But it was time to catch the last ferry-boat for Oakland, and Brissenden and Martin slipped out, leaving Norton still talking and Kreis and Hamilton waiting to pounce on him like a pair of hounds as soon as he finished.
But I'd like to have made a reply to Kreis and Hamilton, and I think I'd have had a word or two for Norton.
His object was to unburden himself of his eternal grievance against Hamilton. The man kept him in hot water with the Harbour Office as to the state of his accounts.
I don't know what more I would have said, but the much-belated Hamilton came in just then and took his usual seat.
Hamilton, beautifully shaved, gave Captain Giles a curt nod, but didn't even condescend to raise his eyebrows at me; and when he spoke it was only to tell the Chief Steward that the food on his plate wasn't fit to be set before a gentleman.
Captain Giles and I got up from the table, and the stranger next to Hamilton followed our ex- ample, manoeuvring himself to his feet with difficulty.
Probably we should have quickly fallen into a tropical afternoon doze if it had not been for Hamilton's voice raised in the dining room.
A loud whispering from the Steward succeeded and then again Hamilton was heard with even intenser scorn.
Then there were pushing of chairs, footsteps in the next room, and plaintive expostulations from the Steward, who was pursuing Hamilton, even out of doors through the main entrance.