The nameless first person narrator travels from India to Europe on the ocean liner Oceania in 1912. One night, during a walk on deck, he meets a man who, disturbed and scared, avoids any social contact on the ship. The following night the narrator meets this man again. Although intimidated at first, the man soon begins to trust the narrator and tells him his story. When the first person narrator offers to help the doctor, the latter categorically turns down the offer, disappearing to be never heard of again. Only at the arrival in Naples, the narrator learns about a mysterious accident that happened while the cargo was being discharged: when the lead coffin with the woman's remains was being unloaded, the doctor threw himself onto the coffin that was fastened to ropes, thereby dragging both the coffin and him down to the bottom of the sea. Neither could the person running amok be saved nor could the coffin be recovered.