The Esperance sailed on. The crew-cuts went about their various chores and talked endlessly, among themselves and with Deirdre, when she joined in. Terry felt useless. He trailed the submarine ear overboard and set the recorder to work as an amplifier only. At low volume it played the sounds of things below. He kept half an ear cocked toward it for the mooing sound he’d picked up at the place where the ocean glittered. He heard it again now, and again found it difficult to imagine any cause for it. The sounds uttered by noisemaking fish are usually produced in their swim-bladders. The purpose of fish cries is as obscure as the reason for some insect stridulations, or the song of many birds. But a long-continued fish noise would involve a swim-bladder of large size. At great depths, if a considerable cavity were filled with gas, under pressures running into tons to the square inch…. Terry could not quite believe it.
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He did not hear the mooing sound any more, as the yacht went on its way. Other underwater sounds became commonplace, and he tended not to hear them. From the deck around him, though, he heard arguments about wave mechanics, prospects in the World Series, the virtues of Dixieland jazz, ichthyology, Copeland’s contribution to modern music, the possibility of life on other planets, and kindred topics. The crew-cuts were taking their summer vacations as able seamen on board the Esperance, but they had as many and as voluble opinions as any other undergraduates. They aired them on each other.
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