www.thebermudian.com 66 | THE BERMUDIAN
HE BEGINS WITH A CURVED
Beebe’s voice surfaces every now and
then in her ears, the phantom weight
of headphones long since removed.
Miss Hollister. She tries to focus on the
thin arc across the paper. The unidentified
fish from this morning is still precise in her
mind but she feels the edges of it could bleed
together at any moment. She widens the line
at the base. She adds a fin. Gloria, what do you
At her desk she sees her fingers as they were
on the glass of the bathysphere, dark against
the shifting green light of the water.
Yesterday she sat sweating in the shade of
the barge, watching the crew bolt the hatch
down once Beebe and Barton had twisted
their long bodies inside. She hated the weight
of the moment before the bathysphere was
winched out over the water; she hated the
pneumatic thud of the bolts hitting home. The
thought of being sealed inside caused her to
feel something between anxiety and envy. She
worried whenever they went down, imagining
a crack like a spider’s web in the fused quartz
windows, the immense bolts shaking loose.
Beebe’s cacophonous profanity whenever the
bathysphere swayed in the air didn’t do much
to calm her.
But then his voice would rise in her ears,
sharp gasps and feverish exclamations all coming at a barrage. She had to concentrate, make
sure they kept up a constant dialogue; a silence
of even five seconds and she’d have to signal
the crew to winch them up. The incessant, giddy buzz of Beebe’s narration replaced her own Gloria Hollister
Dr. William Beebe (far left), Otis Barton (centre), Gloria Hollister (far right) and the rest of the team at Nonsuch.