With these few introductory remarks we now proceed to the first
subject, which is The Sea: Its Habits and Peculiarities, and the
Quaint Creatures Found upon Its Bosom.
From the very start of this expedition to Europe I labored under
a misapprehension. Everybody told me that as soon as I had got
my sea legs I would begin to love the sea with a vast and passionate
love. As a matter of fact I experienced no trouble whatever in
getting my sea legs. They were my regular legs, the same ones I
use on land. It was my sea stomach that caused all the bother.
First I was afraid I should not get it, and that worried me no
little. Then I got it and was regretful. However, that detail
will come up later in a more suitable place. I am concerned now
with the departure.
Somewhere forward a bugle blares; somewhere rearward a bell jangles.
On the deck overhead is a scurry of feet. In the mysterious
bowels of the ship a mighty mechanism opens its metal mouth and
speaks out briskly. Later it will talk on steadily, with a measured
and a regular voice; but now it is heard frequently, yet intermittently,
like the click of a blind man's cane. Beneath your feet the ship,
which has seemed until this moment as solid as a rock, stirs the
least little bit, as though it had waked up.