With other dawns, others have been found on the various Thames foreshores:
Too much having drunk the night before, Arrant stupidity in revelry,
Or an end met at the hands of assailants unknown to them, and known,
But a man already coffined, how is this?
With no sign of compelling reason why the coffin should have been placed or discarded.
A possibility that the man had been brutally done to death, and this display as a warning to others, which would come about when he was identified and reports published — but this impossible, given that there was no identification (and the body shows no sign of a violent end).
As another possibility, the theory is put forward that the coffin was to be used in a scheme operated by some substantial villain, perhaps aborted before its full enacting, with a Plan B even now being in play.
—I shall not rule out that possibility, he says.
A prop (theatrical, with concomitant scaring value).
It seems plain enough, the manifestation is a warning of things to come, sacrilege must have been done somewhere.
The dead keep their counsels and the quick are on scared hooks.
Saliently, the coffin revoked — as it might be if lost from a ship, an accident. (May that not be so.)
And that ship now to Bremen, Piraeus or New York, the manifest to be checked once at harbour, and the absence of the freight discovered there.
Although no large ships travel up the Thames to this exact point, the tides could bring this flotsam upstream, in contravention of logical thought. Accident remains a possibility.
—Vampire! exclaims an Inspector of the Yard, on being informed. Lost in transit to Whitby, surely.
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When No One is Looking by Hannah Shilling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.