Next of Kin:
The day after we left Antwerp on the “Germania,” one of the crew—I had never seen him nor did I ever discover his name—a young sailor, a mere boy, barely twenty years old, died quite suddenly. It was a case of blood poisoning, the refugees said; during a sharp-shooting match on the green at home a fragment of lead had lodged somewhere inside him and he had neglected to report the injury at the time. When the captain finally found out about it, he was furious, gave the poor boy a terrible dressing down and told him never to let it happen again. And now he was dead! Mizzie Maienthau claimed that she had seen the boy around the ship and spoken to him; a very nice lad he was, too, with nice brown eyes and good teeth; but, confidentially, she didn’t in the least believe that cock-and-bull story about the fragment of lead, though she was quite willing to credit the part about the bad blood. If that merry, good-for-nothing sailor lad failed to go straight to the captain after contracting whatever it was he suffered from, and on top of that kept it hushed up for half a year, he himself undoubtedly best knew why and what, Mizzie dared say. Far be it from her to poke her nose into their goyish affairs. . . .
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