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Sailor's Knots, Part 4.

written by "Owen, Will, 1869-1957"
...ng the ship and inquiring for me?" asked the skipper. The mate shook his bewildered head. "Why should they?" he inquired. The skipper made no reply. He sat goggle-eyed, staring straight before him, trying in vain to realize the hardness of the heart that had been responsible for such a scurvy trick. "Besides, it ain't the fust time you've been out all night," remarked the mate, aggressively. The skipper favored him with a glance the dignity of which was somewhat impaired by his complexion, and in a slow and stately fashion ascended to the deck. Then he caught his breath sharply and paled beneath the coaldust as he saw Sergeant Pilbeam standing on the quay, opposite the ship. By his side stood Miss Pilbeam, and both, with a far-away look in their eyes, were smiling vaguely but contentedly at the horizon. The sergeant appeared to be the first to see the skipper. "Ahoy, Darkie!" he cried. Captain Bligh, who was creeping slowly aft, halted, and, clenching his fists, regarded him ferociously. "Give this to the skipper, will you, my lad?" said the sergeant, holding up the jacket Bligh had left behind. "Good-looking young man with a very fine moustache he is." "Was," said his daughter, in a mournful voice. "And a rather dark complexion," continued the sergeant, grinning madly. "I was going to take him—for stealing my coal—but I thought better of it. Thought of a better way. At least, my daughter did. So long; Darkie." He kissed the top of a fat middle finger, and, turning away, walked off with Miss Pilbeam. The skipper stood watching them with his head swimming until, arrived at the corner, they stopped and the sergeant came slowly back. "I was nearly forgetting," he said, slowly. "Tell your skipper that if so be as he wants to apologize—f...

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