Each of the three pieces was clearly three cables
persisted in assuming that the cuts were made transversely, or across,
and that therefore the complete length was nine cables.
however, explained (and the point is quite as veracious as the rest of
his yarn) that his cuts were made longitudinally—straight
from the tip
of the nose to the tip of the tail!
The complete length was therefore
only three cables, the same as each piece.
Simon was not asked the
length of the serpent, but how long it must have
It must have
been at least three cables long, though it might have been (the
statement apart) anything from that up to nine cables, according to the
direction of the cuts.