the Demeter ship's log
[From Varna to Whitby, Written 18 July]
On 17 July, yesterday, one of the men, Olgaren, came to my cabin, and in an awestruck
way confided to me that he thought there was a strange man aboard the ship. He
said that in his watch he had been sheltering behind the deckhouse, as there was
a rain storm, when he saw a tall, thin man, who was not like any of the crew,
come up the companionway, and go along the deck forward and disappear. He followed
cautiously, but when he got to bows found no one, and the hatchways were all closed.
He was in a panic of superstitious fear, and I am afraid the panic may spread.
To allay it, I shall today search the entire ship carefully from stem to stern.
in the day I got together the whole crew, and told them, as they evidently thought
there was some one in the ship, we would search from stem to stern. First mate
angry, said it was folly, and to yield to such foolish ideas would demoralise
the men, said he would engage to keep them out of trouble with the handspike.
I let him take the helm, while the rest began a thorough search, all keeping abreast,
with lanterns. We left no corner unsearched. As there were only the big wooden
boxes, there were no odd corners where a man could hide. Men much relieved when
search over, and went back to work cheerfully. First mate scowled, but said nothing.