Under the Big Dipper

A quick step and a cheerful voice called out heartily, “Good evening, Excellency! Dreaming or thinking—or both?”

Heavily set, smooth-faced and jovial, Captain Pollard of the ship walked toward him.

“My dear Captain, I am only too glad to have you break in on my dreams. They were not the rosiest just now, even though the evening looks beautiful enough to charm an anchorite.”

The Captain nodded his head. “That red sky is rather a promise of another hot day for to-morrow, Count. In a few hours we’ll be in the Red Sea, the furnace of creation. I am afraid to-morrow will be a broiler. Look, Count, there to our left is the Ras Séan with the cloud wreath on top of him. In an hour we shall be in ‘Bab El Mandeb,’ the Gate of Dirge of the Arab. Gloomy premonition, I call that. We are going fine and are ahead of our schedule.”

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