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The Logbook
Chapter 3LN5 infobox
Chapter 3

Episode 19: Le Vaisseau Fantôme

Japanese Name

航海日誌

Romanized Name

Kōkai Nisshi

Volume

5

Release Date

August, 2009 (The Sneaker)

Pages

68

Adaptation

N/A

For the Phantom Book, see Logbook.

"The Logbook" is the 3rd chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 5. It's divided into six parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode 19 in the story line.

Jessica arranges a fully-manned vessel in order to search for a ghost ship. Hugh and Dalian join the expedition, suspecting that the mysterious events reported in the newspapers were caused by a Phantom Book user.[1]

Summary[]

The ship glides along the water surface during a moonless, quiet night. It has high masts and white sails. Except for the watchman, the whole crew is asleep. In his cabin, the captain writes on a book, reporting the situation of his voyage, men, cargo and ship. A parrot watches as the man moves a fountain pen. The captain has fulfilled his task. He takes out a pistol from a drawer. He points the barrel to his head and kills himself. The lonely parrot looks at the body and tweets. The ship should always have a crew and a captain. Those were the last words of the captain.

Part 1[]

The Guillemot, an old steamship, is a few miles from the nearest shore. It transports people and goods to the kingdom’s islands. However, the engine is silent. There are rusted benches on the deck. Hugh is resting on one of them. Jessica is talking about the sunny weather. She excitedly points at a flock of migratory birds in the sky. Dalian screams at her, impatient. The girls start to argue. Hugh asks them to be a little quieter. After all, he and the sailors are exhausted. They've been trying to fix the ship. Jessica tells Dalian to be grateful, since the expedition is sponsored by the young girl’s father.

Dalian is bored. She had read all the books in the ship. She grabs a newspaper from a small traveling bag. The article, published a few days ago, reported about a freighter which stumbled upon a strange ship in the North Sea. According to a radiogram, the discovered ship was thought to have sunk more than fifty years ago. But the ship looked new, the cargo untouched, the crew unharmed. The mysterious ship was drifting near a small island, far from regular routes. Jessica had talked with her father in order to arrange the Guillemot and its crew, so they could investigate the case and learn if a Phantom Book is somehow involved.

Dalian won’t thank Jessica. After all, the Guillemot is about to become a shipwreck. The ship had traveled for half a day, then the engine stopped. Furthermore, their target had disappeared. As described in the newspaper, the freighter had towed the mysterious merchant ship, heading to the nearest port. The next day, the merchant ship had disappeared along with the freighter’s crew. The freighter was left unmanned, the valuable cargo untouched. Jessica heard rumors about a ghost ship that sunk years ago drifting in the region. Dalian is skeptical. The dead can't read Phantom Books. Also, no one can lift a sunken ship to the surface.

Hugh sits down. He looks at the sea, gloomily. Fog is approaching. It becomes noticeably colder. They see an unfamiliar ship in the distance. It’s an old-fashioned ship, an elegant clipper. Hugh wonders if it’s a ghost ship. Dalian calls him a fool. She hides behind Hugh.

Part 2[]

The captain of the clipper rescues the crew of the Guillemot. The men aboard the clipper welcome Hugh, Dalian, Jessica and the others, as if they are famous actors or noblemen. Dalian can’t stand the stranger’s attitude. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica sit inside the dining room. Thøgersen, the captain of the Atlantic Rim, introduces himself to them. A parrot on his shoulder repeats his words loudly. The Atlantic Rim is carrying a cargo to the east coast of America. Thøgersen can't take them back to England or to the nearest port, but they will ensure their safety until the skies are clear. The captain tells them to not enter the cargo hold. The cargo there isn’t valuable, but it’s dangerous. Thøgersen leaves to meet the Guillemot’s captain.

The sailors bring large dishes with Scandinavian cuisine to please Hugh, Dalian, Jessica and the Guillemot’s crew. Jessica points out how beautiful the ship is. Hugh finds it odd. Nowadays it makes no sense to use a clipper. Its maintenance is expensive. Clippers are practically obsolete. Dalian steals some waffles from Jessica’s plate. The girls fight. Jessica accidentally breaks a bottle of liquor. In the sea, food and alcohol are valuable. However, the sailors don’t seem to mind. They are too friendly for Hugh’s taste.

The people from the Atlantic Rim had unceremoniously rescued and fed strangers, which is very suspicious. Hugh also finds interesting how the clipper’s crew is composed of people of different races and nationalities. They even had cooked Scandinavian food, while England’s flag fluttered on the mast. They hear three gunshots coming from the ship’s passenger cabin. The white fog is enveloping the clipper.

Part 3[]

Hugh and Dalian leave Jessica behind to investigate. Blood is in the air of the passenger cabin. On the coach, the bodies of a young girl and a man, sister and brother from a wealthy family. They had killed themselves. A sailor stares casually, as if he's used to it. According to him, there are two more passengers in the Atlantic Rim. The passengers suddenly enter the cabin. A woman in business suit, apparently a secretary called Masha, and a young maid. Maggie, the young maid, snatches the gun from the man’s body and kills herself.

The sailor tells Hugh to not worry. The sailor raises his gun and walks to the deck. Hugh follows him up the stairs. Again, the smell of blood is in the air. Dalian kicks Jessica’s ankle and the young girl rolls down the stairs. The sailor shoots himself, his body falling overboard. Other men from the Atlantic Rim crew reach the deck to take their own lives. The few survivors of the Atlantic Rim bow their heads in despair. Dalian believes that a Phantom Book caused the mass suicide.

Hugh and Dalian hear another shot. They enter the captain’s cabin. Captain Thøgersen had killed himself. A middle-aged man enters the cabin and prays to the dead. Berners, the captain of the Guillemot, will take command over the Atlantic Rim. He will abandon the Guillemot. Hugh notices the parrot sat on the window frame. The animal screams, saying that a ship must always have a crew and a captain. The parrot flies to Berners’ shoulder, as if accepting a new owner. Berners, once discouraged, now has extraordinary confidence in his voice. Berners opens the ship’s logbook and starts writing, ignoring Hugh. Dalian notices that eleven people died that afternoon. The same number of people that came from the Guillemot. It seems like the Guillemot crew are replacements. Masha, the secretary, enters the cabin. Now that her old master died, she will be Hugh’s subordinate. She prepared a new cabin so he can rest.

Part 4[]

The sailors from both ships removed all bodies and wiped the blood. The men from the Guillemot worked as if nothing was wrong. Some men from the Atlantic Rim had tried to kill themselves moments ago. Now they are alive and health. Jessica bursts into the cabin. A patch is placed over her nose. She complains to Hugh and Dalian. The young girl followed Masha’s instructions and now she looked like a maid, wearing an apron. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica are replacing the siblings and the maid that had committed suicide. Hugh decides to experiment. He goes to the deck into the cold night. The Guillemot had disappeared. Hugh jumps towards the sea, disappearing into the white fog. Inexplicably, he falls back to the deck, in front of Dalian and Jessica. It’s impossible to leave the ship. The Atlantic Rim needs a fixed number of crew and passengers aboard. Dalian smiles for a moment, relieved. Soon after, she kicks Hugh’s legs in anger.

Masha appears behind them. The secretary explains that the ship will travel forever in that foggy world. No one is able to give up, since the Atlantic Rim must have a crew and a captain. The clipper constantly looks for new blood. The ghost ship invites sailors from other vessels in order to replace those who can no longer work. Masha is also a victim. She doesn’t remember if she’s been on that situation for a few days or a few years. Masha is envy of the people who managed to commit suicide before her. Jessica affirms that Masha’s attitude is outrageous. Jessica decides to search the ship for a Phantom Book. Hugh wants to check the ship’s logbook. Masha affirms that their efforts will be useless.

Part 5[]

Hugh and Dalian on the ghost ship

Hugh, Dalian and Jessica head to the captain's cabin.

Even the air under the deck is occupied by the fog. Dalian walks behind Hugh, holding his coat. Jessica follows them. They should act fast. There are no guarantees that they will remain self-conscious. Like the sailors and Masha, they may lose the strength to live. The trio enters the captain’s cabin. The place is empty. Dalian examines the thick logbook on the table. Every few hours, the book receives a new entry about the weather and the ship’s conditions. It seems ordinary writing, nothing related to Phantom Books.

Jessica lets out a soft cry. She points to the closet filled with bones, the remains of Thøgersen and the past captains from years ago. Dalian also discovers a brass tablet inside it, saying that the Atlantic Rim was built seventy years ago. According to the logbook, at that time, the clipper sailed to America and disappeared. The captain and the whole crew died from a disease that took the entire ship. However, the Atlantic Rim continues to sail through the fog, capturing people from other ships. Berners enters the cabin with the parrot on his shoulder. The captain looks at them with suspicion.

Dalian tells Berners to surrender the other logbook. The logbook at the Biblioprincess’ hands isn't a Phantom Book. After all, it's missing one important day. The day when the whole crew died from the disease. The logbook can turn into a Phantom Book only if it’s written by someone who has knowledge that shouldn’t exist in this world. The first captain of the ship may be the only one stubborn enough to try reach the destination no matter the obstacles. Perhaps he’s the one who created a Phantom Book. Berners trembles, distressed. He keeps repeating the entries in the logbook, ignoring the trio. Using perfect pronunciation, the parrot screams the same words, both speaking in unison.

A parrot can live over seventy years. Some individuals reach over a hundred years. They are intelligent. They can learn how to use simple tools, they can understand human speech and even write. It's revealed that the parrot is both the Phantom Book and the user. The animal controls the ship using forbidden knowledge it heard from the first captain. The parrot can't be sealed inside the Labyrinth Library. Hugh aims at the parrot with his gun. Suddenly, the ship moves, as if it had bumped into something. Everyone goes to the floor. The parrot flaps its wings. The animal repeats an entry from the logbook about a terrible storm. The parrot is able to reproduce the weather that challenged the Atlantic Rim in the past.

Berners limps out of the cabin, only to crash into a mast and fall, bleeding. Soon after, he gets to his feet. According to the parrot, the ship must always have a captain. Berners repeats the words. There’s no replacement, so Berners is unable to die. Hugh, on the other hand, gained a cut on his lip after his fall, and the wound wasn’t healing. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica were recognized as enemies. They have lost their immortality. The parrot screams, affirming that passengers are not needed. The ship only needs a captain and a crew. The storm suddenly stops. The fog seems to be hiding something big and heavy. Dalian checks the logbook and learns that the ship is carrying four wild animals. A huge crocodile slowly walks towards Jessica. The bodies of those who died in the ship were fed to the ferocious reptiles.

Jessica protects Dalian

Jessica protects Dalian.

Hugh, Jessica and Dalian are surrounded by the crocodiles crawling across the deck. Hugh can’t shoot the parrot. The smart bird hides behind the mast. A thunderstorm starts. Jessica grabs a mop and moves in front of Dalian, protecting her friend. Hugh gives his revolver to Jessica, quickly teaching her how to use the gun. Hugh opens the Labyrinth Library on Dalian’s chest. Meanwhile, a crocodile rushes at Jessica. The young girl manages to momentarily stop the attack by shooting the animal. She falls due to the strong recoil. She raises the revolver again, but it's too late. Another crocodile is about to crush her with its enormous jaws. However, the animals freeze, as if time had stopped.

The fog disappears, revealing a clear blue sky, a sunny day. Jessica recognizes America in the distance. Hugh had used the Fata Morgana to create the illusion. The ship has reached its destination. The Atlantic Rim doesn’t have to continue wandering indeterminately. The parrot lands on the bow of the ship, staring wishfully at the port. The crocodiles disappear. Masha and the sailors celebrate on the deck. The ship starts to quickly age. It starts to sink. Hugh and the sailors lower the lifeboat. Hugh carries Dalian under his arm. Jessica follows them. The sea devours the Atlantic Rim. The parrot doesn’t fly away. The bird looks at the beautiful illusion until the last second of its life.

Part 6[]

The lifeboat floats across the blue sea, under the morning sun. If a storm had come, the survivors would be in trouble. Dalian is leaning against Hugh. Jessica thanks Dalian for pushing her down the stairs. Jessica knew that Dalian kept the young girl from witnessing the mass suicide. Dalian turns her face away, embarrassed. They hear a whistle. A ship is approaching to rescue them. Everyone laughs in relief. Dalian remains calm. She sees large white feathers floating on the water. She smiles and closes her eyes. Whispering, she wishes a good voyage.[1]

Trivia[]

  • "Le Vaisseau Fantôme" is French for "The Phantom Ship". It's an opera by French composer Pierre-Louis Dietsch, premiered in 1842.[2]
    • The opera is based on The Phantom Ship, a Gothic novel by British novelist Frederick Marryat, published between 1837 and 1839. The story concerns the quest of a man to save his father, who has been doomed to sail for eternity aboard a ghost ship.[3]
    • Both works are associated with the myth of the Flying Dutchman, a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. It's an omen of tragedy. It brings terrible weather.[4]
  • Admiralty law or maritime law is a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes. All mariners have a duty to save the lives of others in peril without expectation of reward. Today, it's the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's oceans.[5]
  • Drinking alcohol on board became commonplace for a variety of reasons. It was more palatable than algae-filled water or sour beer, it served as a form of entertainment, it was a welcome distraction from plain and heavily salted meal rations, and certain drinks even helped stave off scurvy. Water in casks would often develop algae and taste putrid and sour. Beer typically did not hold up well in humid heat. Stronger alcoholic drinks were always preferable because they retained their flavor much longer, and sometimes even improving in taste with time.[6]
  • Hugh uses the Fata Morgana to create the image of New York. It's described as a city as large as London, with straight streets, skyscrapers, suspension bridges and a statue of a woman holding a torch.[1]
    • The description has a reference to the Statue of Liberty, a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.[7]
  • The original logbook has an entry mentioning that the Atlantic Rim sailed close to the Faroe Islands.[1] It's an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. It's a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometers north-northwest of Scotland.[8]
    • The logbook mentions a wind of force 4 and 10.[1] The entry refers to the Beaufort scale, an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land, devised in 1805 by the Irish hydrographer Francis Beaufort. A wind of Beaufort force 4 and 10 equal to moderate breeze and storm, respectively.[9]
    • The logbook mentions a cloud cover indicator 8.[1] Okta is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of cloud cover at any given location such as a weather station. 8 oktas means complete overcast.[10]
    • It also mentions rough sea and very high waves[1], in a possible use of the Douglas sea scale. Devised in the 1920s by Captain H.P. Douglas, it's a scale which measures the height of the waves and also the swell of the sea.[11]
  • As explained by Dalian, the animals aboard are saltwater crocodiles.[1] The apex predators are native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands from India's east coast across Southeast Asia and the Sundaic region to northern Australia and Micronesia. They are often claimed to be the largest living crocodilian. Males grow to a length of up to 6 m, rarely exceeding a weight of 1,000–1,075 kg.[12]
    • Saltwater crocodiles can attain a very long lifespan, with an estimated life expectancy upwards of 70 years, and some individuals possibly exceed 100 years.[12] It explains how the animals survived so long aboard the Atlantic Rim.[1]
  • Hugh and the others are rescued by a minesweeper.[1] It's a small warship designed to engage in minesweeping. Warships dedicated for minesweeper first appeared during World War I, built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.[13]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 5.
  2. Le vaisseau fantôme. (2019, January 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:55, May 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Le_vaisseau_fant%C3%B4me&oldid=879924175
  3. The Phantom Ship. (2019, October 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:16, May 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Phantom_Ship&oldid=923634838
  4. Flying Dutchman. (2020, April 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:28, May 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flying_Dutchman&oldid=953661541
  5. Admiralty law. (2020, April 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:02, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Admiralty_law&oldid=949047296
  6. Renee Barouxis. (2017, July 14). Examining the history of drinking culture on ships through colonial-era grog and madeira. In Old North Church. Retrieved 15:02, May 5, 2020, from https://oldnorth.com/2017/07/14/examining-the-history-of-drinking-culture-on-ships-through-colonial-era-grog-and-madeira/
  7. Statue of Liberty. (2020, May 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:09, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Statue_of_Liberty&oldid=954243302
  8. Faroe Islands. (2020, May 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:32, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Faroe_Islands&oldid=954803639
  9. Beaufort scale. (2020, April 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:37, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Beaufort_scale&oldid=953562077
  10. Okta. (2020, April 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:41, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Okta&oldid=952696600
  11. Douglas sea scale. (2019, October 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:56, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Douglas_sea_scale&oldid=919113556
  12. 12.0 12.1 Saltwater crocodile. (2020, April 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:11, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Saltwater_crocodile&oldid=953247530
  13. Minesweeper. (2020, April 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:20, May 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Minesweeper&oldid=949108859
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Volume 1

Gastronomy Worship - Pedigree - Book of Wisdom - The Dictator's Book - Turn-Up Book - Book of Lifetime - Libricide

Volume 2

The Briar Princess - Queen of the Night - The Lovers - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fetus - Winning Strategy - The Mystic Archives of Rasiel

Volume 3

Book of Soul Exchange - Book of Oblivion - Book of Twilight - Book of Sleep - The Magician's Daughter - The Beautiful Woman's World - Book of Atonement

Volume 4

Book of Gap - Phantom Score - Book of Relationship - Book of Hypnosis - The Perfumer - The House-Elf's Rough Time - Phantom Book Thief

Volume 5

Timetable - Waterside Flower - The Cat and the Biblioprincess - Book of Fools - The Logbook - The Observer - Book of Connection

Volume 6

The Template Book - The Working Man - Book of Coffin - The Real Me - Book of Humanization - Paradise

Volume 7

Disaster and Temptation - Catalogue - Book of Wisdom II - The Girls' Long Night - Book of Imitation - The Key-Keeper

Volume 8

Phantom Book of the King - The Last Book - Vignette of Eternal Twilight
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