OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 26, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-12-26/ed-1/seq-19/

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dream of cannonade, and awakened
to hear cries and stamping upon the
deck above him. Women "were'
screaming in fear. He thought' the
ship had struck an uncharted rock
and was sinking. He was glad 'this
was the end. He lay still in his
berth.
rThe cries died away, and he heard
the splashing of the lifeboats in the
water. Then, with a shriek, some
thing struck the vessel with, a shock
that made her shiver from stern to
bow. Again and again. And now
Gardiner understood. A night attack
must have been made by a German
cruiser; she had given the liner time
to get her passengers into the boats
and was now sinking her.
The thought of Margery in an open
boat at sea came to the man like a
. blow in the face. He leaped out of
his berth, flung on his xdothes and
rushed up on the deck. He saw Mar
gery. She was standing at his side,
under the stars, on a deserted ship,
now settling Into the water, which
bulked around them, a- great gray
waste, a primal wilderness. -""
As they stood there a searchlight
swept out of the nigTit and enveloped
them, and once more came the shriek
of a shell, dropping into the water
near them. Then the cruiser, evi
dently satisfied with the result of her
work, sailed away; the twinkling
lights disappeared.
Flames and smoke were shooting
upward out of the stern, but here, to
ward the bow, they wer4 safe for the
moment. But the'ahip was settling
, down.
"Why didn't you go?" demanded
Gardiner, fiercely.
"I watchedfor you," she answered.
"I looked and you were not in any
of the boats. They tried to put me
aboard, but I escaped. Did you think
I would go without you?"
And suddenly she-was in his arms,
clinging to him, and their lips met for
the first time in seven years. It was
a miracle of joy to both of them, be
ing together there, the only human
beings in. that little Vorld of smok-
ing planks and. steel that was slowly
settling beneath the water,
"Dear," said Margery, "I want to
tell you now that I have always loved
youand only you."
"And I you, Margery," he answer-
ed. ,
And they forgot their peril, and the i
approach of death, and, side by side,
their arms about each other, they
watched the hissing fight of fire and
water until the water won!
The submerged stern blazed noj
longer. Only the sea threatened i
them now. JBut the deck was getting
lower, and the bow uptilting, and,t
anxious only to prolong those mo-
ments of happiness that had comei
back out of the past, too late, they
sought the upper bridge.
Silently they sat there, watching
the slow, upcreeping of the water.;
Over the horizon a faint light was(
creeping, and slowly dawn hung out)
her flaming banners in the sky.
A drizzzling rain began, and, for-
getting that in' a little wjiile they
would be struggling in the waters,)
they moved within the shelter of the;
little room that had been occupied
by the wireless telegrapher. There,
they crouched together.
''If we could have our lives over
again !" said Gardiner. "I never knew
how sweet life was meant to be." .
"We would be wiser, dear," an
swered Margery.
Mechanically she turned over the
papers heaped upon the little table,,
representing messages received for
many on board, but not delivered.
Gardiner stared out into the sea. It
seemed impossible that the ship could
remain afloat more than half an hour
longer. ,
"Margery," he said, "I believe
there will be a chance for us. I am
going to throw this table overboard
when the end comes, and we will
spring together.. It will keep us
afloat until until some possible res
cue. And, if we live, you will come
with me. You shall be mine forever,

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