‘Good morning, sir,’ said Killick. ‘Which he’s still on deck.’
‘Killick,’ said Stephen, ‘what’s amiss? Have you seen the ghost in the bread-room? Are you sick? Show me your tongue.’
When Killick had withdrawn his tongue, a flannely object of inordinate length, he said paler still, ‘Is there a ghost in the bread-room, sir? Oh, no, and I was there in the middle watch. Oh, sir, I might a seen it.’
‘There is always a ghost in the bread-room. Light along that pot, will you now?’
‘I durs’nt, sir, begging your pardon. There’s worse news than the ghost, even. Them wicked old rats got at the coffee, sir, and I doubt there’s another pot in the barky.’
‘Preserved Killick, pass me that pot, or you will join the ghost in the bread-room, and howl forevermore.’
With extreme unwillingness Killick put the pot on the very edge of the table, muttering, ‘Oh, I’ll cop it: oh, I’ll cop it.’
Jack walked in, pouring himself a cup as he bade Stephen good morning, and said, ‘I am afraid they are all in.’
‘All in what?’
‘All the Frenchmen are in harbour, with their two Indiamen and the Victor. Have not you been on deck? We are lying off Port-Louis. The coffee has a damned odd taste.’
‘This I attribute to the excrement of rats. Rats have eaten our entire stock; and I take the present brew to be a mixture of the scrapings at the bottom of the sack.’
‘I thought it had a familiar tang,’ said Jack. ‘Killick, you may tell Mr Seymour, with my compliments, that you are to have a boat. And if you don’t find at least a stone of beans among the squadron, you need not come back. It is no use trying the Néréide; she don’t drink any.’
When the pot had been jealously divided down to its ultimate dregs, dregs that might have been called dubious, had there been any doubt of their nature, they went on deck.
I love it when my dear Dr. Maturin loses it like in this scene taken from The Reverse Of The Medal. Stephen Maturin is talking to an “administrative person” who doesn’t know much about Maturin’s services to the Admiralty.
“‘You landed in England on the seventeenth; why did you not inform them then?’
‘Let us understand one another, Mr Lewis. Your inquiry is not a question but a form of reproof; and I am not come here to be reproved.’
‘If you are come here with the notion of some additional grant, let me tell you that your superiors - ‘
‘Christ’s blood in heaven, you ignorant incompetent whey-faced nestlecock,’ said Stephen in a low venomous tone, leaning forward, ‘do you think I am a hired spy, an informer? That I have a master, a paymaster, for God’s love?’ To all his present bitterness there was added the spectacle of an efficient intelligence-service threatening ruin, and his own dedicated, highly-skilled form of warfare gone. ‘You little silly man,’ he said.
Lewis strained back in his chair, looking shocked and stupid: the look on Stephen’s face appalled him. He said, ‘Calm yourself, my dear sir, calm yourself.’
Stephen’s hand shot across the desk, seized Lewis’s nose, shook it so furiously from side to side and so fast that the hair-powder flew, then wrung it left and right, right and left; he flung the standish into the fire, wiped his bloody hand on Lewis’s neckcloth, said ‘If you wish to find me, sir, I am at Black’s,’ and walked out.”
SHIT JUST GOT REAL.
Clarissa Oakes, Patrick O’Brien (via fuckyeahageofsail)
GET OUT, GOLDILOCKS.
Good Lord, Stephen. Take a look at this fantastic miniature of Doctor Maturin’s dispensary as made by grace_poppy of Livejournal! Be sure to visit her full post for the complete before-and-after pictures of the project.