The upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford

The upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford

The man Brisbane tell the history, which is happened with him, when he had to travelling on his favourite ship named “Kamtschatka”. Of course, after when you’ll have known this story, you’d understand why Brisbane don’t sailing on it anymore. But at that time, in hot summer he came on his cabin number 105, he was going to America. Our hero noticed strange behavior of the steward. And Brisbane thought that steward was drunk. In this cabin he had a companion. But he went out the cabin at night with screaming and anybody didn’t saw him after it. Next day ship’s doctor invited Brisbane to live in his room, when he inquired about the number of his room. And told to Brisbane that three man who lived there were dead. Brisbane decided to investigate this mystery.

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The upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford

We were all tired after a long dinner one evening, but nobody wanted to go home. Then somebody shouted, ‘Bring the cigars!’ It was Brisbane – a big, strong man. Everybody turned to look at him.

Lighting his cigar, he said, ‘It’s strange, you know.’ We all stopped talking. ‘It’s strange,’ he said again. ‘People are always asking if anyone’s seen a ghost. Well, I have.’

Somebody said, ‘Tell us the story, Brisbane.’ We lit our cigars, ordered another bottle of champagne, and listened to his story.

‘When I used to travel to America, I liked to sail on certain ships. The Kamtschatka used to be my favourite. It isn’t my favourite now, and I never want to travel on it again.

‘I remember it was a warm morning in June. When I went on board I told the steward I the number of my cabin – 105. He nearly dropped my suitcase.

‘Well, God help you!’ he said quietly.

The upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford

‘I thought he might be drunk, but I said nothing and followed him. Cabin 105 was a large room with two berths with curtains around them. Mine was the lower one. That morning the cabin seemed empty and depressing, and I didn’t like it.

‘I gave the steward some money and he thanked me. ‘I’ll try to make you comfortable,’ he said, and then added quietly, ‘If that’s possible in this cabin.’

‘I was surprised, but again I thought he was drunk. I was wrong.

‘Our voyage began. On the first day everything was normal. That night I was tired and went to my cabin early. I noticed another suitcase by the door and a walking stick and an umbrella in the berth above mine. I wasn’t happy because I had wanted to be on my own. Who was my companion? I decided to stay awake and see. Later, I was lying in bed in the dark when he came in. He was tall, very thin and pale, with fair hair and a beard and grey eyes. He looked like the type of man who makes money on Wall Street or by gambling. I decided I didn’t want to talk to him.

‘If he gets up early, I’ll get up late,’ I said to myself before I went to sleep.

‘During the night a loud noise suddenly woke me up. It was the other man jumping out of bed. Then I heard him unlock the cabin door; he ran out very fast, leaving the door open. I heard his footsteps along the passage. I got up angrily to close the door, and went back to sleep.

‘When I woke up, it was still dark. The air was damp I and I felt cold. There was a strange smell in the cabin, like old sea water. I could hear the other man moving in the berth above mine. ‘So he’s come back,’ I thought. Then he made a low sound of pain, and I thought he was feeling seasick. Then I fell asleep.

‘When I woke up again the cabin was still cold. Suddenly I noticed that the window was open, so i got up and closed it. The curtains were closed around the other berth, so I thought the man was asleep. The smell of sea water had disappeared…

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