He whispered, his arms folded on the side of my bed place, staring
through the open port. And I could imagine perfectly the manner of this
thinking out--a stubborn if not a steadfast operation; something of
which I should have been perfectly incapable.
"I reckoned it would be dark before we closed with the land," he
continued, so low that I had to strain my hearing near as we were to
each other, shoulder touching shoulder almost. "So I asked to speak to
the old man. He always seemed very sick when he came to see me--as if he
could not look me in the face. You know, that foresail saved the ship.
She was too deep to have run long under bare poles. And it was I
that managed to set it for him. Anyway, he came. When I had him in my
cabin--he stood by the door looking at me as if I had the halter round
my neck already--I asked him right away to leave my cabin door unlocked
at night while the ship was going through Sunda Straits. There would
be the Java coast within two or three miles, off Angier Point. I wanted
nothing more. I've had a prize for swimming my second year in the