The Adventures of Captain Kettle
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