“Good God,” exclaimed Mr. Buckworth, as he flicked through the days paper. “Not another one!” It had become quite the topic of conversation in Victoria City of late; the incident of several sturdy, and undoubtedly sea-worthy vessels disappearing all over Pearl Isle.
Mrs. Dunsley, who had a great deal to say about it herself, peeped over Mr. Buckworth’s shoulder and said: “It’s the government, I say, a conspiracy of sorts. There’s no other way for a big vessel like that to just disappear.”
Mr. Buckworth shook his head. “The vessels work for the government. No use in getting rid of your own vessels. But listen here, I heard – from a reliable source, I might add – that the mishaps with all these ships is more of a supernatural nature, and there is no theory as of yet to prove it otherwise.”
“Supernatural?” Mrs. Dunsley scowled. “Says who?”
“Says Henry Turnhill,” replied Mr. Buckworth, “that strange fellow always loitering about The Old Oak,” – which was a pub on the edge of the warehouse district – “he’s a bit of a nutter but he knows his stuff. They say he came back from the dead once. Now, he says that this is all to do with ghosts.”
This time Mrs. Dunsley shook her head, and her husband, Mr. Dunsley, came out to join her by the road. Again she scowled at Mr. Buckworth, “You superstitious twat. There’s no such thing as ghosts and you know it.”
Mr. Dunsley became most intrigued by the conversation and inquired as to what the two were discussing. “Another ship has gone missing,” explained Mr. Buckworth, “as if out of thin air: poof!”
Mrs. Dunsley took her husband’s arm and smiled. “Mr. Buckworth thinks it was ghosts.”
“Ghosts. For sure?”
But Mr. Buckworth gestured otherwise. “I said no such thing. I was just saying what I heard. It could have been anything these days, you really just don’t know.”
“Quite right,” agreed Mr. Dunsley. “Whatever the matter, I am most certain it does not concern me. Let the companies sort it out, or the government. I have little intention of travelling to Edith Post any time soon, and if I did, I believe I’d take the train.” He then proceeded to glance at his fog-watch and say: “Ah, we are late for our morning walk. Good-day, Mr. Buckworth.” And thus the conversation ended there.
Now, the idea that ghosts were responsible for the disappearances of these vessels was one, albeit the least popular, of many speculations regarding the entire incident thus far. Some of the most prestigious investigators in all of Pearl Isle had so far taken up the challenge of solving the mystery, only to fall back with their tails between their legs and admit that they had found nothing.
The most popular – and most likely – theory was that piracy had once again come into fashion within the waters of Pearl Isle, and that a well organised band of criminals were commandeering these vessels and reaping their plunder.
Then there came along a local meteorologist from the eastern district of Victoria City who claimed that unusual weather patterns were causing storms to the west capable of swallowing big shipping vessels whole. The only problem was, no one else ever caught sign of these storms, so the theory was more or less discarded.
As for the other theories: some say that a new species of sea creature was out there attacking the ships; others, like Mrs. Dunsley, blamed the government; meanwhile a few, such as Mr. Turnhill from The Old Oak, pointed their fingers at ghosts. As unlikely as it would seem, the answers were out there, but they were not in the slightest what one might call a simple solution. The answer to this mystery is a long and grudging tale of ambition, betrayal and sorrow.ns 22.214.171.124da2