He filled his lungs and hailed ‘Polychrest’ in a tone that echoed back from Portsmouth and stopped the mild gossip in the launch stone dead. ‘Polychrest!’
‘Sir?’ came back Bonden’s voice out of the dripping gloom.
‘Double up to the inn, d’ye hear me? Up the lane. Bring your stretchers.’
In a moment the launch was empty. Stretchers, the boat’s long wooden footrests, meant a row. The captain was no doubt pressing some hands, and they, pressed men themselves, did not mean to miss a second of the fun.
Post Captain – Patrick O’Brian