Bewitching Shadow Chapter 5: Stupefaction

The ship arrived. I had not shown up yet even though everyone had disembarked. My room was locked. For that reason, my co-worker who came out to retrieve me first, started worrying. He called the purser to open the door with a duplicate key, but the inside of the room wasn’t in a disarray at all. However, my presence was nowhere to be found. How very mysterious. Accordingly, the sailors split into groups and searched the ship all over, but they couldn’t find me after all. Of course, the proof that I had not disembarked, was because my baggage had remained in the same place. Who knows, I may have been killed, or perhaps I was killed and then thrown into the sea. They started talking about things like that, and suddenly it turned into an uproar.

Soon after, one sailor discovered me in a storage room near the ship’s bottom.

In there, I was wrapped up in a blanket, and slept like the dead.

Even though I was being shook, my eyes didn’t open easily. However, soon I gradually became able to see the faces of the sailors and the co-worker who came to meet me. Upon recovering my consciousness, I put a hand on my torso in a hurry. Then astonishment came over me.

I jumped up to my feet in a daze, did not listen to everyone who told me to stop, and left the storage room. But I was not even able to approximate where my own room was.

I had a porter guide me, and when I entered my room, I locked it in a hurry from the inside.

I undressed, took the bellyband off and had another look. However, I could not find the important code anywhere. How terrible! I flew into a rage. It felt like the blood in my entire body climbed up into my head for a short moment. I felt dizzy and was about to collapse, but I regained my composure soon after somewhat. When I turned calm, various things from last night came to my mind.

I drank whiskey. I ate chocolate. While listening to the father’s story, I grew drowsy -. I was not able to remember anything after that, no matter how hard I tried.

But why did they carry me all the way into the storage room. If their only purpose was to steal the code, then wouldn’t it have been less of a trouble to kill me? It was easy enough to take the code, because I had lost my consciousness to the extent that it was no different from killing me. For that reason, they wouldn’t have to expressly bring me a long way down near the ship’s bottom – when I considered this up until this point, I realized for the very first time how very carefully prepared their plan was.

After the passengers disembarked and my absence was noticed, it would take a substantial amount of time until the sailors discovered me; they had wanted that time. Within that timespan they could achieve their goal adequately. In addition, it was essential to choose a place like a storage room which wasn’t easy to find. However, as far as I am concerned it would be better if I had been killed. What is the best thing to do for me who has committed this grave blunder? Thinking about it this way, I didn’t feel like living at all. However, I had to bring it to attention as soon as possible. It wasn’t a situation in which I could be indecisive, so with a grim determination I stood up. The moment I thrust my hand into my trousers and pulled out my handkerchief, a piece of paper dropped down. It had been folded up until it was tiny, but it weighed on my mind a little. So, I picked it up and unfolded it.

“Have you ever read the novel titled The Tic Inside of Toinne?

The story which aroused your interest is, of course, not our personal history.

There was no need for the husband to write alphabetic letters in the air, apart from corresponding a code to a certain person, and the five fingers inside the glove of the wife who accompanied him are all fine.

Fired up by our patriotic feelings, we put on an act in situations in which we brave dangers for a certain purpose. As actors, we perform this craft with our lives on stake, therefore it cannot be helped if we snatch away the souls of our spectators. Furthermore, in your case we even went as far as making you drink a drug, so -. Perhaps you might think of it as a crime. We certainly won’t stop hoping that it won’t be the case. Because we were mutually good friends even if it was for a short time.

We will try to return the code which we borrowed from you without permission as soon as possible. Until then, we pray that – if you could sleep peacefully as you are doing now -”

After I read until that part, I ripped that scrap of paper into pieces, threw it on top of the floor, opened the door and went outside.

“I am sorry to have kept you waiting. Come, let us go together.”

I descended from the wharf with my colleague, and got into an automobile waiting there for us.

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