They did not have to wait long. Precisely at midday the bell rang for dinner. Mr. Bredejord and the doctor, went to the table of the commander. There they found Tudor Brown already seated, with his hat on his head, and he did not manifest the least inclination to enter into any relations with his neighbors. The man proved to be so rude and coarse that he disarmed indignation. He seemed to be ignorant of the simplest rules of politeness. He helped himself first, chose the best portions, and ate and drank like an ogre. Two or three times the commander, and Dr. Schwaryencrona addressed a few words to him. He did not even deign to speak, but answered them by gestures.
That did not prevent him however, when he had finished his repast, and armed himself with an enormous tooth-pick, from throwing himself back in his seat, and saying to Mr. Marsilas:
“What day shall we reach Gibraltar?”
“About the nineteenth or twentieth I think,” answered the captain.
Tudor Brown drew a book from his pocket, and examined his calendar.
“That will bring us to Malta on the twenty-second, to Alexandria on the twenty-fifth, and to Aden at the end of the month,” said he, as if speaking to himself.
Then he got up, and going on deck again, began to pace up and down.
“A pleasant traveling companion truly,” Mr. Marsilas could not help saying.
Mr. Bredejord was about to answer, when a frightful noise at the head of the staircase prevented him. They heard cries, and barking, and a confusion of voices. Everybody arose and ran on deck.
The tumult had been caused by Kaas, Mr. Hersebom’s Greenland dog. It seemed that he did not approve of Mr. Tudor Brown, for after evincing his displeasure by low growls every time he passed and repassed him, he finished by seizing him by the legs. Tudor Brown had drawn his revolver from his pocket, and was about to use it when Otto appeared on the scene and prevented him from doing so, and then sent Kaas away to his kennel. A stormy discussion then took place. Tudor Brown, white with rage and terror, insisted that the dog’s brains should be blown out. Mr. Hersebom, who had come to the rescue, protested warmly against such a project.
The commander arriving at this moment, settled the matter by desiring Tudor Brown to put away his revolver, and decreeing that henceforth Kaas must be kept chained.
This ridiculous incident was the only one that varied the monotony of their first days of voyaging. Every one became accustomed to the silence and strange manners of Tudor Brown. At the captain’s table they at length took no more notice of him than if he had not been in existence. Everybody pursued their own avocations.
Mr. Malarius, after passing two days in bed, was able to crawl upon deck, he commenced to eat, and was soon able to take his place at the innumerable whist parties of the doctor and Mr. Bredejord.