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datatime: 2022-12-08 07:28:36 Author:yiReFIuu

Church stared at him.Yes, sir, if you wish.

Suddenly, before Worley could reply, the Cyclops lurched downward into a deep trough between the swells. From instinct, honed by years at sea, everyone in the wheelhouse automatically grabbed at the nearest secure object to keep his footing. The hull plates groaned under the stress and they could hear several cracking noises.

You talk like a crazy man. Go to your cabin, mister. I don't want to see your face until we reach port.

You talk like a crazy man. Go to your cabin, mister. I don't want to see your face until we reach port.

As he was walking down a passageway toward the wardroom for a cup of coffee a cabin door opened and the American consul general to Brazil, Alfred Gottschalk, hesitated on the threshold, talking to someone inside. Church peered over Gottschalk's shoulder and saw the ship's doctor bent over a man lying in a bunk. The patient's face looked tired and yellow-skinned, a youngish face that belied the thick forest of white hair above. The eyes were open and reflected fear mingled with suffering and hardship, eyes that had seen too much. The scene was only one more strange element to be added to the voyage of the Cyclops.

Thank you, said Gottschalk.I need something from one of my trunks.

A faint expression of relief passed over the consul general's face and he smiled.Might as well. I can never sleep more than a few hours at a stretch. Drives my wife crazy.

Mother of God, muttered the helmsman, his voice edged with panic.

Church, sir. I was just finishing an inspection of the ship and heading for the wardroom for a cup of coffee. Would you care to join me?

Shut up Worley growled as the Cyclops righted herself.She's seen worse seas than this.

Before we have coffee, would you be so kind, Lieutenant, as to escort me to the baggage cargo hold?

No, I sent her on ahead to our home in Maryland. I terminated my assignment in Brazil. I hope to spend the rest of my State Department service in Washington.

He stepped onto the deck and stared out over the bow. The sea appeared deceptively mild. The waves had diminished to ten feet and no water was coming over the deck. He made his way aft and saw that the steam lines that ran the winches and auxiliary equipment were scraping against the bulwarks as the ship rose and fell with the long, slow swells.

Thank you, said Gottschalk.I need something from one of my trunks.

If Church thought the request unusual, he said nothing, simply nodded and started off toward the forward part of the ship with the fat little consul general huffing in his wake. They made their way topside and walked along the runway leading from the aft deckhouses toward the forecastle, passing under the bridge superstructure awkwardly suspended on steel stiltlike stanchions. The steaming light, suspended between the two forward masts that formed a support for the skeletal grid connecting the coaling derricks, cast a weird glow that was reflected by the eerie radiance of the approaching swells.

No, I sent her on ahead to our home in Maryland. I terminated my assignment in Brazil. I hope to spend the rest of my State Department service in Washington.

You talk like a crazy man. Go to your cabin, mister. I don't want to see your face until we reach port.

If Church thought the request unusual, he said nothing, simply nodded and started off toward the forward part of the ship with the fat little consul general huffing in his wake. They made their way topside and walked along the runway leading from the aft deckhouses toward the forecastle, passing under the bridge superstructure awkwardly suspended on steel stiltlike stanchions. The steaming light, suspended between the two forward masts that formed a support for the skeletal grid connecting the coaling derricks, cast a weird glow that was reflected by the eerie radiance of the approaching swells.

Church hesitated, his fists clenched. Then slowly his hands relaxed as he realized any further argument with Worley was a waste of breath. He turned without a word and left the wheelhouse.

Then Church went below and checked two of the ore holds, probing his flashlight at the heavy shorings and stanchions installed to keep the manganese cargo from shifting. They groaned and creaked under the stress, but they seemed firm and secure. He could not see any sign of trickling grit from the ship's motion.

He stepped onto the deck and stared out over the bow. The sea appeared deceptively mild. The waves had diminished to ten feet and no water was coming over the deck. He made his way aft and saw that the steam lines that ran the winches and auxiliary equipment were scraping against the bulwarks as the ship rose and fell with the long, slow swells.

A faint expression of relief passed over the consul general's face and he smiled.Might as well. I can never sleep more than a few hours at a stretch. Drives my wife crazy.

He stepped onto the deck and stared out over the bow. The sea appeared deceptively mild. The waves had diminished to ten feet and no water was coming over the deck. He made his way aft and saw that the steam lines that ran the winches and auxiliary equipment were scraping against the bulwarks as the ship rose and fell with the long, slow swells.

Shut up Worley growled as the Cyclops righted herself.She's seen worse seas than this.

Mother of God, muttered the helmsman, his voice edged with panic.

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