Chapter 04 Mary’s Treasure Chest

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Chapter 4

Mary’s Treasure Chest

Like every Saturday evening on the solstice since recieiving her Father’s chest, Mary opened it up to start reading.  Her eyes grew big as she reached into her treasure chest and pulled out the first article.  It was Captain Walton’s discarded Ships Log.

Captains Log

HMS Carcass is inclosed in the ice in Lat. 80o 37.N.   Her construction was ordered 21 September 1758.  His Royal Majesty commissioned her as a sloop June 27 1759 through the ship builders Stanton & Wells, Rotherhithe. Today she is laid down the 31 October 1794.  The HMS Carcass is a whaling ship and a man of war an Infernal-. class bomb vessel. Her Tons burthen is 309. Her Length is 27.94 ml (91ft) . She measures 74 ft 23 m to her keel). Her Beam is 28 ft (8.5 m). Her Depth of hold is 12 ft 1 in (3.68 m). Though she was decommissioned, she remained at sea as a whaler and enterpriser and refitted as a survey vessel. She had successfully returned from an expedition to the Arctic in 1773.  Her logs record 100 Souls minus those who have died.

Dear God and anyone else who may come upon this.  I have seen many things in my life, but never the likes of this a most vexed, stupid  and dreadful of expeditions to reach the North Pole.  Should I how somehow survive this journey into nothingness, I promise you by my own words written by my own hand to do anything I can that pleases you just so I can die at home in Mumbles with my family, but not here please not here. It is cold. My fingers can barely write, I do not know how much longer I will surivive. If you find my spirit has departed my body, please look inside my personal chest for the ships scrolls records and ledger.  My ship is trapped in the ice, but she remains hardy and capable of floating home, but I am afraid with a ghost crew should things continue as they are. I have a man in custody today who I just logged in to the ships records. We now have 101 souls that started this expedition. The name of our prisoner is Dr. Victor Frankenstein and he stole aboard.  He said he was trying to reach the Americas by traveling across the Arctic on his own and is willing to walk the rest of the way across the Ice bridge if I let him go.”    – Capt. J. Walton October 31, 1794

The Galley the following morning 

The Ships captain walks down to the Ships Galley where the prisoners are kept.

“Ok Victor, the ship’s surgeon has just died,  I am going to let you out and your free to do what you wish, but my men have need care of your surgical expertise”

“My good man, I am afraid, I do not know what you mean?”

“They need to eat “Frankenstein”, and nobody has strength to ice fish.”

“Enough said” Victor responded

Walton looked expectantly at Victor to leave the ship and walk as he promised,  but instead of leaving Frankenstein began his long heroic speech.

“Sir, you look so dismal.  I am afraid you give up so easily as no real disaster has accompanied the commencement of our enterprise, a journey you have regarded with such evil foreboding.  I need not remind you that you have been paid handsomely to betray your better senses and have treated me unfairly placing on me all the blame for your enterprise.   But should I fail to live, as to when and how I got here you can write in your log that I arrived here yesterday by discovery then you let me go and you can wash your hands clean of this and of my death. Now I need your assistance.  We are still now in the first day of November, there is a slight chance of escape, but we are going to need a miracle to get out of this.  I know the men are tired.  But maybe after a good meal  you can rouse them by having the men beat to quarters and tell them your plan, which I am giving you now.  After they are fed, we need lots of bodies and movement up and down on the bow of the ship to create motion to break the ice. At the same time fire the canons into the ice shelf to the four sides of the ship every 15 minutes and listen for the ships creaks in-between.  Use the harpoon to pull the ship in a southerly direction until you are no longer able.  When you hear the creaks check the ice-shelf and have some of the men break the ice with their sticks and use the anchor as well in the bow of [the] ship in intervals then start paddling the ship and move [the] canons [to] the [bow] and start blasting into the southern part of the ice shelf at varying distances [using] 10 minute intervals till the ship is loose and keep firing till we are free or the men have run out of strength [and] out of ammunition”

It was an expensive proposal, but a chance thought Walton, God save us.

[Victors Note Scraps]

[As the well-fed men beat to quarters, they began blasting away at the ice shelf just like I outlined,  The movement and sound of the ships creaks put new life into the men.]

[From Waltons Scrapped Ledger]

[Though some of the men have perished,  Victor has helped me and the rest of the crew conquer death by creating life through logic and reason, wrote the captain.]

[The men rested in intervals as they worked, while Victor worked around the clock trying various different ways in vain to revive the men who had died as the other men watched on]

[“Frankenstein is Tireless” said the ships First-Mate.]

[It took all the ships munitions and the men’s effort to get the ice [to] begin cracking in long lines around them, but they dare not stop firing until we break into the open sea.]

[Sabbath day 8, November 1794,  It has been eight days, the ship has finally broken into open waters. Sailing ahead. sailing , May God Save us,]

Mary’s eyes shifted to read another piece of the puzzle for the forty-second time in her life.

[ A long two-week sail home soon found us at the Harbor in Mumbles where my good Captain and his crew refreshed themselves and now would have to come up with a good explanation to HRM the ships owner in Cornwall on the other side of the England.]

[Victors Notes that survived]

[The expenditure in Mumbles was great, but worth the while and the men would be certain not to hang along with Victor and the Captain for this unscrupulous Enterprise with the resources that did not belong to the men.]

[I,  as promised, began counting my estate’s finances after this most costly & tragic of ventures and planning my missionary trip to China.]


[….How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured….]

Mary’s Father’s Diary and records read almost like a book to her. Every scrap was priceless. She especially wondered how such a failed journey at sea might affect one’s mind spending a month in thermal horror painfully trying to revive the ice-cold bodies of dead sailors.  It is by no uncertain fate Mary had inherited her Father’s desire to bring the dead back to life as what most good surgeons and physicians aspire to.

She looked down at a few more paragraphs written by her Father

[ The ships first mate went down with the heart attack not one week from home while fishing.  The struggle with the Marlin who cut away at the ships net was more than he could  bear. He revived after 15 minutes of applying pressure to the man’s chest and breathing air into his lungs.   As his spirit returned to his body,  the First-Mate opened his eyes and looked up at the captain who asked him how he felt. “Hungry” the man the replied. “The men finished hauling in the Marlin while you passed out, ” he told his first mate.   Then the captain ordered the men to take the First mate down to his quarters to get some rest.]

[My candle was nearly burnt out when by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light.  I saw the dull yellow eye]

[Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath,]

[The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature.]

[for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body……… given life.]

That marked the end of Mary’s Note reading session. A night now completed with literacy and great adventure,  Mary felt the ministering of the Holy Spirit and touched her heart with her hand and said a quiet prayer before going to bed.

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