Dagon

Iamwritingthisunderanappreciablementalstrain,sincebytonightIshallbenomore.Penniless,andattheendofmysupplyofthedrugwhichalone,makeslifeendurable,Icanbearthetorturenolonger;andshallcastmyselffromthisgarretwindowintothesqualidstreetbelow.DonotthinkfrommyslaverytomorphinethatIamaweaklingoradegenerate.Whenyouhavereadthesehastilyscrawledpagesyoumayguess,thoughneverfullyrealise,whyitisthatImusthaveforgetfulnessordeath.

ItwasinoneofthemostopenandleastfrequentedpartsofthebroadPacificthatthepacketofwhichIwassupercargofellavictimtotheGermansea-raider.Thegreatwarwasthenatitsverybeginning,andtheoceanforcesoftheHunhadnotcompletelysunktotheirlaterdegradation;sothatourvesselwasmadealegitimateprize,whilstweofhercrewweretreatedwithallthefairnessandconsiderationdueusasnavalprisoners.Soliberal,indeed,wasthedisciplineofourcaptors,thatfivedaysafterweweretakenImanagedtoescapealoneinasmallboatwithwaterandprovisionsforagoodlengthoftime.

WhenIfinallyfoundmyselfadriftandfree,Ihadbutlittleideaofmysurroundings.Neveracompetentnavigator,IcouldonlyguessvaguelybythesunandstarsthatIwassomewhatsouthoftheequator.OfthelongitudeIknewnothing,andnoislandorcoastlinewasinsight.Theweatherkeptfair,andforuncounteddaysIdriftedaimlesslybeneaththescorchingsun;waitingeitherforsomepassingship,ortobecastontheshoresofsomehabitableland.Butneithershipnorlandappeared,andIbegantodespairinmysolitudeupontheheavingvastnessofunbrokenblue.

ThechangehappenedwhilstIslept.ItsdetailsIshallneverknow;formyslumber,thoughtroubledanddream-infested,wascontinuous.

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