2 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
I hurried on deck, and saw a terrible sight. The crew had crowded into the boats till there was no room for us, and even as I appeared they cut the ropes to move off. I cried to them frantically not to leave us, but in vain, for the roaring of the sea prevented my being heard.
As all hope from this direction was over, I examined the ship to see if she would hold together for a little while, and was reassured. She was wedged stern first between two rocks, and it did not seem likely that the waves would drive her off at present. Therefore, when I returned to the cabin, which happened, fortunately, to be in the high part, and out of reach of the water, I was able to speak cheerfully of our position.
Comforted by this, my wife prepared something to eat, and the four boys at least ate heartily, and then the three youngest went to bed, and, tired out, soon were sleeping soundly. Fritz, the eldest, sat up with us.
'I have been thinking,' he said, ' that if we had some bladders or cork-jackets for mother and the others, you and I, father, could perhaps swim to land.'
I thought there was some sense in what he said, so, in case the ship should break up in the night,