Following the Equator: A Journey around the World - Vol. 1

By Mark Twain | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV

A dozen direct censures are easier to bear than one morganatic compliment.

-- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Now Calendar.

S AILED from Honolulu. From diary:

Sept. 2. Flocks of flying-fish--slim, shapely graceful, and intensely white. With the sun on them they look like a flight of silver fruit-knives. They are able to fly a hundred yards.

Sept. 3. In 9◦ 50' north latitude, at breakfast. Approaching the equator on a long slant. Those of us who have never seen the equator are a good deal excited. I think I would rather see it than any other thing in the world. We entered the "doldrums" last night--variable winds, bursts of rain, intervals of calm, with chopping seas and a wobbly and drunken motion to the ship--a condition of things findable in other regions sometimes, but present in the doldrums always. The globe-girdling belt called the doldrums is twenty degrees wide, and the thread called the equator lies along the middle of it.

Sept. 4. Total eclipse of the moon last night. At seven-thirty it began to go off. At total--or about that--it was like a rich rosy cloud with a tumbled surface framed in the circle and projecting from it-- a bulge of strawberry-ice, so to speak. At halfeclipse the moon was like a gilded acorn in its cup.

Sept. 5. Closing in on the equator this noon. A

-44-

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