Doctor at Sea

By Richard Gordon

# 2 in Doctor in the House


It would be unfair to describe the Lotus as an unlucky ship.

It was just that she was accident prone, like a big, awkward schoolgirl. Even her period of gestation in the ship- yard was full of mishaps. She was laid down in Wallsend in 1929, and had advanced to the shape of a huge picked chicken when the depression blew down bitterly on Tyneside. For the next four years she rusted untouched be- hind locked gates, and when they started work again her design was changed on the drawing-board from a North Atlantic ship to a Far East trader.

Shortly afterwards the company ordering her went bankrupt and she was bought on the stocks by another, who began to turn her into a whaler. They too rap- idly slid into insolvency and abandoned her to a fourth, the Fathom Steamship Company of St. Mary Axe. It was this concern that succeded in launching her, after she had been through as many fruitless changes in construction as a human embryo. At her launch she holed and almost sunk…

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