The captain offers Leggatt a place to hide and an eventual means of escape. What does he get in return from Leggatt?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As the darker side of the captain, Leggatt is the alter-ego of the narrator.  With Leggatt the captain finds that "meaning depends upon sharing"; he and Leggatt stand against the bed talking in low tones for hours.  Legatt is his secret sharer:

The self-possession of that man had somehow induced a corresponding state in myself....A mysterious communication was established already between us two--in the fact of that darkened tropical sea.

After hiding Leggatt, the captain knows what it is to have a friend, someone with whom to share secrets--someone by whom to measure himself.