The Sea Wolf HTML version

Chapter 3
Wolf Larsen ceased swearing as suddenly as he had begun. He relighted his cigar and
glanced around. His eyes chanced upon the cook.
"Well, Cooky?" he began, with a suaveness that was cold and of the temper of steel.
"Yes, sir," the cook eagerly interpolated, with appeasing and apologetic servility.
"Don't you think you've stretched that neck of yours just about enough? It's unhealthy,
you know. The mate's gone, so I can't afford to lose you too. You must be very, very
careful of your health, Cooky. Understand?"
His last word, in striking contrast with the smoothness of his previous utterance, snapped
like the lash of a whip. The cook quailed under it.
"Yes, sir," was the meek reply, as the offending head disappeared into the galley.
At this sweeping rebuke, which the cook had only pointed, the rest of the crew became
uninterested and fell to work at one task or another. A number of men, however, who
were lounging about a companion-way between the galley and hatch, and who did not
seem to be sailors, continued talking in low tones with one another. These, I afterward
learned, were the hunters, the men who shot the seals, and a very superior breed to
common sailor-folk.
"Johansen!" Wolf Larsen called out. A sailor stepped forward obediently. "Get your palm
and needle and sew the beggar up. You'll find some old canvas in the sail-locker. Make it
"What'll I put on his feet, sir?" the man asked, after the customary "Ay, ay, sir."
"We'll see to that," Wolf Larsen answered, and elevated his voice in a call of "Cooky!"
Thomas Mugridge popped out of his galley like a jack-in-the-box.
"Go below and fill a sack with coal."
"Any of you fellows got a Bible or Prayer-book?" was the captain's next demand, this
time of the hunters lounging about the companion- way.
They shook their heads, and some one made a jocular remark which I did not catch, but
which raised a general laugh.