Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: The Crew of the Life-boat
The Crew of the Life-boat
THE Gallant Crew at a life-saving station were about to launch their life-boat for a spin along the coast when they discovered, but a little distance away, a capsized vessel with a dozen men clinging to her keel.
"We are fortunate," said the Gallant Crew, "to have seen that in time. Our fate might have been the same as theirs."
So they hauled the life-boat back into its house, and were spared to the service of their country.