trying each latch.
All was silence, utter silence there, in which the throbbing of her own
frightened heart seemed to her overwrought imagination to fill the ship
with its thunderous alarm.
One by one the doors opened before her touch, only to reveal empty
interiors. In her absorption she did not note the sudden activity upon
the vessel, the purring of the engines, the throbbing of the propeller.
She had reached the last door upon the right now, and as she pushed it
open she was seized from within by a powerful, dark-visaged man, and
drawn hastily into the stuffy, ill-smelling interior.
The sudden shock of fright which the unexpected attack had upon her
drew a single piercing scream from her throat; then the man clapped a
hand roughly over the mouth.
"Not until we are farther from land, my dear," he said. "Then you may
yell your pretty head off."
Lady Greystoke turned to look into the leering, bearded face so close
to hers. The man relaxed the pressure of his fingers upon her lips,
and with a little moan of terror as she recognized him the girl shrank
away from her captor.
"Nikolas Rokoff! M. Thuran!" she exclaimed.
"Your devoted admirer," replied the Russian, with a low bow.
"My little boy," she said next, ignoring the terms of
endearment--"where is he? Let me have him. How could you be so
cruel--even as you--Nikolas Rokoff--cannot be entirely devoid of mercy
and compassion? Tell me where he is. Is he aboard this ship? Oh,
please, if such a thing as a heart beats within your breast, take me to
"If you do as you are bid no harm will befall him," replied Rokoff.
"But remember that it is your own fault that you are here. You came
aboard voluntarily, and you may take the consequences. I little
thought," he added to himself, "that any such good luck as this would
come to me."
He went on deck then, locking the cabin-door upon his prisoner, and for
several days she did not see him. The truth of the matter being that
Nikolas Rokoff was so poor a sailor that the heavy seas the Kincaid
encountered from the very beginning of her voyage sent the Russian to
his berth with a bad attack of sea-sickness.
During this time her only visitor was an uncouth Swede, the Kincaid's
unsavoury cook, who brought her meals to her. His name was Sven
Anderssen, his one pride being that his patronymic was spelt with
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