In the first part of the rising action of the short story “Three Skeleton Key” written by George G. Toudouze, the three men discover a ship that is steering around widely. They assume, at first, the crew members are either drunk or insane. Later, they realize that the crew was eaten by the horde of rats that were on the ship. Wind had caused the ship to crash onto the island and the rats, smelling fresh meat, swarmed over to the lighthouse. As the men run inside and lock all windows and doors, the rats climb up the sides of the lighthouse, like a tree, and attempt to claw their way in, with only a window and metal walls blocking them. They spend a few days in this predicament, unbearable, never ending noise not helping, and get a little more comfortable. During the first night they turn the light on and succeed in blinding a few of the rats. Naming the rats, making faces, and teasing them, then they realize how bad the situation is. The air was rancid, a mixture of the rats and oil, and could not get fresh air without letting the rats in as well and the only barrier they had between the rats and them was starting to break.