Archie didn't know why he still bothered to return, for his mother’s sake perhaps; she had little left. It was over now at least. Shore leave had finally ended.
Now he stood on the quarterdeck and let himself fall back into the rhythm of the ship. The wind and the waves and the creak of timbers were countered by the bosun’s curses. Between great cabin and aft rail Captain Pellew wrote and conducted all at once.
Archie sighed as the familiar sounds, the rich voice, soothed the echo of his father’s words from his mind. He was home at last.