فصل 08

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 08

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CHAPTER EIGHT

The Worst Sea this Year

Grace saw them first. Her mother was cooking breakfast in the kitchen, and her father was turning off the lantern. Grace was still looking out of her window through the telescope. For a second she saw a man on top of the rock, then she could not see him behind the waves. But a minute later she saw him again - and there were two men this time. They stood together and waved wildly. Then the rain came, and she could see nothing. But perhaps there were four, or five? She put down the telescope and called her father.

‘Father, come quick! There are men on the rock! They are still alive!’

William Darling ran into the room. He saw them. He put down the telescope and looked at his daughter.

‘We must go, lass,’ he said quietly. ‘You and I. We must take the boat and save them. Will you come?’

‘Of course, father,’ she said. ‘If we don’t save them, who will?’

‘That’s right, lass.’ William Darling looked out of the window, unhappily, ‘I’ve not seen a worse sea this year. No boat could come from the mainland in this wind.’ Grace’s mother came into the room, and heard him, ‘You can’t go, William!’ she said. ‘Grace is only a girl. Look at that sea! You’ll both drown!’

‘We have to try, mother!’ said Grace angrily, ‘Think of those poor people alone on that rock. We live on a lighthouse - it’s our job!’

‘It’s a job for your father and brothers, Grace, not you! You’ll drown! How will that help those men?’

‘How will it help them if we do nothing?’

Thomasin Darling looked out of the window again, at the wild, angry sea. She shook her head. ‘Perhaps you’ll get to the rock, Grace,’ she said. ‘With God’s help and the wind behind you. But you’ll never get back against the wind. Not one man and a girl in a storm like this. Never.’ William Darling took his wife’s hands in his. ‘Listen to me, Thomasin,’ he said. ‘There are three or four seamen on that rock. Strong men. They’ll help row us back, if we save them.’

‘If you save them,’ said Thomasin. ‘And if you don’t…?’

At first William Darling did not answer. He looked into his wife s eyes. ‘We’re going, Thomasin,’ he said quietly. ‘We have to go. Come down now and help us with the boat.’

Outside, in the terrible wind and the rain, it took them fifteen minutes to get the boat ready. Three times the waves nearly broke the boat on the rock. William got in first, and sat at the front. Grace and her mother held the boat away from the rocks. William got two oars ready, and waited for the next wave.

‘All right, Grace! Get in now!’ he shouted.

Grace jumped into the boat, and William pulled hard with the oars. One… two… three pulls, and then a wave lifted the boat and the oars were pulling at air. But they were away from the rocks. The boat came down between two waves, and Grace quickly got her oars out. They both pulled hard together, but carefully too. They did not want to lose an oar in the wild water. Grace was cold and her dress and hat were wet. She was afraid, but happy and excited too. ‘This is what God wants me to do, she thought. At the top of a wave she could easily see across the Longstone rock to the other side. Then the boat went down between the waves and she could see only mountains of wild water everywhere.

‘Pull left! Left!’ William shouted. ‘We must keep the rocks between us and the worst waves!’

Grace pulled hard at her oars, and watched the waves. ‘God will help us save them!’ she thought happily. ‘I know He will.’

Outside the lighthouse, Thomasin Darling watched the little boat. She saw it for a second, then it went behind a wave, and came up again. ‘It’s not possible,’ she thought. ‘No boat can live in a sea like that! Oh God, please - save my husband and daughter!’

She watched and prayed, and the little boat got smaller and smaller on the wild, grey sea.

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