Sigsand Manuscript


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They returned with him to the ship where he was made comfortable in a spare bunk and on the next day being sufficiently recovered, told how that he had been one of the A.B.'s in the Cyclops, and how that she had broached to while running before the gale two nights previously, and gone down with all hands. He had found himself floating beside her battered lifeboat, which had evidently been torn from its place on the skids as the ship capsized; he had managed to get hold of the lifelines and climb into her, and since then, how he had managed to exist, he could not say.
Two days later, the man who had fallen through the breaking of the crane line expired; at which some of the crew were uneasy, declaring that the old packet was going back on them.
"It's as I said," remarked one of the Ordinaries, "she's 'er bloomin', 'aunted tin kettle, an' if it weren't better bein' 'aunted 'n 'ungry, I'd bloomin' well stay ashore!" Therein he may be said to have voiced the general sentiments of the rest.
With this man dying, Captain Tom Pemberton offered to sign on Tarpin-the man they had picked up-in his place. Tarpin thankfully accepted, and took the dead man's place in the forecastle; for though undeniably an old man, he was, as he had already shown on a couple of occasions, a smart sailor.
He was specially adept at rope splicing, and had a peculiarly shaped marlinspike, from which he was never separated. It served him as a weapon too, and occasionally some of the crew thought he drew it too freely.
And now it appeared that the ship's bad genius was determined to prove it was by no means so black as it had been painted; for matters went on quietly and evenly for two complete weeks, during which the ship wandered across the line into the Southern Tropics, and there slid into one of those hateful calms which lurk there remorselessly awaiting their prey.
For two days Captain Tom Pemberton whistled vainly for wind: on the third he swore (under his breath when his wife was about, otherwise when she was below). On the evening of the fourth day he ceased to say naughty words about the lack of wind, for something happened, something altogether inexplicable and frightening: so much so that he was careful to tell his wife nothing concerning the matter, she having been below at the time.


 航海士らは船に戻ると、連れてきた男を予備の寝台に落ち着かせた。次の日には男は十分な回復を見せ、自分がサイクロプス号のA.B. (<A.B>級の資格を持つ熟練甲板員)であったことや、二昼夜の嵐によって船に穴が空き、ついには海の藻屑と消えてしまったことなどを語った。彼は言った。気が付いた時には、船の壊れかけた救命艇の側で浮かんでいた。ボートは明らかに、船が転覆した時に吐き出されて、漂ってきたに違いなかった。やっとの思いで救命艇に取り縋り、身体を滑り込ませたのだが、それからどうやって生き延びる事ができたのかは、全く覚えていない。