In the story of Brugglesmith the author finds himself, by infernally bad luck, on the dangerous Thames, in the dark, with a man who is not only a complete stranger but very drunk indeed.
It was a consolation to think that the dinghy was being reduced in value with every bump, but the question before me was when she would begin to leak. The man looked ahead into the pitchy darkness and whistled.
'Yon's a Castle liner; her ties are black. She's swinging across the stream. Keep her port light on our starboard bow, and go large,' he said.
'How can I keep anything anywhere? You're sitting on the oars. Row, man, if you don't want to drown.'
I love the comedy of exasperation, and the poor author has much to exasperate him during the course of this short story. If you'd like to read of someone having a night to remember - or, actually, forget -then it can be found here.
Highly recommended, especially if read somewhere dry, safe, and warm.
Word To Use Today: dinghy. Many of our English sailing terms are Dutch, but dinghy comes, like Kipling himself, from India, from the Hindi or Bengali dingi meaning a little boat.