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Thanks to my lovely beta : Garonne. She's amazing
Life aboard the Surprise consisted of a succession of habits, surprisingly.
As always, after a battle – here, against the Acheron – Pullings headed towards the Captain's cabin. As always, several men were already there. Doctor Maturin was there too.
He was so easy to make fun of, this nice doctor. He knew nothing of naval terminology, nor the naval sense of humor. That's why he was always interrupting the meetings to ask for the meaning of a word he didn't understand.
That day, he did it again, and the Captain was obviously greatly pleased to have the opportunity to answer his question.
Pullings wanted to add a precision, and the Captain cut him off roughly.
The Doctor and the Captain were quite funny, together, the former with his strange questions, and the latter with his badly disguised pride and possessiveness.
Life aboard the Surprise consisted of a succession of habits, surprisingly. Everybody knew that answering the Doctor's questions was the Captain's pleasure. But it never prevented the crew from trying to do it before him. Just to have a bit of a laugh.
To cut someone off – l'interrompre pendant qu'il parle
To cut someone – ne pas lui dire bonjour, faire exprès de l'ignorer quand on le croise, etc.