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datatime: 2022-09-25 13:02:11 Author:StJzpWDb

Her urgency lent him the burst of energy to do as she bid. Then he helped her hold even that little bit of sail against the force of the wind and keep the rudder headed towards the black bulk ahead of them.

Then, pulling her up against his body as he leaned wearily against the bulkhead, he held the cup to her lips.

Kasia, at the end of her strength, was draped across the tiller bar.

An urgent need to relieve himself was what brought Robinton back to consciousness. He couldn't move easily, partly because of the weight of Kasia across him and partly because of the resistance of tired muscles. It took him a few moments to remember why he had slept so deeply. Startled, he looked out of the little round porthole and saw a shadowed shore through the mist that swirled on the surface. Little waves splashed against the side of the ship, and she rode easily on the anchor.

The brazier had gone out; the charcoal was all ashes. He got more and started another fire, warming his hands as the charcoal began to burn. Kasia moaned, stirred, and then coughed. Fearful of fever, he felt her forehead but it was cold. So were her cheeks. Too cold.

He took half of his cup of soup between struggling out of his wet-weather gear and finding clean, dry, warm clothing from the cupboard. He got out the warmest things Kasia had brought with her and the heavy woollen socks. These he put on her feet, after chafing them until she moaned and tried to draw them away from him; they were pink with his ministrations.

He had little strength left himself, but the need to get his beloved below, to what warmth they could contrive, was foremost in his mind. And he did, half dragging her the short space from the seat to the cabin, slamming open the hatch, hoping that the waves had not seeped through and flooded their one refuge. He almost tumbled her down the stairs, but they both made it. She pulled herself into the bunk while he struggled to close the hatch.

Curious, he peered through the fog to see where they had fetched up, but he could see little detail on the shore - if there was a shore.

He had little strength left himself, but the need to get his beloved below, to what warmth they could contrive, was foremost in his mind. And he did, half dragging her the short space from the seat to the cabin, slamming open the hatch, hoping that the waves had not seeped through and flooded their one refuge. He almost tumbled her down the stairs, but they both made it. She pulled herself into the bunk while he struggled to close the hatch.

She was shaking violently when he reached her. Somehow he got the sodden clothes off her coldly mottled body and rolled her into the furs. She groaned and tried to say something, but hadn't the strength.

Now he had enough warm water and soaked a towel, passing it from one hand to the other before he pulled back the fur and laid it against her chilled legs for a few moments, coaxing warmth back into them.

He took half of his cup of soup between struggling out of his wet-weather gear and finding clean, dry, warm clothing from the cupboard. He got out the warmest things Kasia had brought with her and the heavy woollen socks. These he put on her feet, after chafing them until she moaned and tried to draw them away from him; they were pink with his ministrations.

Some of the inlets were nothing but shallow pockets eroded from the cliff by the sea. Whatever This one had saved their lives.

He took half of his cup of soup between struggling out of his wet-weather gear and finding clean, dry, warm clothing from the cupboard. He got out the warmest things Kasia had brought with her and the heavy woollen socks. These he put on her feet, after chafing them until she moaned and tried to draw them away from him; they were pink with his ministrations.

The anchor... Rob... drop it. We can't... run... aground, she said, gesturing to the bow.May be rocks anyway... no matter.

The blueness was leaving her skin by the time he got her to drink all her soup, but she lay limply under the fur, drained by even the slight effort required to swallow. Under them the little ship rocked gently, pulling at the anchor chain, then following the sea as it was pulled back again. He got in the bunk beside her, covering them both with the other fur, and at last allowed himself the luxury of sleep.

They both looked about, deafened by their hours in the storm winds, not quite certain that they had reached a safe haven.

He went below again.

They both looked about, deafened by their hours in the storm winds, not quite certain that they had reached a safe haven.

Some of the inlets were nothing but shallow pockets eroded from the cliff by the sea. Whatever This one had saved their lives.

Sip it, Kasia, you've got to get warm.

Trying not to groan as he forced abused muscles to work, he slid out from under Kasia and all but fell off the bunk. Kasia didn't move, but her face wasn't quite so white and her lips were no longer blue-tinged. He tucked the fur about her firmly and staggered up the steps, throwing open the hatch. The air was chill and dank with fog, and the deck was littered with sea wrack. He went hand-over-hand from the cabin housing to the rail to get to the side and relieve himself - and it was indeed a relief.

He dropped the anchor, saw the line run out, then the forward motion of the sloop stopped. He could hear her timbers creaking as she answered the motion of the sea and then swung about on her tether.

Quickly, she said, pointing at the mast.We're in the eye of this storm and must take advantage of that. Hoist the sail halfway up the mast. There's the coastline, and we should find somewhere to shelter for the rest of the storm. There's got to be a cove, an inlet, somewhere to anchor.

Hot, must have hot, he mumbled, trying to make his frozen fingers cope with striking a match to the charcoal-filled brazier which did duty as cooker. Sometime in the past he had filled the kettle with water for a meal which he had never had a chance to cook. Now he waited anxiously for the water to warm sufficiently for him to make klah. He'd heat the last of the fish stew they'd made - how long ago? He could hear teeth chattering, and realized that they were both doing it. He swung around to the bunk and rubbed her body as vigorously as he could to stimulate circulation. He nearly burned his finger, touching the top of the kettle to see if the water was hot enough to be useful. He had his answer and sucked at the burn while he poured water over the powdered klah, gave it a swirl, and then fumbled to open the sweetener jar. Sweetening was good to offset shock and cold.

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