A Miraculous Song
One of the most exquisite clippers, which ever left the shipbuilding yard was Falcon. The passengers were always praising their stay on the slim, but safely balanced ship of four masts.
Otakar Batlicka couldn?t therefore understand, that this would be its last passage.
During a lovely weather Falcon was ploughing a blue area of the Atlantic. It was interesting to watch how with the approaching North Sea increased the number of birds sitting down in the long rows on the ship?s ropes.
One of the passengers ? a boy of about nine seemed to be interested in the birds and wanted to know why they were not singing. This boy would shortly be involved in a mysterious way in the fate of all passengers and crew.
The only answer Otakar could have thought of was that they have lost voice through tiredness.
The boy was Russian, his name was, Alexander Zhukin or he was just called Sasha. He was returning with his mother, a concert singer from an art tour around the United States and Canada.
Sasha used to love to play for the passengers on his tube. During lovely evening?s sunsets, the passengers used to gather and listen to the boy?s play. The most successful song was a soft and romantic song without name which Sasha learned from one of the singers in Moscow. They were approaching Europe. Island was lying somewhere north when suddenly the weather deteriorated.
A dense fog descended on the sea. To make matters worse the ship?s radio station broke down that day.
The officers have often measured the position and were discussing the matter with a steersman.
Otakar was having dinner when the ship?s bell lifted me out of his chair. Alarm! The deck was covered with such a thick air, that one is nearly afraid to breath in.
The captain commanded everyone on his or her places! Otakar?s post is by the front pole.
Waves, which are rolling from the south, are shaking Falcon. Otakar is often blindly crawling on all fours to the rails because he must clasp the mast.
Clipper is shaking; they can feel how its hull is fighting for a correct direction with streams of sea and wind.
Faroe islands were not too far away from the ship but there weren?t any lighthouses on the coast.
In timed intervals the sirens are howling, the lights are flashing and bells are sounding.
Suddenly in half a minute break we can hear some kind of a noise coming from the mast.
With their hands bent forward they are groping their way to the top of the clipper. When suddenly they spot him. A boy is sitting on the high coil of ropes and is sending the sound of his tube against the strikes of the waves and darkness, as if he wanted to win with a noble art over a natural element. A funny echo is coming back. The sound was heard again.
Otakar and his colleague think that most probably there is a ship.
They were flooded with the uproar of Falcon?s sirens after which silence followed. The mysterious signal was not responding.
Sasha blows once again and the first tones of the Moscow song are descending. And an answer is sounding again from darkness.
Otakar was going to announce it. But the captain first thinks that they were dreaming.
The ship would naturally be responding to the sailor?s signals.
Suddenly the boy blows and two distinct tones are coming back towards Falcon. The captain wants Sasha to repeat his blowing. Sasha?s tube is again wheedling an answer from a distance. The captain gives orders to stop the ship?s sirens and bells. He is leading small Alexander Zhurkin on the captain?s bridge. Whole four hours, long past midnight the boy is transmitting the voice of his tube towards the fog?s darkness of the sea and two nearer or more distant tones are responding.
The captain is giving a shipping course to the steersman according to the position of the mysterious sound.
Sasha is very tired towards morning. The sea no longer responds to the blow of his tube and Falcon can rely again on its guard and its plumb line on bow.
Seven days after this event slim Falcon is landing in the Norwegian Bergen. While the passengers are arranging all administrative formalities the captain is sailing in a boat to the port?s office. He is returning and shaking his head. The boy has pulled us out of a real disaster!?
The British have put into operation a new invention ? acoustic buoys.
Equipment, which starts to sound when a certain tone is sent to it. The English boats are equipped for that purpose with special whistles. They do not respond to sirens and bells. The tube of this boy - the song, which he played by the Fareo Islands, contains the tone to which the buoy is tuned.
With astonishment and admiration of the passengers Sasha Zhukin is playing again the beautiful song, which so miraculously lead the clipper out of dangerous reefs.