"What made you run away?" asked Marco.
"O, I didn't want to stay at home and be abused. My father used to
abuse me; but my mother took my part, and now I want to go and see
"And to see your father too," said Marco.
"No," said the sailor. "I don't care for him. I hope he's gone off
somewhere. But I want to see my mother. I have got a shawl for her in
Marco was shocked to hear a young man speak in such a manner of his
father. Still there was something in the frankness and openness of the
sailor's manner, which pleased him very much. He liked to hear his odd
and sailor-like language too, and he accordingly entered into a
long conversation with him. The sailor gave him an account of his
adventures on the voyage; how he was drawn off from the ship one day,
several miles, by a whale which they had harpooned; - how they caught
a shark, and hauled him in on deck by means of a pulley at the end of
the yard-arm; - and how, on the voyage home, the ship was driven before
an awful gale of wind for five days, under bare poles, with terrific
seas roaring after them all the way. These descriptions took a strong
hold of Marco's imagination.