It was a month of turtle sightings; first the Green Sea Turtle, then the Leatherback sea turtle and now the loggerhead sea turtle. For the triplets it was high adventure, for the older Marie it was the heart of her science and for Edmund C. Roberts it was fast becoming an obsession. By the day he flew his Bleriot XI aeroplane from the Baci Finale scouring the sea for a turtle sighting and in the evening he researched their every habit. Sea Maidens were on the back burner. The mystery below decks ignored. Sigmund Freud, would no doubt have a thing or two to say about Edmund’s interest in animals that carry their homes on their back, retreat into their shell when threatened and choose to roam the sea.
“Fascinating creatures,” Roberts mused aloud from his seat in the diving apparatus. “Magnificent head, that; and thus its name…the Loggerhead.” He had learned nothing more and so lapsed into silence., hoping the triplets and especially Marie would imagine he was now reviewing his vast store of knowledge. “There is so much more to know,” Marie, the naturalist teased.
He glared at her. Edmund did not wish to hear. His naturalist knew far too much and displayed it far too often. He was relieved to be able to observe, “Well, my dear, Miss Gebeaux (he enjoyed omitting ‘Doctor’ as he knew that rattled her) that would be a Sea Maiden approaching.” Which was also true. She swam slowly toward the loggerhead sea turtle. Upon sensing her, the turtle stopped its languid journey. The Sea Maiden drifted the final distance to the turtle and then reached forward, tenderly cupping its head in her hand. Thus the two remained for what must have been a quarter of an hour, unmoving, those in the diving machine spellbound. And as with so many magnificent moments, its conclusion was less than perfect. In the close, hot air of the diving apparatus, the unmistakable fragrance of flatulence rose to nose level. Edmund Roberts was at first mortified that it may have been he who misfired. Meanwhile, Dr. Gebeaux looked to the others with undisguised horror. Sue wrinkled her nose. Marie glanced at her sisters, and Sarah laughed. “Dearest Lord!” Edmund groaned and signaled for an ascent.
His journal reads:
Our 21st Sea Maiden sighting. She in the company of an communicating with a Loggerhead Turtle. Observation cut short by a human malfunction in the diving machine.