I moved back a step or two, and stood as in a dream, all my senses
stupefied by this frantic assault.
'What you standing there for? Take that ice-pitcher down to the texas-
tender-come, move along, and don't you be all day about it!'
The moment I got back to the pilot-house, Brown said -
'Here! What was you doing down there all this time?'
'I couldn't find the texas-tender; I had to go all the way to the
'Derned likely story! Fill up the stove.'
I proceeded to do so. He watched me like a cat. Presently he shouted -
'Put down that shovel! Deadest numskull I ever saw - ain't even got
sense enough to load up a stove.'
All through the watch this sort of thing went on. Yes, and the
subsequent watches were much like it, during a stretch of months. As I
have said, I soon got the habit of coming on duty with dread. The moment
I was in the presence, even in the darkest night, I could feel those
yellow eyes upon me, and knew their owner was watching for a pretext to
spit out some venom on me. Preliminarily he would say -
'Here! Take the wheel.'
Two minutes later -
'WHERE in the nation you going to?