Quote of the Day

‘Bless us all,’ said Jack, ‘I had no notion you were such a man of blood, dear Doctor.’

‘You must be uncommon deadly when you are in practice,’ said Macdonald. ‘A horrid quick murdering lunge. I should not care to go out with you, sir. You may call me pudding, I will bear it meekly. Do you choose to try the pistols?’

Jack, watching from his side of the quarterdeck, was wholly amazed: he had no idea that Stephen could hold a sword, nor yet load a pistol, still less knock the pips out of a playing-card at twenty paces: yet he had known him intimately. He was pleased that his friend was doing so well; he was pleased at the respectful silence; but he was a little sad that he could not join in, that he stood necessarily aloof — the captain could not compete — and he was obscurely heavy. There was something disagreeable, and somehow reptilian, about the cold, contained way Stephen took up his stance, raised his pistol, looked along the barrel with his pale eyes, and shot the head off the king of hearts. Jack’s certainties wavered; he turned to look at his new bentinicks, smoothly filled, drawing to perfection. Finisterre would be under their lee by now, some sixty leagues away; and presently, about midnight, he would alter course eastward — eastward, for Ortegal and the Bay

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