Mary Celeste chapter 10

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Onboard SS ERIN 1100 09NOV17:

Since the Turner sisters seemed upset after the meeting followed by Tom Dodge's stern warning, Tom suggested that perhaps it would be better to escort the sisters back to their cabin to allow them to rest and recover before lunch. As he led Elizabeth (followed by his son and Crissie) back to her cabin, he promised that he would be back at 1150 to escort the two sisters to lunch. (In fact, Tom was very much interested in discussing what had happened before and during breakfast).

After the two girls were safely escorted to their cabin (followed by discrete and romantic farewell kisses), Tom and his son hurried to their cabin for a very important father/son talk.

"We're you able to successfully search the Captain's stateroom?"

"Yes. I didn't spend much time in his stateroom. Fortunately, I left at just the right time. As soon as I closed the door and started to walk away, the messenger turned the corner."

"Did he see you leave the stateroom or close the door?"

"No. I pretended to be lost looking for the bridge."

"Good thinking. Did he ask why you were looking for the bridge?"

"Yes. I told him I wanted to see the bridge. He took me to the First Mate on the bridge. They gave me a tour and even let me steer the ship!"

"You do look like a cute kid {smirk}"

"I'm not a kid old man!"

"Right son{smirk}". "What did you find in the Stateroom?"

"I didn't have much time. I found the safe. Didn't touch it. Probably about ten minutes to get it open. There was a photograph on the wall of a group of German Officers on a battleship. Our Captain was there standing next to another officer that looked like Luckner."

"Probably the Kronprinz Wilhelm pre-war. Luckner was stationed on the Kronprinz Wilhelm until '16. What else?"

"Read the ship's log for the last two weeks. The only thing interesting was an entry two days before we sailed. Seems the Captain received an order from the German Ambassador to Chile ordering him to stop at the Canal Zone and drop off Dr. Lorenz and another passenger."

"That would be Lealand. I think he's ex-military. Probably Army. Definitely not a Navy Man. I haven't figured out what they are doing here. From that meeting earlier I get the idea that the Captain doesn't like the good Doctor. The Captain certainly doesn't share Lorenz's desire to get to Panama in a hurry. We're gonna have to look closely at those two. I don't like loose cannons."

"Maybe they are just passengers on their way to Panama. They don't seem to be interested in what's going on the ERIN."

"Why would the German Ambassador to Chile be interested in a Doctor wanting to go to Panama? No, those two are up to something. I just don't know what? Maybe it doesn't have anything to do with the ERIN's trip to Valparaiso. Let's discuss these two later. Did you discover anything else?"

"Yes. There was a chart on the Captain's desk. Picton Island was circled and the date 30 NOV was pencilled in next to the island."

"Picton Island? You're sure "

"Yes sir!"

"Damn! That's it! Admiral Graf Spee anchored off Picton Island for three days transferring coal from the captured Norwegian Collier DRUMMUIR just before the Battle of the Falklands. The ERIN would have passed that island a few days earlier. That's why we've been watching the ERIN. She was four days late arriving in Valparaiso. She took six days to load in New York. It took only two days to unload in Valparaiso. The ship didn't make any recorded stops on the way."

"The ERIN is a Norwegian flagged ship! Are you saying the Germans are using the ERIN to resupply their ships?"

"Got it in one! We've been tracking her movements since she arrived in Valparaiso in December '14. I'm here because the cargo manifest on this trip is suspicious. The Admiral suspects the ERIN may attempting to resupply submarines in the Carribean area. However, I think something else is going on. Admiral Graf Spee's squadron came from the Pacific. The only German Ship left in the Pacific is the SEEADLER. I think the ERIN is going to resupply the SEEADLER at Picton Island in nineteen days. The cases of Bibles in the hold contain 4.1" shells. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that eighteen of the cases of machine parts contain the components for six 4.1" guns???"

"Maybe the SEEADLER needs new guns"

"Two maybe, but not six. What are the other four guns for?"

"Spares?"

" I doubt it , too much weight. Did you find anything else?"

'No sir!"

"Let's talk about this ghost pirate ship. Any thoughts?"

"I can only tell you what I saw. The ship looked real to me."

" Okay, I'll leave it for now. I don't want you or the girls left alone. From now on, we need to keep a close eye on the two sisters. I'm going to have them keep their door locked when they are in their cabin. We need to get ready for lunch and pick up the girls. I don't want them wandering around without an escort."

Before lunch, the second mate gave the Captain a report on the continuing onboard search for the missing woman. The second mate relayed a report from one of the seaman. Another case of cabbage was missing. The Captain didn't comment on the missing Cabbage. It didn't seem important. Not finding the missing woman was important, so the Captain ordered the ship to turn South and resume their voyage. The Captain notified the first mate to continue the extra lookouts for the remainder of the watch.

Tom Dodge and his son picked up the girls promptly and escorted them to lunch. Lunch was subdued as the Captain announced that the search for the missing passenger was being discontinued and the ship had returned to sailing South to Panama. The meal ended early.

The girls waited patiently for Tom and his son, who quickly arrived at the Captain's table to help the girls stand up. As they walked out of the room, Crissie blurted out to Tom Junior " Do you think the Pirates got her?" This was overheard by several of the passengers including Professor Ciruela.

Professor Ciruela quickly got up and followed the party of four onto the deck where they began an afternoon walk around the ship. While Tom Junior quietly and surreptitiously scanned the sea for the pirate ship, the professor caught up with them and asked if he could join them. Not seeing a reason to object, Tom Dodge allowed the professor to postition himself to the left of Tom Dodge and the right of Crissie.

The Professor skillfully asked Crissie what she meant when she asked if the Pirates captured Señora Pavo Real. Crissie grabbed the professor's arm and began to breathlessly describe her encounters with the pirate ship. For some unknown reason, Tom Dodge just smirked and made no attempt to stop Crissie from enjoying the spotlight. Crissie was in heaven. A man on each arm and the undivided attention of all (still not noticing that Tom Junior's attention was mostly on the sea).

When Crissie began describing the pirate flag, the professor quickly interrupted "Are you sure the flag had a large white spider below the skull and bones?"

"Yes!"

"Spider-Kings!" The tone of the professor attracted the complete attention of Tom Dodge.

"What are Spider-Kings Professor?"

...

=============================

Panama 1300 09NOV17:

{ring}

"Yes inspector."

"We have just arrested a young man for murder. He claims to be your Number One Son?"

"Most curious, Number One Son currently in New York. Will have long talk with Number One Daughter. For now, please hold young man in question until I arrive."

....



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