Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/40

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28
A MAINSAIL HAUL

monkey, and lashes him down good and snug on the drum of the capstan, on the fo'c's'le head. 'Now, you little divvle,' he said, 'will you speak? Will you speak, eh?' But the monkey just grinned at him.

"At the end of the first hour he came again. 'Are ye going to speak, ye little beggar?' he says, and the monkey sits and shivers, but never a word does the little beggar say. And it was the same at four bells, when the look-out man was relieved. But at six bells Billy came again, and the monkey looked mighty cold, and it was a wet perch where he was roosting, and his teeth chattered; yet he didn't speak, not so much as a cat. So just before eight bells, when the watch was nearly out, Billy went forward for the last time. 'If he don't speak now,' says Billy, 'overboard he goes for a dumb animal.'

"Well, the cold green seas had pretty nearly drowned that little monkey. And the sprays had frozen him over like a jacket of ice, and right blue his lips were, and an icicle was a-dangling from his chin, and he was shivering like he had an ague. 'Well, ye little divvle,' says Billy, 'for the last