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The Battery and the Boiler
Adventures in Laying of Submarine Electric Cables

written by "Ballantyne, R. M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894"
...rew them in with irresistible power. For one moment the horrified youths saw a dark green vortex towards which they rushed. Another moment, and they beheld a green funnel whirling round them as they sank into midnight darkness, while an ocean of roaring water filled their ears. Who shall attempt to describe, the feelings or sensations of that moment! The one absorbing idea of self-preservation was of course dominant, coupled with an intolerable feeling that the upper air could never be regained. It was reached, however, by all of them. First by Sam Shipton, who shot waist-high above the sea with a loud gasp, and struck out wildly. Then, recovering presence of mind, he swam more gently, and looked eagerly round. He was immediately followed by Robin and Slagg. Last of all by Stumps, who came up legs foremost, and, on turning other end up, saluted them with a roar that would not have shamed a monster of the deep. But the roar was cut short by a gurgle, as, in his frantic struggles, he sank himself again. Observing this, and seeing that the others were comparatively self-possessed, Sam made towards his drowning comrade. The poor fellow, catching sight of him as he came near, made a clutch at him, but Sam was well aware of the danger of being grasped by a drowning man. He swerved aside, and Stumps sank with a gurgle of despair. Twice again did he rise and sink. Once more he rose. With a rapid stroke Sam swam behind him and caught him under the armpits. Violently did the poor fellow strive to turn round and clasp his preserver, but Sam, treading water, held him easily at arm’s-length with his head just above the surface. As long as he struggled nothing more could be done for him; Sam therefore put his mouth as near to his ear as possible and shouted:— “Stop struggling!—else I’ll let you go!” It was probably as much the tone of Sam’s voice as the sense of these words that calmed Stumps. At all events he instantly lay, or rathe...

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