All hands obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who composed the crew, sprang to their respective stations at the spanker brails and outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards, the jib downhaul, and the topsail clewlines and buntlines.
The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board.
Charley smiled at their efforts, and said, "Give her the topsail
Her mainsail was looped up, and her topsail
flapped undecidedly in what little wind was moving.
The spars were cleared away, the anchors and guns heaved overboard; the sprit-sail yard was rigged for a jury-mast, and a mizzen topsail
set upon it.
That morning the mizzen topsail
tie had carried away(probably a defective link) and something like forty feet of chain and wire-rope, mixed up with a few heavy iron blocks, had crashed down from aloft on the poop with a terrifying racket.
The liquor mounted in the heads of all of us, and the talk of Scotty and the harpooner was upon running the Easting down, gales off the Horn and pamperos off the Plate, lower topsail
breezes, southerly busters, North Pacific gales, and of smashed whaleboats in the Arctic ice.
Surely this ship would have furled all her lower canvas and reefed her topsails
if she found herself on a lee shore with the wind on her quarter.
Under two lower topsails
and a reefed foresail the barque seemed to race with a long, steady sea that did not becalm her in the troughs.
He's the skipper that lies three days under double-reefed topsails
waiting for a gale that doesn't come.
It was in the brave old days of Ballarat and Bendigo, when ship after ship went out black with passengers and deep with stores, to bounce home with a bale or two of wool, and hardly hands enough to reef topsails
in a gale.
Sail had been made in the early watches, so that the Ghost was racing along under everything except the two topsails
and the flying jib.