The foreyards ran round with a great noise, amidst cheery cries. And
now the frightful whiskers made themselves heard giving various orders.
Already the ship was drawing ahead. And I was alone with her. Nothing!
no one in the world should stand now between us, throwing a shadow on
the way of silent knowledge and mute affection, the perfect communion of
a seaman with his first command.
Walking to the taffrail, I was in time to make out, on the very edge
of a darkness thrown by a towering black mass like the very gateway of
Erebus--yes, I was in time to catch an evanescent glimpse of my white
hat left behind to mark the spot where the secret sharer of my cabin and
of my thoughts, as though he were my second self, had lowered himself
into the water to take his punishment: a free man, a proud swimmer
striking out for a new destiny.