as it was in the beginning

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III A MIDNIGHT TRAGEDY Not the slightest alarm had invaded the ship, when Grenville finally urged his senses back to the normal, notwithstanding the unaccustomed suddenness with which the aspect of the day had been reversed. The storm broke at last, about one in the afternoon, with a deluge of rain and an onslaught of wind that seemed for a time refreshing. The huge steel leviathan appeared to elevate her nose, give her shoulders a shake that settled her firmly in the gray disorder of the elements, and then to accept the rude old contest with a certain indifference, born of well-established prowess. By two o'clock there was nothing refreshing suggested. A dull, stubborn struggle was waging in the drab of a wild and narrow field of commotion. Chill, musty billows of air, made thick by something that was neither scud nor mist, pounced heavily upon the laboring " Inca " in a manner chaotic and irregular. The sea was rising sullenly, its waves, like tumultuous cohorts, with ragged white banners, ceaselessly advancing. With an easy, monotonous assurance the great device of steam and iron plugged steadily onward. It could ride out a sea of tremendously greater violence. It knew from long experience every crest and every abyss of these mountains of air and water. It met huge impacts majestically, with a prow that cleaved themthrough, while its huge, wet bulk plowed up its mileage with a barely diminished speed. Few of the passengers were actually alarmed. A storm evolved so suddenly, they were confidently informed, would expend itself in one brief spasm of impotent fury and subside almost as it had come. It was all some mere local disturbance that the spell of dry, calm weather had accumulated too swiftly for any save a violent discharge. Discomfort increased...
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