Captain Kettle is a most engaging scoundrel. Small, truculent, with a little red beard, he has a code of honour which causes him to stick at nothing in his employer's interests, and is always pulling him up when he is on the point of making his own fortune. Ashore he goes regularly to chapel, loves Mrs. Kettle, and fears God. At sea he swears horribly, fears nothing, and is surprisingly handy with a revolver.
alescent banks of the fog.
They had reason for their anxiety. Not five minutes before, a long lean torpedo-catcher had raced up out of the thickness, and slowed down alongside with the Channel spindrift blowing over her low superstructure in white hail-storms. An officer on the upper bridge in glistening oilskins had sent across a sharp authoritative hail, and had been answered: "Sultan of Borneo; Kettle, master; from South Shields to the Havana."
"What cargo?" came the next question.
"Then Mr. Tyne Coal for the Havana, just heave to whilst I send away a boat to look at you. I fancy you will be the steamboat I'm sent to find and fetch back."
The decks of the uncomfortable warship had hummed with men, a pair of boat davits had swung outboard, and the boat had been armed and manned with naval noise and quickness. But just then a billow of the fog had driven down upon them, blanket-like in its thickness, which closed all human vision beyond