Captain Davenport debated for a moment, and then McCoy heard the question he had not wanted to hear, but which he knew was surely coming.
At daylight, with Pitcairn three miles to windward, Captain Davenport made out two canoes coming off to him.
"Eleven," Captain Davenport answered, with a final glance at the water rushing past.
Captain Davenport had been under the fearful strain of navigating his burning ship for over two weeks, and he was beginning to feel that he had had enough.
Captain Davenport had his blankets brought up and spread on top the house.
Captain Davenport compromised on a point and a half, and then went aloft, accompanied by McCoy and the first mate, to keep a lookout for land.
The three watchers aloft stared intently into the pearly radiance."What if we miss Mangareva?" Captain Davenport asked abruptly.
"Then drive it is." Captain Davenport evidenced his intention of descending to the deck.
"Here is Moerenhout Island," Captain Davenport pointed it out on the chart, which he had spread on the house.
"We'll take the chance," was Captain Davenport's decision, as he set about working out the course.
Captain Davenport worked up his dead reckoning, allowing generously for drift, and announced Moerenhout Island to be not more than ten miles off.
"But the land is there, I tell you," Captain Davenport shouted to them from the poop.
But Captain Davenport ignored his figures with so contemptuous a silence as to make Mr.
Konig grinned vindictively and turned away, while Captain Davenport leaned against the cabin and for half an hour spoke no word, contenting himself with gazing to leeward with an expression of musing hopelessness on his face.
"Well, forty miles beyond them are two islands?" Captain Davenport queried, raising his head from the chart.