Davies leaned back and gave a deep sigh, as though he still felt the relief from some tension; I did the same, and felt the same relief. The chart, freed from the pressure of our fingers, rolled up with a flip, as though to say, 'What do you think of that?' I have straightened out his sentences a little, for in the excitement of his story they had grown more and more jerky and elliptical.
'What about Dollmann?' I asked.
'Of course,' said Davies, 'what about him? I didn't get at much that night. It was all so sudden. The only thing I could have sworn to from the first was that he had purposely left me in the lurch that day. I pieced out the rest in the next few days, which I'll just finish with as shortly as I can. Bartels came aboard next morning, and though it was blowing hard still we managed to shift the Dulcibella to a place where she dried safely at the midday low water, and we could get at her rudder. The lower screw-plate on the stern post had wrenched out, and we botched it up roughly as a make-shift. There were other little breakages, but nothing to matter, and the loss of the jib was nothing, as I had two spare ones. The dinghy was past repair just then, and I lashed it on deck.
'It turned out that Bartels was carrying apples from Bremen to Kappeln (in this fiord), and had run into that channel in the sands for shelter from the weather. Today he was bound for the Eider River, whence, as I told you, you can get through (by river and canal) into the Baltic. Of course the Elbe route, by the new Kaiser Wilhelm Ship Canal,* is the shortest. The Eider route is the old one, but he hoped to get rid of some of his apples at Tönnig, the town at its mouth. Both routes touch the Baltic at Kiel. As you know, I had been running for the Elbe, but yesterday's muck-up put me off, and I changed my mind--I'll tell you why presently--and decided to sail to the Eider along with the Johannes and get through that way. It cleared from the east next day, and I raced him there, winning hands down, left him at Tönning, and in three days was in the Baltic. It was just a week after