en-es  The Island of Doctor Moreau-Ch.3
Capítulo 3: El rostro extraño
Salimos de la cabina y topamos con un hombre en el pasillo impidiendo el paso. Él estaba de pie sobre la escalera, dándonos la espalda, echando un vistazo sobre el cierre de la escotilla.
Pude ver que era deforme, bajo, robusto y desgarbado, con la espalda torcida, nuca velluda y cabeza hundida entre los hombros.
Estaba vestido con sarga azul oscura, y tenía el pelo negro curiosamente espeso y grueso.
Oí el gruñido furioso de perros que no veía, e inmediatamente retrocedió, chocando con la mano que puse para apartarlo de mí.
Se volvió con rapidez de animal.
De algún modo indefinible, la cara oscura dirigida así sobre mí me impresionó profundamente.
Era particularmente deforme.
La parte facial sobresalía, formando algo vagamente sugerente de un hocico, y la enorme boca, semiabierta, lucía unos dientes blancos tan grandes como jamás había visto en una boca humana.
Tenía los ojos inyectados en sangre en los bordes, con apenas un cerco de color blanco alrededor de las pupilas color avellana.
Hubo un brillo curioso de emoción en su rostro.
"¡Maldito seas!" dijo Montgomery. "¿Por qué demonios no abres paso?"
El hombre de cara oscura se apartó sin decir palabra.
Subí la escalerilla, mirándolo instintivamente mientras lo hacía.
Montgomery permaneció al pie por un momento.
"No tienes nada que hacer aquí, sabes", dijo en un tono deliberado.
"Tu lugar es en la proa".
El hombre de cara negra se encogió de miedo.
"No me quieren en la proa".
Hablaba lentamente, con un timbre extraño y ronco en la voz.
"¡No te dejarán en la proa!", dijo Montgomery, en una voz amenazante.
"¡Pero te digo que vayas!".
Estaba a punto de decir algo más, luego levantó la vista hacia mí y repentinamente me siguió por la escalera.
Me había detenido a medio camino a través de la escotilla, mirando hacia atrás, aún asombrado más allá de lo posible por la grotesca fealdad de esta criatura de rostro negro.
Nunca antes había contemplado una cara tan repulsiva y extraordinaria, y sin embargo, si la contradicción es creíble, experimenté al mismo tiempo una extraña sensación de que de alguna manera ya había encontrado exactamente las características y los gestos que ahora me asombraban.
Después, se me ocurrió que probablemente lo había visto cuando fui izado a bordo; y sin embargo eso apenas satisfizo mi sospecha de un conocimiento anterior.
Sin embargo, cómo uno podría haber puesto los ojos en un rostro tan singular y haber olvidado la ocasión precisa, sobrepasaba mi imaginación.
El movimiento de Montgomery para seguirme liberó mi atención, y volteé y miré a mi alrededor hacia la cubierta de la pequeña goleta.
Ya estaba medio preparado por los ruidos que había oido para lo que vi.
Seguro que nunca ví una cubierta tan sucia.
Estaba llena de trozos de zanahorias, tiras de cosas verdes y de suciedad indecible.
Cierto número de perros de caza horribles estaban atados al palo mayor, y habían empezado a saltar y ladrarme, y, cerca de la mesana, un enorme puma estaba apretado en una pequeña jaula de hierro demasiado pequeña incluso para que se girara.
Mas allá, debajo del baluarte de estribor había algunas conejeras conteniendo un número de conejos, y una llama solitaria estaba apretada en una simple caja como jaula de proa.
Los perros tenían bozales hechos de tiras de cuero.
El único humano en la cubierta era un marinero demacrado y callado en el timón.
Las sucias y remendadas mesanas estaban tensas ante el viento, y en lo alto el pequeño barco parecía soportar todas las velas que tenía.
El cielo estaba despejado, el sol a medio camino en el cielo del oeste; olas largas, coronadas con espuma por la brisa, corrían con nosotros.
Pasamos junto al timonel hasta la borda de popa, y vimos que el agua salía espumosa bajo ella y a las burbujas danzar y desaparecer en su estela.
Me volví y examiné la desagradable longitud del barco.
"¿Esto es un zoológico oceánico?", dije yo.
"Parece que sí", dijo Montgomery.
"¿Para qué sirven estas bestias? ¿Mercadería, curiosidades?
¿El capitán piensa que va a venderlas en algún lugar de los mares del sur?”
"Parece que sí, ¿no?", dijo Montgomery, y se volvió hacia la estela de nuevo.
De repente escuchamos un grito y una andanada de furiosas blasfemias desde la escotilla de la escalerilla, y el hombre deforme con el rostro negro se acercó apresuradamente.
Lo siguió inmediatamente un matón pelirrojo con una gorra blanca.
Al ver al primero, los perros, que en este momento se habían cansado de ladrarme, se excitaron furiosamente, y empezaron a aullar y saltar tirando de sus cadenas.
El negro vaciló ante ellos, y esto le dio tiempo al pelirrojo para acercársele y darle un tremendo golpe entre los omóplatos.
El pobre diablo cayó como un buey derribado y rodó en la mugre entre los perros furiosamente excitados.
Fue una suerte para él que tuvieran puesto bozales.
El pelirrojo emitió un alarido de júbilo y se tambaleó, y me pareció que corría el grave peligro de caer hacia atrás por la escotilla de la escalera o avanzar sobre su víctima.
Tan pronto como apareció el segundo hombre, Montgomery había comenzado a avanzar.
"¡Quédate allí!", gritó, en un tono de reproche.
Apareció un par de marineros en el castillo de proa.
El hombre de cara negra, lanzando un alarido con una voz extraña, rodó bajo las patas de los perros.
Nadie intentó ayuadarlo.
Las bestias hicieron todo lo posible para atormentarlo, embistiéndolo con sus hocicos.
Hubo una danza rápida de sus cuerpos ágiles encima de la figura torpe y postrada.
Los marineros en la proa gritaban como si fuera un deporte admirable.
Montgomery lanzó una exclamación de enojo y anduvo a las zancadas por la cubierta, y yo lo seguí.
El hombre de cara negra se incorporó y se tambaleó hacia adelante, yendo e inclinándose por los obenques principales sobre el bastión, donde permaneció, jadeante y mirando por encima del hombro a los perros.
El pelirrojo rió con satisfacción.
"Mire aquí, Capitán", dijo Montgomery, con su ceceo un poco acentuado, agarrando los codos del hombre pelirrojo, "¡esto no funcionará!".
Me paré detrás de Montgomery.
El capitán dio media vuelta y lo miró con los ojos apagados y solemnes de un borracho.
“¿Qué no funcionará?”, dijo, y agregó, después de mirar somnoliento durante un minuto la cara de Montgomery, "¡Condenado matasanos!".
Con un movimiento repentino, le soltó los brazos y, después de dos intentos infructuosos, se metió los pecosos puños en los bolsillos laterales.
"Ese hombre es un pasajero", dijo Montgomery.
"Le aconsejaría que mantenga sus manos lejos de él".
"¡Váyase al infierno!", dijo el capitán, en voz alta.
De repente giró y se tambaleó hacia un lado.
"Hago lo que quiero en mi propio barco", dijo.
Creo que Montgomery podría haberlo dejado entonces, viendo que el bruto estaba borracho; pero solo se volvió un poco más pálido, y siguió al capitán hasta los bastiones.
"Mire, capitán", dijo; "ese hombre mío no debe ser maltratado.
Ha sido hostigado desde que subió a bordo".
Por un minuto, los vahos alcohólicos mantuvieron al capitán sin palabras.
“¡Condenado matasanos!”, fue todo lo que consideró necesario decir.
Podía ver que Montgomery tenía uno de esos temperamentos lentos y obstinados que se calentará cada día hasta un calor ardiente, y nunca se enfriará hasta el perdón; y también veía que esta disputa había crecido desde hacía un tiempo.
''El hombre está borracho'', dije, quizas oficiosamente; ''no hará ningún bien''.
Montgomery torció su labio colgante de una manera desagradable.
''Está borracho todo el tiempo.
¿Piensas que eso le disculpa de atacar a los pasajeros?''
''Mi barco'', empezó el capitán, agitando la mano de manera insegura hacia las jaulas, ''era un barco limpio. ¡Miralo ahora!''
Estaba todo menos limpio.
"Tripulación", siguió el capitán, "tripulación limpia y respetable".
"Consintió en llevar las bestias".
Desearía no haber puesto nunca los ojos en tu infernal isla.
¿Para qué diablos... quiere las bestias en una isla como esa?
Entonces, ese hombre tuyo, comprendió que era un hombre.
Es un lunático; y no tenía ningún negocio a popa.
¿Crees que todo el maldito barco te pertenece?”.
"Sus marineros comenzaron a hostigar al pobre diablo tan pronto como subió a bordo".
"Eso es lo que él es: ¡es un demonio! ¡un horrible demonio!
Mis hombres no lo pueden soportar. Yo no puedo soportarlo.
Ninguno de nosotros puede soportarlo. ¡Ni tú tampoco!”.
Montgomery se alejó.
"Usted deja a ese hombre solo, de todos modos", dijo, señalando con la cabeza mientras hablaba.
Pero el capitán ahora quería pelear.
Levantó la voz.
"Si vuelve a venir a este extremo del barco, le cortaré las entrañas, te digo.
¡Sacaré sus malditas entrañas!
¿Quién eres tú, para decirme lo que debo hacer?
Te digo que soy el capitán de este barco... capitán y propietario.
Yo soy la ley aquí, te digo... la ley y los profetas.
Regateé para llevar a un hombre y su acompañante hacia y desde Arica, y traer algunos animales.
Nunca pensé en transportar un diablo loco y un matasanos tonto, un -'' Bueno, no importa lo que llamó a Montgomery.
Vi que este último daba un paso adelante e intervine.
''Está borracho'' dije.
El capitán comenzó con ciertos insultos incluso más horribles que el anterior.
"¡Cállese!",
dije, girándome bruscamente hacia él, porque había visto peligro en la cara blanca de Montgomery.
Con eso traje el chaparrón sobre mí.
Sin embargo, me alegré de evitar lo que estaba inusuamente cerca de una pelea, incluso al precio de la animadversión del capitán borracho.
No creo haber escuchado hablar un lenguaje tan vil en un flujo continuo de los labios de ningún hombre, aunque he frecuentado compañías bastante excéntricas.
Encontré algunos difíciles de soportar, aunque soy un hombre apacible; pero, ciertamente, cuando le dije al capitán "cállese", me olvidé de que no era más que un resto de nufragio humano, sin recursos y sin pagar el viaje; un mero dependiente ocasional de la generosidad, o empresa especulativa, del barco.
Él me lo recordó con considerable vigor; pero de todos modos evité una pelea.
unit 1
Chapter 3: The Strange Face.
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WE left the cabin and found a man at the companion obstructing our way.
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He was dressed in dark-blue serge, and had peculiarly thick, coarse, black hair.
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He turned with animal swiftness.
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In some indefinable way the black face thus flashed upon me shocked me profoundly.
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It was a singularly deformed one.
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There was a curious glow of excitement in his face.
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"Confound you!"
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said Montgomery.
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"Why the devil don't you get out of the way?"
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The black-faced man started aside without a word.
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I went on up the companion, staring at him instinctively as I did so.
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Montgomery stayed at the foot for a moment.
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"You have no business here, you know," he said in a deliberate tone.
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"Your place is forward."
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The black-faced man cowered.
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"They—won't have me forward."
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He spoke slowly, with a queer, hoarse quality in his voice.
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"Won't have you forward!"
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said Montgomery, in a menacing voice.
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"But I tell you to go!"
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I was already half prepared by the sounds I had heard for what I saw.
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Certainly I never beheld a deck so dirty.
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The dogs were muzzled by leather straps.
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The only human being on deck was a gaunt and silent sailor at the wheel.
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I turned and surveyed the unsavoury length of the ship.
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"Is this an ocean menagerie?"
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said I.
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"Looks like it," said Montgomery.
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"What are these beasts for?
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Merchandise, curios?
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Does the captain think he is going to sell them somewhere in the South Seas?"
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"It looks like it, doesn't it?"
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said Montgomery, and turned towards the wake again.
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He was immediately followed by a heavy red-haired man in a white cap.
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It was lucky for him that they were muzzled.
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So soon as the second man had appeared, Montgomery had started forward.
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"Steady on there!"
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he cried, in a tone of remonstrance.
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A couple of sailors appeared on the forecastle.
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No one attempted to help him.
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The brutes did their best to worry him, butting their muzzles at him.
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The sailors forward shouted, as though it was admirable sport.
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The red-haired man laughed a satisfied laugh.
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I stood behind Montgomery.
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"Wha' won't do?"
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"That man's a passenger," said Montgomery.
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"I'd advise you to keep your hands off him."
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"Go to hell!"
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said the captain, loudly.
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He suddenly turned and staggered towards the side.
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"Do what I like on my own ship," he said.
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"Look you here, Captain," he said; "that man of mine is not to be ill-treated.
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He has been hazed ever since he came aboard."
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For a minute, alcoholic fumes kept the captain speechless.
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"Blasted Sawbones!"
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was all he considered necessary.
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"The man's drunk," said I, perhaps officiously; "you'll do no good."
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Montgomery gave an ugly twist to his dropping lip.
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"He's always drunk.
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Do you think that excuses his assaulting his passengers?"
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Look at it now!"
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It was certainly anything but clean.
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"Crew," continued the captain, "clean, respectable crew."
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"You agreed to take the beasts."
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"I wish I'd never set eyes on your infernal island.
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What the devil—want beasts for on an island like that?
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Then, that man of yours—understood he was a man.
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He's a lunatic; and he hadn't no business aft.
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Do you think the whole damned ship belongs to you?"
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"Your sailors began to haze the poor devil as soon as he came aboard."
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"That's just what he is—he's a devil!
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an ugly devil!
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My men can't stand him.
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I can't stand him.
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None of us can't stand him.
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Nor youeither!"
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Montgomery turned away.
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"You leave that man alone, anyhow," he said, nodding his head as he spoke.
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But the captain meant to quarrel now.
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He raised his voice.
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"If he comes this end of the ship again I'll cut his insides out, I tell you.
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Cut out his blasted insides!
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Who are you, to tell me what I'm to do?
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I tell you I'm captain of this ship,—captain and owner.
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I'm the law here, I tell you,—the law and the prophets.
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I saw the latter take a step forward, and interposed.
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"He's drunk," said I.
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The captain began some abuse even fouler than the last.
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"Shut up!"
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I said, turning on him sharply, for I had seen danger in Montgomery's white face.
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With that I brought the downpour on myself.
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He reminded me of it with considerable vigour; but at any rate I prevented a fight.
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Chapter 3: The Strange Face.
WE left the cabin and found a man at the companion obstructing our way. He was standing on the ladder with his back to us, peering over the combing of the hatchway.
He was, I could see, a misshapen man, short, broad, and clumsy, with a crooked back, a hairy neck, and a head sunk between his shoulders.
He was dressed in dark-blue serge, and had peculiarly thick, coarse, black hair.
I heard the unseen dogs growl furiously, and forthwith he ducked back,—coming into contact with the hand I put out to fend him off from myself.
He turned with animal swiftness.
In some indefinable way the black face thus flashed upon me shocked me profoundly.
It was a singularly deformed one.
The facial part projected, forming something dimly suggestive of a muzzle, and the huge half-open mouth showed as big white teeth as I had ever seen in a human mouth.
His eyes were blood-shot at the edges, with scarcely a rim of white round the hazel pupils.
There was a curious glow of excitement in his face.
"Confound you!" said Montgomery. "Why the devil don't you get out of the way?"
The black-faced man started aside without a word.
I went on up the companion, staring at him instinctively as I did so.
Montgomery stayed at the foot for a moment.
"You have no business here, you know," he said in a deliberate tone.
"Your place is forward."
The black-faced man cowered.
"They—won't have me forward."
He spoke slowly, with a queer, hoarse quality in his voice.
"Won't have you forward!" said Montgomery, in a menacing voice.
"But I tell you to go!"
He was on the brink of saying something further, then looked up at me suddenly and followed me up the ladder.
I had paused half way through the hatchway, looking back, still astonished beyond measure at the grotesque ugliness of this black-faced creature.
I had never beheld such a repulsive and extraordinary face before,
and yet—if the contradiction is credible—I experienced at the same time an odd feeling that in some way I had already encountered exactly the features and gestures that now amazed me.
Afterwards it occurred to me that probably I had seen him as I was lifted aboard;
and yet that scarcely satisfied my suspicion of a previous acquaintance.
Yet how one could have set eyes on so singular a face and yet have forgotten the precise occasion, passed my imagination.
Montgomery's movement to follow me released my attention, and I turned and looked about me at the flush deck of the little schooner.
I was already half prepared by the sounds I had heard for what I saw.
Certainly I never beheld a deck so dirty.
It was littered with scraps of carrot, shreds of green stuff, and indescribable filth.
Fastened by chains to the mainmast were a number of grisly staghounds, who now began leaping and barking at me,
and by the mizzen a huge puma was cramped in a little iron cage far too small even to give it turning room.
Farther under the starboard bulwark were some big hutches containing a number of rabbits,
and a solitary llama was squeezed in a mere box of a cage forward.
The dogs were muzzled by leather straps.
The only human being on deck was a gaunt and silent sailor at the wheel.
The patched and dirty spankers were tense before the wind, and up aloft the little ship seemed carrying every sail she had.
The sky was clear, the sun midway down the western sky;
long waves, capped by the breeze with froth, were running with us.
We went past the steersman to the taffrail, and saw the water come foaming under the stern and the bubbles go dancing and vanishing in her wake.
I turned and surveyed the unsavoury length of the ship.
"Is this an ocean menagerie?" said I.
"Looks like it," said Montgomery.
"What are these beasts for? Merchandise, curios?
Does the captain think he is going to sell them somewhere in the South Seas?"
"It looks like it, doesn't it?" said Montgomery, and turned towards the wake again.
Suddenly we heard a yelp and a volley of furious blasphemy from the companion hatchway,
and the deformed man with the black face came up hurriedly.
He was immediately followed by a heavy red-haired man in a white cap.
At the sight of the former the staghounds, who had all tired of barking at me by this time,
became furiously excited, howling and leaping against their chains.
The black hesitated before them, and this gave the red-haired man time to come up with him
and deliver a tremendous blow between the shoulder-blades.
The poor devil went down like a felled ox, and rolled in the dirt among the furiously excited dogs.
It was lucky for him that they were muzzled.
The red-haired man gave a yawp of exultation and stood staggering,
and as it seemed to me in serious danger of either going backwards down the companion hatchway or forwards upon his victim.
So soon as the second man had appeared, Montgomery had started forward.
"Steady on there!" he cried, in a tone of remonstrance.
A couple of sailors appeared on the forecastle.
The black-faced man, howling in a singular voice rolled about under the feet of the dogs.
No one attempted to help him.
The brutes did their best to worry him, butting their muzzles at him.
There was a quick dance of their lithe grey-figured bodies over the clumsy, prostrate figure.
The sailors forward shouted, as though it was admirable sport.
Montgomery gave an angry exclamation, and went striding down the deck, and I followed him.
The black-faced man scrambled up and staggered forward, going and leaning over the bulwark by the main shrouds, where he remained, panting and glaring over his shoulder at the dogs.
The red-haired man laughed a satisfied laugh.
"Look here, Captain," said Montgomery, with his lisp a little accentuated, gripping the elbows of the red-haired man, "this won't do!"
I stood behind Montgomery.
The captain came half round, and regarded him with the dull and solemn eyes of a drunken man.
"Wha' won't do?" he said, and added, after looking sleepily into Montgomery's face for a minute, "Blasted Sawbones!"
With a sudden movement he shook his arms free, and after two ineffectual attempts stuck his freckled fists into his side pockets.
"That man's a passenger," said Montgomery.
"I'd advise you to keep your hands off him."
"Go to hell!" said the captain, loudly.
He suddenly turned and staggered towards the side.
"Do what I like on my own ship," he said.
I think Montgomery might have left him then, seeing the brute was drunk;
but he only turned a shade paler, and followed the captain to the bulwarks.
"Look you here, Captain," he said; "that man of mine is not to be ill-treated.
He has been hazed ever since he came aboard."
For a minute, alcoholic fumes kept the captain speechless.
"Blasted Sawbones!" was all he considered necessary.
I could see that Montgomery had one of those slow, pertinacious tempers that will warm day after day to a white heat, and never again cool to forgiveness;
and I saw too that this quarrel had been some time growing.
"The man's drunk," said I, perhaps officiously; "you'll do no good."
Montgomery gave an ugly twist to his dropping lip.
"He's always drunk.
Do you think that excuses his assaulting his passengers?"
"My ship," began the captain, waving his hand unsteadily towards the cages,
"was a clean ship. Look at it now!"
It was certainly anything but clean.
"Crew," continued the captain, "clean, respectable crew."
"You agreed to take the beasts."
"I wish I'd never set eyes on your infernal island.
What the devil—want beasts for on an island like that?
Then, that man of yours—understood he was a man.
He's a lunatic; and he hadn't no business aft.
Do you think the whole damned ship belongs to you?"
"Your sailors began to haze the poor devil as soon as he came aboard."
"That's just what he is—he's a devil! an ugly devil!
My men can't stand him. I can't stand him.
None of us can't stand him. Nor youeither!"
Montgomery turned away.
"You leave that man alone, anyhow," he said, nodding his head as he spoke.
But the captain meant to quarrel now.
He raised his voice.
"If he comes this end of the ship again I'll cut his insides out, I tell you.
Cut out his blasted insides!
Who are you, to tell me what I'm to do?
I tell you I'm captain of this ship,—captain and owner.
I'm the law here, I tell you,—the law and the prophets.
I bargained to take a man and his attendant to and from Arica, and bring back some animals.
I never bargained to carry a mad devil and a silly Sawbones, a—"
Well, never mind what he called Montgomery.
I saw the latter take a step forward, and interposed.
"He's drunk," said I.
The captain began some abuse even fouler than the last.
"Shut up!"
I said, turning on him sharply, for I had seen danger in Montgomery's white face.
With that I brought the downpour on myself.
However, I was glad to avert what was uncommonly near a scuffle, even at the price of the captain's drunken ill-will.
I do not think I have ever heard quite so much vile language come in a continuous stream from any man's lips before,
though I have frequented eccentric company enough.
I found some of it hard to endure, though I am a mild-tempered man;
but, certainly, when I told the captain to "shut up" I had forgotten that I was merely a bit of human flotsam, cut off from my resources and with my fare unpaid;
a mere casual dependant on the bounty, or speculative enterprise, of the ship.
He reminded me of it with considerable vigour; but at any rate I prevented a fight.