“What is it you mean?”
“Another woman played your part; a woman most wonderfully like you, even to the voice. There is no other solution of the problem. And that reveals the plan of robbery—to get you out of the way, and then have her take the fortune. Who would ever suspect such a fraud?”
She sat silent, motionless, apparently unable at once to grasp all the meaning in his words. It seemed unbelievable, and her gaze was straight out across the black waters, one hand clinging firmly to offset the rocking of the frail raft. Then she pointed away into the distance.
“See, there is light over there,” she exclaimed eagerly. “That must be the east, and it is morning.”
LOVE BREAKS SILENCE
West was so immersed in his own thoughts, awakened by these new developments, he apparently did not hear what the girl said. She reached out and pressed his arm.
“Do you not see, Captain West? Daylight is coming; it is much lighter over there.”
He lifted his head, and looked where she pointed. A dull, grey light topped the waters, and the sky above held a faint tinge of crimson. The wan glow accented the loneliness, and for the moment left him depressed. Was there ever a more sombre scene than was presented by that waste of tumbling waves, stretching to the horizon, arched over by a clouded sky? It grew clearer, more distinct, yet remained the same dead expanse of restless water, on which they tossed helplessly and alone. Nothing broke the grimness of it, not even a bird in the air, or a leaping fish; complete desolation met the eye in every direction, a threatening, menacing dreariness amid which each approaching swell seemed about to sweep them to destruction. The wind increased slightly with the dawn, buffeting the frail raft to which they clung desperately, and showering them with spray, while, as the light became stronger, they searched vainly for any sign of ship, or shadow of land. Nothing appeared within range of vision to break the drear monotony of grey sea and sky. Neither felt any desire to speak; they could only stare out silently across the desolation of waters, feeling their helplessness and peril. This then was the morning they had struggled forward to—this green, grey monster, whose dripping jaws showered wet foam over them; this terrible nothingness which promised death.
Her head sank forward into her hands, as though she would thus shut out the whole weird picture, and West, aroused by the slight movement, glanced quickly aside. The sight of her distress gave him instant mastery over his own depression. His hand sought her own, where it gripped for support, and closed over it warmly.
“It cannot be as bad as it seems,” he insisted, trying to say the words cheerfully. “I know these waters, and they are never long deserted. Luck will change surely; perhaps within the hour we shall be picked up, and can laugh at all this experience.”