Now the “Great Eastern” was caught in a cyclone
Too Long; Didn't ReadThe night was stormy, the steam-ship, beaten by the waves, rolled frightfully, without being disabled; the furniture was knocked about with loud crashes, and the crockery began its clatter again. The wind had evidently freshened, and besides this the “Great Eastern” was now in those coasts where the sea is always rough.
At six o’clock in the morning I dragged myself to the staircase, leading on to the upper decks. By clutching at the balusters, and taking advantage of a lurch or two, I succeeded in climbing the steps, and with some difficulty managed to reach the poop. The place was deserted, if one may so qualify a place where was Dr. Pitferge. The worthy man, with his back rounded as a protection against the wind, was leaning against the railing, with his right leg wound tightly round one of the rails. He beckoned for me to go to him—with his head, of course, for he could not spare his hands, which held him up against the violence of the tempest. After several queer movements, twisting myself like an analide, I reached the upper deck, where I buttressed myself, after the doctor’s fashion. “We are in for it!” cried he to me; “this will last. Heigh ho! this ‘Great Eastern!’ Just at the moment of arrival, a cyclone, a veritable cyclone is commanded on purpose for her.”
The Doctor spoke in broken sentences, for the wind cut short his words, but I understood him; the word cyclone carried its explanation with it.