The After House
6. We Find The Axe
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.