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[Page 20]

drawing the almost purely straight lines cutting the parallels at even angles.
But how they enjoyed their occasional northern albatross, the not
infrequent whales, the almost steady companionship of quite a large
variety of sharks and even rays!

Or ____ [Jack]'s twins began to grow rather offensively
knowledgeable about sea-going affairs but Padeen (tho[ugh] his English
remained strange, incorrect and largely incomprehensible for the
finer forms) managed to keep them within bounds, and what he
could not do, Brigid did. It did not make them very pleasant
companions but it rendered them tolerable; and the southern coast
of Africa and the Portuguese possessions came daily nearer.

Miller, who called on the ladies almost every day to suggest
piquet or backgammon (with little success on the whole) was
much excited by the prospect of Loando, and he climbed as far
as [he] dared to catch a first glimpse of the shore -- conceivably a symbol
of power, status and indeed perhaps marriage.

A dimness on the western horizon, soundings, very exact observation
of sun, moon, planets, and a wonderfully timely eclipse of one of
Jupiter's satellites give them their time to the minute or even less.

'Now it can come hell or high water,' said Harding, the Suffolk's
first lieutenant and a prime astronomer. 'Now you know exactly where
we are.'

He said this in the presence of Admiral Aubrey (no mean
astronomer himself) who shook his head at the words; so did everyone
else in the chartroom, sometimes imperceptibly. But imperceptibly or
not, within seconds the sky split with a most enormous roar
-- so prodigious that the twins, well accustomed to gentler weather rushed
shrieking back [to] their mother's bed.

All night it bellowed and thundered. St Elmo's Fire appeared
on three separate masts and the bowsprit. Three staysails were blown
out of their bolt-ropes in the first shock, and the foretopgallant. With
infinite pains on a deck that never for a moment stopped throwing