"Your ladder--" he murmured, after a silence. "Who'd have thought of
finding a ladder hanging over at night in a ship anchored out here! I
felt just then a very unpleasant faintness. After the life I've been
leading for nine weeks, anybody would have got out of condition. I
wasn't capable of swimming round as far as your rudder chains. And, lo
and behold! there was a ladder to get hold of. After I gripped it I said
to myself, 'What's the good?' When I saw a man's head looking over I
thought I would swim away presently and leave him shouting--in whatever
language it was. I didn't mind being looked at. I--I liked it. And then
you speaking to me so quietly--as if you had expected me--made me hold
on a little longer. It had been a confounded lonely time--I don't mean
while swimming. I was glad to talk a little to somebody that didn't
belong to the Sephora. As to asking for the captain, that was a mere
impulse. It could have been no use, with all the ship knowing about me
and the other people pretty certain to be round here in the morning. I
don't know--I wanted to be seen, to talk with somebody, before I went
on. I don't know what I would have said. . . . 'Fine night, isn't it?'
or something of the sort."
"Do you think they will be round here presently?" I asked with some
"Quite likely," he said, faintly.
"He looked extremely haggard all of a sudden. His head rolled on his
"H'm. We shall see then. Meantime get into that bed," I whispered. "Want