Outer Banks Legends Part 2
"I shall but love thee better after death" part 2. ~ In vain, John Harris's neighbors pleaded with him to come with them to safety on the mainland. Grief and an aching sense of loss were still too much with him. He had not really yet given up on his Amy. She was there and he could not and would not leave her. So great was the danger that his friends even considered taking him by force. In the end they left him with his grief, notifying the Coast Guard of his lonely presence in that threatened spot. The CG immediatey dispatched a beach cart to take John to safety and they urged him to seek higher ground or to come to the station with them. John always gave the same answer; his Amy was there and he intended to stay with her. When the hurricane slammed ashore she turned out to be one of the most destructive of the century. The tides rose higher and higher, sweepting across the entire outer strand of islands all along the coast. Sea water poured into the Sound through a dozen new cuts. The entire Outer Banks appeared to be doomed to inundation before the wild fury of the sea gone mad. The wind, screaming and wailing, was overpowering. It seemed a malevolent personality in itself, bent on destroying any and everything in its path.
John Harris was indoors that night when the worst of the storm hit. The water had risen steadily around his small house to the level of the front porch. The force of the wind outside had made breathing so difficult that John took what refuge he could find in his cottage. The power had long since gone out and John sat there alone and in darkness. All around him the wind howled and the little house trembled. Waves had beaten off the front steps and even ocean swell that struck the house threatend to sweep it away into the Currituck Sound.
Aound midnight John felt something heavy and solid strike the foundation of his home. Not one, but twice, three times there came a heavy , jarring thud. Struggling to his front door and opening it to the full force of the wind John beheld to his horror that a cement and steel burial vault being driven by the force of the waves against the shaky house.
Just at that second there occurred one of those gales within a hurricane a guest of wind so strong that it seemed nothing could stand in its path. The entire house collapsed behind John in a welter of foam, spray and flying, nail studded fragments. As the porch disappeared beneath him, John flung himself atop the vault. Grasping the raised decorations on the lid, he hung on for dear life, more animal than man now in his extremity and caught up in the primoridal will to live.
Part three coming tomorrow!