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

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.

Gottschalk appeared unduly nervous to Church. His eyes darted up and down the passageway, and he constantly dabbed a linen handkerchief at his small mouth. He took Church by the arm.

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.

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

A sickening realization struck Church.The Crogan Castle, the ship that sent the distress signal, said her prow was stove in and her superstructure damaged.

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.

She remain in Rio this trip?

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.

Don't you see, she must have been struck by a giant, rogue wave.

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

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?

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?

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.

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

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

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.

As officer of the deck before the ship departed Rio de Janeiro, Church had observed a motor caravan arrive on the dock. The consul general had stepped out of a chauffeur-driven town car and directed the loading of his steamer trunks and suitcases. Then he looked up, taking in every detail of the Cyclops from her ungainly straight-up-and-down bow to the graceful curve of her champagne-glass stern. Despite his short, rotund, and almost comical frame, he radiated that indefinable air of someone accustomed to the upper rungs of authority. He wore his silver-yellow hair cropped excessively short, Prussian style. His narrow eyebrows very nearly matched his clipped moustache.

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.

Gottschalk appeared unduly nervous to Church. His eyes darted up and down the passageway, and he constantly dabbed a linen handkerchief at his small mouth. He took Church by the arm.

She remain in Rio this trip?

Don't you see, she must have been struck by a giant, rogue wave.

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?

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