THE VOYAGE DELAYED
IN this I was mistaken, for the wind was contrary to our
purpose, and we lay in the Downs near six weeks, while Master
Hunt, the preacher, who had joined the company that he might
labor for the good of
 our souls, lay so nigh unto death in
the cabin of the Susan Constant, that I listened during all
the waking hours of the night, fearing to hear the tolling
of the ship's bell, which would tell that he had gone from
among the living.
It was on the second night, after we were come to anchor
in the Downs awaiting a favorable wind, that I, having
fallen asleep while wishing Nathaniel Peacock might have
been with us, was awakened by the pressure of a cold hand
upon my cheek.
I was near to crying aloud with fear, for
the first thought that came was that Master Hunt had gone
from this world, and was summoning me; but before the cry
could escape my lips, I heard the whispered words:
"It is me, Nate Peacock!"
It can well be guessed that I was sitting bolt upright in
the narrow bed, which sailors call a bunk, by the time this
had been said, and in the gloom of the seamen's living place
I saw a head close to mine.
 Not until I had passed my hands over the face could I
believe it was indeed my comrade, and it goes without
saying that straightway I insisted on knowing how he
came there, when he should have been in London town.
I cannot set the story down as Nathaniel Peacock told
it to me on that night, because his words were many; but
the tale ran much like this: