The After House (Chapter 7, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 7

I went to the after companionway and called up to the men to send
the first mate down; but Burns came instead.

"Singleton's sick," he explained. "He's up there in a corner, with
Oleson and McNamara holding him."

"Burns," I said cautiously--"I've found another!"

"God, not one of the women!"

"One of the maids--Karen."

Burns was a young fellow about my own age, and to this point he had
stood up well. But he had been having a sort of flirtation with the
girl, and I saw him go sick with horror. He wanted to see her, when
he had got command of himself; but I would not let him enter the
room. He stood outside, while I went in and carried out the
stewardess, who was coming to and moaning. I took her forward, and
told the three women there what I had found.

Mrs. Johns was better, and I found them all huddled in her room. I
put the stewardess on the bed, and locked the door into the next
room. Then, after examining the window, I gave Elsa Lee my revolver.

"Don't let any one in," I said. "I'll put a guard at the two
companionways, and we'll let no one down. But keep the door locked
also."

She took the revolver from me, and examined it with the air of one
familiar with firearms. Then she looked up at me, her lips as
white as her face.

"We are relying on you, Leslie," she said.

And, at her words, the storm of self-contempt and bitterness that I
had been holding in abeyance for the last half hour swept over me
like a flood. I could have wept for fury.

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