Leaving the brilliantly lighted saloon I went on deck with Captain Corsican
Too Long; Didn't ReadLeaving the brilliantly lighted saloon I went on deck with Captain Corsican. The night was dark; not a star in the firmament; an impenetrable gloom surrounded the ship. The windows of the saloon shone like the mouths of furnaces; the man on watch, heavily pacing the poop, was scarcely discernible, but one could breathe the fresh air, and the Captain inhaled it with expanded lungs.
“I was stifled in the saloon,” said he; “here at least I can breathe. I require my hundred cubic yards of pure air every twenty-four hours, or I get half suffocated.”
“Breathe, Captain, breathe at your ease,” said I to him; “the breeze does not stint your wants. Oxygen is a good thing, but it must be confessed Parisians and Londoners know it only by reputation.”
“Yes,” replied the Captain, “and they prefer carbonic acid. Ah well! every one to his liking; for my own part I detest it, even in champagne.”
Thus talking, we paced up and down the deck on the starboard side, sheltered from the wind by the high partitions of the deck cabins. Great wreaths of smoke, illuminated with sparks, curled from the black chimneys; the noise of the engines accompanied the whistling of the wind in the shrouds, which sounded like the cords of a harp. Mingling with this hubbub, each quarter of an hour, came the cry of the sailors on deck, “All’s well, all’s well.”