, went out into the void, leaving no trace; of Newfoundland captainswho sailed, roaring with drink, under the arches of cathedral bergs, only to beprisoned, buried, and embalmed in the one icy embrace; of craft assailed by theterrible one-stroke lightning clouds of the Indian Ocean, found days after, stoneblind, with their crews madly hauling at useless sheets, while the officers clawedthe compass and shrieked; of burnings and piracies; of pest ships and slaveships, and ships mad for want of water; of whelming earthquake waves, andmysterious suctions, drawing irresistibly against wind and steam power uponunknown currents; of stout hulks deserted in panic although sound andseaworthy; and of others so swiftly dragged down that there was no time forany to save himself; and of a hundred other strange, stirring and pitifulventures such as make up the inevitable peril and incorrigible romance of theocean. In a pause Billy Edwards said musingly:"Well, there was the
.""How did you happen to hit on her?" asked Barnett quickly."Why not, sir? It naturally came into my head. She was last seen somewhereabout this part of the world, wasn't she?" After a moment's hesitation he added:"From something I heard ashore I judge we've a commission to keep a watchout for her as well as to destroy derelicts.""What about the
?" asked McGuire, the paymaster, a NewEnglander, who had been in the service but a short time."Good Lord! don't you remember the
mystery and thedisappearance of Doctor Schermerhorn?""Karl Augustus Schermerhorn, the man whose experiments to identify telepathywith the Marconi wireless waves made such a furore in the papers?""Oh, that was only a by-product of his mind. He was an original investigator inevery line of physics and chemistry, besides most of the natural sciences," saidBarnett. "The government is particularly interested in him because of hiscontributions to aërial photography.""And he was lost with the
?""Nobody knows," said Edwards. "He left San Francisco two years ago on ahundred-foot schooner, with an assistant, a big brass-bound chest, and aragamuffin crew. A newspaper man named Slade, who dropped out of the worldabout the same time, is supposed to have gone along, too. Their schooner waslast sighted about 450 miles northeast of Oahu, in good shape, and boundwestward. That's all the record of her that there is."