The maintopmast was over thirty feet in length, the foretopmast
nearly thirty, and it was of these that I intended making the shears.
Captain Doane climbed even higher, seating himself on the stump of the foremast with legs a-straddle of the butt of the foretopmast
. And Simon Nishikanta tore himself away from his everlasting painting of all colour-delicacies of sea and sky such as are painted by seminary maidens, to be helped and hoisted up the ratlines of the mizzen rigging, the huge bulk of him, by two grinning, slim-waisted sailors, until they lashed him squarely on the crosstrees and left him to stare with eyes of golden desire, across the sun-washed sea through the finest pair of unredeemed binoculars that had ever been pledged in his pawnshops.
A wire rope led from the foretopmast
to the file of mules on the tow-path a hundred yards ahead, and by dint of much banging and swearing and urging, the detachment of drivers managed to get a speed of two or three miles an hour out of the mules against the stiff current.
(If' I c'u'd only tell the tale as he told ut!) All that whoile the wind blew like ould glory, an' the Manila - 'twas summer, and they'd give her a foretopmast
- struck her gait and kept ut.