Before entering the cabin I stood still, listening in the lobby at the
foot of the stairs. A faint snore came through the closed door of the
chief mate's room. The second mate's door was on the hook, but the
darkness in there was absolutely soundless. He, too, was young and could
sleep like a stone. Remained the steward, but he was not likely to
wake up before he was called. I got a sleeping suit out of my room and,
coming back on deck, saw the naked man from the sea sitting on the main
hatch, glimmering white in the darkness, his elbows on his knees and
his head in his hands. In a moment he had concealed his damp body in a
sleeping suit of the same gray-stripe pattern as the one I was wearing
and followed me like my double on the poop. Together we moved right aft,
"What is it?" I asked in a deadened voice, taking the lighted lamp out
of the binnacle, and raising it to his face.
"An ugly business."