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Sea-Hounds
written by "Freeman, Lewis R. (Lewis Ransome), 1878-1960"
...per squares of a Japanese window. The rush of water, of course, followed instantly upon the crash, yet, so vivid are my impressions of the things intimately connected with the blow itself that it seems as though there was an appreciable interval between the fall of that and the time when the enveloping cataclysm transformed the universe into a green-white stream of brine. From ahead, above and from both sides the flood poured, to meet and mingle in a whirling maelstrom in the middle of the bridge. There was nothing of blown spindrift to it; it was green and solid and flowed with a heave and a hurl that made no more of slamming a man to the deck than of tossing a life-buoy. I went the whole length of the bridge when I lost my grip on the port stanchion, brought up against the after-rail, and then went down into a tangle of signal flags. I remember distinctly, though, that the walls of water rushing by completely blotted out sea and sky to port and starboard, and that there was all[Pg 129] the darkness of late twilight in the cavern of the engulfed bridge. Then the great sea tumbled aft along the main deck, and it grew light again. The captain and the helmsman had both kept their feet, and the latter, dripping from head to heel, was just throwing over the engine-room telegraph as I shook off my mantle of coloured bunting and crawled back to my moorings at the stanchion. Immediately afterwards I saw him jump on to the after-rail and make some sort of negative signal to a couple of half-drowned boys who, waist-deep in swirling water, were pawing desperately among the depth-charges. Then he came over and joined me for a few moments. “Some sea, that,” he said, slipping down his hood and throwing back the brine-dripping hair from his forehead. “It’s happened before, but never like that. Lord only knows what it’s done to her. S’pose we’ll begin to hear of that in a minute.” He poin...

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