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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/125

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A DIFFERENT CLOUD ENTERS ON THE SCENE.

the tide is running against the wind; by-and-by, when it turns, we shall be all right."

"Have you a chart?"

"No; not for this channel."

"Then you sail by rule of thumb?"

"Not at all. I have a compass."

"The compass is one eye, the chart the other."

"A man with one eye can see."

"How do you compute the difference between the true and apparent course?"

"I've got my standard compass, and I make a guess."

"To guess is all very well. To know for a certainty is better."

"Christopher[1] guessed."

"When there is a fog and the needle revolves treacherously, you can never tell on which side you should look out for squalls; and the end of it is that you know neither the real nor apparent day's work. An ass with his chart is better off than a wizard with his oracle."

"There is no fog yet, and I see no cause for alarm."

"Ships are like flies in the spider's web of the sea."

"Just now both winds and waves are tolerably favourable."

"Black specks quivering on the billows,—such are men on the ocean."

"I dare say there will be nothing wrong to-night."

"You may get into a mess that you will find it hard to get out of."

"Yes; but all goes well at present."

The doctor's eyes were fixed on the northeast. The captain continued:—

"Let us once reach the Gulf of Gascony, and I can answer for our safety. Ah, I am at home there! I know it well, my Gulf of Gascony! It is a little basin,

  1. Columbus.