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"First mate angry, said it was folly [to search the ship], and to yield to such foolish ideas would demoralise the men, said he would engage to keep them out of trouble with the handspike...Men much relieved when search over, and went back to work cheerfully. First mate scowled, but said nothing."

The Romanian first mate opposed his captain and was prepared to beat the men to prevent a search of the ship. Why did he feel so strongly? Morale? Superstition? He doesn't seem the kind of man who would be overly concerned about what the crew might think.

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