The Land That Time Forgot

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 32

diving-tank sea-cocks and roused Olson and me, and had the pumps
started to empty them."

And there I had been thinking that through her machinations I had been
lured to the deck and to my death! I could have gone on my knees to
her and begged her forgiveness--or at least I could have, had I not
been Anglo-Saxon. As it was, I could only remove my soggy cap and bow
and mumble my appreciation. She made no reply--only turned and walked
very rapidly toward her room. Could I have heard aright? Was it really
a sob that came floating back to me through the narrow aisle of the

Benson died that night. He remained defiant almost to the last; but
just before he went out, he motioned to me, and I leaned over to catch
the faintly whispered words.

"I did it alone," he said. "I did it because I hate you--I hate all
your kind. I was kicked out of your shipyard at Santa Monica. I was
locked out of California. I am an I. W. W. I became a German
agent--not because I love them, for I hate them too--but because I
wanted to injure Americans, whom I hated more. I threw the wireless
apparatus overboard. I destroyed the chronometer and the sextant. I
devised a scheme for varying the compass to suit my wishes. I told
Wilson that I had seen the girl talking with von Schoenvorts, and I
made the poor egg think he had seen her doing the same thing. I am
sorry--sorry that my plans failed. I hate you."

He didn't die for a half-hour after that; nor did he speak
again--aloud; but just a few seconds before he went to meet his Maker,
his lips moved in a faint whisper; and as I leaned closer to catch his
words, what do you suppose I heard? "Now--I--lay me--down--to--sleep"
That was all; Benson was dead. We threw his body overboard.

The wind of that night brought on some pretty rough weather with a lot
of black clouds which persisted for several days. We didn't know what
course we had been holding, and there was no way of finding out, as we
could no longer trust the compass, not knowing what Benson had done to
it. The long and the short of it was that we cruised about aimlessly
until the sun came out again. I'll never forget that day or its
surprises. We reckoned, or rather guessed, that

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