Volney Beckner - Battle With A Shark
The vessel in which Volney and his father sailed was bound to Port au Prince, in St. Domingo. A little girl, the daughter of one of the passengers, having slipped away from her nurse, ran on deck to amuse herself. While gazing on the expanse of water, the heaving of the vessel made her dizzy, and she fell overboard.
Volney's father saw the accident, darted after her, and quickly caught her by the dress; but while with one hand he swam to reach the ship, and with the other held the child, he saw a shark advancing towards them. He called aloud for help; there was no time to lose, yet none dared to afford him any. No one, did I say? Yes, little Volney, prompted by filial love, ventured on a deed which strong men dared not attempt.
Armed with a broad, sharp sabre, he threw himself into the sea, then diving like a fish under the shark, he stabbed the weapon into his body up to the hilt. Thus wounded the shark quitted his prey, and turned on the boy, who again and again attacked him with the sabre, but the struggle was too unequal; ropes were quickly thrown from the deck to the father and son; each succeeded in grasping one, and loud rose the cry of joy, "They are saved!" Not so! The shark, enraged at seeing that he was about to be altogether disappointed of his prey, made one desperate spring, and tore asunder the body of the noble-hearted little boy, while his father and the fainting child in his arms were saved.
- The End -