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The Crusade of the Excelsior

Bret Harte

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ers withheld their speech, and looked at each other. Afraid to break the charm by speech, they listened again, but in vain an infinite repose followed that seemed to pervade everything.

It was broken, at last, by the sound of oars in their rowlocks; the boat was returning. But it was noticed that the fog had slightly lifted from the surface of the water, for the boat was distinctly visible two cables' length from the ship as she approached; and it was seen that besides the first officer and Senor Perkins there were two strangers in the boat. Everybody rushed to the side for a nearer view of those strange inhabitants of the unknown shore; but the boat's crew suddenly ceased rowing, and lay on their oars until an indistinct hail and reply passed between the boat and ship. There was a bustle forward, an unexpected thunder from the Excelsior's eight-pounder at the bow port; Captain Bunker and the second mate ranged themselves at the companionway, and the passengers. . . Read More