'Twixt Land & Sea: Tales: (5*8)
Independently Published, 22 May 2020 - 150 sayfa
By half-past seven in the morning, the ship being then inside the harbour at last and moored within a long stone's-throw from the quay, my stock of philosophy was nearly exhausted. I was dressing hurriedly in my cabin when the steward came tripping in with a morning suit over his arm. Hungry, tired, and depressed, with my head engaged inside a white shirt irritatingly stuck together by too much starch, I desired him peevishly to "heave round with that breakfast." I wanted to get ashore as soon as possible. "Yes, sir. Ready at eight, sir. There's a gentleman from the shore waiting to speak to you, sir." This statement was curiously slurred over. I dragged the shirt violently over my head and emerged staring. "So early!" I cried. "Who's he? What does he want?" On coming in from sea one has to pick up the conditions of an utterly unrelated existence. Every little event at first has the peculiar emphasis of novelty. I was greatly surprised by that early caller; but there was no reason for my steward to look so particularly foolish. "Didn't you ask for the name?" I inquired in a stern tone. "His name's Jacobus, I believe," he mumbled shamefacedly. "Mr. Jacobus!" I exclaimed loudly, more surprised than ever, but with a total change of feeling. "Why couldn't you say so at once?" But the fellow had scuttled out of my room. Through the momentarily opened door I had a glimpse of a tall, stout man standing in the cuddy by the table on which the cloth was already laid; a "harbour" table-cloth, stainless and dazzlingly white. So far good. I shouted courteously through the closed door, that I was dressing and would be with him in a moment. In return the assurance that there was no hurry reached me in the visitor's deep, quiet undertone. His time was my own. He dared say I would give him a cup of coffee presently.
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