Wings of the Wind
Early next morning we were under way when Tommy pounded on my stateroom door, challenging me to a dip overboard. There was a glorious joy in his voice, as far reaching as reveille, that found response in the cockles of my heart. Gates, never happier than when standing beneath stretched canvas, hove-to as he saw us dash stark naked up the companionway stairs and clear the rail head-first, but he laid by only while we had our splash and continued the course southward the moment our hands grasped the gangway.
"We're cruising, not swimming," he said bluntly, as we reached the deck. "But I'll say this," he called after us, "you're both in about as fine condition as men get to be. I'll give that to the Army!" Which was true, except for the fact that I might have been pronounced overtrained. Tommy and I were as hard as nails, our skin glowed like satin--but, better than this, his spirit was quick with the love of living, charged with a contagion that had already b