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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, March 26, 1912, Image 9

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-03-26/ed-1/seq-9/

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THE SEA-CHEST
Man Was Driven Fairly Mad
By the Sight of Riches.
Twenty fathoms beneath the
waters of Hawks Gap the Spanish
merchantman rested, her side
torn out by the rocks that had
closed their teeth on her within
sight of the port. The salvage
tug lay anchored above the wreck
and relays of divers were being
sent down to discover what she
might hold besides her known
cargo of maize.
Briscoe, the second diver, stood
impatienly upon the deck, await
ing the return of JLarsen, the big
Swede, who had been down for
more than his half hour.
"Hurry, down, Briscoe," said
the chief officer. "If anything's
wrong, do what you can. If not,
send him aloft."
' The helmet with its glass front
was fastened over the man's-neck
and he was lowered into the
depths. As the water closed over
him the world became a haze of
green. Presently he perceived the
outlines of the wreck, resting up
on the sand some yards awayv
Then his feet rested on the bot
tom and he began moving cau
tiously among the shattered tim
bers. A great, gaping hole"iri the
side of the vessel, through which-
a shoal of little hsh swam wildly
away, served as the door of entry.
Now Briscoe was clambering
among the ruins of the wreck,
seeking for the other diver.
J" All at once he perceived the
connecting cord, like, a great
snake, wriggling through the
green water. He followed it cau
tiously, into the vitals of the ves
sel. It led into the cabin of the
captain. There at tfie far end he
saw Earsen's shadowy figure up
right upon its feet, but 'bending
over somethingthat lay before
him.
Briscoe1 crept up behind the
Swede. No sound was audible to
either man, encased as they were
in the strong helmets and he was
enabled to approach directly be
hind the giant and to look over
his shoulder. Larsen was bend-
ing oyer a small sea chest. But
from its interior, even in'that half
darkness, there flashed streams
and sparkles of light from a mag
nificent array of diamonds, rubies
and other gems, set into bracelets
and necklaces. And hard by was
the skeleton of the captain. Evi
dently he had opened the chest
to secure the jewels when his fate
overtook him. Briscoe started,
toppled; and fell against Larsen.
The Swede sprang round.
He stood glaring at Bricoe for
one instant-? then plunged for his
throat. The sight of tine coveted
wealth, whose existence was un
suspected lby the salvage opera
tors, had evidently affected his
reason; no other man should
learn of that splendid prize. The
recognition of the Swede's deter
mination flashed across Briscoe's
brain on the instant. Automati
cally he ducked his head to avoid
Vt.- i-: t-i-. -r j.i 11
trie crabiung uiow ui iiie giant s
fists against the glass of1 his hel
met. Once this was broken, he
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