Quote of the Day

But this was nothing to the trial of meeting Dr Maturin on the water; for Stephen had been inspired to put off from the shore at about the same time, though from a different place, and their courses converged some three furlongs from the frigate’s side. Stephen’s conveyance was one of the Lively‘s cutters, which saluted Jack by tossing oars, and which fell under his wherry’s lee, so that they pulled in close company, Stephen calling out pleasantly all the way. Jack caught a frightened glance from Killick, noticed the wooden composure of the midshipman and the cutter’s crew, saw the grinning face of Matthew Paris, an old Polychrest, Stephen’s servant, once a framework knitter and still no kind of seaman — no notion of common propriety in his myopic, friendly gaze. And as Stephen rose to wave and hoot, Jack saw that he was dressed from head to foot in a single tight dull-brown garment; it clung to him, and his pale, delighted face emerged from a woolen roll at the top, looking unnaturally large. His general appearance was something between that of an attenuated ape and a meagre heart; and he was carrying his narwhal horn. Captain Aubrey’s back and shoulders went perfectly rigid: he adopted the features of one who is smiling; he even called out, ‘Good morning to you — yes — no — ha, ha.’ And as he recompose do them to a look of immovable gravity and unconcern, the thought darted through his mind, ‘I believe the wicked old creature is drunk.’

Post Captain – Patrick O’Brian

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