all this?" he asked with a wide sweep of his arm. "Kind of queer, eh?"
"Well, no," drawled the big mate, tugging at his long beard. "No; not that I know of, Stirling. Everything's on deck as far as I can see. The old man is a part owner--it's a private venture. He and Whitehouse know their business. Just keep your tongue spliced and say nothing. The old man will be in the cabin at six bells. We'll talk to him then; if you want to go ashore, you can. If you stay, I'll promise you some fair game on a man's sea."
Stirling took a turn about the quarter-deck of the Pole Star, then came back to the rail and leaned over. Marr had disappeared.
A bell struck over the misted waters of the city, and was followed by others. A roar sounded to the westward, where the surf beat upon Seal Rocks and the entrance to the harbour. A salty gust stirred the standing rigging of the ship, and it filled the Ice Pilot's lungs with remembered calling. He braced his shoulders, lifted his head, and felt like
* A trip in the far North aboard a ship, but for what reason?
* Ice Pilot? An experienced navigator of the Northern seas.
* A ship, a man, a woman, good guys and some bad guys.
* What else needs be said.
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