What made me so angry was the sense I had let them all down when I took that boat out in weather I knew might turn nasty that. He lay with the spindrift soaking his clothes, and his eyelids twitching with the dream which was lifting his mouth in a half smile, and I shook him awake. Andrew was shouting at him: ‘You really don’t give a toss, do you – it’s all words. We are doing down, and you don’t give a toss!’
He sprang awake as you do from deep sleep – disorientated, I thought. On his feet before my hands were off his shoulders, and real anger blazing in him. Not shouting, he was far too angry for that. But his words filled the howling air.
‘Peace. Be still.’
Look, at first I thought he was speaking to us, and he did get like that, sudden flashes of, well, he was scary when he was like that. But as, as, the thing happened, as the wind dropped and the waves stilled, I realised they had heard him too. They did not dare disobey him.
You think you’d like that? Somebody to still your storms? Just think about it – no, if you was there, I reckon you’d be as terrified as we were. You run away from what you fear, sure, but you find yourself with a bigger terror.