The shell passed through her stern this time also, and exploded; there was a shrill scream from more than one agonised throat, and the baling and pulling ceased altogether; every man in her was wounded, if not killed outright.
The boat was very much disabled, and appeared to be sinking gradually, notwithstanding their efforts to keep her afloat, for they were now baling rapidly;--but I thought it best to make sure of her, so once more loaded and fired.
I saw three or four figures rouse themselves on board her, and recommence baling feebly; but their efforts were useless; she sank lower and lower, and at length rolled heavily bottom upwards, throwing her wounded crew into the water.
I had recovered from my hysterical phase by this time and answered his hail, as he approached, bravely enough. I told him the dingey was nearly swamped, and he reached me a piggin. I was jerked back as the rope tightened between the boats. For some time I was busy baling.
But seeing that there were possibilities of great gain, I took pains to study hop culture, and found that by allowing our hops to mature thoroughly, curing them at a low temperature, and baling them while hot, we could produce hops that would compete with any product in the world.