Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fiction- Stories, Myths, and Legends. REWARD FOR THE FALLEN. PART 2.

Forest, Path, Mystical, Rocks, Fairytale

The man shook his head in bewilderment and continued on his quest to
find the end of the trail.

However, things began to get more confusing.  Now his journey was often interrupted by
individuals who spoke in languages he could not identify.  Almost as strange was the
array of clothing that outfitted some of those who blocked his path.  

Often they were quite colorful and very extravagant.  Yet, at other times they seemed quite simple,
often consisting of a plain tunic or robe.  Attire on the head and feet also represented
both ends of the spectrum.  It could be a helmet or cap accompanied with boots,
or bare-headed with sandals.

It was not just the clothes that became more varied.  Individuals came in all sizes with
many different skin colors being represented.  From time to time the newcomer was a
woman, who treated him with identical solemnness.

The man was becoming extremely frustrated, but that only seemed to strengthen his resolve to
complete the journey.  There were a couple of more things that lifted his spirits. He knew,
inexplicably, that each person was dressed in some type of uniform.

Additionally, that they all were evaluating him,and the judgment was universally
positive, whether or not he understood the words spoken. It was the tone of voice
that came through loud and clear.
End of PT 2.

FICTION-  Stories, Myths and Legends.
The World of the Hypocrite.The Peddler was left standing at the front door as the rain continued to come down.
"I don't understand," he thought as he walked to the next cottage.  "I have never harmed this man, why would he turn me away?"
Unfortunately, it was only the beginning.  Despite the storm, the Peddler was denied sanctuary time and time again.
In each case he was asked if he accepted Jesus as his savior.  Being a man of principle, he told the truth.  "I respect what you believe," he would say, "but I am a man who has not studied such things.  I only seek refuge from the storm."
This honesty only seemed to doom the Peddler, for he reached the last cottage in despair.  He thought, "If they do not offer me shelter, where am I to go?"
As he approached the front door his heart sank.  The dwelling was small, compared to the others in the village.  Further, it had seen better days, for it was in a general state of disrepair.  In addition, the garden surrounding the cottage looked not to have been tended or cared for in quite some time.  The Peddler, however, was desperate.  He arrived at the front door, and with a heavy sigh, began to knock in earnest.  After a few moments the door started to open slowly...
End of PT 2.
Date- 10/22/2013.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.
Heroism comes in many forms.
After what seemed to be an eternity, the man came upon a gate that crossed the path.  There was no way around, for the vegetation off the road seemed impenetrable.  As he gasped in frustration, he became aware of an approaching figure on the other side.  While this individual was dressed in now familiar clothes, his manner and look was different.  To the man, he appeared to be in his early twenties, but his wide open smile set him apart from recent contacts.
"Hello Tony," the new arrival said, leaning against  the gate.  "I guess your wondering what the heck is going on."
The man looked intently at his counterpart and whispered out loud, "George Mellen, you were killed in a firefight outside of...," then he suddenly stopped, memories flooding back.
"Yeah, said his host, "I was killed in that tiny village, the one command considered vital to securing the region.  Caught one in the throat.  Wrong place, wrong time, he chuckled."
The man looked into the face of this lost comrade, and suddenly noticed that they were not alone.  Figures appeared from the trees that lay beyond the gated fence.  They were represented by every manner of dress he had already encountered, and some still unfamiliar.  The man was scared, but pride refused to let it be known to  others.
"Tony, your home." His benefactor said, opening the gate.  The man hesitated crossing the threshold, and asked, "Am I dead, is this Heaven?"
"Your dead, that much is sure," George replied, "in time you'll recall the circumstances.  Is this Heaven?  Let's just say it is an outpost on the edge of forever.  Just a place for men and women like you and me to rest, exchange stories and prepare for what comes next."  As he passed through the gate, Tony became aware of the beauty of his new surroundings, and a feeling of peace and serenity settled over him.  Suddenly, he understood.  Turning to his companion he asked, "Is this just for us, no one else. Why?" 
George gave him a slight smile, and as others gathered around them to offer welcome to the new arrival, answered; "I guess someone figured that those of us who gave all it was possible to give, and lost our lives with such brutality, deserved a special place where our sacrifice was acknowledged and appreciated.  I never expected such a place would exist, but our kind never asked for much in return.  Maybe that is why it's here, because we earned something we would never have asked for."

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.
The kindness of strangers.
As the door opened, the Peddler began to shake. "This is my last chance", he thought,  "I will say anything, for I cannot go on."
To his relief the figure in the doorway soon presented itself.  A small woman, perhaps half his size, looked up at him.  The Peddler was taken aback.  His possible benefactor was advanced in age and seemed to be on the edge of physical collapse.
The Peddler collected his wits, and with a sense of desperation began to speak.  "Good woman," he began, "I have traveled far, but I am in need of the hospitality of a person like you who would not turn away one in need." The Peddler braced himself for the expected interrogation, but it did not come.
"You poor man,"  was the reply, "come in and warm yourself by my humble fire.  I cannot offer much, but what I have is yours."  With that the woman turned and gestured for the Peddler to follow.
The Peddler entered, following the small figure.  The room he beheld was even more Spartan than he had imagined.  Very few pieces of furniture were present, and he watched as his host sat herself upon a rocking chair located near a large brick fireplace.  The fireplace seemed to dominate the room, for it provided the only illumination.  The Peddler sat down upon a small ottoman and rubbed his hands together.
Confused by this sudden change of fortune, he stammered, "I have no wish to cause you harm, but your neighbors rejected me because I am not a Christian.  Why do you offer me aid.  Will they not turn against you?"
The old woman began to laugh, and with a sigh turned to the peddler and replied:
"Stranger, you are new to this place.  It was not always so, at one time all were welcome.  Unfortunately, the leaders of our community became convinced of their importance, which included controlling the spiritual life of all its' citizens.  This control would not tolerate dissension, so all those who opposed were either ostracized or banished.  They use Christianity as a tool to justify their personal prejudices.  In this manner, they subvert the true teaching of our lord."
(Look for PT.4)
Date- 10/27/2013.

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Fiction- Stories, Myths and Legends.


Truth is always beautiful.

Being a simple man with no illusions, I tried to grasp the meaning of what was being said. "Good Woman," I asked in earnest, "Why would your neighbors condemn honest people who act with great Charity, even though they are not Christian."

My host stared into the fire and shuddered. "It is well that you came upon me," she answered, "for you can leave this accursed township with your head held high. Those who govern this community rule by fear."

I stood up, and rubbing my hands together, approached the fireplace.  However, I still had questions.

"You are a woman in torment," I declared, "however, you seem to hold fast that Christianity is a system of belief that will not exploit others.  Why do you remain among those who proclaim Christian beliefs, but who violate the essential tenets set forth in scripture?"

My host stood up from her position by the fire and very slowly came over to me. She stood before me and with moistening eyes said, "They are not evil, but have lost their way.  If our savior sacrificed everything to redeem humanity, do I not have an obligation to continue his work?"

The next day I left.  However, I provided my benefactor with a quantity of worldly goods free of charge.  I may be a great trader, but she is dealing in higher stakes.

God help us all if she, and others like her, fail.

Date- 11/4/2013.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


A lonely life.Harvie turned away from Moore and stepped outside the bridge. Though the weather had improved, it was still icy cold.  The Captain turned up the collar on his coat and looked out on the foredeck of his ship.  Several sailors were busy with the daily routine of ships maintenance, under the supervision of his second mate.

"Mr. MacDonald," Harvie called out addressing the mate, "Secure the detail and prepare the launch for going ashore.  Then report to me on the bridge."

The reply was immediate. "Aye Captain, who will be in the landing party?"

"Never mind that now", was the answer, "Carry on with the orders."

Harvie stepped back inside the bridge, and observed Moore still staring straight ahead, as if in a trance.
"No", thought Harvie, "Moore won't be a problem.  Nothing on Gods green earth could keep him off the launch,  with his comrades missing."

However, choosing the right men to accompany him might be a problem.  Sailors, by nature, were a superstitious lot.  Given the situation and history of the island, proper selection was a must.  He couldn't risk sending someone ashore who believed that the supernatural was behind the disappearances, without considering alternative explanations.

Eilean Mor is the largest of the Flannan Isles, which are part of the Outer Hebrides that lie off the western coast of Scotland.  Uninhabited for much of its history, it does contain a chapel dedicated to St Flannan which pre-dates the Lighthouse by hundreds of years.  Built in the late nineteenth century, the Lighthouse became operational in 1899.  Attempts to settle the island never lasted very long, and it was
considered to be inhabited by spirits who did not like visitors, even for a short time.

Both Harvie and Moore were aware of the islands history, but nothing from the past had ever occurred that mirrored the present day mystery.  James Ducat, Thomas Marshall and Donald Macarthur seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

The first sign of trouble was reported on Dec. 15.  A passing ship, the Archtor, reported that when it passed the island in foul weather that the light was not operating.  Other ships had reported the same, so there was little doubt that there was something dreadfully wrong on the island.  Neglecting the light was a serious offense, and it was inconceivable that all three men would allow such a thing to happen if it was in their power to prevent it.
End of PT 2.

Date- 11/24/2013.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

PT 3.
A Forbidding Destination.
A half-hour later, Captain Harvie was in his cabin, located just off the bridge.

The Hesperus was anchored securely just off the coast of Eilean Mor and the east -side landing was easily visible under the uncharacteristically cloudless sky.
There were actually two landing sites on the island, the other was located on the west-side of the island.  However, the east-side landing was preferred because it offered shelter against the turbulent North Atlantic.

Harvie was seated at his desk, and was carefully studying a schedule that rested on it.  Even though he had read it many times in the past few days, Harvie kept returning to it, as if he was missing something.

The schedule was the official document that broke down the Duties, Safety Procedures, Maintenance Instructions and Dates for the landing of new supplies, that every Lighthouse Keeper serving the tower on Eilean Mor had to learn.  Even more important, it broke down the appointed personnel then serving on the island.

Joseph Moore was part of a four man crew that ran the day to day operations responsible for keeping the light operating 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.  The Manifest of Personnel consisted of :
  • James Ducat- Principal Keeper.
  • William Ross- 1st Assistant Keeper.
  • Thomas Marshall- 2nd Assistant Keeper.
  • Joseph Moore- Relief Keeper.  However, Ross had become ill several months before, and Donald Macarthur had been sent in to replace him as an occasional.
The four men worked on a rotating basis. Three men on duty at any one time, with the fourth man given shore leave that lasted two weeks.  At the end of the two weeks the Hesperus would leave the mainland with supplies necessary for the proper operation of the Lighthouse, and to meet the needs of those who were there to keep it running.  The ship would also transport the Keeper on shore at the time to the island to resume his duties.  After depositing its' cargo ashore, the Hesperus would depart, taking a different Keeper for a Fortnights time off.

Harvie put the the schedule in his shirt pocket, and sat back thinking about any possible circumstances that may have been overlooked that could explain the disappearances.  He recalled the conversation he had with Moore just before they cast off for Eilean Mor, regarding the strange and possibly tragic situation. The Hesperus had been scheduled to return to the island on Dec 21, but foul weather had forced a delay.

"I can't understand it," Moore had said to Harvie, while they were standing on the dock as the Hesperus was made ready to sail for the return to Eilean Mor.

Moore had continued, "Jim runs a tight ship. If he could draw a breath, there is no way the light would be allowed to go out."   Harvie knew that "Jim" was a reference to James Ducat, the Principal who was in charge of operations on the island.

"Well," Harvie replied, "could one of the others have snapped, and ... you know..."

Moore cut him off.  "Tommy is as reliable and stable a Lighthouse man as you'll ever meet.  I know Macarthur is an occasional, and was there because of Ross being sick and all, but he knows the business and volunteered as a replacement.
Nope, I'd sooner believe they were taken by a Kraken, then one of them turning on the other two."
End of PT 3.

Date- 12/25/2013.

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Fiction- Stories, Myths and Legends.

PT 4.

The Last Outpost.
The Launch made its way slowly towards the east-side landing on Eilean Mor.  Aboard the small craft were Keeper Joseph Moore, Second Mate MacDonald and Seaman Jones, both members of the crew of the Hesperus.

Captain Harvie watched the progress of the launch from the bow of his ship.  He had deep misgivings about the situation that was unfolding, and possibly putting his ship and crew at risk.

However, he had no choice.  The Light on Eilean Mor had been out for days and needed to be activated as soon as possible.  Naturally, the real mystery was not that the Light was out, but that there seemed to be no one on Eilean Mor present to tend the Beacon.  His directions to the landing party were precise;  Check the Lighthouse and the Living Quarters for any sign of the missing men.  If they could not be located, the shore party was to return immediately to the Hesperus.  There was to be no comprehensive search until after the Light was functioning again.

"Mr MacDonald," Jones began, "Is it true what they say, that they have all gone missing?"

The Second Mate sighed,  and turned to the man who was next to him at the stern of the Launch.  ''Lad," he replied, " You know just as much as I do.  The Captain and Moore..." (He Gestured with his head to the man sitting at the Bow of the Launch), "...are pretty tight lipped about this whole thing.  But I say this, the Captain is worried about what we may find, or maybe, what we do not find."
End of PT 4.

Date- 1/5/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

PT 5.

The Lighthouse- The Guardian on the Shore.As the Launch slowed, and came 
along side the Dock, Jones jumped onto the wooden platform and secured the mooring rope to one of the pilings.  MacDonald controlled the momentum, and the boat was soon nestled against the arrival spot for visitors on the east-side landing.

Carefully, MacDonald stepped off and joined Jones on the Dock.  He turned around and looked back into the Launch.  Moore was still standing at the bow, staring at the Dock and mumbling something under his breath.

"What is it Moore?", he asked in a annoyed tone, "Are you just going to stand there, come on we've got work to do."  Slowly, Moore left the launch and joined his two companions on the dock .  Turning to face MacDonald he chuckled and said, "I thought to be a second mate, you had to have some sense."

MacDonald flushed angrily, "What the hell is that suppose to mean?", he replied stepping in so close that he and Moore were nearly nose to nose.

Moore smiled grimly and calmly said, "Come on Mac, this isn't your first trip.  Look around, what are we not seeing that we should."

Stepping away from Moore, the Mate moved his head back and forth, surveying the Dock. He then turned and lifted his face upward.  The Lighthouse was clearly visible, for it was located about 150 ft above the east-side landing.  As he looked, it dawned on him what Moore had meant when he said "...what we are not seeing that we should."

Turning back to Moore, he backed up a couple of steps, and quietly replied in a voice filled with regret.  ''Your right, I didn't think.  The Dock should be filled with empty casks and containers for us to take back aboard after we land fresh supplies."

"Yes", Moore said, as he too took a turn looking up at the light.  "But you know it's worse then that."  Without another word, Moore turned and began to climb up the slope leading to the Light.

The two shipmates stared silently at Moore, as he began his ascension.  Finally, after a couple of minutes, Jones spoke. "Mr. MacDonald, what did it mean, when he said it gets worse."

The Mate didn't turn to face Jones, but answered as he continued to watch Moore.
"Anyone manning the light, in this weather, would have seen the approach of the Hesperus hours ago.  Even if they didn't hear the hails from the ship, only a blind man could have not have noticed the ship, and our journey ashore in the Launch. In the past, these conditions always meant one thing;  At least one of the three man crew present on the island, greeting us at the Dock."
End of PT 5.

Date- 1/26/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


A Lone Sentinel."Alright lad," MacDonald said, addressing Jones as he turned away from watching Moores ascent to the Light. "The Captain wants us to unload the supplies while we wait for Moore to come back down."

Captain Harvie had given the Second Mate detailed instructions before the Launch cast off, the destination being the east-side landing on Eilean Mor.

"Mr. MacDonald", the Captain had begun as the two faced each other in Harvies cabin. "Choose one of the crew to accompany you and Moore ashore.  Three men are enough to do what is needed.  Load supplies that may be necessary to get the Light functioning again."

"Aye Captain", was the immediate answer by his subordinate.  Then, with obvious hesitation, the Mate asked "What about Food, Water and Medical supplies?  I mean, they could still be..."

Harvie cut him off in mid-sentence, and spoke with a determined tone in his voice. "If all is well, and this is just a case of a breakdown in communications, I'll make sure that all supplies are landed by night fall. However, if the circumstances do not warrant landing such necessities, it would be wasted time and effort."

MacDonald understood the implied meaning in his Captains words, and did not press the issue.  Changing the subject, he asked, "Do you think Jones would be a good choice for the third member of the landing party?"

Harvie smiled slightly.  He appreciated an officer who could understand a situation, even if it was unspoken.

Addressing the Mate, Harvie replied, "I trust your judgment, so Jones it is." 

Harvie turned, walked over to his desk, and sat down.  After a moment, he looked up at his Second Mate, and in a solemn voice issued his final orders.

"You and Jones are to land with Moore, but I want you both to unload the supplies while Moore investigates the Tower.  Do not accompany him initially, but wait until he returns and tells you what he has found.  If it is positive, return to the ship immediately.  If the situation seems dire, I want you and Jones to follow Moore on a return trip to the Tower.  Keep in mind his initial report on what he has found, and see if it matches up with what you and Jones encounter.  Be thorough and careful.
Return to the ship when you feel that you have an accurate grasp of the situation."

Harvie stood up, and extended his hand to MacDonald. "Good luck Mr. Mate.  I'm counting on you."
End of PT 6.

Date-  2/11/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


Searching through the storm.MacDonald and Jones had just finished unloading the supplies from the launch, placing them on the dock of the east-side landing. Jones 
was leaning against one of the pilings, smoking a cigarette.  The Mate was standing a few feet away, looking up at the Lighthouse located at the top of he slope.  He looked away, and reached into his jacket pocket.  Pulling out his watch, MacDonald glanced at the face, and the feeling of ice water entered his veins.  "Dear God", he thought to himself, as he realized the developing horror of the situation.

Jones observed the Officer checking his watch, and asked, "How long has it been?"

MacDonald cleared his throat, and in a voice as even as possible, answered Jones.  "About an hour, or maybe a little longer."

The veteran sailor nodded in acknowledgment, and smiled slightly.  "At least", he began, "No news is..."

The Second Mate held up his hand, and cut off Jones.  "There will be no good news
this day, and we have to prepare ourselves.  You and I are a couple of old salts, and the Captain expects us to act as such.  We must keep our heads and not panic or lose control, come what may."

His fellow shipmate gave MacDonald a puzzled look.  In a soft voice, he asked, "How could you know we will receive only a bad report, Moore hasn't returned."

MacDonald turned to face Jones, and in a quizzical voice asked, " How long would you say it takes to reach the Lighthouse from here?"

Jones considered the question for a few moments, and replied, "I guess five to ten minutes."

''That's about right", was the immediate response. "To search the light itself, from top to bottom, should take no more then fifteen minutes.  If we add the time taken inside the tower, with the length of time it takes to reach it from here, we have a total of twenty- five minutes.  Moore has been gone at least an hour."

Jones face sagged, for he realized the implication of what was just said.
End of PT 7.

Date- 2/23/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


Up above the World so high.
Another fifteen minutes had passed, with MacDonald and Jones speaking little. They both knew what was to come, and were lost in their own thoughts. MacDonald had pulled out his watch again, and was checking the time, when Jones spoke in a loud, excited voice;  "Here he comes, it's Moore." 

MacDonald looked up, and saw Moore descending the hill. However, there was no urgency in his stride.  As he came closer, MacDonald saw the expression on his face, which seemed to be made of stone.  Walking up to the dock, Moore stared 
straight ahead, and seemed not even to blink.

Jones broke the silence, and asked, "Did you, uh, find...".  Moore cut in, and in a robotic expressionless voice replied, "Their gone, nothing in the Tower".  He then looked at Jones and MacDonald, and a look of despair suddenly appeared on his face. "God in Heaven", Moore said in a voice that indicated he was on the verge of tears, "All gone, no one there."

MacDonald stepped up to Moore, placing a hand on his shoulder.  In a soft voice he said,  "I'm sorry Moore, losing shipmates is a sorrow that all us who go to sea must learn to live with.  Put your grief aside for a few minutes, Jones and I need to know what awaits us.  The Captain wants us to accompany you on a second trip to the Tower, just to verify what was found initially." 

Moore nodded, and began to speak. "They are no where to be found, and I checked
the Tower twice.  I even went to the west-side landing, but found no sign of them. Yet, there are things up there that don't make sense.  I've never seen anything like it."

MacDonald was puzzled about the meaning in Moores words, and asked, "What doesn't make any sense?  I mean, their either there, or not."

Moore smiled a little grimly, and answered the question.
End of PT 8.

Date- 3/10/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


The Lighthouse- Looking out for all.Moore began slowly, but neither MacDonald or Jones noticed, for it was quite a tale.

"I went up to find the truth, but I come back with no answers." Moore looked at his two companions, and since there was no interruption, he continued.

"As I reached the top, nothing outside the Light seemed out of place.  The gate was secure, and the front door to the Tower was closed.  Well, I went inside, and the bottom floor is used for storage.  There were empty casks and containers located by the door, but that is expected.  All the Gear, Equipment and Stores appeared to be in order, and nothing was out of place.  That changed when I climbed up to the second floor, the living area."

Moore stopped for a moment, and turning his head upwards to look at the Tower, continued his story.

"I climbed the stairs and opened the door to the second floor.  This is really weird, but I noticed immediately that two sets of Oilskins and Boots were not by the door, as they should be.  You both know that no man would do any work outside during the winter season, without putting on foul weather gear.  From the looks of it, the set still inside belonged to Macarthur."

MacDonald spoke for the first time since Moore began his story.  "Well, that tells us something.  Whatever happened to Ducat and Marshall must have occurred while they were working outside, probably at one of the two landing sites."

Moore nodded in agreement, but quickly added; "Then why is Macarthur missing? His foul weather gear is still hanging where it should be, which tells me he was monitoring the Light while Ducat and Marshall were outside.  Further, there is a standing order for men in the Lighthouse Service, that under no circumstance is the Light to be left untended.  One member of the crew must always remain within the Tower itself, in case of trouble.  So, since the order is clear, and his Oilskins and Boots are still inside, where is Macarthur?"

Receiving no response from his audience, Moore looked down and said in a low voice, "I also took a look at Ducats Logbook."
End of PT 9.

Date-  3/28/2014. 

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Fiction-   Stories, Myths and Legends.


The Lighthouse- Protecting the Sea and the Shore.Moore cleared his throat, and continued.

"You probably know that the Principal Keeper has to keep a daily
log. He records everything, especially if it directly involves servicing the light.  I tell you this from experience, Ducat was obsessive about the log. That much I know for sure."

MacDonald looked at Jones, who seemed confused, and back at Moore.  "I don't understand", he said addressing Moore, "How is the log of any importance?"

Moore shook his head and sighed. "You both know December in these waters are dangerous to men of the sea, perhaps more than anywhere else in all the seven seas.  Well, the log was a calendar of frustration, with terrible conditions up to the day the Light went out.  Until the 14th, Ducat logged their inability to go outside to tend both landing sites.  However, his last entry was mid-day on the 14th, and he described a break in the weather, that might give them a chance to at least measure any damage that may have occurred outside the interior of the Tower. Ducat wrote about finishing the second meal, and that he and Marshall were preparing to leave on an inspection tour of the island."

MacDonald nodded his head in understanding.  "Well, that may explain a few things. We know the Light was out on the 15th, reported by the Archtor. Whatever
happened, to cause the disappearances, must have been on the afternoon of the 14th.  Sundown is about 4:30pm this time of year, and no one would be crazy enough to work outside in the dark, especially during the winter months."

Jones had been silent up to this point, but now broke in and said, "But the Light was still working on the 14th, at least until the afternoon.  I mean Ducat would surely have mentioned problems with the Light, which could be recognized without leaving the Tower.  I don't get it , the Light is working and there is an opening in the Weather.  What happened to the three men so suddenly, that there was no hint of trouble, at least not enough for Ducat to record in the Log."
End of PT 10.

Date-  4/19/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


Dusk, at the last Outpost.MacDonald and Jones were finishing
up their own inspection of the interior
of the Tower.  Moore was left outside, by order of the Second Mate.  MacDonald wanted the investigation of the interior free of any influence from the Keeper, outside of what he had already told them.

"Well, things are as you reported," MacDonald said, addressing Moore as he and Jones exited the Tower.

"Yeah," MacDonald continued, "Two sets of Oilskins and Boots gone, and the Log
relating events just as you said.  I'm beginning to think the answer to this puzzle is located at the west-side landing.  Moore you visited it earlier, what did you see besides the absence of Ducat and Marshall?"

Moore looked perplexed for a moment, then replied in a soft tone, " Aye, I was there, but not for long.  Just enough to make sure that my mates were nowhere to be found."

"Alright," said MacDonald, "I guess there would be nothing wrong if the three of us 
investigated it together.  Lead on Moore."

Moore nodded, and began to walk towards the western part of the island.  He was closely followed by MacDonald and Jones.

Within ten minutes, the western edge of Eilean Mor came into view.  Soon all three were looking at the west-side landing area, or at least what was left of it.

"My God, " MacDonald said to himself.  He realized that not finding his friends would weigh on Moore greatly, but how could he have missed this? 

The only way anyone would have known that a Dock once existed in this place, was the twisted and misshapen metal railings that jutted out of the rocks located near the shore, which probably lead the way down to the now missing Dock.
End of PT 11.

Date-  5/13/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


It was January 5th, and the testimony was almost at an end. The Northern Lighthouse Board had convened a Board of Inquiry, after the investigation into the disappearance of the three Keepers on Eilean Mor was finished.  Heading up the Board was Robert Muirhead, Superintendent.  He was questioning Captain Harvie, the final witness ordered to appear before the assembly.

"When Second Mate MacDonald returned to the ship, did his report given to you at the time, essentially match his testimony given to this Board."

"Yes Sir," was the prompt reply from Harvie, "I heard no change in the facts he relayed to me at the time."

Supt. Muirhead nodded, and went on.  "Would you also agree that Keeper Moore and Seaman Jones testimony was also accurate, in that it does not contradict what they reported to you upon returning to the Hesperus."

Again Harvie replied in the affirmative, and Muirhead turned to the other two board members, on either side of him, and whispered something.  After a moment, he turned back to address Harvie.

"What is the situation on the island now?", asked the Superintendent.

The Captain sat up as straight as he could, and replied in a voice denoting a man use to giving orders.

"Keeper Moore has the light up and running again.  Seaman Jones and two other crew members, Giblin and Hurley, volunteered to stay behind until replacements could be sent to man the Light with Moore."

The Superintendent smiled slightly, and in a solemn tone asked;  "One final question Captain.  Moore, MacDonald and Jones all gave testimony that the west-side landing was literally gone, like it had been scooped up and removed from the Island, leaving only twisted metal to mark its former existence.  Since you did not see this yourself, could the men be exaggerating?"

Captain Harvie stood straight up from his chair, and looking Muirhead straight in the eye replied, "Not in the least.  They spoke of the scene at the west-side landing with a mixture of astonishment and awe. Boulders that seemed to be moved from their places like mere pebbles.  A Pier and Walkway, that just days before had weathered everything the North Atlantic could serve up, gone like they had never existed.  No sir, I believe them completely."
End of PT 12. 

Look for PT 13, the FINAL CHAPTER.

Date-  6/20/2014.

Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


There were only the three of them left in the conference room, after all the Witnesses and Testifiers had been excused. Superintendent Muirhead, along with fellow Board members Ross and Mulhearn, were still sitting at the large oak table set up opposite the door leading into the hallway.

Ross took a sip of water from his glass and spoke, breaking the silence.  "Tis a Mystery for sure, no evidence, no witnesses."

"Aye," replied Mulhearn, sitting back in his chair.  "It'll go down as another chapter in Sea Lore.  Won't be the first, and won't be the last.  The Wags in the press are gonna love this.  No Bodies, no Trace. I can see the stories of Spirits, Ghost Pirates and Sea Monsters being published in every Newspaper on the Isles and Mainland."

Muirhead stood up suddenly, and turned to each man, who were seated on either side of him.  The glare he gave off startled them both, and they sat in stunned silence as he began to speak.

"That is enough," he said angrily. "This is the Twentieth Century. I will not allow the loss of three good men to be explained by Fortune- Tellers, Seers, Spiritualists or any other Opportunist who can find a writer to listen to whatever Hogwash they think the Public may want to hear.  These men had Families, and I will not cast their grief aside.  There are answers to be found, and it is our job to find them.  If this is beyond your abilities, or you have no wish to continue the Investigation beyond Todays Testimony, leave now.  You are of no use to me, or the NLB."

Date-  6\28\2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


Ross and Mulhearn, sufficiently embarrassed by their initial attitude to the disappearance, were studying the Transcript from the hearing.  
Muirhead was busy writing out notes on a separate pad, outlining the case as he saw it.

As the clock on the wall struck Two in the afternoon, Muirhead suddenly raised his head.  He then stood up and addressed his fellow Board members.

"Gentlemen," he said with confidence,"I believe the answer lies in establishing what we know to be true, and going on from there."

His two companions nodded in agreement.  Muirhead cleared his throat and said, "Alright, lets make a list."

Ross jumped in, "The Time Line is pretty straight forward.  From the Log we know that there were no real problems, at least up until the last entry made on the Afternoon of the 14th." 

"And", Mulhearn added, "We know the Light was out on the 15th, as reported by the Archtor."

Muirhead nodded, and glanced down at his notes. "Ducat recorded in the Log that he and Marshall were going out for an inspection of the Island, when the weather broke on the afternoon of the 14th.  Since their Oilskins and Boots are missing, we can reasonably assume that they indeed left the Tower to check on both landing sites."

Mulhearn broke in, "This would have left Macarthur alone in the Tower, and the Light was operating normally. Yet, he is missing too. Obviously something happened to him, for the Light was out by the 15th.  Since his Oilskins and Boots were found inside, he left the Tower without them. Why?"

"Only a Fool would leave the Tower," Ross replied,"at this time of year in the North Atlantic, without wearing Foul Weather Gear.  Unless, he had no choice."

Muirhead nodded gravely, and in a solemn voice said, "That is the key to the mystery.  Was Macarthur forced out of the Tower, or did he leave voluntarily?
The Shore Party found no evidence of violence, and there appeared to be sufficient supplies remaining to indicate that no theft had taken place.  Further, there was nothing of real value on the Island, such as Money, Riches or Treasure.  I doubt this was a case of Piracy or Murder.  Lighthouse Keepers are known to be armed, and the chance of coming ashore unnoticed is highly unlikely. Great risk for very little reward."

Date-  7/11/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.


It had been a long day.  Going over the evidence, the three men had considered every scenario they thought could possibly fit the facts.
In the end, the solution they arrived at was a tribute to Rational Thought, and a rejection of the Supernatural.

Superintendent Muirhead was meeting with Captain Harvie for the last time, regarding the events on Eilean Mor.  They sat in Harvies Cabin, drinking Cognac and smoking Cigars.

"We could only release a finding that squared with the facts," said Muirhead, looking at Harvie through the haze of smoke.

"How do you mean?" asked Harvie.

Looking up at the ceiling, Muirhead sighed, and began to speak.

"We know that the light was out on the 15TH, and the Log was kept up through the afternoon of the 14th.  Since the flagpole was bare, with no signal for distress, whatever occurred probably did not allow them time to raise the signal for alarm. The Logbook hinted at no problems, except mentioning the spell of bad weather.
Also, from the Log, we know that Ducat and Marshall were planning to take advantage of the break in the weather, to check the condition of both landing sites. This was the last entry.  Since we did not find their foul weather gear, it is safe to assume that they left the Tower to complete this task."

Harvie broke in. "I understand all of that, my landing party was very thorough.  But
what about Macarthur? Why would he leave the Light? No evidence of violence or confrontation could be found, and his Oilskins and Boots were found undisturbed beside the entrance to the living quarters." 

Muirhead smiled slightly, and continued. "The answer lies in the condition of each landing site. Tell me Captain, you have sailed these waters for years, which landing site is the most Treacherous?"

Date-  7/26/2014.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

Captain Harvie looked at Muirhead with a look of incredulity.  "Come on now," he said, "you know the west-side landing is open to the North Atlantic.  It is not sheltered in any way from storms or wave action, and during the winter season is battered mercilessly.  You saw the report from the landing party.  The west-side landing had literally been wiped off the face of the earth."

Muirhead stood up and walked to the center of the cabin, and looked up at the ceiling, sighing deeply.

"Consider this," Muirhead began, "Ducat and Marshall leave he Tower in foul weather gear.  The east-side landing is in good shape, so they spend most of their time at the west-side, given its' condition.  We know the weather had cleared somewhat, but storms far out at sea can create freak waves and abnormal tides that can catch the unlucky without warning, even if the sky is clear."

Harvie broke in, "Any sailor worth his salt knows that. What is the point?"

Muirhead turned and looked Harvie straight in the eye, "Don't you see, even now?
Ducat and Marshall are at the west-side landing.  Either one, or maybe both, got into trouble.  The landing itself was destroyed at an earlier time, creating a perilous situation for anyone visiting the site.  Further, it would be virtually impossible for someone falling into the sea, to pull themselves out.  The Dock was gone, and all the gear washed away.  Even if one still remained on shore, rescuing his companion would be very difficult, if done alone."

Harvie nodded in agreement.  "I see where you are going with this.  Macarthur might have seen the accident, or was made aware of it by one of his mates calling out for help.  He naturally rushed out immediately, not bothering to put on his oilskins or boots, for there was no time to lose."

"Now you understand."  Muirhead said, with a slight smile.  "It could have been a single wave initially, or maybe a series of waves arriving minutes apart.  However, once all three were in the water, there was virtually no hope.  It has happened before, but this time all the witnesses were lost."

"Such a waste, losing three good men in this way," Harvie said in a weary voice. "What are you going to say to the families?"

Muirhead straightened up, and with a determined look on his face said, "All three men died while properly attending to their duties.  They were a credit to the Lighthouse Service, and their loss is a tragedy to the profession they honorably represented for so many years."

                                             THE END.

Postscript-  While this was a work of fiction, it is based on an actual event.  I tried to remain true to the facts as they are known, as many of the Names, Dates and Events were true to life.  The Dialogue was meant to dramatize the event, but does not misrepresent the pertinent facts in any way.  If you wish to learn more, research the following on the Internet:

- Eilean Mor.
- Flannan Isles.
- Northern Lighthouse Board.

Date-  8/8/2014.

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