"Who's that?" he whispered then.
"My second mate. But I don't know much more of the fellow than you do."
And I told him a little about myself. I had been appointed to take
charge while I least expected anything of the sort, not quite a
fortnight ago. I didn't know either the ship or the people. Hadn't had
the time in port to look about me or size anybody up. And as to the
crew, all they knew was that I was appointed to take the ship home.
For the rest, I was almost as much of a stranger on board as himself,
I said. And at the moment I felt it most acutely. I felt that it would
take very little to make me a suspect person in the eyes of the ship's
He had turned about meantime; and we, the two strangers in the ship,
faced each other in identical attitudes.