When this dreadful exordium was over, and Tungay had stumped
out again, Mr.
Billy the Mule stumped
off with the swaggering limp of an old campaigner, as the troop-horse's head came nuzzling into my breast, and I gave him biscuits, while Vixen, who is a most conceited little dog, told him fibs about the scores of horses that she and I kept.
The hours struck clear in the cabin; the nosing bows slapped and scuffled with the seas; the fo'c'sle stovepipe hissed and sputtered as the spray caught it; and the boys slept on, while Disko, Long Jack, Tom Plait, and Uncle Salters, each in turn, stumped
aft to look at the wheel, forward to see that the anchor held, or to veer out a little more cable against chafing, with a glance at the dim anchor-light between each round.
An angry man stumped
down the veranda, woke him up, and said he was a schoolmaster.
The bottomless well, as I told you," answered Fisher, quietly; "that was what stumped
me from the start.