CHAPTER XV IN WHICH TRUMET TALKS OF CAPTAIN NAT

SUMMER was over, autumn came, passed, and it was winter--John Ellery's first winter in Trumet. Fish weirs were taken up, the bay filled with ice, the packet ceased to run, and the village settled down to hibernate until spring. The stage came through on its regular trips, except when snow or slush rendered the roads impassable, but passengers were very few. Occasionally there were northeast gales, with shrieking winds, driving gusts of sleet and hail and a surf along the ocean side that bellowed and roared and tore the sandy beach into new shapes, washing away shoals and building others, blocking the mouth of the little inlet where the fish boats anchored and opening a new channel a hundred yards farther down. Twice there were wrecks, one of a fishing schooner, the crew of which were fortunate enough to escape by taking to the dories, and another, a British bark, which struck on the farthest bar and was beaten to pieces by the great waves, while the townspeople stood helplessly watching from the shore, for launching a boat in that surf was impossible.

The minister was one of those who watched. News of the disaster had been brought to the village by the lightkeeper's assistant, and Ellery and most of

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