“Ver’ good boy,” said Manuel, slipping out of his boots and disappearing into the black shadows of the lower bunk. “Expec’ he make good man, Danny. I no see he is any so mad as your parpa he says. Eh, wha-at?”
Dan chuckled, but the chuckle ended in a snore.
It was thick weather outside, with a rising wind, and the elder men stretched their watches. The hour struck clear in the cabin; the nosing bows slapped and scuffed with the seas; the foc’sle stove-pipe hissed and sputtered as the spray caught it; and the boys slept on, while Disko, Long Jack, Tom Platt, and Uncle Salters, each in turn, stumped aft to look at the wheel, forward to see that the anchor held, or to veer out a little more cable against chafing, with a glance at the dim anchor-light between each round.
Harvey waked to find the “first half” at breakfast, the foc’sle door drawn to a crack, and every square inch of the schooner singing its own tune. The black bulk of the cook balanced behind the tiny galley over the glare of the stove, and the pots and pans in the pierced wooden board before it jarred and racketed to each plunge. Up and up the foc’sle climbed, yearning and surging and quivering, and then, with a clear, sickle-like swoop, came down into the seas. He could hear the flaring bows cut and squelch, and there was a pause ere the divided waters came down on the deck above, like a volley of buckshot. Followed the woolly sound of the cable in the hawse-hole; and a grunt and squeal of the windlass; a yaw, a punt, and a kick, and the ‘We’re Here’ gathered herself together to repeat the motions.
“Now, ashore,” he heard Long Jack saying, “ye’ve chores, an’ ye must do thim in any weather. Here we’re well clear of the fleet, an’ we’ve no chores—an’ that’s a blessin’. Good night, all.” He passed like a big snake from the table to his bunk, and began to smoke. Tom Platt followed his example; Uncle Salters, with Penn, fought his way up the ladder to stand his watch, and the cook set for the “second half.”
It came out of its bunks as the others had entered theirs, with a shake and a yawn. It ate till it could eat no more; and then Manuel filled his pipe with some terrible tobacco, crotched himself between the pawl-post and a forward bunk, cocked his feet up on the table, and smiled tender and indolent smiles at the smoke. Dan lay at length in his bunk, wrestling with a gaudy, gilt-stopped accordion, whose tunes went up and down with the pitching of the ‘We’re Here’. The cook, his shoulders against the locker where he kept the fried pies (Dan was fond of fried pies), peeled potatoes, with one eye on the stove in event of too much water finding its way down the pipe; and the general smell and smother were past all description.
Harvey considered affairs, wondered that he was not deathly sick, and crawled into his bunk again, as the softest and safest place, while Dan struck up, “I don’t want to play in your yard,” as accurately as the wild jerks allowed.