The Island of Doctor Moreau HTML version

The Man Who Had Nowhere to Go
IN the early morning (it was the second morning after my recovery, and I believe the
fourth after I was picked up), I awoke through an avenue of tumultuous dreams,--dreams
of guns and howling mobs,--and became sensible of a hoarse shouting above me. I
rubbed my eyes and lay listening to the noise, doubtful for a little while of my
whereabouts. Then came a sudden pattering of bare feet, the sound of heavy objects being
thrown about, a violent creaking and the rattling of chains. I heard the swish of the water
as the ship was suddenly brought round, and a foamy yellow-green wave flew across the
little round window and left it streaming. I jumped into my clothes and went on deck.
As I came up the ladder I saw against the flushed sky--for the sun was just rising--the
broad back and red hair of the captain, and over his shoulder the puma spinning from a
tackle rigged on to the mizzen spanker-boom.
The poor brute seemed horribly scared, and crouched in the bottom of its little cage.
"Overboard with 'em!" bawled the captain. "Overboard with 'em! We'll have a clean ship
soon of the whole bilin' of 'em."
He stood in my way, so that I had perforce to tap his shoulder to come on deck. He came
round with a start, and staggered back a few paces to stare at me. It needed no expert eye
to tell that the man was still drunk.
"Hullo!" said he, stupidly; and then with a light coming into his eyes, "Why, it's Mister--
"Prendick," said I.
"Pendick be damned!" said he. "Shut-up,--that's your name. Mister Shut-up."
It was no good answering the brute; but I certainly did not expect his next move. He held
out his hand to the gangway by which Montgomery stood talking to a massive grey-
haired man in dirty-blue flannels, who had apparently just come aboard.
"That way, Mister Blasted Shut-up! that way!" roared the captain.
Montgomery and his companion turned as he spoke.
"What do you mean?" I said.
"That way, Mister Blasted Shut-up,--that's what I mean! Overboard, Mister Shut-up,--and
sharp! We're cleaning the ship out,-- cleaning the whole blessed ship out; and overboard
you go!"