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The Lost Warship   By: (1907-1977)

The Lost Warship by Robert Moore Williams

First Page:

The Lost Warship

by ROBERT MOORE WILLIAMS

[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Amazing Stories January 1943. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: Jap bombs rained down, there was a tremendous blast and a weird thing happened to the Idaho ]

CHAPTER I

The sun came up over a glassy, motionless sea. In the life boat, Craig arranged the piece of sail to protect them from the sun. He hoisted it to the top of the improvised mast, spreading it so that it threw a shadow on the boat. There was no wind. There had been no wind for three days.

Craig stood up and swept his eyes around the circle of the sea. The horizon was unbroken. As he sat down he was aware that the girl, Margy Sharp, who had been sleeping at his feet, had awakened.

"See anything, pal?" she whispered.

He shook his head.

Her pinched face seemed to become more pinched at his gesture. She sat up. Her eyes went involuntarily to the keg of water beside Craig. She licked her parched, cracked lips.

"How's for a drink, pal?" she asked.

"A quarter of a cup is all we get today," Craig said. "Do you want your share now or will you wait and take it later?"

"I'm terribly thirsty," the girl said. She glanced quickly back at the others in the boat. They were still sleeping.

"How about slipping me a whole cup?" she asked, her bold blue eyes fixed intently on Craig's face.

Craig looked at the sea.

"They're asleep," the girl said quickly. "They won't ever know."

Craig said nothing.

"Please," the girl begged.

Craig sat in silence. He was a big man with a great thatch of black hair and hard gray eyes. He was clad in a pair of torn duck trousers. Rolled bottoms revealed bare feet. He wore no shirt. Holstered on his belt was a heavy pistol.

"Look, big boy," the girl cajoled. "Me and you could get along all right."

"What makes you think so?" Craig questioned.

This was apparently not the answer she had expected. She seemed to be startled. For a moment her eyes measured the man.

"You've been looking for something that you wanted very badly," she said. "You haven't found it. Because you haven't found it, you have become bitter."

Her words made Craig uncomfortable. They came too close to the truth. He shifted his position on the seat.

"So what?" he said.

"So nothing," the girl answered. "Except that we are two of a kind."

"And because we are two of a kind, we can get along?" he questioned.

"Yes," she answered. She made no effort to hide the longing in her eyes. "Look, Craig, me and you, we're tough." She gestured contemptuously at the others in the boat. " They aren't tough."

"Aren't they?"

"No." The words came faster now, as if she had made up her mind to say what she had to say and be damned with the consequences. "They're going to die. Oh, you needn't shake your head. You haven't fooled me for a minute with your pretending there will be a ship along to pick us up. There won't be a ship. Our only hope is that we may drift ashore on an island. It may be days before we find an island. There isn't enough water to keep us all alive that long. So "

She couldn't quite finish what she had to say. Craig watched her, his eyes cold and unrevealing. Her gaze dropped.

"So why don't you and I split the water and let the others die of thirst because we are tough and they aren't? Is that what you mean?" he asked.

"No " She faltered. "N no." Defiance hardened her face. "Yes!" she snapped. "That's what I mean. Why should we take care of them? We don't owe them anything. Why should we die with them? What have they or anybody else ever done for us? I'll tell you the answer. Nothing. Nothing! Nothing! "

"Because they have done nothing for us and because we are the stronger, we let them die. Is that what you mean?"

"Y yes."

Craig sat in silence for a moment. Dark thoughts were in his mind but his face showed nothing... Continue reading book >>




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