W. DONALDSON SMITH
BENJAMIN POLLACK drew in his breath with a hiss as a dark green mountain of water hit the ship and shook her as a terrier shakes a rat. From stem to stern she quivered and groaned, and Benjamin quivered and groaned with her. Beneath the edge of his sou’wester, his eyes, bleary and red-rimmed with the drive of the wind, peered ahead. Warily, grimly, those eyes stared ahead. His old gnarled hands gripped the spokes of the wheel until the knuckles showed white.
A slight turn to port, an easing to starboard—never had a tensely nerved jockey brought his mount around the bend as breathlessly as Benjamin Pollack eased the Sarah Coatsivorth through the wind-maddened waters of the Straits of Juan de Fuca this grey morning.
Never had a horseman sensed every falter of his mount as Benjamin sensed every shudder of the Sarah Coatsivorth. The seas came at her unceasingly, in never-ending assault. But always Benjamin Pollack headed the Sarah Coatsivorth into the teeth of the gale. Always her blunt prow plunged onward into the mountains and the valleys of green-black water.
A mile ahead of the Sarah drove another tugboat, a tugboat that resembled the Sarah as much as a 1933 sports roadster resembles a ten-year-old flivver. Spick and span
and shining, with new paint glistening and gleaming, she drove ahead on the same course as the Sarah, and unceasingly Benjamin’s smarting eyes measured the heaving expanse of water between the stern of La Petite Duchesse and the bows of the Sarah Coatsivorth.
"We're doing it, Peter, we're doing it!” he roared through the blast to a stocky figure below him on the deck. The figure, rather like some ebonyidol in its gleaming black oilskins, turned and jerked its arm in a gesture of unbelief.
"Ye're making yereself believe it; a man of your age. too. Them carnations are turning yere head, ye silly old man.
A noise came out of Benjamin’s throat like the grunt of an enraged porker. His hands gripped the wheel a little tighter, his eyes glinted just a little more fiercely.
He took his eyes from the boat ahead for a moment and it was toward the green slopes of Esquimau that he looked to where in the distance a great castle of a house, a hoary landmark, reared itself into the scudding clouds.
“Blast me if I don’t get those carnations.” he muttered: and with a last, lingering look at the distant house his gaz¿ returned to the course ahead, to a point a few miles ahead of the forging La Petite Duchesse where, in the trough o¡ the sea. the Atkinson-Bannerman freighter Annapolis lay rolling helplessly.
“So ve’re going to beat ‘my man’ this time, are ye?” Peter Blumenfeld shouted up to him sardonically.
Benjamin gulped and raised his fist in an eloquent gesture to the heavens.
/V TOUGH CUSTOMER, they said, this Benjamin / \ Pollack, and they were right. You didn’t need to look twice at those bushy eyebrows, at those fierce old eyes, to determine that. The neatly trimmed beard, grizzly as his hair, added to the effect. You saw the cut of his clothes; you noticed the roll of his walk; you heard the language that he used at times, and you decided that there was an old sea dog who lived only for the flood tide and the white squared Blue Peter flying at the masthead. Then you sawr the gorgeous, snow-white carnation in his buttonhole and you wondered.
Every morning for ten years, since giving up command of his last tramp, he’d walked around to the corner florist’s, and then, complete with the carnation, stumjred down to the waterfront with a brisk “Howd’y” here and a curt Good day” there. He had never married; which was probably fortunate for some woman, though of him let this be said: She would have had everything within his power to give if only she had been able to forget that she had a will of her own.
At sixty-five Benjamin had one ambition in life to see a figure in his bank book large enough to purchase the massive, rambling old house which stood on the brow of the hill overlooking the Royal Roads. It was the day after he had inspected that haven of his dreams and seen the mass of white carnations flowering in the overrun garden, that he had taken to wearing perpetually a white carnation in his buttonhole. It was there as a constant reminder, a neverfailing spur to this, the last of his ambitions.
B jim, he had muttered thirty years ago when he had sailed into Esquimalt Harbor for the first time, “there’s a port for a sailor to cast anchor at the end of the voyage!” And then and there he’d registered a vow that if Fortune was willing, some day he d buy that house and go up there w ith his telescope and his compass. Fortune did seem willing
and the figure in the bank book grew bigger until one day he stumped down to the waterfront and saw there a new and strange craft moored to the wharf.
BENJAMIN STOPPED and looked and, surprised, he went on board. “A rival,” he muttered to himself and. being without bigotry, was frankly admiring the boat despite a sudden inward sense of foreboding, when a voice behind him demanded:
“What are you doing here, my man?”
This being the first occasion in his career on which Benjamin had been addressed as “my man,'' he didn’t quite grasp that the person was speaking to him until the abrupt question w’as repeated almost in his ear.
Benjamin turned slowly. A blue-suited, peak-capped young man, smoking a cigarette, eyed him as if he might have been on the point of appropriating the brass fittings which were so profusely scattered about.
“Beggin’ yere pardon?” enquired Benjamin.
“Beggin’ your pardon,” mimicked the other. “No loafers permitted aboard Ln / * etile Duchesse. Can't you read that notice over there?”
Loafers! Benjamin fairly blinked. Then he cleared the decks for action. And Benjamin could be very efficient in action, both with his hands and his tongue, as seafaring men from Vancouver to Bergen could testify.
"What’s that ye call her?” he wanted to know, leaning his head sideways and forward.
“Never mind what I call her. I’m the owner skipper, in case you don’t know.”
“I thought ye must be something high up. with that uniform on ye. Have ye ever tried a telescope in the crook of yere arm?”
“Clear off —sharp!”
Benjamin stared around, apparently awestruck.
“The boat’s pretty, too. That’s a bonny color ye’ve got on yere funnel. Purple and yaller, is it?”
“The colors are mauve and gold. And kindly get out.” "Yere paint's fine, too.” Benjamin rubbed the tip of his
forefinger up and down a panel of the wheelhouse door. "If ye'd used brass-headed nails they’d have toned in with the buttons on yere uniform
"Get out !”
Benjamin put up a hand to shade his eyes.
“Got some shine on yere fittings, too. They’d bring a pretty penny at the very best of the junk shops any day."
"Get out of here !” barked the other. “I’ve told you once that I’m the owner of this craft, and I'm ordering you to clear out.”
“I knew ye were something big the minute I set eyes on ye," agreed Benjamin. “What’s yere name again?”
Benjamin removed his battered hat and saluted.
"If I hadn’t left me autygraph album in me boodwar I'd have asked ye to write something in it,” he told him confidentially.
“Out!” hissed Mr. Coulson.
Benjamin replaced his hat, saluted again and, excusing himself for not being able to remain longer, took his departure.
"THAT DAY he thought a lot about the “Petty Duchess,”
I as he persisted in calling the newcomer, though, as he had been known to carry on long and fluent conversations with sailors from St. Nazaire and Marseilles, tin* suspicion grew that this pronunciation was not entirely the result of ignorance.
Benjamin thought about La ¡'etile Duchesse even more when the newer and faster boat began to take away business from the old Sarah Coatsivorth. Shipping men, particularly the old-timers, stuck to Benjamin so far as they were able to, for he’d always played square, even when he’d had practically a monopoly of the towing business.
But business was business, and when La Petite Duchesse could do the job more swiftly and promptly than the out-ofdate “barge,” Benjamin began to feel the pinch. Then Coulson, seizing his chance and with plenty of money behind him, embarked on a vicious price-cutting campaign to drive out Benjamin and his despondent crew. As the weeks passed and the Sarah spent more and more time tied up to a bollard, Benjamin saw those carnations of Esquimalt beginning to fade.
Pretty soon it developed into an intense and bitter warfare. They began to talk about the fight on the Victoria and Vancouver waterfronts; then the tale spread to Seattle, and presently shipping circles from Prince Rupert to San Francisco knew all about the Sarah Coatsicorlh-La Petite Duchesse feud. And to the intense annoyance of Mr. Coulson, Continued on page 29
Continued from page 17
tiiose same circles never failed to refer to his spick and span craft as the Petty Duchess. On that score alone. Coulson would cheerfully have strangled Benjamin Pollack.
Benjamin found the going hard and getting harder. He lost half a dozen jobs that, a month or so ago, would have been his without question. Matters reached a serious pass the day the steamer Port Arron broke a propeller shaft ten miles down the Straits. Benjamin got a phone call from Peter Blumenfeld at six-thirty in the morning, and got out of bed so quickly that he forgot about the rheumatism which usually caused a succession of grunts and groans to resound through the house before breakfast time.
"You're not going without your breakfast?” his old housekeeper demanded, aghast, as he struggled into his coat.
"Breakfast be blowed ! A tugboat skipper can't bother about meals when he's on the job.”
Since Benjamin for ten years had flatly refused to do a stroke of work before feeding, and had been known to raise the place because she hadn’t got bacon with just the right streak, or had got a piece of beef that was too fat or too thin, and raise the place still more if a meal was five minutes late, the old lady was justified in staring blankly at the clashed door as Benjamin pounded out.
“A hard man to do with.” she told herself, shaking her head. But she’d stuck it for ten years, possibly because she had discovered that the hardness was only a crust.
BENJAMIN stumped along the deserted streets. By the time he got to the Empress Hotel comer, he was grunting and wheezing as badly as did the old Sarah Coatsworth under a heavy load.
“Engine needs new parts,” he told himself bitterly. Like the Sarah, he was getting a bit out of date. But he kept up the pace. If Coulson beat him here too . . .
Halfway along the Causeway, he groaned and clenched his fists as he saw Coulson in front, headed also for the waterfront.
“Cot the news too,” Benjamin muttered with a sinking sensation inside him, and his mouth tightened.
Coming up behind Coulson, he slowed his breakneck pace to a quick walk. Coulson was taking his time, as if events waited on him and not vice versa. Which was, in the local towing business at the moment, pretty well the case.
Benjamin controlled his breathing and went past at not too conspicuous a pace. He wouldn’t let Coulson see he was racing him, not for worlds. All the same, in response to Benjamin’s curt nod of the head, the other laughed and shouted after him: “Practising for the hop, skip and jump, grandfather?”
Benjamin sweated still more.
“We’re not used to loafing on this coast.” he shot back over his shoulder.
Coulson's amused voice came after him. “No use, grandpa. The 1860 models won't do in 1933. See you in the Straits.” To himself, Benjamin swore by all the gods of tugboat skippers that, if frantic efforts of sinew and steel were of any avail, the only thing Mr. Coulson would see in the Straits would be the wake of the Sarah Coatsworth.
But five miles out. with clouds of black smoke pouring from the funnel of the Sarah and every man keyed up with excitement and apprehension. La Petite Duchesse glided smoothly past. Coulson went past very close, dangerously close, and a white handkerchief fluttered from the bridge in sardonic farewell.
Benjamin looked at the crew below him and tried to control the quivering of his mouth and the blinking of his eyes.
”\N e ll be back in time for dinner, anyhow.” he told them with a short laugh.
TO BENJAMIN and his crew, it became a tragedy of vanishing capital and depleted savings and unemployment staring them in
the face. All Benjamin's money was in the Sarah Coatsworth, and he knew, despite his . pugnacious declarations that he was as good ¡ as any man half his age. that he was too old ! to start afresh, even if he had the money to ! buy a new boat or refit the Sarah. He still got odd jobs -the local men were loyal to him. even though Coulson was prepared to do the job twice as quickly and for half the money—but the big jobs, the jobs that paid, became few and far between.
W ith Coulson, it became a game. He | started giving the Sarah a big start up the Straits purposely on any job that was not I too urgent, and then getting there ahead of her just in time to prevent any reasonable doubt as to who might be entitled to the ¡ towing.
Coulson got into the habit of strolling down to see the Sarah off before his own boat got under way.
“Going to sea. skipper?” he’d enquire, feigning ignorance of the reason for the frantic haste on board the Sarah. Benjamin wouldn’t deign to reply as he gave curt orders to the crew. And all the time Coulson would stand on the wharf above them, hands in pockets, a cigarette in his mouth, looking amusedly down on the panting men.
“Got a job on, skipper? You sure don't I let the grass grow under your feet.”
Benjamin would curse to himself and ease ! the Sarah Coatsworth out into the channel. ' Coulson would stand, looking after them with a wide grin, then casually stroll away ! to La Petite Duchesse, to beat him to it once i again.
O, ON THE WILD DAY when storm | signals were swinging at mastheads from j Alaska to California and the gale was sweeping up the Straitslikeahowling demon, Benjamin tightened his lips and summoned his crew when the news came that the Atkinson-Bannerman freighter, Annapolis. in charge of a tug and with a skeleton crew on board, had got out of control when the | gale reached the sixty-mile per hour mark and was drifting toward Gonzales Point. ! The tug in charge, badly damaged by the pounding seas, had been able to do nothing but pick up the skeleton crew and run for jxirt.
The old light, absent lately, came back j into Benjamin’s eyes as he gripped the I wheel. There was something happening as | the two tugs drove onward which secretly, | very secretly, Benjamin had come to consider as almost an impossibility. For once. \ the Sarah Coatsworth was travelling faster than the newer boat.
Half a mile past the breakwater, La Petite j Duchesse had forged ahead with the smoke j streaming back in a straight line from her j slim funnel and the gaily colored pennant ! at her masthead crackling in the wind like a : whip. Benjamin had kept on his course only ! because bucking the seas was preferable to ! standing on the windswept wharf with | despairing thoughts for the future. But now j his eyes were burning and his hands trem! bling. On this, the first rough day on which j they had tackled each other, the Sarah was coming out on top. In front was the greatest j prize that had ever dangled before his eyes in all his long career. That drifting j freighter represented in salvage money ; probably the greatest chance he would ever : get. And the last chance for the carnations.
Benjamin yelled the news to Peter Blumenfeld, and Peter refused to believe him. One or two of the crew came up to the bridge with weary smiles and measured the distance. Then their weariness dropped from them like a cloak.
“Come up here!” Benjamin roared, and with an impatient shrug of his shoulders Peter stumjxxl up the steel ladder.
“She’s too pretty, she can’t live in this sea !” roared Benjamin in Peter’s ear, almost dancing in his excitement. “Didn’t I always | tell ye when there's a bit ripple on the water j the old tub ’ud knock her sideways?” Peter j took up the binoculars sceptically. “Go on,
say we aren’t doing it; say it, ye . . Benjamin’s fist was clenched and weaving to and fro, an indication that Peter might get it on his jaw if he did say it.
“Calm yereself, man, calm yereself,’’ said Peter reprovingly as he focused the glasses, while Benjamin waited, gasping and spluttering, for the verdict.
Peter lowered the glasses and rublx-d the dried salt from his brow-.
“The old tub’s doing it,’’ he delivered, “but how she’s doing it, the Lord only knows.”
“I'll tell you how she is doing it!” Benjamin roared. “It’s because she’s a real boat, and in real weather it’s real boats that stand the racket.”
Ten minutes later they went past IM Petite Duchesse, and what Benjamin saw on the wheelhouse caused him to gloat afresh. Coulson’s face had lost its usual confident expression. He seemed to be shouting desperately into the voice tube, as if exhorting the men below to greater efforts.
Benjamin sw'ept off his sou’wester and, with the wind running through his grizzled hair like the sweep of a mighty brush, he let out a bellow of triumph. These modem contraptions were all right, but give him the old Sarah. She might be slow as a tortoise, she might creak and groan in a way that was sad to hear, but by gosh ! she could buck the seas, and that pretty thing couldn’t.
Benjamin roared his triumph and the crew' joined in. Benjamin jerked on the cord above him, and a long scream of derision from the Sarah's siren went down the wind. All the humiliations of months were wiped out in the blast of that siren.
"Ye should take it calmly, man, ye should have more respect for yere age than to go on like that.” Peter told him.
“Listen, you!” Benjamin flared. “I’ve waited months for this day and, b’jim, everyone’s going to know it!” He grabbed the cord again and, to another hoarse cheer from his crew, a second blast split the wind.
GET THE DINGHY unlashed,” commanded Benjamin, examining the huge bulk of the drifting and helpless freighter. “We’ll lx* within shot of her inside a few minutes.”
Peter shouted the order.
“Nasty weather for a small boat,” he muttered.
“Yes, it is, ain’t it," remarked Benjamin with heavy sarcasm. His tongue had become doubly sharp under stress of the excitement. "Mebbe they’ll get wet !”
“They’re wet already."
Benjamin jx-ered down at the men with exaggerated attent ion.
“Are they now? So they are! I wonder how that happened?”
Peter picked three men to man the boat and', with Benjamin bellowing totally unnecessary instructions from the bridge, they swung out the davits.
“All readv to drown vereselves?”
"All ready !”
Benjamin brought the Sarah around, to give all possible protection for the launching of the dinghy. The ropes slid through the blocks and the dinghy heaved and plunged in the lee of the Sarah. The two oarsmen leaned back and. with every wave likely to swamp them, pulled for the freighter. On the deck of the Sarah they jxiid out to the dinghy the line that was to carry the heavy hawser across the intervening area.
Benjamin’s heart was in his mouth as he watched the ¡x-rilous passage of the dinghy. A hundred yards away, the Annapolis, with a heavy list to starboard now. rolled in the trough. From her masthead hung the two black balls which indicated a vessel not under command.
Benjamin drew in his breath as he got his first good look at the freighter and realized just what she meant to him. B’jim, she would get him the carnations and a bit over! He recited mentally the clauses in the laws of salvage value of ship, degree of danger, amount of danger to rescuing vessel and he knew that the Sarah Coatsworth was entitled to a liberal award on all those counts if she could get that huge bulk into harbor. But for the arrival of the Sarah
Coatsworth. there would have been no hope for the Annapolis. Unless a line were attached, she would be on the reefs off Gonzales Point within fifteen minutes.
HIS MEN got on board the deserted ship.
The line tightened. The stouter rojx coiled on the deck of the Sarah Coatsworth began to run out. It came to an end and then, w'ith a noise like an old car starting off. the great steel cable began to unwind.
Within five minutes the stranded steel was stretching across, dipping beneath the waves in the middle. A blast from the Sarah Coatsworth, an answering wave from the Annapolis, and Benjamin brought the Sarah around.
“Slow ahead !”
The Sarah began to move. The sag began to go out of the hawser. 11 became a graceful arc.
“Slow ahead!” breathed Benjamin.
This was the moment that tore nerves to shreds. The crew stood stiff and hardly breathing, every eye on that thin black line. One jerk, one sudden strain on the cable and the steel would snap like thread.
Slow ahead in the teeth of such a gale, that meant a barely perceptible movement —-went the Sarah Coatsworth; and, with a smoothness that would have wrung commendation from tugboatmen in any port in the world, the hawser tightened.
“Half ahead!” uttered Benjamin. His eyes w'ere glued to the freighter, the muscles of his face twitching. Against the slopes of Beacon Hill, he saw her bow begin to swing.
“Doing it!” he whispered and the sweat ran dowrn his brow.
Around came the bows of the Annapolis, and for the first time in six hours she headed into the w'ind. The hawser strummed like a violin string. The crew of the Sarah were so many statues. Once the freighter was on the move, the battle was as good as won.
“Three quarter ahead !” gulped Benjamin, and at last the forward movement became perceptible.
“Got ’em!” gloated Benjamin as the mastheads of the freighter began to slide along the green background. “Got ’em!” he gufix-d and the “ ’em” were the white carnations that soon would bloom afresh in the garden that overlooked the Royal Roads.
"THE LONG WAIL of a siren caused I Benjamin to swing around on the bridge. For half an hour the Sarah Coatsworth had fought her way back from the reefs, with the wind screaming across the vibrating stretch of the hawser. A few moments more and it would be safe to take the right-about turn and head for home. For home, with the prize safe and a following wind ! ’
“How’s she riding, boys?” Benjamin shouted exultantly, and the hands on deck sent back a gleeful shout, “Fine, skipper!” Benjamin chuckled deep down in his throat. That meant that the end of stress and toil was in sight. He was glad. He was getting very weary nowadays. He wouldn’t be sorry to go up there among the carnations.
"B’jim. but yere a grand old girl!” he told the Sarah sincerely, and his eyes roamed lovingly over the old worn decks, and the ugly funnel with the paint coming off, and the stump mast that was scarred and blistered with the fury of many a storm.
But dreams of those pleasant years to come vanished abruptly as he heard the wail of that siren. “What the . . he muttered, and swiftly raised his binoculars.
IM Petite Duchesse was broadside on to the seas. That fact alone would have told its story without the wail of the siren. The second thing Benjamin saw was the keel of an upturned boat drifting away from her.
With that first glimpse Benjamin felt sudden terror, even before he had time to decide just what the sight meant. For a moment he stared at the rival boat, which was reeling now with the pounding of the waves, then he lowered the binoculars.
“She’s busted something, skipper,” came a shout from the deck.
“She’s busted something.” muttered Benjamin dully, and in that moment he knew why the Sarah Coatsworth had won the race to the freighter.
He looked at the upturned lifeboat and all it signified, and at the Annapolis, the prize of a lifetime. And then his gaze went back to La Petite Duchesse, drifting at an alarming rate toward the very reefs from which he had saved the freighter.
The crew was staring up at him. Peter was staring at him. With hands heavy and lifeless now on the wheel, Benjamin met those questioning looks. All of them had a big share coming to them from the salvage award of that ten-thousand-ton ship rolling behind. Streaming wet. their eyes bleary, their faces blue, they looked at him.
Peter Blumenfeld swore.
“We didn’t hear that siren; we didn’t hear it ! To hell with the siren ! Full ahead !’’ Benjamin’s eyes were fogged.
“Full speed ahead!” Peter snarled. Benjamin looked everywhere but at his crew. His eyes travelled desjx?rately from tugboat to freighter.
“They are human beings within the meaning of the act,” he muttered.
“Human beings!” Peter’s laugh was cracked and strained. “So’re we. and that ship behind us means security. Keep that line fast and never mind anything else. They’ve got a boat, haven’t they?”
“The boat’s upturned and drifting away,” Benjamin said.
“We can’t see that.”
“We have seen it.”
Peter cursed bitterly. Benjamin suddenly looked very old. He put his mouth to the voice tube.
Peter turned and looked away.
“A fortune gone with the blast of a siren,” he ground out between his teeth.
“Full astern!” said Benjamin thickly.
“THEY GOT within a couple of hundred I yards of La Petite Duchesse, after picking up the three men from the Annapolis. The freighter, cast adrift, drifted back toward the reefs.
Peter clutched Benjamin’s arm.
“Listen!” he said. “You tell that fellow lie’s responsible for that pension you’ve lost over there. Tell him that before you put a line aboard.”
Benjamin pursed his lips. He said nothing. “That’s justice,” snapped Peter. "You’ve lost everything through having to go to his assistance. Stick out for compensation.” “We can claim salvage for the tug.”
“Sure you can claim it, but will you get it? The freighter was a stone certainty. This fellow will fight you in the courts as he’s fought you on the water. And he’s tricky enough to beat you there as he’s beaten you at the towing!” Peter clenched his hands. “Tell him he’s got to agree to compensate you or—”
“Tell him he’s got to compensate you!” snapped Peter.
Benjamin shrugged his shoulders hopelessly and raised the megaphone.
“Ahoy, Petty Duchess! Do you require assistance?”
There was a pause. Benjamin could imagine Coulson swallowing hard at having to answer that question in the affirmative. “Yes.”
“Go on!” hissed Peter. "Hold out for compensation.”
“I’ll try it." said Benjamin wearily, “but . . .” lie took a deep breath. “We’ll tow you into harbor if you’ll agree to compensate us fairly for losing that ship over there. We’ll put a line aboard on those terms.” There was a long ixiuse this time. Then the answer came in three words.
"Keep your line.”
Benjamin gulped. Peter cursed and measured the narrowing distance between the helpless tugboat and the shore.
“They’ll be on in ten minutes. Hold out, Benjamin."
Benjamin turned on him.
“They’ve got us. We can’t put them in danger through haggling, and they know it.” He turned to the men waiting by the dripping dinghy.
'■'fiake the line across.”
AN HOUR LATER they passed the V breakwater. The Sarah Coatsworth plowed on as stolidly as ever. The water came up behind her now and swept over her as ever, the crew stood wet and shivering and blue. Behind strummed the hawser. And at the end of the hawser, helpless and reeling as a drunken man, dipjx-d and plunged La Petite Duchesse.
The shore was dotted with people, for the drama of the morning had brought them in their hundreds to the waterfront. A cheer was wafted by the wind as the Sarah plodded past the end of the breakwater into the sheltered waters beyond.
Benjamin looked up as he heard that tribute. He turned his head and looked at the grey bulk of Harbor View; he turned and looked back toward Gonzales Point-where, on the jagged reefs, the Annapolis was swiftly coming to the end of her career: he turned and looked at La Petite Duchesse.
And as he looked, he suddenly saw before him the headlines of the newspapers from Prince Rupert to San Francisco. He saw the headline: “Skipper Rescues Helpless Rival From Rocks.” And suddenly his pinched, blue face creased in a smile.
He looked again at La Petite Duchesse, helpless in his care like some wounded bird of gorgeous plumage, and the smile turned into a grin. Benjamin Pollack laughed outright.
"To Cape Hatteras with the carnations!” he said.
Victoria. July 6 -One of the most notable salvage awards of recent years was made today when the Admiralty Court decided that Benjamin Pollack, master of the tugboat, Sarah Coatsworth, and his crew were entitled to an award amounting to practically the full value of the recently built tugboat La Petite Duchesse. In announcing the decision of the Court after an exhaustive review of the evidence, the president said that in the laws of salvage the saving of lives from imminent peril was held to be the highest and most worthy service possible in salvage, and since in such cases the possible award was limited only by the value of the property salved at the same time, the question the Court had to decide was whether the lives of the defendant and his crew had been in real jeopardy. The Court was of the opinion that this was unquestionably so, and, taking into consideration the additional fact that in rescuing La Petite Duchesse from its position the plaintiffs had exposed themselves to a danger equally as great and risked losing a vessel which was their sole means of livelihood, and. furthermore, rendered the service at a time of extreme inconvenience to themselves, the award would be fixed accordingly. In view of the major claim being upheld, the alternative claim of the plaintiffs for an award equal to the salvage percentage of the AtkinsonBannerman freighter, Annapolis, which the plaintiffs had been forced to cast off to go to the aid of La Petite Duchesse, would not come before the Court.