I could not help listening to the talk at the next table, because the orchestra was quiet and the conversation unrestrained; then, too, a nautical phrasing caught my ear and aroused my attention. For I had been a lifelong student of nautical matters. A side glance showed me the speaker, a white-haired, sunburned old fellow in immaculate evening dress. With him at the table in the restaurant were other similarly clad men, evidently of good station in life, and in their answers and comments these men addressed the white-haired man as Commodore. A navy captain, I thought, promoted on retirement. His talk bore it out. Yes, sirree he said, as he thumped the table mildly. "A good, tight merchant ship, with nothing wrong except what might be ascribed to neglect such as light canvas blown away and ropes cast off the pins, with no signs of fire, leak, or conflict to drive the crew out, with plenty of grub in the stores and plenty of water in the tanks.
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June 30, 2010
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