alcyone301: (cumulus)
[personal profile] alcyone301
Yet when he woke in the morning he knew that the ship was in a different world, that she was herself a different world. True, clean, breathable air was gushing down the wind-sail; his whole being was recharged with life.

These confused waking motions were confirmed on deck. The Leopard had sent up her topgallantmasts – it had taken the reduced crew three-quarters of an hour instead of the usual seventeen minutes and forty seconds – and she was running west-south-west at five or six knots under a cloud of sail. A new and brilliant day, a new and healthy sea, transparent tonic air, the ship alive.
Killick had been on the watch, and now he ran forward with coffee-pot and biscuit, laid them carefully in a coil of rope at the appointed place, the limit of the forbidden ground, retreated, and called out, ‘Good morning, sir. This is what we have been praying for.’ Stephen nodded, took a draught, and asked how the Captain did. ‘Which he’s just turned in,’ said Killick, ‘a-laughing like a boy. Says we’ve cleared the doldrums: the true blessed trade, he says, and never will he touch a stitch till we’re at the Cape.’

-- DI ch. 5
sharpiefan: Jack facedesking, text 'Monday' (JA Monday blues)
[personal profile] sharpiefan
'Killick, Killick there: what's amiss?'

'Which it's your scraper, sir, your number one scraper. The wombat's got at it.'

'Then take it away from him, for God's sake.'

'I dursen't, sir,' said Killick. 'For fear of tearing the lace.'

'Now, sir,' cried the Captain, striding into the great cabin, a tall, imposing figure. 'Now, sir,' - addressing the wombat, one of the numerous body of marsupials brought into the ship by her surgeon, a natural philosopher - 'give it up directly, d'ye hear me, there?'

The wombat stared him straight in the eye, drew a length of gold lace from its mouth, and then deliberately sucked it in again.

'Pass the word for Dr Maturin,' said the Captain, looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, 'Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.'

'So he is, too,' said Dr Maturin. 'But do not be so perturbed, Jack; it will do him no harm at all, at all. His digestive processes -'

At this point the wombat dropped the hat, shuffled rapidly across the deck and swarmed up into Dr Maturin's arms, peering at close range into his face with a look of deep affection.

'Well, I can keep it under my arm, together with my reports,' said the Captain, picking up a bundle of papers and carefully fitting them round his gold-laced hat to conceal the tear.

Fortune of War, Chapter One
heather_mist: (The Hundred Days)
[personal profile] heather_mist
Chapter Three

He is a poor, short, bent, meagre, ill-looking little creature, very like. . . that is to say, you are the only grown person aboard whose clothes would fit him. You shall have them back of course, as soon as he can whip up something to appear on the quarterdeck in.'
'Killick,' called Stephen, barely raising his voice, since he knew that their valuable common servant was listening behind the door - Killick had something of a cold in his chest and his heavy breathing could have been heard at a far greater distance.
'Killick, be so good as to bring a respectable white shirt, the blue coat whose button you were replacing, a neck-cloth, a pair of duck trousers, stockings, shoes - buckled shoes - and a handkerchief.'
Killick opened his mouth: but to Captain Aubrey's astonishment he shut it again, paused, said, 'Aye-aye, sir: respectable white shirt it is, the blue coat, neck-cloth, ducks, stockings, buckled shoes, wipe,' and hurried away.

All of this passage is lovely - for Jack's unvarnished opinion of Stephen lack of physical attributes, stopping only just in time from being downright rude (but really not quite...), for Stephen accepting it with such equanimity but most of all, I just love the hilarity of this piece and in particular Stephen not even bothering to raise his voice to talk to Killick because he knows he is listening anyway and the absolute acceptance by everyone concerned - Stephen, Jack and Killick that of course he would be listening!

A beautifully realised scene between three people who have known each other such a very long time and so intimately well that they none of them need be terribly polite to each other.