It was a rather high bed place with a set of drawers underneath. This
amazing swimmer really needed the lift I gave him by seizing his leg. He
tumbled in, rolled over on his back, and flung one arm across his eyes.
And then, with his face nearly hidden, he must have looked exactly as I
used to look in that bed. I gazed upon my other self for a while before
drawing across carefully the two green serge curtains which ran on a
brass rod. I thought for a moment of pinning them together for greater
safety, but I sat down on the couch, and once there I felt unwilling
to rise and hunt for a pin. I would do it in a moment. I was extremely
tired, in a peculiarly intimate way, by the strain of stealthiness, by
the effort of whispering and the general secrecy of this excitement. It
was three o'clock by now and I had been on my feet since nine, but I
was not sleepy; I could not have gone to sleep. I sat there, fagged
out, looking at the curtains, trying to clear my mind of the confused
sensation of being in two places at once, and greatly bothered by an
exasperating knocking in my head. It was a relief to discover suddenly
that it was not in my head at all, but on the outside of the door.
Before I could collect myself the words "Come in" were out of my mouth,
and the steward entered with a tray, bringing in my morning coffee. I
had slept, after all, and I was so frightened that I shouted, "This way!
I am here, steward," as though he had been miles away. He put down the
tray on the table next the couch and only then said, very quietly, "I
can see you are here, sir." I felt him give me a keen look, but I dared
not meet his eyes just then. He must have wondered why I had drawn the
curtains of my bed before going to sleep on the couch. He went out,
hooking the door open as usual.
I heard the crew washing decks above me. I knew I would have been told
at once if there had been any wind. Calm, I thought, and I was doubly
vexed. Indeed, I felt dual more than ever. The steward reappeared
suddenly in the doorway. I jumped up from the couch so quickly that he
gave a start.
"What do you want here?"
"Close your port, sir--they are washing decks."
"It is closed," I said, reddening.