The Cruise Of The Snark, By Jack London

 -   It was absurd and grotesque.
But Roscoe, still looking east, averred that it was not yet twelve
o'clock.  He was - Page 60
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It Was Absurd And Grotesque. But Roscoe, Still Looking East, Averred That It Was Not Yet Twelve O'clock.

He was bent on giving us a twenty-knot clip.

Then we began to train our sextants rather wildly all around the horizon, and wherever we looked, there was the sun, puzzlingly close to the sky-line, sometimes above it and sometimes below it. In one direction the sun was proclaiming morning, in another direction it was proclaiming afternoon. The sun was all right - we knew that; therefore we were all wrong. And the rest of the afternoon we spent in the cockpit reading up the matter in the books and finding out what was wrong. We missed the observation that day, but we didn't the next. We had learned.

And we learned well, better than for a while we thought we had. At the beginning of the second dog-watch one evening, Charmian and I sat down on the forecastle-head for a rubber of cribbage. Chancing to glance ahead, I saw cloud-capped mountains rising from the sea. We were rejoiced at the sight of land, but I was in despair over our navigation. I thought we had learned something, yet our position at noon, plus what we had run since, did not put us within a hundred miles of land. But there was the land, fading away before our eyes in the fires of sunset. The land was all right. There was no disputing it. Therefore our navigation was all wrong.

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