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The meeting with the skipper of the Sephora reveals how deeply entrenched the Captain is in Leggatt's perspective of the events. He immediately is on the defensive with the skipper and regards him as not only quite physically unappealing but also dense and unsophisticated. He is made out to be ineffectual and boorish. The skipper represents the law and he is in search of vindication for the murder of his crewmate. The Captain refuses to be even slightly persuaded by this man's version of the incident. In fact, the Captain uses what the skippers says to support Leggatt's version of what happened.
After the skipper of the Sephora departs, Leggatt informs the Captain that Archbold did not give the order and Leggatt took the matter in his own hands and ordered the sail set. This statement indicates that Leggatt submitted himself to authority only when convenient. He is capable of taking command and saving the day and although admirable this is not the protocol for a ship where every man understands his place in the hierarchy. Still, the Captain condones his actions. It is as if he would have done the same thing or in Freud's terms, he is seeking a wish fulfillment in Leggatt's actions, as the Captain is unable to be capable of such daunting action. Conrad shows here how subjectivity often determines moral behavior. Although murder is a reprehensible act and insubordination on a ship calls for punitive measures, here both of these actions are seen as being heroic not deplorable.
The Captain attributes the murder to a justifiable sense of desperation: "The same strung-up force which had given twenty- four men a chance, at least, for their lives, had, in a sort of recoil, crushed an unworthy mutinous existence." In the Captain's eyes, Leggatt has proved adequate where the Captain as well as Archbold had failed. Archbold tries to cover up his weakness by having Leggatt put to death and thereby sealing the knowledge of his weakness as a captain in a decisive moment.