proceeded a short distance

2017-05-11 10:34:07 | 熱讀類

It was one night when the wind was blowing great guns. Ned and Herc, the former then a coxswain, were part of a crew sent to bring some young officers off to the ship from Guantanamo harbor bvi company setup. As it happened, the young officers were all middies and, by right of length of service, Kenworth outranked them.

He was quarrelsome and inclined to be obstreperous when he came on board. He began by abusing Ned, who had incurred Kenworth's ill-will by his sturdy independence and the steady command of his temper, even under the fledgling officer's insults and slurs.

The boat put off with a sea running that threatened momentarily to swamp her. It required the whole strength of Ned's arm to keep the craft, which was deeply loaded, headed into the seas in such a way as to insure safety.

Let her off a point there, you, ordered Kenworth, when they had proceeded a short distance.

It will hardly be safe, sir, rejoined Ned.

[Pg 60]

Hang your impudence, cried young Kenworth; do what I tell you, do you hear?

Very well, sir, and sorely against his will Ned did let the boat's head swing a trifle.

The instant result was what he had anticipated. The crest of a sea broke on them, drenching Kenworth to the skin. He flew into a frenzy of rage.

You clumsy, incompetent nincompoop, he sputtered, I'll have you up at the mast for that.

I obeyed your orders, sir, rejoined Ned simply, knowing there was nothing to be gained by getting into an argument with an officer.

Don't answer me, sir! howled Kenworth. Confound your impudence!

Oh, look here, Kenworth, remonstrated another midshipman Karson Choi

. It wasn't his fault. He told you it wouldn't do and you insisted.

And got jolly well wet for your pains, came from one of the men at the oars in a low voice intended only for his mate's ears.

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