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CHAPTER 7. I GO TO SEA IN THE BRIG "COVENANT" OF DYSART (continued)
I was awakened by the light of a hand-lantern shining in my face. A small man of about thirty, with green eyes and a tangle of fair hair, stood looking down at me.
"Well," said he, "how goes it?"
I answered by a sob; and my visitor then felt my pulse and temples, and set himself to wash and dress the wound upon my scalp.
"Ay," said he, "a sore dunt. What, man? Cheer up! The world's no done; you've made a bad start of it but you'll make a better. Have you had any meat?"
I said I could not look at it: and thereupon he gave me some brandy and water in a tin pannikin, and left me once more to myself.
The next time he came to see me, I was lying betwixt sleep and waking, my eyes wide open in the darkness, the sickness quite departed, but succeeded by a horrid giddiness and swimming that was almost worse to bear. I ached, besides, in every limb, and the cords that bound me seemed to be of fire. The smell of the hole in which I lay seemed to have become a part of me; and during the long interval since his last visit I had suffered tortures of fear, now from the scurrying of the ship's rats, that sometimes pattered on my very face, and now from the dismal imaginings that haunt the bed of fever.
The glimmer of the lantern, as a trap opened, shone in like the heaven's sunlight; and though it only showed me the strong, dark beams of the ship that was my prison, I could have cried aloud for gladness. The man with the green eyes was the first to descend the ladder, and I noticed that he came somewhat unsteadily. He was followed by the captain. Neither said a word; but the first set to and examined me, and dressed my wound as before, while Hoseason looked me in my face with an odd, black look.
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