as plain, and they’re twelve or fourteen foot long at least.” “Yes, Tom,” I said, as I climbed on to the bulwark, and sheltering my eyes gazed down into the beautiful water, where the bottom was plainly visible many feet below. “Yes, Tom,” I said, “they’re twelve or fourteen feet long at least, but they are not pike.” “Not pike, Mas’r Harry! What are they then?” “Sharks, my lad,” I replied. “Sharks.” &l...

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