Mr. X or Captain Pogossian

When we got there, we saw a small boat at the wharf with two sailors in it who were evidently waiting for us. We stepped into the boat and after being rowed along for half an hour, with the English sailors singing all the time, we came alongside a fairly large warship.

It was obvious that we were expected on board, for no sooner did we reach the deck than some sailors standing at the gangway quickly took our things and led us to a small cabin, which had been assigned to us and made ready beforehand in the hold near the galley.

When we had somehow settled ourselves in this stuffy but, as it seemed to us, very cosy corner of the warship, we went out on the upper deck, accompanied by one of the sailors for whom we had fought in the restaurant. We sat down on some coils of rope and soon we were surrounded by almost all the crew—both ordinary sailors and junior officers.

All of them, irrespective of their rank, seemed to have a marked feeling of friendliness towards us. Every one of them felt obliged to shake hands with us and, taking our ignorance of English into account, tried, with the aid of gestures and what words they knew in various languages, to say something obviously pleasant.

During this very original conversation in many languages, one of the sailors, who spoke tolerable Greek, suggested that during the voyage each one present should set himself the task of learning every day at least twenty words—we in English, they in Turkish.

This proposal was approved by all with noisy applause, and two sailors, from among our friends of the day before, at once began choosing and writing down those English words which they thought we ought to learn first, and Pogossian and I made a list of Turkish words for them.
When the launch with the senior officers came alongside and the hour of sailing drew near, all the crew went off to carry out their duties, and Pogossian and I at once set to work to memorize the first twenty English words, which were written phonetically in Greek characters.