Sigsand Manuscript


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Williams turned towards me, and spoke.
"Gawd!" he said, "it's started agen!"
"What?" I said. Though I knew what he meant.
"Them syles," he answered, and made a gesture towards the fore royal.
I glanced up, briefly. All the lee side of the sail was adrift, from the bunt gasket outwards. Lower, I saw Tom; he was just hoisting himself into the t'gallant rigging.
Williams spoke again.
"We lost two on 'em just sime way, comin' art."
"Two of the men!" I exclaimed.
"Yus!" he said tersely.
"I can't understand," I went on. "I never heard anything about it."
"Who'd yer got ter tell yer abart it?" he asked.
I made no reply to his question; indeed, I had scarcely comprehended it, for the problem of what I ought to do in the matter had risen again in my mind.
"I've a good mind to go aft and tell the Second Mate all I know," I said. "He's seen something himself that he can't explain away, and--and anyway I can't stand this state of things. If the Second Mate knew all--"
"Garn!" he cut in, interrupting me. "An' be told yer're a blastid hidiot. Not yer. Yer sty were yer are."
I stood irresolute. What he had said, was perfectly correct, and I was positively stumped what to do for the best. That there was danger aloft, I was convinced; though if I had been asked my reasons for supposing this, they would have been hard to find. Yet of its existence, I was as certain as though my eyes already saw it. I wondered whether, being so ignorant of the form it would assume, I could stop it by joining Tom on the yard? This thought came as I stared up at the royal.