‘Silence, now!’ cried Finn; ‘let’s listen.’

We all strained our ears. Nothing broke the silence but the[184] sulky wash of the sea outside, seething dully, the half-stifled respirations of the sailors, who found it difficult to control their hurricane lungs, and the familiar creaking noises breaking out in various parts of the fabric to her swayings. Impressed as I was by the agreement amongst the men—and I had come besides to this forecastle with the memory very fresh in me of the mysterious voices I had before heard—I could scarcely hold my 杭州品茶sn微信 face as I stood listening, with my eye glancing from one hairy countenance 杭州洗浴哪里服务最好 to another. The variety of the Jacks’ postures, the knowing cock of a head here and there, the unwinking stare, the strained hearkening attitude, the illustration of superstitious emotions by


expressions which were rendered grotesque by the swing of the lamp, the half-suffocated looks of some of the fellows who were trying to draw their breaths softly, formed a picture to appeal irresistibly to one’s sense of the ridiculous.

Three minutes passed, it might have been hours, so long the time seemed.

‘Seems it’s done jawing, whatever it is,’ said Finn.

We listened again.

‘Tell ’ee it’s rats, lads,’ said Finn.

‘As the cuss was meant for this ’ere craft,’ exclaimed the deep voice that had before spoken, ‘perhaps if her owner 杭州桑拿会所体验网 was to come below, the sperrit, if so be it’s that, ’ud tarn to and talk out 杭州夜生活论坛网 again.’

‘Tell ’ee, it’s rats!’ cried Finn scornfully.

‘Rats!’ exclaimed Crimp, with great irritation, ‘if that’s all why don’t Sir Wilfrid lay forrard and listen for hisself?’

‘Won’t he come?’ said one of the



‘Come! no,’ rattled out Crimp, ‘and why? ’Cause he knows it’s the truth.’

‘Well,’ exclaimed Cutbill, ‘speaking with all proper respect, seems to me that what’s meat for the dawg ought to be meat for the man in the likes of such a humble-come-tumble out of the maintop into the main-hold sort o’ job as this.’

There was now some grumbling.杭州桑拿美女 Crimp had enabled the men to guess that Wilfrid was afraid to enter the forecastle, and sundry sarcasms, with a mutinous touch in them, passed from bunk to bunk.

‘Avast!’ roared Finn; ‘listen if he’ll speak now.’

But no sound resembling a human syllable entered the stillness.

‘It’s rats, I tell ’ee,’ shouted the skipper, making to go on deck. ‘Come along, Mr. Monson. Blamed now 杭州哪里有特色足浴if I believe that Jacob is the only 杭州龙凤网 grandmother as has signed articles for this here woyage.’

But as I followed him the exclamations I caught determined me on advising Wilfrid to come forward. He had left Miss Jennings standing alone at the rail, and was walking swiftly here and there with an irritability of gesture that was a sure symptom in him[185] of a troubled and active imagination. On catching sight of me as I emerged out of the blind shadow on the forward part of the yacht, he cried out eagerly, ‘Well, what have you heard? Is it a voice, Charles?’

‘There is nothing to hear,’ I answered. ‘Finn disrespectfully calls it rats.’

‘What else, your honour?’ exclaimed Finn, ‘the squeaking of rats ain’t unlike a sort o’ language. Put the noise they make along with the straining of bulkheads and the like of such sounds and let the boiling be listened to by a parcel of ignorant sailors, and I allow ye’ll get what might be tarmed a supernatural woice.’