There was no wind, but even in the flat sea, water occasionally splashed in over the side of the overburdened boat. A few days ago, the lawyers conducted an experiment proving that one more adult of average weight in a boat of that size and type would have put us in immediate jeopardy. We could not save everybody and save ourselves. Mr. Hardie knew this and had the courage to act on the knowledge, and it was his actions in those first minutes and hours that spelled the difference between continued existence and a watery grave. His actions were also what turned Mrs. Grant, who was the strongest and most vocal of the women, against him. Mrs. Grant said, "Brute! Go back and save the child, at least," but it must have been clear to her that we could not go back and escape with our lives. With those words, however, Mrs. Grant was branded a humanitarian and Hardie a fiend.
Excerpted from The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. Copyright © 2012 by Charlotte Rogan. Excerpted by permission of Reagan Arthur. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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