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|04-27-2007, 04:27 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Docked at the foot of the Andes
Vortex, episode 5
Previous episodes are posted on: http://www.freewebs.com/kielman/
Vortex, Episode 5
Knowing that the ships of two navies at war were just over the horizon made Goss restless. He walked back and forth the length of the ship. He was not the only one. People stood in groups speculating what would happen. When anyone asked him what he thought, Goss would answer, "Eventually our ship will sail."
By first light, the Argentinean destroyer been joined by a battleship, probably the Moreno and the cruiser Veinticinco de Mayo. Goss wondered if the Graff Spee would make a dash for Argentina.
In the bar the news were the same.
Normally, Goss never had a problem amusing himself. He was an avid reader. When not reading he could spend hours drawing sketches of ships. His favorites were the large iron hulled barks still in the grain and guano trades. Today he couldn't concentrate on anything. In his cabin, just the presence of Montez made him want to scream. On deck, the other passengers and their comments kept him moving. Then there was Dumbo Parks in his white suit and paisley cravat, whom he managed to avoid.
At least in the dining room he shared a table with an elderly French couple. Pretending he didn't speak but a few words in French he avoided conversation.
In the afternoon, Buenos Aires' infamous summer heat made itself felt.
"The Graf Spee is sailing," the news passed from mouth to mouth like an electric current. Goss checked his watch, five past four bells. There were still three hours of daylight. The German pocket battleship was not sneaking out. Goss scanned his fellow passengers and decided he would never again want to be on a passenger ship. The sea belonged to sailors. On a warship or a freighter one lived in an orderly world where men understood each other and life was simple. The sea presented its demands and the seafarer responded correctly or he was dead. The deck of this ship was full of moneyed cackling parrots.
A murmur rippled through the deck. A new ship appeared on the horizon. A few minutes later, Goss recognized it as a seagoing tug. It was followed by another tug towing a barge.
30 minutes later, its decks and every bit of space including lifeboats dotted with white uniformed sailors, the tug entered the breakwater. The second tug and the barge were also loaded with white uniforms.
Goss' heart skipped a beat. The crew of the Graf Spee.