Why, she‘d be the Queen of the sea,” Marie proclaimed to no one in particular, but with a finality that none of the others in the diving apparatus chose to challenge. Edmund C. Roberts, Sarah, Sue and the girls’ sister, Marie had been submersed for nearly an hour before the sea turtle and then the Sea Maiden came into view. Roberts had recently researched the local fauna and informed his captive audience that the former was indeed a Green Sea Turtle. “So named not for the hue of their carapace, rather than the color of the fat in their bodies. And that, my dear ones, would be a mature specimen.
They all watched in awe as the turtle swam slowly toward them, it head turning as if very interested in the four in the diving bell, though it could in fact have been seeing its own reflection in the thick glass. Then the Sea Maiden came form the opposite direction, capturing its attention and beginning a wide circle as she moved near. Apparently oblivious or at least unconcerned with the diving bell, the Sea Maiden was immediately enraptured with the Sea turtle. She circled it once, then twice, until at last she was within touching distance. Then they were nearly motionless, each watching the other intently.
Those in the diving apparatus held their breath as the sea turtle and the Sea Maiden reached out. The turtle’s fin rose to the Sea Maiden, and her hand stretched out to meet it. For the briefest instant they touched, a beatific moment at once tender and filled with meaning. Then the Sea Maiden turned away and was gone with several powerful sweeps of her tail. The sea turtle did not follow though it watched her depart until she could no longer be seen.
Later that evening, aboard the Baci Finale and looking from the railing at the darkening sky, Edmund C. Roberts thought of the encounter. “Queen of the Sea, indeed,” he whispered before he returned to his salon.
His journal reads simply:
Sea Maiden 19 – Maidenus regalus
That same night, Roberts and each of the triplets dreamed of their lost mothers.