He nodded. His face was thin and the sunburn faded, as though he had
been ill. And no wonder. He had been, I heard presently, kept under
arrest in his cabin for nearly seven weeks. But there was nothing sickly
in his eyes or in his expression. He was not a bit like me, really; yet,
as we stood leaning over my bed place, whispering side by side, with our
dark heads together and our backs to the door, anybody bold enough to
open it stealthily would have been treated to the uncanny sight of a
double captain busy talking in whispers with his other self.
"But all this doesn't tell me how you came to hang on to our side
ladder," I inquired, in the hardly audible murmurs we used, after he had
told me something more of the proceedings on board the Sephora once the
bad weather was over.
"When we sighted Java Head I had had time to think all those matters out
several times over. I had six weeks of doing nothing else, and with only
an hour or so every evening for a tramp on the quarter-deck."