"The Secret Sharer"
by Joseph Conrad

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     He had rather regular features; a good mouth; light eyes under somewhat heavy, dark eyebrows; a smooth, square forehead; no growth on his cheeks; a small, brown mustache, and a well-shaped, round chin. His expression was concentrated, meditative, under the inspecting light of the lamp I held up to his face; such as a man thinking hard in solitude might wear. My sleeping suit was just right for his size. A well-knit young fellow of twenty-five at most. He caught his lower lip with the edge of white, even teeth.

     "Yes," I said, replacing the lamp in the binnacle. The warm, heavy tropical night closed upon his head again.


     "There's a ship over there," he murmured.

     "Yes, I know. The Sephora. Did you know of us?"

     "Hadn't the slightest idea. I am the mate of her--" He paused and corrected himself. "I should say I was."

     "Aha! Something wrong?"

     "Yes. Very wrong indeed. I've killed a man."

     "What do you mean? Just now?"

     "No, on the passage. Weeks ago. Thirty-nine south. When I say a man--"

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