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Fiction- Stories, Myths and Legends. THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS. Parts 7-10.

Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING 
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS.  PT 7.
Moody, Seascape, Lighthouse


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.


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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS.  PT 8.

Lighthouse, Beacon, Moon, Night, Star


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.

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Fiction-  Stories, Myths and Legends.

THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING 
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS.  PT 9.
Lighthouse, Glow, Evening, Clouds

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.

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Fiction-   Stories, Myths and Legends.

THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING 
LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS.  PT 10. 

Lighthouse, Daymark, Shipping, Beacon

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, and 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 Sailors, 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 ArchtorWhatever 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.