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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

Pomona Produces a Partial Revolution in Rudder Grange

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Euphemia was scarcely awake, and she fell down gurgling. It was dark, but I heard her fall, and I jumped over the bedstead to her assistance. I had scarcely raised her up, when I heard a pounding at the front door or main-hatchway, and our boarder shouted:

"Get up! Come out of that! Open the door! The old boat's turning over!"

My heart fell within me, but I clutched Euphemia. I said no word, and she simply screamed. I dragged her over the floor, sometimes in the water and sometimes out of it. I got the dining-room door open and set her on the stairs. They were in a topsy-turvy condition, but they were dry. I found a lantern which hung on a nail, with a match-box under it, and I struck a light. Then I scrambled back and brought her some clothes.

All this time the boarder was yelling and pounding at the door. When Euphemia was ready I opened the door and took her out.

"You go dress yourself;" said the boarder. "I'll hold her here until you come back."

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I left her and found my clothes (which, chair and all, had tumbled against the foot of the bed and so had not gone into the water), and soon reappeared on deck. The wind was blowing strongly, but it did not now seem to be very cold. The deck reminded me of the gang-plank of a Harlem steamboat at low tide. It was inclined at an angle of more than forty-five degrees, I am sure. There was light enough for us to see about us, but the scene and all the dreadful circumstances made me feel the most intense desire to wake up and find it all a dream. There was no doubt, however, about the boarder being wide awake.

"Now then," said he, "take hold of her on that side and we'll help her over here. You scramble down on that side; it's all dry just there. The boat's turned over toward the water, and I'll lower her down to you. I'll let a rope over the sides. You can hold on to that as you go down."

I got over the bulwarks and let myself down to the ground. Then the boarder got Euphemia up and slipped her over the side, holding to her hands, and letting her gently down until I could reach her. She said never a word, but screamed at times. I carried her a little way up the shore and set her down. I wanted to take her up to a house near by, where we bought our milk, but she declined to go until we had saved Pomona.

So I went back to the boat, having carefully wrapped up Euphemia, to endeavor to save the girl. I found that the boarder had so arranged the gang-plank that it was possible, without a very great exercise of agility, to pass from the shore to the boat. When I first saw him, on reaching the shelving deck, he was staggering up the stairs with a dining-room chair and a large framed engraving of Raphael's Dante--an ugly picture, but full of true feeling; at least so Euphemia always declared, though I am not quite sure that I know what she meant.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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