"The Secret Sharer"
by Joseph Conrad

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     "Saved," I thought. "But, no! Lost! Gone! He was gone!"

     I laid my knife and fork down and leaned back in my chair. My head swam. After a while, when sufficiently recovered to speak in a steady voice, I instructed my mate to put the ship round at eight o'clock himself.

     "I won't come on deck," I went on. "I think I'll turn in, and unless the wind shifts I don't want to be disturbed before midnight. I feel a bit seedy."

     "You did look middling bad a little while ago," the chief mate remarked without showing any great concern.


     They both went out, and I stared at the steward clearing the table. There was nothing to be read on that wretched man's face. But why did he avoid my eyes, I asked myself. Then I thought I should like to hear the sound of his voice.


     "Sir!" Startled as usual.

     "Where did you hang up that coat?"

     "In the bathroom, sir." The usual anxious tone. "It's not quite dry yet, sir."

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