London : New York:
G. Routledge and Sons Ltd. ; E.P. Dutton and Co,
Text on page 16
FROM EDINBURCH TO INDIA AND BURMAH
pipes, and the captain had a case of the very best brandy,
the first I think I ever tasted; and he could play some
tunes on the practise chanter. " Dinna think bonnie lassie,
I'm goin' to leave you," I remember was his best; it is
a strathspey tune; I learned it from him. The trouble came
when it blew up hard off the Scheldt; but even when
coming over the bar, the " romance" of the sea qualified
its pains a little. I can feel the cold in my hands to-day
of the barrels of the Winchesters at the side of the couch,
and to which I clung in my hour of trial, and remembered
they had been used in the steamer's very last trip against
Real Pirates in the China Seas i And certainly there was
the " romance" of the sea in the change from the gale
and black night outside the bar, to the quiet morning on
the wide river with the cathedral spire, violet against the
sunrise, dropping its silvery music "from heaven like
dew;" "Madame Angot," was the tune I think, with a
note missing here and there.
We saw a number of sea birds to-day, and two at
least were skuas, black looking thieves among their white
cousins. I saw one try to m~~ke a gull disgorge, driving
up at it from below, to the gull's loudly-expressed disgust.
It is a strange arrangement of nature, and I can't under-
stand why a few gulls don't combine to defend themselves.
I am sure each of them must hate to give up the little
meal they have earned with so much tiring flight. T~~ere
were shore birds too; we shipped some as passengers, they
were going south like ourselves, but by instinct not by the
card. I suppose they were on the road all right, and
just needed to rest their wings a little; two large black
birds were on the bridge last night, possibly crows, and
we have starlinp;s to-day, and I saw some finches of sorts.
At least one of these fragile boarders was eaten by the
ship's cat--I found its delicate remains, a few tiny feathers
and a dainty wing and its poor head.
The land is very faint on the horizon and the breeze