"Three Skeleton Key" Storyboard Plot Summary

"Three Skeleton Key" Storyboard Plot Summary

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Storyboard Description

After a time spent trapped in the lighthouse, the men must face a new challenge in George A. Toudouze's short story "Three Skeleton Key". One, "sheet of metal sealing [Itchoua's] window gave way," and the men of the lighthouse engaged in a fight with the rats. However, the numbers of the rats were too strong, and they retreated into the lantern room. Inside, the mind of Le Gleo broke and he started laughing maniacally; the others were bleeding from, "wounds on [their] limbs and body." With the light off, people took notice and sent a patrol to the lighthouse, but it was attcked by the rats. Using steam, the engineer of the boat drove off the rats, which promtly returned through the sharks to the lighthouse. While this was happening, Itchoua noticed that the patrol had given up on them, and quickly thought of an idea. "Itchoua... thought of using the light as a signal," and used a piece a wood to signal with morse code. Once the patrol understood what had happened, they steamed back to shore to get help. It returned with a flotilla which tried to spray down the rats with its fireboat, but instead the rats fell into the water and fought the boat! Itchoua, Le Gleo, and the narrator ended up still trapped in the lantern room.

Storyboard Text

  • Help!
  • HEE!  HEE! The Three Skeletons!  HEE! HEE!  The Three Skeletons are now six skeletons!
  • "At two in the morning, while Itchoua was dozing in his room, the sheet of metal sealing his window gave way.  The chief had just enough time to leap to his feet and cry for help, the rats swarming over him.       But Le Gleo and I, who had been watching from the lantern room, got to him immediately, and the three of us battled with the horde of maddened rats."
  • "We retreated up the stairs, fighting off the rats that leaped on us from the knee-deep swarm. I do not remember, to this day, how we ever managed to escape. All I can remember is wading through them up the stairs, striking them off as they swarmed over us." 
  • Dash-Dot-Dot-Dash
  • "Itchoua sat up and stared silently at his blood trickling from the wounds on his limbs and body and running in thin streams on the floor around him. Le Gleo, who was in as bad a state (and so was I, for that matter), stared at the chief and me vacantly, started as his gaze swung to the multitude of rats against the glass, then suddenly began laughing horribly."
  • "The patrol was there to investigate the failure of our light... But the rats had also seen the ship or had scented the crew. As the ship drew nearer, a solid phalanx left the light, plunged into the water, and swimming out, attempted to board her. They would have succeeded, as the ship was hove to; but the engineer connected his steam to a hose on the deck and scalded the head of the attacking column." 
  • "Itchoua, regaining his senses, thought of using the light as a signal. He lit it and, using a plank placed and withdrawn before the beam to form the dots and dashes, quickly sent out our story to those on the vessel." 
  • "The fireboat picked her way slowly through the reefs until she was close to us, then turned her powerful jet of water on the rats. The heavy stream tore the rats from their places and hurled them screaming into the water, where the sharks gulped them down. But for every ten that were dislodged, seven swam ashore, and the stream could do nothing to the rats within the tower... Nightfall came, and... the rats were still in possession. " 
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