We was always on the look-out for it. But by and by, towards dawn,
she was gone. When the day come we couldn't see her anywhere, and we
warn't sorry, neither.
'But next night about half-past nine, when there was songs and high
jinks going on, here she comes again, and took her old roost on the
stabboard side. There warn't no more high jinks. Everybody got solemn;
nobody talked; you couldn't get anybody to do anything but set around
moody and look at the bar'l. It begun to cloud up again. When the watch
changed, the off watch stayed up, 'stead of turning in. The storm ripped
and roared around all night, and in the middle of it another man tripped
and sprained his ankle, and had to knock off. The bar'l left towards
day, and nobody see it go.
'Everybody was sober and down in the mouth all day. I don't mean the
kind of sober that comes of leaving liquor alone - not that. They was
quiet, but they all drunk more than usual - not together - but each man
sidled off and took it private, by himself.
'After dark the off watch didn't turn in; nobody sung, nobody talked;
the boys didn't scatter around, neither; they sort of huddled together,
forrard; and for two hours they set there, perfectly still, looking
steady in the one direction, and heaving a sigh once in a while.