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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/129

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A DIFFERENT CLOUD ENTERS ON THE SCENE.

"Trust in God."

"Take care what you say. Do not utter that dread name lightly."

"I will sound, I tell you."

"Be sensible; you will have a gale of wind presently."

"I say that I will try for soundings."

"The resistance of the water will prevent the lead from sinking, and the line will break. Ah, so this is your first experience in these waters?"

"My first."

"Very well; in that case listen, Captain."

The tone of the word "listen" was so commanding that the captain made an obeisance: "Master Doctor, I am all attention."

"Port your helm, and haul up on the starboard tack!"

"What do you mean?"

"Direct your course westward."

"Caramba!"

"Direct your course westward."

"Impossible!"

"As you will. What I tell you is for the sake of the others. As for myself, I am indifferent."

"But, Master Doctor, steer west?"

"Yes, Captain."

"The wind will be dead against us."

"Yes, Captain."

"She'll pitch like the devil."

"Moderate your language. Yes, Captain."

"The vessel would be in irons."

"Yes, Captain."

"That means very likely the mast will go."

"Possibly."

"And yet you wish me to steer westward?"

"Yes."

"I cannot."