A STORY OF THE SEA.
 
    There has been told this week in the
London Admiralty Court a marvelous
story of the sea  and of the heroism of
a second officer.  In the month of May
last year, when the British screw steamer
Crown Point was some 200 miles to the
west of Queenstown she fell in with the
German barque Planet, which was on a
voyage from Mazatlan, a Mexican port,
with a cargo of dye-woods.  The crew of
the Planet were in truly sorry plight.  The
first mate had died of scurvy, the master
and second mate were dying of the same
disease, and the crew of eleven men were
all ill with it.  The Crown Point attempted
to take the Planet in tow, but the hawser
snapped, and it was apparently decided
that nothing more could be done.  But at
that juncture the second officer of the
Crown Point, Frederick Hedley BRYANT,
stepped forward and volunteered to navi-
gate the Planet to Queenstown.  When he
went on board that vessel he found that
she was very badly provisioned.  There were
no potatoes.  The available provisions seem
to have consisted of a half-barrel of wheat,
one tin of compressed vegetables, and a
quantity of bad flour and biscuits.  The
master, who had been unconscious since
the previous day, was in his berth in an
emaciated condition; the second mate was
somewhat similar; and the crew were little
better.
   But BRYANT was full of British pluck,
and was not unduly depressed by these
distressing conditions.  Not only did he
see to the navigation of the vessel, but
he took time to keep a diary, which was
read in Court, and which proved a doc-
ument of rare interest.  Under date May
14, BRYANT had written:
 
    "Crew disheartened.  The Captain un-
conscious since Monday, and, in fact, dying.
I could not manage to force any stimulants
into his body...I fed the mate with port wine
through a pipe.  Men brought me bad flour,
although the biscuits were bad enough.  Man
came to me and told me that the fold was full
of "schamll schnakes mit foots."  Found that
he meant scorpions.  Glad I had my sea boots
on.  The ship's mate had a dog which left
marks of his teeth on my boots.  He was mad,
and had been for some days.  Again glad I had
my boots on.  This is a place where a Mark
TAPLEY would shine."
   On the following day BRYANT chronicles
the fact that the vessel is sailing at a rate
of 3½ miles an hour, which he thinks re-
markable, considering the fact that the
barnacles are six inches long. "Made some
jelly for the mate.  He seemed to like it.
I shall make him some more."  Next day
the captain died.  BRYANT thus epitomises
the situation:  "Here we are: Captain dead,
mate dead, second mate dying from scurvy,
and every other member of the crew ill.
No word and nothing in sight.  Captain's
death unfortunately seems to have caused
a great depression among the crew.  It does
seem rough to sink him and throw him over-
board."
    The learned counsel who appeared for
BRYANT on the question of salvage stated
that the extracts he read gave a fair pic-
ture of what his client had to go through.
There was great difficulty, owing to the
variableness of the wind and the fog, but
BRYANT managed to keep a course;  and
the vessel reached Queenstown in safety
on the 28th of May.  Well might Mr. Justice
BARNES say that BRYANT'S unexaggerated
story as told in his own words reminded
one of some of the old tales of the sea which
one read of when navigation was more diff-
icult and voyages were longer.  The learned
JUDGE did not indulge in hyperbole when
he declared that BRYANT'S work was worthy
of the highest encomiums, and that his ab-
ilities and strong sense of humour undoubt-
edly saved the ship's company from despair.
The parties had agreed that the total salvage
award should be £852 15s, and His Lordship
awarded BRYANT £642 15s, expressing a
hope that the award would give him "a fine
start in life."  A story of the sea, with such
an ending, deserves to be widely read.
 
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