(This is a few paragraphs from Chapter 1 of the Book – ‘THE CAVES OF MCKINLEY ISLAND (The Story of My Lady and Big Jim Leary)

At this instant I saw a man run down the dock and beckon, apparently to me. (*8)

It was the old sailor stranger who had spoken with me the night before.  I hastened down from my station and crossed the deck towards him.  By the time I reached the rail we were several feet from the dock and increasing the distance rapidly.

“Here!” cried the sailor stranger.

As he shouted, he threw an old tobacco pouch my direction and then waved farewell to me. 

The pouch landed upon the deck at my feet and as I picked it up and began to open it a cry from the dock arrested my attention.

“Not now,” cried the sailor stranger, “tonight, after you go to your bunk – open it then.”

(later in the chapter)

I had no fear of being lonely as Altman was in the next compartment.  He was to stoke during my time and between firings would come in and sit with me.  When, therefore, I heard the door open I did not look up from the magazine I had brought with me to help while away the time.  I was surprised to hear myself addressed at once.

“May I speak with you a moment Mr. Smith?” the speaker was Fogarty.

“Certainly,” I said, somewhat shortly, “take a seat.”

He seated himself in the armchair beside me but did not speak immediately.  He seemed a little ill at ease.

“A letter was thrown aboard toward you this afternoon,” he finally started saying.  “May I inquire if it contained any allusions to me?” 

His language was that of an educated man and I had previously noted an air of refinement about him.

“Not as far as I could see,” I replied truthfully, for be it remembered I had not yet opened the letter – it a letter it even was.

He made no further remark for some moments but sat regarding me fixedly as if trying to fathom the meaning of my ambiquous reply.

“Very well,” he finally said as he rose to go, “it is of no importance anyway, only the man who threw it aboard is my worst enemy and I thought he might attempt to prejudice my companions against me.  Good night, Mr. Smith.”

“Good night,” I answered as he left the compartment.

I felt more than ever suspicious.  I was now sure the letter did refer to Fogarty and I determined to read it the moment I reached my stateroom.

I determined also to tell West of the matter.  It seemed to me best that West and I should keep our eyes upon the fellow called Fogarty.  At no time would we both be sleeping as one of us would be on duty every moment of the day and night.

I felt this vigilance would be necessary for if Fogarty was a rascal, he was an unusually clever one.

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