"At any rate," murmured he, "if it be, so much the better, for I have made a rare acquisition." Under pretence of being fatigued, Dantes asked to take the helm; the steersman, glad to be relieved, looked at the captain, and the latter by a sign indicated that he might abandon it to his new comrade.
"Larboard your helm," cried the captain to the steersman.
I dared not go below, I dared not leave the helm, so here all night I stayed, and in the dimness of the night I saw it, Him!
You work the helm." And with a warning look and his finger on his lip, he went below.
Evidently they thought they were witnessing an exhibition of poor seamanship, and they yelled their warnings to the tug to reduce speed and throw the helm hard to port.
With all my strength I threw the helm to starboard; but it was too late to effect the purpose of our skipper.
The sleeper at the helm woke; looked up at the idle sails, and yawned in sympathy with them; looked out at the sea on either side of him, and shook his head obstinately at the superior obstinacy of the calm.
Well, we were suddenly alarmed by a shout on deck, 'Man over-board!' We both rushed up the cabin stairs, naturally under the impression that one of our crew had fallen into the sea: an impression shared, I ought to add, by the man at the helm, who had given the alarm."
Two away in the boat, a third at the helm, and, to my amazement, when I looked round, the other four behind me making our number complete.
I knew I was invisible to the man at the helm. Neither could I see anything.
"Don't move the helm. You'll be all right," I said confidently.
The sea continued to break over the vessel with such violence, that it was impossible to stand at the helm
without the assistance of lashings.