It may have happened in the struggle. Or again it may have happened when they were hoisted aboard and lay, for a minute or so, side by side on the deck. Both men were insensible; so far gone indeed that the doctor looked serious as he and his helpers began to induce artificial respiration.
The young third officer ‘came round’ after five minutes of this; but, strangely enough, in the end he was found to be suffering from a severer shock than Mr Markham, on whom the doctor operated for a full twenty minutes before a flutter of the eyelids rewarded him. They were carried away—the third officer, in a state of collapse, to his modest berth; Mr Markham to his white-and-gold deck-cabin. On his way thither Mr Markham protested cheerily that he saw no reason for all this fuss; he was as right now, or nearly as right, as the Bank.
How’s Rendal getting on?’
Captain Holditch, skipper of the Carnatic, put this question next morning to the doctor, and was somewhat surprised by the answer.
’Oh, Rendal’s all right. That is to say, he will be all right. Just now he’s suffering from shock. My advice—supposing, of course, you can spare him—is to pack him straightaway off to his people on a week’s leave. In a week he’ll be fit as a fiddle.’ The doctor paused and added, ‘’Wish I could feel as easy about the millionaire.’
’Why, what’s the matter with him? ’Struck me he pulled round wonderfully, once you’d brought him to. He talked as cheery as a grig.
‘H’m—yes,’ said the doctor; ’he has been talking like that ever since, only he hasn’t been talking sense. Calls me names for keeping him in bed, and wants to get out and repair that stanchion. I told him it was mended. “Nothing on earth is the matter with me,” he insisted, till I had to quiet him down with bromide. By the way, did you send off any account of the accident?’