‘Lay aft here a couple of hands,’ shouted Finn in a sulky note.

Two seamen instantly came along. The flag-locker was dragged from its cleats or chocks under the small, milk-white grating abaft the wheel; Finn, with a square, carrot-coloured thumb ploughed into the book of directions; then, after a little, a string of butterfly bunting soared gracefully to the topmost head, where the flags were to be best seen, a long pennant topping the gay colours like a tongue of flame against 杭州按摩服务哪里有 the rusty yellow of the atmosphere; the dip of the yacht to the swell became a holiday curtsey, and you thought of her as putting on a simper like some pretty country wench newly pranked out by her sweetheart with a knot of ribbons.

‘Aft and haul up the main-tack; round in on the weather fore braces and lay the topsail to the mast; down hellum! so—leave her at that!’ and the ‘Bride,’ with the wide ocean heave lifting to the bow, came to a stand, her way arrested, the wind combing her fore and aft canvas like the countless invisible fingers of giant spirits, and a dull plash and sulky wash of water alongside, and a frequent sharp clatter of wheel chains to the jar of the churning rudder. There was the true spirit of the deep in this picture then, for the seamen had dropped the various jobs they were upon, and stood awaiting orders about the decks, every man’s shadow swaying upon the salt sparkling of the spotless planks, and all eyes directed at the approaching craft that had now risen to her wash streak and was coming along in a 杭州龙凤论坛lanwashe slow stately roll with her canvas yearning from flying jib to fore royal, every cloth yellow as satin, and flashes of light like the explosion of ordnance breaking in soft sulphur-coloured flames from her wet side as she lifted it sunwards from the pale blue brine that melted yeastily from her metalled forefoot into two salival lines, which united abaft and went astern in a wake that looked as if she were towing some 杭州洗浴中心按摩 half mile length of amber-tinctured satin. Yet there


was no beauty in her as in us; it was the sweetness and grace of airy distance working in her and the mild and misty gushing of the afternoon radiance, and the wild enfolding arms of the horizon sweeping as it were the very soul of the mighty ocean loneliness into her solitary shape and into her bland and starlike canvas, until you found her veritably spiritualised out of her commonplace meaning into a mere fairy fancy, some toy-like imagination of the deep; but she hardened rapidly into the familiar prosaics of timber, sailcloth and tackling, as she came floating down upon us, sinking to her narrow white band, then poised till a broad width of her green sheathing was exposed, with a figure in a tall chimney-pot hat standing on the rail holding on by a backstay.


She was a slow old waggon, and one saw the reason of it as she came sliding along, rolling like an anchored galliot in a sea-way, in her bows as round as an apple and her kettle-bottom run; and Wilfrid’s impatience grew into torture to us to see almost as much as to him to feel as he’d pace the deck for a minute or two tumultuously, then fling against the rail with a wild stare at the approaching craft as if indeed he was cocksure she was full of news for him, though for my part it seemed mere trifling with the yacht’s routine to back her yard that we might ask questions at that early time of day. She steered so as to come within easy hail and then boom-ending her foretopmast studdingsail she backed her main topsail and floated the full length of her out abreast of us within pistol shot, pitching clumsily and bringing her bows out of it with the white brine frothing like lacework all about her there, her line of bulwarks dotted with heads watching us, the sounds of the creaking of her aloft very clear along with a farmyard noise of several cocks crowing one after the other lustily, and the lowing of bulls or cows.

‘Barque ahoy?’ sung out Captain Finn, funnelling his hands as a vehicle for his voice.

‘Halloa?’ cried the figure that stood upon the rail in the most cheery, laughing voice that can be conceived.

‘What ship is that?’

‘The “Wanderer.”’

‘Where are you from? and where are you bound to?’

‘From Valparaiso to Sunderland,’ answered the other, in a way that made one think he spoke with difficulty through suppressed mirth.

‘Will you tell us,’ bawled Finn, ‘if you’ve sighted an outward bound fore and aft schooner-yacht within the past week?’

‘Sighted a fore and aft schooner-yacht? ay, that I have, master, fine a vessel as yourn pretty nigh,’ shouted the other as though he must burst in a moment into a roar of laughter.

‘Ask him aboard! ask him aboard!’ cried Wilfrid wild with excitement, slapping his knee till it 杭州养生足疗馆 was like a discharge of pistols. ‘Beg him to do me the favour of drinking a bottle of champagne with me; ask him—ask him—but first ascertain if he has made an entry of the meeting in his log-book.’

‘Ay, ay, sir. Ho the barque ahoy!’


‘Can you tell us when and whereabouts ye fell in with that there schooner?’

‘Tell ye! to be sure I can; got it in black and white, master. Ha! ha! ha!’ and here the old figure in the tall hat clapped his hand to his side and laughed outright, toppling and reeling about on the rail in such a manner that I took it for granted he was drunk and expected every moment to see him plunge overboard.

‘Ask him aboard! ask him aboard!’ shrieked Wilfrid. ‘Request him to bring his log-book with him. We will send a boat.’

Finn hailed the barque again. ‘Sir Wilfrid Monson’s compli[71]ments to you, sir, and will be pleased to see you aboard to drink 杭州夜生活群 a bottle of champagne with him. Will you kindly bring your log-book with you? We will send a boat.’

‘Right y’are,’ shouted the old chap with a humorous flourish of his hand, and so speaking he sprang inboard, laughing heartily, and disappeared down his little companion hatch.

A boat was lowered with four men in charge of surly old Crimp. My cousin’s excitement was a real torment to witness. He smote his hands violently together whilst he urged the men at the top of his voice to bear a hand and be off or the barque would be swinging her topsail and sailing away from us. He twitched from head to foot as though he must fall into convulsions; he bawled to the sailors not to wait to cast anything adrift but to put their knives through it as though somebody were drowning astern and the delay of a single moment might make all the difference between life or death. ‘By heaven!’ he 杭州洗浴大保健 cried, halting in front of me and Miss Jennings with a fierceness of manner that was rendered almost delirious by the quality of savage exultation in it, ‘I knew it would fall out thus! They cannot escape me. Of course it is the “Shark” that that fellow has sighted.’ He broke from us and ran to the rail and overhung it, gnawing his nails whilst he watched the receding boat with his eyelids quivering and his face working like that of a man in acute pain.

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