"Inside the locker, he hung the dark-lantern from a roof beam, showing me how I could close the slide to conceal the light. Below it, piled in a heap almost as high as my waist, were the giant links of one of the anchor chains. The light swayed above them, playing with their shapes and shadows, giving them a living, seething snakelike texture. It was an eerie place. The locker smelt of iron and wet salt, and had the trapped frigid air of an ice-house.
‘This is a horrid place,’ I said.
‘Exactly,’ he replied, grinning wolfishly. ‘A fine home for prostitutes.’
At that moment the ship must have sunk deeply into a wave. Being so close to the bow, it was as if the floor had risen to hit us. I stumbled against Mr French, who out of experience had braced himself against the door-jamb. I heard the wave sweep above me on the other side of the hull and realised that for a second or two we must have been below water level. The sounds of rushing water fell away as I regained my position, haunted by the feeling of a darkness that had swept through the room, unseen."
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