“Dead sleepy,” said Harvey, nodding forward.
“Mustn’t sleep on watch. Rouse up an’ see ef our anchor-light’s bright an’ shinin’. You’re on watch now, Harve.”
“Pshaw! What’s to hurt us? ’Bright’s day. Sn-orrr!”
“Jest when things happen, Dad says. Fine weather’s good sleepin’, an’ ‘fore you know, mebbe, you’re cut in two by a liner, an’ seventeen brass-bound officers, all gen’elmen, lift their hand to it that your lights was aout an’ there was a thick fog. Harve, I’ve kinder took to you, but ef you nod onet more I’ll lay into you with a rope’s end.”
The moon, who sees many strange things on the Banks, looked down on a slim youth in knickerbockers and a red jersey, staggering around the cluttered decks of a seventy-ton schooner, while behind him, waving a knotted rope, walked, after the manner of an executioner, a boy who yawned and nodded between the blows he dealt.
The lashed wheel groaned and kicked softly, the riding-sail slatted a little in the shifts of the light wind, the windlass creaked, and the miserable procession continued. Harvey expostulated, threatened, whimpered, and at last wept outright, while Dan, the words clotting on his tongue, spoke of the beauty of watchfulness and slashed away with the rope’s end, punishing the dories as often as he hit Harvey. At last the clock in the cabin struck ten, and upon the tenth stroke little Penn crept on deck. He found two boys in two tumbled heaps side by side on the main hatch, so deeply asleep that he actually rolled them to their berths.
It was the forty-fathom slumber that clears the soul and eye and heart, and sends you to breakfast ravening. They emptied a big tin dish of juicy fragments of fish—the blood-ends the cook had collected overnight. They cleaned up the plates and pans of the elder mess, who were out fishing, sliced pork for the midday meal, swabbed down the foc’sle, filled the lamps, drew coal and water for the cook, and investigated the fore-hold, where the boat’s stores were stacked. It was another perfect day—soft, mild, and clear; and Harvey breathed to the very bottom of his lungs.
More schooners had crept up in the night, and the long blue seas were full of sails and dories. Far away on the horizon, the smoke of some liner, her hull invisible, smudged the blue, and to eastward a big ship’s top-gallant sails, just lifting, made a square nick in it. Disko Troop was smoking by the roof of the cabin—one eye on the craft around, and the other on the little fly at the main-mast-head.
“When Dad kerfiummoxes that way,” said Dan in a whisper, “he’s doin’ some high-line thinkin’ fer all hands. I’ll lay my wage an’ share we’ll make berth soon. Dad he knows the cod, an’ the Fleet they know Dad knows. ’See ’em comm’ up one by one, lookin’ fer nothin’ in particular, o’ course, but scrowgin’ on us all the time? There’s the Prince Leboo;