A RESCUEby@julesverne


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At the sound of Dick's voice all the crew, in a moment, were upon the alert. The men who were not on watch rushed to the deck, and Captain Hull hurried from his cabin to the bows. Mrs. Weldon, Nan, and even Cousin Benedict leaned over the starboard taffrails, eager to get a glimpse of what had thus suddenly attracted the attention of the young apprentice. With his usual indifference, Negoro did not leave his cabin, and was the only person on board who did not share the general excitement. Speculations were soon rife as to what could be the nature of the floating object which could be discerned about three miles ahead. Suggestions of various character were freely made. One of the sailors declared that it looked to him only like an abandoned raft, but Mrs. Weldon observed quickly that if it were a raft it might be carrying some unfortunate shipwrecked men who must be rescued if possible. Cousin Benedict asserted that it was nothing more nor less than a huge sea-monster; but the captain soon arrived at the conviction that it was the hull of a vessel that had heeled over on to its side, an opinion with which Dick thoroughly coincided, and went so far as to say that he believed he could make out the copper keel glittering in the sun.
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