The Battery and the Boiler by R. M. Ballantyne

By R. M. Ballantyne

Reprint of the 1883 novel.

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The complicated-looking paying-out machinery revolves smoothly; the thread-like cable passes over the stern, and down into the deep with the utmost regularity. The shore-end of the cable — twenty-seven miles in length, and much thicker than the deep-sea portion — had been laid at Valentia, on the 22nd of July, amid prayer and praise, speech-making, and much enthusiasm, on the part of operators and spectators. On the 23rd, the end of the shore cable was spliced to that of the main cable, and the voyage had begun.

The bursting of a thunder-clap, the explosion of a powder-magazine, could not have more effectually awakened the slumberers than this abrupt stoppage of the ship's engines. Instantly all the hatchways poured forth anxious inquirers. “Another fault,” was the reply to such. ” said some. ” said others. “Not so bad as a break,” sighed the hopeful spirits. ” By this the chief meant to say that insulation had been completely destroyed, and that the whole current of electricity was escaping into the sea.

Besides, I'm too busy, but Wright will go. ' said Jim. “I noticed, as I went last out of the room, that Slagg rose quickly and pulled a sheet off one of the beds. Afterwards, looking back, I saw him slip out and run down the passage in the opposite direction. I suspected he was about some mischief, but said nothing. “It was getting dark, as I have said, though not dark enough for lighting the lamps, and in some corners below it was as dark as midnight. To one of these places Jeff led us. ' “'What!

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