by Captain W. E. Johns
7. THE SINGULAR STORY OF MABEL STUBBS (Pages 88 – 103)
Worrals hurries along the beach in her search
for Frecks and sees a girl running towards her in the
stops her and says she is a friend. The
girl is a Londoner called Mabel Stubbs.
She tells Worrals the story of what’s going
asks how many girls are there. “There
are eleven other white girls, five brown and three black. That’s not counting Alice and Mary. They’re dead.
Couldn’t stand it and did themselves in”. Three girls are nearly blind from the glare
and several others are sick. Mabel says
she used to work in a Laundry in Camden.
She replied to a situations vacant advert for a laundress and was
employed by Miss. Amelia Haddington to work on her yacht for a six month cruise, being paid £5.00 per week. Mabel was asked to keep the appointment
secret. They set off in the yacht, the ‘Vanity’
and the name of the yacht was changed during the voyage. There were no men on the yacht and they were
ruled with a rod of iron. Any talk of
leaving was considered mutiny. “It
seemed we were on a sort of floating loony-bin”. Apparently Amelia, the
daughter of a millionaire, had always had everything she ever wanted, and when
the man she was in love with married someone else, she had a nervous breakdown
“which left her a bit queer in the head”.
Nurses from a mental home looked after her and they pandered to her
whims. Amelia now had a hatred of men
and believed she was born to be a Queen.
There are nine women running the island including Amelia and her three
ministers. “First and worst is a woman
doctor named Miss Boran. She’s the Prime Minister, and a fair swine
she is too. Then there’s the two
nurses. One’s the Home Secretary and the
other the Minister for Labour. We call
this bunch the three flowers”.
“Why?” “Because of their
names. They are Nurse Rose, Nurse
Lillie, and the Geranium”. The Geranium
is Dr. Borran, who dyes her hair bright red. Native girls have also been invited aboard
and kept. The yacht ran through a gap in
the reef and shoved her nose into the rocks where she stuck fast. Mabel says that when she saw a stranger (Frecks) she bolted for it, thinking there must be a ship in
the offing. Mabel says it won’t be long
before murder is done. “Amelia’s little
empire is about ripe for a first-class revolution, weapons or no weapons”. Worrals decides
that she needs time to think about what she is going to do.