NAT BARTLETT, his
SUE BARTLETT, his
SILAS HORNE, mate
JIMMY KANAKA, harpooner
the schooner Mary Allen
Bartlett's "cabin"—a room erected as a lookout post at the top of his
house situated on a high point of land
on the California coast. The inside of the
compartment is fitted up like the captain's cabin of a
deep-sea sailing vessel. On the left, forward, a porthole. Farther back,
the stairs of the
companionway. Still farther, two more portholes. In the rear, left, a
marble-topped sideboard with a ship's lantern on it. In the rear, center,
a door opening on stairs which lead to the lower house. A cot with a
is placed against the wall to the right of the
door. In the right wall, five portholes. Directly under them, a wooden
bench. In front of the
bench, a long table with two straight-backed chairs, one in front, the
other to the left of it.
A cheap, dark-colored rug is on the floor. In the ceiling, midway from
front to rear, a skylight extending from opposite the door to above the
left edge of the
table. In the right extremity of the
skylight is placed a floating ship's compass. The light from the binnacle
sheds over this from above and seeps down into the room, casting a vague
globular shadow of the
compass on the floor.
time is an early hour of a
clear windy night in the fall of the
year 1900. Moonlight, winnowed by the wind which moans in the stubborn
angles of the
old house, creeps wearily in through the portholes and rests like tired
dust in circular patches upon the floor and table. An insistent monotone of thundering
surf, muffled and far-off, is borne upward from the beach below.
After the curtain rises the door in the rear is opened slowly and the head
and shoulders of Nat
Bartlett appear over the sill. He casts a quick glance about the room, and
seeing no one there, ascends the remaining steps and enters. He makes a
sign to some one in the darkness beneath: "All right,
Higgins follows him into the room and, closing the door, stands looking
with great curiosity around him. He is a slight, medium-sized
man of about
thirty-five. Nat Bartlett is very tall, gaunt, and loose-framed. His right
arm has been amputated at the shoulder and the sleeve on that side of the
heavy mackinaw he wears hangs flabbily or flaps against his body as he
moves. He appears much older than his thirty years. His shoulders have a
weary stoop as if worn down by the burden of his
massive head with
its heavy shock of tangled black hair. His face is long, bony, and sallow,
with deep-set black eyes, a large aquiline nose, a wide thin-lipped mouth
shadowed by an unkempt bristle of mustache. His voice is low and deep with
a penetrating, hollow, metallic quality. In addition to the mackinaw, he
wears corduroy trousers stuffed down into high laced boots.
you see, Doctor?
the too-casual tones which betray an inward uneasiness) Yes—perfectly—don't trouble. The moonlight is so
(walking slowly toward the table) He doesn't want any light—lately—only
the one from the binnacle there.
Ah—you mean your father?
bit startled gazing around him in embarrassment) I suppose this is all
meant to be like a ship's cabin?
I warned you.
surprise) Warned me? Why, warned? I think it's very natural—and
interesting—this whim of his.
Interesting, it may be.
he lives up here, you said—never comes down?
the past three years. My sister brings his food up to him. (He sits down
in the chair to the left of the table.) There's a lantern on the sideboard
there, Doctor. Bring it over and sit down. We'll make a light. I'll ask
your pardon for bringing you to this room on the roof—but—no one'll hear
us here; and by seeing for yourself the mad way he lives— Understand that
I want you to get all the facts—just that,
facts!—and for that light is
necessary. Without that—they become dreams up
a relieved smile carries over the lantern) It is a trifle spooky.
seeming to notice this remark) He won't take any note of this light. His
eyes are too busy—out there.
(He flings his left arm in a wide gesture seaward.) And if he does
notice—well, let him come down. You're bound to
see him sooner or later. (He scratches a match and lights the lantern.)
upward) Up on
the poop. Sit down, man! He'll not come—yet awhile.
HIGGINS—(sitting gingerly on
the chair in
front of table) Then
he has the roof too rigged up like a ship?
told you he had. Like a deck, yes. A wheel, compass, binnacle light, the
companionway there (he
bridge to pace up and down on—and
If the wind wasn't so high you'd hear him now—back and
live-long night. (with a sudden
I tell you he's mad?
was nothing new. I've heard that about him from all sides since I first
came to the asylum yonder. You say he only walks at night—up there?
at night, yes. (grimly) The things he wants to see can't be made out in
daylight-dreams and such.
just what is he trying to see? Does any one know? Does he tell?
NAT—(impatiently) Why, every
one knows what Father looks for, man! The ship, of course.
Allen—named for my dead mother.
don't understand—Is the ship long
in a hurricane off the Celebes with all on board—three years ago!
HIGGINS—(wonderingly) Ah. (after
a pause) But
your father still clings to a doubt—
is no doubt for him or any one else to cling to. She was sighted bottom
up, a complete wreck, by the whaler John Slocum. That was two weeks after
the storm. They sent a boat out to read her name.
hasn't your father ever heard—
was the first to hear, naturally. Oh, he knows right
enough, if that's what you're driving at. (He
bends toward the doctor—intensely) He knows, Doctor,
he won't believe. He
can't—and keep living.
Come, Mr. Bartlett, let's get down
to brass tacks. You didn't drag me up here to make things more obscure,
did you? Let's have the facts you spoke of. I'll need them to give
sympathetic treatment to his case when we get him to the asylum.
his voice) And
you'll come to take him away tonight—for sure?
minutes after I leave here I'll be back in the car. That's positive.
you know your way through the house?
I remember—but I don't
outside door will be left open for you. You must come right up. My sister
and I will be here—with him. And you
understand—Neither of us knows
anything about this. The authorities have been complained to—not by us,
mind—but by some one. He must never
yes—but still I
don't—Is he liable to prove violent?
He's quiet always—too quiet; but he might do
on me not to tell him, then; but I'll bring along two attendants in case—(He
breaks off and
continues in matter-of-fact tones) And
now for the facts in this case, if you don't mind, Mr. Bartlett.
his head—moodily) There
are cases where facts—Well, here
goes—the brass tacks. My father was a
whaling captain as his father before him. The last trip he made was seven
years ago. He expected to be gone two years. It was four before we saw him
again. His ship had been wrecked in the Indian Ocean. He and six others
managed to reach a small island on the fringe of the Archipelago—an island
barren as hell, Doctor—after seven days in an open boat. The rest of the
whaling crew never were heard from again—gone to the sharks. Of the six
who reached the island with my father only three were alive when a fleet
of Malay canoes picked them up, mad from thirst and starvation, the four
of them. These four men finally reached Frisco. (with
great emphasis) They
were my father; Silas Horne, the mate; Cates, the bo'sun, and Jimmy
Kanaka, a Hawaiian harpooner. Those four! (with a
forced laugh) There
are facts for you. It was all in the papers at the time—my father's story.
what of the other three who were on the island?
NAT—(harshly) Died of
exposure, perhaps. Mad and jumped into the sea, perhaps. That was the told
story. Another was whispered—killed and eaten, perhaps! But
undeniably. That was the fact. For the rest—who knows? And what does it
a shudder) I
should think it would matter—a lot.
dealing with facts, Doctor! (with a laugh) And here are some more for you.
My father brought the three down to this house with him—Horne and Cates
and Jimmy Kanaka. We hardly recognized my father. He had been through hell
and looked it. His hair was white. But you'll see for yourself—soon. And
the others—they were all a bit queer,
too—mad, if you will. (He laughs
again.) So much for the facts, Doctor. They leave off there and the dreams
It would seem—the facts are enough.
(He resumes deliberately.) One
day my father sent for me and in the presence of the others told me the
dream. I was to be heir to the secret. Their second day on the island, he
said, they discovered in a sheltered inlet the rotten, water-logged hulk
of a Malay prau—a proper war prau such as the pirates used to use. She had
been there rotting—God knows how long. The crew had
where, for there was no sign on the island that man had ever touched
there. The Kanakas went over the prau—they're devils for staying under
water, you know—and they
chests—(He leans back in
his chair and smiles ironically.)—Guess what, Doctor?
an answering smile) Treasure,
forward and pointing his finger accusingly at the other) You see!
The root of belief is in you, too! (Then he leans back with a
hollow chuckle.) Why,
yes. Treasure, to be sure. What else? They landed it and—you can guess the
rest, too—diamonds, emeralds, gold
ornaments—innumerable, of course. Why
limit the stuff of dreams? Ha—ha! (He laughs
sardonically as if mocking himself.)
began to go mad—hunger, thirst, and the
rest—and they began to forget. Oh,
they forgot a lot, and lucky for them they did, probably. But my father
realizing, as he told me, what was happening to them, insisted that while
they still knew what they were doing they should—guess again now, Doctor.
Simple, isn't it? Ha—ha. And then they made a
map—the same old dream, you
see—with a charred stick, and my father had care of it. They were picked
up soon after, mad as hatters, as I have told you, by some Malays. (He
drops his mocking and adopts a calm,
the map isn't a dream, Doctor. We're coming back to facts again. (He
reaches into the
pocket of his mackinaw and pulls out a crumpled paper.) Here. (He
spreads it out on the table.)
HIGGINS—(craning his neck
This is interesting. The treasure, I suppose, is where—
the cross is made.
here are the signatures, I see. And that sign?
Kanaka's. He couldn't write.
below? That's yours, isn't it?
heir to the secret, yes. We all signed it here the morning the Mary Allen,
the schooner my father had mortgaged this house to fit out, set sail to
bring back the treasure. Ha—ha.
ship he's still looking for—that was lost three years ago?
Mary Allen, yes. The other three men sailed away on her. Only father and
the mate knew the approximate location of the island—and
hesitates, frowning.) No
matter. I'll keep the mad secret. My father wanted to go with them—but my
mother was dying. I dared not go either.
you wanted to go? You believed in the treasure then?
course. Ha—ha. How could I help it? I believed until my mother's death.
Then he became
mad, entirely mad. He built this cabin—to wait
in—and he suspected my growing
doubt as time went on. So, as final proof, he gave me a thing he had kept
hidden from them all—a sample of the richest of the treasure.
takes from his pocket a heavy bracelet thickly studded with stones and
throws it on the table near the lantern.)
it up with eager curiosity—as if in spite of
You want to believe, too. No—paste and
HIGGINS—You had it
a fool, yes. (He
puts it back in his pocket and shakes his head as if throwing off a
you know why he's mad—waiting for that
ship—and why in the end I had to
ask you to take him away where he'll be safe. The mortgage—the price of
that ship—is to be foreclosed. We have to move, my sister and I. We can't
take him with us. She is to be married soon. Perhaps away from the sight
of the sea he may—
hope for the best. And I fully appreciate your position. (He
gets up, smiling.) And
thank you for the interesting story. I'll know how to humor him when he
raves about treasure.
NAT—(somberly) He is quiet
always—too quiet. He only walks to and
I must go. You think it's best to take him tonight?
Doctor. The neighbors—they're far away
but—for my sister's
see. It must be hard on her—this sort of
goes to the door, which Nat opens for him.) I'll
return presently. (He
starts to descend.)
NAT—(urgently) Don't fail
us, Doctor. And come right up. He'll be here. (He
closes the door and tiptoes carefully to the companionway. He ascends it
a few steps and remains for a moment listening for some sound from above.
Then he goes over to the table, turning the lantern very low, and sits
down, resting his elbows, his chin on his hands, staring somberly before
him. The door in the rear is slowly opened. It creaks slightly and Nat
jumps to his feet—in a thick voice of
door swings wide open, revealing Sue Bartlett. She ascends into the room
and shuts the
door behind her. She is a tall, slender woman of twenty-five,
with a pale, sad face framed in a mass of dark
red hair. This hair furnishes the only touch of color
about her. Her full lips are pale; the blue of her
wistful wide eyes is fading into a twilight gray. Her voice is low and
melancholy. She wears a dark wrapper and slippers.)
and looks at her brother accusingly) It's only I. What are you afraid of?
his eyes and sinks back on his chair again) Nothing. I didn't know—I
thought you were in your room.
to the table) I was reading. Then I heard some one come down the stairs
and go out. Who was it? (with sudden terror) It wasn't—Father?
He's up there—watching—as he always is.
down—insistently) Who was it?
A man—I know.
man? What is he? You're holding something back. Tell me.
his eyes defiantly) A doctor.
Oh! (with quick intuition) You brought him up here—so that I wouldn't
No. I took him up here to see how things were—to ask him about Father.
SUE—(as if afraid of the
answer she will get) Is he one of them—from the asylum? Oh, Nat, you
her—hoarsely) No, no! Be still.
would be—the last horror.
Why? You always say that. What could be more horrible than things as they
are? I believe—it would be better for
him—away—where he couldn't see the
sea. He'll forget his mad idea of waiting for a lost ship and a treasure
that never was. (as if trying
to convince himself—vehemently) I believe this!
You don't, Nat. You know he'd die if he hadn't the sea to live with.
And you know old Smith will foreclose the mortgage. Is that nothing? We
cannot pay. He came yesterday and talked with me. He knows the place is
purposes. He talked as if we were merely his tenants, curse
him! And he swore he'd foreclose immediately unless—
a hard voice) Unless
we have—Father—taken away.
SUE—(in anguish) Oh!
But why, why? What is Father to him?
value of the property—our home which is his, Smith's. The neighbors are
afraid. They pass by on the road at nights coming back to their farms from
the town. They see him up there walking back and forth—waving his arms
against the sky. They're afraid. They talk of a complaint. They say for
his own good he must be taken away. They even whisper the house is
haunted. Old Smith is afraid of his property. He thinks that he may
set fire to the house—do
you told him how foolish that was, didn't you? That Father is quiet,
the use of telling—when they
believe—when they're afraid? (Sue
hides her face in her hands—a
been afraid myself—at times.
Nat! Of what?
NAT—(violently) Oh, him and
the sea he calls to! Of the damned sea he forced me on as a boy—the sea
that robbed me of my arm and made me the broken thing I am!
SUE—(pleadingly) You can't
blame Father—for your
took me from school and forced me on his ship, didn't he? What would I
have been now but an ignorant sailor like him if he had had his way? No.
It's the sea I should not blame, that foiled him by taking my arm and then
throwing me ashore—another one of his wrecks!
a sob) You're
bitter, Nat—and hard. It was so long ago. Why can't you forget?
NAT—(bitterly) Forget! You
can talk! When Tom comes home from this voyage you'll be married and out
of this with life before you—a captain's wife as our mother was. I wish
SUE—(supplicatingly) And you'll
come with us, Nat—and father,
you saddle your young husband with a madman and a cripple? (fiercely) No,
no, not I! (vindictively) And
not him, either! (with
sudden meaning—deliberately) I've
stay here. My book is three-fourths done—my book that will set me free!
But I know, I feel, as sure as I stand here living before you, that I must
finish it here. It could not live for me outside of this house where it
was born. (staring at her
fixedly) So I will stay—in spite of hell! (Sue
sobs hopelessly. After a pause
he continues.) Old Smith told me I could live here indefinitely
a whispered echo) If?
NAT—(staring at her—in a hard
voice) If I have him sent—where he'll no longer harm
dread) No—no, Nat! For our dead mother's sake.
Did I say I had? Why do you look at me—like that?
Nat! For our mother's sake!
NAT—(in terror) Stop!
Stop! She's dead—and at peace. Would you bring her tired soul back to him
again to be bruised and wounded?
at his throat as though to
strangle something within him—hoarsely) Sue! Have mercy!
sister stares at him
with dread foreboding. Nat calms
himself with an effort and
continues deliberately.) Smith said he would give two thousand cash
if I would sell the place to him—and he would let me stay, rent free, as
Two thousand! Why, over and above the mortgage its worth—
not what it's worth. It's what one can get, cash—for my
that's why he wants Father sent away, the wretch! He must know the will
the place to me. Yes, he knows. I told him.
Ah, how vile men are!
If it were to be done—if it were, I
say—there'd be half for you for your
wedding portion. That's fair.
Blood money! Do you think I could touch it?
It would be only fair. I'd give it you.
God, Nat, are you trying to bribe me?
It's yours in all fairness. (with a twisted smile) You
forget I'm heir to the treasure, too, and can afford to be generous. Ha—ha.
SUE—(alarmed) Nat! You're
so strange. You're sick, Nat. You couldn't talk this way if you were
yourself. Oh, we must go away from here—you and father and I! Let Smith
foreclose. There'll be something over the mortgage; and we'll move to
some little house—by the sea so that
NAT—(fiercely) Can keep up
his mad game with me—whispering dreams in my
ear—pointing out to
me with stuff like this! (He takes the bracelet from his pocket.
The sight of it infuriates him and he hurls it into a corner, exclaiming
in a terrible voice) No!
No! It's too late for dreams now. It's too late! I've put them behind me
at him and suddenly understands that
what she dreads has come to
pass—letting her head fall on her outstretched arms with a long moan) Then—you've
done it! You've sold him! Oh, Nat, you're cursed!
a terrified glance at the roof above) Ssshh!
What are you saying? He'll be better off—away from the sea.
SUE—(dully) You've sold
No! No! (He takes the map from his pocket.) Listen,
Sue! For God's sake, listen to me! See! The map of the island. (He spreads it out on the table.) And
the treasure—where the cross is made. (He gulps and his words pour
out incoherently.) I've
carried it about for years. Is that nothing? You don't know what it means.
It stands between me and my book. It's stood between me and life—driving
me mad! He taught
me to wait and hope with him—wait and
hope—day after day. He made me doubt
my brain and give the lie to my eyes—when hope was
dead—when I knew it was
all a dream—I couldn't kill it! (his eyes starting from his
forgive me, I still believe! And that's mad—mad, do you hear?
at him with horror) And
that is why—you hate him!
I don't—(then in a sudden frenzy) Yes!
I do hate him! He's stolen my brain! I've got to free myself, can't you
see, from him—and his madness.
Don't! You talk as if—
a wild laugh) As
if I were mad? You're right—but I'll be mad no more! See! (He
opens the lantern and sets fire to the map in
his hand. When he shuts the lantern again it flickers and goes out.
They watch the paper burn
with fascinated eyes
how I free myself and become sane. And now for facts, as the doctor said.
I lied to you about him. He was a doctor from the asylum. See how it
burns! It must all be destroyed—this poisonous madness. Yes, I lied to
speck—and the only other map is the one Silas Horne took to
the bottom of the sea with him. (He
lets the ash
fall to the
floor and crushes
it with his
foot.) Gone! I'm free of it—at last! (His face
is very pale, but he goes on calmly.)
Yes, I sold him, if you will—to save my soul. They're coming from the
asylum to get him—(There
is a loud, muffled cry
which sounds like "Sail—ho," and a stamping of feet.
The slide to the companionway above is slid back with a bang. A gust of air tears
down into the room.
Nat and Sue
have jumped to their
feet and stand petrified. Captain Bartlett
tramps down the stairs.)
Did he hear?
(Captain Bartlett comes
into the room. He
bears a striking resemblance to his son, but his face
is more stern and
formidable, his form more robust,
erect and muscular. His mass of hair
is pure white, his
bristly mustache the same, contrasting
with the weather-beaten leather color of his furrowed face. Bushy gray brows
overhang the obsessed glare of
his fierce dark eyes. He wears a heavy, double-breasted blue coat, pants
of the same
rubber boots turned down from the
a state of
strides toward his
son and points an
accusing finger at him. Nat shrinks backward
Bin thinkin' me mad, did ye? Thinkin' it for the past three years, ye bin—ever since them fools on the Slocum tattled their damn lie o' the Mary
Allen bein' a wreck.
NAT—(swallowing hard—chokingly) No—Father—I—
lie, ye whelp! You that I'd made my heir—aimin' to git me out o' the way!
Aimin' to put me behind the bars o' the jail for mad folk!
for her to be silent) Not
you, girl, not you. You're your mother.
pale) Father—do you
A lie in your eyes! I bin a-readin' 'em. My curse on you!
me be, girl. He believed, didn't he? And ain't he turned traitor—mockin'
at me and sayin' it's all a lie—mockin' at himself, too, for bein' a fool
to believe in dreams, as he calls 'em.
You're wrong, Father. I do believe.
Aye, now ye do! Who wouldn't credit their own eyes?
ye not seen her, then? Did ye not hear me hail?
Hail? I heard a shout. But—hail what?—seen what?
Aye, now's your punishment, Judas. (explosively) The Mary Allen, ye blind
fool, come back from the Southern Seas—come back as I swore she must!
to soothe him)
Father! Be quiet. It's nothing.
her—his eyes fixed hypnotically on his
the pint a half-hour back—the Mary
Allen—loaded with gold as I swore she
would be—carryin' her
lowers—not a reef in 'em—makin' port, boy, as I
swore she must—too late for traitors, boy, too
just when I hailed her.
fascinated look in his eyes, which are fixed
immovably on his father's) The
Mary Allen! But how do you know?
know my own ship! 'Tis you're mad!
at night—some other
other, I say! The Mary Allen—clear in the moonlight. And heed this: D'you
call to mind the signal I gave to Silas Home if he made this port o' a
A red and a green light at the mainmast-head.
Then look out if ye dare! (He
goes to the
porthole, left forward.) Ye
can see it plain from here. (commandingly)
believe your eyes? Look—and then call me mad!
through the porthole and starts back,
a dumbfounded expression
on his face.)
A red and a green at the mainmast-head. Yes—clear as day.
SUE—(with a worried
look at him) Let
me see. (She goes to the
BARTLETT—(to his son with
Aye, ye see now clear enough—too late for you.
(Nat stares at him
from above I saw Horne and Cates and Jimmy Kanaka plain on the deck in the
moonlight lookin' up at me. Come! (He strides
companionway, followed by
Nat. The two
ascend. Sue turns from
the porthole, an expression of
frightened bewilderment on her face.
She shakes her
head sadly. A loud "Mary
Allen, ahoy!" comes from
above in Bartlett's voice, followed like an echo by the same hail from Nat. Sue
covers her face with
her hands, shuddering. Nat comes
down the companionway, his eyes wild and exulting.)
SUE—(brokenly) He's bad
tonight, Nat. You're right to humor him. It's the best thing.
Humor him? What in hell do you mean?
the porthole) There's nothing there, Nat. There's not a ship in harbor.
a fool—or blind! The Mary Allen's there in plain sight of any one, with
the red and the green signal lights. Those fools lied about her being
wrecked. And I've been a fool, too.
Nat, there's nothing. (She
Not a ship. See.
saw, I tell you! From above it's all plain. (He turns from
her and goes back to his seat by
the table. Sue follows him, pleading frightenedly.)
You mustn't let this—You're all excited and trembling, Nat. (She
puts a soothing hand on his forehead.)
her away from
him roughly) You blind
comes down the steps of the companionway. His face
with the ecstasy of a
lowered a boat—the
three—Horne and Cates and Jimmy Kanaka. They're a-rowin'
ashore. I heard the oars in the locks. Listen! (a pause)
NAT—(excitedly) I hear!
by her brother—in a warning whisper) It's
the wind and sea you hear, Nat. Please!
Hark! They've landed. They're back on earth again as I swore they'd come
back. They'll be a-comin' up the path now. (He
stands in an attitude of rigid attention. Nat strains forward in his
chair. The sound of the wind and sea suddenly ceases and there is a heavy
silence. A dense green glow floods slowly in rhythmic waves like a liquid
into the room—as of
depths of the sea faintly penetrated by light.)
at his sister's hand—chokingly) See
how the light changes! Green and gold! (He
under the sea! I've been drowned for years! (hysterically) Save
me! Save me!
SUE—(patting his hand comfortingly)
Only the moonlight, Nat. It hasn't changed. Be quiet, dear, it's nothing. (The
green light grows deeper and deeper.)
monotonous tone) They
move slowly—slowly. They're heavy, I know,
heavy—the two chests. Hark!
They're below at the door. You hear?
to his feet) I
hear! I left the door open.
SUE—(shuddering) Ssshh! (The
sound of a door being heavily slammed is heard from way down in the house.)
NAT—(to his sister—excitedly) There!
shutter in the wind.
is no wind.
they come! Up, bullies! They're heavy—heavy! (The
paddling of bare feet sounds from the floor below—then comes up the stairs.)
hear them now?
the rats running about. It's nothing, Nat.
to the door and throwing it open) Come
in, lads, come in!—and welcome home! (The
forms of Silas Horne, Cates, and
Jimmy Kanaka rise noiselessly into the room from the stairs. The
last two carry heavy inlaid chests. Horne is a parrot-nosed, angular old
man dressed in gray cotton trousers and
a singlet torn open across his hairy chest. Jimmy is a tall, sinewy,
bronzed young Kanaka. He wears only a breech cloth.
Cates is squat
and stout and is
dressed in dungaree pants and a shredded white sailor's blouse,
stained with iron
rust. All are in their bare feet.
Water drips from their soaked and
rotten clothes. Their hair is matted, intertwined with
slimy strands of seaweed. Their eyes,
as they glide silently
into the room, stare frightfully wide at nothing. Their flesh in the green
light has the suggestion of decomposition. Their bodies sway
limply, nervelessly, rhythmically as if to the pulse of long swells of the deep sea.)
toward them) See!
(frenziedly) Welcome home, boys!
SUE—(grabbing his arm)
Sit down, Nat. It's nothing. There's no one there. Father—sit down!
at the three and
putting his finger to his lips) Not here, boys, not here—not before him. (He points
to his son.) He has no right, now. Come. The treasure is ours only. We'll
go away with it together. Come. (He goes
to the companionway. The three follow.
At the foot of it Horne puts a
swaying hand on his shoulder and with the other holds out
a piece of paper to him. Bartlett takes
it and chuckles exultantly.) That's
him—that's right! (He ascends. The figures
sway up after him.)
NAT—(frenziedly) Wait! (He struggles
toward the companionway.)
to hold him back) Nat—don't!
(He flings her away from him and rushes
up the companionway. He pounds against the slide, which seems to bare been shut down on him.)
SUE—(hysterically—runs wildly to the
door in rear) Help!
Help! (As she gets
to the door Doctor Higgins appears, hurrying up the stairs.)
Just a moment, Miss. What's the matter?
a gasp) My father—up
can't see—where's my flash? Ah.
it on her terror-stricken face, then quickly around the room. The green glow disappears. The wind and sea are heard again. Clear moonlight floods through the portholes. Higgins springs to the companionway. Nat
is still pounding.) Here,
Bartlett. Let me try.
dully at the
locked it. I can't get up.
up—in an astonished
the matter, Bartlett? It's all open. (He starts
NAT—(in a voice
Look out, man! Look out for them!
down from above) Them?
Who? There's no one here. (suddenly—in
alarm) Come up! Lend a hand here!
He's fainted! (Nat goes up slowly. Sue goes over and lights the lantern, then hurries
back to the foot of
the companionway with it. There is a
scuffling noise from above. They
now! (They lay
him on the
rear. Sue sets the lantern
the couch. Higgins bends and
listens for a heart-beat.
Then he rises,
shaking his head.) I'm sorry—
failure, I should judge. (with an
attempt at consolation) Perhaps
it's better so, if—
NAT—(as if in
a trance) There
was something Horne handed him. Did you see?
Nat, be still! He's dead. (to Higgins with pitiful appeal)
nothing I can do?
bows stiffly and
goes out. Nat moves slowly to his
father's body, as if attracted by
some irresistible fascination.)
you see? Horne handed him something.
Nat! Nat! Come away! Don't touch him, Nat! Come away. (But her
brother does not heed
her. His gaze
is fixed on
his father's right hand, which hangs
of the couch. He pounces on it and forcing the
effort, secures a crumpled ball of paper.)
it above his
a shout of triumph)
and spreads it out in the light of
The map of the island! Look! It isn't lost for me after all! There's still
a chance—my chance!
(with mad, solemn decision)
When the house is sold I'll go—and I'll find it! Look! It's written here
in his hand writing: "The treasure is buried where the cross is
her face with her hands—brokenly) Oh, God! Come
away, Nat! Come away!