Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech - and nothing happend. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives - he called them enemies! hidden out of sight somewhere.
He steered for me - I had to look after him, I worried about his deficiencies, and thus a subtle bond had been created, of which I only became aware of when it was suddenly broken. And the intimate profundity of that look he gave me when he received his hurt remains to this day in my memory - like a claim of distant kinship affirmed in a supreme moment.
I ask myself whether his rush had really carried him out of that mist in which he loomed interesting if not very big, with floating outlines - a straggler yearning inconsolably for his humble place in the ranks. And besides, the last word is not said, - probably shall never be said. Are not our lives too short for that full utterance which through all our stammerings is of course our only and abiding intention?...There is never time to say our last word - the last word of our love, of our desire, faith, remorse, submissions, revolt. ...My last words about Jim shall be few. I affirmed that he achieved greatness.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, but fear too, is not barren of ingenious suggestions.""Nice little saloon, isn't it" I said, as if noticing it for the first time."At noon I gave no orders for change of course, and the mates whiskers grew much concerned and seemed to be offering themselves to my unduly notice.