HIGH SEAS: Whited Sepulcher

From the deck of a ship entering the harbor, Willemstadt in Curaçao looks like a toy Dutch town, its well-scrubbed houses bright in the vivid tropic sunlight. To 79 men, women and children hanging over the rails of the Spanish liner Cabo de Hornos last week, Curaçao seemed very beautiful. It looked like heaven to them, for they had been on a long voyage through hell.

They were Poles, Austrians, Czechs, Belgians, Rumanians, Frenchmen, Italians, Swiss and Russians who had sailed from France last January, bound for Brazil. Because most of them were...

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