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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter II: The new life begins,   pp. 18-33

Page 28

28                  Satan Came to Eden 
brought us. I never could forget, when looking at it, how many 
times during the long century of its existence it had been used 
to transport the unhappy men whom Cobos sent into exile on the 
other islands, to perish hideously of thirst and hunger. The whole 
fatal history of the Galapagos Archipelago seemed concentrated in 
this ancient ship, whose old planks could have told a story of human 
savagery and ruthlessness which never will be chronicled. 
  I can describe the skipper of the Manuel y Cobos no better than 
by saying that he was the kind of man one would have imagined 
her master to be. Not that he looked the part. He was a bluff and 
cheery individual with the ruddy blondness and the blue eyes 
of his Norwegian race. He was a man of about fifty-five, and 
had been in the service of his country's navy or mercantile marine 
-nobody seemed to know quite which. Captain Bruuns had been 
a well-known figure in Ecuador ever since his arrival there shortly 
after the war. All Europeans coming to those parts as he did, and 
remaining, are safely, assumed to have a "story." It was a Nor-
wegian settler on one of the islands who spread the legend about 
Captain Bruuns. No doubt it was a true one. During the war he 
had misused his flag's neutrality to act as a spy in Germany's pay, 
and had surrendered secrets of the British naval campaign to the 
German government. Many British ships cruising the North Sea 
had been sunk as the result of these data. Word of this espionage 
came to the ears of the Norwegian government, and Captain Bruuns 
was compelled to escape from the pursuit of the law. 
  We found that it was commonly believed along the Ecuadorean 
coast that Captain Bruuns' services to Germany had culminated 
in his betrayal of the presence of Lord Kitchener upon an English 
man-of-war and the route the ship was to take on the ill-fated 
voyage from which England's great hero never returned. Whether 
this was the true clue to one of the strangest mysteries of the War, 
doubtless no one will ever know, but there was something about this 
Captain Bruuns that suggested a man with more than ordinary secrets 
locked up in his bosom. 
  He had arrived one day in the Caribbean Sea, having come all 
the way from Europe in a minute craft called the Isabella, which, 
with its one mast and general frailty, looked hardly capable of 

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