He sent for the surgeon, and told him the whole sad story: and asked him what could be done. His poor cousin Lucy had more than once expressed her horror of interment at sea. "It is very hot," said he; "but surely you must know some way of keeping him till we land in New Zealand: curse these flies; how they bite!"
The surgeon's eyes sparkled; he happened to be an enthusiast in the art of embalming. "Keep him to New Zealand?" said he contemptuously, "I'll embalm him so that he shall go to England looking just as he does now-- by-the-by, I never saw a drowned man keep his colour so well before--ay, and two thousand years after that, if you don't mind the expense."
"The expense! I don't care, if it cost me a year's pay. I think of nothing but repairing my blunder as far as I can."
The surgeon was delighted. Standing over his subject, who lay on the captain's table, he told that officer how he should proceed. "I have all the syringes," he said; "a capital collection. I shall inject the veins with care and patience; then I shall remove the brain and the viscera, and provided I'm not stinted in arsenic and spices----"
"I give you carte blanche on the purser: make your preparations, and send for him. Don't tell me how you do it; but do it. I must write and tell poor Lucy I have got him, and am bringing him home to her--dead."
The surgeon was gone about a quarter of an hour; he then returned with two men to remove the body, and found the captain still writing his letter, very sorrowful: but now and then slapping his face or leg with a hearty curse as the flies stung him.
The surgeon beckoned the men in softly, and pointed to the body for them to carry it out.
Now, as he pointed, his eye, following his finger, fell on something that struck that experienced eye as incredible: he uttered an exclamation of astonishment so loud that the captain looked up directly from his letter; and saw him standing with his finger pointing at the corpse, and his eyes staring astonishment "What now?" said the captain, and rose from his seat