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Possible Causes

"The question is, what killed those five people in the photos," you say.

"Right." Claudia lists them off. "Tabot, Setterly, the two Bancairns and Thromby, the doctor."

William looks at his notes. "How about rabies?" The way he says "about," it sounds like aboot.

"It killed that coxswain, Vittet," Claudia says. "That happened months earlier, but it's possible the five somehow got it too."

"One of the anthropologists claimed the cause was the aquavit," William says. "Another mentioned that scurvy often afflicted sailors on long sea voyages.

"Several of them argued about what caused the fevers. Some said the 'dry raging fever' was polio; others said it was plague; one thought it was yellow fever, because they were flying the yellow jack. Most everyone agreed the 'wet coughing fever' was influenza. Two of the anthropologists thought it wasn't the fever, but the doctor's phlebotomy that killed people off."

"What about antimony?" Claudia pipes up. "James's Powder is loaded with it. Maybe that's the cause."

"Most of the anthropologists concluded that there is no common factor," William says.

What do you say?

"I want to examine the clues again."

I think I know the truth
about the five deaths."


An Access Excellence Science Mystery sponsored by Genentech, Inc.
Copyright © 1997 Genentech, Inc.; all rights reserved.


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