George Coffin


The sun poured blinding molten brass on the flat water's edge, and the sea, on fire, glared along a harsh broad path from the halfsun on the straight horizon to the ship. From the forecastle rail the prow seemed to carve great billow-crested furrows in the cool jade waters ahead. The always. breaking, turning, falling, churning of the ship-cut sea roared in his ears and filled his head with great cleansing swirls of nothingness. His world was a disc with radius only as far as the black seawater-mark that cut the darkening sky from darker water far ahead. Somewhere, drawn on paper, drawn from the mirror angle on the sextant's scale and from the ticking cronometer's cold faced dial, there was another world. Now there was only the ship-and-sea world of eighty-seven men and a heavy wooden hull twenty-four hours from yesterday's water and twenty-four hours from the water to break on the prow at this moment in this hour tomorrow.



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