Before long he knew where Disko kept the old greencrusted quadrant that they called the «hog-yoke»—under the bed-bag in his bunk. When he took the sun, and with the help of «The Old Farmer’s» almanac found the latitude, Harvey would jump down into the cabin and scratch the reckoning and date with a nail on the rust of the stove-pipe. Now, the chief engineer of the liner could have done no more, and no engineer of thirty years’ service could have assumed one half of the ancient-mariner air with which Harvey, first careful to spit over the side, made public the schooner’s position for that day, and then and not till then relieved Disko of the quadrant. There is an etiquette in all these things.
The said «hog-yoke,» an Eldridge chart, the farming almanac, Blunt’s «Coast Pilot,» and Bowditch’s «Navigator» were all the weapons Disko needed to guide him, except the deep-sea lead that was his spare eye. Harvey nearly slew Penn with it when Tom Platt taught him first how to «fly the blue pigeon»; and, though his strength was not equal to continuous sounding in any sort of a sea, for calm weather with a seven-pound lead on shoal water Disko used him freely.
As Dan said:»‘Tain’t soundin’s dad wants. It’s samples. Grease her up good, Harve.» Harvey would tallow the cup at the end, and carefully bring the sand, shell, sludge, or whatever it might be, to Disko, who fingered and smelt it and gave judgment As has been said, when Disko thought of cod he thought as a cod; and by some long-tested mixture of instinct and experience, moved the «We’re Here» from berth to berth, always with the fish, as a blindfolded chess-player moves on the unseen board.