He was raving all night about a black panther, Stephen said. Where is his guncase? A woful lunatic! Mulligan said. Were you in a funk? I was, Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the dark with a man I don't know raving and moaning to himself about shooting a black panther. You saved men from drowning. I'm not a hero, however. If he stays on here I am off.
Memories, too, of the whaler's beat back to the fleet in the teeth of a rising gale that swept in from the Pacific, when the bravest unlaced his boots and they baled with the empty guncase. There was a piece of the sacred pavement of Mecca, brought back in the days when few Europeans had brought anything back from there even their lives.
I shivered before the fire, my hands held out to the flame. It was a long, low room. There was an ancient guncase on one side, but the racks were empty except for a service pistol hanging by its trigger-guard from the hook. There were some shelves of books on the other side. But the conspicuous thing in the room was an image of Buddha in a glass box on the mantelpiece.
It was covered with fine cane mats, for the manufacture of which Macassar is celebrated; against the further wall were arranged my guncase, insect-boxes, clothes, and books; my mattress occupied the middle, and next the door were my canteen, lamp, and little store of luxuries for the voyage; while guns, revolver, and hunting knife hung conveniently from the roof.