These did more good than the pure water: the pillar of smoke became blacker, denser: we were at a crisis; a sudden hush denoted it; even our hoarse skipper stood dumb.
Looking up in an enforced pause, I saw Santos whispering in the skipper's ear, with the expression of a sphinx but no lack of foreign gesticulation - behind them a fringe of terror-stricken faces, parted at that instant by two more figures, as wild and strange as any in that wild, strange scene.
"By and by, the schooners full of copra and beche-de-mer and our trees empty of cocoanuts, the three skippers and that mate called us all together for a big talk.
"The six men who were put ashore were the first to catch the devil-devil the skippers sent back after us."
"Aye," the skipper went on wearily, "an' on both sides the steam- pipe uz well.
The taste of the land was strong in the men's mouths, and strong it was in the skipper's mouth as he muttered a gruff good day to the departing pilot, and himself went down to his cabin.
At this the skipper danced on the bridge and said something about Disko's own eyes.
"'Well, tbat's a boat-load of lunatics, sure," said the skipper, as he rang up the engine-room and tossed a bundle of newspapers into the schooner.
For a man caught, as it were, between his skipper
and the great West Wind silence is the safest sort of diplomacy.
With all my strength I threw the helm to starboard; but it was too late to effect the purpose of our skipper. The best I did was to scrape alongside the sub.
Our brave skipper was missing, as were eight others.
"Her skipper's rotten bad with fever," Sheldon explained.
"I was saying that the condition of the Flibberty-Gibbet was disgraceful, and that to-morrow, when you've told the skipper and not hurt his feelings, I am going to take my men out and give her an overhauling.
You could see at once he was the skipper of a big ship.
Powell, they aren't ready, worse luck," says that skipper. "I've got to ask you to strike out my second officer." He seemed excited and bothered.