The Sea: The Bluebelle's Last Voyage

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So Harvey said. But three days later, word came that Terry Jo Duperrault had been found on a small raft, unconscious, cruelly sunburned and in critical condition, by the crew of a Greek freighter. Plainly, if she survived, she would be another witness to the tragedy of the Bluebelle. "Oh, my God," stammered Harvey when he heard the news. "Why, that's wonderful." A few minutes later, he excused himself, slipped out of the hearing room, went to his motel, slashed his left thigh, his ankles and his throat with a double-edged razor blade.

Harvey's friends explained that his suicide had come from enduring one tragedy too many in a lifetime of mishaps. In 1949 he had survived when his speeding car crashed through a bridge in northern Florida, plunged into a canal, killing his second wife and her mother. Twice in peacetime he had been forced to parachute from airplanes; during World War II he crash-landed a battle-damaged B24. His accumulated injuries caused his eventual retirement from the Air Force. In 1955, Harvey and four companions were rescued by helicopter after his yacht, Torbatross, struck the submerged wreck of the U.S. battleship Texas in Chesapeake Bay. Three years later, his powerboat, Valiant, went down in the Gulf of Mexico, and once more Harvey escaped with his life. The sinking of the Bluebelle, insisted friends, was all that Harvey could stand.

Calm Sea. According to his written wish, Julian Harvey, shrouded in red velvet, was buried at sea, twelve miles off Miami. At about the same time, Terry Jo recovered enough to talk to the Coast Guard investigators—and Harvey's suicide took on a new sinister significance. The child's story completely contradicted Harvey's. On the night of the tragedy, she said, she and René had gone to their cabins about 9 o'clock. "Later I heard screaming and stamping and I woke up and it went away, and I went upstairs to see what it was and I saw my mother and my brother laying on the floor and there was blood all over. I went up to the captain and he shoved me down." She retreated belowdecks to her bunk. Later the captain came into her cabin with what appeared to be a rifle in his hand but left again without harming the girl. Soon water began to flow into the cabin, and when it reached her bunk, Terry Jo climbed up to the cockpit again. There was no sign of her father, sister, or Mary Harvey. Captain Harvey came back from the bow, and "I asked him if the boat was sinking and he said, 'yes,' and he went up forward to do something, and he came back and he said, 'Is the dinghy loose?' and I said, 'I don't know,' and he jumped in after it and I couldn't see him and I couldn't see the dinghy so I got the little raft and got in it and went away and I couldn't see anything." The mast was intact, the little girl said, and there was no sign of a fire. The sea, she testified, was calm.

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