youthful face was even more than usually forbidding that morning as he stepped amongst the men to his favourite position on one of the guns. He feared an attempt to break through his reserve, some demonstration arising out of last night's adventure, that might be taken advantage of by the men to force their society and friendship upon him. He looked at none of the faces turned curiously in his direction, and his expression of stubborn enmity killed the cheer that sprang from a few of the forecastle passengers, and it tailed into a feeble absurdity. Leaning upon the old wooden gun-carriage, with his arms supporting his chin; he stared at the cleavage of the green sea and the swelling foam, feeling at his back all the time the cackle of criticism, like an irritation of the spinal marrow, chafing fretfully at this further proof of the failure of his long endeavour to school himself into complete indifference.
Absolute serenity in the teeth of public opinion--good, bad, or indifferent--that was an ideal frame