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Up went the signal, and as the men on the main-deck were manning the topsail-halyards, Poop-deck made out the answer: "V.K. C."
Now her topsail-halyards were let go, and three heavy yards came down by the run, breaking across the caps; and amid a grinding, creaking, and crashing of riven timbers, and a deafening din of applauding tug whistles, she plowed her way into the nest of canal-boats and came to a stop.
Job soon shook out the reef, and, descending swiftly by one of the backstays, seized the topsail-halyards.
Howland was a brave man; he had already showed both strength and prowess when, washed overboard in a "seel" of the ship, and carried fathoms deep in mid-ocean, he caught the topsail-halyards swept over with him and clung to them until he was rescued in spite of the raging wind and waves that repeatedly dragged him under; nor in the face of savage foe, or savage beast, or peril by land or sea, was John Howland ever known less than the foremost; but now in face of this angry woman he found naught to say, and blushing and stammering and half laughing fairly turned and ran away, springing up the stairs to the elevated deck cabins, in one of which Elder Brewster and his family had their lodging.
When any thing is said about topsails, or topsail-halyards, you are the man. "