We asked our friend Captain Brown one evening to tell us something interesting about his voyages, and he told us the following story:
“It was fifteen years ago, when I was a mate on a ship which was going to New York. We were having a very good voyage. The captain came up to me one morning and said: “Last night I heard such a strange thing that I don't know what to do about it. I couldn't sleep and I heard a voice which said in my ear: ‘Sail north-north-west. Sail north-north-west.’ We must sail in that direction and find out.”
“I'm very sorry, captain,” I said, “but I think you had too much to eat last night and that's why you couldn't sleep”.
The captain was very angry.
“I didn't eat much yesterday,” he said, “and I heard the strange voice three times, sir”.
The captain told the men to sail north-north-west. One of the men saw something black in the sea the next day. The captain looked through his glasses and said to me: “There's a small boat there with a man in it. I was right last night, wasn't I? We must save him.”
Soon we reached the small boat and saw that the man in it was fast asleep. He went on sleeping while we took him into our boat and sailed towards the ship. When the man was aboard the ship, he suddenly opened his eyes and cried out loudly, “Where am I? Where's my boat?”
“Hullo!” said the captain. “I'm very pleased that we have been able to save you.”
“Did you order your men to take me out of my boat while I was asleep?” the man asked.
“Of course,” answered the happy captain. “Did you want to be drowned in your little boat?”
“Look here,” said the man, “My name's Captain Wilson and I'm making a record voyage from New York to Liverpool in a small boat…”