"'Mr. Leggatt, you have killed a man. You can act no longer as chief
mate of this ship.'"
His care to subdue his voice made it sound monotonous. He rested a hand
on the end of the skylight to steady himself with, and all that time did
not stir a limb, so far as I could see. "Nice little tale for a quiet
tea party," he concluded in the same tone.
One of my hands, too, rested on the end of the skylight; neither did
I stir a limb, so far as I knew. We stood less than a foot from each
other. It occurred to me that if old "Bless my soul--you don't say so"
were to put his head up the companion and catch sight of us, he would
think he was seeing double, or imagine himself come upon a scene of
weird witchcraft; the strange captain having a quiet confabulation
by the wheel with his own gray ghost. I became very much concerned to
prevent anything of the sort. I heard the other's soothing undertone.
"My father's a parson in Norfolk," it said. Evidently he had forgotten
he had told me this important fact before. Truly a nice little tale.