This true story happened in the month of February, 1831. It was a bright moonlit night, and it was extremely cold. The little brig I commanded lay quietly at her anchors inside the bay.
When at length we made the port, all hands were almost exhausted. We could not have held out two days longer without relief. The bay we nestled in was welcome relief and we planned to shelter there for a number of days.
“A bitter cold night, Mr. Larkin,” I said to my mate. I paused for a moment on deck to finish my pipe and I watched the water. The tide was running out so strong that the force of it would break off cakes of ice from the mass at the shore and swiftly carry them out toward the sea beyond. These cakes filled the bay and could be dangerous if they scraped the side of the boat too hard in passing.
“The tide is running out swift and strong,” I added. “It will be well to keep a sharp look-out for this floating ice, Mr. Larkin.”
“Ay, ay, sir,” answered the mate, and I went below.
Two hours afterwards, I was aroused from a sound sleep by that same officer. “Excuse me for disturbing you, captain,” said he, as I glared at him. “I wish you would turn out, and come on deck as soon as possible.”
“Why—what's the matter, Mr. Larkin?”
“Why, sir, I have been watching a cake of ice that swept by at a little distance a moment ago. I saw something black upon it—something that I thought moved.”
Find out what Mr. Larkin saw and how he and the captain rescued two small children from a floating cake of ice in this exciting adventure tale.
Ages 8 and up.
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