A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


All around me there were unfortunate passengers screaming for help. They fell down, like myself, and some of them fainted. The deck became more and more downward-sloping every minute, and I rolled off into the water between the two halves of the sinking steamer. I was drawn down deep into the eddy, and began to be whirled round and thrown about in every direction.

                While under the water, I heard a dull, rumbling noise, which was evidently the bursting of the boilers, for it threw me out of the vortex about six or seven feet, away from the engulfment of the wreck. The stem and stern of the steamer had gone up until they were almost at right angles with the water, and the divided steamer was settling down.

                At this moment I was again sucked under, but I exerted myself afresh, and once more rose to the surface. I then saw both portions of my vessel go down rapidly, and disappear beneath the flood. A terrible commotion of the water ensued, and I was dragged under, together with the ship. I felt that I was going down deep, and for the first time I realised I was drowning.

                With the swiftness of lightening, all my past life flitted through my brain. I remembered my relatives, and it seemed as if I could see their grief and tears at the news of my death. My strength failed me, but I kept my mouth firmly shut, and tried not to take in the water. I knew that the moment of death from heart failure was getting near. It so happened, however, that the disturbance of the water somewhat abated, and I succeeded in swimming upwards again.

                I glanced around. The ship was no more. Nothing but broken pieces of wreckage, boxes which had contained our personal effects and provisions were floating about me. Everywhere, I could see the heads and arms of people battling with the waves, and their shrieks for help were frightful. It was impossible to describe the horrors of that scene, and the remembrance of it will remain with me for the rest of my life.

                Eight or nine fathoms away from where I was, I saw a life-saving raft, and I swam slowly towards it. Although my soddened clothes and the freezing temperatures greatly impeded my movements, I nevertheless reached the raft, and was taken aboard onto it. About twenty others were already on it, exclusively men. Amongst them was the ship’s mate, who assisted the Captain of our lost vessel, and he and I at once set about making a rudder out of two of the four oars on the raft, and we placed an oarsman on each side of it.

                We had been going about eight minutes when we saw the body of a woman floating by, motionless. I ordered the oarsmen to row towards her, but they said it was only a corpse, and we should do better to save some of the people who were still alive on the surface of the water. I seized hold of his oar, and as the woman floated nearer, I caught her with it, and dragged her towards us. I pulled her out of the water as far as her waist, and listened for her heart, which I found was still beating, though very slowly.

                We then raised her onto the raft. She was unconscious, quite blue, and with only feeble signs of life. We began to rub her chilled body, and bring her to her senses. She at last opened her eyes and enquired of me where she was. I told her that she was saved. Soon, however, she turned pale again, and said she was dying. She gave us the address of her family, to inform them of her death.

                She began to spit blood, and was delirious, but gradually a peacefulness to her terrors had returned, her breathing suddenly ceased and she was all at one with the vast ocean around us.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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