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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/186

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THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.

The doctor took in his right hand the flask which he had placed on the companion-way and raised it high above his head. The wreck was going down. As he sank, the doctor murmured the rest of the prayer. For an instant his shoulders were above water; then his head; then nothing remained but his arm holding up the flask, as if he were showing it to the Infinite. Then his arm disappeared ; there was no more of a ripple on the sea than there would have been on a cask of oil. The snow continued to fall.

One thing floated, and was carried by the waves into the darkness. It was the tarred flask, kept afloat by its osier cover.