The harpoon-line is from fifty to one hundred and fifty fathoms long, and is ordinarily what is known as "fifteen-thread line." At the end is sometimes fastened a buoy, and an ordinary mackerel-keg is generally used for this purpose. In addition to the harpoon every swordfish fisherman carries a lance.
"Let 's catch a mess of fish for dinner, and then turn in and make up for the sleep we lost last night. What d' you say?" They made a race to clamber aboard, but Joe was shoved over the side again. When he finally did arrive, the other lad had brought to light a pair of heavily leaded, large-hooked lines and a mackerel-keg of salt sardines. "Bait," he said. "Just shove a whole one on.
The captain, raised aloft in the middle by some convenient mackerel-keg, draws his sword, and the tableau lasts while the music sounds the "three cheers." Another "evolution," such as Darwin never dreamed of, is begun by facing the company to the front in a single rank.