I would like to announce and welcome another new member, Samuel Pickwick! I trust that Samuel's contributions will be greatly enjoyed by our readers. Please be sure to check out Samuel's contributions in the May issue, which should be out beginning of May!
- Augustus Snodgrass (editor)
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Greetings one and all! It is with extreme pleasure that I give you the April issue of our most extreme paper. It is an especially wonderful issue, with the addition of Note-able Composers, which Mr. Snodgrass will explain in the editor's note. So without further delay, the Pickwick Portfolio!
-Mr. Sam Weller
The Pickwick Portfolio
In this issue:
- “Abortion” by Theodore
- “Building a Snowman” by Augustus
- “Fun Things Almanac” compiled by Nathaniel
- “Preface to a Merry Life” by Sam
- “The Best Instrument to Learn” by Theodore
- “Spring Is Here!” designed by Nathaniel
- Quotes to Note –
compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller
- Note-able Composers
“Sergei Rachmaninoff” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
“Franz von Suppe” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
“Sergei Prokofiev” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
- Story Time – “’Take
Over, Bos’n!’” by Oscar Schisgall
- Poet’s Corner –
“Trust Jesus” by Theodore Winstint
“The Wreck of the Hesperus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The Fishermen” by John Greenleaf Whittier
This paper is part of a club called “The Pickwick Club.” “The Pickwick Portfolio,” as this paper is called, is designed for the good of the readers. Its purpose is to serve as a paper of news, entertainment, and fun. Please take special note of our new section in this paper: “Note-able Composers.” We will be posting summaries of composers’ lives whose birthdays fall into the month of the issue. Enjoy, and I, in the name of all members and contributors of the Pickwick Portfolio, wish you a blessed Easter!
READ, LAUGH, ENJOY!
ABORTION – IT AFFECTS THE BABY, THE MOTHER, AND ALL OF SOCIETY IN A HARMFUL WAY
by Theodore WinstintIt is murder; yet, it is legal in almost all countries. It happens every day. It happens many times a day. Nevertheless, people argue and say it is fine. Abortion has been looked at as the way to making men and women equal. Women can now have sexual intercourse just as easily as men can without being committed to having a baby. But, is this really the way it should be? Is murder the answer? Abortion should not be legal; it is killing, and killing should be illegal.
The procedures and results of abortion are often distorted. Many women who choose to have an abortion do not know what it involves and regret their choice after they have gone through with it. One of the common myths of abortion is that the baby cannot feel any pain. This is far from the truth. In fact, the baby inside the womb has heightened nerve sensibilities, and therefore the pain that it goes through is felt stronger than a born human would feel. Dr. Paul J. Ranalli, a Neurology and Neuro-ophtalmology professor at the University of Toronto, stated: “Far from being less able to feel pain, such premature newborns may be more sensitive to pain...Babies under thirty weeks have a newly established pain system that is raw and unmodified at this tender age” (Fact #13). To be able to feel pain, noxious stimulus must be detected. Neurobiology and anatomy professor Maureen L. Condic says that these noxious stimulus require the neural structures which are present in the baby after eight to ten weeks of human development. She goes on to say that it is a “universal agreement that pain is detected by the fetus in the first trimester” (Muehlenberg, Does the unborn feel pain). Consequently, women should be made aware of how a baby is affected by an abortion.
The fact that the baby feels pain during an abortion clearly shows that it is also a human being. The baby inside the womb is a separate body from the mother, and therefore it is not part of the mother’s body. The mother has no “choice” in aborting the child. Yes, she has a choice about what to do with her body, but that choice should have been made earlier. She should have chosen before whether she wanted to have a child or not and then act accordingly. Now, the choice is not hers anymore. Many women have a misunderstanding of the concept of abortion and what it does to the human inside them.
Abortion does not just harm the baby, it also greatly harms the mother. A huge myth of abortion is that if it is done legally, there are no dangers of harming the mother. Many pro-abortionists defend their position by saying that if abortion were illegal, there would be many backyard abortions which would be harmful to the mother. They say that if it is done legally, the mother is protected and the abortion is done in a safe manner. This is a huge lie. Even if an abortion is done in a “safe and legal manner” there are numerous complications that can still arise. In fact, the mother often suffers more than the baby does. Even though it is excruciatingly painful for the baby, the baby’s pain is soon over. However, the pain that the mother has to endure is often very lengthy. Abortionists tell their patients that once their abortion is over, they will have to rest for one or two days and then be able to go on just as before and lead a normal life. This is not true.
There are many ways that a mother can be harmed by an abortion. Common injuries that occur during an abortion include damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, and damage to other organs. In addition to that, there are numerous side effects that can occur. If a woman has an abortion, she is 2.3 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than women who had no abortion and is exposed to an increased risk of developing ovarian or liver cancer. In addition, abortion will cause the woman to be two times more likely to have pre-term deliveries in the future compared to women who carry their baby to full term (Abortion Risks). Most women who undergo an abortion will experience some type of physical side effect. Some experience it immediately after the abortion, some several weeks later, and some even several years later. Of all women who have an abortion, approximately ten percent will experience immediate complications from which two percent are considered life threatening (Abortion Risks). Most of these physical side effects are not mentioned to a woman who is considering an abortion, and therefore many women are shocked about it afterwards.
In addition to physical side effects, women also experience emotional and psychological side effects. In fact, these are much more common than physical side effects. Although some women only have mild regrets, others suffer from serious complications. Some of these symptoms include depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and feelings, anxiety, shame, and many more. When women decide to go through with the abortion, they have no idea what they will experience during the abortion or after. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “women commonly report that the abortion procedure affected them more that they expected” (Abortion Emotional Side Effects). The emotional and psychological side effects are most often not counted on, even though they are more numerous than physical side effects.
Abortion does not affect the mother and child alone, it affects all of society. Children, youth, men, and society suffer from the results of abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America stated the following about abortion affecting crime rates and abuse before it became legal: “A policy that makes contraception and abortion freely available will greatly reduce the number of unwanted children, and thereby curb the tragic rise of child abuse in our country...Legal abortion will decrease the number of unwanted children, battered children, child abuse cases, and possibly subsequent delinquency, drug addiction, and a host of social ills believed to be associated with neglectful parenthood” (Impact of Abortion on Society). Larry Lader, co-founder of NARAL, went on to say, “[Abortion] should usher in an era when every child will be wanted, loved, and properly cared for” (Impact of Abortion on Society). This has been proven to be the absolute opposite. Child abuse numbers have increased. According to the US National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect, child abuse has increased more than one thousand percent since abortion was legalised in 1973. In fact, there are more abused and unwanted children now than ever before. Children are looked upon as a product or “right”, not as a uniquely created human being or blessing. This is greatly harming society.
Teenagers have been greatly affected by the legalisation of abortion as well. Many teens feel like “abortion survivors”, when they find out that their mother had an abortion. They feel that that
sibling could just as well have been them. It makes the teen feel worthless and just “lucky” to even be in this world. Because an abortion often leads to broken relationships, the biological father is often absent from the home. This causes confusion among young boys or men with their male identification. Because of the absence of the biological father, these young men then fear intimacy which leads to more problems as they get older. Young girls/women are inadequately protected from other males that might take advantage of them when the biological father is absent from the home. Teenagers that grow up in a home without their biological father face many troubles that others with their biological father present do not.
Furthermore, men are also suffering from abortion. Except in China, men have no right to say anything about whether or not a woman is supposed to have an abortion. This makes them feel disenfranchised and powerless. They feel that they are not important. Abortion has caused the traditional role of men, which is to care for and protect, to be broken and it leaves them unsure of what their role is now. In fact, many men just see themselves as the “sperm donor”, not the protector and caretaker. Feeling this way, men act accordingly as well. They do not look at their children as part of them, but as full property of the woman. The children feel that their father does not love them as much, and therefore ignore him. This strains family relationships. Abortion does not just hurt the woman and child involved, it hurts children, young adults, and men.
Abortion not only affects the woman and child and their close relations, but also all of society. Before abortion was legalised, people who were against abortion predicted that if it was legalised, infanticide and euthanasia would be accepted as well. This has indeed happened. Also, relationships started to suffer greatly after abortion was made legal. Studies have shown that seventy percent of women have relationship breakdowns within the first twelve months following the abortion (Impact of Abortion on Society). If personal relationships are suffering, the society is not going to do well either.
Since abortion is legally available, birth rates are declining. They are now below the level that is needed for replacement. This is detrimental to the workforce and other areas. Because less babies are being born, the labour workload is going to weigh harder on the workers in a few years because many of the current workers will have retired by then, but not the same amount of people will be available to take over because of the lack of younger people. The workers who are still working will have a heavier workload which will then in return be not good for their health. Consequently, everyone will suffer. The declination of birth rates which is caused by abortion is harmful to all of society.
Abortion affects not only the mother and baby, but also affects all of society in a harmful manner and therefore should not be legal. Although it is said that abortion is the solution for men and women to have equality in sex and that neither of them is committed to a baby, it is harming everyone greatly. In fact, in a 2003 Gallup Poll, it was recorded that seventy-two percent of teenagers are opposed to abortion (Impact of Abortion on Society). They believed that it is morally wrong. Legalising abortion was thought to help that specific generation, but the majority of that generation believe it to be wrong.
It is an act of killing. The society needs to be made aware of the true doings of abortion because it is ruining our countries. Abortion must be illegalised.
BUILDING A SNOWMAN
by Augustus SnodgrassBuilding a snowman requires a child to follow certain steps. He starts out by searching for good packing snow. Once he has found a large and deep patch, he will start by building a large snowball and then rolling the large snowball in the snow. The snowball will pick up more and more snow until it is as large as the child wants the bottom snowball of the snowman to be. The child will then repeat this process twice, making each snowball a little smaller than the previous one. Then, the child will stack all the two last snowballs on top of the bottom snowball. The child may add some rocks for buttons, eyes, and mouth, maybe some sticks for arms, and a carrot for a nose. To finish the now-alive snowman, the child will dress the snowman in a hat and scarf. If a child follows this process, the snowman will be a success.
FUN THINGS ALMANAC
compiled by Nathaniel WinkleTRY A TIP
Stage fright? Big event coming up? Nervous? Faking confidence can positively
influence your brain chemistry and actually make you more confident!
Believing you have good memory can do just that, helps you have a better memory
Missing the instructions to your Lego set? At WorldBricks.com you can find and
download almost all instructions to every known Lego set!
Always do your most dreaded tasks in the morning, knowing you have completed and
gotten it over with will make you much more productive the rest of the day
Feel a sneeze coming on at a bad time? Press your tongue to the roof of your
mouth until the feeling subsides
RIDDLES, JOKES, AND PUNS
Q) When is a baseball player like a spider?
A) When he catches a fly.
A) It was afraid of the worldwide web.
Q) What do you call a rabbit with insects all over it?
A) Bugs Bunny.
He who makes it cannot use it,
He who buys it does not need it,
He who uses it cannot see or feel it,
What is it?A coffin
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?A towel
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger,
then it hit me.
How do you organize a party in space?You Planet
INTERNET SLANG EXPLAINED
- BTW – By The Way
- LOL – Laughing Out Loud
- YOLO – You Only Live Once
- FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
- BFF – Best Friend Forever
- ASAP – As Soon As Possible
- DND – Do Not Disturb
- HAND – Have A Nice Day
- KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
- LMK – Let Me Know
- JK – Just Kidding
- PPL – People
- Your body is made up of 10x more bacteria
than human cells!
- Cockroaches can survive for several weeks
without their heads!
- Your jaw is powerful enough to shatter all
you teeth! (But you brain prevents this)
- Mushrooms are genetically more closely
related to us than other plants!
- Tomatoes have more genes than humans!
(Palindromes are words or sentences that read the same way backwards and forwards.)
- Dr. Awkward
- Cain: A maniac
- Bombard a drab mob
- Repel a leper
- Pa’s a sap
- Nate bit a Tibetan
- No, Sir, panic is a basic in a prison
- We panic in a pew
PREFACE TO A MERRY LIFE
by Sam WellerI have been reading The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle and have been enjoying it immensely. At the beginning of the book, there is a preface written by the author. Most books have prefaces, and so at first I thought nothing of it. Normally I do not read the preface of a book, but this time I did. This time I stopped and took time to read the opening pages, and on them I read something almost as beautiful as the book itself...a preface so lovely and simple and merry that I wanted to start the book on the spot. I will say no more about it, and will let you read it for yourself. Perhaps you will want to go and pick up a copy of Robin Hood and lead a merry life under the greenwood tree for a time, just as I did. It goes as follows:
From the author to the readerYou who so plod amid serious things that you feel it shame to give yourself up even for a few short moments to mirth and joyousness in the land of Fancy; you who think that life hath nought to do with innocent laughter that can harm no one; these pages are not for you. Clap to the leaves and go no farther than this, for I tell you plainly that if you go farther you will be scandalized be seeing good, sober folks of real history so frisk and caper in gay colours and motley that you would not know them but for the names tagged to them. Here is a stout, lusty fellow with a quick temper, yet none so ill for all that, who goes by the name of Henry II. Here is a fair, gentle lady before whom all the others bow and call her Queen Eleanor. Here is a fat rogue of a fellow, dressed up in rich robes of a clerical kind, that all the good folk call my Lord Bishop of Hereford. Here is a certain fellow with a sour temper and a grim look – the worshipful, the Sheriff of Nottingham. And here, above all, is a great, tall, merry fellow that roams the greenwood and joins in homely sports, and sits beside the Sheriff at merry feast, which same beareth the name of the proudest of the Plantagenets – Richard of the Lion's Heart. Beside these are a whole host of knights, priests, nobles, burghers, yeomen, pages, ladies, lasses, landlords, beggars, peddlers, and what not, all living the merriest of merry lives, and all bound by nothing but a few odd strands of certain old ballads (snipped and clipped and tied together again in a score of knots) which draw these jocund fellows here and there, singing as they go.
Here you will find a hundred dull, sober, jogging places, all tricked out with flowers and what not, till no one would know them in their fanciful dress. And here is a country bearing a well - known name, wherein no chill mists press upon our spirits, and no rain falls but what rolls off our backs like April showers off the backs of sleek drakes; where flowers bloom forever and birds are always singing; where every fellow hath a merry catch as he travels the roads, and ale and beer and wine (such as muddle no wits) flow like water in a brook.
This country is not Fairyland. What is it? 'Tis the land of Fancy, and is of that pleasant kind that, when you tire of it – whisk! - you clap the leaves of this book together and 'tis gone, and you are ready for everyday life, with no harm done.
And now I lift the curtain that hangs between here and No-man's-land. Will you come with me sweet Reader? I thank you. Give me your hand.
THE BEST INSTRUMENT TO LEARN
by Theodore WinstintLearning an instrument is very beneficial as it activates the left side of the brain. In addition, studies have shown that better memory is developed and fine motor skills are improved when one is involved with musical activity. Therefore, many parents wish to have their children enrolled in some type of music lesson. Even adults are seen to make time in their busy lives to learn an instrument. However, there are many instruments that are useful to learn and fun to play, which makes for a hard decision. Many ask themselves if there is one instrument that is more beneficial than the others. Does it matter what instrument a child or adult learns first? Some people argue that there is no difference in which instrument to learn first. They say that the one you want to learn should be the one you start with. However, many musicians agree that there is one instrument that every musician should know how to play. Moreover, it should be the first instrument to learn. It is the piano. The piano is generally the best instrument to learn first.
The piano is one of the few instruments where one can play a note and see the actual key. On stringed or wind instruments, the notes are connected with complex fingerings, but on the piano, they are connected with a single key. This makes learning the notes on the staff easier. As a result, one gains a secure understanding in note-reading which is necessary to success as a musician. To be able to read piano music, one has to be able to read notes in treble clef and bass clef. As a result, one will be able to
read the music for almost any other instrument as most of them use just one of the clefs. Furthermore, learning to play the piano is an encouraging process. For instance, some children wish to play the guitar because it is “cool”. However, when they start to learn it, they discover how much work is put into learning the different chords and then to be able to play an actual song. Then they get discouraged and quit; whereas with the piano, it is very likely that a student will be able to play a recognizable tune at the very first lesson. This greatly encourages the student. Trying to learn and improve playing an instrument when one is discouraged and one feels as though there is little or no progress is extremely hard. Therefore it is of great importance to have an urge to practice which is what learning the piano results in.
When learning to play an instrument, it is important to have a firm understanding of the note structure and grand staff. Learning to play the piano gives an extensive overview of the many types of music. It gives a greater understanding of the musical structure of songs than if one would choose a different instrument as the first one. Although learning other instruments proven beneficial in many ways, the piano has been found to be the decided precedent among musicians. Learning the piano is very profitable and has many benefits associated with it.
SPRING IS HERE!
designed by Nathaniel Winkle
QUOTES TO NOTE
compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” – Karl Barth
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch
“If you do not think about your future, you cannot have one.” – John Galsworthy
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller
“Every noble work is at first impossible.” – Thomas Carlyle
“The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations.” – Eli Khamarov
“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse
“The delights of self-discovery are always available.” – Gail Sheehy
“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” – Richard Bach
“Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.” – George Canning
“Our most intimate friend is not he to whom we show the worst, but the best of our nature.” – Nathaniel Hawthorn
“I am I plus my circumstances.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset
“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” – John Ruskin
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino
“The noblest search is the search for excellence.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
“Always keep your smile. That’s how I explain my long life.” – Jeanne Calment
“You could never get a cup of tea large enough, or a book long enough to suit me.” – C. S. Lewis
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” – C. S. Lewis
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C. S. Lewis
compiled by Augustus SnodgrassHappy Birthday, Sergei Rachmaninoff!
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (April 1, 1873 – March 28, 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered as one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism Russian classical music.
Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and his use of rich orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, and through his own skills as a performer he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument.
Perhaps one of his most famous pieces is Piano Concerto No. 2. Here is a recording from YouTube played by Sergei Rachmaninoff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8l37utZxMQ.
FRANZ VON SUPPE
compiled by Augustus SnodgrassHappy Birthday, Franz von Suppe!
Franz von Suppé or Francesco Suppé Demelli (April 18, 1819 – May 21, 1895) was an Austrian composer of light operas from the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now part of Croatia). A composer and conductor of the Romantic period, he is notable for his four dozen operettas.
Perhaps one of his most famous pieces is “Overture” to Poet and Peasant. Here is a recording from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3_aM_s0R1U.
compiled by Augustus SnodgrassHappy Birthday, Sergei Prokofiev!
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (April 23, 1891 – March 5, 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous musical genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken, and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created – excluding juvenilia – seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, and nine completed piano sonatas.
A graduate of the St Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In 1915, Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev – Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son, which at the time of their original production all caused a sensation among both critics and colleagues. Prokofiev's greatest interest, however, was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one operatic success during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for the Chicago Opera and subsequently performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia.
After the Revolution, Prokofiev left Russia with the official blessing of the Soviet minister Anatoly Lunacharsky, and resided in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, making his living as a composer, pianist, and conductor. During that time he married a Spanish singer, Carolina Codina, with whom he had two sons. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression diminished opportunities for Prokofiev's ballets and operas to be staged in America and Western Europe. Prokofiev, who regarded himself as composer foremost, resented the time taken by touring as a pianist, and increasingly turned to Soviet Russia for commissions of new music; in 1936 he finally returned to his homeland with his family. He enjoyed some success there, notably with Lieutenant Kijé, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, and perhaps above all with Alexander Nevsky. The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred him to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. In 1948 Prokofiev was criticized for "anti-democratic formalism," and, with his income severely curtailed, was forced to compose Stalinist works, such as On Guard for Peace. However, he also enjoyed personal and artistic support from a new generation of Russian performers, notably Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich; for the latter, he composed his Symphony-Concerto, whilst for the former he composed his ninth piano sonata.
Perhaps one of his most famous pieces of music is Symphony-Concerto Op. 125. Here is a recording from YouTube played by the Orchestra of the University of Music and cellist Emanuel Graf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=breQHJnnSb8.
Note: The summaries of the composers’ lives were taken from Wikipedia.
“TAKE OVER, BOS’N!”
by Oscar SchisgallAFTER TWENTY DAYS OF DRIFTING IN A LIFEBOAT, THE SAILORS WERE THIRST-CRAZED AND DANGEROUS. THE ONLY THING THAT HAD KEPT THEM FROM GUZZLING DOWN THEIR PRECIOUS WATER SUPPLY WAS THIRD OFFICER SNYDER, WHO SAT IN ONE END OF THE BOAT, POINTING HIS GUN AT THEM. BUT SNYDER KNOWS HE CANNOT STAY AWAKE MUCH LONGER, AND HE IS CONVINCED THAT ONCE…HE FALLS ASLEEP…IT WILL ALL BE OVER…
Hour after hour I kept the gun pointed at the other nine men. From the lifeboat’s stern, where I’d sat most of the twenty days of our drifting, I could keep them all covered. If I had to shoot at such close quarters, I wouldn’t miss. They realized that. Nobody jumped at me. But in the way they all glared I could see how they’d come to hate me.
Especially Barrett, who’d been bos’n’s mate. He said in his harsh, cracked voice, “You’re a dope, Snyder. Y-you can’t hold out forever! You’re half asleep now!”
I didn’t answer. He was right. How long can a man stay awake? I hadn’t dared shut my eyes in maybe seventy-two hours. Very soon now I’d doze off, and the instant that happened they’d pounce on the little water that was left.
The last canteen lay under my legs. There wasn’t much in it after twenty days. Maybe a pint. Enough to give each of them a few drops. Yet I could see in their bloodshot eyes that they’d gladly kill me for those few drops. As a man I didn’t count any more. I was no longer third officer of the wrecked Montana. I was just a gun that kept them away from the water they craved. And their tongues swollen and their cheeks sunken, they were half crazy….
The way I judged it, we must be some two hundred miles east of Ascension. Now that the storms were over, the Atlantic swells were long and easy, and the morning sun was hot–so hot it scorched your skin. My own tongue was thick enough to clog my throat. I’d have given the rest of my life for a single gulp of water.
But I was the man with the gun–the only authority in the boat–and I knew this: once the water was gone we’d have nothing to look forward to but death. As long as we could look forward to getting a drink later, there was something to live for. We had to make it last as long as possible. If I’d given in to the curses and growls, if I hadn’t brandished the gun, we’d emptied the last canteen days ago. By now we’d all be dead.
The men weren’t pulling on the oars. They’d stopped that long ago, too weak to go on. The nine of them facing me were a pack of bearded, ragged, half-naked animals, and I probably looked as bad as
the rest. Some sprawled over the gunwales, dozing. The rest watched my as Barrett did, ready to spring the instant I relaxed. When they weren’t looking at my face they looked at the canteen under my legs.Jeff Barrett was the nearest one. A constant threat. The bos’n’s mate was a heavy man, bald, with a scarred and brutal face. He’d been in a hundred fights, and they’d left their marks on him. Barrett had been able to sleep–in fact, he’d slept through most of the night–and I envied him that. His eyes wouldn’t close. Narrow and dangerous, they kept watching me.
Every now and then he taunted me in that hoarse, broken voice:
“Why don’t you quit? You can’t hold out!”
“Tonight,” I said. “We’ll ration the rest of the water tonight.”
“By tonight some of us’ll be dead! We want it now!”
“Tonight,” I said.
Couldn’t they understand that if we waited until night, the few drops wouldn’t be sweated out of us so fast? But Barrett was beyond all reasoning. His mind had already cracked with thirst. I saw him begin to rise, a calculating look in his eyes. I aimed the gun at his chest–and he sat down again.
I’d grabbed my Luger on instinct, twenty days ago, just before running for the lifeboat. Nothing else would have kept Barrett and the rest away from the water.
These fools–couldn’t they see I wanted a drink as badly as any of them? But I was in command here–that was the difference. I was the man with the gun, the man who had to think. Each of the others could afford to think only of himself; I had to think of them all.
Barrett’s eyes kept watching me, waiting. I hated him. I hated him all the more because he’d slept. He had the advantage now. He wouldn’t keel over.
And long before noon I knew I couldn’t fight any more. My eyelids were too heavy to lift. As the boat rose and fell on the long swells, I could feel sleep creeping over my like paralysis. It bent my head. It filled my brain like a cloud. I was going, going…
Barrett stood over me, and I couldn’t even lift the gun. In a vague way I could guess what would happen. He’d grab the water first and take his gulp. By that time the others would be screaming and tearing at him, and he’d have to yield the canteen. Well, there was nothing more I could do about it.
I whispered, “Take over, bos’n.”
Then I fell face down into the bottom of the boat. I was asleep before I stopped moving….
When a hand shook my shoulder, I could hardly raise my head. Jeff Barrett’s hoarse voice said, “Here! Take your share o’ the water!”Somehow I propped myself up on my arms, dizzy and weak. I looked at the men, and I thought my eyes were going. Their figures were dim, shadowy; but then I realized it wasn’t because of my eyes. It was night. The sea was black; there were stars overhead. I’d slept the day away.So we were in our twenty-first night adrift–the night in which the tramp Groton finally picked us up–but now, as I turned my head to Barrett there was no sign of any ship. He knelt beside me, holding out the canteen, his other hand with the gun steady on the men.I stared at the canteen as if it were a mirage. Hadn’t they finished that pint of water this morning? When I looked up at Barrett’s ugly face, it was grim. He must have guessed my thoughts.“You said, ‘Take over, bos’n’, didn’t you?” he growled. “I been holdin’ off these apes all day.” He hefted the Luger in his hand. “When you’re bossman,” he added with a sheepish grin, “in command and responsible for the rest–you–you sure get to see things different, don’t you?”Note: Introduction taken from Of People Literature.
by Theodore Winstint
Trust Jesus as a little child
Trusts mom when things are going wild.
Trust Him when there’s no other way,
Or when life seems to go astray.
Trust God Almighty, Sol’mon said,
And you shall in His paths be lead.
Trust Him, though life seems rough and hard;He’ll never leave you – Trust His Word.
Trust God – Oh trust Him, never cease,
And all your chains He will release.
Trust Jesus every single day;
Trust Him, He’ll lead you all the way.
THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.
Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the sawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds
That ope in the month of May.
The skipper he stood beside the helm,
His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
The smoke now West, now South.
Then up and spake and old Sailor,
Had sailed to the Spanish Main,
“I pray thee, put into yonder port,
For I fear a hurricane.
“Last night, the moon had a golden ring,
And tonight no moon we see!”
The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.
Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the Northeast,
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
And the billows frothed like yeast.
Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable’s length.
“Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow.”
He wrapped her warm in his seaman’s coat
Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
And bound her to the mast.
“O father! I hear the church bells ring;
Oh say, what may it be?”
“’Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!”
And he steered for the open sea.
Oh father! I hear the sound of guns;
Oh, say, what may it be?”
“Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!”
“O father! I see a gleaming light;
Oh, say, what may it be?”
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.
Lashed to the helm, and stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.
Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.
And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow’rds the reef of Norman’s Woe.
And ever the fitful gusts between,
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surfOn the rocks and the hard sea-sand.
The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.
She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.
Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank;
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!
At daybreak, on the black sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.
The salt sea was frozen to her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown seaweed,
On the billows fall and rise.
Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman’s Woe!
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Hurrah! the seaward breezes
Sweep down the bay amain;
Heave up, my lads, the anchor!
Run up the sail again!
Leave the lubber landsmen
The rail-car and the steed;
The stars of the heaven shall guide us,
The breath of heaven shall speed.
From the hill-top looks the steeple,
And the lighthouse from the sand;
And the scattered pines are waving
Their farewell from the land.
One glance, my lads, behind us.
For the homes we leave on sigh,
Ere we take the change and chances
Of the ocean and the sky.
Now, brothers, for the icebergs
Of frozen Labrador,
Floating spectral in the moonshine,
Along the low, black shore!
Where like snow the gannet’s feathers
On Brador’s rocks are shed,
And the noisy murr are flying,
Like black scuds, overhead;
Where in mist the rock is hiding,
And the sharp reef lurks below,
And the white squall smites in summer,
And the autumn tempests blow;
Where, through gray and rolling vapor,
From evening unto morn,
A thousand boats are hailing,
Horn answering unto horn.
Hurrah! for the Red Island,
With the white cross on its crown!
Hurrah! for Meccatina,
And its mountains bare and brown!
Where the Caribou’s tall antlers
O’er the dwarf-wood freely toss,
And the footstep of the Mickmack
Has no sound upon the moss.
There we’ll drop our lines, and gather
Old Ocean’s treasures in,
Where’er the mottled mackerel
Turns up a steel-dark fin.
The sea’s our field of harvest,
Its scaly tribes our grain;
We’ll reap the teeming waters
As at home they reap the plain!