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HOW I STOLE THE QUAP

She hesitated.

She touched the lapel of my coat. "I love you now," she said, and lifted her face to mine.

I held her to me and was atremble from top to toe. "O God!" I cried. "And I must go!"

She slipped from my arms and paused regarding me. For an instant the world seemed full of fantastic possibilities.

"Yes, Go!" she said, and vanished and slammed the door upon me, leaving me alone like a man new fallen from fairyland in the black darkness of the night.


§3

That expedition to Mordet Island stands apart from all the rest of my life, detached, a piece by itself with an atmosphere of its own. It would, I suppose, make a book by itself—it has made a fairly voluminous official report—but so far as this novel of mine goes it is merely an episode, a contributory experience, and I mean to keep it at that.

Vile weather, an impatient fretting against unbearable slowness and delay, sea-sickness, general discomfort and humiliating self-revelation are the master values of these memories.

I was sick all through the journey out. I don't know why. It was the only time I was ever seasick, and I have seen some pretty bad weather since I became a boat-builder. But that phantom smell of potatoes was peculiarly vile to me. Coming back on the brig we were all ill, every one of us, so soon as we got to sea, poisoned I firmly believe by quap. On the way out most of the others recovered in a few days, but the