His tour de force was achieved, and for the moment something like collapse set in.
'What in the world have we come here for?' he muttered; 'I feel a bit giddy.'
I made him drink some whisky, which revived him; and then, speaking in whispers, we settled certain points.
I alone was to land. Davies demurred to this out of loyalty, but common sense, coinciding with a strong aversion of his own, settled the matter. Two were more liable to detection than one. I spoke the language well, and if challenged could cover my retreat with a gruff word or two; in my woollen overalls, sea-boots, oilskin coat, with a sou'-wester pulled well over my eyes, I should pass in a fog for a Frisian. Davies must mind the dinghy; but how was I to regain it? I hoped to do so without help, by using the edge of the sand; but if he heard a long whistle he was to blow the foghorn.
'Take the pocket-compass,' he said. 'Never budge from the shore without using it, and lay it on the ground for steadiness. Take this scrap of chart, too--it may come in useful; but you can't miss the depot, it looks to be close to the shore. How long will you be?'
'How long have I got?'
'The young flood's making--has been for nearly an hour--that bank (he measured it with his eye) will be covering in an hour and a half.'
'That ought to be enough.'
'Don't run it too fine. It's steep here, but it may shelve further on. If you have to wade you'll never find me, and you'll make a deuce of a row. Got your watch, matches, knife? No knife? Take mine; never go anywhere without a knife.' (It was his seaman's idea of efficiency.)
'Wait a bit, we must settle a place to meet at in case I'm late and can't reach you here.'
'Don't be late. We've got to get back to the yacht before we're missed.'
'But I may have to hide and wait till dark--the fog may clear.'