Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/35

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23
A SAILOR'S YARN

'liberty-day' of four-and-twenty hours, with twenty dollars pay to blue, and no questions asked if they came aboard drunk. So forward goes all hands merrily, to rout out their go-ashore things, their red handkerchiefs, and 'sombre-airers,' for to astonish the Dons. And ashore they goes the next morning, after breakfast, with their silver dollars in their fists, and the jolly-boat to take them. And ashore they steps, and 'So long' they says to the young fellows in the boat, and so up the Mole to the beautiful town of Panama.

"Now the next morning that fellow Bill I told you of was tacking down the city to the boat, singing some song or another. And when he got near to the jetty he went fumbling in his pocket for his pipe, and what should he find but a silver dollar that had slipped away and been saved. So he thinks, 'If I go aboard with this dollar, why the hands'll laugh at me; besides, it's a wasting of it not to spend it.' So he cast about for some place where he could blue it in.

"Now close by where he stood there was a sort of a great store, kept by a Johnny Dago. And if I were to tell you of the things they had in it, I