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Jerry of the Islands Jack London

Chapter VI

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Skipper picked Jerry up and soothed his anger with:

"Good boy, Jerry. You marked and sealed him. Some dog, you, some big man-dog."

He turned back to Lerumie, illuminating him as he clung in the rigging, and his voice was harsh and cold as he addressed him.

"What name belong along you fella boy?" he demanded.

"Me fella Lerumie," came the chirping, quavering answer.

"You come along Pennduffryn?"

"Me come along Meringe."

Captain Van Horn debated the while he fondled the puppy in his arms. After all, it was a return boy. In a day, in two days at most, he would have him landed and be quit of him.

"My word," he harangued, "me angry along you. Me angry big fella too much along you. Me angry along you any amount. What name you fella boy make 'm pickaninny dog belong along me walk about along water?"

Lerumie was unable to answer. He rolled his eyes helplessly, resigned to receive a whipping such as he had long since bitterly learned white masters were wont to administer.

Captain Van Horn repeated the question, and the black repeated the helpless rolling of his eyes.

"For two sticks tobacco I knock 'm seven bells outa you," the skipper bullied. "Now me give you strong fella talk too much. You look 'm eye belong you one time along this fella dog belong me, I knock 'm seven bells and whole starboard watch outa you. Savve?"

"Me savve," Lerumie, plaintively replied; and the episode was closed.

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The return boys went below to sleep in the cabin. Borckman and the boat's crew hoisted the mainsail and put the Arangi on her course. And Skipper, under a dry blanket from below, lay down to sleep with Jerry, head on his shoulder, in the hollow of his arm.

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Jerry of the Islands
Jack London

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