‘Sir,’ came Dillon’s voice over the intervening sea, ‘you will be pleased to hear the Norwegians are all safe.’
‘The – Norwegians – are – all – safe.’ The two vessels came closer. ‘They hid in a secret place in the forepeak — in the forepeak,’ went on Dillon.
‘Oh, fuck their forepeak,’ muttered the quartermaster at the wheel; for the Sophie was all ears — a very religious hush.
‘Full and by!’ cried Jack angrily, as the topsails shivered under the influence of the quartermaster’s emotion. ‘Keep her full and by.’
‘Full and by it is, sir.’
‘And the master says,’ continued the distant voice, ‘could we send a surgeon aboard, because one of his men hurt his toe hurrying down the ladder.’
‘Tell the master, from me,’ cried Jack, in a voice that reached almost to Cagliari, his face purple with effort and furious indignation, ‘tell the master that he can take his man’s toe and fuck with it.’
He stumped below, £875 the poorer, and looking thoroughly sour and disagreeable.
Master and Commander – Patrick O’Brian