Now, up to this point you would probably think me a rather distracted and unobservant lad, but my general nature is in my reserve to observe and often notice items that others may perhaps not.  I believe somehow in my perpetual feeling of not belonging that I had made a careful study of the ways and manners of people that one who assumes such confidence often ignores.  And so it was at this time that I began to notice a few men who were not of the crew, or at least not marked so, closely observing each new passenger coming on deck.  The language of their eyes said they were studying each face without wanting to be found at such task.  There was then silent communication between the number of them.  I noted for certain three of the men, and a possible fourth, all participating in this secreted examination.

One man in particular, I marked for the very fact that he seemed to mark me.  He seemed to be the one of this strange company that was designated to watch our desk.  He seemed especially enraptured by myself and Eccott.  It was with acting as I were staring off into a nothing located a short height above my clerk’s head that I could observe the observer without his regard.  The first thing you noticed was a scar that blackened his face, butchering his lips.  It would have been a dark face regardless, through no manner of complexion but instead a general shadowness that arose from a fair number of crags and juttings.  It was as if his face was made for the very scar that would come to define it.  All his shadows were further complicated by a black bowler cast down upon his brow.  As he felt we were not looking, he felt a freedom in his attempt to decipher me and my tall companion.  I sensed a mark of suspicion when our observer took in Eccott standing over me, but the scar shifted in confusion when his look fell on me.  (It will not be the last time my presence would confuse an audience in my story.)  The last thing I noted was his making the sign of a nod to one of his other shadowcast friends; I believed that we had just been marked.

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