it hard, damn you." Nat gave another tug, stronger than the first.
Before he could
try again Samuelson backed himself into the cabin and rammed himself against
the inside wall. Even in the cockpit, in spite of the wind, the boys could hear
The shoulder was
back in its socket, but Samuelson crouched on the bunk, his breath coming in
gasps, pressing his left elbow against his hip. And meanwhile the boat kept
sailing forward, with Dyce at the tiller but no one really watching, except to
avoid collision. Samuelson leaned his left side against the bulkhead, breathing
in short gulps as if he wished he did not have to go through the pain of taking
"Come up here
and help take off the spinnaker." The order came from Dyce. They couldn't
head for home until that sail was down and their jib was working again.
Samuelson gestured at Nat with his right hand, and Nat left the cabin to
went through the maneuver at the same time as the crews of Hunt's boat and
Houghton's, because they were at the third mark already. They had to work fast,
in any case, or else they would run up on the Long Island shore. The two
brothers worked well together, stuffing the spinnaker into the boat, Nat taking
the tiller for a few minutes while Dyce did the heavy work, and then Dyce
taking over again, rounding the mark sharp and close for no reason except that
that is the way it ought to be done. They were on their way home, out of the
race to all intents, but still they followed Mackenzie and Hunt, in third
place, because their paths happened to be the same. The windward shore, which
was the Westchester shore—that is what all the good racers wanted, just as if
each of them had a man gasping for air on the bunk in the cabin.
"Can't we get
a powerboat to take him home?" Nat asked, still talking because he did not
know what else to do. Obviously no powerboat would come out on a day like this.
But even if, by some miracle, one had ventured out, there would be no way for
them to hail it. They were making almost as much speed, in any case, as a
powerboat in this sea.
Nat looked into
the cabin. Samuelson was sitting on the bunk, with his left arm against the
bulkhead. He still breathed in shallow gasps.
just my shoulder," he said.