1902 - THIS IS THE STRANGE AND REMARKABLE STORY, IN SUBSTANCE, AND
LARGELY IN DETAIL, AS NARRATED BY GILES HENRY ANDERTON, JOURNALIST
AND AMERICAN TOURIST. I. THE TOURIST LOST IN MIDOCEAN IS
MYSTERIOUSLY INTRODUCED INTO INTERMERE, AND MEETS THE FIRST CITIZEN
AND OTHER CHIEF OFFICIALS. - THE MISTLETOE. - THE MISTLETOE,
staunah, trim and buoyant, steamed aaross the equator under the
glare of a midday sun from a fleckless sky, and began to ascend
toward the antarctic airule. Three days later we came in sight of a
great bank of fog or mist, which stood like a gray wall of stone
across the entire horizon, plunged into it and the sun
disappeared-disappeared forever to all except one of the gay and
aarelesa crew acd passengers. For days, as was shown by the ships
ohron ometers, me steamed slowly on our course, surrounded by an
inky midnight, instinct with an oppressive and fearsome calm. As we
approached the fortieth parallel of south latitude . a remarkable
change set in. The deathly calm was suddenly broken by the rush of
mighty and boistercus winds, sweeping now from one point of the
compass, and then suddenly yeer ing to another, churning up the
waters a. nd spinning the Mistletoe round acd round like a top. In
the midst of the terror and confusion, heightened by the unheeded
coinmands of the officers, a glittering sheeny bolt, like a
corruseating column of steel, dropped straight from the zenith,
striking the gyrating Mistletoe amidships. There was a deafening
report, the air was filled with serpentine lines of flame, followed
simultaneously by the dull explosion of the boilers, the hissing of
escaping steam, the groaning of cordage and machinery, the lurching
of the vessel as the waterpoured in apparently from a score of
openings, a shuddering vibration of all its parts, and then, amid
cries and prayers and imprecations, the wrecked vessel shot like a
plummet to the bottom. I felt myself being dragged down to the
immeasurable watery depths, confused with r0a. ring sounds and
oppressed with terrors indescribable and horrible. The descent
seemed miles and miles. Then I felt myself slowly rising toward the
surface, followed by legions of submarine monsters of grotesque
shapes and terrifying aspects. With acuelerated motion I approached
the surface and, shooting like a cork above the now calm sea,
fortunately fell upon a piece of floating wreckage. Looking upma.
rd as I lay upon it, I saw the blue sky and the brilliant stars far
overhead. The fierce winds and inky darkness acd bIackness of the
night were disappearing beyond the northeastern horizon. I tried to
concentra. te my scattered thoughts and piece out the awful
catastrophe that had befallen the ship and my companions, but the
effort was too great a strain and I ceased to think-perhaps I
ceased to exist. I seemed to be passing through a vague twilight of
sentient existence. Thought was rudimentary with me, if, indeed,
there mere any thoughts. They were mere sensations, perhaps, or
impressions imperfectly shaped, but I remember them now as being so
delightful, that I prayed, in a feeble may, that I might never be
awakened from them. And then gradually the senses of sight,
hearing, and full physical and mental existence returned to me. At
length I was able to determine that I lay on something like a
hammock on the deck of a smoothly gliding ressel. Turning my head
flrst to the right and then to the left, I imaginedthat I was
indeed in Paradise, only the reality before me was so infinitely
more beautiful than the most vivid poetic descriptions I had ever
read of the longed for heaven of end less peace and happiness...
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