"The Secret Sharer"
by Joseph Conrad

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     I was fascinated by it myself. Every moment I had to glance over my shoulder. I was looking at him when a voice outside the door said:

     "Beg pardon, sir."

     "Well! . . ." I kept my eyes on him, and so when the voice outside the door announced, "There's a ship's boat coming our way, sir," I saw him give a start--the first movement he had made for hours. But he did not raise his bowed head.

     "All right. Get the ladder over."


     I hesitated. Should I whisper something to him? But what? His immobility seemed to have been never disturbed. What could I tell him he did not know already? . . . Finally I went on deck.

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