"Aye, she was fair smokin' ot times, but not thot I minded thot so much as the lossin' of time.
"Twice afore I mentioned thot door tull the owners," said Captain MacElrath.
"But thot's their way--'we regret tull note,' 'we beg tull advise,'
'we recommend,' 'we canna understand'--an' the like o' thot. Domned cargo tank!
"An' me on a wunter passage, blowin' a luvin' gale half the time, wuth hurricane force in atweenwhiles, an' hove to sux days, wuth engines stopped an' bunker coal runnun' short, an' me wuth a mate thot stupid he could no pass a shup's light ot night wi'out callun' me tull the brudge.
'Speakun' o' Auckland--of course, Captun, you was never un Auckland?' 'Yus,' I says, 'I was un there very recent.' 'Oh, ho,' he says, very angry-like, 'so you was the smart Aleck thot fetched me thot letter from the owners: "We note item of fufteen pounds for pilotage ot Auckland.
I was thunkun' they hod beri-beri, an' thot was the why o' sendun' for the doctor.
'Please explain thus onusual expunditure,' an' tull Captun Robinson, 'We beg tull advise you thot we conseeder thus pilotage an onnecessary expense.'
"Dudna I cable them from Newcastle, tellun' them the old tank was thot foul she needed dry-dock?
Are you dootun' the engineer's honesty?' I wrut an' told them I was no dootun' his honesty; thot the bill was for extra weight o' fire-bars; an' thot ut was O.K.
"Dudna thot domned mate-fellow nigh putt me ashore twice on the one passage through?