Three men were drowned where we are now, the old man said. Hehad seen them clinging to the mast himself. And Mr Ramsay taking alook at the spot was about, James and Cam were afraid, to burst out:
But I beneath a rougher sea,and if he did, they could not bear it; they would shriek aloud; theycould not endure another explosion of the passion that boiled in him; butto their surprise all he said was "Ah" as if he thought to himself. But whymake a fuss about that? Naturally men are drowned in a storm, but it is aperfectly straightforward affair, and the depths of the sea (he sprinkledthe crumbs from his sandwich paper over them) are only water after all.
Then having lighted his pipe he took out his watch. He looked at it attentively;he made, perhaps, some mathematical calculation. At last hesaid, triumphantly:
"Well done!" James had steered them like a born sailor.
There! Cam thought, addressing herself silently to James. You've got itat last. For she knew that this was what James had been wanting, andshe knew that now he had got it he was so pleased that he would notlook at her or at his father or at any one. There he sat with his hand onthe tiller sitting bolt upright, looking rather sulky and frowning slightly.
He was so pleased that he was not going to let anybody share a grain ofhis pleasure. His father had praised him. They must think that he wasperfectly indifferent. But you've got it now, Cam thought.
They had tacked, and they were sailing swiftly, buoyantly on longrocking waves which handed them on from one to another with an extraordinarylilt and exhilaration beside the reef. On the left a row ofrocks showed brown through the water which thinned and becamegreener and on one, a higher rock, a wave incessantly broke and spurteda little column of drops which fell down in a shower. One could hear theslap of the water and the patter of falling drops and a kind of hushingand hissing sound from the waves rolling and gambolling and slappingthe rocks as if they were wild creatures who were perfectly free andtossed and tumbled and sported like this for ever.
Now they could see two men on the Lighthouse, watching them andmaking ready to meet them.