At noon I have no orders for a change of course, and the mate's whiskers
became much concerned and seemed to be offering themselves unduly to my
notice. At last I said:
"I am going to stand right in. Quite in--as far as I can take her."
The stare of extreme surprise imparted an air of ferocity also to his
eyes, and he looked truly terrific for a moment.
"We're not doing well in the middle of the gulf," I continued, casually.
"I am going to look for the land breezes tonight."
"Bless my soul! Do you mean, sir, in the dark amongst the lot of all
them islands and reefs and shoals?"
"Well--if there are any regular land breezes at all on this coast one
must get close inshore to find them, mustn't one?"
"Bless my soul!" he exclaimed again under his breath. All that afternoon
he wore a dreamy, contemplative appearance which in him was a mark of
perplexity. After dinner I went into my stateroom as if I meant to take
some rest. There we two bent our dark heads over a half-unrolled chart
lying on my bed.