The liquor mounted in the heads of all of us, and the talk of Scotty and the harpooner was upon running the Easting down, gales off the Horn and pamperos off the Plate, lower topsail breezes, southerly busters, North Pacific gales, and of smashed whaleboats in the Arctic ice.
You can't swim in that ice water," said the harpooner confidentially to me.
The liquor worked its will with me; the talk of Scotty and the harpooner poured through the pent space of the Idler's cabin and through my brain like great gusts of wide, free wind; and in imagination I lived my years to come and rocked over the wild, mad, glorious world on multitudinous adventures.
The harpooner told of misadventures and secret shames.
Scotty and I flared and raged like young cockerels, until the harpooner poured another round of drinks to enable us to forgive and make up.
By this time the singing stage was reached, and I joined Scotty and the harpooner in snatches of sea songs and chanties.
It was no part of the knowledge of the lad, fourteen years old, who sat in the Idler's cabin between the harpooner and the sailor, the air rich in his nostrils with the musty smell of men's sea-gear, roaring in chorus: "Yankee ship come down de ribber--pull, my bully boys, pull
The harpooner and I drank on, grinning in a superior way to each other over Scotty's plight.
The harpooner had told me terribly wonderful things of himself.