Introduction: Summary and Analysis
Unnamed sailor: jumps overboard from a large ship and boards a small boat to reach an island
Two unidentified women: on board the small boat which takes the unnamed sailor to the island
A sailor leaps from a ship, the H.M.S. Stor Konigsgaarten. Although he is a strong swimmer, because of a strong undertow he is unable to swim to the deserted pier he had noticed a mile beyond the lights of Queen of France. The current carries him to a small boat, Seabird II, which he boards easily since a rope ladder hangs over the side. Although he hears voices, laughter, and music, and smells cooking odors—especially that of curry—he sees no one. He hides in a closet not far from the open door through which come the sounds. Although he intends to stay alert, he falls asleep. When he awakens, he hears two women talking on deck. After a crashing sound, a woman’s hand appears near the slightly opened door of his hiding place, picking up a bottle of suntan oil. The light from the hall enables him to see about his closet. When he finds the miniature orange trees in a crate, he eats the bitter fruit ravenously. He deduces that the boat is headed away from Queen of France and toward an island.
When the boat docks, he sees the two women walk toward a car and hears an engine start. He quickly goes to find something to eat in the galley, but everything has been cleaned up. He must be satisfied with flat Norwegian bread and mustard.
When he goes on deck to look at the...
(The entire section is 633 words.)