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Light Freights
written by "Jacobs, W. W. (William Wymark), 1863-1943"
...'im, Bill,' ses Joe. 'There's two of you, an' if you only do wot's expected of you, the mate ought to 'ave a easy time abed this v'y'ge.' "'Let the mate start fust,' ses Ted Hill. 'He's sure to start on you if you only get in 'is way. Lord, I'd like to see his face when you start on 'im. "Well, the two of 'em went ashore arter dark with the best wishes o' all on board, an' the rest of us sat down in the fo'c's'le spekerlating as to what sort o' time the mate was goin' to 'ave. He went ashore all right, because Ted Hill see 'im go, an' he noticed with partikler pleasure as 'ow he was dressed very careful. "It must ha' been near eleven o'clock. I was sitting with Smith on the port side o' the galley, when we heard a 'ubbub approaching the ship. It was the mate just coming aboard. He was without 'is 'at; 'is necktie was twisted round 'is ear, and 'is shirt and 'is collar was all torn to shreds. The second and third officers ran up to him to see what was the matter, and while he was telling them, up comes the skipper. "'You don't mean to tell me, Mr. Fingall,' ses the skipper, in surprise, 'that you've been knocked about like that by them mild and meek Hindoos?' "'Hindoos, sir?' roared the mate. 'Certainly not, sir. I've been assaulted like this by five German sailor-men. And I licked 'em all.' "'I'm glad to hear that,' ses the skipper; and the second and third pats the mate on the back, just like you pat a dog you don't know. "'Big fellows they was,' ses he, 'an' they give me some trouble. Look at my eye!' "The second officer struck a match and looked at it, and it cert'n'y was a beauty. "'I hope you reported this at the police station?' ses the skipper. "'No, sir,' ses the mate, holding up 'is 'ead. 'I don't want no p'lice to protect me. Five's a large number, but I drove 'em off, and I don't think they'll meddle with any British fust officers again.' "'You'd better turn in,' ses the second, l...

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