Excerpt:-Some time before I arrived on deck a vessel had been descried on the port bow, and now at this hour of four she had risen to the tacks of her courses, and her sails shone so radiantly in the dusky distance that at the first glance I knew her to be an American. The captain of my ship, a man named Hoste, was pacing the deck near the wheel ; I trudged the planks a little way forward of him, stepping athwart-ships, or from side to side. The men, who were getting their supper, passed in and out of the galley, carrying hook-pots of steaming tea. It was an hour of liberty with them, the first of what is called the "dog watches." The gloom of the sky seemed to heighten the quietude that was upon the ship. The sailors talked low, and their laughter was sudden and short. All was silent aloft, the sails stirless to the gushing of the long salt breath of the east wind into the wide spaces of cloths, and nothing sounded over the side save the dim crackling and soft seething noises of waters broken under the bow, and sobbing and simmering past, with now and again a glad note like the fall of a fountain.
The captain picked up a telescope that lay uponthe skylight, and crossing the deck took a view of the approaching ship; then approached me.
"She is an American," he said.
Author: William Clark Russell
Title: The Tragedy of Ida Noble
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