Under the Big Dipper

“All right, Mr. Malone, what is it?” This to the officer of the deck who was rapidly approaching.

“The pilot is signalling from Tadshurra Bay, sir. Shall I slow down, Captain?”

“Very well, sir, glad to get him promptly. What is the boat’s number?”

“Seven, sir.”

“Good, that is old Abdullah, a good sailor and a fine fellow. Report when he gets aboard, please.”

“Yes, sir.”

The officer hurried away and shortly after the siren gave two short blasts and the boat lost headway.

“May I join you for a bit, Count?” Captain Pollard took the stool vacated by the doctor following the gesture of polite assent of the Count.

“The doctor’s report left a bad taste in your mouth, eh? If you don’t mind, I’d like to say a few words more on this same subject, your Excellency.”

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