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.Only a glacial blue coldness.Nillson thought it was a trick of the light at first, the illumination from the gyrocompass housing catching the ugly scar.There was no mistake.As the ships hurtled toward certain disaster, the man was smiling.There was no doubt in his mind.Hansen had deliberately rammed the other ship, aiming the Stockholm as if he were riding a torpedo.No doubt, too, that nobody, not the captain or anyone else on the ship, would ever believe such a thing could happen.Nillson’s anguished eyes shifted from the captain’s angry face to the helm as if the answer lay there.The deserted wheel spun madly out of control.In all the confusion Hansen had vanished.Jake Carey was shocked from his slumber by a doomful metallic thunderclap.The hollow boom lasted only an instant before it was followed by the tortured shriek of steel against steel and a terrifying crumple and crunch as if the upper deck cabin were imploding.Carey’s eyes blinked open, and he stared fearfully at what looked to be a moving grayish-white wall, only a few feet away.Carey had drifted off to sleep minutes before.He had kissed his wife, Myra, good night and slipped beneath the cool sheets of a twin bed in their first-class cabin.Myra read a few pages of her novel until her eyelids drooped.She switched off the light, pulled the blanket close around her neck, and sighed, with pleasant memories of the sun-baked Tuscan vineyards still in her head.Earlier, she and Jake had toasted the success of their Italian sojourn with champagne in the first-class dining room.Carey had suggested a nightcap in the Belvedere Lounge, but Myra replied that if she heard the band play “Arrivederci Roma” one more time, she’d swear off spaghetti forever.They retired shortly before ten-thirty P.M.After strolling hand-in-hand past the shops in the foyer deck, they took the elevator one level up and walked forward to their large upper-deck cabin on the starboard side.They put their luggage out in the corridor, where the stewards would collect it in anticipation of the ship’s arrival in New York the next day.There was a slight roll to the ship because the vessel had become more top-heavy as fuel in the big hull tanks was used up.The motion was like being rocked in a giant cradle, and before long Myra Carey, too, fell asleep.Now her husband’s bed lurched violently.He was catapulted into the air as if he’d been launched from a siege machine.He floated in free fall for several lifetimes before splashing into a deep pool of darkness.Death stalked the decks of the Andrea Doria.It roamed from the posh cabins on the higher levels to the tourist-class accommodations below the waterline.Fifty-two people lay dead or dying in the wake of the crash.Ten cabins were demolished in the first-class deck where the hole was at its widest.The hole was at its narrowest at the bottom, but the cabins below the waterline were smaller and more crowded, so the effect was even more devastating.Passengers died or lived according to the whims of fate.A first-class passenger who’d been brushing his teeth ran back to the bedroom to find the wall gone, his wife vanished.On the deluxe foyer deck two people were killed instantly.Twenty-six Italian immigrants in the smaller, cheaper cabins of the lowermost deck were right in line with the collision and died in a mass of crushed steel.Among them were a woman and her four young children.There were miracles as well.A young girl scooped out of a first-class cabin woke up in the Stockholm’s crumpled bow.In another cabin the ceiling crashed down on a couple, but they managed to crawl out into the corridor.Those from the two lowest decks had the toughest struggle, fighting their way up the slanting smoke-filled passageways against a stream of oil-slicked black water.Gradually people began to work their way to the muster stations and waited for instructions.Captain Calamai was at the far side of the undamaged bridge when the ships hit.Recovering from his initial shock, he pulled the ship’s telegraph lever to Stop.The ship eventually came to a halt in the deep fog.The second officer strode to the inclinometer, the instrument that measured the ship’s angle.“Eighteen degrees,” he said.A few minutes later he said, “Nineteen degrees [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]