I covered his voice loudly:
"Certainly not. . . . I am delighted. Good-by."
I had an idea of what he meant to say, and just saved myself by the
privilege of defective hearing. He was too shaken generally to insist,
but my mate, close witness of that parting, looked mystified and his
face took on a thoughtful cast. As I did not want to appear as if
I wished to avoid all communication with my officers, he had the
opportunity to address me.
"Seems a very nice man. His boat's crew told our chaps a very
extraordinary story, if what I am told by the steward is true. I suppose
you had it from the captain, sir?"
"Yes. I had a story from the captain."
"A very horrible affair--isn't it, sir?"
"Beats all these tales we hear about murders in Yankee ships."
"I don't think it beats them. I don't think it resembles them in the