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The Mystery

The Disappearance
When Barnett come on deck very early in the morning of June 7th, he found Dr. Trendon
already up and staring moodily out at the Laughing Lass. As the night was calm the tow
had made fair time toward their port in the Hawaiian group. The surgeon was muttering
something which seemed to Barnett to be in a foreign tongue.
"Thought out any clue, doctor?" asked the first officer.
"Petit Chel--Pshaw! Jolie Celimene! No," muttered Trendon. "Marie--Marie--I've got it!
The Marie Celeste."
"Got what? What about her?"
"Parallel case," said Trendon. "Sailed from New York back in the seventies. Seven weeks
out was found derelict. Everything in perfect order. Captain's wife's hem on the machine.
Boats all accounted for. No sign of struggle. Log written to within forty-eight hours."
"What became of the crew?"
"Wish I could tell you. Might help to unravel our tangle." He shook his head in sudden,
unwonted passion.
"Evidently there's something criminal in her record," said Barnett, frowning at the fusty
schooner astern. "Otherwise the name wouldn't be painted out."
"Painted out long ago. See how rusty it is. Schermerhorn's work maybe," replied
Trendon. "Secret expedition, remember."
"In the name of wonders, why should he do it?"
"Secret expedition, wasn't it?"
"Um-ah; that's true," said the other thoughtfully. "It's quite possible."
"Captain wishes to see both of you gentlemen in the ward room, if you please," came a
message.
Below they found all the officers gathered. Captain Parkinson was pacing up and down in
ill-controlled agitation.
"Gentlemen," he said, "we are facing a problem which, so far as I know, is without
parallel. It is my intention to bring the schooner which we have in tow to port at
Honolulu. In the present unsettled weather we cannot continue to tow her. I wish two
officers to take charge. Under the circumstances I shall issue no orders. The duty must be
voluntary."
 
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