Wild confusion in the midst of fishermen

a luminous shard of glass on blue&white ground within a tin can; photo

By degrees the white line expanded in size and became massive, as though a huge breaker were rolling towards them; ever and anon jets of foam flew high into the air from various parts of the mass, like smoke from a cannon's mouth. Presently, a low continuous roar became audible above the noise of the oars; as the boat advanced, the swells from the southeast could be seen towering upwards as they neared the foaming spot, gradually changing their broad-backed form, and coming on in majestic walls of green water, which fell with indescribable grandeur into the seething caldron just in time to meet a billow, which, towering high above its fellows, burst completely over the rocks, and appeared to be about to sweep away all before it. For a moment the boat was as if embedded in snow, then it sank once more into the lead among the floating tangle, and the men pulled with might and main in order to escape the next wave. They were just in time. It burst over the same rocks with greater violence than its predecessor, but the boat had gained the shelter of the next ledge, and lay floating securely in the deep, quiet pool within, while the men rested on their oars, and watched the chaos of the water rush harmlessly by rocks covered with wet seaweed and rugged in the vest pocket of the dead man altogether above two hundredweight of old metal,—namely, a large piece of a ship's caboose, a hinge, a lock of a door, a ship's marking-iron, a soldier's bayonet, a cannon ball, a shoebuckle, and a small anchor, besides part of the cordage of the wreck, and the money and jewels before mentioned.

The Lighthouse, by Robert Ballantyne [abridged]