She always took care to check him whenever he indulged in these imaginary flights, and he at last came to look upon them as something wrong and sinful. The boy, as he grew up, often strikingly reminded her of her father, as, indeed, he seemed to have inherited more from her own than from Halvard's race.
Millie stumbled weakly over the rough way, apparently at the point of slipping to the ground. He felt a supreme relief when the cool sweep of the sea opened before him and Halvard emerged from the gloom. He halted for a moment, with his arm about Millie's shoulders, facing his man. Even in the dark he was conscious of Poul Halvard's stalwart being, of his rocklike integrity.
I could have broken it out of his grip I've done it before in a place or two but I thought I'd better come aboard and report before anything general began." John Woolfolk was momentarily at a loss to establish the identity of Halvard's assailant. He soon realized, however, that it must be Nicholas, whom he had never seen, and who had blown such an imperative summons on the conch the night before.
Halvard's oars struck the water smartly and forced the tender forward into the beating wind. They made a choppy passage to the rim of the bay, where, turning, they followed the thin, pale glimmer of the broken water on the land's edge. Halvard pulled with short, telling strokes, his oarblades stirring into momentary being livid blurs of phosphorescence.
I'd like to unship the propeller, and there's the scraping. It's a good anchorage." "We're moving on south," Woolfolk replied, stating the determination with which he had retired. Then the full sense of Halvard's words penetrated his waking mind. The propeller, he knew, had not opened properly for a week; and the anchorage was undoubtedly good.
Then after another sounding: "Four and three." The yacht fell away dangerously before a heavy diagonal blow; she hung for a moment, rolling like a log, and then slowly regained her way. Woolfolk's apprehension increased. It would, perhaps, have been better if they had delayed, to examine Halvard's injury.
Halvard's temper was communicated to him; he moved abruptly to where the tender was fastened. "Put me ashore," he directed. He would make it clear that his man was not to be interrupted in the execution of his orders, and that his property could not be arbitrarily destroyed. When the tender ran upon the beach and had been secured, Halvard started to follow him, but Woolfolk waved him back.
This arduous task accomplished, he immediately rose. John Woolfolk again took his place, turning to address the other, when he saw that one side of Halvard's face was bluish and rapidly swelling. "What's the matter with your jaw?" he promptly inquired. Halvard avoided his gaze, obviously reluctant to speak, but Woolfolk's silent interrogation was insistent.
"One's clear now," he added. "Bring her up again." The ketch forged ahead, but the wait was longer than before. "Caught," Halvard's voice drifted thinly aft; "coral ledge." Woolfolk held the Gar stationary until the sailor cried weakly: "Anchor's apeak." They moved inperceptibly through the dark, into the greater force of the wind beyond the point.
He smiled in self-contempt at this neurotic fancy; and, straightening his cramped muscles, rolled a cigarette. It might be that the years he had spent virtually alone on the silence of various waters had affected his brain. Halvard's broad, concentrated countenance, the steady, grave gaze and determined mouth, cleared Woolfolk's mind of its phantoms.