What happened to result in murder?
Leggett tells the narrator of Conrad's story that he killed a sailor aboard the nearby ship, the Sephora, during a violent argument because the victim had refused to obey orders and had placed the ship and entire crew in jeopardy in a storm. Leggett was going to be tried for murder and would probably be convicted. He therefore managed to escape and swim to the nearby ship on which the narrator was the captain and happened to be standing watch. The Captain takes a serious risk in hiding Leggett in his own quarters, where the two men form a close friendship. Eventually Leggett has an opportunity to swim ashore and disappears as mysteriously as he appeared. Much of the drama in this famous story involves the difficulties in hiding another man from the crew.