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Meanwhile the bosun and his mates, together with the most experienced forecastle hands and tierers, roused out the best cable the Diane possessed, the most nearly new and unfrayed, a seventeen-inch cable that they turned end for end - no small undertaking in that confined space, since it weighed three and a half tons - and bent it to the best bower anchor by the wholly unworn end that had always been abaft the bitts: the bitter end.