‘Fight them , he said. I’ll fight them until I die.
But in the dark now and no glow showing and no lights and only the wind and the steady pull of the sail he felt that perhaps he was already dead. He put his two hands together and felt the palms . They were not dead and he could bring the pain of life by simply opening and closing them. He leaned his back against the stern and knew he was not dead. His shoulders told him.
I have all those prayers I promised if I caught the fish, he thought . But I am too tired to say them now. I better get the sack and put it over my shoulders.
He lay in the stern and steered and watched for the glow to come in the sky. I have half of him, he thought. Maybe I’ll have the luck to bring the forward half in. I should have some luck. No, he said. You violated your luck when you went too far outside. ‘Don’t be silly,’ he said aloud. ‘keep awake and steer. You may have much luck yet.
‘I ‘d like to buy some if there’s any place they sell it,’ he said. What could I buy it with? he asked himself. Could I buy it with a lost harpoon and a broken knife and two bad hands ? ‘You might,’ he said. ‘You tried eighty four days at sea. They nearly sold it to you too.’
I must not think nonsense, he thought. Luck is a thing that comes in many forms and who can recognize her ? I would take some though in any form and pay what they asked. I wish I could see the glow from the lights, he thought. I wish too many things. But that is the thing I wish for now. He tried to settle more comfortably to steer and from his pain he knew he was not dead………
………Now it is over, he thought. They will probably hit me again. But what can a man do against them in the dark without a weapon? ……………………..I hope I do not have to fight again, he thought. I hope so much I do not have to fight again. But by midnight he fought and this time he knew the fight was useless………………
……………That was the last shark of the pack that came. There was nothing more for them to eat.
The old man could hardly breathe now and he felt a strange taste in his mouth. It was coppery and sweet and he was afraid of it for a moment. But there was not much of it.
He spat into the ocean and said, ‘Eat that, galanos. And make a dream you’ve killed a man.’