"I'll find the doctor," Cole yelled over his shoulder as he disappeared down the stairwell.
Karl's breath smelled like after dinner mints and Amaretto. I stopped giving him mouth to mouth and continued with chest compressions willing his heart to start beating. From the illumination of the deck light his face appeared pasty white with a bluish tint around his mouth.
Marcela watched from the railing with a shocked look on her face. I continued the compressions until the ship's doctor touched me on the shoulder and indicated he would take over.
Gratefully, I sat back with dimming hope for Karl's resuscitation, watching as he unpacked a defibrillator. I pulled my shawl closer. Cole wrapped his arms around me while we waited. He had a calming presence I'd noticed competent law enforcement always seemed to possess. He'd had plenty of opportunities to hone that talent as the sheriff back home in Durm, Arizona.
Having no success, the doctor turned and shook his head, signifying he could do nothing more. Marcela burst into tears. I walked over to her and placed my shawl around her shoulders.
"What happened, Marcela? What did you see?"
She shook her head. "I don't know. I was searching for Gabriel and when I came up here, I found Karl…" She sobbed into her hand. "He was just lying there, not moving. I didn't know what to do." With this, she turned and laid her head on my shoulder, wet tears soaking through my thin blouse. A small crowd of passengers was growing around Karl.
I glanced at the doctor as he recorded the time of death in a small notebook. "What do you think?" I asked.
He stood and closed his notepad, sliding it into his shirt pocket. "It appears to be a heart attack. He is a very large man and is at the age for such a thing."
I looked at Karl's lifeless body. At least the wealthy manufacturer died on a Caribbean cruise, doing something he enjoyed. I only hoped I'd be so lucky.
With my track record, the chances of that were slim.