"As long as I know that you understand," he whispered. "But of course
you do. It's a great satisfaction to have got somebody to understand.
You seem to have been there on purpose." And in the same whisper, as if
we two whenever we talked had to say things to each other which were not
fit for the world to hear, he added, "It's very wonderful."
We remained side by side talking in our secret way--but sometimes
silent or just exchanging a whispered word or two at long intervals. And
as usual he stared through the port. A breath of wind came now and again
into our faces. The ship might have been moored in dock, so gently and
on an even keel she slipped through the water, that did not murmur even
at our passage, shadowy and silent like a phantom sea.
At midnight I went on deck, and to my mate's great surprise put the
ship round on the other tack. His terrible whiskers flitted round me
in silent criticism. I certainly should not have done it if it had
been only a question of getting out of that sleepy gulf as quickly as
possible. I believe he told the second mate, who relieved him, that it
was a great want of judgment. The other only yawned. That intolerable
cub shuffled about so sleepily and lolled against the rails in such a
slack, improper fashion that I came down on him sharply.
"Aren't you properly awake yet?"
"Yes, sir! I am awake."