'Oh, you can sail just the same,' said Davies, 'unless it's very bad. There's plenty of sheltered water. There's bound to be a change soon. But then there are the ducks. The colder and stormier it is, the better for them.'
I had forgotten the ducks and the cold, and, suddenly presented as a shooting-box in inclement weather, the Dulcibella lost ground in my estimation, which she had latterly gained.
'I'm fond of shooting,' I said, 'but I'm afraid I'm only a fair-weather yachtsman, and I should much prefer sun and scenery.'
'Scenery,' he repeated, reflectively. 'I say, you must have thought it a queer taste of mine to cruise about on that outlandish Frisian coast. How would you like that sort of thing?'
'I should loathe it,' I answered, promptly, with a clear conscience. 'Weren't you delighted yourself to get to the Baltic? It must be a wonderful contrast to what you described. Did you ever see another yacht there?'
'Only one,' he answered. 'Good-night!'
Wanted, a North Wind
Nothing disturbed my rest that night, so adaptable is youth and so masterful is nature. At times I was remotely aware of a threshing of rain and a humming of wind, with a nervous kicking of the little hull, and at one moment I dreamt I saw an apparition by candle-light of Davies, clad in pyjamas and huge top-boots, grasping a misty lantern of gigantic proportions. But the apparition mounted the ladder and disappeared, and I passed to other dreams.
A blast in my ear, like the voice of fifty trombones, galvanized me into full consciousness. The musician, smiling and tousled, was at my bedside raising a foghorn to his lips with deadly intention. 'It's a way we have in the Dulcibella,' he said, as I started up on one elbow. 'I didn't startle you much, did I?' he added.