Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/65

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THE WESTERN ISLANDS

53

"'When I says sperrits,' says the parson feller, 'I mean ghosts.'

"'Of course ye do,' says Joe.

"'Yes, ghosts,' says the parson. 'And by ghosts I mean sperrits. And by sperrits I mean white things. And by white things I mean things as turn your hair white. And there's red devils there, and blue devils there, and a great gold queen a-waiting for a man to kiss her. And the first man as dares to kiss that queen, why he becomes king, and all her sacks of gold become his.'

"'Begging your pardon, sir,' said Jerry, 'but whereabouts might these here islands be?'

"'Why, in the west,' says the parson. 'In the west, where the sun sets.'

"'Ah,' said Joe and Jerry. 'What wonders there are in the world.'

*****

"Now, after that, neither one of them could think of anything but these here western islands. So at last they take their smack, and off they go in search of them. And Joe had a barrel of beer in the bows, and Jerry had a box of twist in the