Captain Riggs had a trunk full of old logbooks, and he said any of them would make a better story than the Kut Sang. The truth of it was, he didn't want me to write this story. There were things he didn't wish to see in type, perhaps because he feared to read about himself and what had happened in the old steamer in the China Sea. Folks don't care nothing about cargo-boats, he would say, taking his pipe out of his mouth and shaking his head gravely, whenever I hinted that I would like to tell of our adventure of the Kut Sang. They want yarns of them floating hotels called liners, with palm-gardens in 'em and bands playing at their meals and games and so on going from eight bells to the bos'n's watch. It was mostly fighting in the Kut Sang, and the mess you and me and poor Harris and the black boy there got into wouldn't be just the quiet sort of reading folks want these days. It was all over in a night and a day, anyway - look at them Northern Spy apples, Mr. Trenholm!"

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