And I watched the hat--the expression of my sudden pity for his mere
flesh. It had been meant to save his homeless head from the dangers of
the sun. And now--behold--it was saving the ship, by serving me for a
mark to help out the ignorance of my strangeness. Ha! It was drifting
forward, warning me just in time that the ship had gathered sternaway.
"Shift the helm," I said in a low voice to the seaman standing still
like a statue.
The man's eyes glistened wildly in the binnacle light as he jumped round
to the other side and spun round the wheel.
I walked to the break of the poop. On the over-shadowed deck all hands
stood by the forebraces waiting for my order. The stars ahead seemed to
be gliding from right to left. And all was so still in the world that
I heard the quiet remark, "She's round," passed in a tone of intense
relief between two seamen.
"Let go and haul."