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He ran down a metal staircase, his short legs churning, and paused two landings below to peer into the corridor leading to the half deck where the port lifeboats were housed. While the corridor was again empty, the shouts of frantic, angry passengers were louder on this deck. He had been part of the lifeboat drills and had ridden on a couple of freefall launches. Those boats were damn near indestructible, dropping into the water while you were safely buckled into a cushioned seat, the ride no rougher than a Disneyland roller-coaster. No doubt more frantic passengers had assembled around the starboard lifeboats as well. He advanced, still clutching the key. There was one dejected poached egg, one wavy thin piece of toast, three undersized prunes with about a teaspoonful of juice, a split of tonic water, and a glass. When they were gone he poured the tonic water into the glass, took a sip, and demanded, "Did you bring it. Is that the desk you kept your gun in. What the hell was he reading, anyway. He stood inside the door reading through the folder for a minute more before he spoke again. Kelland was the kind of man who respected strength, or what he understood of strength anyway.
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