In the small front parlour of No. 3, Mermaid Passage, Sunset Bay, Jackson Pepper, ex-pilot, sat in a state of indignant collapse, tenderly feeling a cheek on which the print of hasty fingers still lingered.
William Wymark Jacobs (8 September 1863 – 1 September 1943), was an English author of short stories and novels. Although much of his work was humorous, he is most famous for his horror story “The Monkey’s Paw” (published 1902 in the collection of short stories The Lady of the Barge) and several other ghost stories, including “The Toll House” (published 1909 in the collection of short stories Sailors’ Knots) and “Jerry Bundler” (published 1901 in the collection Light Freights).
The sun was just rising as the small tub-like steamer, or, to be more correct, steam-barge, the Bulldog, steamed past the sleeping town of Gravesend at a good six knots per hour.
"Yes, I've sailed under some 'cute skippers in my time," said the night- watchman; "them that go down in big ships see the wonders o' the deep, you know," he added with a sudden chuckle,
Illness? said the night watchman, slowly. Yes, sailormen get ill sometimes, but not 'aving the time for it that other people have, and there being no doctors at sea, they soon pick up agin.
"There's no doubt about it," said the night watchman, "but what dissipline's a very good thing, but it don't always act well. For instance, I ain't allowed to smoke on this wharf,
Mr. Potter had just taken Ethel Spriggs into the kitchen to say good- by; in the small front room Mr. Spriggs, with his fingers already fumbling at the linen collar of ceremony, waited impatiently.
Mr. George Burton, naval pensioner, sat at the door of his lodgings gazing in placid content at the sea. It was early summer, and the air was heavy with the scent of flowers; Mr. Burton's pipe was cold and empty, and his pouch upstairs.
It was a still fair evening in late summer in the parish of Wapping. The hands had long since left, and the night watchman having abandoned his trust in favour of a neighbouring bar, the wharf was deserted.