You know, that foresail saved the ship. It was too far to hear a word, but I had no doubt that this pantomime could only refer to the strange new captain. An answer containing all the difficulty of that situation. Meantime the chief mate, with an almost visible effect of collaboration on the part of his round eyes and frightful whiskers, was trying to evolve a theory of the anchored ship. ", "Can't? "Yes; disease," I admitted in a cheerful tone which seemed to shock him. His expression was concentrated, meditative, under the inspecting light of the lamp I held up to his face; such as a man thinking hard in solitude might wear. © 2010-2020,, Inc. o società affiliate. The ship was coming round slowly: I held my breath in the renewed stillness of expectation; one wouldn't have thought that there was a single living soul on her decks. "Yes," I said, replacing the lamp in the binnacle. The mate observed regretfully that he "could not account for that young fellow's whims." I walked up and down for a while thinking things out, then beckoned him over. I think I had come creeping quietly as near insanity as any man who has not actually gone over the border. I was so astounded by the immovableness of that ladder that I remained stockstill, trying to account for it to myself like that imbecile mate of mine. I don't think it resembles them in the least. Shall I confess that this thought cast me down very much? ", "Beats all these tales we hear about murders in Yankee ships. After the life I've been leading for nine weeks, anybody would have got out of condition. Had my double vanished as he had come? Nothing! "We're not doing well in the middle of the gulf," I continued, casually. I could not feel her. ", "I am afraid, sir, the galley fire's been out for some time now.". "I can't see the sails very well," the helmsman answered me, in strange, quavering tones. He reddened and went off, but I believe made some jeering remark to the carpenter as to the sensible practice of ventilating a ship's quarter-deck. I felt that it would take very little to make me a suspect person in the eyes of the ship's company. That was suicide enough for me. Prison or gallows or whatever they may please. But all that forenoon, as we headed for them, fanned along by the faintest of breezes, I saw no sign of man or canoe in the field of the telescope I kept on pointing at the scattered group. At noon I have no orders for a change of course, and the mate's whiskers became much concerned and seemed to be offering themselves unduly to my notice. "She draws over twenty feet. Neither did I know much of the hands forward. I released my grip at last and he ran forward as if fleeing for dear life. But I hardly thought of my other self, now gone from the ship, to be hidden forever from all friendly faces, to be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, with no brand of the curse on his sane forehead to stay a slaying hand ... too proud to explain. It was, in the night, as though I had been faced by my own reflection in the depths of a somber and immense mirror. So next day at dawn they took it up on the poop, covering its face with a bit of bunting; he read a short prayer, and then, just as it was, in its oilskins and long boots, they launched it amongst those mountainous seas that seemed ready every moment to swallow up the ship herself and the terrified lives on board of her. The terror of that gale was on him yet. And the proof of his sanity was continued when he took up the whispering again. He looked very smart, very gentlemanly, and all that. Land looks rather close. Utilizziamo cookie e altre tecnologie simili per migliorare la tua esperienza di acquisto, per fornire i nostri servizi, per capire come i nostri clienti li utilizzano in modo da poterli migliorare e per visualizzare annunci pubblicitari. The cigar dropped out of my gaping mouth with a tiny plop and a short hiss quite audible in the absolute stillness of all things under heaven. I was not wholly alone with my command; for there was that stranger in my cabin. This sort of thing could not go on very long. Then your ladder - ". I felt that it was he who would bring on the disaster of discovery. It was a rather high bed place with a set of drawers underneath. Arrived at that comforting conclusion, I bethought myself of a cigar and went below to get it. But, strangely enough - (I thought of it only afterwards) - I believe that he was not a little disconcerted by the reverse side of that weird situation, by something in me that reminded him of the man he was seeking - suggested a mysterious similitude to the young fellow he had distrusted and disliked from the first. And I could imagine perfectly the manner of this thinking out - a stubborn if not a steadfast operation; something of which I should have been perfectly incapable. I wanted nothing more. If he had only known how afraid I was of his putting my feeling of identity with the other to the test! It is not worth while to record his version. ", His whisper was getting fainter and fainter, and all the time he stared straight out through the porthole, in which there was not even a star to be seen. I had been appointed to take charge while I least expected anything of the sort, not quite a fortnight ago. But all unconscious alertness had abandoned me. He mumbled something which I really did not catch, and I turned my ear to him in a puzzled manner. Then I thought I should like to hear the sound of his voice. He made as if to tear his hair, and addressed me recklessly. Questo articolo è acquistabile con il Bonus Cultura e con il Bonus Carta del Docente I felt just then a very unpleasant faintness. It was not my part to encourage sneering on board my ship. 'I wonder that you can,' cries he, and locks the door. Whoever was being driven distracted, it was not he. The time had come to exchange our last whispers, for neither of us was ever to hear each other's natural voice. On the very ladder he lingered, and in that unique, guiltily conscientious manner of sticking to the point: "I say ... you ... you don't think that - ", "Certainly not. Then a sudden temptation came over me. After a quick interchange of dates a silence fell; and I thought suddenly of my absurd mate with his terrific whiskers and the "Bless my soul - you don't say so" type of intellect. Ha! I was young, too; young enough to make no comment. It was the end. That gesture restrained me, so to speak. I'll edge her in to half a mile, as far as I may be able to judge in the dark - ". Do you mean, sir, in the dark amongst the lot of all them islands and reefs and shoals? And then I could at last shut, with a clear conscience, the door of my stateroom and get my double back into the recessed part. "What's the matter?" All at once my strained, yearning stare distinguished a white object floating within a yard of the ship's side. "In the bathroom, sir." You have done it, sir. I proposed to keep on deck myself till one o'clock or thereabouts. We had nothing to say to each other. "Not at all the style of man. He nodded. Almost without hesitation, the captain puts Leggatt in his own cabin, where the fugitive remains hidden until the captain sails his new ship dangerously close to land, allowing Leggatt the chance to swim for safety and escape. As he persisted in his mumbling and I wanted my double to hear every word, I hit upon the notion of informing him that I regretted to say I was hard of hearing. And as to the chapter of accidents which counts for so much in the book of success, I could only hope that it was closed. I found my two officers waiting for me near the supper table, in the lighted cuddy. I gazed upon my other self for a while before drawing across carefully the two green serge curtains which ran on a brass rod. "Such a young man, too!" I was extremely tired, in a peculiarly intimate way, by the strain of stealthiness, by the effort of whispering and the general secrecy of this excitement. Walking to the taffrail, I was in time to make out, on the very edge of a darkness thrown by a towering black mass like the very gateway of Erebus - yes, I was in time to catch an evanescent glimpse of my white hat left behind to mark the spot where the secret sharer of my cabin and of my thoughts, as though he were my second self, had lowered himself into the water to take his punishment: a free man, a proud swimmer striking out for a new destiny. "No one can tell what - ". For the rest, I was almost as much of a stranger on board as himself, I said. He was touched, I supposed, because he took it at last and tied it quickly round his waist under the jacket, on his bare skin. Over our heads the officer of the watch moved here and there. Don't you, sir?". Pages: 64 pages 'So you won't?' I closed the port-hole quickly, to make sure. I sat there, fagged out, looking at the curtains, trying to clear my mind of the confused sensation of being in two places at once, and greatly bothered by an exasperating knocking in my head. I wonder what he thought had come to me before he understood and suddenly desisted. "Beg your pardon, sir. This could not be dangerous. And now I forgot the secret stranger ready to depart, and remembered only that I was a total stranger to the ship. That's my affair. I scrambled up on it and rested myself for a bit. The man is nervous, wondering if he will be able to fulfill the obligations of his new position and, more importantly, his own ideals. Stai ascoltando un campione dell'edizione audio udibile. It's the best chance for you that I can see.". I had nothing on me. I had shut my eyes - because the ship must go closer. I jumped up from the couch so quickly that he gave a start. "Saved," I thought. From first to last" - and for the first time there seemed to be a faltering, something strained in his whisper. But, for the moment, this being appearing as if he had risen from the bottom of the sea (it was certainly the nearest land to the ship) wanted only to know the time. And I ate it - all there was, too. "But, no! Back and Next buttons can guide you through all the sections or you can choose to jump from section to section using the links below or the links at the left. And in the same whisper, as if we two whenever we talked had to say things to each other which were not fit for the world to hear, he added, "It's very wonderful.". There was nothing to be read on that wretched man's face. The Secret Sharer (Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction), The Secret Sharer (Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism), Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race. For the last two days the crew had had plenty of hard work, and the night before they had very little sleep. He stood there with me on the break of the poop after the main topsail blew away, and whimpered about our last hope - positively whimpered about it and nothing else - and the night coming on! Let them think what they liked, but I didn't mean to drown myself. It was impossible to tell - and I had not learned yet the feel of my ship. "I heard somebody moving about, and went in there at once," he whispered. I remarked, as if noticing for the first time the way his eyes roamed from one closed door to the other. But there is an opening, a sort of square for hauling the sails out, which gives straight on the quarter-deck and which is never closed in fine weather, so as to give air to the sails. I asked myself whether it was wise ever to interfere with the established routine of duties even from the kindest of motives. When we anchored here they thought, I suppose, it was all right. Remained the steward, but he was not likely to wake up before he was called. Then I unhooked and closed the door and even pushed the bolt. The riding light in the forerigging burned with a clear, untroubled, as if symbolic, flame, confident and bright in the mysterious shades of the night. "Yes, sir," the pale-faced steward turned resignedly to me. I looked down at once. And my second self was making now ready to ship out and lower himself overboard. I landed on the nearest islet before the boat left the ship's side. Per calcolare la valutazione complessiva in stelle e la ripartizione percentuale per stella, non usiamo una media semplice.