Introduction Romantic fiction located on the Oregon coast and
featuring Mrs. Sancy, from the Sandwich Islands who is a
proficient surfboard rider. Page 363
ON THE SANDS.
I was summering at our Oregon Newport, known to us by the
aboriginal name of Clatsop.
Had a balloonist, uninstructed in the geography and
topography of this portion of the Pacific coast, dropped
down among us, his impression would have been that he had
alighted in a military encampment, very happily chosen, as
military encampments usually are.
A morning idled away in this manner, and an afternoon
spent in seeing the bathers — I never trust my easily
curdled blood to the chill of the sea — and in walking
along the sands with a friend, or dreaming quietly by
myself as I watched the surf rolling in all the way from
Tilamook Head to Cape Disappointment,— these were my daily
labors and recreations.
I folded my letter with a feeling of self-congratulation,
and turned to watch the movements of a newly arrived party
our half-breed host was spreading a tent, and placing in
it rather an extra amount of furniture; for, be it known
to the uninitiated, we had platform floors under our
tents, real bedsteads, dressing bureaus, rugs, and other
comforts to match.
That our new arrival exceeded us in elegant conveniences
was, of course, duly noted by such idlers as we.
The party consisted of a lady, a little girl of ten, and a
The lady's name, we learned, was Mrs. Sancy, and she was
from the Sandwich Islands.
More than that no one was informed.
We discussed her looks, her manners, her dress, and her
probable circumstances, as we sat around the camp-fire
that evening, after the way of idle people.
All the things any of us could do Mrs. Sancy could do
better; and one thing she could do that none of the rest
of us could, which was to swim out and float herself in on
a surf-board, like a native island woman: and seeing Mrs.
Sancy do this became one
of the daily sensations of Clatsop Beach.
We were now approaching the vicinity of the
bathing-houses, and seeing the visitors collecting for the
bath, an excuse was furnished for quickening our paces.
Mrs. Sancy bowed and left us.
Mr. Kittredge seemed to have lost the power of speech.
Fifteen minutes after I was sitting on some drift-wood,
watching the pranks of the gayest of the crowd as they
"jumped the rollers," when Mrs. Sancy came out of a
dressing-room, followed by her Kanaka with a surf-board.
Her bathing-dress was very jaunty and becoming, and her
skill as a swimmer drew to her a great deal of attention.
To swim out and float in on the rollers seemed to be to
her no more of a feat than it would be to a sea-gull, she
did it so easily and
But today something went wrong with her.
Either she was too warm from riding, or her circulation
was disturbed by the meeting with Kittredge, or both; at
all events the second time she swam out she failed to
The board slipped away from her, and she sank out of
While I gazed horror- stricken, scarce understanding what
had taken place,-a man rushed past me in his bathing
clothes, running out to where the water was deep enough to
float him and striking out rapidly from there.
I could not recognize him in that dress, but I knew it was
Fate had sent him.
The incoming tide kept her where she sank, and he soon
brought her to the surface and through the surf to the
spread my cloak on the sand, and, wrapping her in it,
began rubbing and rolling her, with the assistance of
other ladies, for resuscitation from drowning.
In three minutes more Kittredge was kneeling by my side
with a brandy-flask, administering its contents drop by
drop, and giving orders.
"It is congestion ;" said he.
"You must rub her chest, her back, her hands and feet; so,
She will die in your hands if you are not quick.
For God's sake, work fast!"
By his presence of mind she was saved as by a miracle.
When she was removed to her lodgings, and able to
converse, she asked me who it was had rescued her.
"Mr. Kittredge," I said.
"The same I met on the beach?"
She smiled in a faint, half-dreaming way, and turned away
She thought I did not krlow her secret.
The Lakeside Monthly.
The University Publishing
Volume 6, October 1871.